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Secondary Fun!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by rpipremed, Jul 23, 2000.

  1. rpipremed

    rpipremed Junior Member

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    I've started to receive secondaries and most of them contain essays like "Please tell us something about yourself that will help our committee review your file."
    Well, what I was wondering is first, should I mention my passion for medicine (already did on the AMCAS), secondly, should I mention the specific school, and third, the essay can be typed on a separately...so should it still be about a page long???

    thanks everyone.
    [​IMG]

     
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  3. raindodger

    raindodger Senior Member

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    Use common sense... and if in doubt, call the school itself.

    -raindodger

    "The value of a man is not in his skin."
    -Henry David Thoreau
     
  4. tristate

    tristate Senior Member

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    The AMCAS essay is only a page long, so here's a change to add details that could not fit in the space provided.

    You can also address information concerning why you want to attend that specific school (if there's isn't another essay question concerning why you want to attend this school on the secondary).

    ------------------
    And the blessings just keep coming!
     
  5. nicolette

    nicolette Member

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    I think it would be a good idea to share something about yourself that wasn't mentioned in the AMCAS essay. Also, good rule of thumb on the length of your response is to look at how much space they give you underneath their question if no mention is made about specific length requirements.
     
  6. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member

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    i think dartmouth has one of those open-ended questions. i usually just write something about why i chose to apply to that school, or else something about my research experiences, which are not on AMCAS. good luck!
     
  7. rpipremed

    rpipremed Junior Member

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    the question i was referring to is in fact on the Dartmouth secondary.
    The thing is is that i mentioned my research briefly on AMCAS, and the school asks for something not mentioned elsewhere.
    Vague essay questions can be very tricky!
     
  8. jimmybee

    jimmybee Med/Peds Resident

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    what, specifically, is the question on the Dartmouth secondary?
     
  9. KeithKow

    KeithKow Member

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    ME TOO!!! i just got the dartmouth secondary last week, and it basically just says "tell us anything you haven't mentioned that could help your admission" or something of that nature. i am lost. i basically covered everything in the AMCAS essay and put my heart into it, i don't know anything else i can tell them that i didn't already mention. and as for why apply to the school, i have no real reason besides it is close to me and it looked feasible for me to get into. this sucks! but it sure is nice to know that others are in the same boat.
    keith
     
  10. rpipremed

    rpipremed Junior Member

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    Luckily, so far, Dartmouth has been the only secondary i have gotten that has that type of essay. I too spent alot of time on my P.S. but, hopefully i can manage to make my secondary essay response original and entertaining too.

    Does anyone know of any other schools that have such a vague essay on their secondary?

     
  11. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member

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    i think that loyola has one question where they ask you to 'update' your AMCAS application or tell them anything else you would like them to know- i am using this space to give them my senior year schedule since i forgot to do that on AMCAS. so that mistake actually paid off! northwestern has some fun essays, but nothing too vague.

    by the way, jimmybee, i think the dartmouth question is phrased "please use this space to tell the admissions committee something about yourself that is not addressed elsewhere in your application". something like that, i don't quite remember.

    i personally feel that these secondaries are more of a test of endurance than content. we could probably start a whole new post with people's opinions on these things. after filling them out for a month now i am wondering exactly what purpose they serve- i mean, most of the info. on them is already on the AMCAS application, and the other questions (essays) seem to be more suitable for interviews. oh well! what can you do...
     
  12. scully

    scully Senior Member

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    Hey KeithKow,

    I am in the same boat, I mentioned pretty much everything in AMCAS. But I think you can elaborate on some of those points. Saying they want to hear something new does not necessarily mean something you have never mentioned, perhaps just a new aspect that can be filled out. And one important lesson that I learned from a friend on an admission committee: you don't have to use the whole space--AND--the committee prefer those essays which do not! (As you can imagine if it was you reading all of those things!)

    Hope this helps!
     
  13. KeithKow

    KeithKow Member

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    scully,
    thanks for your input. thats what i thought i'd pretty much do, although i'm still soul searching for something original! and yeah, i'll try to be as concise as possible, i can't even imagine reading through all that crap.
     
  14. Methuselah

    Methuselah Senior Member

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    One of my favorite open-ended questions: "Describe yourself." It took me a bit to get spooled-up for that one! Some of these questions are humbling, no? I'm having fun with it though.
     
  15. misfit

    misfit Blinded Me With Science

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    Hello:
    I'm a long-time reader of this website, but I rarely post here. I, too, received a secondary app from Dartmouth and its second essay question is, "Please share with us something that is not found in your AMCAS application and could be helpful to the Admissions Committee as we review your file."

    I debated with myself about what to write. I finally sent it off today and I decided to answer the question by talking about my trip to Egypt last Christmas/New Year's. The trip was fantastic. I expressed my enthusiasm, talked about what I did and saw and basically tried to give them an impression that I love traveling and especially love learning about other cultures. I hope it works. Interviews are coming in October and I am looking forward to them.

    Good luck everyone.
     
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  17. misfit

    misfit Blinded Me With Science

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    I received secondaries from Dartmouth, Mayo and Med College of Wisconsin (MedCOW), but nothing yet from Creighton or Loyola. Does anyone know if those schools take longer to send secondaries? If so, does that indicate they are more thoughtful and selective in sending secondaries?
    Mayo makes no pretenses about wanting more information from its applicants. I received a letter asking for a $60 fee to CONTINUE processing my application. I am starting to believe some schools do not take the secondary process seriously and use it to cash in. It is merely my opinion, but I somehow feel cheated. Does anyone else have thoughts concerning the matter of application fees? Thanks for your candid responses.

    misfit
     
  18. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member

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    my sentiments exactly. sometimes i feel like i PREFER those secondaries without essays because they are easier to get done and get sent off. i don't know why adcomms feel that more essays are needed when most applicants lay out their motivation, career goals, etc. on AMCAS. i wonder if any applicants are selected for interviews based on the information given on the secondaries- it seems to me that this decision could be made easily with the information given on AMCAS. but i am probably just feeling a little frustrated at writing the same essays over and over.

    by the way, i just received loyola two days ago, i think they make a very small cut.
     
  19. Cameron

    Cameron Senior Member

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    I'm still waiting on Creighton as well. I applied to 22 schools and have received and completed 19 secondaries. I'm also waiting on Northwestern and U of Utah. Either they're more selective, or they're still working on filling the class of 2004. [​IMG]
    Perhaps those schools have a pre-screening process of some sort? I know some schools like Duke, OSU, and VCU screen before sending secondaries.

    I agree 100%. I would prefer it if more schools performed some degree of screening prior to sending out secondaries. It would save the applicants time and money. Granted, the schools wouldn't get as much $$$ from secondaries, but those fees are already pretty high.

    When I receive those short secondaries that essentially say "Sign here and include your check!" I am somewhat releived because it means I can send it off quickly. In addition, with those short secondaries I don't feel like the ADComs ad being too lazy to get the necessary info from my AMCAS application. When schools ask me to repeat info that they could easily find on my AMCAS application I get annoyed. Oh well...
    Good luck!

    - Cameron

    [This message has been edited by Cameron (edited 07-28-2000).]
     
  20. KeithKow

    KeithKow Member

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    damn, i would love to get the ones that say "just give me money". at least they aren't hiding the fact that thats all they want! plus, its a done deal in 5 minutes, no agonizing over what to write. i still haven't written mine yet, i'll get to it this weekend. procrastination is a bitch.
     
  21. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member

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    northwestern does do some preliminary screening- according to the princeton review they send secondaries to 70% of AMCAs applicants. their website would probably have more accurate info. duke, stanford, wake forest, and loyola all do some screening as well, i believe.

    i'm glad to hear that others are frustrated with this process- sometimes i wish the schools would just send an envelope with a note saying 'please send us a check for X amount, put your social security number on it, thanks'. i have found one school- vanderbilt- that sends secondaries to ONLY those getting interviews. not bad.
     
  22. ishtar

    ishtar Junior Member

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    I got that interview with the Vandy secondary, too. Definitely cool of them. Have you scheduled yours yet? Would you mind posting your stats?
     
  23. scully

    scully Senior Member

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    I am amazed that Vanderbilt is already sending out interview invitations/secondaries. Congratulations to to all who have received them! Does this mean someone who is taking the August MCAT has no chance?
     
  24. jimmybee

    jimmybee Med/Peds Resident

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    What do you guys think about using an essay like Dartmouth's to explain why a particular score in one of the MCAT sections is low?
     
  25. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member

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    ishtar:

    actually i didn't get the vanderbilt secondary but i know that is there policy. all i have received from them is something about did i want to apply for only MD or for MD/PhD as well. as far as my stats are concerned, my GPA is around vandy's average and my MCAT score is above theirs. i won't get specific because the last time i did there were some bitter responses on other threads...anyway. congrats on getting an interview!

     
  26. Methuselah

    Methuselah Senior Member

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    Misfit,
    I got the Loyola secondary already. It had lots of open ended questions, like:
    > What do you consider a valuable experience in your personal development?
    > Describe how you dealt with a personal/academic problem.
    > How did you decide on medicine?
    > etc, etc...
    Next to Pritzker, that one took me the longest.
     
  27. jimmybee

    jimmybee Med/Peds Resident

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    Meth.......Do you remember how long each response was for the Loyola Secondary. Were there other questions besides the ones that you listed? thanks
     
  28. Methuselah

    Methuselah Senior Member

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    JimmyBee,
    There were (6) questions, two per page, enough space for a long paragraph response. Other questions were:
    > What is a valuable experience...this might be a decision you have made, an achievement of which you are particularly proud, or a person who has influenced your life.
    > What self-education, research or independent scholastic work have you undertaken and what do you feel you have accomplished in this work?
    > How did you reach your decision...describe your participation in any health care or other activities which reinforced your decision to enter medicine.
    > If you will not be enrolled as a full-time student during the current academic year, please explain what you will be doing prior to matriculation.
    > Please use this space to bring the info contained on your AMCAS application up-to-date.
     
  29. jimmybee

    jimmybee Med/Peds Resident

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    Meth....Thanks for the reply. I just got my secondary from Loyola today (there was a mix up with the release of my MCAT scores). Anyways, I was wondering what types of things to put on the "self-education, research, or independent scholastic work" part. I haven't done any research and I am taking this question as if it was asking what have I taught myself that is beneficial. I really don't have an answer for this question if that is what it is asking. I have volunteered for 4 semesters and have worked in a hospital as a phlebotomist for 2 yrs, but I don't think that these things are scholastic. What do you think?

    P.S. For those of you out there that recognize this as a post that has been repeated, I apologize. I really need the input though! Thanks.
     
  30. Methuselah

    Methuselah Senior Member

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    Jimmybee,
    I'm in a similar position. I described an independant (molecular bio) project I was involved in as an undergraduate. I wrote about why I found my topic interesting, and why I felt this research was a valuable experience. Maybe phlebotomy is not scholastic research, but there is definitely science involved (you're working in a lab, right?) I'd explore this angle. Do the best with what you got. Good Luck.
     

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