How to ask for a teacher recommendation


Hello College Applicants!

Asking a teacher for a recommendation can be daunting, especially during the hectic transition between Junior and Senior year. I recommend asking teachers for a recommendation during the spring of Junior year, then following up at the very beginning of Senior year. Keep in mind that recommendations are a lot of unpaid work for teachers, so be grateful for their efforts during and after the recommendation process (at the very least, a thank-you card is in order).

Below is a helpful questionnaire you can provide for your teachers to help them in the process of writing you a recommendation. You can provide this questionnaire, along with an updated resume (take a look at this workbook and video on how to write a resume), to your teacher before they need to start writing your recommendation.

Teacher Recommendation Questionnaire Template


E-mail Address: 

Class Taken: 

Grades Received: First Semester __ Second Semester ___

High School GPA:

SAT/ACT Score: 

Colleges that require teacher letters of recommendation

  1. School 1:
  2. School 2:
  3. School 3:

Inside the Classroom:

  1. Talk about a specific paper or project you did in class.
  2. What was the most memorable experience you had in class (be as specific as possible)? 
  3. Describe your approach to learning. What do you think your strengths were in class?
  4. What things could you have improved upon? 
  5. What are three words that describe you as a student in this course?
  6. Why are you choosing this teacher to write your recommendation? 
  7. What was the biggest challenge you overcame in class? How did you handle this challenge and grow from the experience?
  8. Assignment Samples?


Outside the Classroom:

  1. Outside of school what are your interests? What are some of your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
  2. What clubs/organizations have you participated in that relate to the class you took?
  3. Did any of your community service hours involve what you learned in our class? If so, in what way?


My Future:

  1. What are your academic future goals (e.g. major, career, degree you plan to pursue, etc.)? Did this course influence your major/career choice? If so, in what way?