Candidate Writing Sample

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by WestCoast, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. WestCoast

    WestCoast New Member

    Jul 29, 2014
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    Option #3 on the writing samples states: Please provide any additional information or background you believe will be of assistance in evaluating your application.

    What is the primary purpose of this statement? Would it be recommend to write a passage for this portion, or is it strictly for information regarding occurrences that could have hindered participation in extracurricular activities?

    Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated!
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Oct 21, 2010
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    It's for whatever you need it for, to further explain whatever it is you want to explain - that didn't appear elsewhere in the application.
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Oct 10, 2007
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    Westcoast, they aren't trying to trick you.

    Were you raised in the amazon jungle? Did you scale Mt DENALI (yes, McKinley is out.) at age seven? Did you save the life of a child?

    What about you is NOT reflected in your stats & recommendations which they want to know about?
  4. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

    Jan 13, 2014
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    I think the confusion regarding this is due to the nature and interpretation of the question. For some colleges, it is to be used to explain a deficiency in the application. For others, it is to add to the application, covering something that may not have already been addressed. The best course of action is to ask your ALO and also your admissions adviser if this is meant as an "explanation or clarification of deficiency at some point" (eg. During sophomore year, grades went down due to extra responsibilities as mother was diagnosed with cancer) or as "further demonstration of qualities demonstrating a good fit for the academy and military."
  5. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

    Jan 31, 2015
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    When I filled out my app, my rationale was to never waste any white space that I could use instead to convince Admissions why I belonged at USAFA. For Question #3 in the writing sample, I was cautious not to repeat myself, but I did sum up some of the strengths of my application as well as express my motivation and desire to attend the Academy. If I were applying this year, I would do the same thing again. I am in no way saying that it's "wrong" to leave the question blank, but rather that the question can be viewed as an opportunity instead of a dead end.
    baileydb likes this.
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    May 21, 2008
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    The question is pretty self explanatory. Personally, i don't think there's any confusion. Assuming of course that you don't read into the instructions and try and make it mean something different.

    QUESTION: Please provide any additional information or background you believe will be of assistance in evaluating your application.
    Broken down:

    1. Please provide any additional information that will be of assistance in evaluating your application
    2. Please provide any background of yourself you believe will be of assistance in evaluating your application

    So basically, this means that if there is any information, clarification, accolades, achievements, motivation, etc. that didn't have a space to address some place else in the application, then THIS would be your place and opportunity to include it. As wildblueyonder mentioned, don't REPEAT yourself here. Fill it with things you didn't have a place to put somewhere else.

    As for leaving it blank; if I read one that was blank, then I would automatically come to the conclusiong that either: A) You had a very uneventful life; or B) You don't have a lot of confidence in yourself or your achievements and don't believe such information is worthy of mentioning. Either way, I would see it as a negative towards your application. If you are doing your application correctly, the problem you SHOULD HAVE, is "I have TOO MUCH information and not enough places to include it". Thus, you have to prioritize your information. If you don't have enough information to include, then that's not a good thing. Especially for the typical "TYPE-A Personality Overachiever" that is the majority of applicants, appointees, and cadets.
    A299 and FalconsRock like this.
  7. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Dec 19, 2013
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    I like wildblueyonder's thinking!

    My DD used it to describe activities that did not fit well into other categories on the application. For instance, she described how she could time manage and multi-task. Sort of a "week in the life of ..."

    Up at 5am - meet personal trainer at gym
    Show up at school 1 hr early to mentor 5-6 graders
    After school - tutor HS students in Physics and Calculus
    1 hr after school : sports (volleyball, basketball, track) -- practice/game

    There was Taekwondo and homework in there somewhere, too! Ha!
  8. baileydb

    baileydb Member

    May 27, 2014
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    Agree with some of the other posters. It's a good place to let your personality shine through. To most admissions personnel, you are just statistics on a piece of paper. Use this question to show them who you are and tell them about the great things you have achieved.
  9. jwest182

    jwest182 USAFA Cadet C/O 2019

    Feb 15, 2014
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    Just to provide a different situation... I actually messed up on planning to write an answer to that question and did not have it filled out when I submitted my app for EA last year... Now, it turned out ok for me, so the question is by no means a requirement, but I would not recommend following in my footsteps! Take the opportunity to provide some more info about yourself that was not mentioned earlier! Good luck!
  10. leannemae

    leannemae New Member

    Nov 5, 2015
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    Would someone be so kind to post the most current Writing Sample? I've found one version that had 4 questions and 2 questions.
    Thank you so much in advanced!

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