OpenAI's acclaimed ChatGPT is a successPastthe United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and amaster of business administration examled by Wharton professor Christian Terwiesch. The sophistication of the program and its incredible ability to recognize and reproduce the complexities of human speech has led many in the education sector to wonder if there is such a thing as ChatGPT.can notdo. Does the program, as many have suggested,remodelTraining and CV writingoutdated?
I decided to put the program's writing skills to the test by evaluating the program's ability to produce an outstanding personal statement for a college application. The college application essay is a unique personal letter designed to highlight a student's creativity, originality, and compatibility with the particular college, so I thought it would be an interesting challenge for ChatGPT.
Ultimately, ChatGPT produced an essay with the tone and standard of your average high school student, complete with common mistakes many high school students make when it comes to writing personal narratives. While the essay was not noticed by the admissions committees of top schools, it is a fantastic demonstration of just how many students go wrong when crafting their personal statements.
This is what I asked ChatGPT:
GPT, write a college admissions essay as if you were a candidate who wants to pursue musical theater. She is president of the drama club and a member of her school's honor society, and she has an AP degree in music theory. The essay should be no more than 600 words and should answer the following prompt: Talk about an accomplishment, event, or accomplishment that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
In response, the program generated the following essay:
My love for musical theater began when I was very young. I remember sitting in the theater with my family and watching in amazement as the actors and actresses performed the most beautiful songs and dance numbers. The experience was so immersive that I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the performing arts.
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I started studying music theory and performance arts in high school and joined the school drama club in high school. As I continued to hone my craft, I eventually became president of the drama club and was selected to join the honor society. Participating in these activities not only gave me a sense of purpose and achievement, but also allowed me to develop my skills and gain a better understanding of myself and others.
One of my most memorable achievements was when I was selected to participate in a prestigious musical theater production. I worked hard for this opportunity and it was a great honor to be selected for the program. When I started rehearsing and performing, I was exposed to many different types of people, with different cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs. Working daily with these people opened my eyes and I learned a lot about myself. I found myself passionate and driven, with an eye for detail and a knack for bringing out the best in others.
My experience with this production also taught me the importance of collaboration and teamwork. As part of a large group, I had to learn the importance of working together to create the best product. I was challenged to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to any problem we encountered. It was a very rewarding experience as I had to depend on other people to help me achieve my goals.
Overall, being a part of this production was a great achievement that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of myself and others. He taught me the value of hard work and dedication and the importance of collaboration and teamwork. It also taught me that no matter how big or small my contribution, I have the power to make a difference in the world. I am confident that this experience will be very useful to me in my musical theater career.
So where does the ChatGPT test fail?
Mistake #1: The essay counts for more than the program.
The rule of thumb for essays based on a student's personal experience is "Show, don't tell"; The dress essay lacks the narrative techniques essential to a good essay, such as characterization, dialogue, and imagery. Hedicethe reader gets the desired conclusion in a bland and overly direct way, rather thanshowsactive reflection and student development through creative and engaging storytelling. Take, for example, the sentence: "When I started rehearsing and performing, I was exposed to many different people, with different cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs." A successful essay must be related to a specific person or encounter that shaped the student. Open-mindedness, openness to growth, and motivation to hone your craft should be implicitly conveyed in the essay and not overtly expressed.
Mistake #2: Language is vague and impersonal.
Regarding the stylistic quality of the essay, the sentences lack complexity and the writing style is choppy and clumsy. In an essay of this size, the student must maximize the limited space rather than "squash" the number of words. Each sentence should be used to incorporate new information or add valuable detail, but many of these sentences repeat the same basic idea. Stronger writing should have included more specific personal context about the student and more focus on why musical theater is the career they want to pursue. There is no critical thinking or in-depth analysis in this response, and that, combined with the broad, sweeping statements and impersonal tone, does not make this a strong essay.
Mistake #3: The content of the essay does not provide a meaningful student perspective.
In the absence of any deep self-reflection on the part of the author, this essay leaves me as a reader with many questions: what inspired this student to pursue musical theater in this early experience? What exactly did you learn from working with people who were different from you? How did this "prestige musical" generate growth and understanding? Without addressing his actual experiences and the student's inner reflection, the essay does not closely examine the student's development as a person, but draws a general conclusion about teamwork.
A great personal essay should be unique and specific to an individual's life experience and convey the unique contours of a student's personality and values to an admissions committee. It's colorful, detailed, and full of dynamic storytelling. While a great essay paints a vivid picture of the author's journey toward a particular perspective, it should lead the reader to that perspective through vivid narrative rather than lengthy explanations.
Mistake #4: The story lacks context.
If the candidate for this particular essay wants to write about how watching a musical theater production sparked their interest and led to their personal development, they will need to provide much more context and narrative. For example, starting the essay with an anecdote that speaks to the candidate's unique life experience or connection to the field would make a more compelling introduction: Many people have seen shows and been inspired, so what makes the essay experience This candidate is different from the others? A more dynamic essay would grab the reader's attention with an engaging narrative hook before moving away to illustrate the meaning of the anecdote in its context in the student's life.
Mistake #5: Writing lacks a distinctive voice and unique perspective.
Finally, the ChatGPT essay lacked one of the most critical components of great narrative writing: a distinctive voice. Ultimately, ChatGPT was able to mimic the tone of an excited high school student, but that was perhaps the biggest weakness of the writing produced by the show rather than its greatest strength. The essay appears to have been written byanyExcited teenager, using a generic voice composition that suits students his age but does not convey a unique voice and personality. The writing was shallow, lacking the depth, creativity, and dynamism that characterize large newsrooms at the best schools. To excel at the best schools, students need to take advantage of their quirks rather than downplay what makes them eccentric, unique, and memorable. A great personal essay is one that no other person, or robot, could have written besides the student.
Of course, you could have further fed the program with more specific information and instructions to customize the essay to varying degrees and try to fix these errors, but that would essentially require what it takes to write the essay yourself: creativity, understanding what it constitutes stylistic writing and a clear message that the essay should convey. Reputable colleges and universities want to know who the candidate is.in their own words- only the candidate can tell their story in a compelling, weird and authentic way. Although ChatGPT did not produce a featured essay, its output should alert students to key mistakes to avoid in their own admissions essays, and ultimately illustrate to college applicants the power of their own voice.