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We urge parents to join their students in reading one or two so they can have family discussions. In this New Year, we again suggest one simple resolution: read more books! We tell all our students to embrace the chance to be a more engaged reader in and out of the classroom.

Top colleges look for avid readers and writers, and almost every college-level course will expect students to read carefully and critically. Voracious readers are better writers, and it shows when writing college applications.

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We urge you to broaden your knowledge and depth by finding an area of literature that excites you. The more high-level reading you do, the more your scores will go up on the SAT critical reading and writing sections. A depth of vocabulary not only helps with standardized testing, it also makes you a more compelling conversationalist and engaging writer.

Sure to be on many reading lists. Kingdom of Gravity. Are you a poet, or just a lover of verse? New York What if New York flooded? This thrilling novel traces the fate of families trying to survive a city transformed by climate change and will appeal to all fans of science fiction. The Gene: An Intimate History. Gene therapy is the next medical frontier. Do want to go to Mars?

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Does science scare you? This fun book is great for skeptics and science lovers alike. The Case Against Sugar. Sugar is bad. But how bad? Halting the AIDS epidemic is one of the most resounding successes of modern medical history. Students have one chance, in very limited space, to present their best selves.

We are dedicated to helping students from around the world gain admission to elite U. Students should aim to grab their attention with an original and engaging first sentence. A first sentence should arouse curiosity which the rest of the essay should satisfy —it can be a one-sentence anecdote, or a short dialogue.

If they have succeeded in writing a strong essay that conveys something meaningful about their personality, they will not have to tell the reader what the moral of the story is. Students should work on finding ways to describe meaningful events in their own voices. Bombast does not make ideas and actions more compelling.

Applicants should illustrate any claims they make about themselves or their experiences with one or two maximum three concrete and detailed examples. They should make sure, when talking about their achievements, not to sound braggy—the facts will speak for themselves. The story students want to tell is not that they had everything handed to them. Students who select these options risk putting themselves in generic boxes, which is clearly antithetical to having a unique narrative. Often, students and their parents assume that a regular old job is not a particularly notable activity.

It is! Commitment and responsibility contribute to your narrative. Often this is not a problem. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? The apron drooped to my knees. It was July I had taken the plunge and secured my very first part time job. I was flipping burgers, and I was excited.

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I was accustomed to academia, to the sports field, to the stage, but this was an entirely fresh paradigm. Anuj, the staff trainer and joyously friendly employee tasked with the rather unfortunate challenge of having to teach me hamburgerological cuisine greeted me with a firm handshake.

This guy meant business. The familiar fast-food funk wafted through the tiny store like cologne in an airport duty-free store — overpowering, faintly nauseous and all-encompassing. The filing cabinets in my mind usually reserved for physics formulas, economics jargon and debating cases were tipped out and crammed with permutations and combinations of burgers — Otropo, Chicken Wrappa, Bondi.

Exceptions to French conjugations were momentarily replaced with extra topping combos. The till became my new graphical calculator. With surgeon-like precision Anuj modelled how to wrap a burger in four swift motions — place burger in the dead centre, pull wrap from left to right, then right to left, then roll the corners. He gestured towards his demonstration model and motioned for me to take to the stage. It was show time! Unfortunately, my burger ended up looking like the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Suddenly the barricades were overrun and an influx of jandal-wearing, sun-glass toting beach-goers charged into the store. The orders came flying faster than budget cuts at a Tea Party convention. This was it, the Everest of my culinary career. I was handling meaty gold.

Sorry mate, my fault, I meant the chicken nuggets. Anuj saw my face, contorted in anguish, and took to the rescue with business-like efficiency. He rolled his eyeballs. In one graceful movement he scooped the tenderloins and flicked them into the cooler with one hand, and in perfect synchrony, removed the emergency chicken nuggets with the other. His eyes glistened with intensity. With consummate mastery his arms flicked from grill to cooker to table to bread to wrap.

Yale Application Reader Reveals 4 Proven Tips For Ivy League Admission

In less than ninety seconds, the order was complete. The day was saved. I worship the Anujs of this world.

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Certain jobs may look simple but that simplicity masks years of expertise. My skills in the rococo art of burger flipping paled into insignificance beside the master. I learnt more than burger flipping that day. I learnt humility, respect and the value of a good chicken tenderloin.

The essay displays humility. Even though the author is a very gifted academic, he shows that he's not above flipping burgers. His time watching and learning from Anuj demonstrates the candidate is eager to learn and marvels at expertise in any field.


The new burger-flipping environment challenged the writer , which shows that he's not afraid to push himself out of his comfort zone. The juxtaposition between the mundane life of fast food work and the overall tone, which includes jokes and melodrama, demonstrates the author's insight and unique perspective. The essay effortlessly shows the kind of person the author is and what he's likely to contribute to college life. If you're looking to apply to Ivy League schools from Singapore, you can download an essay here that's closer to home, and that got its author into two Ivy League schools among other heavyweight universities.

Click HERE to download! Colleges respond to your ingenuity and self-awareness, not to your vast knowledge bank or a spiel of how impressive your were during high school. One in five Crimson students who applied to the Ivy League were accepted into at least one Ivy League university for the Class of How to stand out in your extracurriculars and leadership.

Crimson Education provides students with support in both to help them gain admission to universities like Harvard, Northwestern and University of Chicago! Writing your personal statement? Hear from University of Chicago accepted student, Chris, on how he got inspiration for his essays.