Jul 19, 2016
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The same thing is happening to me...I'm trying to do two every day and reuse essays with similar prompts when I can. My strategy was to do the schools that send out early IIs first, followed by my reach schools, followed by all other schools, but I'm not sure if this is the best order. Just try and get them done ASAP and don't forget to proof read!
 
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summergirl

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Feb 28, 2012
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It really depends on how fast you write. Some people can write a 500 words essay in 2 hours, some take 2 days. Although 20 secondaries in 2 weeks with a full time job is going to be extremely tough. I tried doing secondaries while having a full-time position and it took me about 2 days per secondary, and I was still super exhausted.

On a happier note, you job/volunteer is just fine.
 
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fawkes94

5+ Year Member
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Dec 19, 2011
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The same thing is happening to me...I'm trying to do two every day and reuse essays with similar prompts when I can. My strategy was to do the schools that send out early IIs first, followed by my reach schools, followed by all other schools, but I'm not sure if this is the best order. Just try and get them done ASAP and don't forget to proof read!
Thanks for your actually useful reply! That seems like a sound strategy. Where are you finding which schools send early IIs? Just from the school specific threads?
 
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fawkes94

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2011
99
22
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
It really depends on how fast you write. Some people can write a 500 words essay in 2 hours, some take 2 days. Although 20 secondaries in 2 weeks with a full time job is going to be extremely tough. I tried doing secondaries while having a full-time position and it took me about 2 days per secondary, and I was still super exhausted.

On a happier note, you job/volunteer is just fine.
True, the last thing I want to do after a 12 hour shift is write an essay, so I think I'll aim for 1 secondary a day, and hopefully a lot of the essays will be variations of one another. The last part was good to hear at least! Thanks for your input!
 
Jul 19, 2016
86
106
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Thanks for your actually useful reply! That seems like a sound strategy. Where are you finding which schools send early IIs? Just from the school specific threads?
Yeah, basically. It's stressful to see that people are already getting IIs, but I know it's still early in the cycle and it motivates me to write faster!
 

darkjedi

how did this get here I am not good with computer
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Oct 14, 2009
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What really helped me manage all my secondaries was trying to organize all of the secondary prompts into one place and see if I could group them down into as few similar buckets as possible. So instead of writing like 20+ essays, I wound up writing only a couple boilerplate essays that could be applied to several different prompts that I then tweaked for each school.
 
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Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
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The Other Side of the Portal
While working on some secondaries, I noticed they ask for any new activities/plans. I moved home after college so naturally I stopped all of my volunteering work/employment/research from when I was in college. Right now I am employed as a scribe for 30-40 hours a week and volunteering at a school 8 hours a week in a nonmedical capacity. Is this too little? Should I be doing more, or even volunteering at a hospital? I love scribing and volunteering at the school, but I don't think I can start volunteering at a hospital or anything like that because the hospital in the small town I live in now has a wait list to even start as a volunteer
In what environment do you scribe?
 

thatwouldbeanarchy

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Nov 6, 2014
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I would start by reading through all of the secondary prompts. Maybe create a little spreadsheet with all of the questions to help me map out which essays I could reuse for which schools. Since you have a lot on your plate all at once, it may not be a bad idea to be somewhat strategic about which secondaries you submit first, like maybe your state schools (or schools that your stats match well) and dream school first.

Also, make sure to pay attention to whether any of the schools you've applied to have specific deadlines for secondary submission. One school I applied to actually gave each person a date that their secondary had to be submitted by in order to be considered!
 

mcatjelly

Meow
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Dec 21, 2013
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I recommend you create two things:

1) A word document with every single secondary question, and then categorize those questions by topic: diversity essays, adversity essays, why this school? essays, community service essays, medical experience essays, etc. Change the color of every essay question you have left to complete to red. Once they're written, make the font black again. Easier for you to figure out which ones you have left.

2) A spreadsheet with rows for every school you applied to and columns saying secondary received, submitted, marked complete, when you were put on hold, received an interview, etc. It's helpful to see a visual of what you've done and where you're at.
 

thatwouldbeanarchy

2+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2014
974
1,168
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Medical Student
I recommend you create two things:

1) A word document with every single secondary question, and then categorize those questions by topic: diversity essays, adversity essays, why this school? essays, community service essays, medical experience essays, etc. Change the color of every essay question you have left to complete to red. Once they're written, make the font black again. Easier for you to figure out which ones you have left.

2) A spreadsheet with rows for every school you applied to and columns saying secondary received, submitted, marked complete, when you were put on hold, received an interview, etc. It's helpful to see a visual of what you've done and where you're at.
I did this and it was super helpful. I also included secondary fees to help me keep track of expenses.
 
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Dr Tony T. Chopper

Professional Whippersnapper
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Mar 6, 2014
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So, I was incredibly stupid and failed to pre-write any of my secondaries because I thought I'd have more time before my application got verified and because I am also incredibly lazy. Now I'm looking at 20 different secondaries in my inbox all sent within the last two days. Does anybody have any advice on how to tackle them? Is two weeks too short to get them all sent out and maintain decent quality? I don't think I'm that strong/creative of a writer, and writing my PS took around a month of revising everyday.

Also slightly unrelated but related: While working on some secondaries, I noticed they ask for any new activities/plans. I moved home after college so naturally I stopped all of my volunteering work/employment/research from when I was in college. Right now I am employed as a scribe for 30-40 hours a week and volunteering at a school 8 hours a week in a nonmedical capacity. Is this too little? Should I be doing more, or even volunteering at a hospital? I love scribing and volunteering at the school, but I don't think I can start volunteering at a hospital or anything like that because the hospital in the small town I live in now has a wait list to even start as a volunteer

Sorry for the rant, any advice is appreciated!
14 days to write 20 secondaries? Better hope that most of the prompts are similar enough for you to reuse parts of already-written ones.