Last year there were more than 60,000 medical school applicants! In total, 23,711 were accepted, resulting in an acceptance rate of 38%!


The medical school application process naturally weeds out applicants. After you submit your primary application, most schools will send out a secondary application, which includes a request for secondary essays.


From here on out during the process, the applicants begin to narrow (and your chance of acceptance hopefully just increases).


Secondary essays are crucial to getting through to an interview, so here are a few of our top strategies for writing your secondary essays…


Respond and submit your application promptly. It’s best to turn in your secondary application within two weeks after you receive it. If you’re given a deadline, try to submit it 2-3 days before that. It can be difficult and time-consuming filling out each one, so be sure not to miss any deadlines.


Answer the questions directly. Secondary applications will ask more specific questions about your goals, experiences, and views on a range of topics. Use your responses to complement what you said in your primary application, and focus on answering each question clearly and concisely. Here are 5 common secondary essay mistakes that you should avoid!


Create a game plan. As you receive secondary applications, don’t get overwhelmed and come up with a game plan to help you approach each one. For instance…

  • Focus your energy first on the schools that are most important to you.
  • Consider holding off sending secondaries to really competitive schools until you’ve sent some to less competitive programs. For many students, the later secondaries will be better written than the first ones.
  • Reply to the schools you feel most confident giving solid answers to their questions, first. This way you can work your way up to the more difficult applications.
  • Begin practicing and writing secondary statements before you get them.


Get support and feedback.  You probably spent a lot of time getting feedback and editing your personal statement, so doing this for secondaries due to the sheer volume can be more difficult. However, it’s an important step you don’t want to skip! Seek feedback on your essays as often as you can, especially for your high-priority programs. It’s best to have someone with experience in the application process review them. The editors at Code Blue Essays are very experienced in helping applicants write well-composed and effective secondary medical school essays. Our editors have each earned medical degrees and are licensed physicians.


Learn more about our secondary essay editing services and how we can help you.