Will my "hook" have just as much impact in a secondary essay as in my PS?

Tippyboat

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
434
1
91
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi guys,

I have an interesting hook that is currently crammed in my PS. I'm considering taking it out and put it in a secondary instead. I would devote at least one essay per secondary to this activity.
This could free up my PS to develop other things in more depth and focus squarely on describing the journey to deciding on medicine as a career.

I just really want to make sure this hook gets explained and noticed, so will it be just as well to put it in my secondary? Do secondary essays hold equal weight as the PS?

Thanks
 

Sammich117

Moderator Emeritus
5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2009
7,271
4
141
PA
Status
Attending Physician
Depends on how much of a 'hook' it is. If it's really something unique and wonderful I'd take something else out of your PS and talk about it instead
 

Tippyboat

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
434
1
91
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you guys for the response so far. Some additional info

- I looked through the secondaries of the schools on my list, about 3/4 of them have prompts I can use my hook to answer.
- My numbers are around 3.8/34, will that weed me out for secondaries?
- It's not like a life changing experience. It's an extracurricular activity that is unique, is my leadership experience, and can be related to medicine in the way I plan to present it.

Thanks
 

Sammich117

Moderator Emeritus
5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2009
7,271
4
141
PA
Status
Attending Physician
If you'd rather leave it out of your PS, I'd use the little space in the EC section to elaborate on it a bit to make it stand out - then you can use it in the schools that have appropriate secondaries
 

Poliscidoc

7+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,783
77
171
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Damn it I thought you had a real "hook". Like captain hook style.

Geeez now I'm pissed
 

slowbutsteady

slowbutsteady
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2008
1,141
3
91
Status
Resident [Any Field]
The PS is where the strongest stuff belongs. It is a pivotal part of your app, before, during and after your interviews.

I was asked about my own "hook" many times during interviews, so it wasn't lost on anyone.
 

DrSmooth

Secret Recipe Soda
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
325
0
91
Status
Medical Student
Hi guys,

I have an interesting hook that is currently crammed in my PS. I'm considering taking it out and put it in a secondary instead. I would devote at least one essay per secondary to this activity.
This could free up my PS to develop other things in more depth and focus squarely on describing the journey to deciding on medicine as a career.

I just really want to make sure this hook gets explained and noticed, so will it be just as well to put it in my secondary? Do secondary essays hold equal weight as the PS?

Thanks
Just be careful not to get distracted, or distract the reader, by this "hook". Sometimes a good story or experience is simply that, a good story or experience. For your PS and secondaries, first nail down your one main point. Every word, every story, every paragraph should drive home, expand, humanize this one main point. Sure there will be subtext, but make sure again that the subtext reinforces the main point. If you find a spot where this "hook" really drives home your main point (very different than massaging your "hook" to fit your point because the "hook" is so sexy), then "hook" away, whether in the primary, secondary, interview, wherever. Otherwise, use it for your answer to one of those stupid interview day icebreakers, like the guy next to you who recently took up dragon-boating. ;)
 

naijaboi

MS0
Nov 20, 2009
287
4
41
Boston, MA
Status
Medical Student
The hook if it is that awesome belongs in the PS. Even though schools will read your secondary essays, the PS is still the king. So pull out all your guns while writing it. Most secondary essays require no hook. In fact most schools barely give you enough space for any kind of meandering in the supplemental essays - it is always best to go straight to the point.

No school will screen you out based on your numbers.