Application Tips from an Admissions Counselor: Acing Your Essays - Articles | APU Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Application Tips from an Admissions Counselor: Acing Your Essays

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Are you ready to write your application essays? We know it can be difficult to get started, staring at a blank box, watching the cursor blink as you try to will the words to come and fill the empty space. Wishing to fast forward to when you already have a clear, concise masterpiece all written out, but such is the nature of writing. The process can be even more daunting if you are trying to write an essay to get into that amazing university you’ve been dreaming about for months (also known as APU).

If this applies to you, don’t worry! We have you covered. We’re here to give you some tips on how to write the perfect essays. While the real magic comes from your own blend of personality, we’ll share some pointers that will get you started in the right direction.


Keep in mind, our admissions committee uses the essays you write to understand your interest in APU, your academic interests, willingness to grow, potential, and so on. For us, these essays are an opportunity to learn more about who you are. Making a good impression is the first step, but distinguishing yourself from other applicants is also key. So, let's brainstorm some ways that you can convey more about yourself.

Be Clear and Concise

Our essays consist of four topics, up to 200 words each. In other words, you have to express yourself in a concrete way in an essay that can be read in just a few minutes. In order to do this, you must first narrow down the focus of your story, be concise enough to convey yourself to anyone who reads it, and be persuasive enough to convince the reader.

Be Accurate

An essay with spelling and grammatical errors can leave a poor impression on its own. Even if you think there are no mistakes, be sure to check your spelling and grammar, as well as any data or statistics you use. Start writing your essay well in advance and have it checked by multiple people, including family, teachers, and friends.

Writing accurately does not mean writing like a professional novelist or writer. We want to get to know you through your essays, so please listen to the advice of others and try to write essays that are unique to you.


APU is committed to developing future global leaders who are not only intellectually curious but also self-motivated and have a strong sense of responsibility. Writing an essay that makes a good impression is just the beginning. This is the time to make your essays stand out from other applicants applying from around the world.

Be Different

When referring to social and economic issues, don't hesitate to develop your own arguments. Thinking about things from various angles, presenting strong opinions from unique perspectives, and sparking new discussions and growth is the essence of education. A university is the best place to encounter diverse individuals and viewpoints. It is not important whether your opinion is right or wrong. Be sure to write an essay that addresses what you are thinking, why you think the way you do, and what is going on in your own head.

Be Action-oriented

When describing your goals for the future, think carefully about your plan of action to achieve them. APU offers more opportunities than you can choose, and you will need to plan and choose each one yourself. Students with a clear plan may not always achieve the success they envisioned, but they will grow steadily, one step at a time. You will also be asked how you will contribute to the APU community if you are applying to be selected for an APU tuition reduction scholarship. Students who have a good understanding of what kind of place APU is, know what they want to study, and can think about their future goals in unique and feasible steps will be able to achieve great growth.

Be Yourself

Presenting yourself honestly is your best bet in the admission process. You don’t need to try to be the person that you imagine we want you to be. Before you write your essays, list out your personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. Ask your family and friends what they think about you. Mention those where you can in your essays. The better the admissions committee gets to know you as a person, the easier they can picture what it is like to have you in their college community.

In Conclusion

Although we’ve given you some tips on how to approach your essays, the APU admissions process is not just about writing essays. In the interview, you will be asked a lot about yourself. We comprehensively evaluate your interview, your performance, recommendations, past activities, and more. While the application essays are just one part of the bigger picture that will show us who you are, it's important for you to be able to express yourself appropriately and concisely in your own words.

Do you feel a bit better about getting started on those essays? Hopefully our tips can help you take the first step. Once you are ready, you can start your application in the APU online application system.

You can check out our FAQ section related to interview questions where we address what kind of questions are asked during the interview and how applicants should prepare for the interview. If you have any other questions, contact us at any time.

We look forward to reading your essays!

Admissions Counselor

Admissions Counselor

Sometimes we here in the International Admissions Office put together a blog or two to help prospective students and applicants with tips and advice on applying to APU. Be on the lookout for more from us on how to apply!

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