Ask For Feedback From Friends Before Submitting Your College Admission Essay

Friends are fantastic: they’ve known you a long time; they know your strengths and weaknesses. Friends are objective about your good points, whereas you may be modest about yourself. Friends are able to offer you constructive criticism without offending you. Friends know what is most important to you, and where you want to go in the future. For all these reasons and more, this can make friends an excellent source of feedback to draw upon before submitting your college admission essay.

Does your personality shine through? Does the ‘personality’ in the essay reflect you to your full potential? Ask your friend to read through your essay and to say whether there are any aspects of your personality that it does not encapsulate? The admissions tutor doesn’t have the benefit of knowing you for years like your friend does, so it needs to be as close a portrayal of the key aspects of your personality as possible. Your essay needs to demonstrate that you’re thoughtful, reflective, mature, have sound ethical values and are ready to progress onto this next stage of your education. Whereas you may ‘undersell’ some of your key qualities, your friends may encourage you to highlight these amazing aspects of your personality further in an honest manner that sounds justly proud, without being boastful. They may say things such as: ‘one of the things I really admire about you is X’ and talk about an example when you’ve shown that quality. Your essay needs to be well balanced and pitched at the right level and show you as a well-rounded person who can make a real contribution to the college.

Check for spelling, grammatical and other writing errors. Ask your friend to read through your essay critically checking for spelling mistakes, any areas where your writing is sticky and confusing and would benefit from being re-phrased. Check for typos. Ensure sentences aren’t too long, and paragraph length too. Your essay could have a fantastic example, but if the writing is sloppy and hard to read, this will detract from the content and make it frustrating for the admissions tutor to read. When they have thousands to read, and you’re competing for a place, you need to do everything you can to make yours stand out, and not be rejected. You want to show that you’re a careful meticulous student who cares about their work, and a well presented admissions essay will give that good first impression.

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