The Top Five Worst Mistakes Made on College Admissions Essay

By Brenda on October 5th, 2011


Whether you are attending a traditional college or an online school, during the admissions process you may be asked to write an essay.  Some schools offer a topic while others leave the content open-ended.  In this case, you are asked to derive a topic for your essay and write on something of interest to you.

No matter what you decide to write on, there are some glaring mistakes that students make on their college admissions essays.  These mistakes are frowned upon by the admissions committee and can ultimately decrease your chances of getting into school.

The top five worst mistakes made on college admissions essays include the following:

Mistake 1:  Grammar and spelling mistakes

A finished and professional college admissions essay should not include grammar and spelling errors – no excuses!  An admissions officer may pour through thousands of applications and essays.  Poor grammar and spelling mistakes are one of those easy reasons for an admissions officer to look unfavorably on your application.

Mistake 2:  Picking an over-exploited topic

World peace, volunteer work at a homeless shelter, or first-hand poverty has all been written about too many times to count.  It is best to come up with a topic that is intriguing and meaningful to you.  Provide something that you have a passion for and put your personality in the essay.  Anyone can write about a topic in the news, why waste the time of the admissions committee.  On a side note, think about the title of your essay.  A catchy, intriguing title can make all the difference.

Mistake 3:  Not having it edited

It is good to have an outside pair of eyes read your essay before submitting it to the admissions board.  Although you have scanned the words on several occasions, a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference.  A teacher, academic counselor or a trusted friend with excellent English skills is best suited for your editing job.

Mistake 4:  Scattered content and little focus

One of the most common mistakes made on a college admissions essay is scattered content.  The reader must be able to follow your thesis throughout the paper and end on a good note, not wondering what they just read.  Drafting an outline prior to starting your essay is a good way to present yourself in a collective and structured way.  Make sure your thesis statement is clear and concise.  Avoid rambling on about nothing or senseless humor that doesn’t relate to the topic.  Your admissions essay is not the place to showcase your stand-up comic skills.

Mistake 5:  Summarizing your resume

In most application packets, there is a place for you to list your credentials, past work experience, or volunteer work.  Summarizing this list again in your essay will cause you to bomb this portion of the application.  When you are asked to tell the board something about yourself, avoid the obvious and think outside the box.  Reveal something about yourself that very few know.




Category: Bachelors Degrees,Campus Degrees,Other and General