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I did not get mine in the mail but when I checked my status on the web it said approved for secondary. Yes they are screening there is just one essay question they ask for.
1) AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
This should be a true autobiographical statement. Topics to be included are family, childhood, primary and secondary school years, early adult years, and future career goals in medicine. You should also discuss the motivational factors which led you to a career in medicine including any disadvantages or obstacles which might put your accomplishments into context. A repeat of your AMCAS statement will not be acceptable.
DO NOT EXCEED THE SPACE PROVIDED FOR THIS PURPOSE (no more than two pages long).
Use a font size or pitch which is easily readable. Type your essay below:
I got an email (in my junk mail folder) telling me to check my status and there was the secondary. Nice of them to give us such a specific essay - "just tell us your entire life story please"
anyway, I would give up at least two, maybe three, fingers to go to UCSD, so I want to do really well on the essay. i was thinking to make it stand out, i would try to make it kind of funny. do you think that would be frowned upon? i hate being boring, but i also don't want to upset any of the adcom.
i would go ahead and make it funny as long as you are a good writer. i'm sure they will really appreciate a fresh change from the norm. be judicous - but i bet it rockets your app into attention if you do it right. goodluck- i like the school a lot too!
throughout the whole application it says not to exceed the space, but all the boxes are all expandable! maybe it's just on my computer (i'm using a mac now) but there really isn't any space provided for the essay - there's a page break right after it. i figured i'd just use up as much space as i needed up to two pages.
Did anyone ever figure out how much to write for the autobiography? Like people mentioned before, it says "DO NOT EXCEED THE SPACE PROVIDED FOR THIS PURPOSE" (which seems to be 3/4 of a page) and then it says: "(no more than two pages long)".
What did you guys who finished this do? Did you keep expanding it to be two pages?
Listen to jot guys. I cannot emphasize enough how important this essay is. If you seriously consider this school, you should put as much thought as you can spare into this autobio. I wouldn't have gotten into UCSD if it weren't for this autobiography. This is where you get to polish yourself even further. If you can show that you are a mature and compassionate individual, UCSD will look beyond the numbers.
Any advice on how to tackle this beast? This essay has been the hardest for me to write and I now i really need to get it done.
I know they want a lot about our motivations to go into medicine - how much did you focus on that?
It will probably surprise you that I only wrote this essay in 3 hours. That is short considering it asks you to write about your life. The reason is I have thought about this essay since the beginning of the process. I asked myself: What can I possibly convey to them about my character, background, and motivation that hasn't already been established in the personal statement?
You just have to dig deep inside and find it. Try to stay away from the academic side because you probably already have mentioned this in the personal statement and your primary application. For me, I concentrated heavily on my family background, especially the person who has made the most impact on my life, who is my mom. Don't be afraid to spill your heart and soul on this one because they give you a lot of room to do it. But don't tell them everything either, especially if the topic is too sensitive or politically incorrect. You can probably talk about such topic if you provide an adequate context for it. Talk about your childhood, your parents, your high school and college experience. Pick the happiest moment of your life and the saddest moment and tie them together. They want to see if there is any pain and sorrow in your life and how you overcame it. Of course, not everybody has pain and suffering in their life so you might want to choose how you overcame an obstacle. That obstacle can be an academic, familial, or a personal one. And finally, you can show how these past experiences in your life helped you to decide a career in medicine. Think about how they motivated you to become a physician. The most important thing to remember is don't repeat anything from the personal statement or your primary app unless you deem it necessary to emphasize again. Don't spend the majority of the essay talking about your crowning achievement in the field of research or community service. That, in reality, is only a small portion of your life. The average human being has unique and interesting experiences that span a lifetime.