Of course your credentials are extremely important when applying to medical school, but equally important is WHEN you submit your application. The medical school application process is extremely competitive. Since tens of thousands of students apply every year, your success is dependent not only on your academic and extracurricular credentials, but also on the timing of your submission.
AMCAS, the American Medical College Application Service, is already open for students planning to apply for the 2010 academic year. Even though the deadlines for most schools are late fall, it is critical to submit to AMCAS early summer (June-July). Late submissions often lead to an early rejection. If not rejected, you may be placed “on hold” which means a school is waiting to see if they will offer you an interview, not because you lack the credentials, but because all interview spots have already been assigned.
Submission of AMCAS is only begins the process. Following your online submission will be a waiting period while you are “verified.” During this time it is critical to have your transcripts (from all schools attended) and MCAT score(s) forwarded along with your letters of recommendation. Many students submit their AMCAS application online in June but then fail to be persistent in the forwarding of other supporting documents. Your application will not be reviewed until it is considered “complete.” Most schools as well as AMCAS allow you to check your status online. This is so very important; many students have failed to gain admission because of minor details such as their letters never arrived or arrived in December or an undergraduate institution lost the transcript request.
A most important piece of the application process is submission timing. Check and confirm the arrival of each part of your application package. If you successfully complete your application with all supporting documentation by late summer or early fall, this will increase your chances of being interviewed. If you’re lucky, you will be offered a fall interview during the first round and hopefully succeed in receiving an invitation to join the 2010 entering class.
By guest blogger Theresa Davies-Heerema, Ph.D., who has advised many medical and dental school applicants during her career in post-graduate education.”
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