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Writing sample...how to improve overall?


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So I got pretty lucky, the writing samples on this mcat I had was really similar to the one discussed in the prep classes I was taking, so I ended up getting a P.


But honestly, I know my writing skills are NOT up to snuff to get that (the P was pure luck!) I didn't do any practice cept for the inclass kaplan tests.


So, any advice on how to improve the writing sample? I know my essay writing skills are not up to snuff, because anyone that proof reads my essay just ends up going "WTF?"


I also don't end up writing too much (which compared to others isn't alot)


Any advice on how to do better on the writing sample?



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hey boss,


first, i think it will be easy for you to improve. reading your post, i really like your style of saying it like it is. here's some hunble advice...



ok, so what you should do is just:

Step 1: practice writing sample prompts

Step 2: repeat step 1 until the MCAT is tomorrow.


seriously! theres only one way to improve. just keep practicing. there is a list of writing sample prompts that you can get from the AAMC- just google aamc mcat writing samples. that should lead you there.


next, when you get that list, do as many as you can RANDOMLY. dont just do the ones you like. just doing ones you think you can discuss will really desensitize you to surprise topics and will limit your point of view.


also, read the "Economist"- its a pretty good publication that has nice short pieces of writing about what ever is going on in the world. everything from Turkmenistan education crisis to British politics is discussed in a non-biased fashion and its pretty lively reading. by the way, i dont read journals for kicks so if i can dig it, so can you. reading the economist will give you a whole arsenal of examples to use in a lot of prompts- you'll see when u practice.


also, use examples when relevant and use them if they realy do help. dont say it for the sake of slapping an example in there- this is where reading good stuff will help. you now can brainstorm a lot of topics and apply them at the right time.


lastly, try to show some personality. keep it interesting. heres a personal example from the august mcat of mine... the prompt said "when should art be censcored". i made my criterion to be if the art can be mistaken to be the actual views of the creators and will have a negative effect on society if this view is taken up by an audience, then there should be some intervention to prevent "bad" art getting to the heads of the public (i said this in better words of course).


so for example, nobody intervenes with Saturday night live and MadTV, since they make it clear that the images portrayed are serious over-exagerations and arent the true views of the producers. anyone ever seen "average-asian" u'll know what i'm talking about. (i actually made this reference in my work). therefore, dont need censcoring for this form of art.


however, i said, there should be intervention by the govmnt to regulate some music that glamorizes crime and violence (especially against women), since some people may take lyrics to be actual lifestyle, and the kids go kaboom and we gots thugs. therefore, govemnt should censcor this form of art to make it obvious that these views should not be adopted into real life and are purely artistic.


you get the idea. talking about MadTV and rap in an MCAT writing promt right? kinda crazy, eh? well, i guess so, but it can work. the examples were relevant, everyone can relate to it, and it flowed ok.


well, thats all i really have to say. I got an R, so its no all-star performance, but i coulda done worse. thank God i didnt. if this is a big slab of the BS (i dont mean biological sciences), lemme know man. best wishes. i mean it;)

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oh! i had forgotten something....


most importantly, follow the prompt instructions!!! make sure you understand exactly what is asked, and answer that. the prompt is usually divided into three sections. get the "crux" of the prompt-- holy sh!t i hate that word, "crux".


ne way- always keep your thoughts centered about how each paragraph ties back to your main objective and focus it. the tighter it is, the better, since you only have a few words and limited time.


what i do (and i know it sounds like a no-brainer) is first make the plan for the whole essay. that means, dont just start writing a good copy. get the plan down, like what your objectives are and the supporting evidences and good examples. keep brainstorming. then, when you have your plan, write the essay good copy. this way, your thoughts and writing just glide like butter onto the paper. yor thinking is already done- now you need to put it out there. i'm keeping this really simple here, but practice will help you see what i mean. so, focus on answering the three parts of the prompt, get your supporting details and evidences, proofs, signs, etc in there, and it should flow ok. practice makes perfect.


please let me know if this helps, so i can clear up things i mucked up. youre not the only one who wood luv to improov they're riting.

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I know this has been mentionned but I thought I'd stress it again because I messed up on this so I hope you don't.


Make sure you follow the "formula" for writing your essay. That doesn't mean you can't be creative in your ideas, etc. but make sure you stick with the format and make sure you address all questions in the instructions. The first time I wrote the MCAT, I didn't really practice this and I ended up with a bad mark. This made me very sad because I did well on the other sections and I had to re-write it because of this one section =( But I re-wrote it again and easily got a much better mark (3 letters higher). This was obviously not because I suddenly became a much better writer.

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