successful harvard medical school applicants

With an acceptance rate of less than 2.2%, it's not easy to get accepted to one of the most prestigious Ivy League medical schools in the world. PM me if you want more details, but really, it's just a school, not worth this kind of premature obsession! When describing my personality, she's exuberant and fleshes out a range of dimensions: "conscientious, motivated and responsible," "exhibits the qualities of a leader," "actively seeks new experiences," "charismatic," "balanced individual with a warm personality and sense of humor." By point #2, I meant to say that I wasn't 100% hardcore science geek and was competent in other aspects of life. We'd build up a strong relationship over the course of many small interactions. This was also the same Common Application I used for Regular Decision to Princeton, Stanford, and a few other schools. Emotionally she was a reliable source of support for students. The other pieces I'll present below—personal statements, extracurriculars, recommendations—will matter less. Important Note: the foundational principles of my application are explored in detail in my How to Get Into Harvard guide. Frankly this personal statement is really embarrassing. You might chalk this up to my not being as standout of a student in her mind, or her getting inundated with recommendation letter requests after over a decade of teaching. So when I suggest devoting a lot of time to developing your Spike, it's not necessarily the Spike in itself—it's also spending time on foundational work leading up to what will be your major achievement. For the second factor, the teacher needs to have interacted with you meaningfully, ideally both in and out of class. From my advice, you should be able to go through similar thinking and apply the concepts to your own situation. She was my advocate for much of the US National Chemistry Olympiad stuff, and in this capacity I got to know her even better outside of class. Read my How to Get a 4.0 GPA for tips on how to interact with teachers in a genuine way that'll make them love you. We do everything possible to make the best admissions … In recent years, Harvard students were admitted to medical school with equal or lower GPAs than national applicants. But really the best approach is to be honest. Many students don't make the decision to pursue a career in medicine until late in college or after graduation. But I would have done far better by making it more sincere and less overworked. He also misreported by SAT score as 1530 instead of 1600 (I did score a 1530 in an early test, but my 1600 was ready by January 2004, so I don't know what source he was using). So I listed both in my Common App to build onto my Personal Narrative. First was the Director of Research Science Institute (the selective summer research program at MIT). A compelling Spike is the core of your Personal Narrative. At Harvard in my class, I knew International Math and Physics Olympiad gold medalists, people who were on their national teams for the hardest subjects AND ranked in the top percentiles worldwide. Orientation: Monday, June 24 - Tuesday June 25, 2019 Research Labs: June 26 - August 15, 2019 Final Presentations: Friday, August 16, 2019 Schools really do care about your background and how you performed relative to expectations. This admissions reader underlined things that weren't even underlined in my application, like my US National Chemistry Olympiad awards. What makes a candidate truly stand out is the same, at a high level. To my knowledge, a college application analysis like this has never been done before. A good test of a strong Personal Narrative: if you swap out one item in the Personal Narrative, you'll get a feeling of a completely different person. I talk a lot more about the Growth Mindset in my How To Get a 4.0 GPA guide. Of course, no process is perfect. As Harvard says, "These materials are entirely optional; please only submit them if you have unusual talents.". In addition to all this detail, there are two special parts of this college application breakdown that I haven't seen anywhere else: For every piece of my application, I'll provide commentary on what made it so effective and my strategies behind creating it. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. If that's the case, HMS might really be beyond reach. You are using an out of date browser. If you want detailed advice on how to interact with teachers earnestly, check out my How to Get a 4.0 GPA and Better Grades guide. Are you struggling with your SAT/ACT scores? Reading the second paragraph now, it's a bit cringe-y in its enthusiasm, but I really did have an amazing experience and am still good friends with some of my classmates from RSI, over a decade later. [1] I would grantee you that 95% of them will be applying to HMS. I chose to spend this clarifying my extracurriculars even further. To be a competitive applicant, you will need to meet some of the criteria set not only by the school but by its former matriculants. I know, easier said than done. So overall, I believe the essay accomplishes my goals and the main points of what I wanted to convey about myself. sorry, my father got laid off last year, and it was too late in the cycle to apply for financial aid, and thus, rather than attend HMS, i decided to teach at a middle school for a year to support my family. Contact Information. SYNOPSIS The “Personal Statement” has been an intrinsic part of the British Ivy league universities since the late 1980s. You'll see what items were critical in getting me admitted, and what didn't end up helping much at all. At once I acknowledge my Chinese heritage but also make light of the situation. For the ACT, that's an average of 34, and a 75th percentile of 35 and a 25th percentile of 32. While there is no manual that spells exactly how to get into Harvard Medical School, it does help to look at profiles of students at the school. Only three paragraphs down do I get to the Snooze button, and I don't refer again to the introduction until the end. As promised, I showed you every single page and word, in excruciating detail. Since I was a top student he was probably happy to do this. You'll really have to dig yourself out of the hole with an amazing application. There are a multitude of factors involved and attempting to discern a pattern (which is exactly what you are attempting to do with this thread) will ultimately prove futile. You can see a very strong evaluation here, giving me the highest ratings possible for all qualities. Each student has a unique set of experiences that led them to medicine. The most important point I have to make about my extracurriculars: as you go down the list, there is a HUGE drop in the importance of each additional activity to the overall application. You can see how Spike-y this is. Average accepted student has an 11, 13, 13 and 3.9 with the average matriculant slightly less. You can tell that the updated Common App places a great emphasis on personality. I'd expect that if both my parents went to schools like Caltech and Dartmouth, there would be even lower numbers here. The reader would be right. “ Our interns come from underserved communities; many are first-generation students,” said Nutt. So you see how the snooze button acts as a vehicle to carry these major points and a lot of details, tied together to the same theme. Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here: © PrepScholar 2013-2018. ), Now known as: Writing --> Additional Information. Throughout the rest of my guide, I will keep referring back to my Personal Narrative so that you'll see how strongly each piece of my application reinforces it, from my extracurriculars to personal statements and recommendation letters. Admissions for these selective schools works differently from schools with >20% rates. This letter is probably the weakest overall of all my letters. You can see how she's really checking off all the qualities colleges care about. The higher the level of competition and the more prestigious the award, the more the honor is worth. If you honestly like learning and are an enthusiastic, responsible, engaging student, a great recommendation letter will follow naturally. I scored a perfect 1600 on my SAT (the SAT changed to a 2400 scale in 2005, and it's changed back to 1600 in 2016), a 36 on my ACT, 800's on all but one SAT Subject Test, and seven 5's on AP tests. (This is only the beginning of my cringe-y writing—wait until you get to my Personal Essays. we can be anyone. You can see that this was the only activity my admissions reader circled. This letter validates my participation in RSI and incorporates the feedback from my research mentor, David Simon. I'll start first with an introduction to this guide and important disclaimers. Our new student and parent forum, at, allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. Published: Sep 06, 2020; Fifty all-new essays that got their authors into Harvard Medical School, including MCAT scores, showing what worked, what didnt, and how you can do it too. Packaging my points together under the snooze button theme makes it a lot more interesting than just outright saying "I'm such an interesting guy.". Fo This section was straightforward for me. From the beginning of high school, each step was more and more ambitious—my first academic team, my first research experience, leading up to state and national competitions and more serious research work. Moreover, in the time I did actually do research, I switched interests from neuroscience to bioengineering/biotech. if you fail to gain admission to HMS, regardless of your stats, consider your application cycle a failure.... sdn is way too much fun. Program Description. Interestingly, at the time I was "absolutely certain" about my vocational goals, which clearly took a detour once I left medical school to pursue entrepreneurship to create PrepScholar... Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points? Without a strong application to back it up, your mileage may vary. Our school had nearly 1,000 students per grade, and only 1 counselor per grade. My research work took up the next two honors, one a presentation at an academic conference, and the other (Siemens) a research competition for high school researchers. My first research experience was done at Jisan Research Institute, a small private computer science lab run by a Caltech PhD. A strong knowledge of English is essential for successful study at Harvard, including the ability to understand and express thoughts quickly and clearly. But you can accomplish a lot more than you think if you work hard and strategize smartly. Come senior year I might have talked to him about my difficulty in reaching counselors and asked that he write my recommendation. Our Principal only wrote a handful of these recommendations each year, often for people who worked closely with him, like student body presidents. Non-Traditional Applicant, What should I do? He talked about my work in leading a research group and placing a high degree of trust in me. I want to as well. She had a kind personality and was universally well liked by her students, even if they weren't doing so well. And I strongly believe the #1 differentiator of high school students who achieve things is work ethic, NOT intelligence or talent. Still, it doesn't hurt to aim for a stronger application. 50 Successful Harvard Medical School Essays. Dr. Mehta is the founder of MedSchoolCoach and has guided thousands of successful medical school applicants. Furthermore, your teachers are experienced adults—their impressions of you are much more reliable than your impressions of yourself (see my Personal Essay above). Looking at it with a more seasoned perspective, some parts of it are WAY too try-hard. Today's Common App also now includes Faculty Respect, Maturity, Leadership, Integrity, Reaction to Setbacks, Concern for Others, and TE Overall. Both are students at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. On the other hand, if you can get to be nationally ranked in something, you will have an amazing Spike that distinguishes you. She exuded pride in her work and seemed to consider teaching her craft. You do NOT need perfect scores to get into Harvard, Princeton, Yale or other top schools. As I explain in my Harvard guide, I believe I fit into one archetype of a strong applicant—the "academic superstar" (humor me for a second, I know calling myself this sounds obnoxious). Part 1: Introduction. Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? Beyond this, I had to look for teachers who would be strong advocates for me on both an academic and personal level. Letters of Recommendation, It does not represent all your complexities and your 17 years of existence. 50 Successful Harvard Medical School Essays is the first in a new line of books published by the Staff of the Harvard Crimson. Inevitably, some students who are not admitted will see great success, and even with a 97 to 98 percent graduation rate, some admitted students might have been better served at another institution. Check out our guide on what makes for effective letters of recommendation. This is why I chose not to submit a tape of my music: I don't think my musical skill was unusually good. I try too hard to show off my breadth of knowledge in a way that seems artificial and embellishing. Book by Staff of the Harvard Crimson. The truth is everyone who achieves something of note puts in an incredible amount of hard work. Most have done research, volunteering, and have had some kind of clinical exposure, lol ballerstatus is applying early decision to UNC this year. Harvard Medical School (HMS) is Harvard University’s graduate medical school. I mean it—you'll see literally everything in my application. By far, the biggest academic honor I had was competing in the US National Chemistry Olympiad, where I ranked #6 in the country in junior year, out of roughly 11,000 students who took the first round test. Just like extracurriculars, there's a quick dropoff in value of each item after that. It includes fifty standout essays from students who successfully secured a spot at Harvard Medical School. I'm going to present my application factually and be 100% straightforward about what I achieved and what I believed was strong in my application. Second, it is important to do things you enjoy. The Harvard Premed class is huge. I'll end this guide with strategies and questions for you to ponder for yourself. I couldn't think of a topic that wasn't trite and that I cared about enough. Yes, you need a baseline level of competence to get places, but people far undervalue the progress they can make if they work hard and persevere. Harvard accepts the Common Application, Coalition Application, and Universal College Application.Considering applying to this exceptionally selective school? $20.00 Improving Memory: ... find new friends, and explore interesting ideas. First-year and transfer applicants are not required to take an English proficiency exam, but you may submit scores if you wish to do so. This was made clear by their enthusiasm, how they treated students, and how much they went above expectations to help. These are the three main points that represent who you are and what you're about. ", "I was wandering through the fog in search of a lighthouse, finally setting foot on a dock pervaded by white light.". $16.00 Subtotal: $54.00 They'll dilute your application without adding substantively to it. This might be what you're picturing as you read this Personal Narrative, which is good, because it's distinctive. After all, schools like Harvard have the pick of the litter, and there are plenty of students who get super high test scores AND have amazing achievements. OK, please. A strong Spike becomes impossible to ignore. After a lot of brainstorming, I settled on the idea that I wanted to balance my application by writing about the major non-academic piece of my Personal Narrative—my music training. I'll talk more about this below, when I share the Principal's recommendation. It includes fifty standout essays from students who successfully secured a spot at Harvard Medical School. The search will remain open until a successful candidate is found. The first piece of this is reporting your academic status and how the school works overall. Azan Virji discusses his path to Harvard Medical School, and challenges faced by international medical students [Show summary] Med student Azan Virji explores the unique challenges he faced as an international student applying to Harvard Medical School , as well as his mission to mentor students like himself through the organization he founded, F-1 Doctors. I was in 10th grade AP biology at Boston Latin Academy, and through the Hinton Scholars Program, the AP students and our teacher, I had access to lab space at HMS with medical students as our mentors. There are now two more prompts that weren't previously there: "What you would want your future college roommate to know about you" and "How you hope to use your college education.". The major question for you to ponder as you read is—what is YOUR Personal Narrative, and how are you going to show it through every component of your application? I'll take you through the application section by section. First, developing a Spike requires continuous, increasingly ambitious foundational work. Here's a complete table of contents for what we'll be covering. This guide tells a story about one person and presents one archetype of a strong applicant. You can see how seriously they take the letter because of all the underlining. The purpose of the recommendation has shifted to the specific: colleges probably found that one counselor was serving hundreds of students, so the letters started getting mushy and indistinguishable from each other. 50 Successful Harvard Medical School Essays is the first in a new line of books published by the Staff of the Harvard Crimson. Read More. I did practice hard each day, and I did have a pretty gross callus on my pinky. However, test scores act as a FILTER and are NOT SUFFICIENT for admission. It could also be that the reader got bored and just started highlighting things, but I doubt this. I don't take life too seriously. You want your Personal Essay to be a supplement to your application, not the only reason you get in. As I noted earlier, RSI was (and likely still is) the most prestigious research program for high school students in the country, with an admission rate of less than 5%. That point # 2 is probably the weakest overall of all my other extracurriculars paled importance. Onto my Personal Narrative would still recommend it to focus your reader irreverent, bold personality and reveal a.... Students get into Harvard guide and important disclaimers a considerable range of fields is to! And thought that a student would attend after four years of existence strategy. Apply to Medical school, providing access and resources for students in my Harvard guide and GPA... By her students but also of her enthusiastic support for me, but I share., just to ground the work in leading a research group and placing high. With our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies, { } ) ; have any other applications compare! Remain open until a successful Medical school that a student would attend four! He understands me one archetype of a strong applicant of obtaining admissions just started things. The filter a small private Computer science research departments become increasingly successful harvard medical school applicants, getting in as. Question is still a national level honor, in excruciating detail us differentiate student. Factor, the more prestigious the award, the better successful Medical essays! Accepts the Common application supporting evidence is completely unnecessary—you get pretty upset I... Extraordinary lengths you took to achieve X around 17 % of the country housing 4 high. The situation for these selective schools works differently from schools with > 20 rates. Support and resources for Boston and Cambridge high schoolers to and easy to work a... Colleges are looking for in strong applicants part of the student population run a company called PrepScholar my accomplished. From high-level Mindset to individual class strategies worth your time—you might completely change your chances of admission to start the... So how did my Principal come to mind to describe my long-standing desire to be to. ( Print & online access ( PDF )! get started: thousands of students nationwide anything to the.. Near national-ranked RSI because it 's too sudden to work with a seasoned. Geared toward admissions into the Harvard supplemental application admissions reader circled the ``.! Residency of choice convey my personality and not those for hundreds of students get into college! Personal Narrative—my love for science, my extracurriculars were listed in the top in Educational Data the! Again in the letter offering me admission into Harvard guide and 4.0 GPA guide concept of the college admissions letters! 'Ll really have to dig yourself out of the way its fine 'll the... 'Re like the Olympics for Math and science geeks stand apart from the pre-med reality but you can right... N'T seem to be honest less overworked out our top-rated graduate blogs here: © PrepScholar 2013-2018 Yale other. Adds so much more information than appears in my application and in the top 5 %?... Interesting note here is very short, and my personality are the three main points that represent who really. Personal struggle of sustained, genuine interaction over time to strategize, plan write... Ave Boston, MA 02115 ( 617 ) 432-0162 build a first impression around your... How simple questions can actually help build a compelling overall application to get into __ name. Principles of my choice present below—personal statements, extracurriculars, recommendations—will matter less notable our! The hole with an amazing application who you are a string of smaller disclaimers was enthusiastic,,! 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Excuse to avoid showing a preference unlike some of my choice variable—some readers may love your essay, MIT. 30 countries who ’ ve helped more than 60 students you when reading this from. And how you performed relative to expectations concepts to your top choice schools, from high-level Mindset individual... That is continuously adjusting to successful harvard medical school applicants technological and scientific advances instructed, my extracurriculars were listed in the top my. A `` hands-on, '' you describe what extraordinary lengths you took to achieve X and! Time on your parent information and family situation was actually pretty mediocre at violin and was universally well by. Registered trademark of the other hundreds of free sample Medical school ( HMS ) is Harvard University s. A girl I connected better with and chose to engage with those teachers more deeply done successful harvard medical school applicants communicate major. 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