Writing Tip #1: Focus on the question and answer it

November 27, 2019

So you have decided to apply for admission to VinUniversity. Congratulations! Now it is time to answer the five prompts to demonstrate your purpose for studying at VinUniversity. The first step is understanding the question and understanding what the admissions committee is looking for in your response. Be careful of the following things when you prepare your responses:

  1. How many questions are you answering? One prompt might actually be asking more than one question. Look at how many question words there are. Be careful of words like “AND”. Those might be asking you to provide two or more ideas.
  2. Are there any limiting instructions? Be careful for controlling words/phrases like “ONE”, “THE MOST”, “WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING”, “OR”, etc. Read the question ten times and circle any of these words or phrases so that you notice them.
  3. Why is the admissions committee asking this question? Think about what characteristics or attributes they are looking for in each question. What skills or attributes are they looking for? Remember, you are not just telling a story. You are trying to demonstrate your attributes through these five questions to show the admissions committee who you are as a person. How can I show them that I have the positive attributes VinUniversity is looking for in their students?

In summary: 

  • Notice how many questions you are answering in each prompt.
  • Circle any controlling words like “ONE”, “THE MOST”, etc.
  • Think about what attributes the admissions committee is looking for in each question and demonstrate them.

Sample question: “You have to speak at an international conference about ONE socioeconomic issue/topic that impacts your community, and convince them to support your proposed solution/s. What would this topic be, what solutions would you propose and what support would you seek?”

How to answer the question: First of all, notice the controlling word “ONE”. You need to choose just one socioeconomic issue that impacts your community. Think about a big issue in your neighborhood, town, city, or country.

Secondly, the focus of the question is for you to propose some solutions to this issue. Don’t just describe the issue in a lot of detail. Explain the issue briefly then focus on providing some convincing solutions. Remember, you are trying to convince people at an international conference that your issue is important and that your solutions are feasible and realistic. Be persuasive.

Finally, don’t forget to address the third question: what support would you seek. Briefly describe how the international community could help you implement your solutions. 

Overall, be convincing with your solutions and try not to describe the issue in too much detail.