Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something important that didn't go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?(*)
"The Okinawan Karate Best of Test award goes to..." It was not me. After countless hours of training and endless weeks of physical strain, all my efforts instantly washed away when another contenders name was called. This year old memory haunted my vision for my upcoming Black Belt test, my last opportunity to earn the prestigious Best of Test award.
During the final months before my test, I had to polish my karate skill to a new level. Rather than repeat the same training system as last time, I implemented a new one specifically designed to correct even the most minute of errors. Through private sessions with my instructor, I was able to master everything from body positioning to mental composure. In addition, I began recording myself to carefully scrutinize and refine even the most minor motions. With my final karate test rapidly approaching, I worked diligently to ensure failure would not be an option.
The day of the test, I performed each of my forms with finesse. By the end, I saw the eyes of the judges affixed on my ring, and I knew I had won them over. When I was called up to acquire my black belt at the end of the test, I was also honored with the Best of Test Certificate. Certificate in my hand, I knew that last times failure motivated me to work harder - last times failure revealed the path that guided me to success. (243/250)
Do you think this essay answers the prompt well enough? Im not sure if this challenge is significant enough and if it provides insight about my lifestyle. My other essays were about engineering and I didnt want to keep talking about just that so i picked my extracurricular. Do you think this essay is worth keeping, or should i write another one about a different topic?
I think the topic you chose is good enough however there are several ways by which you can strengthen this essay. First, you might want to consider focusing on your training for the competition. You can try and be more descriptive about "challenging" everything really was. Don't just state facts about how you trained, rather show the reader through your writing how tired you felt, or how much your body ached after each practice. These are just my thoughts though, it's really up to you how you want to go about writing this essay.
Anyway, the best of luck to you!
I like the topic and your description. If your other essays are about the same thing (engineering), then certainly this view of you is a nice one. But I think this MIT essay is supposed to describe how you face adversity or failure because you will face failure at MIT and you must show that you are prepared. But that's just my opinion. If you do want to use this topic, the suggestion from ysabelbrown is a good one: show how you kept working through pain, discouragement, etc.
Just a suggestion - maybe use this essay for the aspect of your personality that you are proud of because I really like it and think it's useful to show this side of you and shows some passion. Maybe find a challenge you overcame or describe a failure that made you more determined to succeed for this prompt.
I don't have any true insights - just trying to think like a MIT admissions officer.
here is an updated version. Thanks for all your support guys, this is really helping me out alot! i couldnt use this essay for my personality one since i already had a essay written out. please tell me if this shows how i faced my challenge. this is a true story, although it sounds a little different from the other version, it just includes the previous test's "failure"
any better? anything else needing to be fixed? (including grammer mistakes?)
I like this approach a lot better. I'm not the best writer but I can tell when something works and I was a little confused by the first paragraph. I think it was the "washed away" part and the "It was not me" wasn't clear that you didn't win. This is such an important paragraph so I hope you can make it pop.
I suggest you make it clear - I did not win. It was not my name they announced. How did you feel? Something more along the lines that your efforts felt worthless rather than "washed away" because that confused me.
And more like "This memory haunted me as I prepared for my..." because having "year old" confused me until I realized you had jumped forward already to the next year. Does this make sense? You were describing last year, jumped forward to this year, then jumped backward to months before the test at the start of the second paragraph. So I had to reread it several times to understand. Just that small change will make it sequential.
In the second paragraph, I think you could remove some things to focus on how you changed your approach because that is impressive. You didn't just repeat your old training, but harder, you became smarter. This is what engineering is about - not just doing the same things but finding new ways. Make sure the reader doesn't skim over that! I barely caught it.
During the final months before my test, I had to polish my karate skill to a new level. Rather than repeat the same training system as last time , I implemented a new one specifically designed to correct even the most minute of errors. Through private sessions with my instructor, I was able to master everything from body positioning to mental composure. In addition, I began recording I recorded myself to carefully scrutinize and refine even the most minor motions. I mastered everything from body positioning to mental composure. With my final karate test rapidly approaching, I worked diligently to ensure failure would not be an option.
Last paragraph uses "last times". This should be "last time's" or better yet something like, "my previous" or "my past". But because this is the last sentence and the last opportunity to stress how you dealt with it, can you change "work harder" to point out yet again that you found a new way to train, a new approach. Drive that point home!
StillLifeWitHam, THANK YOU so very much for your very insightful and meaningful feedback. it has helped my essay progress so much in so little time to have such helpful feed back each time. I have taken your advice and revised alot of this essay. I hope that it really shows that i will be innovative to solve any issue in hand. Thanks to everyone else that has also helped out! Here is my newest revision:
please tell me if anything needs to be edited or revised, thanks!
I like it and I like details you added. I didn't see any obvious grammatical errors but you might ask someone else to review it for those. Good luck with your application!
I love your essay, beautiful word choice, excellent story.
would really appreciate it if you took a look at mine, would like your opinion!!