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Answering the COVID-19 Question on the Common Application

The common application has added an optional section for explaining the impacts COVID-19

has had on its participants. Due to the many effects COVID has had on people and their access to resources, some colleges have made tests optional and now rely more on the essays that come with the application process. Because of the weight the essay portion now holds, any chance to include more information about yourself should be considered.

There are multiple ways in which someone could answer this question. One way to tackle it is to write about the hardships you may have gone through, how it impacted you, how you chose to overcome it, and what you learned from this experience. Another way of addressing this question is by talking about how you were able to turn around the negative environment the pandemic has created and what you learned from this experience.

If your experiences don’t necessarily focus on the negatives of the pandemic, you can write about what you learned about yourself. Although answering this portion of the application is suggested, it isn’t mandatory. Colleges know of the overall difficulties with the pandemic and education, so it is best if your answer stirs away from that. Your answer should spark interest in your application if there is evidence of personal growth, using your time wisely, or the ability to overcome your hardships or anything that falls into that line.

What the SAT and ACT Means Today

At the start of COVID-19, the year of 2020, many colleges and universities made tests optional

as the pandemic made it very difficult for students to take the SAT or ACT. As of now for the

class of 2022, colleges and universities are remaining test-optional. The SAT is now removing

the option of an essay and that of SAT Subject Tests. Without test scores taken into consideration, this weight is transferred onto the student’s academic records and essay portion of the application. Letters of recommendation are also something to consider. Because of the disconnect virtual school can have between the teachers and their students, it can be quite difficult to establish a relationship in which requesting a letter can require. This is why it is important to be active while in class and attend office hours if possible. It is also a possibility to establish a relationship with schools you may be applying to. Colleges offer many virtual options to get in contact with them and attend activities in which your interest and efforts can be taken note of.

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