It's easy to focus all your effort and anxiety on the Common Application's personal essay. But the personal essay isn't the only piece of writing you need to submit with the Common Application. You also need to write a short answer -- a 1,000 character (or fewer) elaboration on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. Like the personal essay, the short answer is a place where you can tell the admissions folks something about yourself that they can't get from your grades, test scores, and list of awards.
For her short answer, Laura writes about her love of horseback riding. She is not an award-winning equestrian, but her passion for the sport comes across strongly. Read Laura's short answer to see how she approaches this challenging part of the Common Application. The article also includes my critique of Laura's short essay.
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