Top Tips for the Common Application: A Step-by-Step Guide

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As an aspiring college student, you may find yourself facing the Common Application – a single online application accepted by over 900 colleges and universities across the United States. In this article, we share top tips to help you make the most of the Common Application and put your best foot forward.

1. Start Early:

Kickstart your Common Application well ahead of the deadline. This gives you ample time to ponder over the application components, gather necessary documents, and polish your essays.

2. Create a Brag Sheet:

Before filling out the application, create a “brag sheet” detailing your achievements, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and community service. This will come in handy when filling out the Activities section.

3. Choose Recommenders Wisely:

Select teachers who know you well and can provide specific examples of your strengths and contributions. Make sure to ask them well in advance and provide them with your brag sheet as a reference.

4. Thoughtfully Fill the Activities Section:

The Activities section is your chance to showcase what you’re passionate about. Select activities that demonstrate your commitment and contributions. Remember, quality trumps quantity.

5. Craft a Stellar Personal Essay:

The personal essay is arguably the most critical component of the Common Application. Make sure it reflects your voice and character. Start with an engaging hook, and don’t be afraid to get personal.

6. Customise for Individual Colleges:

Some colleges have additional questions or essays. Customize these portions to show that you have researched the institution and are genuinely interested in attending.

7. Review and Edit:

Always review and edit your application for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Ask a teacher, counsellor, or family member to review your application for a fresh perspective.

8. Keep Track of Deadlines:

With multiple components to the Common Application, it’s essential to keep track of deadlines, especially if you’re applying to multiple colleges. Create a timeline or calendar to stay organized.

9. Backup Your Work:

As you’re filling out the online application, remember to save your work frequently. It’s also wise to keep backups of your essays and other written responses.

10. Stay Calm and Be Yourself:

Remember, the Common Application is an opportunity to present who you are. Stay true to yourself, and don’t overthink it. Take breaks when needed and maintain a positive mindset.

Support from A-List Education:

Navigating the Common Application can be challenging. If you’re seeking expert guidance, A-List Education is here to offer personalised support. Our seasoned consultants have a wealth of experience and insights to help you showcase your strengths and potentials through the Common Application.

Don’t leave your college dreams to chance – with A-List Education, you gain a trusted education consultant in your pursuit of academic excellence. Learn more about how we can elevate your Common Application by contacting us today. Fill out the enquiry form below or email us at