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The Common App Essay - Topic 2 - Failure and experience for the future


Hi, I please help me revise my essay. Thank you

The Common Application Essay - Topic 2

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


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You know how people tend to remember your flaws and faults rather than the time you succeed, how the media is always aiming for the dirty side of a celebrity's story. As you think about it, you realize how much deeper a failure can affect us comparing to our successes. Successes bring happiness and pride. In contrast, failures of course put us into a much worse positions. However, counterpoising the miserable circumstances, failures bring experiences and lessons. There is no better teacher than failure. Consequently, that is where the table turns.

The class went silent (at least I thought they did) as the teacher handing out the result of the Chemistry final exam. I was nervous, I was shaking, I knew I didn't do well. Miss Thoa eventually came to my desk. I'm pretty sure that I saw the disappointment in her eyes. I got a 4 out of 10 on my Chemistry test. In my frustrated head, my parents' face started to appear, they were angry, they were yelling. But most of all, they were disappointed. 4 is probably not the end of the world but it's still not a pleasing number to receive. I tried to come up with an excuse but I couldn't. There is no excuse for not studying. Nonetheless, I knew exactly why I didn't study. I was lazy, I was conceited.

I had always been someone who got good grades without having to study as hard as my classmates. I was definitely not some who gets a below average grade (which is less than 5) on a test. So on the day before the test I decided not to study since I thought I would probably do well without studying anyway. Despise the horridness of getting a 4, imagine if I received a 7 or even an 8 instead, I would have taken it for granted and would not have learned anything. If I hadn't failed, if I succeeded, the only thing I would have learned is that I don't really need to study which is not a very good lesson to teach.

Being in that miserable position, I learned the consequences of not studying, I learned that I have to work hard in order to get what I want, there is no other way. So, in all of my later exams, I made sure that I was always carefully prepared. As a result, my grades were improved even better than before and at the end of the year, I was entitled "Excellent Student".

Had I not failed that Chemistry test, I would have learned nothing. Maybe I wouldn't become a worse person but I wouldn't improve, either. By failing, I learned and I grew. In conclusion, I think it's safe to say that failures also bring happiness and pride.

Hi Van
Your essay is good. Grammar was used competently. I just want to point out a thing which you need to notice your time line about events arrangement.

" So on the day before the test, I decided not to study since I thought" I think you should use past perfect tense that more proper. Because you are telling your test in the past so your studying happen before the test.

It's all my revise about your essay
Hope will see more your essay in the future
Aug 26, 2017   #3
Van, your essay gets too long to get to the point. The introductory paragraph is totally unnecessary as the reviewer doesn't have the time tor read such a well developed, but irrelevant statement paragraph in the essay. The most important thing that you have to remember in a common app prompt is that you have only 3 sentences or less than a minute to make the reviewer interested in what you have written. If you waste that time by simply explaining what it is you are writing about, then you will lose his interest by the second sentence. Just get to the point. That is all you have to do in order to respond to the question in the most accurate manner. When I read this essay, I found that your first paragraph tended to change the slant of the prompt requirement. It made me wonder what you were talking about, not because it was interesting, but because it was not related to the prompt you were given. Have you opened with the narrative about the teacher giving the test papers back with scores, that would have been on the mark with the prompt instruction and held my interest because you were saying relevant to the prompt.
Aug 26, 2017   #4
@trungkienpeter
Thank you for your revision. I got it now.
@Holt
Thank you for your revision. I want to ask if I put my 1st paragraph somewhere else instead, would that be okay?
I think you can use the beginning of the second paragraph
'The class went silent' as a hook for your essay (I.e, making it the first sentence of your essay).
Then the first paragraph as of now should be the second- switch the first and second and see how it turns out.


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