Every student preparing to apply to college will likely encounter at least one college essay prompt in their life. Designed to test your ability to describe yourself and tell your story as well as sift through the thousands of applicants every year, colleges rely on the personal essays applicants submit as a measure of value to help them know who will be a good choice for their school and who will not. The essays often vary by school and state, but recently many states have been devising universal application systems that allow students to apply to multiple universities using the same application and the same essay prompts. The Texas University system is no different.
Designed jointly by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and many different colleges and universities, ApplyTexas is a broadly universal application that lets students apply to hundreds of Texas colleges. Similar to the nationwide Common Application program, ApplyTexas creates a way for students to send the same information off to multiple schools, saving them time and money while relieving the school administrators from having to navigate hundreds of different application standards and requirements.
However, ApplyTexas is unique in that students can use it to apply for more than just colleges. ApplyTexas covers community colleges, traditional public four-year schools, private colleges, or universities that opt into the program, graduate programs, and even certain scholarships or financial aid programs. The application features three main essay prompts, known as prompts A, B, and C, but not every program will require all three. Many programs only ask for or accept certain prompts, and will likely also have additional short answer questions and supplemental packets that you’ll need to fill out. Word count requirements and other content requests will also vary depending on the program you’re applying for. Regardless of the program, writing a solid response to each of the 2020-2021 Apply Texas Essay questions is essential to the success of your application. We’ll walk you through some general guidelines on how to write a good college essay, look at each of the 2020-2021 ApplyTexas prompts in detail, and provide some suggestions for how to start crafting your response. With hard work and our help, you’ll be receiving your acceptance letter in no time.
Writing The Perfect College Essay
When it comes to planning out your essay, it’s hard to know where to begin without feeling massively overwhelmed. Too many students make the mistake of procrastinating and putting it off until the last second, and even more students start early and try to write a huge manifesto instead of focusing on the important details. You can use the best essay writing service or use some general guidelines and best practices for writing the perfect college essay.
- Don’t Think Too Big
Many students often try to pack most of their life into a short 500 or 700-word essay. Not only will you majorly stress yourself out trying to do so, but often you’ll end up with a pile of gibberish that has no clear point and rambles where it doesn’t need to. No college administrator wants to read that. What they’re looking for is a finely honed essay that demonstrates your creativity and ability to think, analyze, and synthesize effectively. Start by choosing a single-story, event, or moment in your life that really means something to you. Odds are you already have something in mind. What was it? Did your sports team pull out a last-second win when the odds were stacked against you? Did you lose a loved one when you were younger? Did you come across something in your travels or in your reading that stands out to you even today? Now try to envision if any of these moments are representative of you in a larger sense; your intimate and valuable qualities. The perfect essay demonstrates personality, passion, and ambition without trying to do too much at once. Finding the perfect balance will require a lot of work, but it’s absolutely possible.
- Just Write – the Editing Comes Later
The number one reason most people procrastinate is that they’re secretly afraid of failure. Have you ever sat down in front of a computer and typed out a great first sentence, only to delete it almost instantly because you were afraid it wasn’t as good as you thought it was? Writing a strong essay is a process, and it’s best to not interrupt that process from the start. Force yourself to sit down and just write, without editing or going back over what you’ve read. Even if there are typos, even if there are mistakes, never judge your writing until you have a few paragraphs written down first. You can always go back and fix your work, but it’s a lot easier to edit when you’ve already got content in place as opposed to as you’re trying to write it.
- Find Your “Thing” and Stick With It
The best essays are memorable not for their well-written prose or their lengthy explanations, but for their stand-out material that stays with you well after you’ve read it. The best way to do this is to develop a “thing” – an identity or brand that helps you stand out. The best way to do this is to choose a creative topic or twist and write about it in specific and descriptive detail. When an admissions officer is reading essays, you want to be remembered as the standout in one category. It’s easier to be known as the student who worked for the President as opposed to the student who was in student government and went to church regularly and was on the softball team. Don’t get us wrong, these attributes are all important and might have a place in your narrative, but the focus should be on your defining moment. If you can’t identify that moment after you finish your first draft, then you may need to revisit the piece.
Writing the Perfect ApplyTexas Essay
Now that you have some guidelines for how to write the perfect college essay, it’s time to apply those skills to the ApplyTexas essays. The ApplyTexas essays are split into three prompts, A, B, and C. Not every Texan program requires all three prompts, and some require very specific prompts and won’t accept others (for example, A or B but not C). Make sure you look at your program’s requirements to know which prompts they want and to see if there’s any additional short answer or supplemental questions they have for you. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to move on to the prompts.
- Essay A: Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?
- Essay B: Most students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. Tell us about yourself.
- Essay C: You’ve got a ticket in your hand – Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?
The first thing you might be thinking is why are these so short? How am I supposed to write (however many your program requires) words based off of this content?
Don’t panic. These prompts are designed to be short and open-ended for a reason. The goal here is to see how you can respond to these prompts in a way that demonstrates maximum creativity, passion, and motivation as well as showcases your many talents as a potential student on campus. Each essay prompt is designed to ask and inspire different questions and responses, so being able to identify them will help you determine how best to respond. Also you can get professional help from the best essay writing services from Reddit.
Essay A – The Classic
This question is a version of one of the most standard entrance questions out there: how have you overcome challenges in life? This concept is in application and entrance exams across the world, not only for colleges and universities but also in job applications and other interview scenarios. Being able to answer this question well demonstrates a few different abilities that are essential to college admissions officers.
This question tests how well you can write concisely and compellingly. These last two words are essential. Most college prompts will have a word limit of between 500 and 800 words. Like we discussed in our guidelines, not trying to cram too much information into one essay is essential in demonstrating a well-written response. Concise and compelling writers can captivate an audience and brand themselves in as few as fifty words, and this ability demonstrates that you are an intelligent, analytic, and careful writer who will make a good asset to a school’s academic record. The admissions committees here also want to see how well you can adapt to adversity. College is an unpredictable time for many students. Being able to adjust to changes and setbacks and still meet with success is a sign that you will do well on a college campus, and an advantage that will set you apart from other applicants if you can present yourself effectively.
Essay B – The Identifier
This question is designed to solicit information that might not be readily apparent in your life story. It also requires you to carefully analyze both the prompt and your life before picking out compelling and useful traits that would be relevant and appropriate to share. Look carefully at the wording of the essay: “most students have AN identity, interest, or A talent”. The writers intentionally refer to just one trait here. In the next sentence, they open-endedly invite you to talk about yourself. This is an important choice of words to note.
The question is asking you to choose just one aspect of yourself to talk about, a primary focus to discuss. Your ability to do this effectively demonstrates that a) you can understand what the prompt is asking you for and choose just one trait instead of referring to several and b) you can effectively synthesize your life and describe your personality from the context of one key characteristic. The admissions officers aren’t expecting you to only talk about one thing. For example, their goal is not to have you submit an essay that solely talks about how patient you are or how good you are at gymnastics. The goal here is to see how you can frame your life and your personality in the context of just one trait. For example, you being good at gymnastics might also mean that you’re patient, driven, ambitious, and hard-working, but you don’t need to list all of those traits individually. You can instead demonstrate them as attributes that you developed as a result of your one major characteristic: being good at gymnastics.
Essay C – The Free Thought Exercise
This essay question may seem like the hardest because it is the most open-ended. You truly can answer this question in many ways, and there’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer. By providing such an open prompt, the admissions committees are looking for you to give them a window into your mind. What is it that you think about? What drives you? What motivates, inspires, captivates you? Remember, the goal of college admissions essays are to let the admissions team get to know you thoroughly in order to decide whether you would be a good fit for your program of choice, but they don’t have the benefit of knowing you personally before they make that decision. This question allows them to see an unguarded you, a version of yourself that is personal and authentic instead of catering to academic bounds and restrictions.
The best way to answer this question is to write with transparency. Envision yourself in that situation and ask yourself what would be your dream destination. Imagine the world at your feet and tell the audience where you’re walking as you go there. Bring in elements of yourself in a raw and real way instead of coating them in language you think the admissions committee wants to hear. By answering truthfully and creatively, you’re giving the people behind the screen a chance to meet the real you, something that almost inevitably will lead to a better understanding of you and a better ability to decide whether you would fit well within that program.
By understanding the ApplyTexas prompts and grounding yourself in good writing techniques, any applicant can feel confident in themselves and the essays they’re producing. With patience, hard work, and honesty, we’re confident that you’ll be able to write confidently and authentically, increasing the chances that several months from now you’ll be able to smile and wave your acceptance letter with pride.