Please criticize my essay for a college entrance test? (10 points!)?

**Before you read: UPCAT - University of the Philippines College Admission Test

UP Diliman - their flagship campus

I have a feeling that most of you wouldn't know.**

If you could go back in time and re-experience an event in your life, what would it be? Would you go back to change an event that happened or to re-experience a happy time? Or something else?

I admit that at my young age, I’ve already committed an awful lot of mistakes. But before you could say that rant, I know—making mistakes is a part of being human. It defines who we are and is an essential part of life. But when given a chance to go back in time and change things for the better, shouldn’t one immediately take hold of the rare chance?

I would give anything to God if he could just let me re-take the UPCAT. I wasn’t able to think straight at that time. My mind was pre-occupied with my countless number of panic-stricken what-ifs. In addition to that, it was also my first college test, so I had zero idea what will happen. The not-so-friendly aura of our proctor also did no help. I was frightened the whole time! At the start of the test, while our proctor was reading the instructions out loud, I was busy fidgeting in my seat, trying to quickly recall what I studied. If only I knew that it only worsens my already-worsening anxiety. As a result, most of my answers were uncertain, even though I clearly remember studying them beforehand. I was so frustrated! Little did I know that it was only the start of an unforgettable nightmare.

I was enjoying the English part because I was confident with almost all of my answers when in the middle of answering, our proctor commanded us to stop and proceed to the next part of the test. I looked at my answer sheet and my eyes widened at how much I have skipped—almost half of it was left blank. How worse could that moment be? But alas, I can’t do anything about it. So much as I hate to, I helplessly flipped the pages onto the next part, which is about science. Just when I thought that I was doing fine with the rest of the exam, the proctor distributed the papers for the essay. I was pretty confident because, not to brag or anything, but I have always enjoyed writing. But I think I’m going to save that for another essay. To cut the chase, of all the time in the world, I was struck with a writer’s block. Not a single word was coming out of my mind. So I ended up with two paragraphs filled with nonsense.

I am familiar with the saying that what matters now may not matter as much in the future. Because let’s face it—life goes on. And it will probably for me and for the rest of my mistakes in the future as well. But right now, I would kill to be given a second chance. Things in the future would be so much easier, not only for me but for my whole family as well, if I would be admitted to UP Diliman. How I wish that I could go back to that moment when it was just quarter to six, while I was still waiting in line, unaware of the terrible things that will happen, and tell myself the things that I have learned. How I wish that I could do that.

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You write well and you use a topic that most people can empathize-- test anxiety. However, I think you missed the purpose of this college essay. The essay is suppose to give the reader (esp. the admissions rep) a personal glimpse of you: your character, your ethics, life experience or lessons learned.

    At the end of this essay, we know that you had a bad test day and you want to do it over. But why? We need to know more about you for us to care. For instance:

    Why would attending UP Dillman make life easier for you and your family?

    In life's setbacks, what's the source of your determination? What fuels your spirit?

    What did you learn about yourself in this situation? Did it make you a stronger and better candidate for college?

    You portray yourself as an underdog, but you did not write enough about you as a survivor or conqueror. Readers like to see the underdog as a motivational hero-- resilient and unstoppable.

    Other suggestions to consider:

    Use "5:45" instead of "quarter to six". Use "verbal section" instead of "English part".

    Try writing the essay in the "third person". It might help to make it more descriptive.

    Bottom line: You are an expressive and gifted writer. Never short-change yourself or the reader! Good luck with the final draft and your college pursuits.

  • 9 years ago

    Read it aloud a bit faster than you normally speak. You will find a lot of places to tighten it up. A few too many words but if you do what I say and rewrite it according to your ear, it'll be improved quite a bit. That's my trick. I've written and edited a lot of college essays. Your essay is passable but you can improve it.

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