The Trick to Writing the Medical School Secondary Application
Right after you submit your primary (AMCAS) application, medical schools immediately begin to send out the secondary application. On the surface, the secondary application appears straight-forward: “Respond to these essay prompts and make sure not to exceed the word limit.”Right after you submit your primary (AMCAS) application, medical schools immediately begin to send out the secondary application. On the surface, the secondary application appears straight-forward: “Respond to these essay prompts and make sure not to exceed the word limit.”
Easy enough, right?
But then you start receiving secondaries from every single medical school, and suddenly you’re looking at a pile of dozens and dozens of essays to write.
The common first instinct is to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of essays and procrastinate. Don’t delay! Your chances of acceptance are higher if you submit your secondaries sooner, so you need to complete your secondaries asap.
The other common instinct is to jump right into the essays by knocking them out one-by-one. You can do that, but you might end up spending tons of time writing dozens of pages of unique essays.
There’s a better way to write your secondaries, and once you know the secondary application “trick” you’ll be able to cut to the front of the line and submit your secondaries faster than most other applicants.
Pre-Write Your Secondary Application Essays
Here’s the secret: Most medical schools use very similar secondary essay prompts. The prompts are so similar that you can pre-write 10 secondary essays and tweak them for each secondary application that you have to write. You’ll only write 10 essays — not the 30+ that you’d normally write using the conventional method.
I’m not advocating wholesale copy/pasting one secondary essay into several different secondary apps — you will need to edit each essay so that it addresses each unique medical school, but the tweaking/editing process only takes minutes, not hours.
For the pre-write trick to work you have to know the common secondary essay prompts, so read about the medical school secondary application prompts to learn how to pre-write competitive secondary essays.