Expert Guide to Writing an Admission Essay

Admission essays are required by most universities and colleges as part of the application process. Additionally, these essays are often required with applications for scholarships. Usually, an admission essay is submitted along with evidence of the applicant’s exam scores and grades. Typically, admission essay questions require the applicant to provide some personal information to enable the board to learn about them e.g. their philosophy on life, academic goals, important events in their lives, their financial circumstances, and so on. The act of writing an essay like this provides an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself from other candidates and to prove your worthiness.


Some Things you Should Bear in Mind when Writing an Admissions Essay

  • Think about what exactly it is the question is asking. Then, make a list of key ideas and use these to create a rough essay outline.
  • Make sure your essay in not generic i.e. one that is standard or similar to one that other candidate’s might write. Every aspect of your admissions essay should speak about you as an individual and your uniqueness. At the end, those reading your essay should feel they personally know you.
  • Always keep in mind that an admissions committee is looking for candidates who will fit into their institution i.e. one who matches their mission, and is worthy of consideration. Your essay should be tailored with these expectations in mind so you must convince your readers you are suitable.
  •  Draw on your resourcefulness if you find it difficult to come up with ideas. Ask friends or family how they would describe you. Re-read any recommendation letters that have been written on your behalf. Which of the achievements from your resume might the committee be interested in?
  • Avoid repeating factual information from other parts of your application such as the information in your resume. Your admissions essay should be based on particular events and solid examples.
  • Try not to use overly long or ambiguous words and fancy vocabulary as a means of impressing your readers. This might appear showy and artificial.
  • Adhere to the guidelines you are given in relation to length (number of words/pages), font style and size, and so on. In some cases, these essays need to be typed while in other cases they need to be hand-written. On some occasions, the essay should be included in a designated space on an application form and on other occasions, it should be typed or written separately. Regardless of how wonderful your essay is, it will make a poor impression or may even get you disqualified if you fail to heed the instructions you were given.
  • The overall appearance of an admissions essay is crucial. Words should be spelled correctly, all punctuation and grammar rules should be obeyed, and your paper should be neat in its presentation. Members of the admissions board might not meet or see you in person so this all-important essay may be the one and only basis on which you are chosen. Although it may be untrue or unfair, an error-laden and messy essay can indicate a candidate who is poorly qualified and does not care.
  •  Remember to save your written work! It is quite acceptable to use the same (modified) essay – or ideas from a previous essay – for numerous applications. However, it should be revised for each new situation so that it specifically addresses variations in topics and/or questions. While an essay may be re-used for different purposes, your readers should feel it was originally crafted in response to their particular question(s)!


Admissions Essay for Medical School

Almost every medical school expects to admit students who are bright, empathetic, enthusiastic, and communicative. One of the top “selling” factors is a great MCAT score, but there are other factors that admissions committees look for. They want to get to know the real you and what makes you want to qualify as a doctor. Think of an admissions essay as a chance to convey your unique personality to the school’s admissions officers.

Emphasize Your Specific and/or Unique Personal Characteristics

Anyone who practices medicine should be able to work well with patients and others in their profession because there is a lot at risk and no one individual can succeed on their own. Say what it is that makes you good at teamwork. In writing an admissions essay for medical school, make sure you mention the following important qualities:

  1. Diligent and hardworking
  2. Dedicated
  3. Empathetic
  4. Communicative
  5. Operates with honesty and integrity in all undertakings
  6. Ability to persevere
  7. Excellent problem solver
  8. Good critical thinker

Say What Motivates You

An admissions essay is a good opportunity to demonstrate to an admissions board why you want to study medicine. Describe the things that helped you develop in a personal, professional, and intellectual way.

Describe any events that made you interested in medicine and helped you develop the skills that will make you a good student of medicine and, ultimately, a good doctor. Personal experiences are a great way for an admissions board to get to know you as a person. Your past experiences of life have more impact than declarations about your future aspirations since your readers cannot predict if you will achieve these.

Base Your Essay on Honesty

Be genuine in the reasons you give for wanting to become a doctor. Admission essays are often used as the basis for interview discussion and questions. This will be a lot easier if you have written about events and experiences that are meaningful to you and you will be able to discuss these confidently, truthfully, and with passion. Admission boards are more attracted to potential medical students who are intelligent and articulate. Avoid the temptation to exaggerate your achievements because these may be challenged in an interview and you may be faced with questions you cannot answer.

Avoid Sounding Pompous

When writing an admissions essay, your aim at this stage is to “sell” your suitability to the school(s) you are targeting. Show the strong points in your personality without sounding overly-confident or arrogant. One mistake a lot of candidates make is dwelling too much on their excellent grades, on any honors they received, and their superior intellect. While this may point to the writer being academically superior, the reader wants to get to know the person rather than their academic capabilities. Remember, they will have already seen your school record and they now want to understand you as a person.

There are various approaches you can take to writing your essay but the important thing is to get readers’ attention. It is acceptable to be philosophical, serious, or even humorous. It is best to show your true self and allow your unique character to shine through.

Try to Write an Interesting Essay

Try to make sure your essay is interesting so that readers are engaged throughout. Do not make the mistake of thinking an admissions board will have lots of time to read your essay. Remember they will have hundreds of essays to read so you need to ensure yours stands apart from the rest. If your essay is generic, your readers will not feel inspired by it and you may miss out on getting admitted. Avoid words and sentences that are overly long and complicated. While you may think these are impressive they often cause readers to lose interest. Choose a style of writing that is easy to read and a length that is reasonable.

Give Your Essay a Final Polish

The field of medicine is a scientific one, but it is also important to demonstrate you are a good communicator. Once you have completed your essay, proofread it to make sure the structure is coherent, that the words flow smoothly, and that every point is presented in a clear and effective way. This additionally shows the writer has excellent communication skills, which are important given that effective written communication is essential for a career in medicine.

Free Admission Essay Sample to Read

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