How to Write the Johns Hopkins Supplement 2018-2019

Johns Hopkins is a private university in Baltimore, Maryland. There are approximately 6,000 undergrads and the school is heavily focused on research. The acceptance rate for the class of 2022 was 9.9%.

Scrolling through the Johns Hopkins homepage makes it clear that the school is all about sharing ideas, collaborating on research, and working together. Simply put, Hopkins is looking for team members and this prompt is asking you to write about a time when you worked with others. It really is as straightforward as it seems.

 Write a brief essay (300-400 words) in which you respond to the following question.  

Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors. Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience.

Before we begin: if working with others isn’t your thing, Hopkins might not be the school for you. The questions that schools choose to ask speak volumes about the kind of applicants they’re looking for. They could have asked anything, and they chose to clearly state that collaboration is a must. It’s something to think about before you start writing.

If you’re applying to Johns Hopkins (and have a real chance at getting in) you’ve probably already lead with academics. The goal with this essay is to show another characteristic, perhaps creativity or humor, that you haven’t had the opportunity to showcase yet. The good news is that this prompt allows you to write about anything.

Start by thinking really small, and don’t write about a school project. There are countless traits that you could show with this kind of question: maybe you and your friend wrote a script for a standup comedy show (I’m funny!) or you recently helped a friend dye her hair purple in your sink even though you knew for certain it was going to completely ruin your bathroom (I’m selfless!). Resist the urge to humble brag on this one. They already know you’re smart, but they don’t know how you’ll fare in a group setting. Show them that you can be a member of a team, whatever team that may be.

As for what you learned from the experience, keep in mind that not every lesson is earth shattering, thought-provoking, and life changing. This essay isn’t long (300-400 words), so make sure you clearly explain how you worked with others, and close with what you learned.


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