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How to Common App 2020-21 - Common Mistakes

22 APR 2020

Welcome back to Crimson’s 9 part series on this year’s Common Application Essay prompts and how to tackle them. In this blog, we are going to reiterate some of the mistakes admission officers see in the essays, as well as some other FAQs we get about the common app.

This is our last blog in the series, and we hope you have enjoyed all of our blogs so far. If you haven’t already, check out our first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth blogs in this series.

Key Mistakes to Avoid:

1. Lacking specificity.

If you select a specific moment in which you considered one of the questions you mentioned above, aim to show what was happening instead of telling us all the time. Describe the setting, the gestures, the interactions, and the particulars of the experience as though it were television.

2. Pretending to be perfect.

If you write an entire essay about how you rose above the errors of your friends, it will be easy for any reader to disbelieve you; the errors you have made are part of the learning experiences that you can explore with candour.

3. Bragging about your accomplishments.

It’s wonderful if you are exceptionally talented! But if the goal of your essay is simply to tell the reader about how good you are, that does not show a great deal of the insight and humility needed to be in a classroom collaborating with other people when you get to college.

Crimson’s holistic approach provides support across all areas of the US university application process. We assist you to find your best-fit university, create a personalised roadmap, ace your standardised tests, craft the perfect essay, build candidacy through extracurriculars, and more.

4. Forgetting the narrative.

Your story should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Try to focus on an experience from your life that is meaningful to you, then what you learned from that experience over time, and now looking back, why what you learned matters to you.

5. Leaving it until too late

Get started early! The average student spends three months working on their Common App essay. You might end up writing more than five drafts in order to figure out how best to tell your story. It’s important to read your essay out loud to people close to you or give them copies to get their feedback on what you might do differently.

If you would like your essay reviewed by an expert so you can feel confident when submitting your college application, get your essay reviewed by Crimson.

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