Quick Answer: Do Colleges Actually Read Essays?

Do college essays really matter?

Essays are actually ahead of the 20% for grades and coursework, 15% for test scores, and 10% for recommendations and interviews.

You might be surprised to learn that essays are that important, but keep in mind that at top schools, there are at least 4 academically-qualified candidates for every open spot..

Do college essays have to be true?

Your essay should be genuine and based on fact, not fiction. You don’t have to pull out all the stops to impress the reader, you just have to be authentic and creative. There should be no mention of how miraculous your life is and how profound you can be.

What kind of essays do colleges want?

Here are 5 essential traits of a compelling college essay. Your essay doesn’t need to have all 5, but college admissions officers look for at least one of these traits or possibly two….How to Write a College EssayDrive. Think self-motivation. … Intellectual curiosity. … Initiative. … Contribution. … Diversity of experiences.

Do colleges care if you swear?

Colleges know that people swear sometimes, obviously, but excessive vulgarity will not reflect well upon you.

How do you start a college essay example?

1. Your first paragraph should grab the readerTry starting with a question.Begin with a bold statement.Use an interesting quote.Put the reader in medias res, that is, in the middle of things. … Challenge the reader by speaking directly to him/her.Tell the reader what you do NOT want to do in your writing.More items…

How do I know if my college essay is good?

4 Ways to Know if You’ve Written a Good College EssayPut the essay away for a day or two. Then read it again. … Read your essay out loud. You shouldn’t stumble over words or phrases when you read your essay out loud. … Ask yourself if your essay says everything you want it to say about you. … Pretend you’re a college reader.

What if my college essay is too long?

Admissions officers will still read your essay even if it’s long, but know that they may already start to form an opinion about you before they’ve read the first sentence!

How long should a college essay be?

The shortest word limits for college essays are usually around 200 words (less than half a single-spaced page). Rarely will you see a word limit higher than around 600 words (over one single-spaced page). College essays are usually pretty short: between 200 and 650 words.

What is a bad college essay?

The main ways college essay topics go wrong is bad taste, bad judgment, and lack of self-awareness.

Do colleges look at Instagram?

A 2018 Kaplan Test Prep survey found that about 25% of college admissions officers review applicants’ social media profiles. … Admissions officers do look at social media accounts for prospective students, but the practice is declining, according to the Kaplan Test Prep survey.

What should you not do in a college essay?

Never Do These 10 Things in Your College Application EssaysNever rehash your academic and extracurricular accomplishments.Never write about a “topic”Never start with a preamble.Never end with a “happily ever after” conclusion.Never pontificate.Never retreat into your thoughts.Never hold back.Never give TMI.More items…

How informal can a college essay be?

Pretend you’re describing this story to a teacher you liked and felt comfortable with. It’s possible to be too informal in a college essay. It shouldn’t sound like you’re talking to your best friend (and it shouldn’t be written like a text message).

What does a college essay have to be about?

Your college essay should reflect your opinions and experiences and display clear and critical thinking. It’s more than a list of facts or a highlight reel of successes; it helps college admissions officers understand your character. … Colleges may provide writing prompts or leave the topic up to you.

Do colleges know if you copied essay?

They won’t know if you plagiarized, either. Fact: There is a fine line between getting help and letting someone write part or all of your essay. While parents and others cannot always tell the difference, admissions officers know when someone other than a student writes a story.

Can you use curse words in a college paper?

If you normally use curse words, it is ok to use them in your essay because it helps it sound like your voice – genuine, sincere, and honest. You want to show personality and passion in essays and cursing can actually help with that.

Why shouldn’t colleges check social media?

According to the survey, other college admissions officers think looking at social media profiles is an “invasion of privacy”. They feel that all of the information needed to make a decision about a student will be found in their application, such as GPA, letters of recommendation and personal statements.

What does a good college essay look like?

The best way to tell your story is to write a personal, thoughtful essay about something that has meaning for you. Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine through. … Others write about a subject that they don’t care about, but that they think will impress admissions officers.

Should I curse in my college essay?

As expressed in an article of “The Daily Beast,” don’t use profanities in your college essays. It’s a major mistake. … Many of the anecdotes revolve around silly or even comical things students do during the course of the college admissions process.

How important are essays in college admissions?

That’s where the college essay comes in. The college essay offers students the chance to tell their own story to admissions officials. … It ranked as the fifth most important factor in the admissions process in a 2019 National Association for College Admission Counseling survey.

What are the best college essay topics?

Here are 5 places to find great college essay topics your own life experience:Memorable meals. Everyone eats! … Outdoor activities. The first time I ever advised a student on their college application essay, I worked with a quiet student, a guy who disappeared into the back of his classes. … Challenges. … Failure. … Commitment.

Do colleges know if you lie extracurriculars?

Usually they don’t, unless you take an interview, they’ll probably ask you questions about it and trust me, they can tell when your lying. Either way, if they don’t catch you, when you start college they’ll clearly tell that you don’t have the skills you said you did if you try to get into extracurriculars.

Can colleges tell if you’re lying?

Colleges know how to spot inconsistencies in your application. They notice when things you say don’t match with what your teachers or counselors say in the letters of recommendation. And colleges won’t hesitate to call your counselor to verify information that doesn’t seem right. They don’t do it to catch you in a lie.

Do all colleges require essays?

Most US colleges and universities require applicants to write a short essay about themselves or a specific topic as part of the application process. … The essay gives you an opportunity to talk clearly about your goals, and can give admissions officers a better idea of how well you might fit in with the school.