Caltech Supplemental Essays 2022-2023

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of CALTECH building with a pond near the facade.

Caltech 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 Caltech supplemental essays and everything you need to keep in mind as you write.

Caltech 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, Caltech also requires that you complete an academic essay as well as additional essays about your personal or intellectual growth. The Caltech supplemental essays 2022-2023 allow applicants a certain amount of freedom when choosing their supplemental essay topics, but we’re going to look at each essay prompt and discuss the best way to respond to each topic.

Caltech Supplemental Essay Prompts 2022-2023

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

As we said, there is one standard academic question that all applicants must answer. This is followed by three required short answer questions, and finally, three optional essay prompts. At AdmissionSight, when we hear the word “optional,” we hear “write the extra essay,” so we’re going to cover all of the prompts. These are the Caltech supplemental essays 2022:

Required Academic Question

Because of the rigorous core course curriculum, Caltech students don’t declare a major until the end of their first year. However, some students arrive knowing which academic fields and areas already most excite them, or which novel fields and areas they most want to explore.

If you had to choose an area of interest or two today, what would you choose? Why did you choose that area of interest? (Max: 200 words)

Required Short Answer Questions

  1. At Caltech, we investigate some of the most challenging, fundamental problems in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Identify and describe two STEM-related experiences from your high school years, either in or out of the classroom, and tell us how and why they activated your curiosity. What about them made you want to learn more and explore further? (Min: 100/Max: 200 words for each experience)
  2. The creativity, inventiveness, and innovation of Caltech’s students, faculty, and researchers have won Nobel Prizes and put rovers on Mars, but Techers also imagine smaller scale innovations every day, from new ways to design solar cells to 3D printing dorm decor. How have you been an innovator in your own life? (Min: 200 / Max: 250)
  3. The process of discovery is best advanced when people from diverse backgrounds come together to solve the greatest challenges in their fields. How do your past experiences and present-day perspectives inform who you have become and how you navigate the world? (Min: 200 / Max: 250)

Optional Short Answer Questions

  1. If there are aspects of your identity that you feel are not captured elsewhere in this application, please provide that information below. (Max: 150 words)
  2. When not surveying the stars, peering through microscopes, or running through marathons of coding, Caltech students pursue an eclectic array of interests that range from speed-cubing to participating in varsity athletics to reading romance novels. What is a favorite interest or hobby and why does it bring you joy? (Max: 100 words)
  3. Did you have a hard time narrowing it down to just one interest or hobby? We understand – Caltech students like to stay busy, too – tell us about another hobby or interest! (Max: 50 words)

How to write the Caltech supplemental essays?

When it comes to how to write Caltech supplemental essays, creativity and academic curiosity are the main qualities you want to stress. While Caltech may be focused on sciences, they are still looking for creative thinkers, and your essays are a great place to demonstrate this.

The first required essay prompt asks you to reflect on which field of study you might choose as your major. Caltech acknowledges the fact that not all students arrive knowing which major they will pursue, but that isn’t what this essay prompt is really about. Instead, Caltech wants to see you demonstrate your commitment to learning and intellectual curiosity. If you already know exactly what you want to study, great! Write about why you became so passionate about it. If you aren’t sure which path you will take at Caltech, discuss the fields that excite you and how you will be able to continue your education at Caltech.

In the second section of the required Caltech supplemental essays 2022-2023, you will find two questions related to your academic career, and a final question about how your experiences in life have shaped you as a person.

The first short answer question is directly tied to your intellectual curiosity as it asks you to reflect on two STEM related experiences in high school that fueled your love of learning. The goal of this question is to write about experiences that opened your eyes to new aspects of STEM and motivated you to go further with it. This is where you can demonstrate that your passion for STEM is still growing.

The second short answer question asks you to think about the ways that you have been innovative in your own life. The point here isn’t necessarily to tout some impressive accomplishment, but rather to look at your life and the ways you’ve used your creativity to impact it. Again, the real focus of this question is revealing your creativity.

The third and final required Caltech supplemental essay 2022-2023 is focused on how you have worked collaboratively with people who are different from you. How have these experiences affected the way you view the world? How have these experiences affected the way you approach your fields of study? Caltech really wants to know if you are the kind of student who values collaborative work and the perspective of others.

The optional essay section—while technically optional—is an opportunity to tell Caltech more about you as a person. These questions are not focused on your academic history or your future academic plans, but rather on what makes you interesting as an individual. Again, these questions are technically optional, but at AdmissionSight we recommend taking advantage of every part of the application in order to give Caltech the most complete picture of you. With this last section, try to focus on having fun and being creative with your responses.

At AdmissionSight, our goal is to help you with every step of the college admissions process. The Caltech 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 Caltech 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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