MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Friday, August 29, 2008

Client Snippet: How Do I Approach Secondary Essays?

A client wrote me today and asked: "Dr. Freedman, I am confused about my secondary essays. What should I write about?"

I encourage clients to read secondary essay prompts carefully. Many applicants don't answer the actual question that is being asked. It is important to say something fresh that isn't stated elsewhere in your application. Don't drone on and try to be as succinct as possible. Think of the person reading your application -- they have already read through your entries, personal statement, letters of reference and now they are reading your secondaries. This is a tiring process especially when the reviewer may have a huge stack of applications to review in one sitting.

Regarding optional essays, don't feel that you must complete these. If you have nothing new to add and have done a thorough job representing yourself in the rest of your application, it is OK to leave this space empty. The thing that made me crazy when I screened medical school applications was reading something in a secondary essay that I had already read elsewhere.

Also be sure to proofread your secondary essays. More than once I read a secondary essay when an applicant referenced the wrong medical school rather than the school for which the secondary essay was intended. These applications were screened out because this spoke volumes about the applicant.

MedEdits provides comprehensive assistance for medical school applicants.