Princeton Requiring Graded Writing Sample

Princeton Essay, Princeton Requirements for Admission, Princeton Graded Paper

Princeton will be requiring applicants to submit graded writing samples going forward.

While the headline grabber may have been that Princeton University recently dropped the SAT or ACT essay admission requirement, this shouldn’t have been the headline. After all, when a highly selective university drops the SAT or ACT essay requirement, it means absolutely nothing other than the school is trying to encourage students who have bad essay scores — or no scores at all — to still apply. Students should still absolutely submit SAT or ACT essay scores. As our chorus goes, the more students who apply, the lower the admission rate will invariably be and the better that school will be ranked in “US News & World Report.” Rather, the headline should have read “Princeton University Now Requires Graded Class Paper.” Because that — in the world of college admissions — is news.

Princeton’s New Graded Paper Requirement

As reports Nick Anderson in an article for “The Washington Post” entitled “Princeton and Stanford drop requirements for essay testing,” “Princeton, the Ivy League university in New Jersey, added a twist to its policy shift: All applicants must submit a graded writing sample from high school. It would prefer that work be in English or history.” That, our loyal readers, is the real story. And, yes, the paper should be an English or history paper — not in math, not in science, not in any other subject. They want an English or history paper so do submit an English or history paper.

And to those students and parents who think a great private college counselor can’t help students craft an outstanding paper for their English or history class, well, they’re mistaken. Of course, most private college counselors don’t know how to bring out the best writing in their students but at Ivy Coach, well, we sure can! It’s a big part of what we do. It’s a big part of our secret sauce. This new Princeton requirement marks another reason why we encourage students to come to Ivy Coach as early as possible — because we want to help them edit this paper so that Princeton sees the student’s best possible writing (before a teacher grades the paper). Good writing is about rewriting. It’s true of the world’s greatest novelists. It’s true of the world’s greatest TV and film writers. Students applying to college are no exception.


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  • Mateus says:

    What about international students who have no classes in English or History? Do they translate a graded paper? Thanks!

    • Elizabeth says:

      They don’t. It has to be in English and graded in English. My daughter can’t apply because of this rule. It Seems to me to be a way of weeding out the international student that can’t afford to go to private school. Total rubbish.

      • Matija says:

        Why not just ask a teacher if it’s okay if she submits a paper in English and that the teacher grades it in English? That’s how I did it.

  • Nayesha Gandotra says:

    What happens if your graded paper is more than five pages long? Do you include the whole thing anyway or choose the best five pages?

  • Sofia says:

    Both of the English classes I have taken (this year and last year) required both creative writing and research based papers at one point or another, however this year we have only written a creative paper so far. I was going to submit that one, but I’m worried that they are only looking for research oriented papers. The paper I wrote was an eight page creative paper using the short story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty as inspiration….what do you think?

  • Akansha Singh says:

    can it be hand written?

  • Diya says:

    What does it mean by history? I had done a research upon the history of my locality . Can I submit that? But it is 40 pages long

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