How To Apply For AMCAS & Med School

Are you scared of applying to a medical school? Well! We all know how tough and complicated the medical school admission process is! But, is not it worth it? After all, when you become a doctor, you will fulfill a lifelong ambition. 

This lifelong goal and your dream of becoming a doctor are enough to pursue you to go through all daunting processes. In fact, we are here for the same reasons as we want you to know all the processes related to medical school procedures. So, let’s take the edge off and read the whole article carefully. 

AMCAS Application is a Three-phase Process

Before you start the application process, you should know that the medical school examination process has three stages where each stage is rolling one. It means at every stage you go; they will be on an ongoing basis. You will see many schools have a last submission deadline, but it’s better not to wait for the date to come knocking at your doorstep. Therefore, you should carefully glance at the below steps to make sure you have done everything promptly. 

1. The Primary Application

The primary application or just the primary stage is the first phase where you will submit your application. The appropriate time of submitting your application is the first week of June of the application year. Remember this time is the next year before your first year of attendance. For example – if you want to start your medical school in the fall of 2018, you should submit the application in June of 2017.

Almost all medical schools in the USA utilize the unified American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). This is the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) centralized and cohesive medical school application processing service.

The beauty of AMCAS is if you want to go to ten med schools, you will need to submit only one application to AMCAS. But, if you want to enroll in non-AMCAS schools, you will need to fill out customized primary applications for every med schools you are applying. 

You should also note that before even submitting your request, you must start collecting all relevant materials related to your primary application. Usually, this process should begin between April and May. You will have to collect the following things –

  • Official Transcripts
  • Personal Statement (start perfecting this statement) 
  • Prepare everything related your extracurricular activities
  • Take your MCAT exam 




Keep in mind all medical schools will consider and review your first application only if you meet all the entry requirements and it includes your MCAT score. On May, you can gather responses, input personal statements, and grades into the AMCAS system to ensure your application is complete and ready to send in the earliest of June. 

When the application process begins, you should submit it right away to stay ahead of the competition. But, don’t do things while you are in a rush as once you have submitted the first application, there is no way back to change any information. 

2. The Secondary Application

At this stage, you may get two possible outcomes –Either the medical school will reject your application, and your process will end for a particular school, or you will receive the secondary application from the medical school. 

Now, the secondary application is a customized application. You must create it by reviewing all requirements of the medical school that you are applying for. Besides, the medical school will ask specific questions through the secondary application. For example – some schools will only want you to pay a certain amount of application fee, but some will ask you various questions about you. 

The main thing here is to maintain a fast turnaround like – you should spend July and August to prepare and send your secondary application. When the medical schools receive your application, they will evaluate it with the primary application. Then they will begin dividing all students into three specific categories – the selected students for an interview at the school, the rejected students and the waiting or unsure list of students. 

3. The Interview at the Medical School 

This stage is the last phase of the application process where the medical schools will inform you about whether you have been selected for an interview or not. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive a schedule for an interview soon. The students in the third category will not receive any notification until the school has finished processing the first two categories. 

Remember when medical schools are interviewing applications, they are actively making decisions about you. You will come to know about your fate within one month of interviewing. However, it can take longer than the usual time, especially, it depends on the entire admission process of that particular school. Besides, some students will remain on the waiting list. The fate of these students will rely on the candidates who accept or reject the admission offer.

Bottom Line 

The AMCAS application process is a long and tiresome process. But, as we have pointed out the dream of becoming a doctor in the future outweighs the daunting challenge of this application, you can manage everything completely with strategic planning. So, we have outlined the most significant aspects of AMCAS application process. Now, it is your turn to make the best of this information!