On February 6, 2017, the Common Application released its essay prompts for the coming application season – and there are changes afoot! Two prompts have been added, and one, the return of a Topic of Your Choice question, is sure to be lauded by education professionals. The language in three of the prompts also has been revised. Only two questions remain unchanged.
WHAT STAYS THE SAME?
Prompt #1: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Prompt #4: 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. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
WHAT ARE THE REVISED QUESTIONS?
Prompt #2: The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Prompt #3: Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your
Prompt #5: Discuss an accomplishment, event,or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
WHAT ARE THE NEW PROMPTS?
Prompt #6: Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
Prompt #7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.