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Organizing Your Secondaries


After your application is verified, you will begin to receive many secondaries all at once. This alone may be very overwhelming. Here are some tips for staying organized:


  • Create a spreadsheet of all of your schools

  • Create a google doc for each school and paste all of the secondaries in that doc. You can find the secondaries in SDN. That's the ONLY time you should go to SDN!

  • Add the link to the google doc to your spreadsheet

  • On your spreadsheet, add all of the relevant info you will need to write that secondary (curriculum model, names of clinics, communities, researchers, etc).

  • Identify your easiest secondaries first and put them at the top of your list. Do this ASAP and change the color to your favorite color, which will indicate DONE!

  • Identify secondaries that have very similar questions, and group them together.

  • Identify secondaries that are total outliers (USC!) and put them all together.

  • Go through each doc and read every secondary and write down some notes on every questions, just some ideas of things you could possibly talk about.

  • Tackle the big questions first: Diversity statement, adversity, Why us?, Anything you want us to know, gap year. Try to get those written, looked at, and finalized sooner than later because with those, you can knock out a lot of secondaries.

  • For the outliers, draft up answers, but don't spend days focusing only on 2-3 schools. Do the questions that can be used more often first.

  • Touch all of your secondaries as often as you can. Carve out one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening to work on secondaries. Try to make it fun. Don't stress if you don't get everything done within a week, or even two weeks. That is really rare, but you will feel much better when you submit, so make it a goal to submit at least one secondary every couple days. That will keep you motivated.

  • Secondaries are very powerful. You need them to be as good as possible, so don't get frustrated and just start submitting. Please have me read them before you submit.

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