The Benefit of Unusual Essay Questions

By on October 27, 2011

The University of Chicago is known for its unusual and thought-provoking essay questions.  Although at first glance these questions might seem like they have nothing to do with college or your life, the prompts are meant to evoke a creative response.  It can be comforting to know that there is no correct response and that there will be a variety of different approaches that other applicants take when answering these questions.  Rather than receiving similar responses each year, these questions allow the admissions committee to read unique, personal essays while allowing the student to showcase his or her creativity and way of thinking.  If you’re not applying to the University of Chicago, looking at these prompts could still help you on any college essay you write as it will get you in the mindset of thinking outside the box, to use a cliché.  Even if you’re not a high school student, reading a few of these questions can be a fun way to learn about yourself and think creatively.  Here are five of our favorite, brief essay questions from over the years (taken from the University of Chicago website):

“What does Play-Doh have to do with Plato?”

Don’t write about reverse psychology.

Find x.

“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.” -Miles Davis

How do you feel about Wednesday?

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One Comment

  1. Andre Tarquinio

    November 6, 2011 at 8:22 am

    The topics for the common app can definitely get frustrating if you are not exactly sure what they are looking for. That is why it is great that they leave you an opening to create a topic of our choice where you can just express yourself through a normal essay.

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