The instructions for the 2007 AMCAS application — all 70 pages of them — are now online. Go through them thoroughly and make sure you follow all the instructions that pertain to you (Relax, much of those 70 pages will not.)
The section that interests us here at Accepted.com the most is the Personal Comments section, and I quote:
Use the Personal Comments essay as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other applicants.
Some questions you may want to consider while writing this essay are:
• Why have you selected the field of medicine?
• What motivates you to learn more about medicine?
• What do you want medical schools to know about you that hasn’t been disclosed in another
section of the application?
In addition, you may wish to include information such as:
• Special hardships, challenges or obstacles that may have influenced your educational
• Commentary on significant fluctuations in your academic record that are not explained
elsewhere in your application.
Consider and write your Personal Comments carefully; many admissions committees place
significant weight on this section. To avoid formatting issues, we recommend typing your essay
directly in the AMCAS application rather than cutting and pasting your essay from other software.
• Proofread carefully! No changes (including grammatical or typographical errors) may be
made after your application is submitted to AMCAS.
• You cannot run a spell check in the AMCAS application.
• Applicants who plan to cut and paste their essays into the application should draft their
essays in a text-only format, preferably in text-only word processing software, such as
Microsoft Notepad. Copying formatted text into the application may result in formatting
issues that cannot be edited once your application is submitted.
• Applicants should enter all text responses in the application just as they would like the
medical schools to see them, avoiding use of ALL CAPS or all lower case. Medical schools
have indicated that they prefer to receive applications that follow normal writing practices
regarding case. For example, medical schools prefer, “I attended Dr. Mitchell’s summer
workshop in Nevada” to either: “I ATTENDED DR. MITCHELL’S SUMMER WORKSHOP IN
NEVADA” or “i attended dr. mitchell’s summer workshop in nevada.”
• This essay cannot be added to or changed after your application is submitted to AMCAS.
• Plagiarism or misrepresentations will prompt an investigation.
• It is not necessary to repeat information reported elsewhere on your application.
• The available space for this essay is 5300 characters, or approximately one page. You will
receive an error message if you exceed the available space.
I disagree with one piece of advice offered by AMCAS. I suggest you draft your essay in the word processing program you are most comfortable with. If it is Word, turn off Word’s “smart quotes.” After you have spell-checked, character-counted, and proofed the final version of your essay and you are positive it is ready to go, cut and paste it into Notepad to remove any formatting. Print it out from Notepad and proof it one more time to ensure there are no formatting issues. Then cut it from Notepad and paste it into the AMCAS application. Check it again before submitting.
Accepted.com is ready to help you with your medical school personal statement both with free tips and articles on the writing associated with your med school application, as well as one-on-one med school consulting and editing. And if you purchase our editing and advising services in May you will not only have the advantage of submitting your AMCAS application early, but you will also beat a price increase. We are raising our rates on medical, college, and grad services on June 1. Start your AMCAS essay today and save.