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It’s that time of the year when high school seniors are starting to apply to colleges. One of the hardest parts of applying to college is writing your admissions essay. While it’s a daunting task, following these four tips will help you to write the perfect essay.


Choose a topic that’s important to you

Most colleges give you a choice in topic when writing your admissions essay. Use this flexibility to your advantage. Instead of writing about what you think colleges want to hear, choose instead a topic you’re passionate about. That passion will shine through in your writing and the admissions counselor will have a much better idea of who you truly are.


Start writing early and write multiple drafts

You may be used to procrastinating on major assignments, but this isn’t something you should push off until the last minute. Great essays don’t happen on the first try. It takes multiple rounds of revisions in order to make sure your essay is cohesive, makes sense and has a logical flow. Ask a trusted teacher or adviser to read through your essay before handing it in. Sometimes a new set of eyes can catch something you missed.


Answer the question being asked

When applying to multiple different schools, it can be tempting to try and reuse a previous essay. However, an admissions counselor will be able to tell that the essay isn’t perfectly tailored to the question being asked. While it will take you some extra time, write a new essay for each application. This allows your essay to be genuine and reflective of you, instead of a canned response.


Don’t repeat information

You may want to use your essay as a way to further boast about the things you accomplished during high school. This is a fine idea if these accomplishments aren’t listed anywhere else in your application. However, if you’ve already talked about these accomplishments elsewhere in your application, refrain from repeating them. Try a new angle. Instead of just sharing your accomplishments, talk about what you learned from them, or how they made you into who you are today. Don’t recount the things you’ve done and experience. Reflect on them. No one wants to just read a play-by-play of the time you scored the winning point in a basketball game. They want to read your takeaway of it.