Writing an essay to gain college entrance has become a thing of the past but what types of questions have replaced this on the college application? Some say the new prompts are ridiculous and irrelevant. Some schools still ask for autobiography style information but many are asking questions that some students say are just plain odd. However the colleges claim strange answers to these questions give them insight to the prospective student and their personality. Let’s see ourselves.
Critical Thinking Questions
One of these strange questions is asked by Brandeis University and prompts the applicant to decide whether they would like to be raised by dinosaurs, aliens, or robots and explain why. There are not right or wrong answers to questions like this but it offers an opportunity for the college to gain a better insight to the student’s thinking strategies. Another college prompts students to answer the ageold question of “Where’s Waldo”. One other critical thinking prompt asks students to decide what one invention the world would be better off without today.
Some colleges still ask for a traditional autobiography essay that tells about the applicant while others have included much more critical thinking in the equations. One essay requires the applicant to write about purchasing a bottle of mustard that was a foot and a half tall. They have to consider what would prompt them to make this purchase and expand on that. Some colleges have placed a unique spin on the traditional biography essay asking students to imagine they have just wrote a 300 page biography but they only submit page 217. Has anyone ever mistakenly began or even finished a 300 page autobiography only to need page 217?
These unique prompts for applicants can be fun allowing their creativity to run wild. Allowing this sort of creativity the students are not expected to stick to traditional answers that they must have all the correct buzz words in to get accepted. There is also no way to practice for these questions since there are not right or wrong answers.
Video applications offer prospective students a way to creatively show a little about who they are. Some students may go from merely talking to a walk through their day-to-day activities. Tufts University in Medford Massachusetts has gone one step further. They have created a youtube following of videos sent in by prospective students. It has developed quite a following to the extent they have created a “Tuft Idol” similar to the popular television show American Idol.
Why Such Unconventional Prompts?
Colleges are trying to move away from such old conventional ways of screening applicants such as SAT or ACT. Admission teams desire the applications to be more fun and allow the students to give surprising answers in hopes they will think outside the box. These new questions allow students to get ambitious which is what colleges are searching for. A young student with ambition will go far and desire to learn much.