– Examples of challenging SOL content based on statewide results

Some applications may ask you to give a personal history, telling about experiences that you have undergone which have led you to decide to pursue graduate education in a certain field of study. (If personal information of this sort is not required, then you are under no obligation to provide it.)

SOL Institute Presentations & Lessons available for , , and

 – a guide to show how tabs are used to display paired reading selections in an online test

– align instruction with the 2010 English SOL.

Do read the directions carefully. You will want to answer the question as directly as possible, and you'll want to follow word limits exactly. Express yourself as briefly and as clearly as you can.

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Also, if you have experienced times of great hardship or extenuating circumstances that have negatively affected your academic performance at any time, provide a short explanatory statement. This is another one of those places where caution should be exercised: you want to explain the cause of your poor grades, etc. without alienating the reader by overdoing it. Once again, be specific and concise.

– teaching strategies, lesson plans, graphic organizers, and resource links.

10 minutes - You will have a specified time to write each essay

Do tell the truth about yourself. The admission committee is anonymous to you; you are completely unknown to it. Even if you run into a committee member in the future, he will have no way of connecting your essay (out of the thousands he has read) to you.

Aim to spend roughly 10 minutes (or more) planning and thinking

If you have additional, relevant information about yourself that does not easily fit into the essay, or into any other section of the university's application, you may want to include a condensed resume or curriculum vitae with your application package. This is especially applicable to those who have worked professionally since having graduated from school. Relevant items here might include work experience, publications, and presentations, as well as language and computer skills.

Ten steps for writing an essay - School A to Z

Generally, keep in mind that the points about your life that you highlight should be somehow relevant to both your own interest in the field of study, as well as to the concerns of the admissions committee. In judging what information to include or exclude from your essay, try to balance academic, work-related, and personal information in a manner appropriate to your situation, goals, and the application requirements.

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Do feel comfortable in expressing anxieties. Everybody has them, and it's good to know that an applicant can see them and face them.

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Don't write on general, impersonal topics-like the nuclear arms race or the importance of good management in business. The college wants to know about you.

Getting Started: Freewriting - CommNet

Do focus on an aspect of yourself that will show your best side. You might have overcome some adversity, worked through a difficult project, or profited from a specific incident. A narrow focus is more interesting than broad-based generalizations.