Personal Challenge Essay

Personal Challenge Essay-52
Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.

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This prompt may seem to go against everything that you've learned on your path to college.

It's far more comfortable in an application to celebrate successes and accomplishments than it is to discuss setbacks and failure.

Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

Here, again, the Common Application gives you a lot of options for approaching the question.

Be careful with that opening word "describe"—you'll want to spend much more time analyzing the problem than describing it.

This essay prompt, like all of the options, is asking you to be introspective and share with the admissions folks what it is that you value.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.The current prompts are the result of much discussion and debate from the member institutions who use the Common Application.The essay length limit stands at 650 words (the minimum is 250 words), and students will need to choose from the seven options below.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.This question was reworded in 2017-18 admissions cycle, and the current language is a huge improvement.The prompt use to talk about transitioning from childhood to adulthood, but the new language about a "period of personal growth" is a much better articulation of how we actually learn and mature (no single event makes us adults).Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. The prompt gives you a lot of latitude for answering the question since you can write a story about your "background, identity, interest, or talent." Your "background" can be a broad environmental factor that contributed to your development such as growing up in a military family, living in an interesting place, or dealing with an unusual family situation.If this sounds like you, then please share your story. You could write about an event or series of events that had a profound impact on your identity.

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