Every applicant is required to submit a Personal Comments essay. The available space for this essay is 5,300 characters (spaces are counted as characters), or approximately one page. You will receive an error message if you exceed the available space. Click the HelpText or see Section 8 of the AMCAS Applicant Guide for suggestions of things to think about when writing this essay.
The Personal Comments Essay section of the AMCAS application is your opportunity to tell medical school admissions officers who you are and what makes you unique. Here are seven tips to help you as you write your essay.
4. Stay on topic. There is a 5,300 character limit (including spaces) in this section. This equals about one page of writing, single-spaced. Make sure your essay is interesting, follows a logical and orderly flow, relates to your reasons for choosing medicine, and describes why you believe you will be successful as a physician.
6. Remember to proofread and be mindful of formatting. The AMCAS application does not include spell check, so be sure to proofread your essay for any typos or grammatical errors. You will not be able to go back into this section to make any edits after you submit your application. To avoid formatting issues, we recommend that you draft your essay in text-only word processing software, such as Microsoft Notepad or Mac TextEdit, then copy and paste your essay into the application. You can also type your essay directly into the AMCAS application.
7. If you are applying to MD-PhD programs, there are two additional essays you will need to complete. The first essay asks your reasons for pursuing the combined degree and is relatively short. The second essay asks you to describe your research activities and is about three pages long. You can read more about these additional essays in the AMCAS Instruction Manual or get further guidance from your pre-health advisor or career counselor.
ProspectiveDoctor has compiled a database of past and current medical school secondary essay prompts from past years to help you get a head start on your secondary applications. Select a school to discover their essay prompts.
Also keep in mind that the DO secondary essays tend to be rather generous in the amount of space they provide (sometimes up to 500 words per essay). These essays will give you additional opportunities to discuss disadvantages.
The personal statement essay is limited to 5000 characters, including spaces. Explain your motivation to seek a career in medicine. Be sure to include the value of your experiences that prepare you to be a physician.
The personal characteristics essay is limited to 2500 characters, including spaces. Learning from others is enhanced in educational settings that include individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Please describe your personal characteristics (background, talents, skills, etc.) or experiences that would add to the educational experience of others.
The optional essay is limited to 2500 characters, including spaces. The optional essay is an opportunity to provide the admissions committee(s) with a broader picture of who you are as an applicant. This essay is optional; however, you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. Briefly state any unique circumstances or life experiences that are relevant to your application. This is not an area to continue your essay or reiterate what you have previously stated - this area is provided to address any issues which have not previously been addressed.
Who should edit my med school essay?This is a key (and often-overlooked) question. You want your med school essay to be a highly polished product that really wows admissions officers. To accomplish this, enlist the help of at least three editors:
"The essay really can cause me to look more deeply at the entire application," Dr. Stephen Nicholas, former senior associate dean of admissions with the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, told U.S. News in 2017. "So I do think it's pretty important."
A compelling medical school admissions essay can address nearly any topic the applicant is interested in, as long as it conveys the applicant's personality, according to Dr. Barbara Kazmierczak, director of the M.D.-Ph.D. Program and a professor of medicine and microbial pathogenesis with the Yale School of Medicine.
The purpose of a personal statement is to report the events that inspired and prepared a premed to apply to medical school, admissions experts say. This personal essay helps admissions officers figure out whether a premed is ready for med school, and it also clarifies whether a premed has a compelling rationale for attending med school, these experts explain.
Dr. Viveta Lobo, an emergency medicine physician with the Stanford University School of Medicine in California who often mentors premeds, says the key thing to know about a personal statement is that it must indeed be personal, so it needs to reveal something meaningful. The essay should not be a dry piece of writing; it should make the reader feel for the author, says Lobo, director of academic conferences and continuing medical education with the emergency medicine department at Stanford.
Fassas notes that many of the possible essay topics a med school hopeful can choose are subjects that other premeds can also discuss, such as a love of science. However, aspiring doctors can make their personal statements unique by articulating the lessons they learned from their life experiences, she suggests.
Rankin notes that it's apparent when a premed has taken a meticulous approach to his or her personal statement to ensure that it flows nicely, and she says a fine essay is akin to a "well-woven fabric." One sign that a personal statement has been polished is when a theme that was explored at the beginning of the essay is also mentioned at the end, Rankin says, explaining that symmetry between an essay's introduction and conclusion makes the essay seem complete.
Rankin notes that the author of an essay might not see flaws in his or her writing that are obvious to others, so it's important for premeds to show their personal statement to trusted advisers and get honest feedback. That's one reason it's important to begin the writing process early enough to give yourself sufficient time to organize your thoughts, Rankin says, adding that a minimum of four weeks is typically necessary.
If premeds fail to closely proofread their personal statement, the essay could end up being submitted with careless errors such as misspellings and grammar mistakes that could easily have been fixed, according to experts. Crafting a compelling personal statement typically necessitates multiple revisions, so premeds who skimp on revising might wind up with sloppy essays, some experts say.
Here are two medical school admissions essays that made a strong, positive impression on admissions officers. The first is from Columbia and the second is from the University of Minnesota. These personal statements are annotated with comments from admissions officers explaining what made these essays stand out.
The Writing Section of the exam requires candidates to develop and write ideas on two 30-minute essays of MCAT. These essays call for a combination of argumentative and expository writing skills from candidates. Argumentative writing involves persuasive skills or the ability to prove a point of view, and expository writing calls for skills in imparting information.
These essays might require you to support or oppose a particular view point or opinion; however, it does not matter whether you oppose or support it. What is evaluated is how clearly and coherently you verbalize a given point and support it.
The task is to write a unified essay for each of the prompts, by following three separate instructions. Accordingly, you need to explain the given statement. You also need to provide a specific example or situation that is exactly the opposite of the given statement. That means, you need to provide a counter-example of the given statement: for example, give a situation where education is all about imparting values and not about teaching skills; or describe a historic situation, which is not about wars. After describing the counter-example, you need to resolve the contradiction, or discuss when you think each situation arises: that is, when history is considered a story of human wars and when it is not; or when values are imparted as part of education and when skills are imparted.
Essays in MCAT are to assess your written communication skills and the best way to prepare yourself is by improving your writing and composition skills. Learn about how to write well-coherent essays and practice yourself.
The Admissions Committee wants to get to know you on both a professional and personal level. We encourage you to be introspective, candid and succinct. Most importantly, we suggest you be yourself. For additional essay writing resources, see the essay tips article!
In addition to the Wharton MBA application, Lauder requires that you complete a language assessment called the Oral Proficiency Interview(s), one Lauder essay, and answers to supplemental questions regarding international/cross-cultural experience. You will be prompted to submit these items in the online application.
If you applied to a program and were not admitted, we encourage you to reapply for the next academic year. Reapplications make up approximately 10% of our applicant pool in any given year. The most important thing is that you demonstrate through essays, subsequent career growth, and/or academic preparation that you are a stronger candidate. We recommend you review the MBA Prerequisites before re-submitting an application to ensure they have not changed since you last applied.
If you are reapplying, you are required to complete the requisite application essays plus the optional essay. Please use this space to explain how you have reflected on the previous decision on your application and to discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, and extracurricular/volunteer engagements). You may also use this section to address any applicable extenuating circumstances. (250 words) 2b1af7f3a8