The Common Application announced earlier today that the 2019-2020 common application essay questions will remain the same again this year. The organization cited “extensive counselor feedback” and “the added benefit of consistency” as the main reasons. For whatever it’s worth, the seventh question (“Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.”) was the most popular in 2018-2019 with 24.1% of applicants selecting it. So long as it doesn’t look like slothfulness to recycle a previously written essay, it can be a fine choice for many applicants.
For your convenience, the 2019-2020 questions are listed below:
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.