Friday, April 8, 2016

Are you ready to Apply!!

Happy Spring Everyone!!

This time of year is marked by "Springing Forward" our clocks, crazy pollen (southern states at least), flowers blossoming, graduations and so many more wonderful things. Well it is also a reminder the AMCAS and AACOMAS application will open in a few weeks.

                                                  AMCAS                                        AACOMAS
Application Opens                    May 1, 2016                                 May 5, 2016
Submissions Begins                  June 1, 2016                                 June 15, 2016

Speaking from someone who has applied more than once and both early and late in the cycle, interviewed during more than one cycle and will official begin school this summer: when your advisors, fellow premeds and medical students tell you to apply early, listen and APPLY EARLY!!!

Ideally Early application = Early Secondaries = Early Interviews =  Early Acceptances

Hopefully everyone that plans to apply this year has already taken there MCAT or will take it now in April or Early May test dates. (By no means should you rush to test if you are not ready, test when you a comfortable with where you stand on content, practice test scores, and confidence)

Below is a timeline I have modified by including additional dates and important factors to consider. The original pre-med AMCAS application timeline.

Jan-June--- You are here right now ;-)
  • Save as much as you can for primary applications, secondary applications, interview cost, seat deposit fees and so on. 
  • If you are eligible Apply for FAP through AMCAS and Fee assistance through AACOMAS.
  • Reflect on your interest, core values and desires in a medical programs (locations, specialty interest, extracurricular activities, research opportunities, additional funding available at the school, school/city demographics etc).
  • Check out MSAR to learn more about schools and/or also go to the schools direct website. 
  • Narrow your list of schools you would like to apply to based on your preferences and based on if you have or will all of the required pre-med prereq before school starts (for instance one school may required 2 semester of math but your school only required you take 1 semester of math). 
  • ***Important***Once you have selected your schools pre-write your writing prompts so that you can submit your secondary as soon as you receive them. Check out this website for a list  or visit SDN, or contact people know that attend or have recently applied to the school. Set a goal to have the writing prompts completed no later than mid June, leaving a few weeks to make last minute changes before July 1 when secondary applications open.
  • Also it is never to early to look for scholarships, check out the financial aid website of you prospective schools, google, scholarship websites and create a spreadsheet with listing deadlines and other important information.
  • Prepare for and take the MCAT if you have not already taken the test or need to retake. Take the MCAT in the spring if possible, but no later than early summer in order to have scores submitted to the schools early in the cycle.
  • Request copies of your transcripts and check to ensure that there are no errors on them.
  • Begin working on primary applications. AACOMAS opens in  early May. AMCAS application is available online in May for applicants to begin filling out, but cannot be submitted until early June.
  • TMDSAS opens in early May.
  • Take/retake the MCAT if needed.
  • Continue submitting secondaries that you did not get a chance to complete in earlier.
  • Some will come within days of submitting the primary application, others will take a bit longer. Return these to the schools within one to two weeks of receiving.
  • Interview at medical schools.
  • Some schools notify applicants of acceptances October 15. Notifications continue until the class is full. 
  • By April 30, applicants to AMCAS schools should only be holding a spot at one school. They may remain on waitlists for other schools. (Not sure if these rule also applies to D.O schools)
  • Update schools you are waitlisted at about new activities and accomplishments.
Summer- Fall 

  • Take a short lived breather once you're accepted before Medical School starts :-)

Check back for periodic updates as additional tips come to mind!

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