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Personal Statement and Application Essay Mistakes 2013

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I wanted to make a quick post detailing some common mistakes that my students are making this year in their personal statements and application essays for schools like the University of California (UC) and the University of Texas (UT).

Writing your essay about sports:

  • Many of you are still writing about sports…I urge you not to do this.
  • Your activity resume will show all the time you spend on sports and the sports essay is entirely overused.
  • Be careful writing about dance or cheerleading as well for the same reasons.

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Personal Statement FAQ

When I first meet with families and students, they always ask about the college essay, aka “the personal statement.”  Fears and questions run the gamut.  Some students elude topic altogether and are in denial that they will need to write one.  Others just have no idea how to start writing.  Here are some examples of common questions I may receive and my usual responses.  Perhaps these questions and fears may sound familiar to you?

“How important is the personal statement?”

Well, for some schools, it’s the most important part of the application.  Particularly if the college(s) you like don’t offer interviews or a chance for teachers to write recommendation letters, then the personal statement becomes the school’s one way to get to know you apart from your grades and scores.  Continue reading Personal Statement FAQ