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Primaries n Secondaries - Can you explain?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by raom_dtpi, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. raom_dtpi

    raom_dtpi Member
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    Hi!

    I'd like to understand more about the application process. Could you please share your experiences?

    - What kinda time commitment did you put in for filling in the primary?
    - Is the personal essay the most time consuming part?
    - What are secondary applications like? (Number of essays, topics etc.) Are they different from one school to another? Are there any common essays?
    - Any suggestions for books to get a good idea on essays and the whole ordeal?
    - I am taking the MCAT in August. I plan to apply before the MCAT. When would be a good time to turn in the primary? (Does it make a difference atall since the schools wou;dn't have my scores before october?)

    Appreciate the help!

    Scout
     
  2. medstylee

    medstylee 1K Member
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    oh, the memories...

    yeah - even though you're taking it in august, you should submit your AMCAS as soon as you can (early June) if you're certain you're going to apply. You can submit it to certain schools that you feel safe about so you can at least get your application verified quickly by AMCAS (if you wait longer, it will take weeks and weeks for them to verify it) and then just add some reach schools later on after you take the exam and can get a feel for how well you might have done.

    i'd start on the AMCAS personal statement very soon - it takes time and you want to really write a good one. it's no easy matter.

    secondaries - most of em you'll be able to do in one day. some have no essays and some have a few of them. it varies. in my experience, more secondaries had no essays than had essays.

    good luck with everything. if you do things in a timely manner, the august mcat won't hinder your chances much if at all.
     
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  3. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    For more detailed information regarding the process go to aamc.org
     
  4. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    1. time committment for the primary applications was a week...since i have a slow computer and i hate it how its so slow loading up pages. but this is of course including the time for your coming up with a descriptions of your ECs and editting a personal statement that you should already have done by the time you begin your primary applications. the worst part of the primary is where you have to input all the classes and grades. I had around 200 units so putting in all those classes was a real pain. esp..if you have a computer that crashes a lot. damn you pentium 2!!

    2. the personal statement should be your most time consuming part since its basically the most important essay you will have written in your career as a student. the range varies depending on if you know what you are going to write and how good of a writer you are...3 days to a couple of months is what it could take...

    3. All the secondary applications are different from each other. Some do ask similar questions...but for the most part they are different. some ask more questions than other schools and others dont even ask anything at all. some want an autobiography of things not included in your personal statement and others have questions in which your answers are not limited by character limitations...but this part of the application is tough and you need to manage your time wisely in order to get through it without breaking down. ;) Especially if you are applying to 30-50 schools like some people do...better prepare...cause they come in waves instead of a nice steady stream...

    4. i recommend you dont waste your money getting a book on essays. my friend gave one to me and i thought it was a waste and now unfortunately for him i dont know where it is. just concentrate on why you want to enter medicine and what factors have influenced you into making this decision. be honest and be true and that in itself should be a good personal statement. have people read it over and sdn has its own group of readers that you can utilize to your advantage as well.

    5. yes please do turn in your amcas application ASAP...like in june. it doesnt matter if your scores wont be recieved till october...cause if you send it in then...amcas will be so backlogged with verifying applications you will be stuck in limbo for a long ass time seeing precious time slip away while other people are getting secondaries, interviews and even acceptances (oct. 15). if you send in the app early, then amcas will verify it much more quickly and the schools will be able to download your app. some of the schools automatically send their secondaries to everyone so you can at least start on some before they even get your mcat score. this is good cause then once you send it back...they can start reviewing it right away the day your score comes in. other schools on the other hand wont send it out until they get your scores but at least they have your app and will send a secondary to you if you qualify for one once they get your mcat.

    apply early!!!!!!!!!!!!
    if you forget everything on this page...just make sure you remember those 2 words.
     
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  5. brats800

    brats800 cheesehead
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    here's a quick question to go with things posted already. i just took my MCAT (thank goodness its done!) and expect to get the scores back in 8-ish weeks. should i submit my AMCAS app before i get my scores back? or is it not a problem to wait a few weeks and submit them all together?
     
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  6. Cydney Foote

    Cydney Foote Senior Member
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    Definitely give yourself more time than you think you'll need. You can run into all sorts of problems uploading your info and you really don't want that to hold you back.

    And I'd start thinking about your personal essay at least a month in advance, then leave yourself at least two weeks to buckle down and write it. Of course this depends on how much time you have to devote to it, I'm just going by the average time I've seen it take people who are also working and/or going to school.

    The personal essay (along with your MCAT scores) is probably the most important part of your application. It's like the gatekeeper that determines whether you get to the secondary application.

    They vary significantly, but common questions include why do you want to go to this school, what is the biggest challenge you've faced, what lessons have you learned from failure, where do you hope to be in ten years, etc. They are often worded in different ways but with a common theme so you can modify your essays.

    Although there are a lot of them (the number varies by program) for the most part they're short.

    There's a lot of information online, you really don't need a book IMO. For instance, there's lots of free advice and sample essays at our website, and I know other places like EssayEdge also have free tutorials.

    Somebody already said this, but it bears repeating. Send in everything as early as you can, June 1st if you can, and then submit the MCAT scores later.

    Good luck with your application!
     
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  7. bakedlay

    bakedlay Member
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    when do schools send out secondary apps?
     
  8. raom_dtpi

    raom_dtpi Member
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    Thanks, everyone for your detailed responses!

    Scout
     
  9. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Schools send out secondaries once they have received amcas. Some schools will automatically send you a secondary ($$$ in their pocket) others may screen. I started getting secondaries in July.
     
  10. bakedlay

    bakedlay Member
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    cool thanks...and that's when you send in the LORs too?
     

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