How To Write the Perfect AMCAS Application

How To Write the Perfect AMCAS Application

When you are applying for a medical school, you need to use the unified AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) system. Many students find the entire application process daunting. AMCAS has three unique stages where students have to prepare and submit all relevant information and documents to get into a medical school. Surprisingly, most premed students falter in these steps. 

However, if you are aware of how difficult or how complicated the process is, we believe there will be fewer chances of you being a failure. To be precise, we have come with an article where we will talk about AMCAS in detail to make you understand what you need to do and what you should not do in your application process. 

So, let’s take a peek at the article and understand how you can maximize your AMCAS application. 

What Must You Do To Make Your Application More Acceptable? 

You should do the following to make sure your application becomes more acceptable to the medical schools.

  1. At first, you should gather all your external materials as soon as possible. Many students will find it easier but you have to be careful in collecting and sorting out all information. AMCAS application depends heavily on the information and document that you provide. In fact, it might take up to three or four weeks to procure all these information documents. It doesn’t matter if it is your transcripts or letters of recommendation, you should prepare and include this application in a professional manner. So, move with this information and documents fast and early. 
  2. For the course work section, you should be extra careful. If you send your official transcripts to AMCAS but keep the unofficial ones at your hand, it might make things difficult for you. The thing is there is a big difference between official and unofficial transcripts. Even, you will see major differences in information, which might kill your time. Therefore, it’s better if you use official transcripts for this section to avoid any preventable errors. 
  3. All medical schools screen out candidates based on different factors. One of these factors is your extracurricular activity. When you are applying for a medical school, you will have 15 spaces to list and describe what you have done as extracurricular activities. This is why this section is one of the challenging ones for many applicants as many students don’t know how to ace in this section. So, work hard on your extracurricular activities to ensure you have a positive impression of the medical school you are applying for.  

What You Should List Out and What You Should Avoid While Applying? 

  1. If you want to make a list of the things that you want to include, you need to think about the most relevant and meaningful activities. You are allowed to identify up to three activities in your application, leaving you with an additional 1,325 characters including spaces to explain why these activities are important for medical school admission. 
  2. Note that, most medical schools will appreciate if you keep things sweet and short. Don’t overwrite and make the most of the 15 lines that you will get to describe your activities. In case, you are cramped with spaces; you can group all activities and achievements into topical or time-wise categories. When it comes to choosing your activities, you should be objective and careful. You should remember that medical schools will review when and how you have spent your precious time and energy. So, you should include activities that are logical and relevant.
  3. Many students just skip about describing their background appropriately, but this section is more important than any other thing. If there is a minor blip in your background or you have a red flag, you should honestly describe and tell why that happened to you in the first place. AMCAS don’t double check and follow MBA-style spot background check procedure. However, they do verify everything that you sent to them. Keep in mind even if you have finished medical school without justifying any discrepancies, you can still receive punishment such as losing your career. Remember that all medical schools will value your honesty. If you are remorseful about a situation, they will certainly take your honesty into account.  So, just be honest about every information and make your application more relevant. 
  4. When you are writing your personal statement, it is a chance to stand out from the crowd and be heard. If you have anything special that demands explanation or have a unique story to tell, the personal statement would be a great place to pitch yourself in the eyes of medical schools. In that case, our suggestion is you should do your background research and make multiple drafts before writing the final piece. Yes! It might be time-consuming and frustrating, but if you can write a great personal statement, the chances are that you will have the edge over other candidates. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line is AMCAS application procedure is tedious, and sometimes, it can also be complex. But, if you follow the above advice and prepare yourself in a right way, it might become your ticket to fulfilling your dream!


Pre-Med Summer Course: Frequently Asked Questions

Most premed applicants find it hard to understand what medical schools need from them. So, we have come up with the most frequently asked questions about the medical school admission process. We hope these questions will make you understand what you actually need to get into a medical school. Let’s read them and leave no stone unturned in your quest for glory in premed summer course.  

What are the requirements for medical schools? 

All medical schools are looking for applicants who have an outstanding academic abilities or scores on MCAT exams with solid interpersonal skills, demonstrated compassion for others and a clear motivation for medicine. 

Can my AP Credit fulfill the premed requirements? 

Yes! Your AP Credit can full all or partial math requirement at almost all medical schools. If you wish to utilize your AP Credit to substitute a preliminary science course, you must swap it for an upper-level course. 

Can I take an additional reading and writing courses rather than taking English? 

It is best to take two English courses as some medical schools urge you to have them mandatorily. However, some medical schools will be fine if you take literature in translation or any other reading and writing courses. 

I am not a science major, can I get admission to premed school?

Yes! You can get admission into a premed school even if you have no science major. 

Should I go for the pass/fail option in courses? 

You can take courses pass/fail. Unless you are taking them in your first semester, you should not take any other premed prerequisites pass/fail. All medical schools would want you to challenge yourself academically. Therefore overusing the pass/fail option wouldn’t be a good idea. 

Is it possible to take prerequisite premed courses in the summer school?

As long as your summer school is an accredited four-year U.S. college or university, you can take the required premed courses with a lab where that school’s premed students take part in. 

Should I study abroad before getting into premed school?

If it interests you, you should not miss the chance to study abroad. Most medical schools want students who have gone to abroad and experienced interesting college experiences. Typically, your time in abroad will demonstrate that you are capable of getting along with a different culture from your own.

Should I take premed courses abroad?

No! It is not allowed and therefore, you should not take any of the premed courses abroad. 

What extracurricular experiences do all medical schools seek? 

Taking extracurricular experiences should depend on your choice. Most of the medical schools want students who are active contributors on campus with a broad range of interests. You should pick a few things that are meaningful and demonstrate your keen interests in what you are doing. For example – community service is a significant extracurricular activity that demonstrates your concern and compassion towards the society and others. 

Is it necessary to have medical experience to get into premed schools? 

Yes! You must have prior medical related experiences to demonstrate that you can excel in a medical practice. 

Is there any chance to work as a volunteer in a medical facility throughout my school years? 

A lot of premed students work as a volunteer at different hospitals like at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia or Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and at Springfield and Crozer Hospitals nearby.

What is the MCAT Exam?

MCAT is the most standardized test that all medical schools require. MCAT is typically a seven hour, computer-based exam. This exam is taken 25 times a year. It has different sections on verbal reasoning, physical sciences, biological sciences, and behavioral sciences. You can sit for MCAT exam if you have finished chemistry, physics, and biology premed requirements. 

How can I arrange my letters of recommendation?

If you are applying for a medical school, you must have five letters of recommendation from faculty and other credible persons such as your supervisors or coaches. All letter of recommendations will then be submitted to the Health Sciences Advisory Committee. The committee will then use these letters to create a committee letter of recommendation for you. 

When is the right time of applying for a medical school? 

A good time to apply to a medical school is in June of the year before you wish to admit in medical school. In other words, if you wish to start your medical school in August 2018, you should apply in June 2017. Additionally, you should take the MCAT exam by July 2017 as well. Note that you must compile all information for the Health Sciences Office January before June 2018.