“Why Do We Have Personal Statements?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Ace the AMCAS Essay. To download the entire free special report, click here.
Do the essays in your med school applications serve as mere padding for the rest of your application? Or do they have some higher purpose?
I’d like to propose three important reasons WHY the med schools request essays in addition to the all the stats and data that you provide in other sections of your application.
The purpose of the AMCAS essay is to…
1. Provide a window into who you are. Not just into your grades and scores and impressive awards and experiences, but into the real you. Your AMCAS essay gives you an opportunity for the admissions community to meet you beyond the hard facts. This is your chance to introduce yourself.
2. Add insight and value to your application. Your AMCAS essay will allow you to delve deeper into specific experiences and to discuss your motivation and the lessons you learned. Be careful not to merely repeat info found on other parts of your application; instead, build and add to it with an insightful essay.
3. Demonstrate writing ability. Strong writing skills are indicative of strong communication skills, which are critical in the medical world. Let the adcom readers see that you know how to get your point across.
To sum up, your essays shouldn’t pad your application with meaningless filler material, but should serve as a different kind of PAD – Provide a window, Add value, and Demonstrate writing skills. Include these elements in your AMCAS essay, and you’ll be one step closer to creating a captivating piece of writing and capturing a spot in your dream med school!
By Linda Abraham, 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.