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). This kind of activity shows initiative, leadership, dedication, maturity, and passion – which are each qualities that admissions officers are looking for. During your last years of high school, make sure that you show. I spend 24 hours/day for 10 days-- how should I write this?) Keep in mind that colleges will care less about what you have done and more about why and how you have done it. This often isn’t enough room to do your Spike justice. 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. 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. Is it possible to have too many extracurricular activities? Extracurriculars. The Activities section of the Common App only gives you 150 characters to describe each activity. Categories : The UC application asks that students enter up to 5 activities in each of the following categories: Coursework other than A-G, Educational Prep Programs, Volunteer & Community Service, Work Experience, Awards & Honors, and Extracurricular Activities 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. In order to understand what people were asking, I went through the application process myself. 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. Admission officers like students who are going to make a difference in the world and leave it better than they found it. SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination BoardTM. Did you leave something better than you found it? As an example, let me tell you about a student I knew at college. The common app provides you space for 10 activities. There are instructions for this on the side of the activities page but many students seem to be missing that instruction. The College Entrance Examination BoardTM does not endorse, nor is it affiliated in any way with the owner or any content of this site. 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. Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? If you are very concerned about making everything fit, see if you can group activities together. . For each student, the activities section of the Common App should answer the question “What do you choose to invest your time in?”, What to include in each Activity’s description. You only get 150 characters on the activities list for the Common Application. The colleges could ask the common app to increase the number of spaces for activities. If you only have one activity of this magnitude, you should run with it and not worry about the blank spaces on your application. 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. Please describe this activity, including what you accomplished and any recognition you received: 9 seniors are chosen as leaders of the junior retreat. You can enter up to 15 experiences (work, extracurricular activities, awards, honors, publications, etc. However, most students will only have a couple activities that they have really dedicated themselves to. Fewer activities than this can show a lack of willingness to branch out and try something new, while having way more than 6 activities is unsustainable for most students. You will also need to show that you have been significantly involved in the activity. 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. 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. The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points, How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer. I think the most important thing to keep in mind here is how the user will control your app with the "back" button. Admissions officers may think that you just signed up for activities to pad your resume, and it may make them doubt your maturity and the sincerity of your involvement in the activities you have listed. Here are a few questions that each description could choose to answer: Position/Leadership description and organization name: Editor, The Daily (school newspaper). 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. By offering room for ten activities the Common Application is not saying students should have ten activities, just that they possibly may. 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. The key is to choose one or two activities that you will focus most of your time on. 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. She has years of tutoring experience and is also passionate about travel and learning languages. This shows your willingness to make a commitment and your. Therefore, students with no extracurriculars will not be competitive at most schools. How Many Activities Should You List on the Common App? What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For? In your freshman year, try out a lot of different activities to see what you're the most passionate about. Thanks for your time and your awesome blog." Will you get rejected from a school if you don’t have the right amount? 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. 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. You don’t need to fill all 10 (some colleges with their own apps allow only 5). Surprisingly, you only really need one extracurricular activity, even for a competitive school like Harvard. Hours Spent per Week: (This is where I get confused. 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. HEY GUYS! 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. The Goldilocks “just right” number of activities is 5 or 6. I am an incoming student at Johns Hopkins University. Follow these pointers for crafting a rich and memorable Common App activities page. The Common Application activities section asks for: Students are limited to including 10 activities, and they are supposed to rank them according to their importance to the student. A Comprehensive Guide. Adcoms are super busy and will appreciate you not asking them to read the same information twice. The Common App has space for students to list ten activities, but you should not feel obligated to fill out all ten. In these activities, you should be investing a significant amount of time every week. "Significant time," of course, can be interpreted differently depending on what activity you are doing. Listing more is totally fine, too. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. What does this activity tell the admissions officer about the student? Why did the student choose to include this activity in the list? Some lower-ranked schools completely base their admissions decisions off GPA and test scores. 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). 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. Does that mean you have to be involved in ten different activities? There are only ten spaces for activities on the Common App. Choose your registration type. All rights reserved. College Admissions. Weeks Spent per Year: (Again, confusing. 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. 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. 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. How to put boy scouts on the common app? Number of activities: The UC application allows students to list up to 30 activities vs. the Common App’s 10-activity allowance. 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. "Family Responsibilities" on Common App. Study these extracurricular activities examples and samples that you can learn from when writing your activities list for the common application. How do you make the most of them? Now that you know what extracurriculars are check out our guide for how to write about extracurriculars on your college application. 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. How many extracurricular activities do you need for college applications? If you have no activities, it's a good idea to check your state school system and see if it has a similar plan. About the Ask the Dean Column. Ethan Sawyer. 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? 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. The Common App gives you room to write about ten of your activities. ). However, you may not want to go down these paths if you can at all avoid it. 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. She realized that many of the artists who produce these pieces were being underpaid for their work. What did this activity mean to the student? 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. 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. 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? hbspt.cta.load(360031, '4efd5fbd-40d7-4b12-8674-6c4f312edd05', {}); Have any questions about this article or other topics? 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. Unless you have serious extenuating circumstances. Use the Common App to showcase what you consider to be your best activities. This will look different for every student. Here is Pt. Your activities should be listed in order of importance to you, starting with the most important and moving down to the least important. The exception is typically a student who has stellar achievement in at least one activity. Model United Nations, international or national youth political conferences, math competitions, sports conferences…. 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. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? whether you intend on participating in a similar activity in college. 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. 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’. Instead of having a long list of activities, it’s much more important to be able to show significant involvement in a few activities. These activities show admissions officers many of the “intangibles” that they are looking for in their students. How many are too many? 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. However, most students will only have a couple activities that they have really dedicated themselves to. Be as concise as possible - if you can use fewer words, do. We meet weekly to critique each other’s speeches and learn to mediate small group discussion. The Requests page shows all the students who have invited you as a recommender. Check out our list of extracurricular activities if you need inspiration for an activity to choose. 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. The 150 character long descriptions are the most important thing here. College Admissions, You are given 50 characters for the title/position of your extracurricular activity, and 150 characters for that activity's description/your responsibilities. There is no set answer. It is important to note that most accepted students to elite colleges fill in 8-10 activities on the Common Application. DO make the most of your 150 characters. I have always been part of the international community and have attended French and American schools in the United Kingdom, London and the United Arab Emirates, Dubai. 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). So go with your gut when you make your initial list, and try not to rearrange it more than once! 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. Keep in mind that colleges will care less about, you have done it. Description: Informational Video About Common Mistakes on The Activity Sheet. Transcription: Jim: Have you filled out your activity sheet yet for the common application? But is one really the minimum amount of activities you can have? But colleges are not pushing for more than 10 activities. And … One extreme is to put all these steps into different Activities. The Goldilocks “just right” number of activities is. For the Common App, you have 5 slots for honors and awards, and 10 slots for your extracurricular activities. Instead, just focus on those that show growth, leadership, and dedication. 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. What’s the ideal amount of activities you’ll need in order to impress admissions officers? (Remember to never let your academics suffer at the expense of extracurriculars!) 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. 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 should also consider not filling up the list. 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. 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. 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. This 1 tip is exactly 149 characters long. You only have 150 characters to describe each activity that you’ve pursued throughout high school. Keep in mind that the main thing is to pursue activities that you are really passionate about. This ties in with the previous idea. Each required item is requested for a reason and contributes to our evaluation.”. But What If … 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. Use every inch to demonstrate your impact beyond the classroom. Why is this a bad idea? I put down so many activities … Here are a few tips for the activity section of the Common App. If you think about it with that criteria, do you really have more than ten activities? Get the latest articles and test prep tips! A student with no activities often ends up looking lazy, unmotivated, and afraid to leave his or her comfort zone. It’s time to seriously start looking at the application and what should and shouldn't be included under the activities section. Before we talk about exactly how many activities you need, let’s discuss why extracurricular activities are important in the first place and what colleges are hoping to learn about you through your activities. After all, the common app is run by the colleges. Some students are genuinely invested in several activities. Ask questions; get answers. 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. 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). Camps could include language immersion camps, specific subject camps (such as journalism, psychology, law, medicine), intensive sport camps, and more. Some students rehash their activities and achievements without adding the personal flavor, perspective and substance that admissions officers look for. Though 5 – 6 is the most ideal amount, that’s not to say that some students don’t do well with fewer activities – sometimes significantly fewer! 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. 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. There are 30 activity categories, ranging from “Academic” and “Athletic” to more specific types like “Debate/Speech” and “Social Justice.”. Learn how to avoid these and other damaging traps. What if you have more than that? For each student, the activities section of the Common App should answer the question “What do you choose to invest your time in?” 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. that shows your growth, leadership, and impact. When you're choosing which activities to write about, focus on those that help tell the story of who you are. October 22, 2018. 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). Applying through the Coalition Application, ApplyTexas, UC Application, or another application system? Ask below and we'll reply! Some students are genuinely invested in several activities. 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. 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. 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. 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. The activities section has a limit of ten extracurricular activities.
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