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10 Common Questions in BYU’s Application Essay

As a prospective student seeking admission to Brigham Young University (BYU), the importance of the admission application essay cannot be overemphasized. The essay is an essential tool used by the admission committee to evaluate applicants and decide who to admit to the university. In this article, we will discuss 10 common questions in BYU’s application essay, providing insight and tips that will help prospective students answer the questions effectively.

Importance of Writing a Strong Essay

The essay is an integral part of the admission process, and potential students must not take it for granted. It plays a pivotal role in identifying the best-fit candidates for BYU, and admission counselors use it to evaluate the purpose, perspective, and character of the applicant. Here are some examples of previous admission decisions that were influenced by the essay:

  • When two applicants have similar academic qualifications, the essay can help differentiate between them by identifying the applicant with more depth and clarity in their ideas.
  • Essays that focus on meaningful life experiences and help to illustrate the student as a mature and responsible individual can influence admission decisions.

Understanding the Essay Prompt

For prospective students who want to succeed in their application to BYU, understanding the essay prompt is crucial. Here are some examples of BYU’s essay prompts, along with a short guide on what each question requires:

  1. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? How will this affect your time at BYU?
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This prompt requires students to describe a topic, idea, or concept that they are passionate about while also discussing how it relates to their time at BYU.

  1. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked your growth and understanding of becoming an adult.

This prompt requires students to discuss a significant achievement or experience that helped them become more mature and responsible. The essay should highlight how the experience shaped them into becoming the person they are today.

  1. What are your dreams and ambitions, and how will BYU assist you in achieving them?

For this prompt, students are expected to discuss their aspirations and how BYU can help them fulfill their dreams. The essay should also focus on how the student intends to make an impact in society with their achievements.

In answering the essay prompts, it is essential to follow tips that will make the essay stand out. Here are some tips to help with brainstorming, organizing ideas, and writing an excellent introduction and conclusion:

  • Brainstorm with a clear mind
  • Plan your essay
  • Use a clear language and avoid jargons
  • Proofread carefully

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Prospective students must be mindful of mistakes that can make their essays lackluster. Here are some common mistakes and tips to avoid them:

  • Lack of organization can make an essay seem disjointed and challenging to comprehend. Be sure to use clear and concise sentences that can be easily understood.
  • Failure to answer the question can make the entire essay irrelevant. Be sure to answer the question or prompt explicitly and in a straightforward manner.
  • Poor spelling and grammar can negatively impact the quality of an essay. It is crucial to proofread your essay carefully before submission.
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What BYU Is Looking for in an Essay

To make the essay stand out and attract the attention of the admission committee, students must demonstrate certain qualities in the essay. Here are some ideal characteristics BYU admission counselors look for in application essays:

  • Leadership
  • Compassion
  • Initiative
  • Resilience
  • Intellectual curiosity

To make these qualities evident, students should include specific examples of demonstrated behaviors or attitudes in their essays.

Key Takeaways

  • The essay is an integral part of the admission process.
  • Understanding the essay prompt is crucial to writing an effective essay.
  • Proper organization and avoiding mistakes in spelling and grammar are essential for a great essay.
  • BYU looks for certain characteristics in an essay, including leadership, compassion, initiative, resilience, and intellectual curiosity.


Can I use colloquial terms in my essay?

It is important to reflect your true personality in the essay, and if you feel that colloquial terms can help achieve this, that is acceptable. However, avoid doing so if it will make the essay hard to understand.

What is the word count for BYU’s application essay?

The word count for BYU’s application essay is 500-550 words.

Can I re-use an essay from a different application?

BYU’s application essay should be unique to their application process. It is advisable to write a new essay for BYU rather than re-using an old one.

Is it important to include a conclusion in my essay?

You do not need to state “in conclusion” in your essay. Instead, summarize your thoughts and key points in your essay’s final paragraph.

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