Today the future is all about technology and STEM-centric schools enjoy more popularity than ever. They top prestige rankings and have their pick among the best applicants from across the United States and the entire world. That makes them highly selective, with MIT, for example, accepting only about 8% of their applicants. How can you impress the admission officers of a school that is as demanding as that?
I am not going to lie, it isn’t easy. Even if you get a perfect My Admission Essay review on your personal statement and your GPA is sky-high, no one can guarantee the acceptance letter will land into your mailbox. Often it’s up to a chance. Yet you do want to improve your chances, right? Here are the tips to do it.
Use your strongest side
I guess, that aiming for a stellar STEM college you must be a technical-oriented person. Otherwise, why would you want to be there in the first place? If your strongest side is left hemisphere, you may think that you are not that good at writing and other things that are considered “creative”. Not to worry! You can do it, only you will have to change your approach a little. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Be a confident STEM person and use STEM strategies for your writing:
- Compare yourself to other potential applicants. What is the variable that makes you unique? Is that your unrivaled talent with numbers? Is that your great vision? Is that your passion and being driven?
- Everyone has a creative side. It can be expressed in finding elegant solutions to problems and innovating. Show your unique way of expressing creativity.
- Construct your essay as an engineer. Make a blueprint (aka the outline). Look at the proportions and ratios of the main parts and supporting paragraphs. Harmony can be verified with math, you know.
- Make a list of things that must be in your essay and check them out one by one. Satisfying, right?
Make it about something important to you
You don’t have to write an essay exclusively about yourself, but you must write it in a way that will show who you are. Your unique voice is what admission officers want to hear. That is why the admission essay is nothing like the essays you used to write at school.
Did you hate to analyze someone else’s work and stock up on quotes to prove your point? Great, because you must NOT do this for your personal statement. It is called “personal” for a reason. It is much more like a short story than your average writing assignment. You write about places, experiences, feelings, people that are important in your life. It’s a narrative from your point of view and there is no “correct” stance on it. The objective is not to write what the admission officers want to read, but to make your story unique, personal, and more importantly – memorable.
Be clear about your goal
One of the reasons why colleges want an essay from you is to have an insight into why you apply. Your motivation is very important. That is why they ask about your favorite subjects or the ways you contributed to improving the life of your community. They want to see you already making the steps in the direction of your dream. Ideally, they want to see how their school can help you on your way to changing the world for the better. Simply wanting a degree and a nice job isn’t enough.
Ask yourself honestly, why this school? Is it because it’s prestigious and selective? Or is it because they have the best research lab facilities the country that will allow you to conduct the experiments you envisioned? Show you are a doer. Schools are quite okay with being for their students only a means to an end, as long as the end in question is laudable.
Polish up your writing
However honest and inspired your writing is, you must make sure it’s free from mistakes, typos, pleonasms, and other writing faux pas. One of the reasons why you are required to submit a piece of writing is, of course, to show off your writing skills.
Your sufficient grammar and spelling proficiency kind of can be deduced from your high GPA score, so this might not be a number one reason when you apply to a selective college. Still, it’s worth considering. If you are not sure that your writing is impeccable, use online editors or hire a proofreader to make sure that you had your best shot.