Extracurriculars- and how to present them Watch

saks10111
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ok i'm focusing basically on my extracurriculars, because i think the issue on SAT scores and academics is pretty basic- the higher the better lol. so these are my main extracurricular activities (as well as any leadership positions held within them) and i was wondering whether they were good enough for the Ivies/top US schools:

- Deputy Head Girl in yr 12, Prefect in yrs 10 and 11 (might possible be Head Girl next year, fingers crossed!)
- School newspaper- currently Sub-Editor and have been selected as Editor for next year
- MUN Club- Have taken part in several conferences, including an international one, and have been appointed as one of the MUN Directors for next year, which is basically the highest post of leadership possible. Will also be attending 2 international conferences the coming academic year, one of which is the Harvard MUN (SO EXCITED!)
- Yearbook Committee
- Guitar lessons for roughly 2-3 years
- Peer tutoring in maths
- Voluntary work- Have volunteered at several schools in my area, and will be volunteering this summer at an internationally accredited hospital. I'm also hoping to get accepted to this international community service project where I would go and help build houses for underprivileged families, I'm really keen on it and not just because it would look good on my application lol.
- Within my school, as a Deputy, I've organised and run several fund raising activities to support charitable organisations

So thats approximately it. I have participated in some Business fairs and projects and raised money for charity too, but not quite sure how to put that as it isn't an official club or anything

Now another question is, how do I present them on the Common Application? I've seen the activities/extracurriculars section, but, for instance what 'club/activity' do I put my Prefect and DHG positions under? I was thinking maybe Student Leadership, as a rough title for what the post entails?! I know Yale especially, which is my dream school, loves leadership and I have had a fair bit of leadership positions, so I'd want to highlight on them obviously.
Also, things like community service, there isn't really a separate section on the CA for it, so how would I write that down on my application? After all the work I've put into these activities, I wouldn't want a college overlooking them or perhaps not understanding them, so I would like some help in this area please.

Thank you for reading and tolerating my essay of sorts!
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ragnar_jonsson
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(Original post by saks10111)
ok i'm focusing basically on my extracurriculars, because i think the issue on SAT scores and academics is pretty basic- the higher the better lol. so these are my main extracurricular activities (as well as any leadership positions held within them) and i was wondering whether they were good enough for the Ivies/top US schools:

- Deputy Head Girl in yr 12, Prefect in yrs 10 and 11 (might possible be Head Girl next year, fingers crossed!)
- School newspaper- currently Sub-Editor and have been selected as Editor for next year
- MUN Club- Have taken part in several conferences, including an international one, and have been appointed as one of the MUN Directors for next year, which is basically the highest post of leadership possible. Will also be attending 2 international conferences the coming academic year, one of which is the Harvard MUN (SO EXCITED!)
- Yearbook Committee
- Guitar lessons for roughly 2-3 years
- Peer tutoring in maths
- Voluntary work- Have volunteered at several schools in my area, and will be volunteering this summer at an internationally accredited hospital. I'm also hoping to get accepted to this international community service project where I would go and help build houses for underprivileged families, I'm really keen on it and not just because it would look good on my application lol.
- Within my school, as a Deputy, I've organised and run several fund raising activities to support charitable organisations

So thats approximately it. I have participated in some Business fairs and projects and raised money for charity too, but not quite sure how to put that as it isn't an official club or anything

Now another question is, how do I present them on the Common Application? I've seen the activities/extracurriculars section, but, for instance what 'club/activity' do I put my Prefect and DHG positions under? I was thinking maybe Student Leadership, as a rough title for what the post entails?! I know Yale especially, which is my dream school, loves leadership and I have had a fair bit of leadership positions, so I'd want to highlight on them obviously.
Also, things like community service, there isn't really a separate section on the CA for it, so how would I write that down on my application? After all the work I've put into these activities, I wouldn't want a college overlooking them or perhaps not understanding them, so I would like some help in this area please.

Thank you for reading and tolerating my essay of sorts!
I would prioritize your ECs accordingly by emphasizing your charity work first, then prefect, then MUN. I would show them depth rather than breadth. I would include community service in the clubs/activities section. Your charity work is an "extracurricular activity" and include it as so.

I don't want to break your heart though, but don't feel crushed if you're rejected. We have comparable backgrounds; I had a considerable amount of work in climate change activism on a national and international level, as well as being the Vice President of Iceland's MUN Association, being the representative of IB students, peer tutoring, president of school's MUN group, editor of an English paper, etc. I was rejected from Harvard, Princeton and Columbia (but accepted at my ultimate dream school!). Yale is incredibly competitive, but if you show them your passions and really make yourself seem unique, you've got a good chance Make sure you just seem v. sincere.

I would really emphasize your charity work and community service and then reiterate your leadership thus. Several people apply having done considerable amounts of community service, MUN participation and organization, tutoring and yearbook committees.

Hope your application process goes well
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saks10111
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(Original post by ragnar_jonsson)
I would prioritize your ECs accordingly by emphasizing your charity work first, then prefect, then MUN. I would show them depth rather than breadth. I would include community service in the clubs/activities section. Your charity work is an "extracurricular activity" and include it as so.

I don't want to break your heart though, but don't feel crushed if you're rejected. We have comparable backgrounds; I had a considerable amount of work in climate change activism on a national and international level, as well as being the Vice President of Iceland's MUN Association, being the representative of IB students, peer tutoring, president of school's MUN group, editor of an English paper, etc. I was rejected from Harvard, Princeton and Columbia (but accepted at my ultimate dream school!). Yale is incredibly competitive, but if you show them your passions and really make yourself seem unique, you've got a good chance Make sure you just seem v. sincere.

I would really emphasize your charity work and community service and then reiterate your leadership thus. Several people apply having done considerable amounts of community service, MUN participation and organization, tutoring and yearbook committees.

Hope your application process goes well
Thanks, yeah i'm aware that i haven't really pushed the envelope when it comes to extracurriculars lol, but i'm hoping these are fairly consistent and competent enough to not harm my chances in any way, and hopefully stand me in good(ish) stead. It's rather unfair though, because American schools have things like community service as part of their program and they end up completing a fair number of hours by the time they graduate, whereas in places where I live, its very difficult to do such charity work easily without having a lot of connections and stuff, I just wish the universities would understand this. Ok, I'll do as you say, in starting with charity work and then going on to leadership and so on. Btw, congrats on Brown! Its a fabulous school and the open curriculum looks so tempting! What were your SAT scores like, if you don't mind? I really don't know what schools like HYP etc. look at when they're admitting students, because I've heard of really outstanding candidates getting rejected, I just wish there was some small guarantee or something haha, because although I declared firmly at the beginning of the year that UK was my first choice destination, after looking at the Yale and other US university websites, I've really got my heart set on one of them haha. Thanks again for your help!
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ragnar_jonsson
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(Original post by saks10111)
Thanks, yeah i'm aware that i haven't really pushed the envelope when it comes to extracurriculars lol, but i'm hoping these are fairly consistent and competent enough to not harm my chances in any way, and hopefully stand me in good(ish) stead. It's rather unfair though, because American schools have things like community service as part of their program and they end up completing a fair number of hours by the time they graduate, whereas in places where I live, its very difficult to do such charity work easily without having a lot of connections and stuff, I just wish the universities would understand this. Ok, I'll do as you say, in starting with charity work and then going on to leadership and so on. Btw, congrats on Brown! Its a fabulous school and the open curriculum looks so tempting! What were your SAT scores like, if you don't mind? I really don't know what schools like HYP etc. look at when they're admitting students, because I've heard of really outstanding candidates getting rejected, I just wish there was some small guarantee or something haha, because although I declared firmly at the beginning of the year that UK was my first choice destination, after looking at the Yale and other US university websites, I've really got my heart set on one of them haha. Thanks again for your help!
I actually haven't taken the SATs/ACTs for good reasons; I will be taking it next month though for formality's sake. I was predicted 42 points in the IB at the time, with a ca. 9.0 average in the Icelandic baccalaureate.

I'm fairly certain this was a good reason for my rejection from Princeton and Columbia, but UChicago (accepted) and Harvard (rejected) acknowledged my lack of scores. Ironically, Brown said it would be highly unlikely that they would accept anyone without scores...haha.
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saks10111
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(Original post by ragnar_jonsson)
I actually haven't taken the SATs/ACTs for good reasons; I will be taking it next month though for formality's sake. I was predicted 42 points in the IB at the time, with a ca. 9.0 average in the Icelandic baccalaureate.

I'm fairly certain this was a good reason for my rejection from Princeton and Columbia, but UChicago (accepted) and Harvard (rejected) acknowledged my lack of scores. Ironically, Brown said it would be highly unlikely that they would accept anyone without scores...haha.
Haha no wayy! Wait, so on what basis have they accepted you, do IB scores count as like a substitute for SAT/ACT? I haven't the faintest idea what a 9.0 is lol, but I'm guessing its great. Either way, congrats, you must be pretty awesome to get into Brown despite your lack of scores haha.
I heard that once you get to a top college, all people do is brag about how LOW their SAT/ACT score was, because it shows how great they must have been in every other aspect to get in. 2400's are made fun of hahaha, so you'll be like worshipped over there if you tell them you got in without a SAT score at the time!
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SaintSaens
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I'm shocked that any of those colleges even considered your application without any test scores.
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ragnar_jonsson
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(Original post by saks10111)
Haha no wayy! Wait, so on what basis have they accepted you, do IB scores count as like a substitute for SAT/ACT? I haven't the faintest idea what a 9.0 is lol, but I'm guessing its great. Either way, congrats, you must be pretty awesome to get into Brown despite your lack of scores haha.
I heard that once you get to a top college, all people do is brag about how LOW their SAT/ACT score was, because it shows how great they must have been in every other aspect to get in. 2400's are made fun of hahaha, so you'll be like worshipped over there if you tell them you got in without a SAT score at the time!
You need the SATs/ACTs - a high score will definitely help you; a low score can hurt you.

(Original post by SaintSaens)
I'm shocked that any of those colleges even considered your application without any test scores.
It was due to limited testing in Iceland + being misled about the (only) testing date.
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SaintSaens
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Ah, that expains.

I heard that once you get to a top college, all people do is brag about how LOW their SAT/ACT score was, because it shows how great they must have been in every other aspect to get in. 2400's are made fun of hahaha, so you'll be like worshipped over there if you tell them you got in without a SAT score at the time!
I'm more likely to believe that people don't really talk about their stats, particularly if their low. Top colleges are filled with people who have had tremendous achievements, so it's just normal. People who don't have 2200+/34+ SAT/ACT and haven't won national awards would probably feel more intimidated than empowered.
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ragnar_jonsson
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(Original post by SaintSaens)
Ah, that expains.

I'm more likely to believe that people don't really talk about their stats, particularly if their low. Top colleges are filled with people who have had tremendous achievements, so it's just normal. People who don't have 2200+/34+ SAT/ACT and haven't won national awards would probably feel more intimidated than empowered.
Well, I don't feel intimidated and I didn't submit scores. I got in based entirely on my extracurricular and IB merits. If anything, that's empowering not intimidating.

Edit: I'm not trying to or saying this in an arrogant manner - it is just amazing that I got in without scores (and am still amazed tbh).
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Descartesz
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Regarding presentation of EC's.

The Common App specifies that they be listed in order of importance to you. That is what I would suggest you do, thinking especially carefully about how you use the very limited space you have to describe the activity and honors achieved (if any). The Common App at one time limited you to seven activities but that restriction appears to be lifted for this coming year. Still space will constrain how much you can say about each one.

After filling out the activities section, print it out and try to look at it with fresh eyes. You should then decide if the constraints of format and space don't really tell the story you want to tell. For example you might have a whole history of escalating involvement and responsibility with MUN that just gets lost in a few lines of the Common App. If you feel this is the case, then create a resume that corrects this situation. As suggested, take advantage of the freer and more spacious format of a resume to go into depth about what is important to you. But make sure the resume is providing new insight into you--redundant information is not appreciated. I would suggest no more than one page, perhaps grouping less significant activities as "other" or omitting them altogether. Try to arrange it so you convey your story. If service and charity work is not your primary passion, don't put it at the top, but be flexible in your thinking about what you might feature there.

Oh, and don't be too creative with the overall format. Examine the look of the Common App and follow it fairly closely. Too much deviation will only confuse and slow down your reader who must read thousands of other applications. (There might be room for an exception to this in the case of graphics and arts types, but otherwise I wouldn't suggest too much visual creativity.)
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