Common App Essay Questions Revealed

Attention Juniors:

IT’S HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE!

The Common App has released the revised essay questions for the 2017-2018 application cycle.  It’s all good news for you.  Some of last year’s questions are getting a slight makeover; but the changes offer you more flexibility in answering them.  In addition, two new questions (for a total of seven options) means it’s easier now than ever before to write the story you want to write and find the question that best allows you to tell it.  Here are the new questions:

  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. [No change]
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised]
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]
  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. [No change]
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]

And, remember, you can roll over your Common App account so there’s no reason not to set up your account today and get rolling on these applications.  When November rolls around, you’ll be glad you did!

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