How to Write Your Common App Activities List This is a guest blog post written by Ethan Sawyer, The College Essay Guy . Character count: Whereas Common App allows 150 characters for each activity description, the UC application allows 500 characters for each activity description. President, … / Common and Coalition Application IMPORTANT NEWS: CC Forums are now in read-only mode as the team is working on the transition to a new, modern forum platform with enhanced features. I chose to spend this clarifying my extracurriculars even further. HEY GUYS! It’s your chance to show the admissions officers how you will become an actively contributing member of their school community. These examples should help you write a great Common App activities list: DECA Executive Vice President. Optimize for quality, not quantity. I love foreign languages and now I balance between studies and work being a tutor in the elementary school. Answer: No. Remember that almost anything that you are actively and productively involved in can be considered an extracurricular activity. Extracurricular activities can include everything a student has participated in … On the other hand, Student 1 lists unrelated activities that make them seem well-rounded, but nothing particularly stands out. Giebien Na will walk through the best practices you should follow when filling out your Common App activities section, and talk about best practices you can use to convey your accomplishments with as few characters as possible. for 80 students from all over Chicago to help them discover aspects of their purpose. I’ll define “stronger” in a moment, but in short: Are you describing your activity in the most dynamic way possible? Admission officers will value anything you share on this topic, and they will treat your personal story with respect and confidentiality. As you can see, there is very limited space offered for each activity, so we’ll be discussing how to maximize the impact of each entry below. Check the common app activities section examples. This is especially true when your list of activities exceeds the limit set by the Common App! Activities Section. As for me, I can’t live a day without planning. There is a separate section on the Common App that allows your child to list up to 5 honors and awards. Answer: Not necessarily. Family activities, work experiences, and your hobbies can all fall under this category. Then, I understood that this was Japanese and decided to learn it as well. Include role and organization name in the top box. Follow these pointers for crafting a rich and memorable Common App activities page. Now, I have about 30 drawings and plan to organize my personal exhibition with the free entrance. That way, your child can use the full 150-character limit for the activity description box. Took customer orders, served food and drinks, and processed payments. Answer: The Common App and UC Activities sections differ in three noteworthy ways: Number of activities: The UC application allows students to list up to 30 activities vs. the Common App’s 10-activity allowance. I love traveling and so far I have visited France, Italy, Germany. DO make the most of your 150 characters. Several months ago, I organized a sports tournament for people with special needs. I have a special diary where I make notes about my short-term and long-term plans. Because the UC application allows for more entries and a higher character count than Common App, it’s advisable that your child complete the UC Activities section first. : 150 characters. Your guide is on its way. Organize coding camps for middle and high schoolers from inner-city Chicago whose schools do not offer computer science classes. As for my future work, I think that I will connect my life with the profession where I will need good communication skills. I haven’t won a lot of awards yet but I plan to do this! Admissions essays. For the Common App, you have 5 slots for honors and awards, and 10 slots for your extracurricular activities. Support struggling middle and high school students with Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Precalculus, and Calculus. I have a lot of plans concerning plans outside the college. Supported high school students with all forms of writing, including in-class assignments, AP exam essays, and school newspaper articles. Answer: Your child can select “other club/activity” from the drop-down menu and describe the activity further in the position/leadership box. Have you included a wide range of responsibilities? Create your activity list. Intern, Google Virtual Reality (VR) Founder and President, Code for Community. 2. 2. This article provides tips for how seniors should go about completing the activities list for the Common App and other college applications. Use a sample to craft your application essay section about activities. Note: We encourage you to also read our comprehensive guide to answering every UC application essay prompt. Just like Like when writing a resume, you can use “incomplete sentences” in your activity list descriptions to maximize the amount of information you’re able to fit. Founder and President, Code for Community. Here is Pt. Learn how to fill out the Common App activities section and highlight your passions outside of the classroom to admissions officers. You can also learn more about our 1-on-1 college admissions support here. Common App sets the following limits for each activity: Position/Leadership description and organization name, if applicable: 50 characters, Activity description, including what your child accomplished and any recognition they received, etc. For example, if your child blogs about mental health and had an opportunity to meet with a local city councilperson to develop a mental health awareness initiative in your county, they should mention that. For example, I am going to visit an art school as I always wanted to draw. Activities Page: Club Descriptions. Preparing your Common App activities can be just as stressful as completing the personal statement and college-specific supplements. Now I am learning Japanese. Dr. Cal Newport first popularized the concept of the failed simulation effect, defined as follows: “Accomplishments that are hard to explain can be much more impressive than accomplishments that are simply hard to do.” Therefore, within each activity’s description, your child should describe accomplishments that are hardest to explain. 80+ Extracurricular Activity Examples for the Common Application. This day has divided my life into two parts: before and after. State role and organization name in top box. Declared Time Commitment: 2 hours per week, 16 weeks … On the one hand, that day was the happiest one in my life because I won the first place. Common Application. Apply to college for the first time or transfer to complete your degree. Before we get into writing tips and sample extracurricular descriptions, let’s go over a few Activities section basics: According to Common App, “activities may include arts, athletics, clubs, employment, personal commitments, and other pursuits.” In other words, pretty much anything pursued outside the classroom qualifies as an activity. Therefore, rather than write, for example, “At the hospital, I transported patients with physical disabilities on wheelchairs…”, your child should write, “Transported patients on wheelchairs, provided meals and blankets, assembled gift baskets, and attended grand rounds.”, 5. Answer: Summer jobs and activities should be listed with your child’s rising grade. Examples of great action verbs include:led, managed, coordinated, developed, initiated, (re)designed, achieved, analyzed, authored, trained… You ge… Rather, briefly fill in the activities section, and at the end state “please see attached Activity List.” Or, if you apply online, indicate that you will send a paper copy to admissions office. List activities in order of importance and impressiveness. Use active verbs! My friend became a winner. Activities listed earlier will be better remembered by admissions committees, so your child should lead with their most impactful and meaningful ones. Ethan helps students write amazing college essays by offering free resources, one-on-one essay sessions, online webinars, and in-person workshops. In addition to listing your family responsibilities in the activities section, you may also wish to share more details in your personal essay or the additional information section. Whereas the personal statement will show college admissions committees who your child is, the Common App Activities section will allow colleges to understand what your child has done and is doing outside of the classroom, offering one of the best opportunities to stand out among other applicants. First of all, I love kids and think that it is great when you can share your knowledge with others. Receiving an admissions decision: Admit, deny, or waitlist. I think that it is impossible to predict our future but this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t plan anything. What do I love most about my work? Train 5- to 6-year-old martial arts students to develop proper technique and instill confidence. Answer: Your child can use the Common App Additional Information section to go into more detail about their most meaningful activities. College application checklist. (see other examples in our article published on NBC’s Parent Toolkit) It’s important to note, however, that your child should never fabricate or exaggerate achievements and extracurricular activities for the sake of impressiveness. Additional Suggestions 1. Describe current activities using present tense, For instance, rather than, “I tutored seventh graders in science”, your child should write, “I help seventh graders master challenging science concepts.”, 1. Liebowitz, C.“6 Tips for the Common App Activities List”. Calibrate these strategies to fit any college application. No need for complete sentences. Moreover, by capturing admissions committees’ positive attention early on, they will review the rest of your child’s Activities list more favorably. Your Trusted Advisors for Admissions Succes, (Note: This article can also be found in our free, 110-page comprehensive guide to writing every college essay, How to Get Into America’s Elite Colleges: The Ultimate Guide.). “ 7 tips for the Additional Information Section of the Common App”, 8 Sep. 2015. As I have already said, now I am working as a tutor and study. 3. We anticipate full service on the site to return by Friday, Nov. 27 at 2:00pm ET. Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s discuss some proven approaches to completing a strong Activities section: 1. I have always dreamt about my own gallery and picture exhibition. Focus on quantifiable and significant impact. Writing Peer Counselor, The Hamilton School. Hope that there will be people who will understand what I wanted to say with my drawings. SCHEDULE YOUR COMPLIMENTARY 30-MINUTE CONSULTATION TO ENSURE YOU LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCE. He had serious problems with his spine and he couldn’t continue doing sports at all. The first three fields for each Activity on Common App look like this: After selecting an Activity type from the drop-down menu, your child should describe their position and organization name in the corresponding box. 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. I think one of my virtues is that I set goals and do my best to achieve them in any kind of activity! For example, rather than writing “Student Council” or “President”, your child should write “President, Student Council”. Activity type: Community Service (Volunteer) Position/Leadership description and organization name, if applicable: Key Club: Club President; Kiwanis Coordinator (1) Details, honors won, and accomplishments: High school community service organization which I helped coordinate as Club President. Without college essays and extracurricular activities lists, colleges would be limited to grades, class rank, and ACT and SAT scores to make their admissions decisions. This 1 tip is exactly 149 characters long. 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. College-specific questions Many colleges include short answer questions or essay prompts within this section. I think that traveling is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the cultural peculiarities of the nation. Host monthly speaking events with athletes, principals, etc. Recently, I met a nice girl at the supermarket, she smiled at me and said something but I couldn’t understand. 2. You are given 100 characters to describe your honors. Put your name and social security number at the top of each page. Trained 7 state qualifiers; developed fundraising, recruitment campaigns to raise $1200 in 1 year, increase membership from 6 to 40 members in 2 years – Interview with an Admissions Officer: The Common App and Activities List Visit the Blog This blog post is based on a conversation between Signet’s co-founder and CEO, Jay Bacrania, and Signet’s Engagement Manager and Admissions Consultant, Liz Adams. Sports isn’t my only passion. These skills help me to find the common language with the schoolchildren I teach as well as with new people. Thank you! Leaving out significant activities. For every club listed on the Activities page of the Common App, … For example, rather than write something like, “Organized food can drive for local families”, your child should write, “Collected over 10,000 cans and provided Thanksgiving meals for 500 families in greater Cleveland.” With details like that, your child’s impact will be unquestionable to admissions committees. BS/MD | BA/MD | BS/DO Admissions Services, How to Stand Out on the Common App Activities Section (Example Included), Part 1: Common App Activities Section Overview, Part 4: Common App Activities Section Example, please let us know how we can help you crack the the college admissions code, our article published on NBC’s Parent Toolkit, our comprehensive guide to answering every UC application essay prompt, Common App Additional Information section. When I have an inspiration I like drawing faces of people whom I saw and there was something in them that attracted my attention. Many applicants undersell their achievements because they don’t get specific enough about their contributions. These words weren’t just empty promises. .Greeted customers, processed orders and payments, and returned clothing items. It’s … In the meantime, please let us know how we can help you crack the the college admissions code. My friend Ben became a disabled person who still loved sports and dreamt of tournaments and competitions. Common App Activities: How to Fit More Than 10 Extracurriculars on Your List. For example, if your child has already completed 10th grade, they should list their activity with the 11th grade. Since that day, I have started to think about how to keep the promise. Coded VR environments for various software prototypes, some of which were featured at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. My best friend did something wrong and hurt himself. This is the currently selected item. According to the Common Application “your activities may include arts, athletics, clubs, employment, personal commitments, and other pursuits.” While traditional extracurriculars like orchestra, debate, sports, and clubs are all appropriate to list on the Common Application, these are not the only options. We support a centralized or "common" online application system for more than 800 colleges and universities worldwide that enables more than 1 million students - a third of whom are first generation - to apply to college. College admissions committees value long-term commitments to activities vs. a long list of activities to which an applicant devoted less time and effort. In the writing section of your Common App tab, you will see a table that lists each college's requirements. For example, let’s compare the following students’ activities: Organized local basketball tournament for kids with special needs, Interned with local professional basketball team’s analytics department. Navigate your entire college application journey with Common App. In addition to the dreaded 650-word personal statement (a.k.a., Common App Essay) and college-specific supplemental essays, your child will have to complete the Common App Activities section. Chunk related activities together to develop a theme. 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