I just finished listening to the hour-long conference call on this year's AMCAS, which was about as interesting as it sounds.* To save you the time, I wanted to pass along the two pieces of information you need to know about this year's AMCAS.
*Though I poke fun at the conference call, kudos to the AMCAS folks for being so transparent, both with releasing details about the application and with fastidiously updating application deadlines through their website and by twitter (@AMCASinfo). Their work is underappreciated.
The first thing to know is that there are no changes to this year's application (other than fixing a few bugs). No surprises is a good thing when we're talking about the AMCAS application.
Second, the exact dates for submission are out.
May 1 (Thursday) - AMCAS goes online, which is when you can start filling your grades, personal information, and essays.
June 3 (Tuesday) - SUBMISSION DAY! - This is the first day you can submit your AMCAS, and if possible, submit your AMCAS on this day. Be prepared, however, for long load times at the website.
June 27 (Friday) - The first batch of applicants are released to medical schools, who will then start sending secondaries.
What these dates (should) mean to you:
1) Apply early.
I know, I know. I'm beating a dead horse here, but this presentation confirmed what we saw last year with our students - that more students are applying early. Because more students are applying early, AMCAS employees get overwhelmed quickly with the number of applications and transcripts to process, leading to delays in processing applications. As a result, you should aim to get your med school application in on the first day it becomes available.
2) Get started on your secondaries before June 27.
If you wait until you receive your secondaries to start your essays, you will fail to return many secondaries in a timely fashion, which will substantially hurt your chances. Most medical schools do not screen before sending secondaries. In fact, of the 193 MD, DO, and Canadian medical schools on our med school spreadsheet, only 34% perform a meaningful screen (where they read your application before deciding to send you a secondary). As a result, you should expect secondaries to hit hard starting June 27.
Depending on how many schools you apply to, you will probably receive 4-5 that week of June 27, then another 3-4 each week during the month of July. Or to put it in essay terms, you will receive 12-15 essays that first week, then another 9-12 essays each week after that. Unless you've pre-written these essays, you will feel overwhelmed with all of the essays to write.
How do you get started, you ask? Well, we at Passport Admissions have every secondary essay from every med school in the country currently posted on our website:
We worked really hard to bring you that resource, so I hope it is helpful to you.
Have questions about the primary application you would like us to answer on this blog? Drop us a line:
Good luck getting cracking on that AMCAS!