Secondaries

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by blingbling, Apr 29, 2001.

  1. Man I'm on a posting binge tonight...

    How long did it take to complete your secondaries? It sounds like it would take an afternoon or so to complete the essays and fill out all the extra info that I assume they'll ask you. I'm thinking about taking biochem over the summer and I'm wondering if I will have time to do that and adequately work on those secondaries.

    Also, do schools ever ask for an update on your grades and transcripts or are the grades that you submit to AMCAS the only grades from ugrad that the med schools will ever see?
     
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  3. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    My friends who applied last year said it took them a couple of days for each secondary, because they were all essay questions. I wouldn't try to do it in an afternoon, just because you want it to be thee best it can be.

    I have heard of some sending transcript updates, but I think they did it because it helped their application. I don't know if schools specifically ask for this.
     
  4. jcw1

    jcw1 Member

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    from my experience, secondaries varied widely. Boston's consisted of writing a $95 check while Northwestern's took me almost a week becasue there were so many essays and they were so structured (they had a topic and a certain ammpunt of space you could take up). While this may or may not answer your ?, I would keep in mind that in general the process of filling out secondaries is quite time consuming and if there is an essay question, you should never plan on just writing it in one afternoon. Remember, this is all that they have to go on, and since they are asking for specific questions, they probably think that the answers are pretty important. On the issue of transcripts... I only sent updated ones to the schools that I was waitlisted at, and they do ask for them. Hope that helps.
     
  5. Thanks guys that helped a lot.

    Do you think taking summer classes (esp. a difficult one like biochem) would be a major problem? Should I just leave my entire summer free and only work on apps? Thanks.
     
  6. poohbear

    poohbear Senior Member

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    blingbling,

    I think you should be able to handle biochem and your secondaries, provided you are good with time management. Your secondaries will pile up initially, (they will bombard your mailbox) but after you get the first few sent out, you get into the groove of things and you will have a "collection" of essays that you will begin to cut/paste for each secondary that comes in.

    Just so you know, it's not just essays that take up time. Many schools like you to fill out school-specific forms describing your courses and activities. THAT TAKES A WHILE ON A TYPEWRITER. HAND-WRITING IS A NO NO. Be prepared to spend some time in front of a typewriter-- it is a lot like applying to colleges again. (however, some schools have actually made this easier by having their secondaries online.)

    Good luck as you begin the process!

    best,
    poohbear
     
  7. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    poohbear,

    Do they actually still sell typewriters or do you have to buy them off people who already have them?

    I'd hate to have to buy a typewriter just for filling out secondaries but then again I'm wondering what other option I have.
     
  8. Baylor21,

    You can buy a reasonably cheap brand new typewriter from places like OfficeMax (www.officemax.com). I am not sure if SmithCorona is still manufacturing, but Brother is. You can get a Brother typewriter from OfficeMax for $60-100, depending on options (disclaimer: I'm not a spokesperson for either OfficeMax or Brother!). IBM's are more pricey, and they are definitely more geared for secretaries not 'secondaries'.

    You can also try to borrow a typewriter from people who are applying to law schools (many have one) or look for one on eBay. Oh, pawn shops and flea markets may carry them for really cheap too, if you have the time to look around.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Jacky

    Jacky Member

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    Could someone please tell me the website that contains the various secondary essays associated with each US med school? I know such a site exists. Thanks in advance!
     
  10. lilycat

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    As for the typewriter question -- you can always try your school library, a public library, or Kinko's. Kinko's definitely has them, and you can use it for $6/hr (or sometimes for free if it's late at night and no one is really around). Your school library one should be free to use. Or, you can also try asking around your friends -- one of them might have a typewriter at their workplace, or at their parents' workplace, etc. that you could use after hours or something.

    As for the site with all the secondaries, I have never heard of such a site, and I think that might be kind of difficult because many of the schools change their secondaries somewhat each year. I would guess there will be significant changes this year since the AMCAS has become so much more detailed.
     
  11. Street Philosopher

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    typewriter? sheesh, it's the 21st century for goodness sake. i think i might still have one in the closet though ;)
     
  12. Seal

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    Depending on how many applications you are planning to file and how fast you type. I would say that you definitely have enough time to finish the essay portion--most of the essays are quite similar and you can basically change a few words. (I ended up changing the "I want to attend ___ because of ___" quite a bit.) The most time-consuming part is DEFINITELY typing, typing everything from your address to your academic records OVER again. And don't be deluded by the computerized apps--usually they are even worse!

    [Of course, it also depends on how careful you want to be. I wanted to finish everything as fast as possible, mainly because I was paranoid about the rolling admissions thing. So I took speed over accuracy, and ended up finishing well over 30 applications in 2 weeks. I'm sure there are typos probably, but given the rush I was in... whatever your priority is.]
     
  13. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    I was wondering if anyone has tried to scan secondaries, fill them out on a computer and print them out back onto the origional form. This would seem like the 21st centuries alternative to the typewriter, but I'd feel much safer on a typewriter I'm sure. Any experiences?
     
  14. poohbear

    poohbear Senior Member

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    baylor21 and co.,

    I think a few others have already answered the typewriter question. To emphasize what they already said, you don't have to go out and purchase one. Many people have them sitting around for you to borrow-- specifically libraries. Either you local public library or your college library. Or, try your family friends/parents' friends. Most people are no longer using their typewriters and have no problem letting you borrow one for a few weeks/months. Also, try to get one that has correctable ribbon too-- White-out can be a pain, especially for those schools that have secondaries printed on non-white (beige, etc) paper. White-Out looks very very very tacky and obvious on those especially!

    On another note, *I* think you should take more time to make sure secondaries go out FLAWLESS, rather than rushing through them all just to beat the crowd for rolling admissions. Take the extra day to proofread and fix errors. I have been on interviews where my interviewers have told me how embarassing it is to have to read essays/apps with typos. They take a HIGHLIGHTER OR PEN and CIRCLE YOUR ERRORS. They want the committee to NOTICE YOUR LACK OF ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND TO THEIR APPLICATION. This also applies to grammar mistakes. *In my opinion*, that extra day is better spent making your app as perfect as you can make it, instead of getting your app to the admissions office one day earlier.

    good luck,
    poohbear
     

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