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We Asked UK Students for Advice on Tackling the US College Admission Essays - Here's What They Said

We asked UK offer holders at top US universities for their advice on how to tackle the US college admission essays - here's what they said:

“I wrote something that was personal to me so that I wouldn’t lack content to write about and I made sure to convey how my experiences to that point helped set the goal I wanted to achieve. – Make sure that the essay you write is interesting. It may seem obvious but remember that the admissions people have to read thousands of essays and if yours sounds generic or is lacklustre, then it’s more likely to get passed up. ”
”You need to make sure the essay is personal! Don’t go off talking about an amazing event if you don’t link it back to yourself and what you’ve taken from it. Also avoid sports essays because they’re really common and you want to make sure you stand out”
Start early to give yourself a lot of time, the sooner you get most of it done the less you have to deal with it in year 13 which can be stressful if you don’t manage your time properly. Research all the universities you want to apply to and see what essays you have to submit."
"Don’t put off writing, start writing and then revise or start again, you’re not going to get a finished product on the first try"
"Talk to your friends and you parents about ideas surrounding the essays, get their advice on it, your essay should really be representing you."
"Don’t accidentally let someone else become the main character"
“Write about yourself instead of someone else and ensure what you are writing tells the reader something about you. If possible, write about an experience that may be unique to you. For example try to avoid clichés like sports"
"Do not approach this like you would for a UK personal statement"
"In supplementary essays try to write about things that are a part of the uni’s ethos e.g. some experience working in a team and why this was valuable if the school is big on collaboration ”


  • Do not approach the US essays like you would for a UK personal statement

  • Try to match the ethos of the college

  • Make sure you are the main character in your essays

  • Avoid clichés

  • Start early

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