Last month, we posted a quiz to help you figure out whether you're ready to apply to medical school.
We've gotten dozens and dozens of responses, so we wanted to post the quiz results and share some key advice for those whose results indicated "Not Ready."
We created a handy pie chat to display the results we've gathered so far:
As you can see, only 13% of quiz takers are "Definitely Ready," so 87% of you might be wondering how to improve your readiness or what your next steps should be. Fear not! We've got you covered!
If you're not ready, you probably feel one of three ways:
If you can’t reasonably submit your application by June 15th, your best bet is to wait until next cycle to apply. That way, you can “apply once and apply well” without feeling like you’re rushing or putting out a less-than-stellar application.
It’s not a big deal to take a gap year (or two). Use that additional time to build on your strengths and rectify your weaknesses. This could mean accumulating more clinical/volunteering/research hours, improving your MCAT, retaking classes to boost your GPA, and/or securing better letters of recommendation.
So much work goes into completing the pre-med checklist. You work so hard to get enough volunteering hours, shadowing, clinical experience, and leadership, that at the end of the four years, you've done nothing outside of the ordinary and look like everyone else applying.
Doing the pre-med checklist doesn't get you in; it gets you qualified. The bad news, though, is that there are thousands of qualified pre-meds. What will get you in is what sets you apart. And what sets you apart is your answer to the question, "why should a medical school accept me?"
Perhaps you're the first in your family to go to college. Maybe you've battled cancer and now want to research it for the rest of your career. Maybe you've been a Division 1 athlete during undergrad. Or you've gotten a master's degree in global health.
If none of these apply to you, it might be wise to consider creating a “Capstone Project,” where you find an intersection between your skills/passions and your communities’ needs. Check out the Savvy Pre-Med blog for examples and ideas.
Though medical school admissions might seem arbitrary, it’s not.
Talk to a good pre-med advisor, and they can handicap your chances of admission before you waste a lot of time and money on a poorly composed application. Some colleges have a pre-med advisor who can give you an honest assessment of your chances.
Or if not, we at Passport Admissions would be happy to help. We offer free, hour-long "What Are My Chances" meetings to help students figure out whether they're ready to apply. We also assess their needs - what help they might need during the application process to make it through.