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  • Writer's pictureHarpal Kochar

Intellectual curiosity, what?

Admissions officers often value intellectual curiosity above all other traits. Intellectual curiosity is the desire to learn because of genuine interest or passion. An intellectually curious person constantly learns new things in their free time simply because it fascinates them.

What is Intellectual Curiosity?

Intellectual Curiosity highlights a person's interest in learning and knowledge acquisition. This characteristic trait has been practiced by some of the greatest minds. Other personalities like Richard Feynman, Benjamin Franklin, Charlie Munger, and Warren Buffett are good examples.

Showcase IC in your essays.

Colleges look for students who are excited to learn because these are the people who will contribute to their communities and thrive in careers later on. You will see different versions of prompts asking you about your passion for learning. For example, here’s Stanford’s:

The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100 to 250 words)

​The Approach

Use anecdotes, such as a classroom experience or time you performed independent research, to illustrate your passion for learning. You might also relate a question that inspired you. This is another essay where it’s important to show, not tell. Your enthusiasm needs to come across so you sound genuine. Show how much you love to learn.

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