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Common App / "Why did I take a gap year" essay / international student / early decision in november


gigibsz 1 / -  
Sep 12, 2023   #1

Why did I take a gap year?



"As an international student, I feel the need to explain the cultural background that revolves around the brazilian "gap year". In Brazil's education system there is a stark contrast between the quality of public and private education, a disparity I experienced firsthand during my time in a public high school, theoretically designed to offer free education afforded by the government, they often can't deliver the quality education necessary when it comes to the standardized exam, ENEM (Exame Nacional do Ensino M├ędio), which leaves students from disadvantaged backgrounds having to compete with our more privileged peers who have enjoyed better educational resources.

Unlike many other countries where students typically transition directly to college, in Brazil, it is extremely to take a gap year, due to the intense, and often unfair, competition for the public university positions. There are external preparatory programs, "cursinho", to help students achieve their desired ENEM scores, which I've been doing this year. This "gap year" represented for me a significant shift from the learning environment of high school to a more intense and rigorous approach, which I belive was essential to prepare to face a higher level education and pursue my major. I found myself compelled to make up for the opportunities I had lacked and try to make the best of this chance, all while concurrently pursuing my aspiration of studying abroad, navigating a completely distinct college application process with unique demands that my school and family can't guide me through, because of the educational and language barrier."

Thank you for anyone who reads and helps me. The prompt is linked by image.
I don't have a counselor or anyone that can guide me here so any constructive criticism will be taken with much joy.
What can I improve? What is lacking? Should i make it more personal? Any grammar mistakes? Does it make me sound "too dumb" or that my academic basis are "weak"?
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,249 4651  
2 days ago   #2
You spent too much time explaining the concept of the gap year. The focus should be on why you took the gap year and what you accomplished during that time. It is about both personal and academic growth. Currently, the essay is just familiarizing the reader with the Brazilian gap year concept, nothing more is indicated beyond that. Your personal explanation is too shallow, lacking in substance, and needing more development. Talk about you and your experiences that drove you to take the gap year. The essay should not be an academic explanation of the gap year, it should be an eye opener about how you improved your academic and personal skills over the course of a year, outside of the formal academic calendar.


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