Amcas Activities section - short or long descriptions?

mecute

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Does anyone have any advice on how long the descriptions should be for the activities listed in AMCAS? It says 1325 character limit, which is exactly 25% of the maximum for the personal statement. I can't bring myself to say more than one or two sentences here, maybe 300+ characters. Is this something I need to spend a lot of time on? What is everyone else doing?
 

ChymeChancellor

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mecute said:
Does anyone have any advice on how long the descriptions should be for the activities listed in AMCAS? It says 1325 character limit, which is exactly 25% of the maximum for the personal statement. I can't bring myself to say more than one or two sentences here, maybe 300+ characters. Is this something I need to spend a lot of time on? What is everyone else doing?
:sleep:

Either way you are probably fine. You will get differing opinions on here. Do what you feel comfortable with.
 

sunflwr85

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mecute said:
Does anyone have any advice on how long the descriptions should be for the activities listed in AMCAS? It says 1325 character limit, which is exactly 25% of the maximum for the personal statement. I can't bring myself to say more than one or two sentences here, maybe 300+ characters. Is this something I need to spend a lot of time on? What is everyone else doing?

I've been debating on this as well. I'm doing a pre-med summer program now in Cincinnati which includes a mock interview, and my interviewer suggested that I cut down the length of my descriptions. He said that he found it a little tedious to read, and he could ask me about the details in the interview. I had been told the exact opposite before, though, so when I met with the dean of admissions a few days later, I asked him as well. He was of the opinion that longer was better, as they may not have time or get around to asking you about all your activities. Plus, some interviews are closed-file. Taking all of that into account, I'm just writing enough so that I feel the experience is clearly defined. I'm also trying to put a short snippet about why it was valuable to me. Most of mine are in the 600 character range, with a few shorter and a few longer. As long as you say what needs to be said, I guess it probably doesn't really matter all that much. Good luck to you! :)
 

Hoberto

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I think you should choose the two or three activities that you liked the most, would most want to talk about and are the most interesting and write a more in-depth description of only those two or three. Choose two or three that are not already fully discussed in your PS. Write a brief couple of sentences about the other activities. You can then expand on some of the other activities in your secondaries.

Each school receives thousands of applications and asking them to read through an extra three pages of material is just not polite.
 

ChymeChancellor

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hoberto said:
I think you should choose the two or three activities that you liked the most, would most want to talk about and are the most interesting and write a more in-depth description of only those two or three. Choose two or three that are not already fully discussed in your PS. Write a brief couple of sentences about the other activities. You can then expand on some of the other activities in your secondaries.

Each school receives thousands of applications and asking them to read through an extra three pages of material is just not polite.
Schools asking us to pay $100 dollars to review our application is just not polite either... :sleep:
 

Dr Durden

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The Dean of Admissions for Vandy Med told our summer research program that their best candidates usually have a brief paragraph describing most of their activities. Yet as others have pointed out, you're going to hear different advice from different places.

Either way though, get it done soon!
 

Hoberto

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Dr Durden said:
The Dean of Admissions for Vandy Med told our summer research program that their best candidates usually have a brief paragraph describing most of their activities. Yet as others have pointed out, you're going to hear different advice from different places.

Either way though, get it done soon!
Yeah, if not writing a long description for a few then go with a short and brief description for most. Just think about what you are doing. If you are writing 1300 characters about that one day you volunteered at the AMSA bake sale table for a couple of hours there's a problem. Unless, of course, you were selling cancer curing brownies that you baked with a recipe you conjured up.
 

WildTumor

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Use common sense: If something (like research) needs a longer description then do it. Otherwise, stay short, brief, and concise.
 

biggoron42

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I gave long descriptions. If the adcom is pissed and doesn't want to read it, then that's fine, they don't have to. But I want it to be available just in case someone would like to know more about what I did. I don't want to count on interviews (which can be very haphazard in the material they cover based on the person doing the questioning) to explain things that I'm passionate about. Screw them if they don't like it, The $100 check in the mail should ease their pain.