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The Common Application essay prompts 2016-2017

February 4, 2016, Posted In Common Application

The Common App has released its 2016-2017 personal statement essay prompts – and yes, they may look familiar. Based on feedback and review from school counselors, parents and admissions officers, The Common App has decided to stick with the same five questions from last year:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience
  3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Based on The Common App’s findings from last year, nearly 50% of students chose to tackle question #1 while 22% chose question #5. The least popular question was #3 with just 4%.

To learn more about how you can help prepare your child, check out our blog posts on Common App question #1 and question #2.