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How much detail do you write in the activities section?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Laurenxxxx, May 19, 2014.

  1. Laurenxxxx

    Laurenxxxx 2+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2014
    I'm not sure how much to write about in the activities description box. I could condense each activity into 1-2 sentences like on a resume or expand and fill up the whole box. Which is better?

    There may already be a post like this somewhere, if so, just redirect me or whatever magic you do. I found a post ten years ago with this question but people had differing opinions. Thanks!
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  3. banksgk


    Mar 15, 2014
  4. dancingmate

    dancingmate 5+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    I filled up the box for almost each activity. I personally thought it would be beneficial to provide as much information/detail as possible about my experience given the limited space we have already.
  5. Heplayer92

    Heplayer92 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2013
    Yeah, I filled mine up too.

    I heard some schools such as the California ones look at primaries closely before sending out a secondary, whereas other schools will almost always send you a secondary if your numbers aren't screened out.

    But at the same time, I'm sure there's no "right way" or "only way" to do this process. Just do you!

    Good luck!
  6. kyamh

    kyamh 2+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2013
    I had to fight for every character. Hopefully, you have way more than 1-2 sentences your would like the admissions committee to know about each activity ;) Use the space to highlight your responsibilities and unique contributions/accomplishments.
  7. Shazam243

    Shazam243 2+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2014
    Filled my up to the last character.
  8. The Helpful Aye Aye

    The Helpful Aye Aye I'm not so grump 2+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    I think that if you've filled out all 15 work/activity spaces, you should make an effort to guide admissions people in the direction of what's most important to *you*. Not every experience is transformative/served the purpose of driving you towards medicine. Non-research campus jobs used to help pay for school, for example, are not worth 700 characters. They're worth listing because they show that you were busy during school, but beyond that there's no deep purpose about which to wax poetic.

    If you treat everything like you've saved the whales, you may get asked about something that actually wasn't a big deal to you (as opposed to a EC where you did actually saved the whales). You have to use discretion and be consistent with your interpretation of the directions.
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  9. kyamh

    kyamh 2+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2013
    I totally agree. I think what @notajock2day and I were saying was that for the experiences we thought were important enough to list (9/15 for me), we used up every possible character to get the most out of the space given.
  10. familyaerospace

    familyaerospace 7+ Year Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    In my books, GA
    Most of mine were filled up IF needed, others were not. It has to be long enough to cover everything but short enough to be interesting.
  11. TonySoprano

    TonySoprano 5+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  12. snowflakes

    snowflakes 2+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    I kind of agree. I think you should write about more than just your responsibilities/description of the role, and also include some reflection about the experience. Like, "through X I learned how Y affects Z." But be careful that you don't write about all of the anecdotes and reflections you have in your primary/secondary. Make sure you have a little more to add to/expand upon the experience during your interview. Otherwise your interview will be really bland, since most interviewers read all of your written material beforehand..

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