While the AMCAS process is open for several months, it’s to your advantage to apply earlier rather than later, so that med schools can consider your application when they have more seats available to fill. With an ongoing process, how can you tell when your application is ready to submit? Here are four things we advise that you do before you submit, to make sure that your app is in great shape:
1. Check that your application paints an impressive, holistic, and accurate picture of you.
Each section of your application – your essays, your CV, all those boxes and fields, your letters of recommendation, your MCAT score – should provide a snapshot of who you are. Double check that all information is accurate, and that your snapshot presents you in the best light. The sections of your application should complement one another, similar to a puzzle, where each piece works together to create a complete, cohesive, unified picture.
2. Recruit/hire someone to review your essays.
Your AMCAS essays and secondary essays aren’t done until another person (or other people) have looked them over. Have a friend, family member, or an experienced Accepted editor read through your essays, check for errors and inconsistencies, and offer constructive criticism. No, it’s not fun to have someone point out your mistakes, but your essays will be better because of it, and as a result, so will your chances of getting into your top choice med school. (Caution: You want 1-3 people to review your essay – not the entire world. This is definitely a case where too many cooks can spoil the soup—or, more precisely, confuse matters hopelessly.)
3. Proof your entire application.
Applicants spend so much time proofing their essays (which is great) but often forget that they need to proof the rest of their application as well (not great). Proofread every component of your application – your personal statement, the boxes, the experiences… everything. Check for proper spelling and grammar and correct any errors. The entire application package should be neat and clean and error-free. Try reading your application aloud – it’s an excellent way to catch mistakes that your eyes may miss.
4. Think about timing AND quality.
While it is important for medical school applicants to submit early in the process, it is better to send in the application a day or two later and present something that is polished and excellent, rather than submit a sloppy and rushed AMCAS app at the beginning of the process. So don’t procrastinate; there is no time to waste. At the same time, don’t compromise on quality in a rush to submit.
Once you’ve completed these four items then it’s time to confidently hit that “Submit” button!
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