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Can I do a common app pretend application? Son is a junior - just thinking ahead to next year and don't know the details of the Common App, it all sounds like the great big unknown to me. Would it behoove me to play with a pretend application? Can I do that?

If so, can someone walk me through that a bit? I don't honestly even know where to begin...

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Absolutely do that. On the counselor/recommender page near the bottom, there's a "create a practice account" link. That link looks just like a regular student account creation/login, so I'm not sure that the CA people can tell the difference. (I just used extra email addresses & made up a fake student, a fake counselor, and fake recommenders. David Hasselhoff is a recommender & David Bowie is the school counselor. All the email addresses are aliases for a current email account I have, so I was able to see what the emails sent to everyone looked like.)

Just a warning, though—even if you do all that, you still may end up asking several questions here AND spending too much time :blush: messing with fonts, spacing, and the exact wording of your submissions. (Yes, I did just spend time signing my name, scanning it in, pasting it into various places only to decide I didn't like the way it went uphill or the way I didn't dot an 'i' in a noticeable way & then repeating the whole process. Also, I'm still not sure if I'm going to answer the rather obvious "context" question because then I'll feel like I need to answer the "descriptors" question & vice versa.) Make sure you check out the thread about "Common App shrinks my transcript!" All my documents had basically no margins (in the uploaded PDF version) because otherwise everything became very small & unreadable.

Good luck. :laugh:

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9 hours ago, RootAnn said:

Make sure you check out the thread about "Common App shrinks my transcript!" All my documents had basically no margins (in the uploaded PDF version) because otherwise everything became very small & unreadable.

Here's a link because sometimes searches can be hit or miss:

Common App shrinks my transcript! 

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Thanks, WMA! LoriD's pinned "Motherlode" thread has a ton of helpful Common App links on page two. After you set up your practice account and fiddle around with it, the threads make more sense. The CA changes from year to year, so some older things might change by next year  (like how they increased the document size so we don't usually have to shrink our file sizes like people did two or more years ago), but every question someone else asked is helpful.

Edited by RootAnn
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So that's not an issue anymore? It wasn't for me, but I thought maybe I just got lucky. (I should have known that wasn't the case. ?)

Oh wait, the thread is about it shrinking documents. Different issue. So, is the shrinking still a problem for some people?

 

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9 hours ago, mirabillis said:

thank you! is the pretend app only open til a certain date?
also to ask another dumb question (rather than looking it up myself...) when do seniors apply exactly (assuming not EA, i think)? is there an app open & close date?

Missed this! Sorry. Pretend app stays open the whole time the CA is open. It opens August, maybe? And closes in May, maybe? They do maintenance and make changes to it over the summer. One newish feature is the "roll over" ability. If you start the app this year, you are able to roll it over (without starting over) for next year's application season.

Each college has their own open/close date and you should be able to check those on each college's website now (for this year's applicants). Sometimes the writing supplement prompts (extras each college can ask for) aren't ready when the CA opens. But, that's college specific.

@WMA The auto-shrinking  (of what you see on the document) still happens, but the file size isn't a concern anymore. They seemed to have made it big enough that most people don't run into a problem.

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  • 2 weeks later...

so i'm creating an account after following the create a practice acct link... and yes it looks suspiciously like the same real accounts.

so do i register as a First Year Student OR Parent or Other Adult?

i figure i'll go with bogus email/info too - so what's the best way to do it?

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On 10/1/2018 at 10:20 PM, mirabillis said:

so i'm creating an account after following the create a practice acct link... and yes it looks suspiciously like the same real accounts.

so do i register as a First Year Student OR Parent or Other Adult?

i figure i'll go with bogus email/info too - so what's the best way to do it?

A "Parent or Other Adult" account is by default a practice account, and you will have to confirm that you understand you are creating a practice account. And when you are logged in, it will be watermarked as a practice account. I would suggest using an email address that will not ever be associated with a real account - just to avoid confusion.

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