Common App Extracurricular Essay Tennis

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Let's say you are short on space within the volunteer and community service section.

Perhaps you'd like to move one to extracurricular activities (if you have room there).

Overview for the Common App For the Common App, you have 5 slots for honors and awards, and 10 slots for your extracurricular activities. There's no room for wordiness, but also strive for clarity. What an oversight not to include that time in her hours/week calculations! Let's say twice a year you travel to national debate tournaments, accumulating tons of extra time. Write down that you have an 11 hours/week commitment, but include in your description something like "Attended 2 time-intensive tournaments" to convey that you incorporated those huge time commitments into your hours/week averages.

You are given 100 characters to describe your honors. Don't use abbreviations or acronyms that an admissions officer would not know. Luckily, she hadn't submitted yet and we included that time into her activities list. However, during the regular season you don't do a lot of traveling, so your hours/week is much less than those two weeks in question. 6 of those weeks have 5 hours/week commitments, and 2 of those weeks have 30 hours/week commitments. Have multiple leadership positions over the year within one activity?

Only list the extra activities that didn’t fit, not all of your activities.

Activities are important for admissions particularly for selective colleges.

But there is a reason that the colleges only have 10 activities on the common app.

Quality of activities is always more important than the quantity of activities.

Those 6 sections are: You are given 30 characters to name the organization, course, or program.

You are given 160 characters to describe your position, that activity's description, and your responsibilities. Again, you can use abbreviations and acronyms, but be clear in your writing. You don't even need to write anything for, say, work experience if you don't have any jobs that qualify.


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