Princeton Short Answer Questions

August 18, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Princeton Short Answer Questions

What Is the Primary Purpose of Short Answer Questions?

The admissions staff only has access to the information you provide when applying to universities. They assess you according to:

  • Transcripts from high school
  • Test scores
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Personal statement
  • Supplementary essays

These essays, like the Princeton short answer questions, give admissions committees information about your character, which they respect because it can be difficult to tell who you are from just your academic performance. You get the chance to “talk” to the admissions committee in these essays by outlining your qualifications for attending Princeton. This answers the query of students who want to get into Princeton, “What is the primary purpose of short answer questions?”

Every university wants you to feel exceptional, to know why you applied, and to demonstrate that your application was deliberate and not accidental. Since you don’t get the chance to speak with the admissions committee straight away, you must utilize the essays to convince them why you should be admitted to Princeton.

Each question allows you to respond and explain:

  • How your interests align with Princeton
  • Your aspirations for your schooling
  • Your aspirations and professional objectives
  • How a Princeton education will assist you in achieving these objectives
  • Your plans for giving back to the community

Princeton is also interested in learning about your hopes and aspirations, as well as how they might assist you in realizing them and the legacy you hope to leave.

However, avoid tailoring your essays to what you believe the admissions committee would find interesting. Spend some time on these essays to give yourself the best chance of being accepted because admissions officers want to see your authentic self. Make the most of your chance to express who you really are. You’ll know more about supplemental essays as we go on the discussion.

How Many Supplementals Do You Need for Princeton?

The Princeton Supplement is a pre-requisite for admission to Princeton University, in addition to the Common Application or QuestBridge Application. The additional questions for the cycle of applications for 2021–22 are listed below. The Supplement must be submitted online via the application platform you choose.

Male student typing in a table with his classmates.

After you have added Princeton University to your list, you will be able to view the Supplement in its entirety. Let’s tackle how many supplementals do you need for Princeton.

Applicants for A.B. Degree or Those Who Are Undecided:

As a research institution that also prides itself on its liberal arts curriculum, Princeton allows students to explore areas across the humanities and the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. What academic areas most pique your curiosity, and how do the programs offered at Princeton suit your particular interests? (Please respond in about 250 words.)

Applicants for B.S.E. Degree:

Please describe why you are interested in studying engineering at Princeton. Include any of your experiences in, or exposure to engineering, and how you think the programs offered at the University suit your particular interests. (Please respond in about 250 words.)

In addition to the aforementioned essay, Princeton also asks all applicants the following questions:

Extracurricular Pursuits and Employment Experience

Briefly elaborate on an activity, organization, work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you. (Please respond in about 150 words.)

Your Voice

Please write a 250-word essay in response to each question.

At Princeton, we value diverse perspectives and the ability to have respectful dialogue about difficult issues. Share a time when you had a conversation with a person or a group of people about a difficult topic. What insight did you gain, and how would you incorporate that knowledge into your thinking in the future?

  • Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals.

More About  You

Please answer each question in no more than 50 words. There are no correct or incorrect responses. Be authentic!

  • What is a new skill you would like to learn in college?
  • What brings you joy?
  • What song represents the soundtrack of your life at this moment?

You must include a graded essay as part of your application to Princeton.

How To Answer Princeton Short Answer Questions?

Read carefully on how to answer Princeton Short Answer Questions and the supplemental essays below to make your chances of Princeton admission higher.

Princeton Short Answer Questions: Supplemental Essay

You must respond to one of the Princeton short answer questions:

Briefly elaborate on an activity, organization, work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you. (Please respond in about 150 words.)

It is simple and typical to ask questions like these on college applications. Simply answer them honestly and in your own voice to get the best results. Naturally, you should thoroughly proofread your work.

  • Avoid making the mistake of trying to pick the most noteworthy extracurricular activity or professional experience to highlight.
  • As an alternative, pick the job or hobby that meant the most to you. It needs to be something you’re enthusiastic about.
  • After that, describe why this specific action or experience was so significant to you. You could also discuss what you took away from the encounter. Given that you only have 150 words, be precise and succinct.

If you feel as though your summers have been insignificant or unimpressive, don’t panic. Even a summer of babysitting or guitar practice can teach you valuable lessons and reveal interesting things about you.

Your Voice: Supplemental Essay

Two questions in this section each have a word count restriction of 250. In the first inquiry, you’re asked to describe a difficult conversation you’ve had with someone:

At Princeton, we value diverse perspectives and the ability to have respectful dialogue about difficult issues. Share a time when you had a conversation with a person or a group of people about a difficult topic. What insight did you gain, and how would you incorporate that knowledge into your thinking in the future?

Female student working on a table while using a laptop.

This is a fantastic opportunity for Princeton to learn more about your capacity to share and take into account various points of view. Do you welcome novel concepts? Are you open to all? Do you look for several viewpoints on a subject to develop a well-rounded and knowledgeable position?

Family, friends, and coworkers may feel defensive when discussing their strong opinions about a subject, especially during a presidential election year. Consider some of the discussions you have had about a difficult subject recently or in the past. This could incorporate:

  • Women’s rights
  • Global warming
  • Immigration
  • Racism
  • Vaccination

Why was it so challenging to discuss this with others or in a group? Were you expressing a different viewpoint? Did the other person challenge you, or did you challenge them? Why do you think differently about this matter?

Next, think about how you were able to have a constructive conversation about this matter. What did you discover about the other person’s viewpoint? What could you possibly remember about the talk in the future?

These topics are controversial for a reason. Not where you stand on the issue, but rather how you can have a respectful and useful conversation with someone who holds a different opinion, is the focus of this inquiry.

The second query is about service:

Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals.

Princeton is interested in learning how you are or will be a valuable part of your community in your essay. Here, the goal is to show how you value and strengthen the community.

Make a list of the ways you currently or afterward intend to support your local community. Do you frequently lend a helping hand at a shelter or at your church? Did you participate in a group in high school that carried out community service projects? Have you started a campaign to generate money for a cause that is dear to you?

What, if anything, do you intend to do to become a more involved part of your community? “Tell us how your narrative connects to these ideas,” as the question also directs you to do. Connect your own narrative to the service you have provided. Regarding your tale, why did you select that service or engagement?

More About You: Supplemental Essay

This part of the essay is the ideal place to show off your personality. In addition to your GPA, class rank, SAT scores, accomplishments, etc., these “few details” provide admissions officers with information.

Female student typing in his laptop for a college essay.

The three quick questions, each with a 50-word maximum response, are as follows:

What is a new skill you would like to learn in college?

What brings you joy?

What song represents the soundtrack of your life at this moment?

Avoid the temptation to select “impressive” responses because the goal of this section is for admissions officers to get to know you.

For instance, the trophy you received for winning the state spelling bee does not always have to be your favorite souvenir or memento.

And unless it’s true, don’t mention that Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time is your favorite book. Simply respond to the questions, adding brief commentary where you feel it’s necessary. Again, provide clear, sincere responses.

If you find an opportunity to be clever or imaginative in your response, seize it. However, it’s unlikely that these inquiries will make or break your application. They offer an opportunity to present a more full image of yourself to admissions officers. Sincere responses that genuinely reflect your personality will help you stand out and become memorable.

For A.B. Degree Applicants or Those Who are Undecided: Supplemental Essay

The Princeton Supplement also includes a short essay of “approximately 250 words.”

According to the university’s website, this essay should not “in whole or in part” be a repetition of the one you submitted with your Common Application, Coalition Application, or Universal College Application.

It’s preferable to write the essay about a completely another subject that isn’t covered elsewhere on your application.

As a research institution that also prides itself on its liberal arts curriculum, Princeton allows students to explore areas across the humanities and the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. What academic areas most pique your curiosity, and how do the programs offered at Princeton suit your particular interests?

What academic field would you like to pursue, and why would you like to pursue it at Princeton are the two sides of this question. It’s crucial to remember that admissions officers don’t want you to write what you believe will appeal to them. They want an open and sincere response from you.

Young man staring the his laptop while thinking about something.

If you have numerous areas of interest, choose the one that makes you the happiest to write about in your essay. Or, if you have a distinctive perspective on a combination of other academic disciplines, be sure to describe how it can assist you to achieve your academic objectives.

What distinguishes Princeton’s program as unique? Make research. Are you looking forward to a particular lecturer or class? Have you been interested in any internship or research opportunities? What precisely motivates you to complete this course of study at Princeton?

Finally, be sure to mention your educational and professional aspirations. How does this Princeton program help you achieve your long-term objectives? When you graduate, what are your plans?

Application to B.S. Engineering: Supplemental Essay

You have one more essay to complete if you listed a Bachelor of Science in Engineering as one of your potential academic degrees on your Princeton application. (If not, the Supplement is complete for you.)

Here is the subject for an engineering essay:

Please describe why you are interested in studying engineering at Princeton. Include any of your experiences in, or exposure to engineering, and how you think the programs offered at the University suit your particular interests. (Please respond in about 250 words.)

Keep in mind that there are three elements to this essay, and you must explicitly address each one.

  • Begin with a story or succinct explanation of how you first became interested in engineering. This is the ideal time to bring up a specific experience or incident that piqued your curiosity.
  • After that, you must describe any “experiences in or exposure to engineering” you may have had. Do not merely include your résumé here. Rather, spend some time explaining how these encounters have influenced and characterized your passion for engineering.
  • Finally, you have the option to explain why Princeton specifically interests you. You must research this question.

Avoid referring to Princeton in generalities. Instead, use precise references to certain courses, teachers, programs, etc.

Here, you can demonstrate to admissions committees that you would benefit from and contribute to Princeton Engineering’s distinctive resources. Instead of talking about general or typical engineering chances, try to focus on opportunities that are relevant to your own interests.

What Does Princeton Look for in Essays?

You must submit an essay or personal statement with your application to the majority of elite universities.

It could seem like a chore, and it will undoubtedly need a lot of work. But it’s also a rare chance that might matter when making a choice.

Female student looking at her laptop with a hand on her face.

Your high school grades and test results will be given the most consideration by admissions committees. However, too many deserving applicants with comparable test scores and GPA submit applications for admission to prestigious universities. They, therefore, look at your essay, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities to see what makes you stand out from the other qualified applicants. Let’s answer the query (and worry) of every Princeton applicant, “What does Princeton look for in essays?”

What makes you unique, then?

Your history, interests, and personality are all distinctive. This is your opportunity to share your tale (or at least part of it). Writing a thoughtful, personal essay about a topic that is meaningful to you is the greatest approach to telling your story. Be sincere and truthful, and your distinctive qualities will come through.

A staggering amount of forgettable college essays are read by admissions committee members. Instead of speaking like themselves, many students attempt to sound intelligent. Others compose essays on topics they don’t find interesting but that they believe would appeal to admissions committees.

You don’t have to have launched your own business or hiked the Appalachian Trail over the summer to qualify. Simply said, colleges are searching for kids who will contribute to the first-year class and are attentive and motivated.

How to Write an Outstanding College Application Essay?

1. Express your importance by writing about it. 

Any event, person, or book that has had an impact on your life qualifies.

2. Reflect rather than just recite!

Anyone can write about their great game victory or their summer in Rome. You must provide more details when retelling these events than just a play-by-play or itinerary. Describe the lessons you took away from the experience and the ways it affected you.

3. It’s hard to be funny.

An applicant who can make an admissions official smile never gets overlooked. But take care. You probably don’t find the same things hilarious as an adult working in a college does. One piece of advice is to avoid using one-liners, limericks, and offensive language.

4. Write numerous drafts and get started early.

After a few days, go back and read it. Imagine that you are an admissions officer: The essay is intriguing. Do the concepts make sense? Does it offer any insight into the applicant? Does the applicant’s voice appear in it?

5. No repetitions!

Nothing you submit in your personal statement or application essay should contradict or restate information found elsewhere in your application. This is not the place to discuss your grades, exam results, or list your honors.

6. Provide an answer to the query posed.

Avoid using a response to a comparable query from another application.

7. Have your essay edited by at least one more person.

The ideal source for you is a teacher or a college counselor. And make sure all of your Princeton short answer questions and supplemental essays are error-free in both spelling and punctuation before submitting them by checking them at least three times.

Essay writing could be simple for you, difficult for others, or vice versa. However, the essays and the Princeton short answer questions could be of tremendous assistance to you in making your application stand out to admissions authorities. Might need a helping hand? AdmissionSight is here for you. Look through our programs that could help you in acing the essay part of your application. You may also book an initial consultation to have a more thorough discussion with AdmissionSight experts.

 

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