Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Word count on PS


Recommended Posts

Find and read the instructions very carefully. Why do you not know it is 700 words?


For all applicants, in a maximum of 700 words, compose an original piece of writing that explains how your various experiences qualify you to be a good future physician. Here are some points to guide you:


These experiences do not necessarily have to be related to medicine but ought to be pertinent to the Admissions Board’s assessment of your potential to succeed in, and contribute to, the program and in the profession.


These experiences can include any challenges or adversity that you may have had to overcome in your journey thus far.



I found this old post of mine which may be of general assistance even though the process and word limitation has changed somewhat:


The other day, a competitive Cegepien applicant referred me to the below:


and asked me if in writing the Narrative, should he answer these questions that I am listing below:


1. Can I handle the rigorous and intense academic program that is required in order to become a physician?


2. Do I have a passion for the profession of medicine, and am I ready and willing to dedicate and commit myself to be of service to others?


3. Do my life and work experiences demonstrate that I have prepared myself in the best ways available to me for a career in medicine?


He did not know where to start, how to begin a Narrative.


I suggested that he Read the question for the Narrative carefully and drop the pebbles that brought him toward med, showing that he had those characteristics sought of physicians.


I indicated that he would want to discuss those life experiences that demonstrate his abilities necessary for doctors. I suggested he discuss any activity where he may excel, a particular sport or musical skill for example and explain what was involved, comparing the attributes and skills he acquired to those needed for doctors, e.g., lets say he has developed great expertise, perhaps public performances, competitions and/or medals, travelling across the province, Canada or beyond. This takes perseverance, practice and discipline to achieve what otherwise would be impossible, overcoming fear and other obstacles. These such experiences would have had a ripple effect on other aspects of his life and his confidence, communication skills, etc.


I suggested then perhaps a story or two about volunteering and how he developed as a result. What has he learned, what is his internal growth. Show how he has become respectful of others, etc.


The above three questions need not be answered as such, rather the Narrative should cover the information they are looking for above by leading the reader to conclude he is an excellent candidate.


Over 4 days, he showed me 3 drafts that went from 2300 words to 1250 words to being within the limit. I guided him on this writing journey and his final product is excellent.


He still has a long way to go on other aspects of the application. Other competitive applicants have taken many weeks to finish their Narratives.


As part of the preliminary screening, the following will be used to assess, among other things, what distinguishes you from all other applicants, your suitability for the program in which you seek admission, and what you can bring to the program/profession.


Regarding the CV highlight, you need to take 3 elements of your CV and expand upon them. "Highlight three elements of your c.v. that you believe best demonstrate your motivation and suitability for medicine, including an explanation of why you chose these three elements." (1900 characters)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to point out that there is no general structure/argument (except that you should definitely be answering the question). But the thing is, every applicant has their own way of answering that question, and that is what makes your PS unique. Again, every single PS has its own flow, and you'd be surprised to see the variety of PS out there. So go with your own flow; write many (many!) drafts, and eventually you'll find it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, you suggest i wait till the application opens up?


I would suggest this :). The word count changes from year to year, the year before mine it was 1,000 words and a 250 (or something) word abstract. In my year it was one 700 word essay, and the question to address changes too. They're posting it on August 13th I believe, so wait till it's posted :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the Personal Statement, reflect on the experiences that appear in the CV and responding to the following questions:


How have these experiences helped shape and prepare you for a career in medicine?


What do you think could be strengthened or improved?


Tell us something about you that DOES NOT appear in your CV, but which you believe is pertinent to the Admissions Committee’s consideration of your candidacy.


Consider doing your personal statement as 3 CV Highlights, touching also upon your weaknesses and going out of your CV as per italics above. Make it one page using, I believe, Arial font 12 for the essay, with 2.5 cm margin Top (1.9+0.6 which is for the header) / Bottom, and 2 cm L/R.


You can cover a lot of ground. It is longer than the previous 1,900 characters for the 3 CV Highlights. :)


I am happy to review your draft work product. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...