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Importance of Writing Sample - Myth or truth?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Jugador75, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Jugador75

    Jugador75 Senior Member
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    Many people say the writing sample is not at all important, especially if you have a good verbal score and a well written essay on your aamc application. Obviously you want to do well on the writing sample, but it's not terribly important, is what most people say.

    Where do you get this from? Does anyone have a reliable source that this is the truth? i.e., they heard it from an admissions officer at a top med school? The fact that this notion is so widespread does not necessarily mean it is the truth. I am not saying that I personally know one way or the other, but I would like someone to verify what most people regard as an indisputable fact.

    Thanks,
    David
     
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  3. SuzyQ

    SuzyQ Senior Member
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    I heard that if you get an N-T you'll be alright. Actually I was wondering if a high writing section score would compensate for a crappy verbal score?
     
  4. I don't know if good writing compensates for bad verbal reasoning. The two sections test different things. I got a 9 on Verbal last time and an R on the writing sample. At my interviews last year, everybody dwelled on the 9 but nobody gave me props for the R. From experience, I honestly question the meaning or significance of the writing sample. I think it's fun, but that's it. Also, I noticed that there is some, but only a little correlation between most people's written and verbal portions.
     
  5. MyEyesMesmerize

    MyEyesMesmerize Senior Member
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    I was at a medical school this summer for a program and when a student asked how important is the writing sample the dean of admissions himself had a lil smurk and kinda shrugged his shoulders...we knew what he meant by that and laughed. But seriously I've heard over and over again that the writing sample will not be important in making an admissions decision unless you were terribly low such as J, K or were good enough to get a T. It wont really get a second look so dont even worry about it.
     
  6. If it wasn't for the damn writing section we would probably get our scores back in under a month.
     
  7. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student
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    My take on the essay is that it can serve as a final arbiter if needed. If they have two candidates who are equal in all other aspects, but have radically different essay scores, that might make a difference.

    Basically, I think that the essay is given only to weed out the few who really cannot communicate effectively in English. Simple as that. If English is not your first language and you have very little training in written and spoken English, some medical schools might think this would be a handicap and so they want to see your communication skills before they decide to interview you.

    Who knows, though? I know the MCAT has changed since the early 90's (1991, I think) and it was supposed to soften up on the science and bulk up on the non-science stuff. Maybe they added the essays just to increase applications, but don't really care about the score.
     
  8. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    i hope the writing sample means SOMETHING. i'm afraid it's the only section i performed to my best abilities on. i doubt it means much, but i figure if you have an 8 or 9 VR score but got a great writing score, schools will be more likely to give you some consideration. and if you have a decent verbal score but horrible writing score, some schools might wonder about your capabilities, particularly if you have bad grades and went to a no-name school. who knows! it's all speculation. i guess we'll just have to wait and see...
     
  9. Jugador75

    Jugador75 Senior Member
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    Thank you everyone for your responses. That was very helpful. I forgot to mention one thing and that is that AAMC themselves say that med schools will sometimes request to read the actual essays from you mcat!

    The other thing was - MyEyesMesmorize - which med school was it that the dean implied that the writing sample is not important? Was the program National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine?

    Thanks,
    David
     
  10. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I was accepted at a top school with an M in writing and an 11 in verbal and a 750 verbal GRE. I was asked specifically about why my poor performance on the writing sample at the interview. I told the interviewer I had no idea why the score was so low since I felt I answered according to the instructions. The interviewer told me she didn't know what the purpose of the writing sample was and just wanted to see what my response to her question would be.
     
  11. MyEyesMesmerize

    MyEyesMesmerize Senior Member
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    It was UMDNJ and it was not the program you asked about.
     

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