Three Short Answer Prompts Announced

UT has now updated their website to reflect the recent changes in the application. They are requiring three short answer responses directly on Apply Texas. These must be completed prior to submitting Apply Texas. Essay A can still be submitted later and uploaded on your My Status portal.

The word limit is 40 lines or around 250-300 words, so about one page double spaced.

I am pleased they are making these changes. Hopefully, it will streamline the application process and allow students to directly answer questions that UT is looking for rather than indirectly through talking about a dream ticket.

Here are the prompts and a few quick takes. You can view the new prompts and a few tips UT provides here.

Short Answer 1: Career Plans

"If you could have any career, what would it be? Why? Describe any activities you are involved in, life experiences you’ve had, or even classes you’ve taken that have helped you identify this professional path."

Instead of students having to cram in their future academic and professional plans, UT now allows them to answer the prompt directly. Here, you should address why you are applying to UT and your first choice major.

Short Answer 2: Academics

"Do you believe your academic record (transcript information and test scores) provide an accurate representation of you as a student? Why or why not?"

This question gives students a great opportunity to demonstrate their fit for major. If you have a particularly strong subject, consider talking about it here. If there is a class or semester you are less than satisfied with, use this as your chance to discuss a special circumstance or something going on. Regardless, applicants should use this prompt to highlight strengths or how they have overcome adversity.

Short Answer 3: Leadership

"How do you show leadership in your life? How do you see yourself being a leader at UT Austin?"

Demonstrating leadership has always been a core component of UT's review process. Now, students can discuss taking a leading role in an activity, sports team, in your community, or in your family. Here could be a wonderful opportunity to highlight a particular interest or activity that is important to you.

Initial Thoughts

I like these new prompts. They are similar to what the California System does with choosing four questions out of eight.

They are a lot more straightforward and give applicants insight into what UT is really looking for. It also uncomplicates this whole "submit two essays but you can do a third or fourth if you want" process.

They have basically split up Apply Texas Essay B on an identity, interest, and talent into three different prompts. Students should still demonstrate their fit for major, why UT is right for them, and what their long-term goals are.

Students who have already started Essay B or C could integrate their old responses to these new prompts. Nevertheless, these changes are ONLY for UT, so if you are applying elsewhere, you may need to write additional essays.

Interested in receiving help on these new questions? Complete my questionnaire to get started.