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Active vs. passive voice for the writing sample

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by dochoov, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. dochoov

    dochoov Intercalating Death Disk 2+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    Does it matter? If so, which one do the graders prefer?
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  3. killinsound

    killinsound Physician 10+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    passive IMO. if you take an active voice, you could find yourself caught up. if you keep your head, it doesnt really matter which. passive to be safe.
  4. Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student 2+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    I don't know what an MCAT instructor would say, but generally speaking, I believe active voice is better for writing. Passive voice can make your essay sound cumbersome and archaic.

    That is, if the essay is written by you in a voice that is not expressing the presentness of the action; said essay could be seen as very difficult to comprehend by the MCAT grader.
  5. GreenShirt

    GreenShirt 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    By active vs. passive do you mean neutral vs. opinionated in your arguement or do you mean the grammatical definition of those term?

    If you mean it in the grammatical sense, you're always supposed to use active (ie. active: The man picked up the book, passive: The book was picked up by the man).

    If you're asking about revealing where you stand on a particular arguement, then you want to make sure that you are presenting a well-thouhgt out and balanced point of view on the topic, while addressing all the points they ask you to address.
  6. dochoov

    dochoov Intercalating Death Disk 2+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    I meant the grammatical definition. And thank you all for your responses, I'll be sure to stick with more of an active voice.
  7. apricotattack

    apricotattack 10+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Western US
    Stick with active voice, but avoid using 1st person. Try to make it a little exciting, the graders are said to take as little as 45 seconds per essay grading! So you don't have much time to make it pop.

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