Tag Archives: letters of recommendation

Application Essentials VI: Letters of Recommendation

When you need advice on something, who do you turn to?  Your friends, of course!MCAT Blog

Medical schools don’t have “friends,” per se, so the professional equivalent is the Letter of Recommendation.  In other words, the letters you aggregate become the medical school’s “squad,” each highlighting different attributes of what would make you a great candidate for their medical school.  Luckily, they’re actually serving as mutual friends:  since they know you, they can represent you honestly and in the best possible way.

Here are some of the commonly-asked questions about Letters of Recommendation:

What’s a committee

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The Hardest Med School Interview Question

“So tell me about yourself.”

It’s not even a question.  It’s a request, and in the opening moments of your medical school interview, it may sound more like a hostile command.   But it is perhaps one of the most common ways in which your med school interviewers may invite you to join in conversation with them.  How would you respond to this non-question question?  It doesn’t seem easy, as I’m sure you’re well aware.  Because it’s so open-ended, we tend to hem-and-haw and sputter out the first thing that comes to mind, and our response …

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Letters of Recommendation, Part 2: Getting your letters

by Lauren Poindexter, Kaplan Elite MCAT Instructor


It’s a well known fact that letters of recommendation are an important part of your medical school application. In my last article, I provided some tips and guidelines to consider when choosing who to pick as your letter writers. Now that you know who you’ll be asking for letters, today we’ll pick things up by discussing how to request your letters and make sure you get them.

Step 3: As soon as possible and in person, ask each of your potential writers if they are willing to

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Letters of Recommendation, Part I: Finding your letter writers

by Lauren Poindexter, Kaplan Elite MCAT Instructor

As an MCAT instructor, I routinely field questions about the med school application process, especially concerning Letters of Recommendation (LORs). This important element of your application carries the potential to pull admissions committees over to your side by showing them your many diverse attributes and personal qualities. To achieve this, you’ll want to submit excellent letters from professionals who can paint a flattering picture of you by way of vivid descriptions and sincere commendation.

The following guidelines are an adjunct to the ultimate source of all rules & regulations

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Reapplying for Medical School

By Carleen Eaton, M.D.

If the 2010 cycle will be your second (or third) application to med school, then you need to take a different approach than a first time applicant. Your goal is to differentiate your current application from the last one as much as possible, and to convince the committee that you are now deserving of a spot in the class. This means scrutinizing each section of the application and determining what is new or improved and making sure that those features stand out.

In terms of timing, applying for back-to-back cycles may not …

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Letters of Recommendation for Medical School

By Carleen Eaton, M.D.

Determined to get your application in early, you take the MCAT in April, then immediately start work on your personal statement. You hit the “submit” button the day the admissions cycle opens and then figure you are set. Then comes a realization: one of your letters of recommendation is still not in. You try to contact your professor without success and eventually find out from the department secretary that she is doing fieldwork in Tibet for the entire summer. So much for being early.

Unlike the rest of the application, the …

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Medical School Rolling Admissions -Timing Matters (A Lot)

By Carleen Eaton, M.D.

You thrive on deadlines. Fueled by coffee, with just hours remaining until your 20 page paper on “Medieval Jousts as a Foreshadowing Device in Early 17th Century French Literature” is due, you are intensely focused, pounding away full speed at the keyboard. While you can pull this off with a paper in school, this last minute approach is definitely not recommended for med school applications. The reason: rolling admissions.

With rolling admissions, the schools do not wait until all of the applications are in to review them; they review them as they …

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