Believing these three myths can seriously jeopardise your med school application – Part 2

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Myth #3

During the interview, not knowing the answer to a question can spell your doom.

Fact

Student in Tanzania There are plenty of stories doing the rounds about the kind of questions the interviewing panel asks of students during their interview session. Admittedly, you will get asked some pretty tough questions but the thing is, interviewers also know that not everyone could possibly know everything about everything. They do not ask interviewees tough questions to see how quickly they can conjure up a half-decent answer. The reason they ask these kinds of posers during an interview is to see how you handle yourself under pressure rather than whether or not you know the answer. You will score poorly at the interview if you fumble around and finally give them a roundabout reply that is irrelevant to the question. It is far better to admit that you do not know the answer to the question and quickly add that you would be happy to do some research on it and get back to them as soon as possible. Honesty and humility are crucial qualities in a doctor and asking these ‘stumper’ questions is one way for interviewers to find out if you possess these qualities. Keep in mind though that if you have made the commitment to finding out the answer to a question that was asked of you, it is important that you do just that and send it across promptly. They will be expecting to hear back from you and will make a note of it on your application. 

 

Three tips that will help you submit a successful application

Don’t rush to be the first one to submit your application

Take time to polish your personal essay and to make sure that everything in your application package is immaculate and error-free.

 Don’t procrastinate either

Just because the deadline is two months away, it is inadvisable to wait and then submit the application at the last minute. Admissions personnel will start going through the applications and shortlisting candidates at least several weeks before the deadline so try and submit your application at least mid way through. Make special note of schools that have rolling applications, which means they look through applications as soon as they come in and will start shortlisting potential students from day one. When they have filled up all available seats, they close admissions irrespective of the deadline. No matter how impressive your application is, if all seats are already filled, no new applications will be considered.

Make sure your personal essay is your own

It’s tempting to copy a personal essay directly from the Internet. After all, the interviewers are not likely to find out, right? Wrong. Interviewers have had years of experience reading personal essays and they can immediately pick out an essay that has been plagiarised from the Internet. To confirm it, they can then also use plagiarism tools. Many students have tried it and have failed. It’s not worth the risk. Instead, taking the time to introspect and getting help when you need it from your mentors and teachers will help you put together a personal essay that is compelling, impressive and more importantly – yours. That is something that all admissions committees appreciate above all else. 

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