Critiqued Secondaries Essays

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson



Secondaries Essays 

The following content tests were developed by White Coat Checklist after exhaustive exposure to secondaries application essays for the SBIRT Collaborative and word-of-mouth referral medical schools admissions candidates. These materials are exclusively available for use by WCC’s Full Members. We offer these samples to give you a better idea of what perspectives others can bring to writing, which you will add to your own skill sets as you come to know and master the White Coat Checklist writing approach. We strongly recommend reading each passage separately from the appended comments to test your own insights into other written content as an ideal first step toward detecting the same potential issues within your own compositions. These tests are a streamlined version of the WCC Personal Statement Checklist since secondaries essays are far shorter and less in-depth in terms of content. 

NOTE: These extracts were provided by former medical school applicants within preliminary drafts of self-composed essays. Each composition remains the respective owner’s work and is reproduced here with permission. Copying or re-using any of this content is expressly forbidden, as well as pointless (the final drafts are not provided for obvious reasons).

Content Test #1: Meaning

Meaning is the most fundamental test for any writing, especially in a medical school or other graduate studies application context. Consider the following text which attempts to respond to a question regarding ethical dilemmas:

“During my junior year, one course had pop quizzes that were each worth 20% of our semester grades. To prepare for the quizzes I made sure to review my class notes at the beginning of each class. Before one quiz, my professor informed the class that we would be allowed to use any class notes we had with us during the quiz. As I was finishing up my quiz, I looked around me and noticed two students…

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