10 Questions about Character for Sophomores Applying to the US

By Toa Lohe

(Admissions Consultant at The Edge Learning Center)

For Sophomores

Successful college prep starts with introspection. A young student must ask themself questions to form a deeper understanding of their reality and influences. Once a student records an answer to a self-reflective question, they embark on a long, winding road named Character. Remember: US admission officers are looking for high-achieving students and excellent characters. Students achieve academic success in school but characters achieve profound success in life. A sophomore student must explore their interests. Interested in filmmaking? Direct a 30-second commercial with friends. Interested in space? Build a rocket and document the process. How a student spends their free time speaks volumes about their character. Find fun and educational things to do. Read books. A well-informed student can create a distinct profile early in their lives. Watch documentaries about intriguing subjects. Read The Economist and Reuters. Design rich rivulets of information. Answer the following questions:

1) What do you like about your school?

Download your school’s course catalog. Which classes are offered? Who are the best teachers? If you don’t know the answers, ask older students at your school.

2) What are you interested in? Why is it meaningful to you?

Talk to friends and family. Start a journal. Review what you write down. Which subjects do you like? Which news topics do you follow?

3) What will your studies prepare you for? How will you help others?

Start thinking about your career. Which subject will be the foundation for your career? For example, a student interested in biology may become a scientist who develops a cure for a disease.

4) Have you done anything with your interest inside or outside of the classroom?

Start looking for extracurricular activities and work experiences that are important to you. If it isn’t interesting, feel free to try something else. Start looking for one passion or inspiration to develop throughout high school.

5) Which websites do you read regularly?

Follow news publications like The Economist to gain insights about the workings of the world. Being successful depends on your ability to record observations and to experiment.

6) Which books have you enjoyed in high school so far? Which book or story captured your imagination? How has the story influenced you?

Stories are very important to us. The book, To Kill a Mockingbird, may inspire a young lawyer.

7) Which films, concerts, shows, exhibits, or lectures have you attended? Which one did you like the most? Why?

Go to the cinema. Visit the concert hall. Check out an art exhibition. Explore culture.

8) Which historic event would you witness?

History shapes today. Think about the important events in your family’s and country’s history.

9) Learning another language demonstrates the value of translation. Apply translation to other scenarios in your life.

Another language unlocks an unknown world. Do you know another language? If you don’t, sign up for a language class. How does a new language grant you access to new experiences? What have you learned from those experiences?

10) What do you like to do for fun?

This is an easy question but it’s very important. What do you get excited about? Do you study it? Some people unknowingly study their favorite things and start successful careers!


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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