Cerberus

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I am trying to decide whether to take a job for this summer working 70-80 hours a week. How much time to secondaries generally take? I am applying to ~20 schools.
 

jlee9531

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70-80 hours a week....
hmm...im assuming you arent gonna do much else outside of work right?

cause in that cause you can sacrifice some hours of sleep to work on your secondaries.

20 secondaries can be tough if they are the ones that have multiple questions on them...my secondaries took a long ass time, really got no sleep in a 3 month period....but i had double the amount of schools...

but yeah 20 will be a good amount of work, but you're tough enough to handle a few less hours of sleep a night right?
 
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Eraserhead

Originally posted by Cerberus
I am trying to decide whether to take a job for this summer working 70-80 hours a week. How much time to secondaries generally take? I am applying to ~20 schools.
Are you taking the August MCAT? If yes, then don't take the job.

Otherwise for 20 schools it won't be that bad... You can certainly handle it with the job.

I worked 50-60 hours a week during secondary time and managed to apply to over 30 schools.
 
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umass rower

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Some of them are really easy, and some of them are very long. For example, Jefferson's and MCW's took me about a half hour each, if I remember correctly. Others ask for several essays, and can take several hours to complete. If you fill them out as you get them (and don't do what I did and wait) you should be able to manage it even with a demanding job, because they'll come in a stream rather than in bulk.

EDIT: You probably won't have a ton of time to keep training for next year's crew season though, and I see that as the real crime in this situation.
 

Brickhouse

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I didn't start really filling out secondaries until late August - how long is this summer job for? I was working a regular 40 hour job while applying - There were quite a few Saturdays where I didn't leave my room all day while working on secondaries - they are time consuming because the essays can be annoying. 70-80 hours is a long work week! But I think it's doable.
 

LaurieB

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Secondaries can be a lot of work. Sometimes you can reuse essays, but I was surprised by how different the questions were. Also, some schools have more essays than others. For example, Rush had 12. I wrote about 30 distinct essays for 18 schools, and they probably took me any where from 2-8 hours to write, edit, and rewrite.

A heavy workload might leave you too exhausted at the end of the day to work on essays, but that really depends on your style of working/writing.

One thing you could do is look up essay questions from last year adn get a head start so that you aren't in a time crunch. Many of the questions don't change and this also would get you in the zone of personal essays.

Hope this helps.
 

Heal&Teach

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Hi Cerberus,

I decided in advance that I wasn't going to spend too much time on my secondaries, and gave myself a deadline for each one. I tried to get my secondaries in and out in about one to three days, depending on the school. The longest I took was three weeks, and that's mainly b.c I was being lazy since it was the last application and had several essay questions. And I didn't write a story for the essays either. I generally wrote a solid paragraph, which some people may not be comfortable with. If you need to write a monologue to get your point across, then take the time to do that. Otherwise, you communicate what you need to in your AMCAS essay. The secondary essays are put in place to "get to know you better" (i.e. busywork). During interviews, I wasn't asked any questions about what I wrote in my secondaries, only references to my primary essay.

As far as essay construction, I just utilized each school's bulletin, wrote down a few points on why I liked each school, and constructed essays from those notes. The questions are different, but not so different that you can't recycle. I also used some work time (during lunch, down time, or at the end of a long day) to complete the essays as well. I am working, and may not have had as much to do as folks normally do in school, but I also have a relatively easy time with writing.

My advice is not to spend forever and a day on the secondaries. Take Laurie's advice, look up some of the secondary questions, and make a judgement as to whether you'll need a lot of time to do them. Just aim and shoot without hesitating.

Best,
H&T
 

Syranope2

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if it's just a summer job, you're fine. secondaries really don't start coming in until august or so. but there will be a month or two when it seems like as soon as you finish one secondary, another one will come in. you've just got to make sure you can stay on top of things.
 

uclacrewdude

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if you can do them as they flow in and not let them accumulate, you should be ok working. that will bode better for your chances of interview anyway. like someone suggested, try to have a week's turnaround as a general rule. like umass said, some you just have to fill in the blanks as to how much of your family went to school there and others want you to detail how the first ten yrs of your life proved that you had both the desire and knowledge necessary for medicine with annotations.

moreover, since youre applying to 20 schools, and youll be able to count on at least 15 secondaries, by the time you get to secondary #8 you should definitely be noticing some old questions from new schools. to some degree, you can just about copy and paste, obviously switching school names and objectives of the school in order to fit. thatll save you a great deal of time and allow you more time to perfect those more general questions ("describe any life challenges you have faced") and, more importantly, make yourself not so ugly on your passport photos.

ps. for those who havent seen his pic, cerb looks like this: (_!_). no, really.
 

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If your job is a desk job, you might be able to just work on the secondaries at work.

Honestly, I think it would be difficult to work 70-80 hours a week and do all the secondaries.
 

Mr Reddly

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Originally posted by Neuronix
So I see you're thinking about Duke's secondary now...
...
...

It honestly took me about 2 months to finish them all... I wasn't working... but I had close to 50.
 

Cerberus

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Thanks guys:) I will have weekends off so I may go ahead and take the job (I could really use the money for applications). I am concerned about finding time to train though:(
 

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Originally posted by LaurieB
Also, some schools have more essays than others. For example, Rush had 12.
Why would a school make you write 12 essays!?!? That is really dumb. I don't even think I will consider applying to Rush just because of their 12 essay secondary.
 

Cerberus

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Originally posted by LaurieB
Secondaries can be a lot of work. Sometimes you can reuse essays, but I was surprised by how different the questions were. Also, some schools have more essays than others. For example, Rush had 12.
I know one school i can mark off the list.
 

Mr Reddly

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Originally posted by Cerberus
I know one school i can mark off the list.
With the NU 2 week limit, you have a choice... make it top priority or mark it off the list. Means less people fill it out.
 

Neuronix

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Originally posted by Mr Reddly
With the NU 2 week limit, you have a choice... make it top priority or mark it off the list. Means less people fill it out.
Not to mention that when I applied they made me give them the money before I could even see the secondary. Pretty slick...
 

lukeday99

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Originally posted by Cerberus
I am trying to decide whether to take a job for this summer working 70-80 hours a week. How much time to secondaries generally take? I am applying to ~20 schools.
Dude, 70-80 hours? You're not being serious, are you? Have you ever worked a job like that? I worked several 60 hour ER weeks and I was dead, dead, dead as a dog, didn't want to do anything. Didn't even have the energy to go shopping or pay bills. Think about it, if you have both days of the weekend off, those are 16 hour days. Be pragmatic, Cerb, and never ever take such a job (except for residency, of course). I can tell you how much time you'll have to workout. Zero. Zilch. You'll eat, sleep, ****, and do whatever it is you're doing for work. And no time for secondaries. So I'd say be like every other person in the world and work a forty hour week.

Besides, when would you have time to post on SDN?
 
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