Thursday, January 26, 2012

Medical School Application Cycle Planning Guide

Current Application Cycle Planning Guide

Now Planning for 2013 Cycle

The following gives you a list of steps to take in preparation for application to health professional programs. This list is intended as a "to do" list. Plan early, plan often.

FALL, 2011

  1. Outline your Personal Statement.
  2. Generate a list of prospective letter writers for Letters of Recommendation.
  3. Prepare statements for letter writers.
  4. Begin identifying which schools to which you will apply (use MSAR, AADS, etc. available in the Pre-Health Professions Advising Center Resource Area).
  5. Start planning your budget for the application process.
  6. Prepare/study for admissions tests.

SPRING, 2012

  1. Register on-line for admissions tests (MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, GRE).
  2. Centralized applications are available on-line begining May 1 (check application service policy on sending transcripts).
  3. Review the recommended procedures for submitting Letters of Recommendation...does your school over a letter submitting service?
  4. Contact letter writers. Depending on what centralized application service you use, your letter writers may be able to directly upload your letters once you register (i.e. with AMCAS, AADSAS, etc.) For those application services that do not allow for direct upload: make sure you work with your college to get the right information.
  5. View applicable workshops regarding the application process, i.e.: Current Application Workshop, Personal Statement Workshop, AMCAS Workshop. Try to sign up for a practice MCAT exam at your institution. Sometimes these are set up by KAPLAN. They have you sign in with an ID, time your breaks, it's a good warm up for how the actual exam will flow.
  6. Practice Interviewing.
  7. Continue building your knowledge of current issues in health care.

SUMMER, 2012

  1. Order unofficial transcripts to use when completing centralized applications.
  2. Order official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended to be sent directly to the application service (AMCAS, AADSAS, etc.). You will be able to do this as soon as the application cycle opens.
  3. Some schools will request passport-size photos. I recommend taking one in a suit.
  4. Complete and send secondary applications which may be received as early as July.
  5. Crush the MCAT.
  6. Plan for your appearance at interviews. This costs money. You'll be buying a nice suit, flying all over the country, staying in hotels, etc. Oh, and the primary application runs about $500-$1000 and count on $100 for every secondary you send in.

AMCAS(MD Programs): 5300 characters including spaces. You want to dominate your personal statement. Start working on it early!


  1. Thanks for posting this GS. This is gonna help me out a lot.

  2. Consider applying through TMDSAS as well Since it is significantly less expensive.

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  4. Thanks a lot for sharing this guide here. I found this post very useful. I too would be starting the study for MPRE. Already have collected the test prep material like eBooks, MPRE Practice Questions, notes from the seniors so feeling quite confident that my study will go smoothly.