How to Answer Common Application Essay Prompts: Your Full Guide

common application essay prompts

Nowadays, applying for a university is easier than years before. With the use of common application essay prompts, many students with the desire to keep up their professional studies can have an easier and more straightforward approach to applying to the college of their choosing when writing personal statement. This way they can increase their chances of being admitted.

What Are the Common Application Essay Prompts?

This is mainly a college admission application used by many students to apply to more than 700 different universities from the USA, Canada, China and other European countries. This type of application is accepted as a variation with the same value as the original type of application most universities use. However, the main purpose of a common application prompts is to avoid unnecessary information throughout the application in order to make it more efficient and increase the chances of every applicant.

This Common Application Essay Prompts 2017 is managed by a non-profit organization called The Common Application. The main mission of this organization is to promote and increase the access to universities for more desiring applicants, as well as making the application process easier and simpler. As a whole, it is a process that helps the students to create a better application and offer guidance throughout the picking process of universities and programs.

With the use of Common Application Writing Prompts, every applicant will improve his chances, strengthen the application and make sure they have a distinguishable, authentic and effective application no matter the career, program, university or the applicant’s information. This common application essay offers the student to choose where he wants to focus on and how. This way the application will be more personal but improved according to the needs, desires and common rules of applications in universities.

How Many Students Use COMMAPP Every Year?

It is noted that around 800,000 university’s applicants use Common Application Personal Essay Prompts, where all of them have different goals and many of them decide to plan their own application with the help of this app. In the 2015-2016 period, almost half of the applicants who used COMMAPP decided to write about their personal details like backgrounds, interests, talents, and identities. However, 22 percent went for their accomplishments while 17 percent decided to write about failures and lessons learned. The last 10 percent and 4 percent wrote about solving problems in their lives and ideas or challenges they’ve surpassed, accordingly.

7 Common Prompts Used to Improve College Applications

Common application 2017 essay prompts are the ones most students use to make their applications have a better approach and outcome in their desired colleges. Whether it is an entrance exam, a personal essay, a leadership essay, the question/answer approach or any other type of application type, the Common App Essay Prompts makes sure it is better and increases the chances of the student. These are 7 different types of Common Prompts you can use:

Common prompt #1: Talk about your interests, personality, background or just anything meaningful that describes your whole value as a person and future student.

This is one of the most common prompts many college applicants use. It is about talking about interests, talents, ideas, and background to portray to the admission committee what you can offer, who you are and why do you expect to be part of the program. By talking about yourself, you communicate to admissions committees what is your purpose and why.

Question to think:

  • What background story or personal interest makes you stand out from the rest of applicants?
  • Is there a story or personal situation that describes you best as a person and student?
  • What makes you be you?

Examples of this prompt:

  • Is your family from another country, religion, race, culture or are they in any way different than a normal American family?
  • What defines you best about your personality?
  • Were you raised by your parents or any other people? How was it?

Simply put, this prompt is ideal for those who want to explain where they come from, how their life has been so far and what do they expect to overcome and achieve. The most used prompt of all but not very effective.

Common prompt #2: What obstacles and difficult situations in your life have shaped the way you are now? How did it affect you and what did you learn from it?

Along the range of 22% of people who choose Common Apps, use this prompt as it makes them think that talking about skills and surpassed challenges puts them in a higher chance, especially if these challenges are compelling. However, it is all about how the story and application are told and what it portrays that actually helps the student. This prompt needs to be made seriously, with a proper approach and talking about a good personal story.

Questions to think about:

  • Do you like to thrive with hard work?
  • What types of challenges have you faced that shaped who you are today?
  • Have you ever practised resilience in your life? Explain.

Examples you can use:

  • Parents with health problems you had to face while you were little.
  • Health problems of your own you have faced during your life or part of your younger years?
  • What types of challenges have you faced and succeed or learned about?

This is also very useful prompt, but only when it talks about serious situations. It is important to maintain the idea in mind in order to avoid talking about unimportant things.

Common prompt #3: Have you ever had an idea or belief that changed your overall thinking method?

This is not used by many college applicants. This happens as it is one of the hardest to develop and explain in an application. If you desire to talk about this prompt, it is important that you think about a certain belief or idea, an ideology, philosophy, religion or personal thought that changed the way you think. It is important to be really personal but always trying to be compelling and explanatory. Do not try to make the reader comply with whatever you have to say, but only to explain your reasons and experience.

Questions that could help you:

  • Have any of your personal opinions received criticism in social encounters?
  • Have any of your beliefs changed the way other people think?
  • Are you passionate and true to your beliefs and ideals?

Examples to think about:

  • Do your sexual inclination challenges the common social beliefs? Have your political inclinations received critical criticism that changed your interpersonal relationships?
  • Have any of your ideas become famous or have a connotation in any type of publication?

Even though it is important to talk about something who had an impact in your life and maybe in the life of others, you don’t have to choose something different that brings attention but to choose something you actually believe in.

Common prompt #4: Is there an idea, challenge or unaccomplished research or dilemma you would like to decipher, solve or keep developing?

Here is one of the best types of prompts an applicant could take. Around 650 words limited essay, the student must explain any idea or unaccomplished project they have in their minds and how they plan to keep going about it. This way they can explain their whole grasp on how things work and how they plan to overcome obstacles, especially thinking obstacles, in order to portray the intellectual worth and potential.

Questions to have in mind:

  • Have you ever wanted to change something and someone?
  • What value do you think you can offer to the world?
  • Would you like to make an impact in any area? Which one and why?

Examples you could face:

  • Do you think of doing any type of research for the future? Is that idea worth it or of great value to the world?
  • Do you have any dream or goal in mind about a certain area you think of accomplishing in the future?
  • Are you an entrepreneur or thinking about becoming one? What is your idea and how do you plan to make it happen?

This is a wonderful prompt to take as it makes the perfect focus on the proactiveness and enthusiasm of the student. It also helps the student to explain his desires and goals plus making sure he explains how he plans to make it happen.

Common prompt #5: Discuss a personal achievement that sparked a new period of personal growth and your understanding of your surroundings, socially and intrapersonal.

This is where a student needs to talk about an achievement of accomplishment in order to expose a situation in your life that changed everything in your future. It means, talking about something that made you think differently about your life and shaped the way you are now.

These are some questions to think about:

  • Is there a personal story that makes you different from other applicants?
  • What has shaped your understanding and grasp of the world now that you are 17 years old?
  • What words do you think most define you?

Examples you should take into account:

  • Have you ever travel to another country and changed your understanding on how the world works?
  • What was it like for you to be raised by a multicultural or different family?
  • Do anything on your body like your hair, tattoos, rings or modification to your body define your personality?

As said before, this is the most common apps applicants use for their college applications as it is easier to talk about and explain. Around 50% of all common app users tend to go with this type of common prompt.

Common prompt #6: Explain a personal interest that makes you an enthusiast and engages you so much that you lose track of everything else? Why does it captivate you and what do you expect to achieve from it?

As said in the title, this type of prompt is mainly made to discover more about the internal thoughts and interests of each applicant. This way the admission committee can know about the type of thinking, the goals and the path a student may make in his future. Also, a student is able to explore his own knowledge and discover new ways of improving his own grasp of ideas.

  • What makes you desire to know more and become a professional about? And why?
  • How much have you struggled to learn more about something and why was it in the first place you wanted to do it?
  • Do you feel satisfied each time you figure out something about a certain subject? Which and why?

These examples can help you:

  • Have you taught yourself any subject like music, sport, engineering, computers, writing or any other type of subject? Why?
  • Is there a knowledge obsession you have?

Wonderfully accurate to explain interests of students, this is one of the best options any applicant could choose. Especially when the area of interests has a relevancy with the news for applicants.

Common prompt #7: Share an essay or research you’ve made by yourself on a new or old subject. It can be a new essay or an old one.

This is maybe the most famous and sometimes harder to make the type of prompt. This is about the student sharing an essay on whatever type of subject or interest that holds knowledge and ideas in a good way, especially if they have relevance to the desired program to enter. This helps to communicate to admissions committees how talented and how much value can the applicant offer.

  • What it is important for you that you think the admission committee should know about?
  • What do you think you could talk about with an admission officer and make him comply with whatever you have to say?
  • Is there any knowledge or idea that makes you stand out from the crowd?

Examples on how to exploit it:

  • Do you see the world in a unique way? How do you see it and why?
  • Is there a certain type of mystery around your name?
  • Is there a certain activity that shapes the way you see the world and how do you act and think?

This case, writing about yourself but about things you feel interested in and know about is simple, however, it is important to do it professionally and in a way that feels less compelling and emotional but explanatory and interesting.

Do You Need Help with Your Common Application Essay Prompts?

If you are looking for any help when it comes to Common Application prompts, you’ve found the right place to make your desires come to life. Here we will guide you throughout the whole process while also offering a personal statement writing service to make the hard process of writing any of these prompts professionally and more effectively.

We know how hard it is to make this type of prompts. That’s why our writing personal statement help comes perfect for anyone like you who needs a helping hand in the writing and planning of an application.

Do not hesitate in getting help if you’re finding it difficult, we make sure that whatever your purpose is, we will find it a path.

Learn what are the common application prompts and get in touch with us today and we will get back to you with the best personal statement writing service online!