15 College Admission Essay Mistakes To Avoid At All Cost

Getting into a college is not an easy task. There are thousands of students that compete for admission to the best universities. In order to stand out from other applicants, you need to have a strong writing sample from your application which should be free from grammar and spelling errors as well as any essay mistakes. To help you avoid common mistakes in college admission essays, we will outline the ten most common mistakes students make while writing an essay for admission.

1) Avoid writing a boring or too general introduction

Even though your essay is usually around one page, it still needs to have an opening statement which will be the best way to capture your reader’s attention and make them read on. Avoid writing a boring or too general statement because this could put off your readers. Try to aim for something which will be useful for your reader and specific at the same time.

2) Demonstrate a passion for the topic of discussion

Your essay needs to show that you are passionate about a certain issue or subject, and that is why you decided to write about it, so do not just mention your interest but prove that you have done research on the topic. In your essay, you have the chance to expand more on a certain issue and show that you know what you are talking about, so use this opportunity.

3) Do not forget to use transition words

After you write a sentence, read it and see if there are any words or phrases that will help your reader understand what is going on. You need to show that you have done your research and know-how different ideas relate to each other, so make sure that your essay has a logical flow.

4) Over-Promising and Under-Delivering

One of the most common mistakes that students make when writing their college application essay is promising too much. For example, if you are applying to an engineering program, it’s probably not a good idea to write about how much you like working with your hands. The reason for this is that admission officers want to know what you have achieved so far, so there is no point in guaranteeing things that have not been done.

5) Avoid Using Too Much Filler Words

When writing a college admission essay, it’s effortless to use lots of words that do not really say anything or help your reader understand more about your topic. Some good examples of these are the words “very”, “really”, “extremely”, etc.

6) Be careful with using slang

When writing an essay for college admission, avoid using slang to seem cool or write what you think your reader wants to hear because it might sound fake. If you want to make sure that everything in your essay sounds genuine, use formal language.

7) Make sure that your essay has a clear take-home message

Your reader should be able to understand the main idea of the essay at first read, so make sure that you think about what point you want to make and base each paragraph on this statement. Your essay needs to have a beginning, middle and end so every paragraph will be relevant.

8) Avoid using clichés

Clichés are not valuable for writing college admission essays because they are overused and do not really say anything about you. If your essay includes any clichés, it will not stand out from other essays, but if you want to make sure that yours is unique, avoid these words or phrases.

Exp: It was just another day in the life of a 15-year old.

9) Have an eye for detail

If you want to write an essay that will stand out, check your writing for grammar and spelling errors before letting anyone read it because it needs to be perfect. Ideally, ask someone else to look at your paper, too, so they can catch any mistakes that you might have missed.

10) Using active voice when writing your essay

Your essay should be interesting to read, so make sure that it is written in the active voice because this way, your sentences will sound more vivid. The reason for using active voice is to avoid making your paper seem stiff and formal.

11) Make sure that your essay is specific

The main reason for writing a college application essay is to show admission officers what you can bring to a university instead of just giving them a list of your achievements. The best way to do this is to be as specific as possible and focus on something which you have done, not just something that you are good at.

Exp: I have participated in a couple of science projects, and these were the most rewarding experiences I had during high school.

12) Be careful with using contractions

Although it is not forbidden to use contractions when writing college application essays, it might be better if you avoid doing so because what you write might seem insincere.

13) Avoid using the first person

College admission officers want to know everything about you, so there is no point telling them that you did something because it does not really add anything extra to your paper.

14) Avoid using the word “I.”

As mentioned before, admission officers want to know what you have done, so it is much better if you use specific examples instead of just saying that something has happened to you.

15) Mention any unique experiences or skills that you have

What makes your application essay stand out from other students’ is if it contains experiences and skills which make you unique. The best way to do this is to come up with a specific example that shows your potential as an addition to the university’s student body.

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