How to Tackle the Admission Essay Writing Process in 4 Easy Steps

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With the February 1 admission application deadline fast approaching, it is officially essay writing season for prospective students. There are many facets to an application, and the essay portion is one that admission counselors really look forward to reviewing. Rather than require supplementary essays, New Hampton School only requires you to complete the Standard Application essay questions. Whether you have yet to tackle the essay prompts or are in your third round of revisions, our Admission Team has put together the following tips to help you with the process.  


Staring at a blank page is an intimidating task even for experienced writers, but don’t let this fear stop you. Instead of trying to think of your response all at once, write down your ideas and thoughts. Some call it a brain dump, others call it an outline or a brainstorm, but whatever you call it, we promise it’s helpful. When brainstorming, don’t be too hard on yourself! The point of brainstorming is to get every idea you have on the page. Once you do this, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to write about.  

Tell us About Yourself

This is your time to let your personality shine. Don’t write what you think Admission Counselors want to hear. Be authentic in your writing and use the essay prompts as a vehicle to share your interests, inspirations, and dreams. The Admission Counselor who interviewed you got to know you, so these essays are your chance to introduce yourself to the rest of the team! These essays should reflect who you are, so make sure these responses come from you and not those who are helping you edit your papers.  

Pay Attention to the Word Count

They recommend that you answer each of the three prompts in 200 to 250 words on the Standard Application. Do not let this recommendation intimidate you–instead, use it as a reference point. Admission counselors want to see that you can follow directions, but they also want to see how concise a writer you are. Try to write at least 200 words for each prompt, so you know that you fully answered the question. If you find that your response is getting long, don’t worry! Finish your first draft and then figure out what can be condensed. 


After spending the time to write your essays, be sure to take the extra time to proofread them. Although admission counselors will understand the occasional grammatical error, don’t let silly mistakes distract readers from your story. Pay special attention to spelling as it is the easiest mistake to catch. Rather than just re-reading your responses in your head, try these proof-reading techniques.  

  1. Read your responses out-loud at least once.  
  2. Read your responses backward. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to catch mistakes this way. 
  3. Read it to a parent, sibling, or attentive pet. These responses should come from you, not anyone else, so ask your listeners to only comment on grammar or wording. 

You Did It!

In the end, these essays are just one part of your application and they should reflect who you are, so don’t let them stress you out too much. At New Hampton School, we want the application process to be fun for prospective students, especially when writing your essays. 

As you write and edit your essays, we hope these tips help you enjoy the process. Our Admission Team cannot wait to read them!  

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