Create a Strong AMCAS Experience Section

Tips for Writing Experiences in AMCAS that Stand Out

Many of my clients have fun with this section. The experiences section allows you to reflect upon your last few years and appreciate the opportunities or experiences created along the way. I help my clients develop a stellar path of extracurricular activities throughout their first years of undergrad. The experiences and activities section of the AMCAS is where medical school applicants can demonstrate who they are. Applicants have only 15 boxes in this section to fill with the experiences that define them and make them unique. Here are some tips how to make the process easier.

Tips to help write AMCAS experiences…..

  1. Review your CV and prepare a list organized by category. Be sure to include research, leadership positions, volunteer work, shadowing, publications, clubs, awards or scholarships, artistic talents, sports teams, employment, and any med related activities.
  2. Tally your list. After you complete your list, count the number of experiences you have and group like activities together. You may need to weed out some and highlight others. This is where advising is crucial. You can list up to four of each type in a box. Showcase your strongest accomplishments without grouping. The boxes are arranged in chronological order.
  3. Skip the high school content. Only include high school experiences and activities that continued into your undergraduate career. A few exceptions can apply (ex. Eagle Scout). An advisor with admissions experience will help guide.
  4. Carefully select your most meaningful activities. An admissions advisor will help you reflect, strategize, and select three most meaningful experiences that match the mission of the schools where you are applying. Duration and other important factors should be taken into consideration.
  5. Be accurate with hours. Do not inflate the number of hours you spent on each activity or experience. Admissions committees will know and ultimately doubt other parts of your application. A tip only someone with experience on the inside of an admissions team can offer.
  6. Provide detail and vary your language. You have 700 characters for each experience description. You have 1,325 characters for each most meaningful experience description. Include detail in your description. Details that are helpful to the admissions committee. An advisor with admissions experience will help you relay your experience with meaningful impact.
  7. Demonstrate you are a good fit with their cohort of students. Admissions committees want to create cohorts that work well together and enrich the group. While you want to convince the admissions committee of your well-roundedness, you also want to communicate that you are a great candidate. Remember, these experiences are your avocations, not your vocation.

Written by Amy Sellars

Independent Education Consultant - Medical School Admissions Advisor

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