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Welcome! Admissions Tip #1: Stack Your Extracurricular Activities

Welcome to the TJTestPrep Blog Series! We will be releasing weekly blog posts regarding Round 2 of the TJHSST Admissions Process with insider tips and tricks!

Tip #1: Stack Your Extracurricular Activities

The most common topic appearing every year on the SIS is extracurricular activities. Applicants often overlook this characteristic, overemphasizing academics and testing. Testing gives the application a general idea of your ability to succeed at TJ, but doesn’t tell them very much about your character or passion for STEM. Extracurricular activities are the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your interest in STEM and show the admissions committee that you will pursue extracurriculars during your time at TJ. Admissions committees want to admit students that will utilize the full wealth of resources at TJ, not students who will only focus on academics.

Therefore, it is important to involve yourself in 2-3 STEM-related activities. Common examples include FIRST Lego League (FLL), Odyssey of the Mind (OM), American Computer Science League (ACSL), Science Olympiad, Math Counts, Math Olympiad, Technology Student Association (TSA), eCybermission, Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), Debate and Model UN. Even activities as small as independent projects about a STEM topic counts as an extracurricular if you can produce a tangible product with it, such as a report or website. Look to after-school activities offered by your middle school first, or start a team of your own to participate in these activities.

It is also important to demonstrate consistency. Being able to write about an activity that you did 6th, 7th, and 8th grade is far more impressive than one that you just joined a few months before the application. Through extensive involvement, ideally, you would have received awards or some recognition for your work, which you can also briefly mention in your essay.

Check back in soon for another insider application tip!

Questions? We are happy to chat with you about your application. Please reach out to

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