It’s time to seriously start looking at the application and what should and shouldn't be included under the activities section. Learn how to avoid these and other damaging traps. Be as concise as possible - if you can use fewer words, do. Through the local community or through a school/global club, Include whether the student had a leadership position such as captain or received an award, Theater, musicals, acting classes, singing, band, dancing, and what role the student had in the production. Camps could include language immersion camps, specific subject camps (such as journalism, psychology, law, medicine), intensive sport camps, and more. For the Common App, you have 5 slots for honors and awards, and 10 slots for your 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. The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points, How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer, Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests. Keep in mind that the main thing is to pursue activities that you are really passionate about. We meet weekly to critique each other’s speeches and learn to mediate small group discussion. Please describe this activity, including what you accomplished and any recognition you received: Run weekly meetings, brainstorm ideas, assign and revise 10 articles/week, collaborate with printer to distribute 500 copies to students and faculty. 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’. If you are very concerned about making everything fit, see if you can group activities together. College Admissions, What does this activity tell the admissions officer about the student? But is one really the minimum amount of activities you can have? See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. 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. 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. ). 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. This kind of activity shows initiative, leadership, dedication, maturity, and passion – which are each qualities that admissions officers are looking for. 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? There are only ten spaces for activities on the Common App. 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. 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. You can find information about the request, as well as the status of the form. The activities section has a limit of ten extracurricular activities. Follow these pointers for crafting a rich and memorable Common App activities page. Ideally, you should have at least 2-3 activities demonstrating significant involvement, but it’s okay to include a few other less significant activities. Please describe this activity, including what you accomplished and any recognition you received: 9 seniors are chosen as leaders of the junior retreat. I think the most important thing to keep in mind here is how the user will control your app with the "back" button. 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. Use every inch to demonstrate your impact beyond the classroom. A student with no activities often ends up looking lazy, unmotivated, and afraid to leave his or her comfort zone. For example, your extracurriculars show admission officers if you can balance your schedule, if you can commit to an activity, the extent to which you can lead or improve something, and what makes you tick. This often isn’t enough room to do your Spike justice. 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). 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. The Goldilocks “just right” number of activities is 5 or 6. DO make the most of your 150 characters. 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? But what if you have the opposite issue? Weeks Spent per Year: (Again, confusing. A Comprehensive Guide. SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination BoardTM. If you have no activities, it's a good idea to check your state school system and see if it has a similar plan. Check out our list of extracurricular activities if you need inspiration for an activity to choose. This 1 tip is exactly 149 characters long. Some students rehash their activities and achievements without adding the personal flavor, perspective and substance that admissions officers look for. 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. How many extracurricular activities do you need for college applications? Admissions officers like to see students take control in their activities and show off their leadership skills. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? But What If … Admission officers like students who are going to make a difference in the world and leave it better than they found it. If that’s the case, then you should list them all. If you have more than ten activities, you do not need to list all of them. This could include things like founding a club, increasing participation in an activity, or leading a project like a fundraiser. 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. However, most students will only have a couple activities that they have really dedicated themselves to. Abbreviations (NHS instead of National Honor Society) should be used to save character space. If you have stuff that is almost identical, you can group it together. 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. 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. Progression-related teaching materials, and insight from the Unifrog platform, emailed to you once a month. The exception is typically a student who has stellar achievement in at least one activity. If you only have one activity of this magnitude, you should run with it and not worry about the blank spaces on your application. Here are a few questions that each description could choose to answer: Position/Leadership description and organization name: Editor, The Daily (school newspaper). . Get the latest articles and test prep tips! Why is this a bad idea? You will also need to show that you have been significantly involved in the activity. Any other activity that the student believes important in communicating who they are to the university, If the student has a passion for woodworking at home, this should be included even if this is a personal endeavour that was taken independent from an official club. The common app provides you space for 10 activities. By offering room for ten activities the Common Application is not saying students should have ten activities, just that they possibly may. 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. The Common App gives you room to write about ten of your activities. You will also need to show that you have been significantly involved in the activity all throughout high school. Although the description is strong in that the student is demonstrating that they were part of a select few leaders, the description name could have provided more detail on what type of retreat the student was leading, and what leadership role the student had as a leader. Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here: © PrepScholar 2013-2018. In fact, on this part of the application, you can make a good argument that, Instead of having a long list of activities, it’s much more important to be able to show, Use the Common App to showcase what you consider to be your. Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? 80+ Extracurricular Activity Examples for the Common Application. The College Entrance Examination BoardTM does not endorse, nor is it affiliated in any way with the owner or any content of this site. There are instructions for this on the side of the activities page but many students seem to be missing that instruction. If you are applying to college for the first time you'll select the … I put down so many activities … When you're choosing which activities to write about, focus on those that help tell the story of who you are. If the student was a facilitator, the name could have been modified to “Junior Retreat Leader Facilitator.” By adding detail to the name (junior and facilitator), in the description there would have been more space for the student to include details on what was actually done during the retreat or what the results of the retreat were. October 22, 2018. This will look different for every student. 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. Why? Universities hope that someday their students will go on to be leaders on a larger scale in the community, and these activities are a good way for them to gauge if you have the interest and ability to do that. And … "Significant time," of course, can be interpreted differently depending on what activity you are doing. Additionally, something of this magnitude would take up pretty much all of your time and not leave a lot of room for other activities. However, if that’s all you’re going to have, it had better be. 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. 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. 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. Choose your registration type. For example, if your main activities are competing in Science Bowl competitions and doing research at a local college, having something like a stand-up comedy club on your application could show a completely different side of you. All rights reserved. "Family Responsibilities" on Common App. 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. whether you intend on participating in a similar activity in college. 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). 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. So if you are someone who has done just that in an activity, they are going to be more likely to think that you are the type of student they want on their campus. 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. I spend 24 hours/day for 10 days-- how should I write this?) She has years of tutoring experience and is also passionate about travel and learning languages. Ask questions; get answers. We’re looking for students who will truly thrive as Johns Hopkins undergraduates. that shows your growth, leadership, and impact. Is it possible to have too many extracurricular activities? (Remember to never let your academics suffer at the expense of extracurriculars!) As an independent college admissions consultant, I read many application essays and see many common application essay mistakes. Extracurriculars. What if you have more than that? The short answer to this question is yes; you can get away with having no extracurricular activities. However, you may not want to go down these paths if you can at all avoid it. 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. When you create a new Activity, that puts it on the stack, and the user can always press "back" to pop it from the stack. 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. The Common App for transfer recommender system lets you complete and submit forms for all students who have invited you as a recommender. Use the Common App to showcase what you consider to be your best activities. 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. About the Ask the Dean Column. Learn How to Properly Fill Out Your College Application. There is no set answer. Hours Spent per Week: (This is where I get confused. So go with your gut when you make your initial list, and try not to rearrange it more than once! If you think about it with that criteria, do you really have more than ten activities? 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). In these activities, you should be investing a significant amount of time every week. You only get 150 characters on the activities list for the Common Application. This shows your willingness to make a commitment and your. 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). But colleges are not pushing for more than 10 activities. The Goldilocks “just right” number of activities is. Each required item is requested for a reason and contributes to our evaluation.”. What did this activity mean to the student? HEY GUYS! You should also consider not filling up the list. Keep in mind that colleges will care less about what you have done and more about why and how you have done it. College Admissions. Therefore, students with no extracurriculars will not be competitive at most schools. This ties in with the previous idea. 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. Transcription: Jim: Have you filled out your activity sheet yet for the common application? How Many Extracurricular Activities Do You Need? What if you don’t have any at all? Choose the activities that you are most passionate about, have helped you mature and develop skills, have allowed you to make a lasting impact, and that you have spent the most time doing. After all, the common app is run by the colleges. In your freshman year, try out a lot of different activities to see what you're the most passionate about. I put 1.5) Details: Helped with a new church in Consuelo, taught English classes to the Spanish-speaking children, worked on the construction of their new school Thanks in advance. ... Common App, Supplemental Essays. Adcoms are super busy and will appreciate you not asking them to read the same information twice. Here’s what Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University has to say about their approach: “The admissions committee conducts a holistic review of every applicant based on his or her accomplishments, goals, and fit with our community. You don’t need to fill all 10 (some colleges with their own apps allow only 5). The Common App has space for students to list ten activities, but you should not feel obligated to fill out all ten. 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. We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. 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. The Common App is a valuable application tool but there's a lot to it – find out how to use it, key deadlines, essay prompts and more in our guide here. Instead, just focus on those that show growth, leadership, and dedication. 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). In order to understand what people were asking, I went through the application process myself. You are given 100 characters to describe your honors. You only have 150 characters to describe each activity that you’ve pursued throughout high school. Choose the activities that you are most passionate about, have helped you mature and develop skills, have allowed you to make a lasting impact, and that you have spent the most time doing. Ethan Sawyer. It is important to note that most accepted students to elite colleges fill in 8-10 activities on the Common Application. 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. 1. How do you make the most of them? How many are too many? 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? The restrictions mean you will need to be selective in reporting your activities, limiting you to the most important ones or those that are most meaningful to you. These activities show admissions officers many of the “intangibles” that they are looking for in their students. Some students are genuinely invested in several activities. Unless you have serious extenuating circumstances. The colleges could ask the common app to increase the number of spaces for activities. Ask below and we'll reply! The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points, How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer. The description name is detailed and leads to there being no need to repeat the words “newspaper” or  “editor” in the description. These activities can be almost anything – clubs in your school or community, sports, art, hobbies, or community service. 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. The Activities section of the Common App only gives you 150 characters to describe each activity. Surprisingly, you only really need one extracurricular activity, even for a competitive school like Harvard. Did you streamline a process or innovate how your activity is done? If that’s the case, then you should list them all. Description: Informational Video About Common Mistakes on The Activity Sheet. Keep in mind that colleges will care less about, you have done it. What’s the ideal amount of activities you’ll need in order to impress admissions officers? Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com, allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. hbspt.cta.load(360031, '4efd5fbd-40d7-4b12-8674-6c4f312edd05', {}); Have any questions about this article or other topics? While you will almost certainly be eligible for some schools without extracurriculars, they may not necessarily be the schools you were hoping for. Study these extracurricular activities examples and samples that you can learn from when writing your activities list for the common application. You are given 50 characters for the title/position of your extracurricular activity, and 150 characters for that activity's description/your responsibilities. 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. The Requests page shows all the students who have invited you as a recommender. Your activities should be listed in order of importance to you, starting with the most important and moving down to the least important. Does that mean you have to be involved in ten different activities? 150 characters, not words! DO list your most impressive and relevant activities near the … Some lower-ranked schools completely base their admissions decisions off GPA and test scores. What really impresses colleges are activities where your student has dedicated him or herself and demonstrated a commitment to persist and work hard. Students should work to make sure their extracurricular list is diverse. While the ordering of Common App Activities does require some attention, it causes far more worry than it should. I am an incoming student at Johns Hopkins University. Listing more is totally fine, too. For example, if your main activities are competing in Science Bowl competitions and doing research at a local college, having something like a stand-up comedy club on your application could show a completely different side of you. It can seem like the Activities section of the Common App gives rise to the most questions, and for good reason. Zoe: I just did last night. Here are some tips with accompanying college activities list examples. Model United Nations, international or national youth political conferences, math competitions, sports conferences…. Instead of having a long list of activities, it’s much more important to be able to show significant involvement in a few activities. (Remember to never let your academics suffer at the expense of extracurriculars!). 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. Room for ten activities, you may not want to improve a club, participation. Apps allow only 5 ) up looking lazy, unmotivated, and the college admissions consultant, went... Abbreviations ( NHS instead of national Honor Society ) should be investing a significant amount of time every week you... Typically a student who has stellar achievement in at least one activity, international or national youth conferences. Been significantly involved in the list fewer words, do feel obligated to fill 10... App, you only have a couple activities that they are looking for students have. Jim: have you filled out your college application and relevant activities near the … the how many activities should i put on common app essay! 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