Admitted Short Essay for Stanford: Essay Review

Admitted Essay Reviews
November 19, 2020
Short Personal Statements Often Test Students’ Confidence…

Yet, many students excel with short word counts without even knowing it! The ability to communicate a complex topic in less than 300 words can show a lot about how a student approaches not just writing, but academic life in general.

In this admitted essay review, we take a look at the short response essay done well and talk about how your student can apply our expert advice to their essays.

An Admitted Essay For Stanford

Please describe an idea or experience that makes you excited about learning in 250 words.

I am ecstatic about the things I don't understand, and it all begins with Swedish pop music.

When I try to explain to others why ABBA captures my attention, I get funny looks. Everyone knows that I geek out about politics, but no one expects my interest in the songwriters of "Mamma Mia." How many people do you know that can name the members of ABBA and the justices on the Supreme Court?

To be honest, the music fascinates me more than the group itself. Why is it so catchy? Why is everyone so obsessed with it? This leads me to a more basic question: Why do people make certain choices?

It's a concept that drives me wild. Why do people vote with a certain political party? Why do they find certain concepts interesting while shunning others?

Why do they find Scandinavian ear worms so fascinating?

I could write more than 250 words about how much this intrigues me. After all, once we understand these choices, the mysteries of life become a tad bit clearer. Once we understand choice, everything else falls into place.

I could keep rambling on, and I see myself doing so at a place like Stanford. It's the kind of place where I can walk across the quads and learn more about what makes other people tick-and more about the things that I don't understand,

The only way to keep growing is to learn, after all. I can't wait to see how much I grow.

Our Expert Review

This student’s essay does an excellent job of answering the prompt and adding depth to their character. From reading their personal statement, we can tell that the student is inquisitive and light-hearted. While the essay’s casual tone could be reworked to a more structured and professional tone, it manages to clearly communicate interconnected ideas that answer the prompt.

However, the student’s essay could be improved upon with further revision.

A more structured essay with a clearer flow (rather than the rambling one that even the student admits to) would make the essay easier to read. This would give the student more opportunities to showcase more than just their curiosity and love of music and politics, taking their essay up a notch in the process.

Overall this personal statement is thorough, answers the prompts, and allows the student’s personality to shine. If edited to a more formal and less conversational style, it would shine even brighter and showcase the student’s writing ability. The current essay reads a bit like a letter between two friends, and while entertaining and relevant to the prompt, it would be more impactful with a bit of polish.

How To Apply This Advice To Your Own College Essays


Your personal statement is one of the only ways your child can truly show the college admin office who they are and what type of student they would be. While there’s no need for a strictly formal essay, students need to strike a balance between casual and professional. One good way for students to tell the tone of their essay is to read it out loud to themselves, or have a friend or family member read it to them.

However, this is also where a student’s college counselor can help immensely. Many students are apprehensive about how they sound in their writing, and an expert opinion can help assure them that their essay’s tone will catch the reader’s attention - in a good way!


In this student’s essay, they use a specific example to drive home their curiosity. Talking about ABBA in their college application essay is unexpected, and therefore stands out to the reader and adds a touch of the student’s personality. The rest of the essay could also benefit from the use of even more specific examples. When your student is writing their short essay, look for areas where they can include strong examples to showcase themselves and their topic.

Strong examples are the kind that your student has a record they can reference; such as a story from their time in a team sport, volunteer effort, or extracurricular activity. Personal stories and cultural connections are also a good way for students to add personality and imagery to their short essays.


This student’s essay would benefit greatly from another close look with their college counselor or an English teacher. In the revision process, the student may have noticed their tone issue and thought of stronger examples to drive home their point. An extensive editing process not only improves your student’s essay but can help improve their confidence as well. While it may be very tempting for students to skip this final step, make sure they leave plenty of time to revise and edit their essays before submission.

Short College Essays Require Focus

With only 250 words, it can feel nearly impossible for students to be confident that they’ve fully answered the prompt. However, even a short essay can make a strong case for why a student should be admitted to a college. When every word counts, it’s extremely important that students take the time to edit their work and make sure the structure logically flows from one idea to the next.

Of course, not every student is a natural writer and even many professionals struggle with perfecting their own work through editing. Our WeAdmit experts would love to hear from your student and help create a personalized plan to get them through college application season, from essay writing to virtual interviews. Our team seeks to take the stress and guesswork out of all parts of the college application process - your student’s next personal statement included!



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