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Aug 21, 2017
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Hello, I'm a re-applicant due to a low MCAT score as well as applying too late in the cycle (called some schools that rejected me and found this out). A school told me that my experiences were "good", and some other schools seemed to like my personal statement, but I'm reading on here and on some school websites that re-applicants need to change their PS.

Btw - I've since retaken the mcat (I haven't received my score yet, but I'm expected substantially higher than my previous score) and plan on applying/being complete ASAP.

My questions are as follows:

1. How much do I need to change my PS? Like completely new one or just tweaks/changing a few sentences or something else?

2. Do I need to change my activity descriptions or most meaningful description? I honestly only have like 1-2 new activities to add in total. But for the ones that remain the same, do I just copy and paste from last year?

3. How much do I need to change my secondary applications? I don't believe that these were what went wrong with my application and I want to apply/be complete as soon as i CAN this cycle, but I don't want to be viewed negatively or thought of as lazy.

4. I'm wondering if/how to list this in my application, it is not on my previous app as an activity, but its in my personal statement. I'm a caretaker of a seriously ill family member, if I estimate the hours spent on this I probably have 10,000 hrs (including living in the hospital with him for 2-3 months straight) doing this in the last 4 years. I was wondering, I should I list this as an activity in my application? If so, should it be listed as "other"? I manage his meds, change diapers, feed him etc

I'm wondering because the AAMC listed this as "clinical experience" in one of their documents.
https://students-residents.aamc.org.../five-ways-gain-experience-without-shadowing/





Please be honest with me about everything - I'm not sure if I can write a better PS than what I already have, but I want to give my app the best chance this go around (hopefully my last) so I'm willing to rewrite everything if need be, but I do want to apply sooner rather than later so I can be "early" for this cycle.
I appreciate all responses, thank you for your time.
 
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Oct 28, 2015
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How much do I need to change my PS? Like completely new one or just tweaks/changing a few sentences or something else?
I wouldn't do a completely new one, because that might make it look as if your original wasn't sincere. Reorganize it, add in some new points, change the language perhaps, but keep the foundation the same.
Do I need to change my activity descriptions or most meaningful description? I honestly only have like 1-2 new activities to add in total. But for the ones that remain the same, do I just copy and paste from last year?
Again, I wouldn't just copy and paste because if they compare them to each other it might not be the best look. I would change it slightly.

How much do I need to change my secondary applications? I don't believe that these were what went wrong with my application and I want to apply ASAP this cycle, but I don't want to be viewed negatively or thought of as lazy.
I would go for the same approach as the PS.

I'm wondering if/how to list this in my application, it is not on my previous app as an activity, but its in my personal statement. I'm a caretaker of a seriously ill family member, if I estimate the hours spent on this I probably have 10,000 hrs (including living in the hospital with him for 2-3 months straight) doing this in the last 4 years. I was wondering, I should I list this as an activity in my application? If so, should it be listed as "other"? I manage his meds, change diapers, feed him etc
This is only my personal opinion, but I would not list this as an activity - it could rub some people the wrong way. But it's still a very admirable thing to do, and you could certainly work it into part of your PS or one of your secondaries/activity descriptions!
 
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FroYoOreo

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I remember they mentioned taking care of family member does not count towards activities. It may be viewed as desperate.
 
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Tim_Hortons_Cafe

Class of 2022 MD
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1. How much do I need to change my PS? Like completely new one or just tweaks/changing a few sentences or something else?
Definitely change the first paragraph. I would keep the strong/key experiences that you talked about in the first one, but reorganize and revamp it. You don't want them to think you haven't changed as an applicant since reapplying. So include information that is new, too. You want a fair mix between old and new information.

2. Do I need to change my activity descriptions or most meaningful description? I honestly only have like 1-2 new activities to add in total. But for the ones that remain the same, do I just copy and paste from last year?

I would look over them again and consider reorganizing some of them. See if maybe you could have highlighted certain aspects of the experiences that you didn't last year. This question depends on if you feel they were 100% reflective of your experience and written perfectly?

3. How much do I need to change my secondary applications? I don't believe that these were what went wrong with my application and I want to apply/be complete as soon as i CAN this cycle, but I don't want to be viewed negatively or thought of as lazy.
I would avoid copying and pasting secondaries from last year, but you could probably keep the core ideas of the secondaries. Reword things and add new information to the questions. Blend your past self and current self, but do it in a way where they can see you've grown since applying last year.

4. I'm wondering if/how to list this in my application, it is not on my previous app as an activity, but its in my personal statement. I'm a caretaker of a seriously ill family member, if I estimate the hours spent on this I probably have 10,000 hrs (including living in the hospital with him for 2-3 months straight) doing this in the last 4 years. I was wondering, I should I list this as an activity in my application? If so, should it be listed as "other"? I manage his meds, change diapers, feed him etc
I think this is something that would be better placed in PS or secondaries.

I'm wondering because the AAMC listed this as "clinical experience" in one of their documents.
https://students-residents.aamc.org/choosing-medical-career/article/five-ways-gain-experience-without-shadowing/
 
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Aug 30, 2017
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Hello, I'm a re-applicant due to a low MCAT score as well as applying too late in the cycle (called some schools that rejected me and found this out). A school told me that my experiences were "good", and some other schools seemed to like my personal statement, but I'm reading on here and on some school websites that re-applicants need to change their PS.

Btw - I've since retaken the mcat (I haven't received my score yet, but I'm expected substantially higher than my previous score) and plan on applying/being complete ASAP.

My questions are as follows:

1. How much do I need to change my PS? Like completely new one or just tweaks/changing a few sentences or something else?

2. Do I need to change my activity descriptions or most meaningful description? I honestly only have like 1-2 new activities to add in total. But for the ones that remain the same, do I just copy and paste from last year?

3. How much do I need to change my secondary applications? I don't believe that these were what went wrong with my application and I want to apply/be complete as soon as i CAN this cycle, but I don't want to be viewed negatively or thought of as lazy.

4. I'm wondering if/how to list this in my application, it is not on my previous app as an activity, but its in my personal statement. I'm a caretaker of a seriously ill family member, if I estimate the hours spent on this I probably have 10,000 hrs (including living in the hospital with him for 2-3 months straight) doing this in the last 4 years. I was wondering, I should I list this as an activity in my application? If so, should it be listed as "other"? I manage his meds, change diapers, feed him etc

I'm wondering because the AAMC listed this as "clinical experience" in one of their documents.
https://students-residents.aamc.org.../five-ways-gain-experience-without-shadowing/





Please be honest with me about everything - I'm not sure if I can write a better PS than what I already have, but I want to give my app the best chance this go around (hopefully my last) so I'm willing to rewrite everything if need be, but I do want to apply sooner rather than later so I can be "early" for this cycle.
I appreciate all responses, thank you for your time.
1. I completely re-wrote mine from scratch but with a similar theme. This was harder but I felt like it was needed because my first one wasnt as strong as it could have been and focused too much on "story telling".

2. Again, I re-wrote everything. I felt like I missed the mark on these with not showcasing them the best I could.

3. If you think these are fine, maybe just reword them a bit. If you can tell, I personally think re-writing everything is best because it shows you actually evaluated your application and put in the effort to reflect on your weaknesses and address those deficiencies in your writing this time around. Adcoms can and will pull up your old app when evaluating you and just doing a copy paste can look lazy and like you didnt put in the effort to make yourself more competitive. I would be on the safe side and change them enough so it shows you took the time to address your weaknesses so you dont give the adcom a reason to doubt your dedication to reapplying (because a strong reapp can show dedication to the field and can work in your favor at some schools).

4. I have heard this isnt look at as positively as one would wish. Maybe talk about the adversity of caring for them in your secondaries.
 
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Aug 21, 2017
50
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1. I completely re-wrote mine from scratch but with a similar theme. This was harder but I felt like it was needed because my first one wasnt as strong as it could have been and focused too much on "story telling".

2. Again, I re-wrote everything. I felt like I missed the mark on these with not showcasing them the best I could.

3. If you think these are fine, maybe just reword them a bit. If you can tell, I personally think re-writing everything is best because it shows you actually evaluated your application and put in the effort to reflect on your weaknesses and address those deficiencies in your writing this time around. Adcoms can and will pull up your old app when evaluating you and just doing a copy paste can look lazy and like you didnt put in the effort to make yourself more competitive. I would be on the safe side and change them enough so it shows you took the time to address your weaknesses so you dont give the adcom a reason to doubt your dedication to reapplying (because a strong reapp can show dedication to the field and can work in your favor at some schools).

4. I have heard this isnt look at as positively as one would wish. Maybe talk about the adversity of caring for them in your secondaries.
Thank you, are you reapplying this cycle?
 
Aug 21, 2017
50
11
1. How much do I need to change my PS? Like completely new one or just tweaks/changing a few sentences or something else?
Definitely change the first paragraph. I would keep the strong/key experiences that you talked about in the first one, but reorganize and revamp it. You don't want them to think you haven't changed as an applicant since reapplying. So include information that is new, too. You want a fair mix between old and new information.

2. Do I need to change my activity descriptions or most meaningful description? I honestly only have like 1-2 new activities to add in total. But for the ones that remain the same, do I just copy and paste from last year?

I would look over them again and consider reorganizing some of them. See if maybe you could have highlighted certain aspects of the experiences that you didn't last year. This question depends on if you feel they were 100% reflective of your experience and written perfectly?

3. How much do I need to change my secondary applications? I don't believe that these were what went wrong with my application and I want to apply/be complete as soon as i CAN this cycle, but I don't want to be viewed negatively or thought of as lazy.
I would avoid copying and pasting secondaries from last year, but you could probably keep the core ideas of the secondaries. Reword things and add new information to the questions. Blend your past self and current self, but do it in a way where they can see you've grown since applying last year.

4. I'm wondering if/how to list this in my application, it is not on my previous app as an activity, but its in my personal statement. I'm a caretaker of a seriously ill family member, if I estimate the hours spent on this I probably have 10,000 hrs (including living in the hospital with him for 2-3 months straight) doing this in the last 4 years. I was wondering, I should I list this as an activity in my application? If so, should it be listed as "other"? I manage his meds, change diapers, feed him etc
I think this is something that would be better placed in PS or secondaries.

I'm wondering because the AAMC listed this as "clinical experience" in one of their documents.
https://students-residents.aamc.org/choosing-medical-career/article/five-ways-gain-experience-without-shadowing/
Thank you! My main new activity is a new research experience, other than that I don't have much that's "new" per say. I've mostly just continued what I was doing last cycle. How much new information do you think I should include? Like all in the first paragraph?
 
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gonnif

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The risk is when an adcom sees that new application is almost exactly like the old application (and they may read both), they can interpret that as the applicant didnt care enough to even bothering to change anything; that they werent all that motivated when applying. It is a risk wholly under your control
 
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Tim_Hortons_Cafe

Class of 2022 MD
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Dec 18, 2017
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Thank you! My main new activity is a new research experience, other than that I don't have much that's "new" per say. I've mostly just continued what I was doing last cycle. How much new information do you think I should include? Like all in the first paragraph?
think you want to definitely reword things, because you don't want them to think you didn't want to put in the effort to re-write an essay. But, you also want to keep the important parts of the PS that reflect who you are. When I reapplied, I scrapped my first paragraph entirely. I thought of a new introduction (something that tied together my experiences). I kept the same key experiences I talked about from the last one, added a few new experiences and stories, and ended it by pulling all of it together. What I would do is have someone look over your PS and tell you what the strongest parts of it were.
 
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