ACING YOUR APPLICATION ESSAYS: TIPS FROM THE DEAN OF ADMISSIONS
We have all been there. Staring at a blank page, willing words to come forth and fill the empty space, wishing you could fast forward to the part in your story when you have a masterpiece in your hands—clear, concise and ready to deliver. Such is the nature of writing. The process can be even more daunting if you are writing an essay that may be the deciding factor as to whether or not you get into that amazing university you’ve been dreaming about for months (also known as APU).
If that’s what you’re going through, don’t worry. We have you covered. We had a chat with Prof. Yuichi Kondo, Dean of Admissions at APU, and asked for some tips on how to write the perfect essay. While the real magic comes from your own blend of personality, here are some pointers that will get you started in the right direction.
HOW TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION
The admissions committee uses your essays as a tool to gauge your academic ability and perspective, and from there, predict your potential for success. Here is how you can impress them:
BE CLEAR AND CONCISE
In your application to APU, you only have up to 150 words for each essay question, which translates to just a few minutes to impress the admission committee as they read your application. The best strategy is to get straight to the point. In writing about your personal experiences, be as eloquent as possible. The more clearly you paint the details, the easier it is for people to imagine themselves in your situation.
A grammatically correct and well-structured essay suggests your effort. While it may seem obvious, check all the spelling and grammar. If you use data and statistics, make sure they are correct and up-to-date. Start early to have enough time to go over your essays a few times and even have your family, teachers and friends proofread it for you. Remember there is a difference between asking them to proofread and asking them to write the essays for you.
HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF STAND OUT
APU is devoted to the cultivation of future global leaders, who are not only intellectually curious but also self-motivated and hold a strong sense of responsibility towards others. Making a good impression is the beginning, but distinguishing yourself from other applicants is the next step. Points to consider are:
In discussing social or economic issues, it is better to write essays that make a bold statement. It is fine to be controversial as long as you provide strong reasons for your view while considering other perspectives. Education thrives on the difference of opinions and as educational entities, universities value diversity in individuals and perspectives.
In discussing your future goals, be specific on what actions you will take to reach them. Students with concrete and convincing plans are believed to hold the seeds for success. In writing the essay for the APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship, discuss how you will contribute to the APU community in return for the university’s investment on you. At APU, scholarships are awarded primarily on merit. Students who can showcase their future plans through unique yet feasible steps will give themselves a great advantage.
Presenting yourself honestly as who you are 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.
We look forward to reading your essays!