SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Personal Statement:How long did it take?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by WinterLights, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. WinterLights


    Sep 15, 2007
    I was just curious as to how long it took some of you to finish your personal statements. I am currently in my second week and still haven't been able to finish the last segment of it.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. wannabedocta

    wannabedocta 7+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    about 2 weeks
  4. Captain Fantastic

    Captain Fantastic Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    Mizzou Med
    A couple of months on-and-off deciding on the stories and themes I would use. A couple of weeks to write it out and polish it off.
  5. WinterLights


    Sep 15, 2007
    Interesting. Keep it coming.
  6. Decicco

    Decicco 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    About 2hrs a day for 10 days
  7. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian 7+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    It took me about a month of constant revisions. I worked on it off and on almost everyday and kept sending it to advisors and friends for their help.
  8. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit 5+ Year Member

    My first try took one tedious week... but it ended up feeling (and sounding) really forced. SO I tried it again but this time I just sat down and wrote what I wanted to say in just about two hours. I stuck with that one, but I took another ~2 weeks or so of getting feedback on it and refining it.

    Don't underestimate getting outside input. It made mine sound a LOT better without changing my main themes and ideas.
  9. blueskyline

    blueskyline 7+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    Sat down for 10 straight hours to just hammer it out. Then about a month on and off to polish it.
  10. admitER

    admitER 2+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    Ditto for me - except I went through a few more agonizing weeks of rewrites before my two hour "epiphany"

    good luck, it will happen
  11. schismal

    schismal 5+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Three days to write the first draft and another four to polish it with reader commentary.
  12. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    hSDN Alumni
    It took me a good 3 days of dedicated writing to get it where I was reasonably satisfied and another day or two after I had it edited to make the necessary changes.
  13. bel

    bel 2+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    About a day several months ago to write out the first draft.

    Then the past month on and off of constant revision. Many, many hours..
  14. iduwanna

    iduwanna 2+ Year Member

    May 2, 2008
    Thought about it and brainstormed ideas for most of a day, spent most of another day making an outline, wrote it in a few hours, and spent a few hours revising over the next week.

    I'd rate it 6.5 on a scale of 1 to 10.
  15. LovelyBRass

    LovelyBRass Eternal Internal Physician 7+ Year Member

    May 30, 2008
    Goodness... my whole life? This has been a long time coming.
  16. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering 10+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    I had been thinking about it randomnly for about a year, brainstorming where ever I happened to be for a mins without writing anything down. I wrote the thing in 1-2 hours. Then revised it for about week based on comments from people I showed it to.
  17. SBK

    SBK Class of 2013 - WSU 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2006
    Once the whole essay 'hit' me, it took me about 45 minutes to write it. I sent it to half a dozen people, and the revisions took me another 30 min. I then put it into AMCAS and was done with it.

    Granted, this is how it always hit me. I remember getting a perfect score on the SAT II, the writing portion of the GRE, and an S on the MCAT. I have no idea about the proper rules and grammer or whatnot, but I tend to write quickly and very well. (in my egotistical opinion of course:)
  18. costadelsol

    costadelsol 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    I knew what I wanted to write about for a while, then sat down for 5-6 hours and banged it out. Then I went through 5 drafts after feedback from writing tutors and friends.

    Also, another tip is to ask someone new who has never read it before to give you feedback on each subsequent draft. Reading something for the first time compared to the 10th time is a huge difference. Adcom members will be reading it for the first time, so first-time feedback is the most valuable in my opinion.
  19. hoqhuuep

    hoqhuuep says hello! 5+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    Altogether, about three months. I gave it two hours a day for a week, initially, and gave it a revision every few weeks afterwards.
  20. WinterLights


    Sep 15, 2007
    I am impressed by those of you who only took a few hours to write it. I wish that assembling my thoughts in a coherent manner onto paper was easily done. Keeping the times coming.
  21. Igor4sugry

    Igor4sugry Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2005
    I would suggest that you do not spend too much time one this. I feel that any statement that is appropriately written will suffice. Don't let the personal statement keep you behind on other pre-med tasks. The interviewers look over it very quickly, so make sure it is organized for easy skimming.
  22. Maxwell Edison

    Maxwell Edison Majoring In Medicine 2+ Year Member

    May 9, 2007
    It's hard to say for certain. I've known what I wanted to write about for a while, but I'd not actually put anything together. When I sat down to actually write the thing, I had a working draft done in a couple days, and chopped it into its final product after about 3-4 major revisions and probably a dozen smaller re-writes over the course of about a week and a half.

    The writing shouldn't take that long; you know what you want to say, so say it. The time-intensive part should be the revision/proofing. These are the parts that really benefit from a longer period of time spent working. If you write the statement over a course of sessions (one para here, one there) then chances are extremely good that you will have disconnects and ambiguities.
  23. Kaydubz

    Kaydubz 5+ Year Member

    May 25, 2007
    Everything time I try to remind myself of that, I think of the handful of schools that I'm applying to that don't have secondaries, and use your primary app essay as the only essay.

    It's taking me forever, because I'm the type that will just sit and stare at the computer screen for hours interspersed with short bursts of brief writing. And that's been going on since late May. I think I'll just wrap it up and submit it sometime this week though.
  24. pianola

    pianola MS2 7+ Year Member

    May 23, 2008
    uuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhhhhhhh I'll let you know when it DOES get done. You might even hear my whoop of glee in whatever state you currently inhabit.

    Initial draft written in 2006. Wrote 3 entirely new versions since then. Have been working on latest version since the beginning of June.:(
  25. Nevadanteater

    Nevadanteater biochemical engine 7+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I'm currently on draft 11 (new draft counted after significant changes made from the last). Each draft probably has taken about an hour...

    This has been over the course of about 2 months.

    I should be done by next week.
  26. WellWornLad

    WellWornLad 10+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    About a month longer than I had planned, that's for sure.

    Ha, famous last words...
  27. futuredrcrawfor

    futuredrcrawfor 2+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    It took about 3 weeks for me- a week just here and there, a week of just brief editing, then about 3 days of intense work by me, my mother, and my aunt!

    DRBHOOM 2+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    wrote the first draft in 30 min. but from there it took a period of 4 months and it went was looked at by 29 pairs of eyes.
  29. ButImLETired

    ButImLETired Prodigal member Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 27, 2008
    the hospital
    hSDN Member
    Um, this is definitely gonna make me sound like a tool, but frankly it took me 35 minutes. I'm weird though, and as a rule, the harder I work on an essay the worse it comes out...I think it really depends on the person. I have a friend whose essay grades were directly proportional to the amount of time she spent on them. I'm the opposite, and the more intense the verbal diarrhea the better the writing. As soon as I start editing stuff too much it starts to sound atrocious.
    Soooo yeah, do what comes most naturally.
  30. 87138

    87138 Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    edit: my bad, meant to start a thread
  31. mauve

    mauve 2+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2007
    damn it, is all hope lost if i haven't begun yet? *Everyone stares at this nut job*:(
  32. iduwanna

    iduwanna 2+ Year Member

    May 2, 2008
    Not at all.

    Spend a few days thinking about it, one or two days outlining something, a day or two writing it, two weeks revising...

    You'll be fine.

    Heck; if you're in a crunch, you could pound it out in a day or two.
  33. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk 7+ Year Member

    May 10, 2007
    In the Frozen Tundra
    It took me 4 hours to do the first draft... which was pure bull

    I have been working on it ever since so about 20 hours after that. I think I am at the point where it just needs the finishing touches.

    Now to get started on the 15 activities....
  34. Vihsadas

    Vihsadas No summer Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    An Igloo
    19 versions. Hours? Oh god.
  35. Fibroblastman

    Fibroblastman A stumble prevents a fall 5+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    I wrote three separate personal statements, each having their own story and central theme over a period of 6 weeks. I then gave each of them to close friends and asked which one represented me the most... after which all agreed on one statement. I then spent several more weeks refining that personal statement and am glad I did it.
  36. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    it took about 40 seconds, since i used the same personal statement that i used when i applied the first time...
  37. Dulcina

    Dulcina =) 5+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2007
    took 1 wk to write first draft.
    it has taken 2 wks to severly edit that first draft, and I still have a few days of editing left to go.

    I think itll take another 2 wks or so to polish, and I'm considering writing a whole other one, and comparing. oof.
  38. MsJLewis

    MsJLewis Retired Pre-med 7+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    A little more than a month total.

    I hand wrote a draft in about 1 week. Then revised on paper. Typed a revised draft which I sent to a bunch of friends and faculty to edit. The longest part was waiting for them to get their edits back to me. After I got their edits I tweaked until I got sick of it and then submitted it at 3am in the morning.

    And after all of that... I STILL missed a typo! :laugh:

Share This Page