Application questions are like the heads of a hydra. Cut one off, and two more form in its place. It’s a complicated process, but we’re here to help!
The AMCAS opens for submissions in two days on May 28. Are you ready?
Below, you’ll find the most common questions we’ve been receiving lately about the AMCAS, but we know how nuanced, intricate, and cryptic this process can be.
Good luck with your submission! You got this.
Yes. For the 700 characters, you may either use bullet points (similar to a resume) or full-text descriptions. Both are perfectly acceptable, and each has its advantages:
Ultimately, it’s your call: choose the one you feel most comfortable using.
If you use bullet points, make sure they are consistent, coherent, and well written.
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But you don't need to use the transcript request form when sending transcripts. What's nice about it is that it produces a barcode that helps assign the letter to your file. You know how when you checkout at a grocery store, the teller rings up items without a barcode? AMCAS will do the same thing.
Yes. Your application is like a symphony: each essay is a different movement, and each movement contains similar elements to the rest of the symphony.
We like to use the analogy of a politician on the campaign trail: you're giving the same speech over and over, so it feels repetitive to you. But to your audience experiencing you for the first time, repetition makes you more memorable.
Even though there's a spot for them in the primary application, letters of recommendation aren't due to schools until all of your application is in. That includes:
As such, the earliest that letters can be due for AMCAS schools is July 10 (the first date that applicants get released to medical schools). But you're probably not delaying your application one bit by having letters come in by late July.
Use the category that best fits the majority of the experience. But in the description, be sure to spell out the parts of this activity that are a bit different than the way you described it to make it as clear as possible to the reader what you did.
Or perhaps - especially if the activity was 200+ hours and there were multiple different components to it - you could break the listing into two different entries, one for clinical volunteering and the other for research. Everything else about the activity would be the same - the title, the start dates, the contact. But you should clearly label one "Clinical" and the other "Research."
No. We’ve worked with 400+ students, and never once have we had a medical school ask one of our students about the contact information that they listed.
Think about it this way - you’re an application reader with 40 applications to read that day and not enough minutes in the day to even finish reading all of the text in the work/activities section. Are you really going to take the time to call or email someone tangentially related to the applicant?
Just do your best to put something down in that spot, and don’t worry about it.
Yes, but don’t spend too much time describing them. State what you plan to do in about one sentence, and just leave it at that.
You will have a chance to update medical schools throughout the year (through secondary essays, update letters, and interviews) with your new activities.
What You Can't Change After You Submit:
What You Can Change After You Submit:
No. Even though you can see your full school list when you print your AMCAS, medical schools cannot. They just see that you have applied to their school.
If you’re accepted, then medical schools will discover more about your application status as you go through the “traffic rules” of committing to your school of choice.
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, you’re ready to submit!
We’ve written an extensive article about the Do’s and Don’ts of Writing About Coronavirus, but here’s the gist: