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College Admission Real Sample Essays

What Am I Good At Essay

Nov 01, 2022

We believe there are four main types of essays that every college bound teen needs in their arsenal. The “Who Am I” Essay, the “What Am I Good At” Essay, the “Coolness Factor” Essay, and the “Academic Future Connection” Essay

Today we are talking about the What Am I Good At Question.

What am I good at? This essay is about something you do in school, a leadership role, sports, performing arts. This is “your thang”, “your jam.”  

Examples of topics you might write about include: leadership, club activities, academic accomplishments, girl scout awards, eagle scouts, some great hobby or passion.  

Let’s jump into a sample essay and see how someone utilized the, What Am I Good At Question to their advantage!

Questions to Consider:

What do you remember?

What stands out?

What tiny details could you picture?

What did you learn about this applicant?

Why does this work?

Sample Essay Example:

It was uncomfortably hot. Percussionists were buzzing with nervous energy, and the camera flashes from the audience was not helping. It was Finals Day in Dayton, Ohio for the WGI Nationals percussion competition. Here I stood with the rest of my ensemble members, agonizing over the delay in hearing our fate, “Will we make it to the top three?”

Just last year, I desperately wanted to spearhead my ensemble to victory at nationals. But it was not to be. Devastated by the announcement, “In fourth place, with a score of 94.125, 94.125, Arcadia High School,” we had lost the medal by a hair, a tenth of a point to be exact. I vowed never to let it happen again; next year we would bring home a medal. 

For the next 12 months we practiced even harder. Being in the World Line in Arcadia, also meant being one of the top school percussion ensembles in the entire world. With that kind of reputation came more intense and complicated music. Instead of just attending scheduled practices, we were expected to learn new music on our own time in order to learn our routines and choreography when we were together. Hours of practice caused the soft palms of my hands to break into painful calluses. Undaunted, I wrapped them in rolls of skin tape and played on. Long hours, sleep deprivation, and a few calluses seemed a small sacrifice to overcome that one tenth of a point. 

Finals Day in Dayton could not come fast enough, and now here I was. My heart raced and all sounds faded around me as I focused on the announcer. I nearly cried with relief when a different school claimed fourth and then third place. His booming voice, “In second place, with a score of 96.813, 96.813, Arcadia High School!” I had dreamt of getting into the top three in the Scholastic World Line division and now I was holding the silver medal in my hands. It’s been six months and we have gold on our minds. Stay tuned…

What do you remember? What stands out? What tiny details could you picture? What did you learn about this applicant? These are all questions that an admissions counselor will be thinking about when reading an essay, and what you should be asking while writing one.

What do you remember?

  • The competition
  • 4th place
  • Ending in 2nd place 
  • Long days / nights of practice

What stands out?

  • The amount of work for one tenth of a point 

What tiny details could you picture?

  • Rolls of skin tape
  • Calluses
  • Choreography when together 
  • Practice music on your own 

What did you learn about this applicant? 

  • Dedicated to this organization / team 
  • Really good at what she does
  • Determined to succeed
  • Resilient 
  • Persistent 
  • Time management 
  • Highly competitive environment / friends / group / team 

Why does this work?

  • The student voice comes out 
  • The ending -- adds personality 
  • It doesn’t end with 1st place 
  • She shows growth and achievement even if it is from 4th to 2nd place
  • Shows the gravity of what she does 
  • She is not just in the band at school 
  • She competes on a national level

Is there anything else you think we should add to these lists?

In this brief 342 word essay, we learn a ton about the kind of person this author is and not just what she achieved but why it was important to her. This is vital to the What Am I Good At essay, and something you should keep in mind while writing.

Do you think the What Am I Good At essay will be the one for you? Give it a try next time you are writing!

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