Get Into Medical School with Low Stats Webinar Airs Live on Wed!

Join us live this Wednesday (July 30, 2014) at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST. for a free webinar, How to Get into Medical School with Low Stats.

Register ASAP (free) and get ready to learn how to boost your strengths so that the admissions committee won’t dwell on your weaknesses!

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Register here: How to Get into Medical School with Low Stats

See you soon!

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How Should You Structure Your Essays?

Learn how to creating a winning AMCAS essay! Click here to download your complete copy of Ace the AMCAS!

The conclusion shouldn’t parrot what you introduced earlier in the essay.

“How Should You Structure Your Essays?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Ace the AMCAS Essay. To download the entire free special report, click here.

In this series we’re not going to talk about the actual writing and editing (we’ll save those technical elements for another time), but we are going to suggest HOW to structure your essay. After you choose your topic (that is, the stories/experiences that we talked about in our post WHAT Should You Include in Your AMCAS Essay?), you will need to sit down and make an outline that highlights the structure that your essay will take.

A successful essay structure usually looks like this:

1. Lead or hook

As a personal interest piece (see our post Why Do We Have Personal Statements?), you want your reader to read your essay out of interest, not obligation. The best way to do this is to draw your reader in with some captivating, spellbinding opening. “Hi, my name is…” or “I was born in…” or “I want to be a doctor because…” certainly won’t cut it! Stay away from the common and ordinary. Start with a catchy anecdote, question, bit of dialogue, or description that you think will capture your reader’s attention. Put your reader in the middle of whatever story you plan to tell.

2. Thesis

You thesis acts as the core idea of essay. While a successful essay doesn’t necessarily need to spell out a main topic (for example, you don’t need to say “the purpose of this essay is…”), it should somehow be present in your essay – both as a guiding light to make sure that you don’t get lost in your writing and ramble on about a million different topics, and so that your reader remains focused and attentive to the point that you’re trying to convey.

3. Body

The body of your essay is the longest section. In the body you’ll present evidence (specifics that add interest and credibility to your essay and distinguish you from your competition) to support your thesis. In this section of your AMCAS essay, you’ll want to order your points (and sub-points if you have them) either chronologically, logically, or thematically. You should always put your most interesting points earlier in the essay.

4. Conclusion

Your essay’s conclusion should restate your main idea or theme. You shouldn’t parrot what you introduced earlier in the essay, but you should find a way to include it and also relate an implication or two, for example, why this theme or story is important or revealing. Also, if you asked a question at the beginning of your essay, make sure you’ve answered it by the end.

Download this special report that will help you ace the AMCAS essay.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Incentivized Learning: A Review of DrSmarts

DrSmartsLogoI just had a great time playing around (and learning) on the DrSmarts website, a test prep site for pre-med, med school, and veterinary school applicants and students. There are a number of features that I’d like to highlight here:

 • It’s free!

I mentioned this first because I think this will really be a draw for students. Lots of programs make you pay lots of money to access their resources. This one doesn’t – DrSmarts is an entirely free educational resource to help students reinforce what they are learning in the class room as well as to help review materials in advance of exams. And while it may not have some of the feature that the paid sites have (like tutors and practice exams), it certainly has enough features to provide a complete (not to mention fun – I’ll talk about this next) learning experience.

 • It’s fun!

One of my favorite features was the Brain Teasers section of the site. I found it slightly annoying that I couldn’t go from one question straight to the next (I had to go back to the dashboard in between questions), but otherwise, hands down, this was the most enjoyable part of the site.

 • You earn points and win prizes.

Each time you answer a question correctly (like in the daily quiz section or the daily poll – both great features, by the way – or for referring someone to the site), you accrue points (called “eDivs”) to your account balance. At the end of each week, the students with the most points earned will get rewards for their meritocracy. And monthly, DrSmarts will give out more meaningful scholarships to the top point earners. This is why the company calls itself “the first incentivized learning community.” One of the basic tenets of the site is “Learn to Earn.”

 • You earn points for charity.

For each quiz question answered correctly, DrSmarts will donate money on behalf of the students to their pre-selected charity or association. The other basic tenet of the site is “Learn to Give.”

 • There’s a language lab.

This seems slightly out of place among all the science-focused work going on here, but I welcomed it with open arms! It looks like an incredible opportunity to strengthen your language skills. Powered by Mango.

 • There are additional resources.

There are loads of practice materials – quizzes, e-books you can leaf through, and info about upcoming exams. And it’s all free! (Yes, mentioning that again.)

This is definitely a site worth checking out! See it here – https://drsmarts.smartsed.com/

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!

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Got Low Stats? Learn How You Can Get Accepted to Med School! [Webinar]

Don’t forget to register for our upcoming webinar, How to Get into Medical School with Low Stats.

Remember – this is a MUST-attend webinar for anyone applying to med school (or thinking about applying) with a less-than-desirable GPA or MCAT score.

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During the webinar, Alicia McNease Nimokar, senior advisor at Accepted.com, will provide loads of advice on how to position oneself for admissions success, despite those low numbers.

Mark your calendars!

Date: July 30, 2014

Time: 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET

Registration link: How to Get into Medical School with Low Stats (Registration is free, but required.)

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Michigan State University College of Human Medicine 2015 Secondary Application Essay Tips

Check out the rest of our secondary application essay tips!According to a 2010 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, this school is ranked #6 out of 141 U.S. medical schools for meeting its social mission to educate doctors who are underrepresented in medicine and who will work in underserved communities.  They have six different campuses spread across the state of Michigan so students receive exposure to diverse patient populations, with their headquarters located in Grand Rapids.  Their brand new, state-of-the-art facilities were competed in 2010.

When drafting your responses to their secondary questions it’s important to review the school’s mission statement: “Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is committed to educating exemplary physicians and scholars, discovering and disseminating new knowledge, and providing service at home and abroad. We enhance our communities by providing outstanding primary and specialty care, promoting the dignity and inclusion of all people, and responding to the needs of the medically underserved.”  Since the three short essay questions required in their secondary application are general in nature, what experiences or characteristics can you identify in your life or yourself that align with the schools values?

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine 2015 Essay Questions:

• Three short essays are required with a limit of 350 words.

• Six optional short essays are requested for students interested in the special programs that they offer with word limits of 350.

• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

The following essays are required in the Secondary Application:

1. Discuss a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone. What were the challenges? What did you learn? (350 word limit)

There are many possible ways to approach this response.  Using an experience that covers your exploration of a new language and culture or an example in which you worked with a new group of people as a team or a familiar group of people on a new goal would work, as well.  Choose an experience that allowed you to develop and grow as a person that had a clearly positive outcome.  Journaling may be a helpful way to locate the best example from your life to use.         

2. Describe a personally rewarding experience. What did you learn about yourself through this experience? You are permitted to use an experience included in your AMCAS application, as long as you didn’t go into great detail in your AMCAS application (including personal statement and experiences) or in Essay One, or you discuss a different aspect of the experience. (350 word limit)

The adcom wants to determine what you value by what you find rewarding in your life.  It’s important to be authentic.  I recommend choosing something that is truly fulfilling for you but that also will demonstrate how well you will fit in with the culture of service created at MSUCHM.  A response that focuses on any form of service that you have most enjoyed will fit this response nicely.  Alternatively, any personal achievements that you have worked towards may also work—as long as they benefited more than one person.

3. If you could present yourself to the Committee on Admissions, what would you want to make sure they knew about you? (350 word limit)

For such an open-ended question, I recommend that you review your AMCAS application in detail to see if there is anything that you didn’t cover.  Other important topics to consider discussing may have occurred before college or after you submitted your AMCAS application that you can share with the adcom.  It’s important to take the time and effort to respond to this question as thoughtfully as possible.  If you’re really struggling for a topic, consider any hobbies or talents outside of school that will help you maintain your balance and focus in medical school.    

Application Timeline:

AMCAS Application Due  - November 1, 2014

Secondary Application Due – November 30, 2014       (*Submit within two weeks after receipt.)

If you would like professional guidance with your Michigan State University College of Human Medicine application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for MSUCHM’s application materials.

Check out the rest of our school-specific secondary essay tips!

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.