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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.
Your essay is an important tool for presenting something you find important that may not come across elsewhere in your application.
Make sure your essay presents you as the type of person a college will want to invite to join their community.
Introspection and honesty are key with this prompt. The "belief or idea" you explore could be your own, someone else's, or that of a group.
The best essays will be honest as they explore the difficulty of working against the status quo or a firmly held belief.
According to the folks at the Common Application, in the 2018-19 admissions cycle, Option #7 (topic of your choice) was the most popular and was used by 24.1% of applicants.
Second most popular was Option #5 (discuss an accomplishment) with 23.7% of applicants.Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?The essay prompts are designed to encourage reflection and introspection.If your essay doesn't include some self-analysis, you haven't fully succeeded in responding to the prompt.The best essays focus on self-analysis, rather than spending a disproportionate amount of time merely describing a place or event.Analysis, not description, will reveal the critical thinking skills that are the hallmark of a promising college student.With the ability to write about an "intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma," you can essentially write about any issue that you find important.Note that you do not have to have solved the problem, and some of the best essays will explore problems that need to be solved in the future.For the 2019-20 application cycle, the Common Application essay prompts remain unchanged from the 2018-19 cycle.With the inclusion of the popular "Topic of Your Choice" option, you have the opportunity to write about anything you want to share with the folks in the admissions office.