Amherst Supplemental Essays 2022-2023

October 12, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Amherst Supplemental Essays 2022-2023

When it comes to applying to the top schools in the country, your application is vitally important. In order to give yourself the best chance of gaining admission, you need to make sure all aspects of your application are top-notch. In this post, we’re going to do a deep dive into how to write Amherst supplemental essays and everything you need to keep in mind as you write.

Amherst uses the common app, and this means that you will be asked to answer essay questions contained in the common app. But like many top schools, Amherst also requires that you write an additional essay from their provided topics. The Amherst supplemental essays 2022-2023 allow applicants a certain amount of freedom when choosing their supplemental essay topic, but we’re going to look at each essay prompt and discuss the best way to respond to each topic.

Amherst allows you to choose from three different writing supplement options, and we will discuss all of them. If you choose option A, you will choose an essay prompt from a list and respond to that. We will cover options B and C later in this post.

So, let’s start by looking at each supplemental essay prompt, and then we will discuss how to approach each one individually.

As we mentioned, Amherst allows you to choose from three supplemental essay options. Option A is a list of Amherst supplemental essay for 2022, and we’ll cover these first. So, let’s look at the topics and discuss each one.

“Rigorous reasoning is crucial in mathematics, and insight plays an important secondary role these days. In the natural sciences, I would say that the order of these two virtues is reversed. Rigor is, of course, very important. But the most important value is insight—insight into the workings of the world. It may be because there is another guarantor of correctness in the sciences, namely, the empirical evidence from observation and experiments.” 
Kannan Jagannathan, Professor of Physics, Amherst College

“Translation is the art of bridging cultures. It’s about interpreting the essence of a text, transporting its rhythms and becoming intimate with its meaning… Translation, however, doesn’t only occur across languages: mentally putting any idea into words is an act of translation; so is composing a symphony, doing business in the global market, understanding the roots of terrorism. No citizen, especially today, can exist in isolation—that is, untranslated.” 
Ilán Stavans, Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture, Amherst College, Robert Croll ’16 and Cedric Duquene ’15, adapted from the print version of “Interpreting Terras Irradient,” Amherst Magazine, Spring 2015. 

“Creating an environment that allows students to build lasting friendships, including those that cut across seemingly entrenched societal and political boundaries…requires candor about the inevitable tensions, as well as about the wonderful opportunities, that diversity and inclusiveness create.”
Carolyn “Biddy” Martin, 19th President of Amherst College, from Letter to Amherst College Alumni and Families, December 28, 2015

“Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat. Rather, achievement can be all the more satisfying because of obstacles surmounted.” Attributed to William Hastie, Amherst College Class of 1925, the first African-American to serve as a judge for the United States Court of Appeals

While these topics may seem daunting, they’re actually simpler than they might appear. Let’s go through each prompt and discuss a strategy.

How to write Amherst supplemental essays?

Many students look at the essay prompts and wonder how to write Amherst supplemental essays. Part of what makes the Amherst supplemental essays 2022 feel so challenging is they do not give you a clear direction for your reply, and they are not questions. Instead, applicants are asked to write an essay responding with their thoughts on the topic. Let’s take a look at the topics one by one and simplify things a bit.

“Rigorous reasoning is crucial in mathematics, and insight plays an important secondary role these days. In the natural sciences, I would say that the order of these two virtues is reversed. Rigor is, of course, very important. But the most important value is insight—insight into the workings of the world. It may be because there is another guarantor of correctness in the sciences, namely, the empirical evidence from observation and experiments.” 

The first thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need further context in order to respond to these topics. Instead, they are meant as prompts to get you thinking. Amherst wants to see how your mind works, and this is why their topics are fairly broad. This first prompt asks you to reflect on the difference between reasoning and insight, and how the relationship between these two factors differs across different disciplines. If you are scientifically minded, you might want to think about times in your work when you found reasoning and insight to be in conflict or in harmony. You can also discuss your own feelings about your insight into the world.

“Translation is the art of bridging cultures. It’s about interpreting the essence of a text, transporting its rhythms and becoming intimate with its meaning… Translation, however, doesn’t only occur across languages: mentally putting any idea into words is an act of translation; so is composing a symphony, doing business in the global market, understanding the roots of terrorism. No citizen, especially today, can exist in isolation—that is, untranslated.” 

There are many ways you can respond to this prompt depending on your own life experiences. You can take a more literal interpretation of translation and write about the power of communication and the many complexities that go along with it. Or you can take a more personal approach and explain an experience in which you felt the need to communicate something but faced a challenge. You could also discuss an experience in which you felt that you needed an alternative method of communication because traditional methods didn’t work.

“Creating an environment that allows students to build lasting friendships, including those that cut across seemingly entrenched societal and political boundaries…requires candor about the inevitable tensions, as well as about the wonderful opportunities, that diversity and inclusiveness create.”

You’ve likely seen questions regarding diversity on applications before, but this prompt takes a different approach. Instead of just relating how diversity has been valuable to you, this prompt asks you to reflect on the fact that diversity isn’t always smooth. So, when approaching this prompt, be sure to discuss how diversity and inclusion are valuable to society as a whole, also consider the obstacles that we may face as we attempt to foster more diversity and inclusion.

“Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat. Rather, achievement can be all the more satisfying because of obstacles surmounted.” 

This prompt is actually pretty straightforward and asks you to reflect on how your obstacles have made your achievements even more satisfying. It’s also important to consider the obstacle itself, and not just how it was overcome. This prompt asks you to think about your life, and your achievements, but in a way that acknowledges the challenges you had along the way.

Keep in mind that when responding to these prompts the Amherst supplemental word limit is 300 words, which should provide you with ample room. But make sure to make the most of that room.

At AdmissionSight, our goal is to help you with every step of the college admissions process. The Amherst supplemental essays 2022 can seem daunting at first, but our experience and expertise will help you navigate the entire process with confidence. Hopefully, this guide to the Amherst supplemental essays 2022-2023 has been helpful, but if you want more information about how AdmissionSight can help you realize your dreams, set up your free consultation today.

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