January 25, 2020
When submitting your OMSAS application, one of the important areas that needs to be cautiously completed is the Autobiographical Sketch (ABS). This sketch can help you portray yourself as the perfect candidate to study medicine. After displaying the extracurricular activities that you have engaged in, you’ll need to expound on other life experiences in an engaging and smart way. We’ll show you a few tips on how to make a killer ABS.
Know What Assessors Are Looking For
First things first, you need to understand the goals of the ABS. This sketch is divided into categories which include formal education, volunteer activities, awards and accomplishments among others. In each category, the assessor is looking for information that portrays you are a well-rounded student. This is because medical schools in Canada are not just looking for students with high GPA and MCAT scores. They need people with great interpersonal skills, leadership qualities and the ability to show empathy. Make sure you showcase your proficiency in most, if not all these areas/categories.
The people who will be reading your ABS have probably read many others before. They are not looking for cliché statements and duplicated information. You need to be as honest as possible so that someone who’s reading your sketch can have an idea of who you are as a person. The sketch should be an honest reflection of who you are and what you’ve done in your life.
Include Important Learnings
The medical school you wish to join needs to be convinced that you have the key competencies to qualify for their programs. Remember, they are not just looking for information about what you did. They want to know what you learnt, the skills and attributes that you developed along the way. For instance, if you include a volunteering project that you did outside the country, make sure you expound on the skills developed through your involvement. This will ensure it has a lasting impact to anyone who reads it.
The OMSAS ABS is known to have a very limited word count. You only have one or two sentences to convey the information you feel is most crucial. Use words that are going to portray you as an exceptional applicant. Don’t show off with technical jargons as they can make your application appear fake. Use simple language to convey information and avoid repeating yourself. You can also use common abbreviations and acronyms in order to save on the space.
Speak With The Verifiers Early
You may be required to provide verifiers for all the activities that you included in your OMSAS Autobiographical Sketch. Make sure you communicate with your verifiers early and notify them of your wish to join medical school. Also review the contact information you have provided for your verifiers to make sure it’s up to date. Speak to your verify prior to submitting your application just to ensure that they backup all the information you have included in your application. Some medical schools will make a point to reach out to your verifiers in order to ensure they agree with details of the activities you include on the application.
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