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Answering Those Goofy, Annoying Supplemental Essay Questions

“What did you do last Tuesday?”

“What makes you happy?”

“Write page 347 of your autobiography.”

You kidding me?  How in the name of all things holy are you supposed to answer these stupid questions?

Let’s look at how NOT to answer them.

But before we get to that, try to understand WHY these goofy questions exist.

Imagine that you’re an admissions officer.  You’ve got stacks and stacks of applications to get through and decide which ones signal that they have the “right stuff” to be admitted to your hallowed institution.

But you have a problem:

They all look the same.  (It’s clinically proven that after 47 essays, all become identical in the reader’s eyes.)

Same grades, more or less.  Similar standardized test scores.  Loads of impressive volunteer activities, participation in clubs, sports.

You get to the main essay. It’s good – maybe a little too good.  You suspect that the applicant worked with some high-priced consultant (gasp!) to polish it into an impossibly bright shiny gem that could outshine Ryan Seacrest’s smile.

But you want to know the REAL person behind the grades, scores and gussied-up essay and resume.

You have questions like, “What is this kid going to be like at 2am, hanging out in the dorms?”  “What’s she going to talk about Saturday nights?”

What do you do?

Answer: you come up with ridiculous supplemental essay questions that have no right or wrong answer.  They’re not quizzes or exams.  They’re not standardized tests.

So here’s how NOT to answer them:  by being bland.  By playing it safe.

I see these supplemental essays as desperate cries from beleaguered admissions officers at competitive schools around the country:  “HELP!  We’re B-O-R-E-D!”

So be quirky.  Be funny.  Take a small risk. Hell, take a big one (OK, I’ll settle for “medium.”)

Just don’t be boring.

Your Correspondent,

– Andy Lockwood

P.S.  The discount on my Incomparable Applicant product expires tomorrow, 5pm sharp, no exceptions.  Enroll before then, get 200 bucks off AND I’ll bonus you a surprise goodie worth $97.  (Enter the coupon code “POSITION” at checkout.)

– Andy Lockwood

Publisher, The Pay “Wholesale” for College Success Bulletin