Step By Step Guide To Fill Application Form

USA Common APP

As you might know by now the common app goes live on August 1. The below steps will acquaint you with the application’s online interface.

Do note that in case you run into any problems while filling the application form, you can fix an appointment with our counsellor at to resolve your queries.

1) Creating an account

The first step is to create an account in the Common Application website

Creating an account

2) Common App header tabs explained

After you create your account, you will be directed towards common app dashboard.

Common App header tabs explained

Here you will see the following sections:

• My Colleges: This section allows you to access information and requirements on each of your chosen colleges.
• Common app: This is the application form required to apply to your chosen colleges.
• College search: You can choose and compare colleges here. Each college that you choose in this section will get added to the My Colleges list as well as the Dashboard.
• Financial Aid resources: Here you can find various financial aid and funding options.

College Search:

• Enter the name of the college in the Criteria section to search for the same.
• You may even generate a list of colleges by selecting the various options provided. For example, if you want to generate a list of colleges which do not require the Common App personal essay, simply tick this field and ‘Search’.
• It is recommended that you have your College list ready in hand, where you wish to apply, before you get into this section. Then use the College Search tab to ‘ADD’ these to your Common App list for applications.

College Search

After you have selected the desired colleges where you wish to apply through the Common App, your dashboard would look somewhat like this.



• You can see your college list here along with their Writing Requirements, Deadlines, Application and Writing Supplement status.
• The ‘Remove’ tab can be used to remove a college from the list. Note that once you remove a college, your application would not be sent to the same.
College Searchshows that the college requires the Common App personal essay to be submitted.
College Searchshows that the college also asks some optional questions which you may choose to answer if you wish.
College Searchshows that the college requires additional essays or writing supplements

3) Filling out the common app

In the above section, you entered the names of colleges for application through the Common App. It is time now to start filling the Common Application to apply to these colleges.

There are six sections to complete in the Common App. This short guide provides a guideline to fill these sections.

Section A: Profile

In this section you fill in your personal details and background. It has nine sub-sections.

1) Personal Information:

Personal Information

2) Address:


3) Contact Details:

Contact Details

4) Demographics


5) Geography:


6) Language:


7) Citizenship:


8) Scholarship Information:

Scholarship Information

9) Common app fee waiver:

Common app fee waiver

Section B: Family

The Family section includes four sub-sections. Your family information is required here.

1) Household:


2) Parent 1:

Parent 1

2) Parent 2:

You may use the guide in above section to fill in the information for your second parent.

3) Sibling:


Section C: Education

In this section you will have to input your academic backgrounds, from grades to rank and to what colleges you have attended. This section consists of eight sub- sections.

1) Current or most recent secondary school:

Current or most recent secondary school

2) Other Secondary Schools:

Use the above section as a guide to provide information on any other secondary schools you may have attended.
Enter ‘O’ if you have not added any additional secondary school, other than the one given in the above section. Otherwise choose the number of additional secondary schools you have attended and provide their information.

3) Colleges and Universities:

Here you need to mention all colleges or universities you might have attended, even if this was for a Summer Program.
Put ‘O’ if you have not attended any college or university.
In the example below, the user has attended a summer program at Brown University.

Colleges and Universities

4) Grades:


5) Current or most recent year courses:

Current or most recent year courses

6) Honors:


7) Community based organizations:

Here you need to indicate the number of community programs or organizations that have provided you with free assistance in your application process.
Put this is ‘O’ if you have not used the support of any community program or organization for your applications.

Community based organizations

8) Future plans:

Here you need to indicate the number of community programs or organizations that have provided you with free assistance in your application process.
Put this is ‘O’ if you have not used the support of any community program or organization for your applications.

Future plans

Section D: Testing

This section gives you an option to self- report your ‘Standardized Test’ scores for ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Test, AP, IB Subjects, TOEFL, PTE Academic and IELTS.

For example, if you took the SAT/ACT, you will enter the date that you took it and the overall score that you received. If you have taken a test multiple times, make sure to always enter your highest score. If you’re using scores from different test dates, make sure all the tests are sent to the colleges you’re applying to. If you haven’t taken the test yet, but are planning to, enter the date that you’ll be taking it instead of the score. However, in most cases students are ready with their best score to directly report it.

This has two sub-sections: first for Standardized Test score reporting and second for

1) Test taken:

Test taken

2) Senior Secondary leaving examinations:

Senior Secondary leaving examinations

Section E: Activities

The “Activities” section of the Common App one way to showcase your unique candidature. This is a place to showcase what you have done outside of class. Following are its sub-sections:


In the example below, the student has chosen two activities which they want to report.

1) Activity 1:

Activity 1

2) Activity 2:

Activity 2

Section F: Writing Section

In this section you would be seven different prompts to choose from and you can explain anything that you haven't had the space or opportunity to communicate in the rest of your application. This is the final section of Common application. Here are its sub-sections:

1) Personal Essay:

Step 1 : You can see which universities on your Dashboard require the essay.

Personal Essay

Step 2 : You be provided on option to choose from one of the seven essay topics.

essay topics

Step 3 : You can type in or paste from another source into this field.

(Remember that the maximum word count is 650)

another source

2) Disciplinary History:

Disciplinary History

3) Additional Information:

Additional Information

The above section completes the Common App.

Note :

You may also see a ‘Courses & Grades’ tab on the left panel of the Common App. Some colleges might ask you to report your academic history, including grades and credits, for all secondary schools you have attended.

Enter the details required but do note that your school counsellor would still need to upload your academic transcripts on your behalf.


How to send your Official School Transcripts to colleges ?

The following text has been replicated from the Common App website at

Chapter 1 Transcripts (International Applicants)

A transcript is an official list of the courses (or classes) you have taken and the grades you have earned in those courses during your academic career. Most colleges will require the last three or four years of courses and grades. If you have not yet completed your final year of secondary school, your counselor can submit the final grades on the Final Report once they are available.

When using the Common Application, a transcript is typically provided by your counselor (or the equivalent of an academic administrator at your school). This person can submit your transcript through his/her Counselor or Recommender account. If your counselor chooses not to submit a transcript through the Common App, please contact each school directly to determine how you should send your official transcript.

Note: The information on this page is a guideline to fill the common app.
Images on the page have been taken from and are the property of the common application,Inc.