3 months ago
Admissions Advice

CommonApp Honors or Extracurricular Activites?

Hi. I'm a senior who is applying to a college by November 1st through CommonApp.

I have two international competitions; one writing and the other is speech. I already have an extracurricular list of 9-10 activities.

However, recently, while putting some of my awards under the 'Honors' section, I wasn't sure where my competitions would go.

Here's the thing. Those competitions are organized by this one institution. It's basically called "Korean School" where us Koreans who are living in international countries study Korean. This place organizes small competitions, and if you get first place, you have a chance to participate in the international ones.

A few years ago, I was able to join two international competitions through this institution, and I got first place for the writing one (1st of 635 people in 54 nations) and second place for the speaking one (as representative of my country).

For my extracurricular activities, I wrote "Saturday Korean School" as the title and said something like "attended to enrich my heritage as a Korean; established intimate connections with teachers; received writing, speaking, history awards."

The writing and speaking awards I am referring to above are the international ones. I want to emphasize on the scale of these competitions (which I put under 'Honors') but for 'Honors,' I can only describe it under 100 characters. I want to be able to write more (because these competitions may be the only international competitions that I have attended, and I know these competitions are limited to only people who attend Korean School so admission officers might not recognize them).

Would it be best to leave it like this, or can you see a different option? My dilemma is whether to put those competitions under 'Extracurricular Activities' instead and write more, or just put it under 'Honors,' but still keep 'Saturday Korean School' as my extracurricular activity because I did other things besides speaking and writing contests while attending.

Thank you.


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2 answers

3 months ago

Many say that Honors is more important for the admission officers, so if you think it's one of your best achievements, put it in the Honors section. If you want to write more about it, you can try to write it in the additional writing section, they will be able to read more about it there!

However, if you feel that it's not the top 5 of your achievement, put it on your extracurricular section so you can showcase your other great achievement in the Honors section.

Or, if you want to put it in both sections, make sure that you describe it with two different perspectives so it won't make it repetitive.

3 months ago

I think you can definitely put it under both.

In the Activities section, describe those other things you did besides contests and maybe only mention the contests if you have extra space. When describing it, I'd recommend including a bit more description about what it is (e.g. Attended Korean language classes [or whatever the actual events you attended were]) so that admissions officers can picture what you were doing.

In the Honors Section, place your biggest awards. Even within the 100 character limit, you can describe briefly. Example: 1st place, Korean School Writing Competition (635 participants in 54 nations). Something as simple as that can show that it was a good number of people who you competed with and won.

Hope this helped!


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