Friday, July 8, 2011

Secondaries: do they blow? Discuss.

Secondaries. Ugh. I'm trying to get through them as quickly as possible while still keeping the quality very high. I have I think 23 secondaries to fill out, plus DO schools which I'm still waiting for rec letters on. I've taken a closer look at one school and will probably not fill out a secondary there, but that still leaves a ton, and they all want it back within a reasonable amount of time.

Here's thing number one that bugs me about secondaries: fee farms. Fee farms are schools that invite everybody to submit secondaries and then reject 90% of those people literally within 24 hours of their application. Are you trying to tell me that within 24 hours, you gave my application $110 worth of your time and closely evaluated it and decided that I suck? If it was that obvious that I was a bad fit, could you not have spotted it from my primary app before I sent you $110? Whatever...this hasn't happened to me yet this cycle, but it is happening to some applicants right now, and it grinds my gears.

The other thing that annoys me about secondaries is stupid questions. "Tell us what you think learning means?" "Is honesty important?" "Can you watch this video of a person yawning and not yawn yourself? Why or why not?" "We see dog's wieners all the time, but have you ever seen a cat's wiener? If not, how do you suppose they bone? Discuss."

OK, so the questions are slightly less dumb than that (where IS a cat's wiener tho?...), but only slightly.

NEwAs, back to work.


  1. Ugh, sounds like a very, very expensive process. You'll need your own practice just to pay for that it sounds like. Yikes.

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  3. Yeah that's the game - it's brutal. You play it or you don't, but the price is what it is... "menu fixe" as the French say, or is it Prix Fixe?... I don't know. Any French people out there in innernet-land?

  4. Are you sure the people getting rejected right away didn't make some fatal error in their secondaries? Like, "...and that is why I can see myself as a student at X school," on their Y school application? Or maybe when answering, "Have you ever faced a moral dilemma?" they discussed how close they came to chosing a life of percocet-peddling after a brutal year of organic chemistry? UMich has a sentence you have to complete with four words: "Most people don't know I can..." Perhaps the people you're talking about answered, "kill with bare hands," "produce lemony farts," or "imitate koala mating call."

  5. Ugh. Secondaries were the WORST PART of the whole process. Including the MCAT. I WISH they had some of your questions on them. At least that would keep it entertaining.

  6. Hehe....lemony farts....

    Yeah I am plowing through the secondaries at just under 1 a day I'd say...its going to be a fun month :)