Surprise! Hidden essays on the Common Application

Sometimes, on The Common Application, additional essay prompts will appear, depending on students’ answers to the campus specific questions. However, students are not forewarned about potential essay prompts. And, for many students, who complete the application, in the last days (or hours) before the application deadline, students can panic, when such “hidden” questions are revealed. 

Two examples of “hidden” questions

  • Academic majors: sometimes, students will need to draft short answer essay response(s) specific to their academic interest. Additionally, for some colleges, like Chapman University, when a student indicates a second academic interest, students will need to explain their first and second choices in two separate short answer responses. 

Thus, to be prudent, students should complete ALL questions on the Common Application as far in advance as possible. Then, they’ll have the greatest opportunity to craft all required written responses by the deadline, with as few surprises as possible.


For more information about how Creative Marbles experts help students and parents navigate the complex college admissions and essay writing process, contact us at Creative Marbles Consultancy

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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