8 Tips on How to Ace Your University Application Essay | campus.sg

College essays

It’s a well-established fact that many junior college and polytechnic students in Singapore aim to gain admission to globally renowned academic institutions to continue their education. In fact, despite having our own respected and internationally top-ranked universities, an estimated 25,000 students head overseas each year for further education. Securing a spot in a prestigious college or university in or out of the country can be tough, even for students from top international schools in Singapore.

Part of gaining an edge over the competition is writing a memorable application essay where you can demonstrate your individuality and excellent communication and critical thinking skills to admission officers. Here are a few tips that you can use to write an essay that will help you get into your top university option. 

Take Time to Think About Possible Questions

Tertiary education providers often give out prompts that their prospective students should respond to in the form of a university admission essay. It’s not a bad idea to speculate on possible questions so you can have a head start in formulating memorable and well-presented answers. There are plenty of websites that offer a list of commonly asked questions for admission essays. Practice writing essays using these prompts on your own even before the application process begins. This way, you can arrive at possible responses without feeling overwhelmed by the fact that your educational future depends almost entirely on your answer. 

Choose a Topic or Answer That Is Important to You

One of the reasons why an essay is part of the admission process is because admission officers want to see applicants as unique individuals. Enable your true self to really shine in your essay by sticking to an answer or topic that is important to you. Working with a topic that is close to your heart will give you an easier time substantiating your answer and demonstrating your capabilities to the reader. This, in turn, will help you make a good impression and become a more memorable candidate to admission officers. 

Start Your Essay Early and Prepare Several Drafts

Start working on your answer as soon as you get the topic. This will give you enough time to formulate different answers and create detailed drafts that support your responses. Starting right away will help you choose the answer that you can substantiate well, and it will also give you enough time to revise and refine how you’re going to present your answer until you’re satisfied with the final outcome. 

Think of the Reader When Composing the Essay

Writing is often done as a form of self-expression, but this isn’t exactly the case when you’re putting together an admission essay. It’s important to remember that an admission essay is meant to be read, and it’s supposed to help you stand out to people who are actively judging whether or not you are a good fit for their college or university. As such, it’s important to present your ideas in such a way that you can easily guide others into following your arguments, transitions, and train of thought in the essay. 

Grab the Reader’s Attention from the Beginning

Make your essay stand out from the pile by grabbing the reader’s attention right from the start. Begin with ideas that captivate one’s attention, or state your bold assertions from the get-go. Once you’ve earned the reader’s attention and commitment to your piece, you’ll have an easier time keeping them engaged and taking them with you as you discuss your ideas, demonstrate your point, or tell your story. 

Identify and Expound on the Essay’s Deeper Themes

It’s easy to get distracted by figures and statistics when writing and demonstrating your knowledge of a particular topic, and it’s true that numbers can get a reader’s attention. However, your essay should also be a reflection of your personal experiences and realizations, which are things that an admission officer will want to know about you while reading your work. Thus, delve deeply into the meat of the matter in your essay. If the prompt is a question, don’t forget to answer it and deliver compelling reasons why your answer ended up being that way. Also, be sure that the facts and numbers you mentioned add substance to the overarching theme of your submission. 

Read the Essay Aloud and Have Others Read It As Well

Once you’re done, read the essay out loud and see how it sounds to you. Reading your essay out loud can help you identify long-winded or awkward-sounding sentences and other possible issues in it. You can also show your work to the people you trust and get their opinion on how to make it better. Perhaps they could help you identify sections that may cause confusion to the reader, or they could suggest changes that can help your ideas flow well on paper. 

Aim to Finish Strong

Finally, finish your essay with a flourish. Adding a punchy line or section at the end of the essay will make it stand out more to the reader and help you create a lasting impression. However, make sure that the twist you will include at the end of your work will not simply negate the idea that you have been trying to build up in the body of the essay.

Writing an admission essay for college or university can come with a lot of pressure, but it’s possible to come up with an essay that you will be satisfied about and will get the attention of admission officers. Just follow these tips and prepare early so you have all the time you need to refine your thoughts and polish your work.