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Activities & Honors Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Honors

  2. How to fill it out

  3. What order should they go in?

  4. Activities

  5. How to fill it out (basic)


  7. What order should they go in?

  8. Activity or Honor? 🤔


How to fill it out

  • 100 character limit

  • Use phrases instead of sentences

  • Type numbers instead of spelling them out (6, not “six”)

  • Combine multiple years into one entry

  • Avoid writing out things already in the checkboxes

Bad: I got first place in the national Example Making Competition in the high school division in the science category as a junior. (104 characters)
Good: 1st place, Example Making Competition; science category (55 characters)

What order should they go in?

Factors to consider:

  • Level of Recognition: the higher the level, the more impressive

  • Exclusivity: how many people can get this award?

  • Relevance to your major: a Scholastic Writing award in poetry isn't as important if you're applying as a biology major

  • Difficulty: how hard was it to get this award?

  • Recency: more recent honors are better. Avoid middle school honors.



How to fill it out (basic)

  • 150 character limit for description

  • Use the official title for your position

  • Use present tense for activities you still do & past tense for past activities

  • Use specific numbers whenever possible! Examples:

  • How much money did you raise?

  • How many new members did you recruit?

  • How many people attended the concert?

  • Avoid repeating verbs (even across activities if possible)

  • Choose specific verbs over general verbs (bad verbs: avoid made/did/led/helped)

Bad: I worked as the marketing director at a small local business. I designed social media posts, in addition to coordinating digital advertising campaigns and printed flyers. We raised a significant amount of money through these. (225 characters)
Good: Designed social media posts; coordinated digital and print ad campaigns that raised $10,000 (91 characters)


Job Function: the list of actions you performed. The verb is the most important part of each function. This should be centered around your role in the group.

Good Examples:

  • Mentored students 1:1 in calculus 2 hrs/week

  • Coordinate scheduling & delegate tasks to 16 jr. volunteers

  • Recommend frequency/quantity of restocking based on consumer interest

  • Raised $2k for charity via in-person and virtual events

Focus on your job function, NOT personal results.

Bad examples:

  • Honed leadership skills from volunteering experience

  • Improved time management & multitasking abilities

  • Gained invaluable firsthand experience from shadowing

  • Found my passion for grassroots activism

What order should they go in?

Meaningful engagement is relevant here. Factors to consider:

  • Length of time: How long have you been doing this for?

  • Role: Did you have a distinguished or leadership position or role?

  • Prestige: Did you or your group win any award, competition, or honor?

  • Relevance to major

  • Continued engagement: Will you keep doing this in college?


Activity or Honor? 🤔

Some honors can be listed as part of an activity. You should make this decision based on how many activities and honors you have total.


  • “Chess” can be an activity that includes not just your high school chess club but also any individual chess awards or competitions that you won.

  • “Violin” can be an activity that includes being principal violin in your school orchestra, state honors orchestra, and a soloist competition award.

  • “Math” is a school subject, not an activity. List your AMC placement as an honor.

  • However, if you were in your school math club, you can list “Math Club” as an activity that includes your AMC placement.

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