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Secondary Application Essays

How to Quickly Write the Strongest
Secondary Application Essays

If you’re thinking about the secondary application, chances are you’ve done just about everything you need to do to get your primary application (AMCAS) in on time.

Transcripts are in, letters of rec are in, personal statement written, and AMCAS filled out. Whew! Nicely done. It took YEARS of work to get to this point, and you should be proud. But you’re not done yet, nope!

Just when you thought you had poured all of your heart out into your personal statement, medical schools send you a second round of essays for you to bang out as fast as you can.

You Have a Huge Pile of Secondaries to Complete And
You Already Know That Time is of The Essence

Your Secondaries

Most medical schools will send you about 2-3 additional essays to write, and you’re a premed, not a journalist — you want to be a medical expert and help people.

Writing might not be your passion or your strongest skill, so coming up with yet another round of essays is a big hassle. And it’s a hassle that you need to finish in only a few days if you want to be as competitive as possible.

You Need to Return Your Secondaries in Only a Few Days — But How?

You have 1 week to complete your secondary essays. Ready, GO!

You will dramatically improve your chances if you quickly return your secondaries to medical schools. How quickly? I recommend submitting completed secondaries 2 days after receiving them. Read on to learn how that’s possible.

But there’s just not a whole lot of information out there about the medical school secondaries that tells you what schools are looking for or how to give them what they want. A lot of premeds shoot in the dark, and their lack of preparation shows in their “bleh” secondary application essays.

One big problem — premeds like to dig deep into their pasts and unearth old experiences that don’t connect to their core themes and goals.

Applicants who don’t know what to talk about talk about everything and anything, and they come across like madmen who can’t focus.

Learn How to Respond to the Common Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts Better And Faster Than Everyone Else

I’ve gone through massive lists of secondary application prompts and I’ve made a huge discovery about the secondary, a secret that only my private premed clients have had access to until now, a technique that will dramatically reduce how much time it takes to complete the secondary essays.

I discovered that of all the hundreds of different secondary prompts, each of the prompts falls into one of 10 categories that I call “Super Prompts.” These essay prompts are so similar that you could write all of your secondaries right now, based only on my list of the “Super Prompts.” The “Super Prompts” are going to save you a ton of time.

With my list of secondary “Super Prompts” in hand, you won’t have to write dozens of different essays!

I’ve created a series of 10 videos that teach you everything you need to know about how to write the medical school secondary and be the most attractive candidate out there.

Most premeds go through the secondary essays blind — so if you prepare yourself by learning how to write the best secondary essays and get them in quickly, you’re way ahead of your competition.

Get The Only Online Video Course For Secondaries:
“How to Write the Medical School Secondary Application”

I used to charge my premed clients lots of money to coach them through the secondary prompts, and now all my expertise on secondaries is now inside my online course ready for you to use from home at a very affordable price.

“How to Write the Medical School Secondary Application” Answers the Most Important Questions:

  • Should you bring up new topics, or expand on your personal statement/AMCAS?
  • Should talk about bad grades or MCAT scores in your secondaries?
  • How is it possible to write so many essays quickly and make them really good?
  • ​Do you really need to write unique secondary essays for each school, or can you re-use them?
  • How do you write a compelling answer to: “Why do you want to attend [name of school?”
  • What do you say in the “Is there anything else you want to tell us?” section?

I highly recommend that you start working on your med school secondaries as soon as you get them — the sooner you return them to medical schools, the higher chances of acceptance are. “How to Write the Medical School Secondary Application” will help you to quickly turn in great secondary essays.

Enroll in "How to Write Your Medical School Secondary Application" Today!

This online video course will teach you how to quickly and persuasively write your medical school secondary application essays. It includes my master list of “Super Prompts” and training videos that show you the best way to respond to each prompt.

Get instant online access for only $97!

Course Review – Doug Doehrman, MD From StudyBypass.com

When You Enroll Now, You Get:

  • My complete guide to “Super Prompts:” The secondary prompts that you’ll face, and how to tackle them.
  • A Video Series on how to write your secondaries — you can get thru the 10 videos in under two hours and complete your secondaries in only one day.
  • Tricks to write impressive secondaries quickly, so you can turn them in before anyone else.
  • Links I’ve found all over the web listing the secondary prompts.
  • It’s an ALL-ONLINE course — nothing will be shipped to you, so you'll get instant access to everything

Frequently Asked Questions About This Course

Q: What is “How to Write the Medical School Secondary Application?”
A: It’s an all-online course covering everything you need to know to quickly write amazing medical school secondaries — you’ll be able to finish your secondaries in about one day.

Q: What does the course include?
A: 10 Videos (you can watch them on my site), a PDF of the “Super Prompt” list of essays and best responses. (It’s ALL DIGITAL — nothing will be shipped to you)

Q: How will this course help me write my secondaries?
A: The videos and “Super Prompt” guide give you the tips, tricks, do’s and dont’s of writing secondary essays. See an example “spyshot” of a page from the pdf below to see what it’s all about:

Enroll in "How to Write Your Medical School Secondary Application" Today!

This online video course will teach you how to quickly and persuasively write your medical school secondary application essays. It includes my master list of “Super Prompts” and training videos that show you the best way to respond to each prompt.

Get instant online access for only $97!

If You Want Medical Schools to be Impressed By Your Secondaries, You Need to Know This:

  • The common secondary essay prompts — and the best way to respond to each of them
  • What to talk about in each essay, and how to continue the theme of your personal statement
  • How to make yourself appear well-rounded without being unfocused and scattered
  • How to answer the “Why do you want to come to this school?” question, even when you don’t know why
  • How to convincingly tell medical schools, “You’re my #1 choice!”

"How to Write Your Medical School Secondary Application"
Learn What Medical Schools Want and Write Great Essays Faster

Enroll in the Online Course to Get:

  • How to answer the top secondary prompts
  • Writing tricks and techniques that will help you to return your secondaries to med schools within only 24 – 48 hours
  • What not to say: Cliches and mistakes to avoid
  • An all-online video course with PDF supplement

You can get the entire course - The “Super Prompts” guide and the Video Series -- for just $97 !

The biggest benefit of this course: After you’ve written your 14 Master Secondary essays, you’ll have written all of your essays.

“I’ve looked through his course content personally and can tell you that I really love the advice he gives.

Don’s got many years of admissions experience; he has had several medical school admissions committee members on his staff, including one dean of admissions of a major Chicago medical school, and he’s spoken to groups of premed advisers about his experiences as an adviser. He stands by his courses, so if you have any problems, be sure you reach out to him. He’s a good guy and will take care of you.”

Doug Doehrman, MD

There is no rest for the medical school applicant! A few weeks after you submit your AMCAS application, med schools will start mailing secondary applications, composed primarily of a short list of essay questions. Here's how to tackle them.

Who receives Secondary Applications?

Most schools indiscriminately send secondary applications, meaning that every living, breathing candidate who submitted a primary application will likely get a secondary one, regardless of their chances for admission. There are, however, a few student-friendly schools that will review GPA and MCAT scores to be sure you meet their minimum admissions standards before they send a secondary application. In many cases, schools betray what type of student they are looking for in the type of secondary question they ask. If you have strong answers for their questions, it is possible you have the characteristics they are most looking for in an applicant.

Writing the Secondary Essay

Check out our top strategies for writing your secondary essays and relieve some med school application stress.

1. Answer the Question Being Asked

Unlike primary applications, secondary applications ask specific questions about your goals, experiences, and your personal views on a range of topics, including your decision to go to medical school. Your secondaries will be read to see how they complement what you have said in your primary application. At the most basic level, your secondary application is another test to see whether you can adequately understand directions (this time, the school’s specific directions), and focus yourself to answer the question that was asked.

2. Focus on New Material

If you are willing to put in a little effort, secondaries are a great time to elaborate on elements that received less attention in your primary application. For example, if you write in your personal statement about a primary care experience, you may want to point out some research experience in your secondary applications. A discussion of how research broadened or deepened your interest would show that you are an even broader applicant than your initial application suggested.  

3. Every Word Counts

If you are given enough room on certain questions, you may want to follow the thesis, body, and conclusion structure that you would use for a longer essay. Don’t, however, try to squeeze in extra words by using a font more than a point smaller than your AMCAS application. That approach always appears forced, and you come across as a rule bender—not an ideal image to portray to med schools.

4. Know What To Expect

Secondary questions run the gamut from personal to political to pointless. If you want to see what a school’s secondary application entails ahead of time, many premed advisors keep a file with the previous year’s secondary applications. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are a few questions from recent applications.

  • "What do you consider to be the role of the physician in the community?" (Emory University)
  • "What personal accomplishment are you most proud of and why? " (University of California, Irvine)
  • "What has been your most humbling experience and how will that experience affect your interactions with your peers and patients? " (Duke University)
  • "Tell us about a difficult or challenging situation you have encountered and how you dealt with it ." (University of Chicago)
  • "Where do you see your future medical career (academic medicine, research, public health, primary care, business/law, etc.) and why? " (New York University)

5. Make a Game Plan

As you begin to receive secondary applications, you will have a few potential approaches.

Strategy 1:

Focus your energy first on the schools that you would most like to attend.

Strategy 2:

Hold off sending secondaries to the more competitive schools until you’ve sent out a few to the less competitive ones. For many students, their last secondaries will be better written than their first.

Strategy 3:

Reply first to schools whose secondaries ask questions to which you can easily give solid answers. This allows you to work your way up to the more difficult applications.

Strategy 4:

Practice writing secondary statements even before you get your first ones, so that you can send out well-written, personalized responses to your top choices first.

Only you can know which approach will work best for you! Check out more tips about writing the personal statement for medical school.

Want to get an edge over the crowd?

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The Staff of The Princeton Review

For more than 35 years, students and families have trusted The Princeton Review to help them get into their dream schools. We help students succeed in high school and beyond by giving them resources for better grades, better test scores, and stronger college applications. Follow us on Twitter: @ThePrincetonRev.

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