April 9, 2015

Preparing Your Medical School Application

For every MD program in the United States (except for those in Texas), the medical school application is completed through the Association of American Medical Colleges’ AMCAS system. Much like the common app, AMCAS serves as a unified primary application that is submitted to every school. In turn, these schools will then send you a personalized secondary application for you to fill out, usually consisting of essay questions.

Although AMCAS puts out an excellent guide on how to fill out the AMCAS, we recently wrote an article walking you through each section of the medical school application. Today, …

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March 15, 2015

Tips For Preparing Your Medical School AMCAS Application

Through Kaplan’s exclusive, national partnership with the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), we will be providing a series of personal stories from AMSA leaders about their premedical experience and journey to medical school.

Stefanie Smith: University of Missouri


The road to medical school is long, and once you finally get to the point of applying, it can be a relief. And then you log into the AMCAS application, and all your fears come racing back. It is a very daunting application, if you’re not properly prepared for it.

Application Overview

The first few sections of the application …

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December 22, 2014

How to Plan Your Medical School Application Timeline

You might think that applying to medical school is pretty much the same as applying to college. Sure, the basic idea is the same, but the process can actually be much more complicated. That’s why it’s a good idea to start by setting up a medical school application timeline so you hit all the right points at just the right time.

While there is no wrong time in your life to go to med school, that doesn’t mean there’s not a best time of the year to apply.

When is it too late to take the MCAT?

Ideally, you should …

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February 3, 2015

Med School Letters of Recommendation, Part 2

It’s a well known fact that med school letters of recommendation (LORs) are an important part of your 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.


Set Expectations for your Letter Writers

As soon as possible, and in person, ask each of your potential writers if they are willing to submit a great letter of recommendation …

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April 13, 2015

Application Essentials VI: Letters of Recommendation

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

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:

1. What’s a committee letter?

While you’ll …

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Applying to Med School
January 20, 2015

Reapplying To Medical School

By Carleen Eaton, M.D.

If you are reapplying to medical school this cycle for the second (or third) time, 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 be the best …

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Applying to Med School
November 29, 2011

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 letters of recommendation are …

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