5 Tips for Your AMCAS Application From Someone Who Went Through It
1. Do it NOW.
The AMCAS application opened for submission of June 3rd so the good news is it’s still pretty early. Really start focusing on getting your AMCAS in as soon as possible. Highly qualified applicants have been turned away simply because they waited too long to apply. When I interviewed at a school in October (what I thought was an early interview), there were applicants there who told me that this was their last interview and that they had been at several other schools already. Bottom line is, med school applicants are highly motivated and overly attentive – keep up with them!
2. Be honest.
There is more to being a physician than being smart. Honesty, and the traits of integrity and morality that generally accompany it, is something you will need to practice for the rest of your career (and ideally, life). An admissions committee will readily overlook at 40 MCAT score and 3.9 GPA if it appears that you have lied on your application. It will also come back to bite you in the butt if you say you’ve done something but can’t talk about it in an interview. There is no need to lie – you’ve done amazing things!
3. Don’t feel like you need to use all of the space.
Just because they give you 15 slots, doesn’t mean you have to fill them all out with nonsense. Put down the most important activities – don’t make things up! Also, do not use experiences from high school – unless they are extremely pertinent to medicine or you continued them into college.
4. This is your chance to explain.
AMCAS allows you to explain any discrepancies or abnormalities on your academic record. If you had a particularly hard semester due to illness or a family emergency and didn’t do as well in orgo as you would have liked, this is your chance to explain. That being said, don’t go overboard. What I mean is don’t apologize for a B, or a B-, or even a C for that matter if there was no reason for the grade other than you not adequately preparing for the class. This section is reserved for true and limiting circumstances, not bullsh*tting.
5. Spellcheck, spellcheck, spellcheck!
There is nothing more frustrating than looking at that *read only* version of your application after it has been submitted and finding that error that Microsoft Word didn’t pick up because technically it is a word, it’s just not what you meant there. Read your personal statement out loud, have your roommate read your personal statement, have your roommate read your personal statement out loud, just don’t confuse you’re with your! Also, a note on secondaries – you’ll be filling out a lot of them, make sure you’re writing about the correct schools!
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