Furthermore, you will be automatically eliminating yourself from the running for loads of merit- and activity-based scholarships, which are often dependent on your extracurricular activities. The description name is detailed and leads to there being no need to repeat the words “newspaper” or  “editor” in the description. It is important to note that most accepted students to elite colleges fill in 8-10 activities on the Common Application. Instead, just focus on those that show growth, leadership, and dedication. 2 of my WHAT I PUT ON MY COMMON APP video, and I focus on the top 10 activities that Common App makes you list on your application. I am an incoming student at Johns Hopkins University. There is no set answer. Take note of some specific accomplishments that you are proud of (don’t be too humble) and can write about on your application – specific details about your achievements will make your hard work much more impressive to colleges. Check out our list of extracurricular activities if you need inspiration for an activity to choose. Follow these pointers for crafting a rich and memorable Common App activities page. College Admissions. Additionally, there are several state schools that admit a percentage of students entirely based on the same criteria - ignoring extras such as your activities. This could include things like founding a club, increasing participation in an activity, or leading a project like a fundraiser. She realized that many of the artists who produce these pieces were being underpaid for their work. Your activities should be listed in order of importance to you, starting with the most important and moving down to the least important. One extreme is to put all these steps into different Activities. However, most students will only have a couple activities that they have really dedicated themselves to. The activities that can be included are limited to ones that a student has done during their high school years (grade 9 through 12 for the US system, and years 10 through 13 for the UK system). During your last years of high school, make sure that you show growth or development in these activities and try to take on a leadership role, or at least lead some initiatives. I spend 24 hours/day for 10 days-- how should I write this?) It can seem like the Activities section of the Common App gives rise to the most questions, and for good reason. Finally, if you have spent your free time in high school doing something productive such as taking extra classes at your local community college, you may find that schools will also look well on that and be willing to admit you despite a lack of extracurriculars. The College Entrance Examination BoardTM does not endorse, nor is it affiliated in any way with the owner or any content of this site. In your freshman year, try out a lot of different activities to see what you're the most passionate about. About the Ask the Dean Column. Since the description is so limited in length, space should not be wasted by repeating the name of the activity or the position that the student held in the organization (that will already be included in the organization and position description). Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here: © PrepScholar 2013-2018. The exception is typically a student who has stellar achievement in at least one activity. How Many Extracurricular Activities Do You Need? You won’t be spending as much time on these, so they should be things that you can have fun with and not have to stress about. What does this activity tell the admissions officer about the student? Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? Keep in mind that colleges will care less about what you have done and more about why and how you have done it. The summer before her freshman year, she went with her family on vacation to Malaysia, where she was enchanted by the beautiful shawls local artisans made. However, if that’s all you’re going to have, it had better be. In sophomore year and beyond, start whittling down your activities so that you're left with the ones you can really make an impact in. Creating a first year Common App account is easy and should only take a few minutes. How to put boy scouts on the common app? In the 2020-21 version of the activities list, Common App now provides 50 characters for the position you hold in an activity and 100 characters to list the organization or club's name. When colleges see students who have 10 or more activities, they will likely assume that you either padded your resume, or that you only showed up to your activities instead of making a real effort to be significantly involved. ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score, How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League, Is the ACT easier than the SAT? Abbreviations (NHS instead of National Honor Society) should be used to save character space. As an example, let me tell you about a student I knew at college. The Goldilocks “just right” number of activities is. In sophomore year and beyond, start whittling down your activities so that you're left with the ones you can really make an impact in. It can be incredibly difficult to sum up every extracurricular you've done within this limited space, but there are 4 things you can focus on to make your Common App activities list descriptions impressive. For the Common App, you have 5 slots for honors and awards, and 10 slots for your extracurricular activities. Other than cutting down on characters, a student should aim to: Find a balance between overconfidence and being too modest, Use the active voice and verbs instead of the passive voice, eg “Harry ate six shrimp at dinner” (active), vs “At dinner, six shrimp were eaten by Harry” (passive), Use bullet points or listing instead of full sentences. Therefore, you should avoid repeating information that is readily available in your Common App Essay, your Activities section, or elsewhere in your Common Application. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? A student with no activities often ends up looking lazy, unmotivated, and afraid to leave his or her comfort zone. On your college applications, these activities will help round you out as a person and show aspects of your personality that may not be visible in your main activities. Did you leave something better than you found it? You won’t be spending as much time on these, so they should be things that you can have fun with and not have to stress about. DO list your most impressive and relevant activities near the … However, if that’s all you’re going to have, it had better be one very impressive activity that shows your growth, leadership, and impact. Extracurricular activities are simply anything you do that is not a high school course or paid employment (but note that paid work experience is of interest to colleges and can substitute for some extracurricular activities). Get the latest articles and test prep tips! Having constantly been in the midst of change, I understand the importance in having the right support through the rigorously competitive U.S. college admissions process. You don’t need to fill all 10 (some colleges with their own apps allow only 5). So go with your gut when you make your initial list, and try not to rearrange it more than once! How many are too many? Ask below and we'll reply! Ideally, the activity descriptions should build the student’s profile as a well-rounded individual and should tell the story of the student’s personal interests and ambitions. While you will almost certainly be eligible for some schools without extracurriculars, they may not necessarily be the schools you were hoping for. How many extracurricular activities do you need for college applications? Many students who have participated in activities throughout high school are shocked to look at the Common App and realize there are ten spaces to fill out. This will look different for every student. If you have more than ten activities, you do not need to list all of them. By offering room for ten activities the Common Application is not saying students should have ten activities, just that they possibly may. You only get 150 characters on the activities list for the Common Application. Furthermore, you will be automatically eliminating yourself from the running for loads of merit- and activity-based scholarships, which are often dependent on your extracurricular activities. The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points, How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer. ... Common App, Supplemental Essays. The activities that can be included are limited to ones that a student has done during their high school years (grade 9 through 12 for the US system, and years 10 through 13 for the UK system). College admissions advisors care much more about getting a good idea of who you are and why you have pursued certain activities than reading a list of activities you couldn’t care less about but thought would sound good on an application. Some lower-ranked schools completely base their admissions decisions off GPA and test scores. (Remember to never let your academics suffer at the expense of extracurriculars!) Did you do something to improve a club or organization you belonged to? This kind of activity shows initiative, leadership, dedication, maturity, and passion – which are each qualities that admissions officers are looking for. It’s time to seriously start looking at the application and what should and shouldn't be included under the activities section. 150 characters, not words! Hours Spent per Week: (This is where I get confused. Round yourself out with a few secondary activities. What if you have more than that? The Work/Activities section of the AMCAS is your opportunity to highlight your experiences and what makes you unique. Admission officers like students who are going to make a difference in the world and leave it better than they found it. This means that you probably don’t have to mention the one time you worked backstage on the musical or the ten hours of community service you did freshman year and never thought about again until college applications rolled around. What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For? You should also consider not filling up the list. Parents and students often ask us for our most valuable Common Application essay tips, so our savvy team of advisors compiled a list of simple, effective tricks to use as guidelines while you navigate the tricky waters of college essay writing. Listing more is totally fine, too. Each required item is requested for a reason and contributes to our evaluation.”. Would it be worth it to put down on the Activities section that I babysit my siblings during the school year or would it be meaningless to mention it? that shows your growth, leadership, and impact. College Admissions, Here are a few tips for the activity section of the Common App. This is a good amount because it's achievable for most students without being overwhelming. There are instructions for this on the side of the activities page but many students seem to be missing that instruction. But What If … "Significant time," of course, can be interpreted differently depending on what activity you are doing. Download it for free now: hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(360031, '688715d6-bf92-47d7-8526-4c53d1f5fe7d', {}); hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(360031, '03a85984-6dfd-4a19-93c8-5f46091f5e2b', {}); Mary Ann holds a BA in Classics and Russian from the University of Notre Dame, and an MA from University College London. Model United Nations, international or national youth political conferences, math competitions, sports conferences…. The Common App for transfer recommender system lets you complete and submit forms for all students who have invited you as a recommender. (Remember to never let your academics suffer at the expense of extracurriculars!). The key is to choose one or two activities that you will focus most of your time on. A Comprehensive Guide. One of the biggest mistakes I see on the common application is the order of activities. In general, between 5 and 10 hours per week for each main activity is a good benchmark, depending on how many activities you are involved in and how much time you devote to other responsibilities. Ethan Sawyer. Extracurriculars are one of the most important ways that colleges can learn about who you are as a person and if you will be a good fit on their campus. HEY GUYS! For example, if you have participated in several different volunteer activities, you can lump them together as one.The same thing goes for students who have played several different instruments and don’t have room to list them individually. On returning home, she decided to take some classes at the local community college in business and web development and then launched a non-profit company that allows people to purchase these kinds of goods directly from the artisans abroad. Please describe this activity, including what you accomplished and any recognition you received: 9 seniors are chosen as leaders of the junior retreat. All rights reserved. whether you intend on participating in a similar activity in college. I think the most important thing to keep in mind here is how the user will control your app with the "back" button. Perhaps to a greater extent than any other country’s university admission process, when considering whether to admit a prospective student the US system values more than just grades. You will also need to show that you have been significantly involved in the activity all throughout high school. If you aren't sure if your after-school activities count as extracurriculars, or if you currently have no extracurriculars and don’t know what to do, see our guide. They should provide additional information that the student’s personal essay and supplemental writing do not cover, and should bring the student to life versus what’s provided to admissions officers by the student’s test scores and school transcripts. If you are very concerned about making everything fit, see if you can group activities together. When you're choosing which activities to write about, focus on those that help, how to write about extracurriculars on your college application, Get Free Guides to Boost Your SAT/ACT Score, , even for a competitive school like Harvard, if you currently have no extracurriculars and don’t know what to do, see our guide. You will also need to show that you have been significantly involved in the activity. Be as concise as possible - if you can use fewer words, do. Description: Informational Video About Common Mistakes on The Activity Sheet. The short answer to this question is yes; you can get away with having no extracurricular activities. This description is concise (listing is efficient with words), contains good detail (using numbers is helpful), and uses active verbs, Position/Leadership description and organization name: Retreat Leader. If you have some spare time and could post an example Common App activities form with a few different activities, it would be extremely helpful to me and many other confused seniors! Here are some tips with accompanying college activities list examples. She has years of tutoring experience and is also passionate about travel and learning languages. Some students rehash their activities and achievements without adding the personal flavor, perspective and substance that admissions officers look for. But colleges are not pushing for more than 10 activities. Ask questions; get answers. You are given 100 characters to describe your honors. I’ll repeat: It is okay to not fill up the whole list, especially if you're including activities that you can’t show to be significant. This 1 tip is exactly 149 characters long. Zoe: I just did last night. the ‘type’ (such as community service, cultural, debate/speech, sports, etc…), the ‘position/leadership description and organization name’ (50 characters), a description of the activity and your accomplishments (150 characters), the grades (year groups) of participation, the timing of your participation (during school year, during school break, all year). Common and Coalition Application. Thanks for your time and your awesome blog." If you are applying to college for the first time you'll select the … The Common App has space for students to list ten activities, but you should not feel obligated to fill out all ten. Does that mean you have to be involved in ten different activities? You’ve been working hard in high school to get good grades and test scores, but there’s another part of the college application that many students find more confusing: the extracurricular activity section. However, you may not want to go down these paths if you can at all avoid it. Did you streamline a process or innovate how your activity is done? These activities show admissions officers many of the “intangibles” that they are looking for in their students. Use every inch to demonstrate your impact beyond the classroom. Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com, allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. Learn How to Properly Fill Out Your College Application. Students should work to make sure their extracurricular list is diverse. You are given 50 characters for the title/position of your extracurricular activity, and 150 characters for that activity's description/your responsibilities. If it feels right/natural to fill all 10, then do so. Include whether they were paid or voluntary, Investing time during vacation shows extra dedication. This often isn’t enough room to do your Spike justice. Since the new Common App (CA4) came out on August 1, I can't tell you how many questions I have received about it from my own students and also from The Huffington Post readers. You can find information about the request, as well as the status of the form. The important things colleges need to see in your extracurriculars, The ideal amount of extracurricular activities, The minimum amount of extracurriculars you can have, What to do if you have no extracurriculars, What to do if you have too many extracurriculars, Instead of seeing you jump around from activity to activity, colleges would far prefer to see you dedicate a significant amount of time over an extended period (a few years) to one particular activity. What really impresses colleges are activities where your student has dedicated him or herself and demonstrated a commitment to persist and work hard. How do you make the most of them? Over the next four years, she expanded the business to reach artists in several countries and hired a couple of employees to help her do the work. Along with a personal essay, supplemental essays, Letters of Recommendation from the student’s counselor, and possibly multiple letters from the student’s teachers, the Common App’s ‘Activities’ section is an example of US universities wanting to get to know each prospective student ‘in the round’. As an independent college admissions consultant, I read many application essays and see many common application essay mistakes. So I'm an eagle scout and I'm wondering if I should just say that I'm an eagle scout on the activities section with like a brief description of what that entailed, or should I make a few different activities having to do with boy scouts like all the community service and backpacking? Unless you have serious extenuating circumstances. List, and for good reason App is run by the colleges you belonged to incoming... 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