Just how to Write the Cappex Essays
It’s been a big year for changes in the college admissions scene.
I penned this guest column about many in my own local newsprint, The Laguna Beach Independent, this week.
About the same time this was published, yet another college application system entered the admissions picture. It’s call the Cappex Application, and you can understand it in this article. It’s likely to ‘launch’ in September.
The appeal of Cappex, apparently, is seeks to streamline and simplify the application form process, and only includes one required essay, and no supplemental essays. That can’t be a bad thing, right?
At this point, i might mainly stick with the Common Application to apply to your target colleges that use it ( more than 600 colleges!). If you opt to apply through the Cappex, I have some tips on the best way to write the mandatory and optional Cappex essays.
The prompts for 2016-17 Cappex essays will likely be:
- Required Essay: Tell us a story about yourself that is key to understanding who you are. This could be an instant when you changed, grew, or made a difference or a everyday moment that reveals something people rely on you for (500 words or less)
- Optional Essay: The goal of this application is to reflect your unique interests, experiences, capabilities, and pursuits. To this end, is there anything else that you’d like to express?
I ADORE these Cappex essays (prompts), especially the required one. It really is asking for a classic personal statement, which is an essay that is meant to showcase anything fundamental in what makes you, you.
NOTE: The prompt for this Cappex required essay is very similar to Prompt 1 for the Common Application essays. Chances are you could use the same topic, or even exact essay, for both applications, given several tweaks to make sure they line up with the prompts.
Also, I think, if you are asked for a optional essay, i really believe you will be foolish not to write one.
It’s really just another opportunity to show your targeted schools what you are all about. Why wouldn’t you leap at that? (I know, more work. But hey, remember what you want here to get into your dream school!)
To start brainstorming ideas for the required essay, let’s begin by breaking down the prompt so we understand just what they want to know about you in this essay:
They state right out that they want a story, right? Love that!
They offer two choices on what to write about:
- an instant when you ‘changed, grew or made a difference’
- an everyday moment that ‘reveals anything men and women rely on you for.’
So start thinking about ‘times’ or experiences in your past (think high school years in general; don’t go back to toddlerhood) to find these types of moments.
For Number 1, if you think about times you faced some type of problem(s), chances are that will help you identify an experience where you faced a challenge of some type and ‘changed, grew or made a difference’ in the process of dealing with it.racism research paper topics
For # 2, I would spend a few minutes thinking of your core qualities that ‘people count on you for.’ These could be anything from being punctual, reliable and honest to fair, assertive and funny.
Then make an effort to think of ‘times’ from your past where you used that quality to help others deal with any type of problem, whether it was a challenge, a mistake, misunderstanding, setback, change, failure, etc.
Once you come up with a ‘moment’ that illustrates time you changed, grew, made a difference or helped others for some reason, you are ready to write your essay.
What I would suggest is always to start your essay by describing that ‘moment’ or what happened in a succinct paragraph or two that recreates it. These are often called ‘anecdotes,’ and it’s worth reading up on how to craft them.
Then you provide some background or context compared to that moment to help the reader understand what led up to it and why it’s important.
The rest of your essay will share the method that you dealt with what happened, the method that you handled or managed the problem from that ‘moment.’ Then go deeper and start to analyze, reflect on, explain why that moment mattered for your requirements, and what you learned from it and dealing with it.
Before you know it, you will have a rough draft.
I might strongly suggest that you read my post called just how to Write A college Application Essay in 3 Tips to learn more on the best way to use this approach to write your personal statement for your Cappex essay.
As far as the Optional Cappex Essay, I would suggest you read Common App: Prompt 1, which is almost the same as this Optional Essay prompt, and can get you started brainstorming and provide ideas on the best way to write about a topic you wish to share about yourself.
Please let me know when you have any questions about these Cappex essays in the Comments section. I ADORE to answer feedback!
If you’d like to transfer to any of the University of California schools, you will need to write four short essays.
The UC changed the required essays this present year (2016-17), and calls the new prompts ‘Personal Insight Questions.’
All but one of the four short essay prompts are almost the same as required for incoming freshmen: You have seven prompts to choose from to write three of your essays.
The fourth essay is a required prompt and specifically addresses your reasons for transferring.
The four essays are on the short side: no more than 350 words each. That’s usually only a couple paragraphs.
The UC admissions stresses that all four of those short essays will be considered equally.
HOW TO START THE UC TRANSFER ESSAYS
I have written separate posts on my ideas, recommendations and strategies on ways to address the 7 ‘Personal Insight Questions’ (essay prompts) that you have to select from to write 3 of your UC transfer essays. Find links to these helpful posts at the bottom of this post.
Before you do anything else, nonetheless, i might advise that you start by reading the instructions from the UC Admissions for transfer students explaining all about the latest Personal Insight Questions on this page of their web site. Notice that they have this worksheet guide for transfer people, which you should also read closely for a few ideas on the best way to address these prompts.
Also, have a look at these Writing Tips from the UC for these transfer essays!
PRODUCE A PLAN FOR YOUR UC TRANSFER ESSAYS
Since there are four essays, make an effort to pick topics that complement each other and don’t say a similar thing. As you brainstorm ideas, think of the four as one unit that showcases why you are prepared to transfer in to a UC.
If you don’t know where to start, start thinking about starting with usually the one Personal Insight Question (prompt) about your intended major, which is required.
And then identify three other prompts from the 7 other Personal Insight Questions that will let you expand on your own personal background and educational experiences to date.
Try to find Personal Insight Questions (essay prompts) that would allow you to expand on themes related to your intended field of study and educational goals. (This will make more sense once you review all the prompts.)
The One Required Question for UC Transfer Essays
‘Please describe the method that you have prepared for your intended major, including your readiness to succeed in your upper-division courses once you enroll at the university.’Things to consider: How did your curiosity about your major develop? Do you have any experience related to your major beyond your classroom such as for example volunteer work, internships and employment, or participation in student organizations and activities? When you haven’t had experience in the field, start thinking about including experience in the classroom. This may include working with faculty or doing research projects.
If you’re applying to multiple campuses with a different major at each campus, think about approaching the topic from a broader perspective, or find a common thread among the majors you’ve opted for.
Those three paragraphs are all part of the official ‘Personal Insight Question’ that is required for UC transfer applicants. As you can see, the UC is working hard to make sure you give the information about you that they want.
Based on their ‘Things to Consider,’ start with what first interested you in your major
How did your interest develop? You could start your essay with a specific example of a moment or experience that first sparked your curiosity about this field.
Then brainstorm specific examples to illustrate the method that you developed this interest, what you learned in the process, and how they helped prepare you to study this major.
Whilst the UC advised, first look for activities and experiences beyond your classroom to include. If you didn’t have any truth be told there, brainstorm ones inside the classroom. (You can infer here that they find outside experiences potentially more relevant, interesting or important; although it undoubtedly depends on the specific activities and experiences.)
The trick to writing shorter essays is to look for specific moments, incidents or experiences that you can use to illustrate a larger point you are making. This helps give your essay a sharp focus, instead of trying to cram too many points in to a short piece of writing.
If you want to produce a point on how you are prepared for your major, make sure to support it with specific examples from your past.
Another way to give a focus to this essay is always to showcase a defining quality or characteristic which has had helped you prepare to date using this major, and which you believe will help you once you transfer and continue your studies.
Strategies for Writing About Each of the 7 New UC Essay Prompts (Transfer students pick 3 to write about)
Here are my ideas and tips on methods you could think about the 7 essay prompts to get started.
NOTE: Since you are writing about these topics for your transfer essays, it wouldn’t hurt to locate ways to include how they related to your intended major, whether it’s your leadership experience, creative side, volunteer work or that ‘one thing that sets you apart’ from other people.