Oxford University uses a ‘Vampire v.s Zombie’ essay in the application process

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Lindsey Wertenberger, Staff Writer

  Around this time of year, many high school seniors are applying and stressing over college applications. The most dreaded part of any application is writing an essay. However, not many students would think to write about a Halloween-related topic, even though it is that time of year.

  Oxford University is taking a unique approach with the topic of their admissions essay this year which may come as a surprise since this is one of the world’s most prestigious and well-known universities.

 According to www.thetimes.co.uk, when applying to Oxford’s “all souls college”, which is so competitive it is currently comprised of only 8 students, applicants are asked a unique question. This college within Oxford is an academic research university comprised of students who become fellows when they are admitted. Unlike at most universities, where you would be asked something such as “Why do you want to go here?”, Oxford applicants were asked “Would you prefer to be a vampire or a zombie?”

  The purpose of this type of question is to show that you can prove your point and back up what you believe with reasoning.  

  A common consensus among a majority of students was that this is an unusual question to be asked. According to senior Anna Musili, this was a very different type of question.                                       

  Musili included, “The most common application essay I was asked was something like, ‘What is something significant we don’t know about you that you find important?’”

  When deciding how to approach this question, some agreed that they would find the easiest way to answer or they would wing it based on their opinions on the subject. Other students determined that they would research both zombies and vampires in order to gain a better understanding before they began writing their essay.

  There were mixed emotions between students about whether this essay question would be easier or harder to write about then a typical question.

  Erica Beckstrom, ‘19 stated, “I would prefer the common question because you can reuse it for other colleges and you get to show colleges who you are.”

  This may be far from a typical college admissions essay, but it is sure to present a challenge for the top-notch students who will be applying.