How to Demonstrate Passion in Your Essays

What do you think of when you hear the word passion? Definitely not an accountant. But adcoms are looking for passion in their applicants. So how are you, a computer expert, a bio major, or even an accountant, going to create an essay that demonstrates the passion they’re looking for?
When you think “passion,” you probably think of glamorous actors and actresses in steamy romances, the good guy in the movie changing history, or generals inspiring their troops before sending them into battle, right?
Well, think again, because this isn’t the passion we’re talking about in admissions.
“Passion” in admissions – for college, MBA, law school, med school, or grad school – means dedication and commitment, and requires action over time. It can be very deliberate and goal-oriented, and not at all glamorous. It might end in a heated conclusion or an earth-shattering moment, or it might not.
Here are some examples of activities that demonstrate passion – without you having to state outright that you are “passionate” about your activity:

  • Spending hours practicing an instrument every day for years
  • Being responsible for an annual fundraiser that amasses thousands of dollars for your favorite charity over the five years that you chaired it
  • Training despite weather and physical injuries to beat your personal marathon best
  • Volunteering for an organization close to your heart twice a week since your freshman year in college

So, the next time you see the word “passion” in an admissions context, read it as “dedication.” And for those future accountants out there, remember this equation: Passion = Action + Dedication.
The best way to learn is to learn by example. See how successful applicants utilize the tips above when you read Accepted’s admissions guide, Example to Exemplary: How to Use Sample Essays to Make Your Essay Outstanding. Grab your free copy today!

Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

magoosh logo checks


  • Linda Abraham

    Linda Abraham is the founder and CEO of Accepted, the top-tier admissions consultancy that helps you unlock your competitive advantage. Linda has written or co-authored 13 ebooks on the college admissions process. In 2007, she co-founded the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) and became its first president. For the last 20 years Linda and her highly credentialed, experienced team have helped thousands of applicants get accepted to top colleges and graduate schools worldwide, including but not limited to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, Kellogg, and MIT. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, The New York Times, US News, The Sunday Times of London, Businessweek, Poets & Quants and MBA Podcaster.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

No comments yet.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply