Additional Common App Guidelines Often Overlooked

Last year, when you were logged into your Common App account and viewing a college's supplement, you knew that you were seeing all of the questions available through the Common App. While there still might be additional departmental and scholarship questions found on a school's website, you knew that your supplement was not hiding anything from you. This year, the Common App has become infamous for its hidden questions which can only be viewed by selecting a particular combination of interests. College Essay Organizer has proven to be invaluable in this respect, ensuring that additional essays are not discovered during the final pre-deadline moments.

In addition to hidden questions, be on the alert for hidden tips regarding the length of an essay. Most schools either include a word limit or guideline in the question itself and/or provide a text box which allows a maximum number of words. The majority of students would not think to look further than that. However, if you examine the right side of the page when on a writing supplement, you will notice the title "Help Center." In most cases, this will simply lead to a page where you can search for answers to common questions. However, in some cases as in the University of Chicago, an additional note on the length is provided: "Please respond to Question 1 --and, if you choose, Question 2 --by writing a paragraph or two up to a full page, approximately 250 words, for each question. Then choose one of the six extended essay options, indicate your choice, and write a one- or two-page response." This offers important clarification beyond the 500-word-maximum text box provided.

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