10 Questions about Character for Juniors Applying to the US

By Toa Lohe

(Admissions Consultant at The Edge Learning Center)

For Juniors

Remember: education is a private endeavor. Young scholars must design flexible academic plans that reflect their interests. Top colleges and universities are looking for students who are passionate about learning. Please answer the following questions to prepare for the college admissions process:

1) What would you do with an extra hour in the day?

An extra hour can be spent in a library, on a hike, in a classroom, in an art studio, or … Reflect on your interests outside of school and experiences with friends and family.

2) Do you have any special talents or skills?

Some students have a hard time answering this question. Remember that everyone has a special talent or skill. What are you good at? Why are you good at it?

3) Express different ways to problem-solve, think, and engage in artistic endeavors.

Group projects help students answer this question. Do you lead groups? Do you answer difficult questions for others? Do you design plans? How do you solve problems? Think about different projects.

4) What have you created, designed, invented, engineered, or produced? A book? A poem? A robot?

If you’re a creative person who likes to make things, this is an easy question. If this question is hard, sketch an idea. Do you want to write or invent? What do you want to share with others?

5) Do new opportunities expose you to people from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives?

Be curious. Ask a friend of a friend questions. Where did they grow up? What do they like to do? Also, students can sign up for a summer course or experience to find people with different ideas about life.

6) When do you collaborate with others?

Science fairs, theatre productions, short films, and college-level research exemplify collaboration. Students have to be able to imagine and develop new projects with others.

7) Have you pursued intellectual opportunities? What are you genuinely excited about learning?

Students have to like learning to answer this question. Do you like learning inside or outside the classroom? What are your favorite topics?


8) Leadership experience? Influencing others? Resolving disputes? Contributing to groups?

This is a difficult question. Many students struggle with leadership. If you don’t have an answer, don’t worry. Being a leader is hard!

9) Have you engaged in significant independent research in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, social sciences or humanities? Please provide a brief description of the research project.

If you don’t have an answer, start looking for research opportunities.

10) Define the word vitality. Use the word in a story about yourself.

This question might seem pointless but it will prepare you for college admissions. Define the word with an experience from your life.


Toa obtained his Bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University. For the past two years, he has helped high school students in North America and Asia understand the college admissions process and gain admission to U.S. colleges and universities. His clients have been admitted to schools like Cornell, Purdue, and UC Berkeley.

Need more advice from Toa? Contact us for an Initial Meeting!

About The Edge

The Edge Learning Center is Hong Kong’s premier Test Preparation, Academic Tutoring, and Admissions Consulting services provider. Founded in 2008, The Edge has helped thousands of students improve their ACT and SAT scores as well as their IB and AP grades. The AC team has just finished off another successful period in which students gained acceptance to schools such as Columbia, Yale, UChicago, UPenn, Oxford, and more! Check out our latest Admissions Results!

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