Essay Scoop: How to Answer Wake Forest University Essays

Julia de Raadt
Julia de Raadt

Julia has dedicated much of her career to education. Since commencing with Empowerly, Julia has looked after the research team which handles student questions on different topics about college admission.

Located in North Carolina, Wake Forest is a small liberal arts college known for its small classes and high faculty-student engagement. In fact, it has a very low student faculty ratio; approximately 11 students for every faculty member. Below is advice on how to respond to the Wake Forest University essays for those of you wondering where to start!

Now, Wake Forest does take several factors into account when reviewing applications. You can actually read an exclusive student reflection on how they gained admission to Wake Forest right here! And when it comes to the short answer questions, the committee looks for clear writing that offers insight into the character and personality of the student. So, let’s get started.


List five books (with authors) you have read that piqued your curiosity. Discuss an idea from one of these works that interests you.

(100 – 300 words)

Perspective and thought process are of particular interest for Wake Forest. Therefore, your reflections should focus on an impact that the selected work has had on you and how it relates to one of your interests. This will likely relate organically to an impact on your mindset, or the way you interact with the world.

We want to know what makes you tick intellectually. A paper? A project? An academic passion? Describe it.

(75 – 150 words)

A hidden question lies within this one wording. Firstly, you might be wondering why the form of your intellectual interest is of importance; and it’s not. Wake Forest wants you to explain one of your intellectual goals and why it fascinates you. So, you must take this question in a forward-thinking direction to communicate your on-going passion.

Hashtags trend worldwide. Give us a hashtag you wish were trending. #__________________ Why?

(75 – 150 words)

This is an indirect way of asking what matters to you. Think about overarching theme in ideas that come to mind and insert a word or string of conjoined words and elaborate on its significance. Connecting your explanation to concrete scenarios will only add to your effectiveness as it creates a site to apply your analysis.

Give us your top ten list.

Pull from a wide variety of topic areas for this one. These can be tangible or abstract ideas like books, movies, leaders, inventions, intellectual concepts, theories, etc.

There is a nationwide dialogue about cross-cultural interactions. Like most college campuses, Wake Forest is currently in a place of conversation about what it means to engage across difference. As a country, why do you think we have reached this point?

(75 – 150 words)

Your thought process is especially important here. Take a position and defend it by unpacking your rationale. You can tie in personal examples or information from an outside source but this should not preclude your personal discussion. The reader will expect logical progression and it should follow from your unique voice.

What outrages you and why?

(75 – 150 words)

Here you are expected to share your feelings towards an identified problem/phenomena and illustrate its significance to you. Applying a specific scenario while describing an overall issue will help situate the reader away from the abstract.

Concluding thoughts

Like many other colleges, the Wake Forest University essays and short-answer prompts give the student the opportunity introduce themselves to the admissions committee.

Questions? Let us know!