While it’s common knowledge that most college applications involve writing an essay or two, it’s not as well known that many—but not all—also require you to answer some shorter questions. These are often referred to as “supplemental questions” or “supplemental essays,” because even schools that participate in the Common Application may ask you to supplement the common essay with some short questions specific to their admissions program. These questions usually ask for very short and concise answers, ranging from 50 to around 200 words. They’re not essays, but they’re more than just filling in a blank with objective information.
Bear with me a moment while I talk about literary theory. I promise it's relevant to you.
In his 1921 essay "Hamlet and His Problems," T.S. Eliot uses the phrase "objective correlative." Eliot isn't the first to use the phrase, and certainly not the first to use the concept, but the term really stuck when Eliot used it and it's usually attributed to him. Eliot calls the play Hamlet an "artistic failure." (I don't advise you call Hamlet a failure, especially if your English teacher is within five miles.)
What does this have to do with you? This has everything to do with your college applications.