Barbara P
Barbara P

College Application Essay Prompts to Get Help You Started

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Published on: Feb 24, 2021

Last updated on: Jan 3, 2023

college application essay prompts

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There are many colleges to attend, and if one wants in, it's easy with just the application. A college application essay should be around 250-650 words long, depending on your abilities and qualifications.

We understand that one of the most difficult aspects of applying to college is writing your essay. But, to win over admissions officers and get into at least one college - applicants need all of the help they can get with applications.

The best way to know how? Write on one of the great college application essays prompts to make them look twice before tossing out applications.

If you're in the process of writing your college application essay, be sure to check out this blog! We'll show how responding to different prompts provides an opportunity for creativity and to tell a story. Let's start!

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College Application Essay Prompt Definition

College app essay prompts are a statement that focuses on an issue. In certain common questions, it will be followed by another short prompt to stimulate creativity and thoughtfulness in the applicant.

The introduction should demonstrate you as a thoughtful, smart, and mature individual who has been through many hardships, but you still manage to stay upbeat in life. In addition, it will make an admission committee know the real person behind this application.

Moreover, the application must be free from mistakes written in impressive language. Also, ensure that you're using the right essay format for your college.

Remember, using the right prompts is what matters most. It shows that you are ready for an academic challenge!

The Objective of the College App Writing Prompts

Here are some major objectives of writing the college app writing prompts:

  • It provides a written reaction to an essay.
  • It demonstrates your capabilities to react to various prompts.
  • By researching the colleges to which you are applying, you can determine whether or not you will succeed in college.
  • It assists in introducing yourself as someone who is very deserving of an acceptance letter.
  • It is used to assess candidates' writing, reasoning, and analytical abilities.
  • Admissions officers must learn about you and your high school experience.

College Application Writing Prompts -2022

What are the prompts for college essays?

Here's a list of the common app prompts you can use in your college essay. We've also advised how to answer them correctly!

Prompt 1 - Discuss the faced challenges, setbacks, or failures that affected your personality.

You might think it's a risky move to admit that you've failed before, but no. Your tone of voice and words tells how much honesty means to you.

The honesty with which you admit your failures makes the application sound more authentic - don't be shy about what made those accomplishments possible.

It shows that you're not ashamed to admit that you've failed before. Discuss how it helped you learn consistency and commitment to do what is truly worthwhile!

Prompt 2 - Describe your background, identity, interest, or talent. Please share your story of life to tell who you are.

This application should highlight the unique perspective that sets you apart from others. Therefore, avoid writing about common topics such as talent or learning experience. These can sometimes feel flat when mentioned in every other student essay. Instead, choose something related to family or upbringing- it'll make a difference!

Prompt 3 - Discuss a time where you challenged a belief and your pre-existing worldview.

Mention your experience listening and engaging in challenging debates by showing that you are keen on learning from disagreements. This will indicate maturity and recognizing other perspectives regarding their thoughts/opinions.

Prompt 4 - Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding.

Tell the admission committee about your most unique and personal accomplishment. But it shouldn't be related to academics!

Prompt 5 - Write about a problem that you have and want to solve.

How would you like to solve a creative and topical problem? You can work on an issue like hunger or climate change. This writing will require some creativity, but it's worth doing.

It demonstrates your passions and interests in solving these issues by using your minds creatively.

Prompt 6 - Discuss the moments that show your shift from child to adult within the family or community.

Think back on the most significant event in your life or a turning point that changed everything for you. Did you make any choices that led directly into how things are now? Were there other factors involved as well - family background perhaps?

This essay will give you an insight into what matters and how you can overcome challenges with confidence.

Prompt 7 - Describe your most favorite book or movie where the main character has to make a difficult decision. Discuss what you think about their choice.

To make your essay more engaging, you should choose a good book or movie for this topic. Avoid using popular novels commonly read by people. Instead, try to select challenging and have personal meaning to work!

Prompt 8 - Write your top 10 list.

Try to be creative while addressing this prompt. Choose something you love and make a list of the top 10. It can be the memories of your life, favorite books, quotations, etc

Prompt 9 - Mention a thing that changed your mind.

Here, try to pick a specific thing that has changed your mind and opinion. Also, illustrate how a changed perspective has impacted your behavior.

Prompt 10 - Discuss the major goals of your life.

The question is not about what you want to accomplish but rather how. You can go beyond your academic goals and have a more fulfilling life by being kind towards others in general or even just one person every day- it all depends on the type of kindness that drives this desire for change within yourself!

Prompt 11 - Choose a quotation that describes your personality and explain why you connect with it. Use your imagination and think of an interesting quote that perfectly fits you.

Prompt 12 - Write about the most embarrassing moment of your life. Discuss your learning experience from it.

A writer can share a funny experience here. Such an encounter can be fundamental to later success. However, it should be transformed into a profound learning experience by discussing how it changed you.

Prompt 13 - Reflect on a time where you had an option to either take a risk or stay safe. Discuss what you choose.

This essay prompt explains whether you have made a right or a wrong decision. If it is the right one, discuss why you have taken it and how it has changed you. On the other hand, if it is a wrong decision, focus on how you would change it.

Prompt 14 - Write about something you are passionate about.

It is better to talk about something you love to make your essay sound perfect. Similarly, your passion will also shine through in your writing.

Prompt 15 - Choose a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging and interesting.

It provides you an opportunity to choose and write an essay on the topic of your choice. Here, you can also use an essay already written for another college. Just focus on the word limit and quality of the writing piece.

Prompt 16 - Write about the best advice that you have ever got. Discuss whether or not you have followed it.

Find the advice that is specific and personal to you. Then, discuss why it is important and when you have followed it.

Prompt 17 - Discuss the role of a specific activity in your life. It can include sports, theater, band, etc.

This writing prompt will provide you with an opportunity to showcase your passion and extracurricular activities. Make sure to connect the significance of the activity to an important experience of your life.

Prompt 18 - If you have a chance to meet a person, either living or dead, for an hour, who would you meet?

It is better to avoid mentioning personalities that many students commonly discuss. Instead, choose a figure that is unique and interests you the most. Similarly, if you choose a family member, make sure to have a logical and authentic reason.

Prompt 19 - If you are selected to give an important speech, what would it be about?

Choose a topic of interest in the speech. Ensure to write clear sentences that give a proper direction to your essay.

Prompt 20 - If you have to teach a class, which class would it be?

Try to choose a unique perspective in this essay and make sure you know a lot about it.

Prompt 21 - Tell us about a turning point in your life.

Think of a turning point in your life. For example, you can talk about an experience such as a job or an extracurricular activity. Also, explain what you have learned from it.

Prompt 22 - Write about a time when you questioned or challenged a belief. Also, discuss how you have to be brave and stand up for what you have believed in.

Here, you should talk about an important belief or idea. Then, write your essay about one experience, take a stance, and defend it.

Prompt 23 - Discuss something that makes you angry.

Answer this prompt by writing a funny essay or discussing major social issues.

Prompt 24 - If you would have allowed changing one day of your life, what would it be and why?

Here, you should think of an important day. If you can’t do it immediately, you might not have enough material for this essay.

Prompt 25 - If you can time travel to any time or place, where would you go?

A writer can choose a historical or personal moment while writing such an application. Begin discussing its importance no matter what and your desire to experience it. Later on, describe your connection to it.

Prompt 26 - What advice can you give to a high school student?

Try to be positive while addressing such a prompt. Share your experience honestly and avoid complaining about the negative aspects of high school—instead, advise about helpful things that can benefit high school students in their careers.

Prompt 27 - If you can stop one invention from being invented, what would it be?

Discuss the reasons for choosing an invention. Explain why it has not created an impact on the world.

Prompt 28 - Why do you want to attend this college?

Admission officers receive a large number of applications every day. Thus, mention unique and impressive aspects that explain why you are applying to a college.

Prompt 29 - Choose a Law and discuss why it is important to you.

You can interpret this prompt in many ways. For example, you can talk about physical law, political law, religious law, or anything else. Similarly, you can also intellectually challenge a research query or an ethical dilemma.

Remember to connect it to your personal experiences. The more interesting you are, the more likely the admission officers will remember your essay.

Prompt 30 - Describe one thing you want people to know about you.

Try to be specific and vulnerable in this application. For example, it can be a trait or a specific memory, and explain what it means to you. Moreover, you should also discuss why you don’t tell people about it.

Prompt 31 - If you can add an amendment to the constitution, what would it be?

Answer the prompt by ensuring the amendment you are adding is not already a part of the constitution. Also, discuss its impacts and explain your strategy for getting it passed.

Prompt 32 - Describe a person in your life who has helped you understand yourself better.

Give a few examples of how a person has impacted you and your personality. Then, write about how these experiences helped you understand yourself better.

Prompt 33 - Mention a book that you would recommend to others.

Recommend a book you've read before. Give reasons for your recommendation.

Prompt 34 - Tell us about someone you have spoken up for.

Answer this by discussing a moment where you have spoken up for someone who couldn’t speak for himself. Don’t make a fake story yourself if you do not have an authentic example.

Have you ever spoken up for someone else when they couldn't do it themselves? If yes, describe a story.

Prompt 35 - Discuss a specific goal you hope to achieve in college.

If you're passionate about the achievable goals, then go ahead and mention those in your college application essays.

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Tips to Choose Common Application Essay Prompts

Below are the tips for choosing an interesting prompt for common app essays.

  • Concentrate on a specific event that shaped you and embodied your personality.
  • Choose a topic that will help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Write about something that demonstrates both your good and bad qualities.
  • Choose a genuine and relatable topic that reflects your personality.
  • Consider and write about what you did as a child that influenced your present personality.
  • Lastly, write about what makes you, you.

It's not easy to stand out in the college application process, but you can make your mark with a great essay. The prompts mentioned above inspire what writing style or tone will work best!

If you want more unique college essay ideas, you also have another option. It is better to get help from online professional writers. Many writing companies are available online, and they provide the best affordable writing services. is a great service that provides college application essays for students applying to college. We guarantee the best writers with experience in writing college prompts.

Do you find yourself wasting time on the internet trying to find a reliable service? You have already found one. Simply place your order now at our website and get an essay from us within 24 hours!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular common app essay prompt?

Below are the three most popular common app essay prompts: 

  • Select a topic of your choice 
  • Mention an accomplishment 
  • Discus your failure or setback 
Barbara P


Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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