How long do I have to write this essay?

There are three or four deadlines for your college application. The deadline for early admission is typically Nov. 1. For some colleges, the early admission deadline is Nov. 15, according to the College Board website. Regular admission deadlines range between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1.

That gives you plenty of time to write a compelling essay and make sure it’s in perfect condition before you submit it.

Once you’ve written the essay, it’s time to start editing. The editing process has been likened to a sculptor chiseling a sculpture. You will refine, refine, refine. Give yourself at least two weeks to perfect the essay. Read it to yourself, and then read it again the next day. Email it to your family members and ask them to read it for typographical errors and grammatical mistakes. Give them a deadline and make sure they honor the deadline. Give thought to their suggestions. Keep an open mind but stay true to your own voice and your own story.

Whatever you do, don’t find yourself writing on the same day as the application is due. That’s how mistakes are made and errors go uncorrected. You need space between the time you write the essay and the period when you start editing.

Now sit down and start writing!

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