The common app essay prompts play a massive role in your college applications as it is your personal statement that depicts your personality beyond your academics. Through this, the students can shed light on some interesting aspects of their personalities that set them apart from the crowd and give you leverage in their college applications. The common app essay prompts 2022 are the same as it was for the previous admission cycle.

Except for the one regarding solving a problem being replaced by the question where you’ve to reflect on the instance when someone did something for you that made you surprisingly grateful or motivated. The common app attempts to allow students to think of something positive in these challenging times of their lives through this question.

While attempting these common app questions, students are generally stumped with their own set of questions like “which common app prompt should they choose?” Or “how are these questions supposed to be attempted?” Since these questions are extremely crucial in getting an admission, they need to be handled with care. The answers to these questions would be unique to each student as everyone is unique. But some general tips to answer these questions and specific dos and don’ts can be looked at, along with choosing your ideal common app essay prompt.

What is the Common App Essay?

The common app essay is your personal statement that you use in your college applications. It is a personal statement that allows you to show your personality beyond your academics and dive deeper into your interests, passions, experiences and strengths. You can delve into anything of your choice as long as you’re answering the topic of your chosen prompt in any style or format.

What is the Importance of a Common App Essay?

The common app essay holds considerable importance in securing your admission. The importance increases as the selectiveness of the college or university increases.

Though, a well-written essay will not secure your admission to a highly selective college if you have got bad scores. But the same goes for the case if you have gotten good grades but not a well-written essay.

Your admission to such selective colleges is secured only with good scores and a well-framed common app essay. The essay will do a lot in tipping the decision in your favor.

Common App Essay Prompts 2022

Students are required to choose one of the following prompts and write a 650-word essay on it:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

  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?

  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

  4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.


How to choose a common app prompt to answer?

The point to remember while choosing and answering a common app prompt is the gist of these questions, that is, to get a sense of you. They wish to know your interests, hobbies, your source of motivation, passion and overall personality.

They look into your personal statements when they’re looking for reasons to accept your application. Therefore, if the prompt answer is not crafted well, you can lose your chance of getting admission. So, take the following steps to prepare your prompt essay:

  • Jot down your passion, interests and favorite pastimes in your memory.
  • Recall some meaningful and impactful events and memories from your life and practice writing what impact each one has had on you.
  • To simplify the “identity” part, break it down as your background, way of thinking, actions, and goals.
  • Once you’re done with the above three steps, find how your identity, experiences and actions intersect with each other. This will help you think critically about your personality, and this consequently will help you write a good answer. This will also help you determine which question you can answer the best.
  • While choosing a common app prompt, determine which question you wish to answer. Which question can best showcase your qualities?

How to tackle the common app prompts?

Given the importance of common app essays, it is best that you write it with utmost care. The admission committee should be able to see your maturity and introspective abilities through your answer. You can go through some common app essay examples to get a better idea about how to deal with these questions. Or consult some SOP writing services who can also help with answering prompts. Meanwhile, here are a few tips to tackle each prompt:

Prompt 1: Share your “Identity”

This prompt gives you the space to share your story and your identity. Tell them what makes you. You can share anything, your hobbies, interests, some experience or any facet of your personality that is genuinely meaningful and has played a role in shaping your personality.

Prompt 2: learning from challenges

This prompt is a bit tricky to handle as, throughout your college application, you show your best self to the college. Here, you’re required to acknowledge a challenge or setback and reflect on it. But, overcoming any challenge or setback shows perseverance and grit. And it is this aspect that makes this question important. So, whatever challenge you mention, big or small, make sure you add how it changed your perspective and you.

Prompt 3: challenging a belief

Recount a time when you challenged a belief or stood up to others or when your own beliefs were challenged. Mention how you responded to that situation and how it has impacted you.

Prompt 4: recalling a good memory

In this prompt, you’re required to recall a time when someone did something for you that you didn’t expect from them. Mention how it surprised you and how happy and grateful you felt after that gesture. Mention why and how of the event and its impact on you.

Prompt 5: Personal growth

In this prompt, you’re required to reflect on an accomplishment, big or small. Mention what you learned from the event and how it has shaped you. Ensure that you pinpoint personal growth in your answer.

Prompt 6: What captivates you

The prompt allows students to talk about the subject of their interest. The students must show their curiosity, thoughtfulness and interest towards the world around them. “What or who would you turn to when you want to learn something” is a crucial part of this prompt. Answer the prompt with care to show your deep involvement in your interests.

Prompt 7: Topic of your choice

This prompt gives you the independence to choose your question and answer it. It could be anything, any essay from your English class or any question from your other college applications, which got you quite inspired. The vital point to remember in this question is:

  • Show them that you’re more than your academic scores.
  • Dig a topic that reflects you, your identity the best.

What is some Dos and Don’ts for writing prompt essays?


  1. Show the significance of your essay

While writing your prompt essay, you need to show how the event you’re mentioning, or whatever content you’ve mentioned is significant. Take time to elaborate on your topic, show how it connects back to you and how it played an important role in your life.

  1. Give context to your essay

While answering, you’re giving an insight into yourself. So instead of directly delving into the essay, make sure you provide enough context to keep the reader interested in reading your essay and better understand the scene you’re mentioning. Explain all the crucial details and describe your feelings and thoughts.

  1. Make yourself the focus of your essay

Always remember the prompt essays are about you. The admission committee is interested in learning about you. So, do not use a lot of space in mentioning the people or events. Even if you do, explicitly connect the content back to yourself and show how the event or person impacted your life.


  1. Exaggerate or underrate

Do not oversell yourself by boasting or making up stories as that could sound superficial and disconnected. But also avoid underselling yourself. Mention how others appreciate you and think about you. Do not underrate yourself if you wish to avoid sounding bland.

  1. Submit an unstructured essay

Make sure that your essay is properly structured. It needs to be coherent, should be appropriately paragraphed, with clear and simple sentences. Avoid any grammatical errors and ensure that you proofread it multiple times to ensure its quality. You can also consult some professional SOP writers who have experience in writing prompt essays to guide you write a well-structured essay.

  1. Leave the prompt

When you think of your answer, make sure that it revolves around the central theme, that is, the prompt you have chosen to answer. Do not fill the entire essay with miscellaneous events and excerpts from your life. They should be directed towards answering the prompt and showing your personality.


Commission app essay prompts hold a significant amount of importance in the admission process. The whole purpose of common essay prompts is to give the reader an insight into your personality and show your identity. You describe here the aspects that make you. Therefore, there are seven options for you to choose from and answer that in the best possible way.

The answer of every person would be different in this case as each person, and the life of each person is unique. But the general tips to keep in mind are: to stay clear in your head about your personality, and whichever content and event is mentioned, it should come back to you and show how it has impacted your personality.