a year ago
Admissions Advice

Two similar ECs

I'm looking to do engineering, and have some technology-related ECs which I felt would improve my chances. However, two of them are similar topics so I am not sure if I should keep both, try to combine them, or get rid of one.

The first is being on the school Hackathon team as UI/Game designer. We participate in different competitions annually, I've done two state-level and one international hackathon.

The second is recreational UI design, basically, I got rid of everything on my phone's home screen and designed/coded my own elements to suit my themes and preferences. This includes everything from apps to a Spotify music player.

I am not sure if the second activity is impressive enough to be included. It's not competitive and it's just a hobby. I could replace it with something else, such as winning 1st in the 17+ category of a state-level art competition, being a peer counsellor, or running a period poverty workshop, but those things are less academic or course-related. I was trying to have a 'spike' in STEM, but should I refocus and use a more all-rounder approach instead?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
a year ago

Hi @safaryi!

You can combine the similar ECs under the name UI/Game design to free up space for another type of activity. It's great if you can fit a general description of both in the activities section, but if not, you also have the additional info section to do that.

Have you included art in your activities? You don't necessarily need to have just one spike; you can have spikes in more than one field, but not to the point that it looks like you're a jack of all trades but a master of none. Activities don't have to be competitive; if you're spending a considerable amount of time doing a constructive activity, you can list it as an activity. A spike isn't just about the number of activities related to a field but is about the level of involvement. You might have just one activity related to STEM and it can still be a spike if you're spending a lot more time on it and achieving more in it than your other extracurriculars. Fill out the application with what you have without worrying about a spike if you don't really have one. It's worse to make up a spike than to honestly appear well-rounded.

Hope this helps!

a year ago

Hey there @safaryi!

Those two ECs do sound pretty similar, so I would suggest combining them and adding two different descriptions. As @Anonymous123 said, you can also fill out the extra information section with details about one of them if you don't have enough room in the actual activities section. I would definitely recommend mentioning your art award or period poverty workshop, both of which seem pretty impressive and would round out your application if you already have a lot of STEM-related ECs.

Good luck!

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