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Applications to colleges are time-consuming, but the essay writing part is the most vexing for most students. Your application should present you in a positive light. It should be well-drafted to get you a place in that college you always wanted to attend. All you have to do is avoid most of these college application mistakes:
1. Forgetting to read instructions
Before you start filling out your application, read the instructions carefully and attentively. Most colleges have different sections for local and international students. Fill out the correct information for each of the questions asked. You can go through the form after completion to make sure that all the questions are answered correctly.
2. Prolonging your essay
Most college application essays will give a maximum number of words they need on the essay. Do not exceed it. Try to get rid of irrelevant details, poor ideas, oversharing, and clichés. Be concise, avoid repetitions and unnecessary words.
On the other hand, do not write too little. The admission office gave a word limit because they believe you have as much to say on their question. Avoid being vague, too, and include enough details.
Avoid repeating the same point in each paragraph of your essay. Do not also apply the same thought across all essays on the application form. Tell something new. Make each essay original and unique.
4. Keep the essay professional
Your essay should answer the question asked. Use the right tone and avoid sounding like a privileged snob. Your reason to attend a certain college, for example, should not be because your whole family has been attending the college.
Your essay should not sound materialistic or self-interested. You want to go to college because you want a good degree that will lead to a great salary. However, do not overemphasize this point in the essay. Saying you want to attend the college because you know several lawyers who are earning good money because they attended the said college may deny you the opportunity.
5. Failure to proofread
Do not hit submit before you proofread. You can use the spell-check tool, but you still have to go through your essay again to check the mistakes left out by the tool. You may write a great essay, but if you fail to proofread, the college admin will focus on your mistakes and not the essay’s content. Spelling mistakes only show you lack attention to detail. Ask a friend to help you edit your essay for mistakes you may have left out.
6. Starting late
Do not wait until the last minute to start your essay. College application essays need a lot of time to write. Make it your best work. Starting early will give you time to proofread. It will also give you time to ask others to review it for you. If you manage to submit your essay early enough, you can confirm with the college whether they have received it or not.
The worst mistake you could make is addressing the wrong school. It’s good to apply to different colleges, but make sure when you send out the forms, it’s to the right school. Make sure you also spell the school’s name correctly.
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