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Verification of Common App Top 10

yayforapplesyayforapples 32 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi,
So when going through the Common App Top 10 Activities thingy, I realized that they don’t require verification for anything. Like I have performed at least 20-30 professional magic shows over the past three years but it is difficult to prove it; what prevents someone from putting an activity that they don’t even do (like, I could just put photography and write something about it without even doing it) and thus lying? Not implicating that I want to lie; in fact, I am frustrated that it seems to easy that people can do this.

Another thing: there was a somewhat funny anecdote that happened to me last year that I believe shows an important side of my personality. I am not writing about it in any of my essays. Is there any way I can add it in my application somewhere (this is for Princeton app,at least)

Thanks for your help in advance!
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Replies to: Verification of Common App Top 10

  • skieuropeskieurope 39188 replies6983 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    If the activity is really important to you, it's likely that it's mentioned in a rec. If a person claims involvement in a really prestigious group or claims a really prestigious award, there's always Google. And there is nothing to prevent an AO from contacting a GC and saying "So tell me about Pete's involvement in USAMO." Most activities, though, are not going to get that level of scrutiny.
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  • yayforapplesyayforapples 32 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Yikes, my GC doesn’t even know me that well and doesn’t know or care that I made USAMO(nothing about me; she handles 600 kids and no one except for the ~50 kids who do contest math know what USAMO is). My name is on the USAMO list so I’m not worried about that.

    I was just worried about the magic thing- how would they know that it’s a legit activity and not something I made up? I could like send videos of me performing but that seems try hard... It really is something very important to me; I practice for an hour every day on weekdays and 3-4 on weekends regardless of homework, tests, etc. Also I have performed at numerous professional settings including a few corporate events, retirement homes, birthday parties, etc.

    I did perform some magic tricks for my teachers but I don’t think that will show up on my recs, because the majority of class was work-related stuff (of which I participated, volunteered a lot, and my teachers seemed to like me a lot so I think I shouldn’t have bad recs).

    What about the anecdote though? Is there any way I can put it somewhere in my application (The event occurred at Princeton, so maybe in the Pton additional information section?)

    Sorry if any of this is trite or annoying or something.



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  • skieuropeskieurope 39188 replies6983 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Some colleges have a supplemental essay question that asks you to expand on an EC. If not, there may be a way to work it in to one of the required essays, but it should not feel forced or contrived.
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  • yayforapplesyayforapples 32 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I understand that; I wrote about magic in one of my essays. But what prevents someone from just writing that they like photography and writing about photography in their essay without actually doing it?
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39188 replies6983 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    I understand that; I wrote about magic in one of my essays. But what prevents someone from just writing that they like photography and writing about photography in their essay without actually doing it?

    Basically, nothing. But AOs did not just fall off the turnip truck. They read thousands of essays and are pretty adept at separating the wheat from the chaff. That said, just worry about your own application.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34060 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Even so-called legit activities aren't necessarily any tip.

    And nothing special about choosing to write about photog or making up accomplishments. For your targets, you need to know what does work for them.

    Even asking this question suggests you need to learn more. This isn't about impressing peers with made up things. They're pro adcoms, adults, and while they know the extraordinary levels some can achieve at, they can also spot when kids try to make a big deal out of the ordinary.

    Put another way, for schools like P or Rice, anything that raises an eyebrow can set you back. They don't often have the time or inclination to stop and check and once their eyes roll, you lose.

    Be wise, be truthful.

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  • yayforapplesyayforapples 32 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @above I know; I will definitely be truthful. There is no point in lying as 1) if you get in you are stealing a spot from another (probably) honest person and 2) if it seems fake then gg you are done. I am a strong believer in playing fair (not because I want to be morally right or something, but simply because I think that people use the claim that "the world isn't fair" as an excuse to exacerbate the issue by being unfair, which irritates me. anyway sorry for this useless digression).

    I was just surprised that there is no verification, and kind of irritated because it means that (with enough effort) one can add an EC to their resume that they don't really care about and didn't even do.

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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34060 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some colleges verify a percent. And yes, if it's a special accomplishment, relevant to the colleges, the GC should be mentioning it.

    It's a lot harder for kids to know how to fake well than it seems. And for top holistic schools, no one part of your application/supp is what sells.
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