Which extracurricular activities of mine are worth mentioning?

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Uriel25
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Hi, I am an A Level student and will complete my A Levels this summer. Afterwards, I will apply for university, obviously. My IGCSE results are excellent and A Level results are quite good too so far. But I am worried about extracurricular activities, which a lot of universities specially in USA (I am not that sure about UK) give much significance to. So, I was wondering, whether the extracurricular activities below can be considered good enough:

1) I am the president and founder of a school debate club. Nothing fancy! We have 12 regular members and we usually compete amongst ourselves and take part in inter-school contests around twice or thrice a year.

2) I am the editor of the biannual school magazine. I write regularly for the magazine and also edit other students' contributions. I have been doing it for the last 2 and a half years.

3) I have been teaching since I was in Std-VII. And I don't teach little kindergarten students. When I was in Std-VII I tutored my friend's sister who was in Std-VI back then. So far, I have tutored IGCSE students too. And recently, I have been asked to join a local coaching center as an English teacher for the Std-VIII batch. (I don't know if teaching counts as extracurricular though!)

4) As my school is really small, it didn't have a library, until a few months back when me and a group of my friends started a small library with contributions and donations from students, parents and the neighborhood. And I daresay, the library is starting to look quite neat now!

5) As for sports or games, I was thinking of starting a chess club or cricket club or sth, but no credit yet

So, what do you think? I know they are probably not very brilliant, but please lemme know what you think of them, and what more I can perhaps do in the next half year!
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Hanover
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(Original post by Uriel25)
Hi, I am an A Level student and will complete my A Levels this summer. Afterwards, I will apply for university, obviously. My IGCSE results are excellent and A Level results are quite good too so far. But I am worried about extracurricular activities, which a lot of universities specially in USA (I am not that sure about UK) give much significance to. So, I was wondering, whether the extracurricular activities below can be considered good enough:

1) I am the president and founder of a school debate club. Nothing fancy! We have 12 regular members and we usually compete amongst ourselves and take part in inter-school contests around twice or thrice a year.

2) I am the editor of the biannual school magazine. I write regularly for the magazine and also edit other students' contributions. I have been doing it for the last 2 and a half years.

3) I have been teaching since I was in Std-VII. And I don't teach little kindergarten students. When I was in Std-VII I tutored my friend's sister who was in Std-VI back then. So far, I have tutored IGCSE students too. And recently, I have been asked to join a local coaching center as an English teacher for the Std-VIII batch. (I don't know if teaching counts as extracurricular though!)

4) As my school is really small, it didn't have a library, until a few months back when me and a group of my friends started a small library with contributions and donations from students, parents and the neighborhood. And I daresay, the library is starting to look quite neat now!

5) As for sports or games, I was thinking of starting a chess club or cricket club or sth, but no credit yet

So, what do you think? I know they are probably not very brilliant, but please lemme know what you think of them, and what more I can perhaps do in the next half year!

Extracurricular activities in the UK are not as important as in the US. Excellent grades are enough for admission. However, you need something to talk about in your PS to convince them that you're the right person, suitable for this course!
Please, don't just mention any extracurricular activities that come into your mind - always try to connect those activities with the couse you're applying for. For instance, you're applying for Biology: Organising a library or playing chess is irrelevant in this case, so
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bluebeetle
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As mentioned above, extra-curricular activities are less important to UK universities.
The strategy my school recommended was to write about a large chunk of your PS about extra-curriculars relating directly to your subject of interest (e.g seminars, work experience, extra reading) and then reserve maybe a sentence or two to talk about your most impressive extra-curricular that isn't directly related to the course (e.g I wrote about editing the school magazine). Make sure you emphasise how the skills (organisation, time-keeping) will help you at uni too.


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username402722
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2, 3 and 4 seem to be the best to mention.
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returnmigrant
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No Admissions Tutor will be interested in ant extra-curricular activities unless you can directly relate them to your proposed University subject. The fact that you edited the school mag once doesnt in itself tell me anything about you or, more importantly, your suitability for University level study. However, if you were applying for English Lit then clearly your ability with language and understanding of the impact of the written word would be relevant. However, what would be the point of mentioning you are a member of the chess club - you play chess a couple of times a week, so what.

You have a very limited amount of space in a PS. If you waffle on about your hobbies you won't have enough space to demonstrate anything about your intellectual abilities or, most importantly, why you want to study this subject at Uni. 'Doing extra things' at school to impress your teachers isn't what Unis look for. I am always far more impressed by someone who tells me about the hard graft they've put in doing meaningful voluntary work outside school over a sustained length of time and what that did for them in terms of increased maturity, self-confidence and communication skills.

Read this - http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...onal_statement
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Uriel25
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Thank You guys, for the replies! I think I will probably apply for E Lit at the good unis of UK, seeing most of my extracurricular activities point in that direction, as do my grades. In that case, my PS will most likely be about my writing experience and also my experience of teaching English. I forgot to mention that I have a published ebook of poetry and also several publications of poetry and critical reviews in Daily Star and other such. Will that help maybe?
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by Uriel25)
Thank You guys, for the replies! I think I will probably apply for E Lit at the good unis of UK, seeing most of my extracurricular activities point in that direction, as do my grades. In that case, my PS will most likely be about my writing experience and also my experience of teaching English. I forgot to mention that I have a published ebook of poetry and also several publications of poetry and critical reviews in Daily Star and other such. Will that help maybe?
Read my sticky and make your ps overwhelmingly about your interest in studying English Lit at university. Take especial note of what the admissions tutor had to say about extra-curricular activities, which I have quoted verbatim.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2012563
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SlowlorisIncognito
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(Original post by Uriel25)
Thank You guys, for the replies! I think I will probably apply for E Lit at the good unis of UK, seeing most of my extracurricular activities point in that direction, as do my grades. In that case, my PS will most likely be about my writing experience and also my experience of teaching English. I forgot to mention that I have a published ebook of poetry and also several publications of poetry and critical reviews in Daily Star and other such. Will that help maybe?
Do you have have a passion for English lit, or have you just chosen it because you think you have the best chance of getting in? You need to have a real passion for your university subject, as once you get there it is all you will study for 3 years. As you seem to talk about writing a lot more than reading, perhaps something like journalism might be more suitable?

I think you may still not have quite the correct approach to writing a UK personal statement.

The main thing that at least 2/3 of the statement should focus on is why you want to study English lit as a subject at UK universities, and why you are a suitable student for the accademic study of English.

Your writing, whilst a nice extra, doesn't really belong in this section. I'm not an expert on English personal statements, but the most important part seems to be discussing the books you have read- including things that aren't just the classics found on many school curriculums and a bit of modern fiction. Read the links you've been given and you should have a much clearer idea of what the main bulk of your statement should cover.

I would probably put the magazine editting, the fact you've had poetry published, and the library founding in your paragraph on extra curriculars.

Don't forget that as you are taking a gap year, some universities will want you to discuss what you're doing on your gap year (some won't be interested, but you should check before leaving it out entirely). This will reduce your space to talk about irrelevant ECs, such as chess and debating.
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returnmigrant
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As illustration of this, here is the English admissions statement for Uni of Bristol -
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/prospectus/...ts/english.pdf

As you will see, the Uni is not much fussed by extra-curriculars unless they are directly relevant to the subject. And there is an important phrase in the section on references - 'Evidence of high levels of motivation, an ability to work independently, and intellectual inquisitiveness', which is well worth remembering. If you can demonstrate this, you'll have a good PS.
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