Use both short answer questions and personal essays to highlight your personality and what makes you unique while also showing off your academic talents.
Short answer questions are almost harder to write than a personal essay, since you usually have a word limit.
A well-written, insightful essay can set you apart from other applicants with identical grades and test scores.
Likewise, a poorly constructed essay can be detrimental to your application.
If your classwork already shows that you are studious and determined (because you have taken a wide variety of advanced classes), then you may want to highlight another feature of your personality.
Along with developing an image of your character, writing the college admissions essay allows you to feature other aspects of your life that are not reflected in your pre-college coursework.
Remember that you are more than just an international student from an interesting background; you are a complete person with a lifetime of experiences.
You should take some time to think about what else makes you different from most the other hundreds of students writing college admissions essays.
However, it is not enough to simply say, “Well, I’m not from around here.” Instead, you need to reference the strengths of your home culture.
You don’t need to elaborate at length; a sentence or two should be enough to ensure that the admissions board pays attention to you.