Popular College Application Essay Prompts and Topics
Nearly 700 colleges around the world accept college applications. It makes it easier to apply to several schools with just one form. Usually, it takes 250-650 words to write an impressive college application essay.
Similarly, it has been announced that the essay prompts for 2020-2021 will remain the same as 2019-2020. According to the counselor’s feedback, the existing prompts provide flexibility for students to tell their life stories in their voice. Moreover, it also adds consistency for the students, counselors, parents, and members during the admission process.
If you are new to the college application essay prompts, read this blog to discover unique topics and learn why they matter.
College Application Essay Prompt Definition
College app essay prompts are a type of statement that focuses on a specific issue. It is usually followed by certain common app questions.
The introduction must demonstrate you as a smart, thoughtful, and mature individual. Furthermore, the application must be free from mistakes and written in an impressive language. Do not forget to use the proper college application essay format.
Remember, using, and addressing the essay prompts in the right way is what matters the most. It indicates that you are prepared for the academic challenge.
Purpose of the College App Writing Prompts
The following is the primary purpose of the common app essay prompts.
- It helps to introduce yourself as a deserving candidate to the admission officers.
- It states response in the form of an essay.
- It helps admission officers to know about you and your high school experience.
- It also helps to analyze whether or not you will succeed in a college you are applying to.
- It is used to evaluate the writing, reasoning, and analytical skills of the applicants.
- It also shows your ability to respond to different prompts.
How to Choose Common Application Essay Prompts?
Below are the tips to choose an interesting prompt for common app essays.
- Focus on a specific moment that changed you and represents your character.
- Choose a topic that will help you stand out among other applicants.
- Write about something that showcases your bad and good qualities equally.
- Pick a genuine and relatable topic that is unique to your personality.
- Think and write about what you did as a child that influenced your personality now.
- Lastly, write about what makes you, you.
Whether you write on a given topic or brainstorm a fresh idea, an essay prompt must answer the following common application questions.
- Who Am I?
- Why Am I Here?
- What is Unique About Me?
- What Matters to Me?
College Application Writing Prompts 2020-2021
Here, we have compiled a list of some common app prompts to write a college essay. Along with this, we have also advised on how to answer them correctly.
Prompt 1 - Describe your background, identity, interest, or talent. Please share your story of life to tell who you are.
In this application, highlight and discuss the unique perspective of your identity that sets you apart. Avoid writing on common app essay topics such as your talent, playing a sport, or any learning experience. Instead, choose an aspect related to your family or upbringing.
Prompt 2 - Write about a failure that affects your personality.
Here, you should discuss a time when you failed at something. Conclude the essay by stating examples of how it has improved you and your way of dealing with similar situations. The honesty with which you are admitting failure would make your application sound more authentic to the officers.
Prompt 3 - Discuss a time where you challenged a belief and your pre-existing worldview.
Mention your experience to listen to contrary perspectives with respect and maturity. It will indicate that you are keen to learn from disagreements. Similarly, it can also give an idea of your abilities to engage in challenging debates.
Prompt 4 - Write about a problem that you have and want to solve.
Here, the problem can be a typical world issue like hunger. However, it is better to address a creative problem to show your passions and interests in solving it.
Prompt 5 - Discuss the moments that demonstrate your shift from child to adult within the family or community.
Think of a crucial event for writing such an essay. It can be best answered with important moments rather than less important ones. .
Prompt 6 - Describe your most favorite book or movie where the main character has to make a difficult decision. Discuss what you think about their choice.
You should choose a good book or movie for this essay. Avoid using popular novels that are commonly used by people, such as Harry Potter. Instead, try to select a book that you might have read and enjoyed in school.
Prompt 7 - Write your top 10 list.
Try to be creative while addressing this prompt. Choose something you love and make a list of the top 10. It can be the memories of your life, favorite books, quotations, etc
Prompt 8 - Mention a thing that changed your mind.
Here, try to pick a specific thing that has changed your mind and opinion. Also, illustrate how a changed perspective has impacted your behavior.
Prompt 9 - Discuss the major goals of your life.
Answer this essay prompt by going beyond your academic, professional, and family goals. Similarly, you can also think about your personal goals, like to be more kind.
Prompt 10 - Choose a quotation that describes your personality and explain why you connect with it.
Choose a unique quote in this prompt and avoid using common ones. Make sure that you relate your personality with it correctly.
Prompt 11 - Write about the most embarrassing moment of your life. Discuss your learning experience from it.
A writer can share a funny experience here. Such an encounter can be fundamental in adding value to the essay. However, it should be transformed into a profound learning experience by discussing how it changed you.
Prompt 12 - Reflect on a time where you had an option to either take a risk or stay safe. Discuss what you choose.
In this essay prompt, explain either you have made a right or a wrong decision. If it is the right one, discuss why you have taken it and how it has changed you. On the other hand, if it is a wrong decision, focus on how you would change it.
Prompt 13 - Write about something you are passionate about.
It is better to talk about something that you love for making your essay sound perfect. Similarly, your passion will also shine through in your writing.
Prompt 14 - Choose a topic, idea, or concept of your choice.
It provides you an opportunity to choose and write an essay on the topic of your choice. Here, you can also use an essay that is already written for another college. Just focus on the word limit and quality of the writing piece.
Prompt 15 - Write about the best advice that you have ever got. Discuss whether or not you have followed it.
Find the advice that is specific and personal to you. Discuss why it is important, and when you have followed it.
Prompt 16 - Discuss the role of a specific activity in your life. It can include sports, theater, band, etc.
This writing prompt will provide you with an opportunity to showcase your passion and extracurricular activities. Make sure to connect the significance of the activity to an important experience of your life.
Prompt 17 - If you have a chance to meet a person either living or dead for an hour, who would you meet?
It is better to avoid mentioning personalities that are commonly discussed by many students. Instead, choose a figure that is unique and interests you the most. Similarly, if you are choosing a family member, make sure to have a logical and authentic reason.
Prompt 18 - If you are selected to give an important speech, what would it be about?
Choose a topic of interest in the speech. Ensure to write clear sentences that give a proper direction to your essay.
Prompt 19 - If you have to teach a class, which class would it be?
Try to choose a unique perspective in this essay and make sure you know a lot about it.
Prompt 20 - Tell us about a turning point in your life.
Think of a turning point in your life. You can talk about an experience such as a job or an extracurricular activity. Also, explain what you have learned from it.
Prompt 21 - Write about a time when you questioned a belief. Also, discuss how you have to be brave and stand up for what you have believed in.
Here, you should talk about an important belief or idea that you have. Write your essay about one experience, take a stance, and defend it.
Prompt 22 - Discuss something that makes you angry.
Answer this prompt by either writing a funny essay or discuss major social issues.
Prompt 23 - If you would have given the opportunity to change one day of your life, what would it be and why?
Here, you should think of an important day. If you can’t do it immediately, then you might not have enough material for this essay.
Prompt 24 - Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding.
Focus on a unique and personal achievement that tells the admission officers about who you are. It can be a small or big accomplishment and can be unrelated to academics.
Prompt 25 - If you can time travel to any time or place, where would you go?
A writer can choose a historical or personal moment while writing such an application. Begin with discussing its personal importance no matter and your desire to experience it. Later on, describe your personal connection to it.
Prompt 26 - What advice can you give to a high school student?
Try to be positive while addressing such a prompt. Share your experience honestly and avoid complaining about the negative aspects of high school. Instead, advice about helpful things that can benefit high school students in their careers.
Prompt 27 - If you can stop one invention from being invented, what would it be?
Discuss the reasons for choosing an invention. Explain why it has not created an impact on the world.
Prompt 28 - Why do you want to attend this college?
Admission officers receive a large number of applications every day. Thus, mention unique and impressive aspects that explain why you are applying to a college.
Prompt 29 - Choose a Law and discuss why it is important to you.
You can interpret this prompt in many ways. For example, you can talk about physical law, political law, religious law, or anything else. Similarly, you can also intellectually challenge a research query or an ethical dilemma.
Remember to connect it to your personal experiences. The more interesting you are, the more likely the admission officers will remember your essay.
Prompt 30 - Describe one thing that you want people to know about you.
Try to be specific and vulnerable in this application. It can be a trait or a specific memory and explain what it means to you. Moreover, you should also discuss why you don’t tell people about it.
Prompt 31 - If you can add an amendment to the constitution, what would it be?
Answer the prompt by ensuring the amendment you are adding is not already a part of the constitution. Also, discuss its impacts and explain your strategy for getting it passed.
Prompt 32 - Describe a person in your life who has helped you understand yourself better.
Give a few examples of how a person has impacted you and your personality. Write about how these experiences helped you understand yourself better.
Prompt 33 - Mention a book that you would recommend to others.
Recommend a book that you have already read. Give reasons why you are recommending it.
Prompt 34 - Tell us about someone who you have spoken up for.
Answer this by discussing a moment where you have spoken up for someone who couldn’t speak for himself. If you do not have an authentic example for this, don’t make a fake story yourself.
Prompt 35 - Discuss a specific objective that you want to achieve in college.
Focus on the achievable goals that you are passionate about. Here you can also mention some particular elements about the college you are applying to.
These college admission essay prompts and ideas will help you begin writing your applications. Give yourself enough time to outline the major points.
Furthermore, if you are searching for some college application essay examples, check out our blog to get an idea.
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