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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bozz, Jun 13, 2008.
What was your strategy to finish secondaries ASAP
I am interesting in hearing some strategies as well, I applied to 41 schools!
What I plan on doing....Do schools I would really like to go to and schools I have a really good shot of getting into first
Then do schools that I have a really good shot of getting into, but arent really tops on my list....and then finally do all o fmy reach schools.
cut and paste my friend. or altering essays accordingly. i found that most of my schools had similiar secondary questions.
i also agree about prioritizing your secondaries, by preference or by date received.
If you have already submitted just start your secondary essays NOW. Use the prompts provided on this website. It is possible that some essays may be changed slightly. However, I am willing to get a head start and risk having to change my essays slightly.
best of luck to you
30+ MD schools is a lot. I mean, I have around 15 and could easily have put a few more in there but with my gpa and current mcat, most of the others I'd put are just unrealistic. I do have over 30 schools counting DO though.
As others said...don't procrastinate and cut and paste. Look at a few school's sites and you can sometimes find standard secondary questions and bust out a few of those. Also, don't spend agonizing amounts of time proofreading each one. Make sure it is easy to read and to the point. It doesn't have to be a literary masterpiece.
Chubbychaser...your roseanne thing really disturbs me. A lot.
Exactly. I applied to 28 schools. After I submitted my AMCAS in early June and was waiting for secondaries, I cut and pasted all of the essay prompts from the prior year (from the prior year's SDN secondary essay question thread) and put them in a word document. Then I started writing essays whenever I got the free time and/or felt inspired. It helped to scroll through the list of questions to all the schools I was applying to in one document and see that there were so many duplicate questions. I became very creative in cutting and pasting and editing previous essays to fit other ones. Just spread it out over time, or you'll burn out real fast. Oh, and when cutting and pasting be SURE that you don't forget to change the school's name if you use it! You may think you'd never do that, but most of us end up with some serious near misses (i.e., catching it after you've already printed it out to mail).
There will of course be some secondaries that don't have any essays (or just one or two), while others will have many. I think the worst were the ones that asked something that I had already talked about in my personal statement (what to do? rephrase and repeat? Think of something new?), or the ones that would ask one essay question, but it was a HUGE "why us?" essay. For instance, Pritzker and Rosalind Franklin each a have a very large "fit" essay. I took about a week or so to write the Pritzker one, and then edited a sentence or two and submitted it as my Rosalind Franklin essay. Given that I got in to RF, it can obviously be done....
Good luck guys!
I made started working on my secondary essays the very day I got them in the mail.
Sometimes there'd be some overlap between different med schools so that helped simplify things.
But yes, procrastination will kill you!
It also helps to figure out which ones you can turn around fast...
give the secondary a quick scan once you get it to see what it needs. If it's just your basic "send us a check" secondary, do it then and there. If it's an essay you've already written and can modify with just a few min of work, that's worth triaging first b/c it gets it turned around fast and keeps as much off your plate as possible.
dont do it!!! applying to 30+ schools is pointless because you are probably not well matched in every single one of those 30 schools. I applied to like 15-16 and filled out secondaries for like 13. I ended up withdrawing from all out of state b/c I felt they werent quite my type and I got about 7 interviews, 2 of which i declined b/c i wasnt interseted in those schools later in the cycle. So my advice: be smart now, thrust me it will wear you out and come feburary it will be a waste of money and precious time...you are seriously better off applying to a few and concentrating all ur enery on those. Good Luck bozz!
buggati - it really depends on each individual applicant. You were lucky. If an applicant doesn't apply early, or doesn't have great stats, or doesn't have in-state schools, or doesn't have great clinical experience, etc., they'd be better off casting their net wide, and declining interviews later on, than not getting enough (or any) interviews and having to reapply....
Absolutely. I actually came across a thread last year about which schools had the shortest/easiest secondaries. I hate to admit it, but I definitely threw in a few of those schools since I knew there really wasn't much required.... Alas, I don't recall off the bat which they were for certain (NYU, Cornell and Drexel, perhaps? Maybe BU too?).
simple. use the same formula you will depend on during medical school and residency.
red bull and/or coffee + grinding it out + sleep deprivation.
recycle essays like its your job
hey thanks for the advice... I'm international and VERY few schools out of my list in the first place have interview rates for internations >10%. Some have 8-10%. Many have 5-6% but it's worth it IMO and I'm willing to spend the money.
If I was a perm. resident of my state, I'd apply to around 15 schools including 2-3 of my state schools and be set. Unfortunately, I can't until I get my greencard.
Applying to 30 plus schools implies a lack of self confidence, and more importantly, a lack of self knowledge. If you know who you are and understand the process, 15 schools is plenty. Otherwise, it reeks of panic.
I applied to 35 schools and got 33 secondaries, so I was definitely busy last year! My advice, just do them as the come in, and don't put them off. Make yourself sit down for hours at a time and just write them. Set 8 hours aside on Saturday or something, then 2-3 each night after work or school. Some of them won't have any essays, so I would get these in first just to scratch them off your list.
As people have mentioned, A LOT of the essays will be the same, so what I did was make an "Essays" folder, where I copied every essay I wrote onto it's own Word doc. So I had like 50 word docs, "Stanford:unique qualities and background", "Stanford:Why I'm suited for academic medicine", "UCLA: most scholarly activity" etc etc. Sure, it sounds like that in itself takes time, but it is SO WORTH IT. After about 10 secondaries, I would just refer to my essay list to see if I had already answered that question, or at least one like it. Trust me, you will have already written it even if you don't remember! They become routine after a while.
And also, for my first secondary, I read it over and over and had someone edit it, etc.....don't worry about them that much. You will write so many that you can't fret over every detail. Obviously have correct grammar, etc, but these are not your PS, and you don't want to burn yourself out.
In a couple of months, you won't have to do anything but wait for interviews and an acceptance! All very worth it. Secondaries are like a distant memory at this point. Have fun writing all those checks too!
Hope that helps!
I think this is good advice - just make sure the writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.
This is the greatest thread ever.
I'm right there with ya Bozz. This is going to be a marathon! (Exciting though!)