In just a few days, many of you will want to submit your medical school application. You’ve probably heard that you need to submit on the first day possible – May 31st, this year – if you want your best shot. But just how true is that?
Medical School Admissions Myth vs. Reality
It is true that an early submission of your medical school application has an advantage – with fewer applications ahead of it, and an open slate of interview spots, your application has a better chance to shine.
But an inferior application cancels out that advantage, no matter how early you apply. If you’re rushing to meet an arbitrary deadline, the quality of your personal statement and extracurricular activities may suffer; or you may incorrectly enter your coursework, resulting in a verification delay.
Also keep in mind that applications are not forwarded to medical schools until the end of June. On that date, all verified applications will be forwarded, whether they were submitted on the first day or a few days later. Last year, anything submitted by June 9th made the cut-off, meaning applicants who spent an extra 8 days finessing their application got to the schools on the same day as those who submitted on June 1st.
A Better Strategy for Medical School Acceptance
Submit as early as possible, when your application is as strong as it can possibly be.
This strategy may mean later in June, or even July. And it’s not impossible to be accepted with an even later application, it just means you might face an uphill battle.
When you do feel confident that your application is strong, take time to double and triple check everything. Once you hit the submit button, you’re not allowed to change most parts of your application.
But one thing that you can do is add to the list of schools. You can use this list strategically. For instance, if you took the MCAT in May and are still waiting for your score, you might want to apply to a single school, and then add more after you see how you did. Or you might stagger your school choices, adding 2-3 each week, so you aren’t overwhelmed with secondaries coming all at once. Your application is forwarded to the chosen program immediately, once your initial AMCAS verification is completed.
Submitting your AMCAS application is an important step in your journey to become a doctor. Here are some of the many ways I can help make sure your first step is successful:
1. School selection – Helping you find the best programs where you are competitive
2. Personal Statement – Making your personal statement stand out with a compelling story that highlights your individuality and shows your commitment to medicine
3. Activities and Most Meaningful Experiences – Confirming that your experiences complement your personal statement and demonstrate the qualities medical schools want to see
I’m here to help and I wish you all the very best of luck!By Cydney Foote, former administrator at the University of Washington School of Medicine and author of three ebooks about medical education. Cyd has successfully advised medical school and residency applicants since 2001. Want Cyd to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!