陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp转学一):计算机+医科=>数学+商科

在诸多早年的转学文书中选出这一篇有好几个原因。这并不是一篇炫技的文字,但是很好的体现了转学文书里的所有重要元素。学员并非从一所美国大学转到另一所,而是从国内普通高校转到前三十的美国名校。学员也并非是继续就读本专业,而是在转学的过程中挑战全新的专业。

不同与常规申请的留学主文书,转学文书会显得更加程式化一些。作为读者的招生官最关心的问题是转学的动机以及申请者能否在新环境中取得成功(一般而言会是继续以往的成功)。当然素材的分配也非常重要——Common文书里不能把所有的材料都一股脑用完,导致在学校特定的文书里无话可说。与此同时,Common转学文书不针对任何特定学校,但也需要能和学校的转学文书遥相呼应。

如果申请者是一个比较有特色的孩子或者想强调一下与欲转入专业的联系,开头这种白描式的手法是我所推荐的,可以在不多的篇幅中把转学的动机引入进来。相对的,我不太推荐写太多对于现在环境和学业的负面感受或反馈,因为并不知道读者会做何种解读。

转学文书里,对目前的学业一定要有充分的涉及和讨论。所提及的课程应该与成绩单和教授推荐信对应上。除此之外,可以像文中一样适当体现自己对专业知识的领悟和应用,以及在好奇心激励下对未知领域的主动探索。一般如果有与专业相关的活动,也应该有所提及(对于这位学员,我们商量后把相关的内容放到了学校文书里)。

毋庸置疑,很多转学生可能在原来大学走过种种弯路。对此我一般的建议是把复杂的故事讲简单。毕竟文书的650词说多不多,招生官对于每个个案花费的时间和精力也十分有限。在申请材料的准备中如何取舍,展现出哪一面,不分散乃至误导招生官的注意力,确实是一门艺术。

最后结尾处的论述涉及到了几个公认的美国大学优势——资源、多元化、自由。大家可以参考一下。当然一般而言,会根据自己申请目标(大U?藤校?理工学校?文理学院?商学院?)进一步定制并在学校文书里继续展开。


In my younger years, people often told me that I have “an amazing mind.” When I first learned to play the piano, I soon unveiled the secrets of harmony as the ratios between note frequencies. When I watched a dance performance with my parents, I could not help sharing my finding with them, that the pulsating movements were nothing but twisting numbers. Perhaps now I am no longer into those childish acts anymore, but I feel an ever-stronger intimacy with mathematics, something that is destined to accompany me for the rest of my life.

Due to the rigid higher education system in China, I was assigned to Computer Science major when I was admitted by (删去学校名). However, this did not prevent me from actively experiencing the charm of math. I was exhilarated by the ingenious method that estimates algorithm complexity before it is actually executed. Discrete Mathematics and Linear Algebra became two new favorites of mine, which have empowered me with modeling tools from graph to intrinsic vector. The only setback, I realized, was that most engaging topics were never fully covered by professors. So I audited Differential Equation and Complex Analysis, which were reserved solely for the math major. This turned out to pique my intellectual curiosity some more.

Eventually, my interests in math became unstoppable. Though with my accomplishments, I earned the rare qualification to enter the medical school, I did the unthinkable and forfeited the opportunity by the first week of sophomore year. The choice was easier said than done, and I suffered from significant pressure from family, friends, and teachers. However, I have made up my mind and decided that my life would never be complete without spending some fruitful years with my true passion.

One of the few options available to me is to transfer to a college in the United States. After pondering for a long while, I believe it is the right choice. American universities boast superior educational resources, such as full-fledged libraries and comprehensive journal databases, all of which will help a scholar immensely in her journey toward the ultimate truth. Being an independent thinker and innovator, I also look forward to sharing my ideas with exceptional peers from all over the world, and we may even work together to illuminate unexplored frontier of human knowledge. In the meantime, I aspire to attain holistic development, taking advantage of the extra freedom, and striving to relate my learning to practice. A concrete academic pursuit like this will serve as the foundation of a promising business career, where the quantitative methods I acquire at school can benefit thousands, or even millions.

重要通知

本文为AADPS原创,原始发布地址是https://aadps.net/2017/13861.html。我们每年夏季会更新最新美国大学本科申请文书题目和权威院校指南,欢迎把网站加入浏览器收藏夹。

因屡次出现我们学员家长将盗用我方的推文发到我们自己的服务群里,严重影响了AADPS的正常经营秩序。AADPS决定禁止对我们专业资讯的一切形式转载或再利用(包括但不限于同行或留学生家长在任何媒体平台的公众号、资讯号、私人号中非法利用我方内容)。一经发现,我方将可能采用一切合法手段维权,不再另行通知,创业不易,望谅解。

陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp主文四):生物圈三号

自2013年CommonApp首次加入失败的题目以来,这成为了中国申请者最不敢碰,但在专业留学指导老师眼里最有潜力的选择。

大家的第一个顾虑往往是,其他人都一个劲的吹嘘自己,然后我在主文里面自揭其短,是不是对比之下会显得很弱?陈欣老师认为这种可能性虽然有,但是通过选材和行文的角度,在很大程度上是可以规避的。比如在下面这篇例文里,同学就选择了自己专业相关的一个为期大半年的项目。这种经历不大可能和别人撞车,也体现了失败所带来的独特经验。愿意分享失败,本身就体现了一种自信和对自己人生的批判性反思,是招生官很看重的品质。

在文书的开头和结尾我们呼应对比了一个历史上很知名的生态学实验——生物圈二号。除了在开头吸引读者注意以外,一个很重要的作用是衬托出这种生态缸的复杂性和成功的困难程度,让不熟悉专业背景的读者能够有一个合理的认识。

理工科的文书对逻辑性和严谨性相对要更强调一些。在指导文书的过程中,我一直会敦促学生不光要写出做了什么,更要言简意赅的表明所作所为在当时条件下是深思熟虑后最合理的选择。例文里关于动植物的选择以及生态缸设计是非常好的示例。

我们强调一篇文书反映一个主旨(就这点而言这篇文书的结尾写得非常清楚),但是方方面面的细节也能够给读者一些关于文书主人的额外提示。幽默感一直都是很好的点。不过这篇文书里体现得更多的会是人文情怀,比如给小乌龟起名字、做坟墓以及放生等。


“Could I do better at the place where a billion-dollar project has failed?”

The question constantly bugged me last winter. In the biology class, we had just finished the ecosystem part. Not satisfied with the somewhat pessimistic textbook conclusion, I decided to take the problem into my own hands: After getting advice from the teacher, I spent a large portion of my savings to order a glass tank, and started the half-a-year experiment on my own “biosphere.”

I divided my biosphere into two biomes. First was a “grassland” with cactus, loosestrife, plain lawn grass, moss, and a certain type of fern. I used sand as the bottom buffer layer, and piled some rich black soil above it for the plants. In addition to that, I created a little “lake” with waterweeds and decorated it with some pebbles. Animals that were on the roster included one spider, two tortoises, five shrimps, and ten earthworms. Realizing photosynthesis would be the key in my experiment, I put the tank on the balcony where light is always abundant. Then assuming too much sunshine would surely overheat water and atmosphere, I covered the lower half of the tank with cardboard and the upper half with semitransparent filter made of old newspaper. Just perfect.

I would spend ten minutes every day observing this miniature cosmos, and was disappointed to find out that there was nothing to see in winter. Tortoises and shrimps all spent their days in peace. Plants did not grow a single millimeter in three weeks. Earthworms? Never to be found again.

However, things became much different when the spring came. Tortoises performed their daily routine between water and the highland where they could take a sunbath. Shrimps moved to and fro, bringing much liveliness to the aquatic zone. Little (diameter<6mm) blue flowers flourished on the land. Although on average each only lasted no more than a few days, watching them gave me an inexplicable joy.

I was too happy to notice the omens, like when loosestrife began to outgrow others. Taking advantage of a complex root network and the high temperature in the tank, it soon dominated the limited space available. Blue flowers withered at first, and then it was the turn for fern and lawn grass. Eventually, only some yellowish, withering leaves and the lonely cactus took a last stand in the corner. For animals, at first all shrimps died out due to deteriorating water. The final straw was on June 3rd, an extremely harsh summer day when the smaller tortoise passed away. Watching its lifeless carcass silently floated on water, I decided it was the time to stop. I spent a whole day to place every animal and plant back in the free world they belong to, and set up a nice grave for Tutu the Tortoise. It was the least I could do for them.

The failure does not differ much from that of Biosphere 2. By the end of its first mission, 19 out of 25 vertebrate species went extinct, ocean and air were polluted, pollinating insects died out, and oxygen level dropped to as low as 14% before mission control decided to intervene. I learned that my system might last longer with improved ways of temperature control and increased biological diversity. Nevertheless, what first-hand experience really taught me was that our earth will be THE BIOSPHERE in the foreseeable future. We shall indeed do everything to understand it, cherish it, and guard it. Moreover, introduced species could either become victims of the alien environment, or endanger native species as dominant powers. The harmonious coexistence of flora and fauna should always be valued when attempting to preserve an ecosystem.

重要通知

本文为AADPS原创,原始发布地址是https://aadps.net/2017/13852.html。我们每年夏季会更新最新美国大学本科申请文书题目和权威院校指南,欢迎把网站加入浏览器收藏夹。

因屡次出现我们学员家长将盗用我方的推文发到我们自己的服务群里,严重影响了AADPS的正常经营秩序。AADPS决定禁止对我们专业资讯的一切形式转载或再利用(包括但不限于同行或留学生家长在任何媒体平台的公众号、资讯号、私人号中非法利用我方内容)。一经发现,我方将可能采用一切合法手段维权,不再另行通知,创业不易,望谅解。

陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp主文三):好点子也需要有好执行力

遣词造句和个人特色外,留学文书还需要关注的重要方面应该就要数逻辑性了。毕竟,考虑到招生官不大可能在单篇文书上花太长时间(三分钟已经是一个很保险的估计),文书把一个点讲通讲透,让读者能一眼看明白是很有必要的。

在与这篇文书的主人公头脑风暴的过程中,我抓住了一个很有意思的点——执着。围绕这条主线,再把孩子的很多活动串起来就说得通了。

这篇文书的开头是一个双关的疑问句,试图激起读者在两方面的兴趣——想法和行动的二元对立具体怎么体现在孩子的为人处事中,以及辩论赛到底是怎么一回事。文书的后续段落逐一解开了谜团。

留学文书的大忌就是平铺直叙的流水账,也是初写草稿时大家都常犯的毛病之一。在开篇部分,首先一个小的转折是提出点子打破僵局。当然,这个其实只是所谓的red herring,为之后拉赞助遇冷打一个铺垫。如何反思问题、逆袭翻盘的大转折才是这篇文书的重点所在。

CommonApp的主文在整个申请中有提纲挈领的核心地位。在最后一段,我和学员讨论,有意识的“趁胜追击”,把其他一些活动和学校文书里提及的内容也通过排比的方式概写了。这些和“贴在桌上的问题”相互呼应,体现出学员不是“为赋新词强说愁”,而是真正在展现生活中的一个深刻的、与个性特点密不可分的方面。


“Which one is more important, the perfect idea or the indomitable perseverance?” I always have this line pinned to my desk, in China or in America. It was in a regional high school debating contest that I learned the life-changing answer.

It all started with a routine meeting of our school newspaper. People were enthusiastically discussing the upcoming carnival, however most were just trying to suggest minor improvements over past ones due to time and resource constraints. Having been lost in thoughts for a while, I was driven by a sudden impulsion, “We need something new, something groundbreaking! How about a debating contest? From my own model United Nations experience, students would love it!” The room froze for a split second, and slowly all began to clasp their hands hard. I knew I had hit the jackpot.

Things were easier said than done. Our available funds were far from sufficient for the new event, so I had to come up with something in just a few weeks. Without any prior experience, I was forced to resort to soliciting and cold calling. “High school debate, is this a joke?” The campus bookstore manager crushed my hope with a single sentence. Situation was no different for a number of other local businesses. For the first time, we were confronted by the cold reality of society. The morale went all the way to the bottom, and partners already started to propose alternatives.

Yet I would not be defeated so easily. Upon my request, a seasoned marketing specialist, who is Father’s close friend, became our mentor. After a few appointments with him, I realized that I had made so many mistakes. Following his advice, the team worked closely to first develop a ten-page proposal in a matter of days. It includes nearly all aspects of the event, an expanded explanation on the budget, and potential advertising opportunities for our sponsors. Then we took turns to practice our sales pitch, and even attempted to reply to the coldest responses in a positive, humorous manner (“Indeed, fresh from the oven!”). I had done everything I could, but on the day when I received five one-hundred-Yuan bills (and this is not really a large amount) for the first time, I could not believe my eyes.

In the same way, we secured another 4,500 Yuan, which was more than enough to cover the expense. Encouraged by the success, I went on to contact student clubs and administrations of neighboring high schools with my teammates. Eventually, two others, (删去学校名), decided to join us, and we were even permitted to use the state-of-the-art auditorium of the latter as our main venue. Though we had met countless challenges in various stages from scheduling to promotion, willpower and resourcefulness supported the team till the end. Hearing the thunderous applause when I handed the trophy to the top debaters, I felt all previous efforts were compensated in full plus interest.

My desktop motto was the last debate topic, yet I already saw the value of perseverance before the winner was decided. Later on, the very quality would help me attain many feats, like adapting to an entirely new education system, playing a constructive role in local Christian community, founding an International Club from scratch, and more. No longer trapped by the myth of searching for the perfect idea, I shall confidently walk toward my future one step at a time.

重要通知

本文为AADPS原创,原始发布地址是https://aadps.net/2017/13840.html。我们每年夏季会更新最新美国大学本科申请文书题目和权威院校指南,欢迎把网站加入浏览器收藏夹。

因屡次出现我们学员家长将盗用我方的推文发到我们自己的服务群里,严重影响了AADPS的正常经营秩序。AADPS决定禁止对我们专业资讯的一切形式转载或再利用(包括但不限于同行或留学生家长在任何媒体平台的公众号、资讯号、私人号中非法利用我方内容)。一经发现,我方将可能采用一切合法手段维权,不再另行通知,创业不易,望谅解。

陈欣老师留学文书选

最近,我整理了一批往年的美本留学文书,一方面自己反思如何突破现有的文书指导水平,一方面与大家交流美国本科升学这一必不可少的环节。

指导文书的过程有如十月怀胎——事实上有时比十月怀胎还更艰巨一些,因为充满着对自我的剖析、怀疑与否定。与一些同行观点相左,我认为除开个别禁忌以外(比如歧视、不诚信等),文书没有定法,招生官与学校的口味也各不相同。我认为的好文书必定是在达到语法、行文和格局的基础标准上,最大限度反映出申请者独一无二特质(或者按照市场科学的术语,unique selling proposition,USP),给整个申请注入以灵魂并与相互匹配的学校产生共鸣。

陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp主文一):科学、自然、哲学

陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp主文二):书山有路、母亲伴我走一程

陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp主文三):好点子也需要有好执行力

陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp主文四):生物圈三号

陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp转学一):计算机+医科=>数学+商科

后续文书每周更新中……

陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp主文二):书山有路、母亲伴我走一程

今天发一篇对我自己有特殊意义的留学文书。不但是因为孩子靠着它斩获了西北大学和从威尔斯利到曼荷莲的一众文理学院的录取,更是因为这是我第一次和孩子进行头脑风暴的brainchild。

毋庸置疑,Angel是一个传统意义上的中国好学生,在学校里品学兼优,也不同程度的学习了英法西日韩五门外语。不过在八年前,直接申请美国本科的家庭几乎是凤毛麟角,课外活动的地位并没有得到充分重视。因此面对长长的素材搜集表,Angel一筹莫展。

于是当时负责申请的同事和我合计,向公司提议由我们和专程到北京来的孩子进行一次头脑风暴,尝试挖掘一下可能在主文和学校文书里展现的闪光点。

一开始面对不熟悉的老师,孩子略显拘谨。不过从她感兴趣的文学和动漫领域入手,我们的谈话渐入佳境。

“老师你知道么?别看我现在学这么多门外语,其实当年还是很吃力的。”

“哦?挺有意思,你是怎么做到的?”

顺藤摸瓜,我们很快确定了针对当时一道老Common题目Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence的主线。

当然在原始素材的基础上,我们之后还是有几番比较大的改动。对地域特色的提示是一。还有很核心的一点就是把后来学外语的经历给不落痕迹的嫁接了进来。因为毕竟Angel很快要一个人赴美留学,需要让美国大学了解到她已经青出于蓝而胜于蓝,能够在妈妈帮助养成的学习习惯基础上自己独立探索学术领域。另一方面,Angel其实有一些特殊的家庭背景,文书里面没有直接提及,但是最后一段有所暗示,也和申请的其他地方呼应了起来。从结果来看还是达到了我们所期望的效果的。

感觉像Angel的这种情况在今天应该不大可能再出现。不过如果你也缺乏活动,不妨想想自己有没有一些积极的、坚持不懈的个人故事可以讲讲。


Today I am full of confidence, applying for world-class colleges. But who could tell that years ago I was considered as a less-than-satisfactory student by people around me? It is one of the many positive changes that I have my mother to thank for.

When I was five, I was the youngest student in the class and did not stand out among peers at all. English was my weakest subject. Teachers and students often neglected my existence, or even judged me with prejudice. For this my confidence plummeted.

Mom never openly showed her worries, but she hired a native-speaker, an African American doctor, as my part-time tutor. With his lively instruction, each new word slipped into my mind vividly. In such friendly atmosphere, my language potential blossomed and my proficiency in oral English reached a new height. Furthermore, I even found a penchant for foreign languages, cultures, and life styles.

During a winter break, when my friends were cozily playing by the fireplace, mom took me to local university to attend public English lectures. At the very year, we experienced a heavy snowfall. Shivering and sighing, I grudgingly dragged my legs forward in the knee-deep snowfield. But it was mom's gentle words that built up my faith and empowered me to painstakingly take notes on fine grammar points in the nearly empty classroom. With a day's class finished, mom would check on my progress and help me review, though she only had limited understanding in English. Her enthusiasm supported me to read aloud after English tapes again and again. Not until I fully completed the workload would I go to bed. At the price of several broken tape recorders, I memorized all course materials by heart, establishing a perfectionist learning style.

At junior high school, the fruit of my efforts began to show. I eventually rose to the top of class from my original poor academic state. Mother encouraged me to preview before the classes and learn advanced content beyond the curriculum. In this way, my other subjects were also improved, which gave my teachers one pleasant surprise after another.

Five years ago, when others were learning sciences to the best of their ability, mother did not push me to follow the trend. Instead she fully supported my interests and encouraged me to attend numerous language schools. With my innate passion, I soon reached medium level in French and passed band 1 in Japanese. After that, I dabbled in Korean, and could freely converse in the language months later. I am currently teaching myself Spanish. Owing to its similarity with French, I feel a great intimacy and have just finished more than half of the introductory textbook this summer. As a language learner, I could say the expression vouloir, c'est pouvoir now sheds a new light on me.

Without mom's company, encouragement, and persistence, I could never attain all these achievements and excel as a senior in (删去学校名), a renowned high school in Northeastern China. Mom made me to understand that confidence makes me perfect and assiduity brings me far and wide. Who could claim that female is the lesser sex? I believe women certainly can carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.

重要通知

本文为AADPS原创,原始发布地址是https://aadps.net/2017/13753.html。我们每年夏季会更新最新美国大学本科申请文书题目和权威院校指南,欢迎把网站加入浏览器收藏夹。

因屡次出现我们学员家长将盗用我方的推文发到我们自己的服务群里,严重影响了AADPS的正常经营秩序。AADPS决定禁止对我们专业资讯的一切形式转载或再利用(包括但不限于同行或留学生家长在任何媒体平台的公众号、资讯号、私人号中非法利用我方内容)。一经发现,我方将可能采用一切合法手段维权,不再另行通知,创业不易,望谅解。

陈欣老师美本留学文书选(CommonApp主文一):科学、自然、哲学

提起理工男,人们心里立即会泛起在实验室埋头苦干、思维简单、不善交往的刻板印象。 这篇文书的主人可能会让你耳目一新。

他是一位特别有才华的孩子,喜欢摄影,喜欢读书,喜欢和小伙伴们一起玩耍,也喜欢自己一个人静静的思考哲学问题。闪亮的大眼睛时不时的闪现出新的灵感。

经过仔细讨论,我们决定以一次北极科考中不成功的小实验作为引子,写一写极地严酷而壮丽的自然景观给他的感触。短短六百余词的篇幅里,我们尽量既体现了科学的专业性,又通过细腻的环境描写展现了他的点滴感触,反思了自己乃至人类本身的定位。相信这种态度对他未来的科研实践也是颇有助益的。

在文书指导和反复修改的过程中。我们遇到的一个很大挑战就是最初的几版过于散漫,缺乏有效的逻辑组织。通过顺序的调整和一些提纲挈领句子的设计,逐渐改成了现在这一稿,构筑了一条清晰的主线,读起来更加明晰顺畅。

当然还要提醒大家注意,近年来,美国大学招生官的口味感觉更加务实。这种抒发个人感受和思考的文书,也一定要和其他的描述自己成就和实践的文书相结合,不能一味在申请中大写特写散文和议论文。


I was sixteen when my journey to the Arctic changed the way I see this world.

As we entered the Arctic Circle, I used the pendulum to measure the acceleration of gravity. Though I have tried every way to reduce interference, such as doing the experiment at 4am before the ship set sail, my plan was still spoiled by the constantly caress of the sea, so-called ocean swell. I could not smooth the non-linear waves with my equations so I was forced to give up the experiment with 6% error margin.

Serendipity was absent in my experiment. Upset and agitated, I took a stroll on board and looked far away. Under the golden radiance of the rising sun, snow mountains became a holy city which has no hunger or distress. Beside the ship a few whales surfaced to take breaths. The vapor they exhaled formed clouds in the sky. I saw those distant mountain range with an infinite sea, which have been there since the ancient past and will last in the distant future.

I was overwhelmed by the magnificent presence of nature, and my little tinkering was not unlike a proud kid showing off his arithmetic skills to a savant—so naïve, so ignorant. I used to think that there was nothing in the world that could not be parsed and fathomed by human intelligence, and I had been proud that I could solve physical and metaphysical problems with dazzling mind experiments and logic deductions. However, when I faced the phenomena of mother nature, I could neither draw a Venn diagram nor think of any man-made formula that matches such myriad of changes in the twinkling of an eye, as nature is so intricate and unpredictable. A beat of an arctic tern’s wings may create a blizzard that forces a mother polar bear and her sons into their hiding. As my old common sense crumbled into dust, I could only try to perceive nature through my heart.

When I did this, it felt as easy as raising my hand—I did not know the details but could easily accomplish the task. Nature, experienced by my heart, is simple and pure. I guess this had something to do with that we are instinctively connected to it in some special ways. Somehow, this reminded me of a common idea shared by Zen and Taoism: We can only use our hearts to access truth but not words to describe it. When one tries to interpret the greatness and depth of principles with explicit descriptions, he or she has already misrepresented them.

Sometimes I would envy the longevity of the sea and pity the transient lives of mortals, but though we appear to be tiny, we are always hopeful and curious. Our lives may be limited, the ultimate law may be concealed, but our imagination knows no bounds, and the long path to the truth is always open.

I may fail to measure the outcome, but the measurement itself already hints consummation. I will never lose faith on our thoughts and ideas, from Immanuel Kant who acclaimed the value of freedom will to John Nash who prevailed illusions with reasons. We are strange creatures indeed: Though ephemeral and minute in front of the time and space, we are always tied to nature through an invisible, unbreakable bond. I believe just like a drop of water embodies features such as salinity and constituents of the ocean, we and other creatures and the whole nature are but fractals from microscopic to macroscopic scale: "I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space."

重要通知

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