Once you submit your AMCAS primary application, you may feel a sense of relief! But remember, this is just step one of your application process. Despite this accomplishment, you have another step in the application process before you start interviewing. 

You now have to prepare to receive your secondary applications and to write your medical school secondary essays…

Secondary applications are tailored to individual schools and are a way for you to further expand on things like who you are, why you’re a good fit for that school, why you are applying to that program, and what makes you a stand-out student. You’ve already written and submitted your personal statement, so use this to describe yourself in a more personal manner. 

The purpose of the secondary application is to demonstrate that you are qualified! 

What to expect

You will likely receive many essay requests, depending on the number of schools you apply to. Even though there is a wide spectrum of what secondaries look like, there will probably be some overlap among the essay topics from your different programs. Some secondary applications may consist of several short answer questions, while others may have longer essay requests. The average secondary includes 2-3 short essays about an applicant’s experience and interest in that school and the medical field. 

Be sure to start early, follow these tips on preparing your outlines, and you will be able to set yourself up for success in writing and submitting your essays.

Secondary Essay Outline: The first step to writing successful secondary essays

We’ve talked a lot about topics and secondary essay dos and don’ts, so today we want to focus on step #1 of writing your essays— creating a secondary essay outline.

Before you launch into writing your essays, craft an outline for each one. Your outline serves several purposes including:

  • Ensuring you are answering the prompt and creating a narrative around your answer
  • Organizes your thoughts
  • Encourages concise writing
  • Helps keep you on topic

Once you start writing, it’s easy to lose track of specific points and examples to share while you juggle including details. Assuming you outline with bullet points though, you can easily write down which examples you want to use and where, as well as express your main points with as few words as possible. You want to maintain a balance of expression and personality, yet conciseness.

Creating a detailed outline will help you avoid repeating yourself and getting lost between topics. Each school or essay will have a character or word count limit, so pay attention to each of these. You might write it on the top of your outline so you can keep it in mind as you write. 

The key to writing compelling essays is to make sure your outline does 3 things:

  1. Adheres to the prompt, has a theme
  2. Creates a structure for the flow of your essay
  3. Creates a connection between specific examples and takeaway points

Before you begin writing, it may be beneficial to seek help and to have a family member, advisor or mentor review your outlines. The more perspectives you get on your ideas, the more helpful it may be. Admission committees are detail-oriented, so they will catch errors. By correcting errors in your outline, you will save time in your secondary essay’s final proofing stages.

Code Blue Secondary Essay Writing Services

Our team at CBE will help you compose your essay outlines as well as write and proofread your secondary application essays, so that you can achieve acceptance to the school of your choice!

Our basic services include:

  • Comprehensive personal statement editing (if needed)
  • Secondary Essay Editing (3 schools)
  • One follow-up revision/edit per essay

Take a look at the full list of services HERE. Get started on your secondary essays today with the help of our team at CBE!