Product Review: Is INQUARTA’s “Medical School Personal Statement” worth it?
The medical school personal statement will probably cause you stress. After all, it is really difficult to write about yourself. Sometimes the words just don’t come out the way you’d like or you feel that your writing isn’t an accurate description of yourself. Something is missing and you don’t know what to do about it. You begin to lose focus and start settling for bad writing, without knowing that there are plenty of ways to improve it.
Let me just be the first to tell you, you are not alone. Plenty of pre-meds go through this same anxiety when it comes to writing their personal statement — and the last thing you want is someone telling you how you should write about yourself, right?
At first, I thought so too. I was skeptical of how-to guides for writing personal statements but then I realized that we all need some guidance. More specifically, you need guidance on what not to do and my Medical School Personal Statement guide does this well.
You can find plenty of tips for writing a stellar personal statement for free on the web. You can also look on forums, post your writing, and have other pre-med students review it and give their input. However, is it truly enough to ace this part of the application?
I think you need something more. The personal statement is unique, because it is a piece of confessional writing, in which you ‘confess’ your motivations and your passions for wanting a career in medicine.
This personal statement is not like anything else you’ve written before. Its aim is get you into medical school and, therefore, your personal statement should reflect this aim. You have to sell yourself, without being a scammy self-promoter.
Is the Guide Useful?
Like I said, the medical school personal statement is not like any other piece of writing. It requires a special kind of practice. My guide cuts out any unnecessary details and leaves you with the barebones of what you need to do. Although your personal statement comes down to your own experiences, these can be written in a way that’s enticing to the admission board. This is why you arguably need a guide to succeed — to teach you how to do this.
When you first sign up for the guide, you have two large categories: video and document libraries. There are nine videos along with six documents. The videos chronologically explain the steps of writing a powerful personal statement and each one is about ~10 minutes in length.
The videos are only a piece of the course however. The “Instructions” PDF that I designed also has plenty of insight and writing space where you can practice and apply the lessons taught in the videos. My instructional booklet corresponds with the nine videos and makes all the lessons clear and concise.
Samples and Templates
Another issue with using free online help for personal statements is that you oftentimes have trouble finding templates and examples. I’m glad to say that this guide includes three sets of sample personal statements and two sets of templates. There are also constructive criticism for the personal statement examples.
This is what takes the cake for me — I consider the instructional booklet to be informative, the videos are thorough, but it really helps to have other examples to compare to your own writing. Not only that, the guide gives you 30-something personal statement examples along with the comments for each. This is extremely useful in helping you to better judge your own writing and you should use it as a basic benchmark for what constitutes a “good” personal statement.
Critique Video Comments
As a bonus after you go through all the videos, I have a few clips of me critiquing personal statement essays just so you get a feel of what the process is like. You should be able to edit your personal statement until it’s your best work, but in order to do so, you need guidance. By watching me edit a few papers, you will learn what’s important in your work and how to fix those perky mistakes.
The Final Verdict
If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to writing the medical school personal statement, this should cover all your needs. It tells you what you shouldn’t do, gives you a framework to write with, and, most important, provides plenty of examples to make sure you are doing a good job. With this, I see no reason you’ll need any other guide.
So, my final verdict? Definitely get this if you need help on your medical school personal statement! — more information on the product can be found here.