This lesson covers... the four qualities of a great personal statement.
By the end you should... where your essay is strong and where it needs work.
College Essay Essentials paperback: page 182-200     |     ebook: pages 187-202
This exercise can be done in person in a classroom setting or students can access the video and work through it themselves after finishing their first draft. Best if done after they have a first draft. Also, it can be worth doing before if you’d like to highlight things they should include in their first draft.

Here’s how I recommend leading this exercise in a workshop setting.

  1. Pass out the Great College Essay Test handout. (Included below, but also in the student PDF on the main navigation page.
  2. Play the video below for students on a projector (or lead it yourself.)
  3. As they go through the video, have students rate from 1-10 how well their essay draft demonstrates these characteristics.
  4. Get some discussion going and, if they’re into it, have a few students read their essays out loud and have them self-assess their own essays--and, if they're brave and rapport has been established, each others'--offering feedback on what the essay is doing right and how it might be improved.

Does your essay have the four qualities of a great personal statement? Watch this video to find out:


Want to see me put the Great College Essay Test in action? Check out the video below. 


Want to join me on one of these webinars and get feedback on your essays? Awesome. That’s the next step.

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