High school students are asked to write three types of essays
throughout the college application process. Each essay type is unique and requires a unique approach.
Know the essay purpose. Know the reader/audience. Know the format. Have a plan.
SAT/ACT Essays (1-3 handwritten pages written under time constraints)
The Standardized test essays are persuasive essays. They measure:
- how clearly a student can express and defend an opinion
- a student’s ability to write a traditional 5-6 paragraph essay
- grammar, usage and mechanics
- the ability to write under time constraints
Scores are not base upon accuracy of facts. Students are not judged on their opinion, but their ability to express and defend it.
The Personal Statement Essay (“your story” usually 650 words or less)
- This is, essentially, a personal story or autobiography. It is the student’s way to set himself apart from the other students who present similar transcripts and test scores.
- It is a way for the college to get to know the student.
- It requires the student to dig deeply inside himself and reflect upon his life, who he is, and what he values.
The Supplemental Essays (“why us?” “tell us more” usually 250 words or less)
- These short essays tend to be either fact based or creative.
- The fact based prompts require the student to research and explain or defend something. They should contain accurate information.
- The creative prompts are ways for the admissions readers to dig deeper into who the student is.
The three essay types above are very different and need to be approached differently.
EDNavigators offers assistance with all of these essay types.
Sandy Aprahamian, EDNavigators LLC