Author: Mango Garcia

“Are there any significant experiences you have had, or accomplishments you have realized, that have helped define you as a person?”

This is the essay question in the College Application of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) this 2018.

How do you best answer such a question? ADMU has given the leniency that the students may answer in either English or Filipino, but keep in mind to never do it in the combination of both. Decide on which language you can most fluently express your answer, and work on your essay from there. Start writing your essay now, so that you have time to make it your best written work before the deadline for submission of applications. Which is, by the way, on August 31.

We recommend that you highlight in your essay experiences wherein you got to practice your leadership skills and exemplified values of competence, compassion, commitment, conscience, and most of all, being Christ-centered. The aforementioned are some of the core values of being an Atenean, and by doing so, you are making yourself stand out more than the rest of the applicants.

Here are other practical tips on writing your college application essay:

  1. On a blank sheet of paper, write down all the facts, ideas, concepts, etc. you feel should be included in your answer. You may do this through a mind map, applying the techniques we taught you during the review program.
  2. Organize your ideas in the order in which they should appear. You don’t have to rewrite your notes into a detailed outline –- you can number each idea according to where you want to place it.
  3. Compose your first paragraph, working on it just as long and hard as you would on term papers. It should summarize and introduce the key points you will make in your essay. This is where superior essay answers are made or broken.
  4. Write your essay.
  5. Reread your essay. Do check if there were points you might have left out, Moreover, double-check all spelling, grammar, and other writing mechanics.
  6. Ask an older sibling or relative, your parents, an English teacher you know, or a professional tutor to read your essay. Ask for their feedback and comments. Improve and rewrite your essay according to their recommendations, if necessary.
  7. Read your final work aloud to yourself. Refine the sections that do not “sound” as good as you intend.
  8. Submit the most neatly handwritten or computer-printed final essay on an A4-sized bond paper, as specified on the Ateneo college application form.

Note: Although a computer-printed essay looks neater, a handwritten one is fine. In fact, this shows that you actually wrote the essay yourself and serves as good practice for handwriting the on-the-spot essays in the actual Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) and other admission tests.


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