Applying to Med School
October 24, 2014

7 Days Until Med School Insider 2013!

Kaplan Test Prep will host our fourth annual Medical School Insider on Monday, April 29th at 8pm ET.  This is our biggest event of the year for pre-meds and you absolutely don’t want to miss it!

The insights revealed at #medInsider are incredible, they’ll really change the way you look at the admissions process!  Be sure to mark your calendar now for this year’s live streaming event. Save your spot by clicking here now!

A sneak peak from one of the questions last year:

Do medical schools have a cutoff for GPA and MCAT scores?

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November 24, 2014

Application Essentials V: Non-Medical Extracurriculars and Experience

There are many things to consider on your path to becoming an excellent physician: preparing for the MCAT (the current or the new MCAT 2015), nailing a 4.0 GPA both semesters, or writing a killer personal statement for that AMCAS application.

And then there’s the consideration of maintaining a personal and pre-med life balance: I’m planning on playing the piano more in this coming year.  Given the daily grind of medical school, it’s gone on the wayside for some time, but it’s always important to keep up with your life outside of medicine.  Which brings us to today’s …

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Applying to Med School
October 24, 2014

Medical School Admissions: Choosing Where To Apply, Part 2

Welcome back! In part 1 of our discussion on important factors to consider when choosing where you should apply to medical school, we reviewed some of the most commonly considered ones; location, career aspirations, and cost.  Today, we’re going to review two additional factors, curriculum and fit.  Curriculum and fit are two aspects of a medical school that most students do begin to consider or perhaps even fully understand before starting the interview process, but they can be just as important as the previous three we discussed.

Curriculum:

Medical school basic science curricula, across the board, are a lot more …

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Applying to Med School
October 24, 2014

Medical School Admissions: Choosing Where to Apply, Part 1

Chances are that if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already thinking about applying to medical school; what you may not have considered, however, is which schools you’ll be applying to. Students often being the admissions process with only a rough idea of the schools they’re interested in – or alternatively, plan to apply to nearly every school.

Talk to any current medical school applicant and they’ll tell you that even the process of applying to medical school can be expensive. Primary and secondary application fees, travel expenses, and interview attire add up to make the application process a …

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October 24, 2014

From the MCAT to Harvard Medical School: Dr. Ricky Grisson’s Journey

Oftentimes, we are asked about the performance of our past MCAT students; how they did on the test, where they went for medical school, and where they are today. Recently, we had the opportunity to talk with one of our many amazing Kaplan MCAT course alumni, Dr. Ricky Grisson, about where his journey in medicine has taken him and the role that Kaplan played along the way. 

1. What was your reaction to taking the MCAT for the first time?

Wow! I was surprised by the difficulty and really disappointed in myself. I performed poorly and felt really terrible …

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Pre-Med Life
October 24, 2014

The Medical School Gap Year Part III: How to talk about it

In Part I of this series we explored the most common reasons for taking a gap year. While everyone has their own reasons for the choice, one of your biggest concerns is likely going to be how to explain such a decision to admissions committees. However, your time away from school can actually be a great conversation point during your medical school interviews, and can help distinguish you from other candidates. While in college, students do many of the same things (research, leadership, volunteering), and while it’s necessary to fulfill your premed requirements it can often result in cookie-cutter …

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January 9, 2015

The Medical School Gap Year, Part II: What to do in your year off

In my last article we explored the idea of the medical school gap year and the various reasons why someone might or might not be inclined to delay the start of med school. Once you’ve chosen to take a year off, the next step is to decide what you will do with that time; there are many options each with its own pros and cons, so you’ll want to consider your own path carefully.

Important note: Regardless of your reasons for taking a year off, it is imperative that you do some medically-relevant activity while on your gap year – …

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Pre-Med Life
March 11, 2015

The Medical School Gap Year, Part I: Is it right for me?

With the application cycle coming up, you may have recently heard friends and medical students talk about taking a ‘gap year’ before heading to medical school. The rising average age of matriculating students over the past several decades suggests that it is increasingly common for students to take one or more years off before entering medical school. It’s important to remember that it is perfectly acceptable to take a gap year (or years!), and moreover, it can not only enhance your application to medical school but also help you gain a new perspective on life. However, you need to …

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Pre-Med Life
October 24, 2014

Getting into Medical School: Having well-rounded hobbies

Most medical school applicants tend to normalize towards a typical set of extracurricular activities; research, clinical experience, and volunteering activities are the standard and show up in abundance on applications. Applicants believe that a vital part of getting accepted is having these experiences, and that is largely true. Would it surprise you, though, to know that it was comic book collecting that was the one activity my medical school noticed most on my medical school application?

I had a strong background in research, significant clinical experiences, great community service, and lengthy periods of paid employment, but so did most …

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