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My apologies if this question has been asked already but I'm very nervous about the writing station. I was wondering if anyone has any strategies in terms of how to structure the argumentative essay and on what's the best way to prep for it? Should we include a lot of personal examples in the essay or keep it strictly professional? 

 

Thanks a billion! :)

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I would just do a basic essay format if that's what the prompt lends itself to. If you've ever written essay exams in university I would approach it similarly. Choose a thesis (i.e. take a stance). Write your thesis out first, then briefly state how you will layout your argument. This will give you a structure to write out the rest of your essay. Make strong arguments and also acknowledge possible counter arguments and defend your thesis. Also approach it similarly to an interview room - so be non-judgmental, compassionate, and show you are aware of multiple perspectives while you lay out your argumentation. End with a brief summation of your arguments (like you did at the beginning) and restate your thesis. Maybe practice responding to essay prompts in under 30 minutes as well.

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1 hour ago, pekingduck said:

Does anyone know if the writing station is worth a lot?

No one knows. 

But I would not be surprised if its major purpose is to just to screen for red flags regarding English fluency and written communication skills.  I can’t imagine that they have the resources to do detailed scoring of 600+ essays in any way that would meaningfully separate the applicants in terms of things like argumentative skill. 

Edit: although I guess it’s also possible that marking the essays is the reason it takes them 3 months post-interviews to send out admission decisions :P

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Thank you! Hopefully thats the case because I am pretty slow at planning out and writing essays. Do you think they expect more of a short essay around 300-400 words that could be in one paragraph or just a few as long as there is a logical structure? I was looking through some tips of writing essays under 30 min and came across one for SATs. They were talking about writing a full 5 paragraph essay within 30 min......

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On 2018-01-25 at 8:21 PM, pekingduck said:

Thank you! Hopefully thats the case because I am pretty slow at planning out and writing essays. Do you think they expect more of a short essay around 300-400 words that could be in one paragraph or just a few as long as there is a logical structure? I was looking through some tips of writing essays under 30 min and came across one for SATs. They were talking about writing a full 5 paragraph essay within 30 min......

I think the main thing is to aim for a logical structure, with a clear thesis statement of what you’re going to argue at the beginning. You don’t need to follow the classic 5 paragraph structure, nor should you aim to unless it’s something that helps you. But you’re going to want to use at least some paragraphs to organize your ideas. New sub-topic or point? Use a new paragraph, even if it’s only a few sentences. 

From what I can recall from writing essays for years in exams as a humanities student, I would say that 2-4 double-spaced pages is probably an average essay length for 30 min. Which is probably about 300-500 words, depending on your writing size. 

 

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I definitely have insight into this as I do the marking for these essays and sit on the grandmaster council of accepting master jedi... I mean master med students. 

What they're looking for is doctor handwriting aka. almost unintelligible scrawls. Try to find some prescription sheets and emulate that. I find the technique of shaking your hand while writing to be the most effective. 

If you graduate med without passing this test, you'll be a med student, but wont be granted the rank of a master doctor. 

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I can confirm that you do indeed have to write things (with a pen, no less! I thought those old doo-dads were antiquated in 2017). And don't worry, friend, just write from the heart. Sometimes, the pen is mightier than the scalpel :) 

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