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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Describing extracurriculars on Common App—What's the secret sauce?

Hello fellow juniors and survivors of the admission process! I'm in the midst of listing my extracurriculars on the Common App and I keep second-guessing myself. Should I just list the roles and responsibilities, or is it better to weave in what I've learned or accomplished? Really don't want to miss out on showing my best self here.

7 months ago

Hi there! It's great that you're putting so much thought into this part of your application. The key is to strike a balance—you want to succinctly describe your roles and responsibilities, but you also want to highlight what you've achieved and what you've learned. Think of these as mini-stories where you're the protagonist. For example, instead of just stating 'Member of the school band,' you might say, 'As first chair trumpeter in the school band, led sectionals that contributed to our ensemble placing second in the state competition.'

This level of detail demonstrates your responsibility within the group and an outcome you helped achieve. Also, consider using action verbs to begin your descriptions, and keep your experiences results-oriented when possible. Demonstrate impact, leadership, and growth whenever you can, and whenever relevant, associate the soft skills you've gained, like teamwork, leadership, or time management.

Remember, admissions officers are looking at these activities to understand what you might contribute to their campus community. Good luck!

7 months ago

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