Last Updated on April 15, 2024


As a pre-medical student, you know that a strong application is key to securing acceptance into medical school. One crucial component of the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) is the ABS (Autobiographical Sketch). Crafting an exceptional ABS sketch can significantly enhance your chances of success.

At MedApplications, we specialize in helping students create outstanding medical school applications, and we’re here to guide you through the process. In this comprehensive blog post, we will share essential tips and strategies to make your OMSAS ABS sketch stand out in the competitive admissions landscape of 2023.

  1. Understanding the OMSAS ABS Sketch: The OMSAS ABS sketch offers a snapshot of your experiences, skills, and personal attributes. To create a compelling ABS sketch, it’s important to:
  • Grasp the purpose and significance of the ABS sketch within the OMSAS application.
  • Familiarize yourself with the different categories in the ABS sketch, such as employment, volunteering, extracurricular activities, and more.
  • Select impactful experiences that align with medical school competencies.
  • Comprehend the ABS evaluation criteria used by admissions committees.
  1. Highlighting Key Experiences and Achievements: To make your ABS sketch stand out, focus on showcasing your most significant experiences and achievements. Consider the following strategies:
  • Identify and prioritize experiences that demonstrate your passion, commitment, and growth.
  • Highlight leadership roles, initiatives you undertook, and how you made a positive impact.
  • Quantify your achievements when possible and provide context to illustrate the scope of your involvement.
  • Strike a balance between depth and breadth by including diverse experiences that complement each other.
  1. Writing Engaging Descriptions: The way you describe your experiences in the ABS sketch can greatly enhance its impact. Consider the following tips:
  • Craft concise and impactful descriptions that capture the essence of your involvement.
  • Use action verbs and specific details to make your experiences come to life.
  • Highlight transferable skills gained from each experience that demonstrate your suitability for a career in medicine.
  • Showcase your unique perspectives, cultural competencies, and adaptability to diverse environments.

Crafting a standout OMSAS ABS sketch is an essential step toward securing acceptance into medical school. At MedApplications, we understand the intricacies of the admissions process and have a proven track record of helping students create compelling applications. By understanding the OMSAS ABS sketch, highlighting key experiences and achievements, and writing engaging descriptions, you can differentiate yourself from other applicants and increase your chances of acceptance.

Our dedicated team at MedApplications is here to support you in crafting an outstanding ABS sketch that showcases your unique qualities and experiences. With our expertise and personalized guidance, we will help you navigate the competitive landscape of medical school admissions and maximize your chances of success.

Unlock your potential and increase your acceptance rate with a remarkable OMSAS ABS sketch. Contact MedApplications today to start your journey toward a successful medical career.

ABS Sketch

Focus on quality as opposed to quantity: The fact that OMSAS provides 32 entries for your sketch doesn’t mean that you have to find information to fill up all the entries. Focus on filling entries that demonstrate certain essential skills. Remember to fill the entries in a clear and concise manner because this helps to showcase your communication skills.

Fill in the main categories: Provide accurate details on the main categories of the sketch. This includes areas such as the formal education section, employment, volunteer work, research, extracurricular activities and other accomplishments. Whatever is included in these main categories is critical and will help to increase your chances of getting accepted to medical school.

Contact Your Verifiers

Early Enough

There are activities other than formal education and scholarships that you will be required to provide a verifier. Verifiers for structured activities include coaches, tutors and supervisors. For those unstructured activities, you can include your friends, neighbors or even yourself as a verifier. Select your verifiers keenly because they might be contacted to confirm if the information you’ve provided is accurate. Make sure you contact these verifiers early to ensure you are on the same page. Always make sure the contact information that you provide for the verifiers is accurate. Medical schools have different guidelines on what to do if they are unable to reach a verifier or if they verifier doesn’t agree with the information you provided.

Outline Key Activities

Provide Clear Descriptions

OMSAS Application

Provide clear descriptions of your roles and responsibilities: When providing descriptions on your responsibilities in a formal employment, make sure you make it very clear and concise. Don’t waste the 150-character limit given by giving too much information that is of no use. You can even use short hand and point form in your sketch to avoid very long descriptions.

Present yourself as a balanced individual: The sketch has different categories that allow you to present yourself as a well-rounded and balanced person. Do not focus too much on the formal education and employment area then disregard other areas such as the extracurricular activities and volunteer section.

Be honest: The people who will be reviewing your autobiographical sketch have read dozens of medical school applications and they can easily tell when someone is not being honest. Make sure you are very accurate and provide credible information of what you did and don’t exaggerate the timelines of what you were involved in.

Offer sufficient details: The word count is limited so you should be able to convey what you did and the skills and attributes that you developed in only one or two sentences. Choose words that help to demonstrate why you are a good candidate for medical school. You can use abbreviations such as “&” instead of “and” to help with the limited word count.

Get Matched with MedApplications

Packages start at $345

  • MD Application Strategy (120 Minutes)
  • ABS Strategy Session (60 Minutes)
  • MD School Selection/Competitiveness (60 Minutes)
  • ABS and Application Edit/Review
  • Reference Letter Review (60 Minutes)
  • CASPer Preparation (90 Minutes)
  • Interview Preparation (MPI, MMI, Panel)
  • Unlimited Access To:
  • – Canadian MD Schools
  • – Application Revisions
  • – CASPer Tests
  • – Mock Interviews
  • – Webinars
  • – Ebooks and Resources
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