Did Someone Say Essay?
When the AAMC added content to the latest version of the MCAT, many students were left wondering whether or not the writing sample would make a comeback. If you were one of the pre-meds racking your brain asking “does the MCAT have an essay?”, then fear not! There is no essay requirement on the new MCAT.
Prior to the 2013 testing year, all test-takers were required to complete a fourth section of the MCAT, which was simply called the Writing Sample. Because of this requirement, students converged upon campus writing centers everywhere to improve their writing. The importance of this section was ambiguous to say the least. Many students didn’t know if schools were even interested in the scores they received on this section. Furthermore, the scoring for this section was privy to inconsistencies because it had to be evaluated by an actual person. Following the 2012-2013 testing year, the AAMC did away with the essay portion of the exam to make room for what was then the optional trial section. The writers used incentives to encourage students to take this optional section. This trial section was comprised of sample items that tested out the types of questions that are now found on the current version of the exam.
Do Med Schools Care About My Writing?
Medical schools absolutely care about your writing! Even though the writing section was removed from the MCAT, an essay is still required as part of your medical school application. Both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools require this essay, better known as the personal statement. Your statement can be up to 5300 characters long for AMCAS and 4500 characters long for AACOMAS. It allows you to expound upon your reasoning for wanting to become a physician.
While your writing is no longer assigned a score, schools use your personal statement as an integral part of you application. This is one of the first opportunities that you will have as an applicant have to set yourself apart from the crowd and let your personality and passion shine through. It’s a great opportunity to identify yourself in your own words and apart from your GPA and MCAT score.