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how important is it that we use a typewrite for the secondaries?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by drago, Jul 17, 2001.

  1. drago

    drago Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2001
    while it seems that many of the secondaries can be filled up using your computer, several secondaries require you to do some writing. do you think it will be detrimental to an application to write(extremely neatly) as opposed to using a typewriter. the latter would be a major pain in the ass since i don't own a typewriter (not to mention i don't want to spend my time doing that).
    thank you
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  3. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    If I remember correctly, I think some of the secondaries explicitly ask you to type. I'm not sure if handwriting would be detrimental necessarily, but I think the effort to use a typewriter is worth it. The way I see it, schools get thousands of applications for 100+ spots on average. Handwriting an application could be seen as being unprofessional, and could possibly get your application tossed for that reason alone. Why risk it, when you've invested so much more time and money into the situation.

    As for using a typewriter -- most libraries have one. Are you still in school -- perhaps you can talk to your advising office and they can offer you one to use. When all else fails, you can usually go to a Kinko's and they have typewriters available -- sometimes they charge, sometimes they don't. Or you can ask around your friends and family -- there's probably a good chance that someone you know has access to an office with a typewriter. If you look around a little, it shouldn't be too hard to find.
  4. cchoukal

    cchoukal Senior Member Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    SF, CA
    I agree. Unless your handwriting is really good, I'd type. Look at it this way, adcomms are going to be sifting through thousands of applications. Do you want yours to be harder to read than most of the others? With 100 apps for every spot at some schools, why give the school an easy reason to disregard your app? Are they going to work harder to read yours? I knew a guy that _said_ he bought a typewriter from Target, used it for his apps, and then re-boxed it and returned it. He said he did this 3-4 times throughout the process. Good luck!
  5. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2001
    just a side note, but did your friend change the typewriter ribbon before he returned it? if not, wouldn't everything he typed--his essays, social security numbers, address, phone numbers, etc, etc--all be imprinted on the ribbon and could be seen by the next person who bought the typewriter?

    sorry, that's just what popped into my head. it could have turned into a security issue had his SS# gone to someone who would do something illegal with it.
  6. Kraftappledigransat

    Kraftappledigransat Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 30, 2001
    I hear it's ok to just use a crayon.
  7. synite

    synite Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 20, 2001
    the other method they really like is if you record your responses on a cassette tape and send that in with the blank application. remember to repeat the question before saying your answer.
  8. paisley

    paisley Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    I was wondering if it would be OK to scan the original paper application onto one's computer, type in the appropriate information, and then print the entire thing out and mail it to the schools? Granted, it's not on the original stationary but it would be so much more convenient (and neater)! Has anyone done this? Thanks!
  9. tucker

    tucker Junior Member

    Jun 30, 2001
    I thought about that, but all my secondaries were on large paper folded in half to give 4 sides. I could have scanned it in, but then my printer couldn't have printed it the same way. The only way to do it is if you have a color printer, and then maybe take it to Kinkos to have them copy it onto big paper. Probably easier just to type on them-that's what I did.
  10. rdennisjr

    rdennisjr SDN Super Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Nov 26, 2000
    Omaha, NE
    On applications and forms I've done in the past, you can use your printer and still use the original form - here is the grand-master secret of printer use for original forms.

    1. Type your response on your computer wordprocessing program in the same size "area" that it's available on the form. You do this by measuring in from the top and left side of the form and then the width and depth of the available area. Then set the margins of the WP program to match those areas.

    2. Print a copy of your response - on plain paper! REPEAT - PLAIN PAPER - NOT THE ORIGINAL FORM (yet).

    3. Place the plain paper over the original form. Hold up agains a light. You'll be able to see through the paper and see if your response fits in the form.

    4. Adjust your margins as needed to correct any misplacement.

    5. Repeat until you get it lined up correctly. Try it one more time just to verify it. Also - note which side of the paper the printer is printing on so you can get it loaded correctly.

    6. Hold your fingers, cross your breath (or what ever works for you...) and print your final on the original form. YEA!

    Of course, this works best when there are large areas to fill in. If it's just a bunch of short-answer/factual stuff, then this is really way to much work.


    Dennis :D
  11. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    Actually, I used the rdennisjr method for a bunch of secondaries and it worked really well. The only step I would add, is at the beginning, make a few extra copies of the secondary form before you start. This is a good idea if you're using a typewriter as well, in case you seriously mess up and need to start over. Also, I found that some of the "original" secondary forms sent by the schools "bled" when I fed them into the printer. In that case, I just used one of the copies I had made instead -- never seemed to be a problem.
  12. coop

    coop Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2001
    I thought about the scanning method, but then looked up on ebay and was able to find a typewriter for $10, plus $15 shipping, so I'm gonna use that, the way I see it $25 is worth the hassle of going to a library or kinkos, or dealing with getting things to go thru my not-100%-reliable-printer. So there's another option for ya.

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