As the medical school application season kicks off, our MCAT tutors here at Cambridge Coaching are gearing up to help students prepare for the MCAT and prepare their applications to medical school. Here are a few tips as you begin the process.
1. Do your research.
Don’t limit yourself to a few “big-name” schools. There are so many medical schools in the United States and Canada which make up the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) and new medical schools are earning accreditation each year. Don’t overlook the newer medical schools, especially if you’re very interested in primary care, because many new medical schools focus on educating primary care physicians.
2. Submit your application as early as possible!
The importance of this cannot be overstated. The earlier you submit your AMCAS application, the more quickly it can be processed. As the application season rolls on, there is more of a lag between submission and verification of your application. Your application is only sent out to medical schools once AMCAS verifies all your information.
Many medical schools have rolling admissions, so the earlier your application is seen, the more time admissions officers have to consider you as a possible candidate. You’ll also be in a better position as interview invitations roll in to try to schedule them so you can minimize the traveling that you need to do.
3. Gather a list of secondary essay questions in order to pre-write them.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to make up a list of secondary essay questions for the schools to which you are applying. Secondary application essay questions often change little from year to year, so you can use the time in between submission and verification of your AMCAS, and between verification and the invitation to fill out a secondary, to draft your secondary essays. You should try to submit secondaries to schools within two weeks of their extending you an invitation to complete one.