The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) provides a streamlined approach to the often daunting and overwhelming process of applying to medical school. Instead of applying to all of the schools on your short-list separately, med school applicants can apply all at once using AMCAS.
Your AMCAS application will be sent to the schools of your choice on your behalf and can be completed even before you take the MCAT. As you gather your required documents and complete your AMCAS personal statement, these documents will be added to your application file. Here’s how to use AMCAS to apply to medical school.
This can be done even before applications open, so take the time to familiarize yourself with the site. Input your personal information and double check that your contact information is correct. If there is an error or an issue with your application down the line, you want to be reachable. Once your profile is complete it will be verified and you will receive access to the Transcript Request Form and Letter Request Form.
Like your profile, these requests can be made before the application date, and its best to do it as soon as you can. Transcript delays can hold up your application, as they must be sent directly from the issuing institution. Letters of evaluation should also be requested far in advance to allow the writers plenty of time to provide thoughtful feedback.
Your AMCAS personal statement will be your introduction to the application committees at your selected schools. Some schools put nearly as much weight on the personal statement as they do on academic excellence, so it’s important that you give yourself enough to complete it and check it for any errors. In addition to this personal statement, MD/PhD applicants must write two additional essays, so it is even more important to give yourself enough time.
In addition to the above essays, applicants will have additional opportunities to stand out from their peers through the Work and Activities and Most Meaningful Experiences sections of the AMCAS. These areas can be used to highlight relevant experiences you have had in the field of medicine as well as displaying aspects of your personality that show you as a well-rounded, determined, hardworking individual.
As with all information on your AMCAS application, be sure to follow all submission rules such as formatting and character limits. Failure to follow these guidelines could result in errors that delay the processing of your application.
If you have not already done so, you should take your MCAT as soon as you’re able. (Of course, if you need MCAT tutoring, MedSchoolCoach can help you boost your score.) If you are waiting to sit the MCAT at the time of your application, you can put the date of your exam on your application so your selected schools know to expect your scores. Once you take the exam, your scores will be updated on your AMCAS application and forwarded to your chosen schools.
Once you’ve submitted all the requirements for your application, monitor its progress to your chosen institutions. AMCAS will let you know when your schools should receive your application, so be sure to follow up and make sure they have received it on time, along with your transcripts, essays and any other documents.
While the AMCAS helps to facilitate your application process, you are ultimately responsible for making sure your application has been processed in its entirety.
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