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New Common App essay prompts for 2015-2016


For those juniors out there who’re ready to get started on college applications (or at least thinking about them!), the Common App organization recently released their essay prompts for the 2015-2016 application year.  While some of the prompts are the same as last year’s, others have been changed to reflect feedback from students, college counselors, and admissions committees at colleges.

Without further ado…the new Common App personal essay prompts!

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.  If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success.  Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.  How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act?  Would you make the same decision again?

4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve.  It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale.  Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Check out the Common App’s blog for more information about changes to the Common App essay-writing process.  One highlight: Common Apessay writingp colleges can now choose whether or not to require the Common App personal essay.

We work with many juniors and seniors to get them ready for the SAT, ACT, and SAT subject tests, so we know how busy this time of year is.  If you’re a current junior, your focus should be on finishing spring semester strong – make sure you’re doing a great job with your classes, AP exams, and SATs and ACTs.  After school’s out in June, take a break for a few weeks to decompress.  Once you’ve sufficiently recovered from the school year, take some of that free time to start brainstorming and drafting your college application essays.  If you can draft a few college essays over the summer, you’ll take some of the pressure off in fall semester, when you’ll be busy focusing on filling out applications, academic coursework, and a possible retake of the SAT or ACT.  Your future self will thank you!

And as always, if you need help preparing for the SAT, ACT, or SAT subject tests, reach out to AJ Tutoring anytime.  We can’t write your college essays for you (been there, done that, wrote our own essays a long time ago!), but we can help you get your best score on your college admissions tests.

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