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MIT Sample Essays - 4

[日期:2005-10-31] 来源:ChaseDream论坛 作者:jkmbe [字体: ]

Question: Please give an example of a time when you achieved a goal that was important to you. (up to 500 words)

Nationwide examinations to enter a public Greek university were an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. A failure would deprive me from the business studies I wanted to pursue because my family's depressed economic position would not allow for private college. Since I longed for higher education, I viewed the exams as a personal bet, the first important challenge in my life.

The examinations were notoriously difficult due to limited availability of places. For my program of choice there were only 100 places available and I had to compete with tens of thousands of entrants for one of them. Thankfully, I was at no handicap in this race; throughout my previous school years, I had built strong academic fundamentals. Nevertheless, even more hard work was needed along with devoting at least two years for studying the four courses to be examined: Mathematics, Essay writing, History and Economics.

Mathematics was my forte. I had always been fascinated with quantitative challenges and that made me very comfortable with whatever sort of problem I faced. In order to further practice and ensure perfection, I solved numerous advanced problems I found in college books. As a result, I was one class above competition and in the final exams I easily scored 160/160 in less than half of the available time.

The essay exam required harder practice, since essays' grading is always subjective. I therefore had to ensure that I always followed certain principles in writing style and structure that would make my reading clear to the reader and ensure a high score at all cases. That was something I quickly mastered and on top I tried to build a higher score, with a lot of quality reading and extensive practice. Eventually I managed to score near perfection in the exams' essay.

For the latter two courses, what was generally recommended was to learn verbatim the books in question. Competition was so fierce, that even the slightest declination from the original text was enough to cut down on the final score, no matter if the meaning was left intact. Therefore, although I didn't approve this approach, I had no choice but enter the game and memorize the books word by word. Since I was not accustomed to study in that way, I had to mobilize several tricks, such as using a walkman to hear the previously recorded text while I was reading it or writing it down on paper several times. In this way, I managed to learn verbatim all the required text and was able to instantly recall and write down whichever paragraph or even footnote was asked; that naturally proved true in the finals too.

The final results turned out more than rewarding for my efforts. I scored the absolute highest grades in the whole country, entered the top undergraduate business program in Greece with honors and received significant merit-based scholarships and awards. But more importantly self fulfillment from my success has kept me motivated ever since in my life to work hard as I keep setting higher targets.

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