Colleges

Build Yourself a Glowing Brag Sheet

Go ahead—GLOAT!

Shawna Newman

September 10, 2020

A brag sheet may be the secret to receiving ridiculously awesome letters of recommendation! It can also help you get into the college of your dreams.
Build Yourself a Glowing Brag Sheet
High school students have busy schedules often filled with extracurricular activities, clubs, volunteer work – not to mention academic work, too! All these aspects make up who you are as a person; college admission boards want to see student shine. All your hard work will pay off in the end—you just need to keep track of all these brag-worthy accomplishments.

The Brag Sheet Purpose

A brag sheet is very similar to a student resume – it highlights your accomplishments, key experiences, leadership skills and employment throughout your secondary education. Essentially, it’s a quick reference guide with all the details and achievements for someone trying to get to know you better.

How to Use a Brag Sheet

Your brag sheet can be used for many situations. A Letter of Recommendation Guide: Share your brag sheet with your public high school teachers, coaches or with any other adults with whom you are asking for letters of recommendation. Though a teacher may have you in class, they may not necessarily know all the clubs and activities you participate in, both in and outside of your school district. The brag sheet will help them easily reference your accomplishments, activities and skills, should they need help – remember, many of these adults have hundreds of students to keep track of so it’s difficult to reference each student’s accomplishments without help. Making it easier for them to do so will help them write a letter of recommendation effortlessly and this certainly works in your favor. A College Application Supplement : Including your brag sheet with your college applications can also give college admissions officers more insight into who you are outside of your student role. While it’s wonderful to have a great GPA and high test scores, colleges also want to see students who give back to the community and who are active beyond traditional academics. You may also want to keep your brag sheet handy when, or if you decide to complete the Common Application.

Brag Sheet Format

As with college essays, keep your brag sheet as clear and concise as possible. Anyone who will be reading your brag sheet will be reading many student documents. Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs for enhanced readability and keep your brag sheet to one page.

What to Brag About

A brag sheet doesn't need to look like a typical resume. Include your grade point average (GPA) and any test scores (such as the PSAT, SAT and ACT). But remember, the main highlight of your brag sheet is to showcase your high school career and personal accomplishments. Starting from ninth grade, include all your experiences. Ideally, you would have been keeping track of all your time in any extracurricular activity, sport, club, travels, volunteer service, as well as any awards, leadership positions, etc. If you have not been keeping track you should get started building your brag sheet (you’ll be grateful you had, come your senior spring semester). Remember this is called a brag sheet for a reason. It can seem uncomfortable listing all you’ve accomplished, but they are your WINS! While you should be honest (some schools do verify these), you should not be overly humble – it’s time to highlight your triumphs! At the top of your brag sheet, include your name, address and contact information. Additionally, some brag sheets include a question and answer format, which is your option. Some students answer questions, but only include them when giving their brag sheet to individuals writing letters of recommendation and not to potential colleges. You will have to determine what the best option for your situation. Some example questions include: • What would you consider to be your most outstanding accomplishment thus far, academic and personal?
• Talk about an event or happening in your life that had a significant impact on you. How did it affect your life, both personally and academically?
• Describe yourself using only five positive adjectives.
• What do you consider your three greatest academic strengths and weaknesses? Please briefly explain your answers.
• What do you consider your three greatest personal strengths and weaknesses? Please briefly explain your answers.
• Are there any factors or circumstances in your life related to your grades or admission test scores that you would like colleges to be aware of?
• Are you excited to explore a particular academic area in college? If yes, which area of study and why?
• Are you interested in a particular profession? Why?
• Briefly introduce yourself to your future college roommate.
Key high school experiences and activities that colleges will look for include (but are not limited to): • Volunteer and community service work
• Leadership positions you’ve held
• Non-academic extracurricular activities such as your involvement in music, arts or athletics
• Academic clubs or academically-focused extracurricular activities you are (or have been) involved in
• Honors and awards you’ve received (in school, community or otherwise)
• Employment, part-time or otherwise
When listing items like jobs, volunteer work and community service, include your supervisor’s name and number with the description. This way colleges can verify your experiences.

Download this brag sheet template and get started creating your own!

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