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Ucas Personal Statement Characters With Or Without Spaces

Given that the average applicant in 2009-2010 applied to 13 programs, the AMCAS can save you a ton of time by allowing you to submit just one application rather than a dozen or more. Learn more about the AMCAs personal statement in this article.

AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) is a centralized application service for medical schools, allowing you to save time by submitting just one application. With over 140 MD granting institutions participating, you’ll likely use AMCAS if you’re applying to medical school in the US. While this service does enhance convenience, it also makes it even more difficult to stand out. Most applicants will have similar backgrounds to yours, and the AMCAS personal statement is your biggest opportunity to show who you are as an individual and persuade the admissions officers to choose you.

As part of your AMCAS application package, you’ll be asked to write a personal statement of not more than 5,300 characters. Although it varies from essay to essay, this will give you enough room for an essay of about one page and one paragraph. This is a hard limit, and the system won’t accept more characters than that, so it is important to keep this limit in mind as you plan and write your essay. Most word processors will give you two character counts, one that includes spaces and one that does not. For the AMCAS personal statement, spaces count as characters.

However, the bigger issue for applicants is that AMCAS doesn’t provide a traditional prompt. You will simply be asked to write an essay about why you want to go to med school. Therefore, what exactly should you include in your AMCAS essay?

Ultimately, that decision is yours, but the admissions officers will be looking for you to show passion for patients and potential to excel both in medical school and in your future career as a doctor. To help, consider these four questions.

Why are you pursuing a career in medicine?

Of course, you are free to answer this question any way you like. However, unless the answer is that you want to make patient’s lives better, medicine might not be for you. From beginning to end, make sure that your essay is patient-focused.

Also, it is common for applicants to begin their essay with an anecdote from their childhood. In our experience, med schools are really only interested in your life after you began college and won’t particularly be impressed with anything before that regardless of how important it was in your path to choosing this career. Instead, choose stories that show the adult you taking concrete steps in the field of medicine.

What makes you an excellent candidate to become a physician? Why do you have what it takes to succeed?

Not only do you need a strong academic track record in the sciences, med schools are looking for applicants who have developed the personality characteristics that will serve them well as a doctor. In your essay, you might want to write about compassion, team work, and respect for patient autonomy. You don’t need to write about all three, but the anecdotes that you choose should reflect an applicant who has not only technical knowhow but ethics and interpersonal skills.

What do you feel that an admissions officer should know about you that is not included elsewhere in your application?

The other parts of the AMCAS application are highly standardized, so the essay gives you a chance to elaborate on who you are outside of your transcripts, test scores, and activities. What activities do you enjoy outside of the classroom? How will you contribute not only to study groups but to the student body as a whole?

Are there any elements of your application that need further explanation or elaboration?

Life is college is not always smooth, and you might have some areas in your transcript or test scores that warrant further explanation. Applicants can be very apprehensive about addressing these issues within the essay out of fear that what they write will harm their application. Therefore, when writing about these situations, always be factual about what occurred and then move quickly to how you resolved the issue and have become a more mature and resilient applicant as a result.

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We had a meeting with a mentee last night and something we discussed was her UCAS art personal statement. Now you all know the ucas personal statement word limit, line space etc. so every word counts. Particularly if you're in the lucky position of having lots to say. If you're struggling for things to say then first of all download our eBook 'Writing your personal statement'!

So, you've written a cracking UCAS personal statement but it's way too long.

For 2017 the  UCAS personal statement word limit is 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces and blank lines). I think it's common that creative people get all flower-y when writing and find it hard to write concise, factual information. I certainly do and have to do a check on myself quite often.

Many students ask if anyone actually reads the personal statement?

From experience I know that they do, maybe a skimming but if you've written concisely a skimming will get the message across if you're a strong candidate. Also, the colleges might be looking at 2 students that are almost identical in terms of exams, portfolio and interview. Making a decision can be very difficult and anything that gives one student an edge over the other counts. This edge could be your personal statement.

We also visited Queen Margaret University last year to find out more about their Costume Design and Construction course and they use the UCAS personal statement to make the first round of their selection – read more here.

So if you've written loads in your UCAS personal statement and need to cut it down, made it more to the point, we discovered these 2 great sites that goes into the nitty gritty of how you can cut down the words but say exactly the same thing.

Take this example:Example:Because a great many of the words in this sentence are basically unnecessary, it would really be a very good idea to edit somewhat for conciseness. Revision: Because many of the words in this sentence are unnecessary, we should edit it.

There are many more examples on these pages and on reading them I had many 'ah-ha!' moments. Don't fill your UCAS personal statement word limit with waffle, be concise, edit.

Concise writing no. 1

Concise writing no. 2

If you've any top tips on writing your personal statement please feel free to post them in comments below. GOOD LUCK!!

Get more help; 'Writing your personal statement' eBook

 

Thanks a (good deal) to Portfolio Oomph my daughter has portfolio drops/interviews at all 5 colleges she applied for including Kingston and Central St. Martins. She has also been offered a place at Ravensbourne College. 

The 'Writing your personal statement' eBook was absolutely well worth the money. I only wish I known about it sooner. I will certainly recommend your website to friends in the future. Linda Hill, parent and customer.


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