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What makes a good common app activities section description?

I'm working on my common app and I'm struggling to find the right words for my activities section. Are there any examples or advice on how to make my descriptions stand out? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!

7 months ago

A good Common App activities section description should be concise, clear, and focused on the impact you've made or the skills you've developed. The limited character count can be challenging, but so make sure to prioritize what's truly essential and meaningful about your activities. Here are some tips to make your descriptions stand out:

1. Use active verbs: Start each description with a strong action verb that highlights your role or contribution. For example, use "led," "organized," "mentored," or "created" instead of weaker verbs like "participated in" or "attended."

2. Quantify your impact: Where possible, use specific numbers or percentages to give a sense of scale and impact. For example, "Increased club membership by 40%" or "Organized a charity event that raised $5,000."

3. Highlight your skills: Showcase key skills that you developed or demonstrated through the activity. Theses could include leadership, teamwork, communication, problem-solving, or creativity, among others.

4. Stay focused: Stick to the most important aspects of the activity, and don't try to include every single detail. Pick 1-2 key accomplishments or roles that best represent your involvement.

Here's an example for a student who was the president of their school's environmental club:

"Led 30+ members and organized school-wide initiatives to promote environmental awareness; founded student garden, reducing cafeteria waste by 20%."

In this description, the student starts with an active verb (led), provides context (30+ members), illustrates their impact (founding a garden and reducing waste), and keeps it concise. Following these tips should help you write strong and memorable activity descriptions for your Common App. Good luck!

7 months ago

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