Su4n2

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Sorry everyone that i am so late in the game bothering u w/questions- was too preoccupied w/MCAT to do this b-4.

how long should the post-secondary experiences be, do most of you use all the 515 characters? also, many of my contact names have long gone from the institution so should i leave that part blank, or is that looked down upon?

finally, i did 2 semesters of botany research where i didn't work in the lab but used books and stuff. i got credit for it but it was v. stupid. once every 2 weeks participted in howard hughs meetings. i don't know if i should bother putting this is but i have no other research experience.

thanx, and thanx for your help on the previous questions.
 

Cydney Foote

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You don't have to use up all of the space for your post-sec experiences. For instance, if you were on the dean's list you really don't have to explain that. My preference, however, is to give complete descriptions of your activities. Keep the language concise, but include anything that demonstrated your interest, responsibility, leadership, dedication, etc.

One common mistake that I've seen on the postsecondary experiences is that applicants spent the majority of the space writing about what an organization does. While this may require a brief explanation if it's an unusual group (not the Red Cross, please), use the bulk of the answer to explain what you personally did.

For contact names, include the name (if you remember it) even if they are no longer available. Leaving the name blank looks sloppy and even suspicious. Adcomms understand that people move around, so it's not that critical if they can't contact them.

As for research, although it looks better to have the experience, you don't want to claim anything you can't back up. Imagine an interview question, "So, you were involved in botanical research. What was that like?" Although it's the truth, answering "The class was stupid" won't cut it. You don't want to spend your positive interview time complaining about a negative experience.

Good luck!
 

ocean11

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thanx for the advice above.... I'm wondering how critical is it to fill in all 15 spots?

ps: in Canada we have 48 to fill out... I am up to 45 but not all those activities are 'really big' then again it is since we entered high school so a little different.
 

Cydney Foote

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Originally posted by ocean11
I'm wondering how critical is it to fill in all 15 spots?
It's not critical, in my opinion. You are listing your major experiences -- one skill that compiling this list actually forces you to demonstrate is your ability to prioritize which are truly major. If you only have 10 major experiences, that's fine. And it's certainly better than listing the same experience under different headings. Adcomms see right through that.

Good luck!