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Hey Adcoms!- Do hours matter more or length of time for extracurricular activities?

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Hopefulpremed123

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Hey @Goro @Catalystik @gyngyn @gonnif @LizzyM,

As the title states, when you are looking at an individual's extracurriculars what grabs your attention first? Obviously, I am sure the description the of activity is what matters the most... but after that what do you place the most weight on?The length of time or the hours the individual committed?

- For example

Candidate #1- 2 years in a particular activity with 100 hours
OR
Candidate #2- 9 months in a particular activity with 150 hours
 

gonnif

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Hey @Goro @Catalystik @gyngyn @gonnif @LizzyM,

As the title states, when you are looking at an individual's extracurriculars what grabs your attention first? Obviously, I am sure the description the of activity is what matters the most... but after that what do you place the most weight on?The length of time or the hours the individual committed?

- For example

Candidate #1- 2 years in a particular activity with 100 hours
OR
Candidate #2- 9 months in a particular activity with 150 hours
The question, as with most attempts at getting some broad general comparison, is impossible to answer as adcoms arent looking for some numerical calculation. Instead they are trying to see what this activity says about you. And the activity has to be put into context with everything else an applicant is doing, particularly at the same time. A person who has say only or 25 hours per term for over 4 terms/2 years but who had 18 credits each term, worked 20-30 hours a week, and did research and other activities something different about someone who did 150 hours over a year but who had 15 or less credits, no job, etc.
 
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when you are looking at an individual's extracurriculars what grabs your attention first? Obviously, I am sure the description the of activity is what matters the most... but after that what do you place the most weight on?The length of time or the hours the individual committed?

- For example

Candidate #1- 2 years in a particular activity with 100 hours
OR
Candidate #2- 9 months in a particular activity with 150 hours
It can depend on the activity. For example, for Shadowing total hours catch the eye, but for clinical (work or volunteer) experience, longevity matters more. For Hobbies, neither matters.
 
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scrapy

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Just wanted to weigh in that longevity is underestimated a great deal by applicants. I don’t think obvious cramming is looked upon favorably.

The problem is, I don’t think anyone knows what the perfect balance is between productivity and longevity from an admissions standpoint.
 
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Hopefulpremed123

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Was it the last year before the application or much earlier? Is there any other volunteer activity on the application or is there only one?
So I personally have many different types of volunteer activities( clinical and community service) lasting multiple years, and significant number of hours.

However, at the end of junior year I joined an organization that takes EKGs of high school student athletes at risk for sudden cardiac death. With this club I was able to not only get a lot of unique clinical experience but also identify multiple students at risk for this condition, potentially saving their lives. I also worked together with attending Cardiologists and learned a lot. I was able to amass around 180 hours with this.

- Yes, I will be applying this cycle.
 

LizzyM

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So I personally have many different types of volunteer activities( clinical and community service) lasting multiple years, and significant number of hours.

However, at the end of junior year I joined an organization that takes EKGs of high school student athletes at risk for sudden cardiac death. With this club I was able to not only get a lot of unique clinical experience but also identify multiple students at risk for this condition, potentially saving their lives. I also worked together with attending Cardiologists and learned a lot. I was able to amass around 180 hours with this.

- Yes, I will be applying this cycle.

It isn't a single activity but the entire picture that adcoms assess. In light of your other activities, this may be an interesting and unusual activity that you may find yourself being asked about quite a bit on the interview trail because it is novel and we like to chat about something that isn't the same stuff that everyone else has done (although those more common experiences such as shadowing, scribing etc will get you the interview).
 
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So I personally have many different types of volunteer activities( clinical and community service) lasting multiple years, and significant number of hours.

However, at the end of junior year I joined an organization that takes EKGs of high school student athletes at risk for sudden cardiac death. With this club I was able to not only get a lot of unique clinical experience but also identify multiple students at risk for this condition, potentially saving their lives. I also worked together with attending Cardiologists and learned a lot. I was able to amass around 180 hours with this.
Would you consider one year of a volunteer activity for roughly 150 hours to be favorable? and not cramming?
I would consider the activity described favorably.
 
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