Personal Essays Medical School

Specifically, we’ll discuss the most common mistakes students make when it comes to secondary essays.One of the biggest mistakes students make is waiting for the request for secondary essays to come before they start working on them.

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Let’s say you scheduled a vacation in the middle of application season for some reason, and your secondaries are just sitting there for a couple of weeks while you’re traveling. [Related episode: Does It Matter How Fast I Turn Around My Secondary Essays?

] You will find out that a lot of the questions are very similar from school to school.

If you’ve submitted your primary application and you’re not writing your secondary essays, then you’re behind.

Some schools will monitor how long it takes you to send a secondary back and they will use this as a gauge on your interest to get into their school.

If it takes you three weeks to respond, while their average response time is a week and a half, chances are that you could be put lower down the list.

Remember that the medical school admissions process is a rolling admissions process, which means that as soon as applications open, the clock is ticking.

You don’t need to re-work everything and re-frame things and tell new stories. Some schools just want it in their secondary and not in the primary application.

[Related episode: 5 Common Mistakes Premeds Make With Extracurriculars] Do not get caught copying and pasting without editing.

This is different than applying to college, which is a deadline-driven process.

As long as your application is in by the deadline, you’re just as good as everybody else that applied. So the earlier you turn in your primary application and the sooner you’re done with your secondary essays, the sooner your MCAT score is in, the sooner your letters of recommendation are in, and the sooner your application is complete, you have a better chance that the schools will look at your application while they still have plenty of interview spots open.


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