Tuesday, February 2, 2010

File Reading, Part II

Here is the second installment of the UGA holistic file reading overview, with a focus on the area of an applicant's writing, self-expression and creativity. I know, it is a mouthful, but this is the section where we look at the student's overall writing (both the essays and any other written areas on the application), and as well, any other areas where a student displays their creative talents. This would be something along the line of musical expression, theater/drama, etc.

In the review of an applicant's writing, our focus is more the writer's voice, how well they communicate their ideas, and how well they "show" us their information, and less focus is put on grammar and structure. Yes, we still want a student to write clearly and spell check their work, but that is not the key (and neither are "big" words or writing about UGA in your essays!). When I talk about a writer's voice, and about "showing" instead of "telling", I will direct you to my Suggestions for Writing Admissions Essays, as this tells you more than I could cover in one post.

I was reading a student's  file yesterday that really understood the idea of showing, as her essays made me understand what she was going through in the events mentioned in the essays, and I felt like I could almost see the situations as they occurred. One essay focused on her interaction in a politics class where she was the outsider in her political views, and the challenges she faced from both her teacher and the other students (and how she stood her ground while still being respectful).

The other area within this part looks at a student's creative side. While we see some of these items within the activities section, we want to see how a student shows their artistic side. We look at their involvement in the dramatic, visual and performing arts, and try to get an understanding of their aesthetic side of life. We will focus more on the writing part during this review, but a student's passion for the arts does come into play.

That is it for part II, and hopefully these posts will help you understand a little more about the file reading process. Only four more to go!

12 comments:

  1. How does the reading process work? Do you start reading them alphabetically or randomly?

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  2. Ally: No, we do not do it alphabetically, as files are completed and ready for review at different times in the process. I am able to select files from a long list of available "ready to read" ones, and when I am done, it is automatically shifted to a second read list (unless I was the second read!). For the most part, this is how the read process works.

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  3. Hi. I've been trying to get an answer by looking around the admissions site, but it hasnt been answered: When exactly will admission statuses start coming out? &
    Do you all review and automatically give a decision or what? if you all do, will it show up on the status check?

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  4. Anon: I am guessing you are talking about freshman admissions, and if so, I would suggest you do a search in the upper right hand corner of this blog for "timelines". This will give you the details on when we release decisions. And yes, decisions are released on the status check site.

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  5. I took the January SAT and anxiously waiting for the results on Feb. 11th. If the admissions are reading the applications already, then how will the new SAT scores be read? Will they have to re look at the application with the new submitted SAT score?

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  6. Anon: I know that a lot of people are waiting for the Jan. SAT scores (including my family!), and when any new scores come in, they are automatically pushed into an applicant's file. Thus, in an overall review, any updated test scores are a part of the review. But in the actual read process, we are looking at a wide range of other factors apart from the test scores, of which I am listing here over the next two weeks or so. During any overall decisions, though, we take into account any new test scores in the process. I hope this helps!

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  7. i ready about essays on the site. it said someone wrote an essay less than thirty words. i thought it said 150-200 words

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  8. Anon: We suggest a certain length, but that does not mean that all applicants will follow our advice. We generally set a maximum word limit on the essay fields on our online app, but we do not set a minimum.

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  9. On the topic of SAT writing, does UGA look closely at the SAT essay and the grade? I heard that most colleges don't neccesarily look at the writing portion/essay portion as hard as the reading and math portions. I recently took the SAT and scored an 11, will UGA really look at that in the file reading process?

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  10. Kellie: We will at times look at the SAT essay score, and the SAT essay score also becomes a part of your overall SAT Writing score. As for the actual SAT essay, we have viewed it on a limited number of students, but for the most part, we use our own essay questions and the responses in our review process.

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  11. While I was doing the essays I noticed that you said that we should read the statement about diversity? Is there a specific reason?

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  12. Kellie: The UGA faculty created this statement about 6 or so years ago, and it was to let students know what they feel is important about UGA students and the things they look for in strong students.

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