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Mastering the Virginia Tech Essay Prompts: A Comprehensive Guide for Prospective Students

Virginia Tech is renowned for its exceptional academic programs and innovative research opportunities. As a prospective student, crafting a compelling essay that showcases your strengths and interests is crucial to stand out in the admission process. In this guide, we will explore the essay prompts for the 2018-2019 academic year and provide tips for writing unique and captivating essays.

Overview of the Virginia Tech Essay Prompts

The essay prompts for the 2018-2019 academic year are as follows:

  • Essay 1: Describe an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  • Essay 2: Discuss your academic and career goals and how Virginia Tech can help you achieve those.

The essays are a vital component of the Virginia Tech admission process. Through these essays, the admission officers aim to understand the qualities that set you apart from other applicants, your personal background, and your future goals. The essays are evaluated based on the following criteria: creativity, originality, thoughtfulness, and the level of detail reflected in your response.

The word limit for each essay is 250-300 words, and the deadline for submission is January 15th.

Deconstructing the Essay Prompts

Essay 1

This essay prompt requires you to describe an experience that has either helped shape your character or demonstrates your character. This experience could be a situation, an event, or a relationship that significantly impacted your life, and you learned something meaningful from it. The admission officers are interested in seeing how you cope with challenges, how you respond to difficult situations, and how you grew from adversity.

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When crafting your essay, ensure that you focus more on the lessons you learned and less on the experience itself. Avoid going into too much detail about the situation, as the length of the essay restricts you from doing so. Instead, focus on the impact it had on you, how you overcame the challenge, and how you grew as a person.

Essay 2

The second essay prompt requires you to discuss your academic and career goals, and how Virginia Tech can help you achieve those goals. The admission officers want to see how Virginia Tech fits into your future plans and how you intend to use your education to contribute positively to society.

When writing this essay, ensure that you showcase your research about the academic programs, resources, and opportunities at Virginia Tech that align with your goals. You should demonstrate how Virginia Tech can help you achieve your goals, and how you can contribute to the university’s vision.

Strategies for Crafting Compelling Essays

When crafting your essays, it is essential to focus on showcasing your unique voice, personality, and strengths, while also aligning your essays with the essay prompts. Here are some tips for crafting compelling essays:

  1. Brainstorm: Before you begin writing, brainstorm different ideas and experiences that align with the essay prompts. Once you have your ideas, choose the most compelling ones that will stand out to the admission officers.

  2. Be Specific: Specificity is key to making your essays stand out. When discussing experiences or goals, be sure to provide intricate details that will help paint a picture of what you are trying to convey.

  3. Be Authentic: Use your unique voice and personality to connect with the admission officers. Avoid trying to adopt a tone or voice that is not your own.

  4. Avoid Repetition: Ensure that your essays are unique and do not repeat information from other parts of your application.

  5. Proofread: Ensure that your essays are free from grammatical errors, typos, and any other mistakes that could negatively impact your application.

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Crafting compelling essays can be a challenging task, but with these tips, you can create essays that showcase your unique voice, personality, and strengths, while also aligning with the Virginia Tech essay prompts. Remember to be specific, authentic, and avoid repetition. Most importantly, proofread your essays and ensure they align with the admission officers’ evaluation criteria.


Q: What happens if I exceed the word limit?

A: The admission officers recommend that you stay within the word limit, as essays exceeding the limit may not be reviewed.

Q: Can I use bullet points or headings in my essays?

A: No, the essays should be in paragraph form only.

Q: Can I submit additional materials like a resume with my application?

A: No, Virginia Tech only considers the materials in your application checklist, which includes your essays.

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