While students are cheering about the growing trend towards dropping the requirement for the essay portion of the SAT and ACT, they don’t realize that the consequence is more weight placed on their personal essay on college applications. Just yesterday, Brown University joined Princeton, Stanford and CalTech in dropping the writing section requirement for college applicants.
Prepping for the SAT/ACT is now a bit easier because students no longer need to labor over how to perfect the essay on these exams. Nonetheless, colleges still want to see evidence of strong writing skills. Some admissions officers have already said they will be spending more time reading the personal essays of applicants in the upcoming fall admissions cycle.
Third Most Important Factor
The college essay is already the third most important factor following grades and test scores, according to the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Now, the essay will carry even more weight. How can applicants insure that their essay stands out?
Admissions officers seek a window into the applicant's personality hoping to glimpse his/her character, interests, style and values. Unlike essays written for English and history classes, the personal essay does not follow a rubric, it is not formulaic in any way. The self- reflection that the essay requires of its writer often makes it more difficult for students to compose.
Summer is Best Time to Write
Rising seniors recognize the benefit of drafting their essays in the summer, well before the true stress of senior year sets in. But even juniors can begin considering topics and brainstorming outlines. It is NEVER too early to start thinking about essays. Because they are the most time-consuming piece of the application, essays require mindful diligence and development.
ReadySetCollege brings meticulous attention to detail when coaching students through essay development. Franca evaluates each draft of every essay through the eyes of admissions officers and works through every paragraph to maximize its effect. The result is always a deeply personal, engaging piece of work that reveals an insight into who the student truly is.