December 2010 Newsletter
In our last newsletter we gave you a list of this year’s most thought-provoking and wackiest supplemental essay questions. So now that you’ve hopefully completed the essays for the Common Application as well as for the Supplements and think that you’re all finished, you see that there are also short answer questions.
Yale calls them “Short Takes,” Stanford calls them “Profile Questions,” Princeton asks for “A Few Details,” Columbia wants “Interests,” and Claremont McKenna requires you to “Fill-in-the-Blanks.”
You can respond in a few sentences, or a few words. In doing so, it’s important to talk about what interests you the most, what’s important to you, and what you like. Your responses should be personal and meaningful. While there are no right or wrong answers, avoid writing what you think admissions counselors want to hear, and don’t write those boring clichés. Be creative, be insightful, be unique, be yourself, and don’t forget to be honest!
- List the books you read for pleasure in the past year:
- List the required readings you enjoyed most in the past year:
- List the print and/or electronic publications you read regularly:
- List the films, performances, exhibits, concerts, shows, etc. you enjoyed most in the past year:
California Institute of Technology
- What are three adjectives your friends would use to describe you?
- Please list three books, along with their authors, that have been particularly meaningful to you. You need not confine yourself to math- or science-related texts.
- Members of the Caltech community live, learn, and work within an Honor System with one simple guideline, “No member shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.” While seemingly simple, questions of ethics, honesty, and integrity are sometimes challenging. Share an ethical dilemma that challenged you. What did you do?
- Name your favorite books, authors, films, and/or musical artists.
- What newspapers, magazines, and/or websites do you enjoy?
- What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?
- How did you spend your last two summers?
- What were your favorite events (e.g., performances, exhibits, sporting events, etc.) this past year?
- What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?
- What five words best describe you?
- What would you do with a free afternoon tomorrow?
- Recall a compliment you received that you especially value. What was it? From whom did it come?
- If you could witness one moment in history, what would it be and why?
- What do you wish you were better at being or doing?
- If you were choosing students to form a Yale class, what question would you ask here that we have not?
- Your favorite book
- Your favorite movie
- Your favorite website
- Two adjectives your friends would use to describe you
- Your favorite recording
- Your favorite keepsake or memento
- Your favorite source of inspiration
- Your favorite word
- Your favorite line from a movie or book (and its title)
Claremont McKenna College
- If I could be any character from a book, TV show or movie, I would be.
- One modern invention I would remove from the world permanently, if I had to, is.
- Something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do is.
- One person (real or fictional, from any time in history) I would want to have as my mentor is.
- If I could take credit for one historical achievement, it would be.
University North Carolina Chapel Hill
- Best book ever
- Worst book ever
- Breakfast of champions
- Biggest little worry
- What you’d do with $1 million
- What you’d do with $1