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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

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Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How much time to budget for the whole Common App process?

So, I'm trying to plan out my senior year schedule and I’m not sure how much time I’ll need to dedicate to filling out the Common App. Can anyone who's been through it advise on how long it typically takes to get everything done, from start to submission?

7 months ago

Hello there! It’s great that you’re planning ahead for your Common App submission. The amount of time needed can vary quite a lot from student to student depending on various factors such as the complexity of your academic and extracurricular history, how many schools you are applying to, and the number of essays you need to write.

Generally, I'd recommend starting the process during the summer before your senior year, as this will allow you ample time to gather all necessary information and compose thoughtful, polished essays. For the basic form, including entering your personal data, activity list, and education history, you might want to budget a few hours to ensure accuracy. However, the essays are where most students spend the bulk of their time. A solid main essay can take several weeks of brainstorming, drafting, and revising, so don’t rush this part.

For the individual school-specific supplemental essays, allocate several days per essay. They're usually shorter than the main essay, but they need to be tailored to each institution. All in, I would suggest allowing yourself at least several months from start to finish to be on the safe side. If you work consistently and methodically, a few hours per week should suffice. Remember to leave time for reviews by teachers or mentors, as feedback can be incredibly valuable.

It's always better to have a bit of buffer time in case of unexpected hiccups. And this way, you won't be rushing through this critical piece of your college application process.

7 months ago

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