Congratulations! Your AMCAS is processing.
As I waited for my application to be released to medical schools, I decided to pre-write some secondaries before the flood of them in July/August. This preparation was helpful because it reduced the workload of sending back essays to schools within a two day to two week frame time. Most schools will invite to write secondaries, however, a few do screen. This part of the application requires a direct reflection on why you would be a good fit at the school. Secondary applications, unless you have fee waivers, will also cost you around $100 each — you’ll need to plan for that expense as well.
To pre-write secondaries, I looked at previous prompts, which have been collected well by other sites, for each of the schools, and determined if it there was some level of consistency. If a prompt was repeated each year, I wrote that ahead of time. If a school didn’t seem to have consistent prompts, I looked at their past prompts, wrote a few bullets points to brainstorm what my answers would have been had I applied that cycle, and moved on.
Few essays are common and typical, and I encourage you to write these ones ahead of time:
- Why do you want to attend our school?
- How will you contribute to the schools’s diversity?
- What challenges have you faced?
- How did you spend your gap year?
- Anything else?
While your answers should be unique to you, consider reflecting on how your answer can speak to the culture of the school. Ultimately, there are thousands of applicants — in this part of the application, I think you want to make a good argument why you would fit well. What this means is that you can be prudent and write a barebones essay for each of these prompts, but also leave room for personalization. Or you could write a specific one for each of the schools, if you have time for it.
As you wait for secondaries, I think you should also remember to take time for yourself and enjoy wherever you are too. I find that when I feel at peace with myself or reasonably relaxed, I write clearly and better.
Good luck! You’ve come a long way and this is just another step in the process.
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