Seihai

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One thing that I was always curious about when I applied and still even now is how long AMCAS took to verify during previous cycles and if it was possible to predict when the latest possible date one could submit and be verified in time to be in the first batch of applications transmitted would be.

I wrote a script to automatically parse the AMCAS Twitter account (using the API in accordance with Twitter's TOS) and find out when applications were verified compared to when they were submitted for each cycle, and I've made some visualizations below.


2019:
2019_daysToVerify.png
2019_dateOfVerify.png



2018:
2018_daysToVerify.png
2018_dateOfVerify.png




For 2019: the last day apps were submitted that were verified prior to transmission was June 8, 2019.
For 2018: the last day apps were submitted that were verified prior to transmission was June 7, 2018.


Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions at all.
 
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Seihai

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Some caveats to the above:

1) AMCAS doesn't post on weekends or holidays, so this may make some days look like they jump. However, AMCAS likely doesn't review applications on these days either, so I think it's a fairly accurate representation of how long it takes to verify.​
2) Not every single day is represented in the data. What I mean is that, if AMCAS verified apps submitted on July 2 one day and then jumped to verifying apps submitted on July 6 the next day, the days between July 2 and July 6, for example, may not have actual data points. This was my reasoning for using a line graph (because it's not possible to tell if the apps submitted on days between those were verified on one day or another).​
3) The transmission time for 2019 and 2018 were at the end of June (June 28 and June 30, respectively). This cycle (2020) will have its transmission date delayed to July 10. At face value, this may imply the latest day you can submit this cycle could be later. However, every cycle is different (for example, in 2018 verification in June was delayed overall compared to 2019 due to difficulties with electronic transcripts at the beginning of the cycle).​
4) I only plotted the data from the day of first submission to the first day where AMCAS began verifying transcripts within one day of submission. Technically AMCAS tweets all the way to May 1st for every cycle, but data past September/October is generally just them reporting they verified all the applications submitted that day (or over the weekend).​
5) There are two graphs for every cycle.​
a) The first is a graph of the longest number of days it took to be verified for a given submission date. This does not necessarily mean everyone who submitted on that date was verified that many days later - for example, it's common that the first day of submissions could be verified as early as June 1 or as late as June 10 because they're continually being verified throughout that time. There is an orange line on this graph indicating the number of days remaining until transmission. If the blue line is below the orange line, the apps for that day were all verified prior to first transmission.​
b) The second is a graph of what the latest day to be verified was for a given day of submission. The same as above applies here - not every app submitted on a given date was verified on the date recorded on the graph - that is just the worst case scenario/the latest that an app on a given date was potentially verified. There is an orange line on this graph the actual date of transmission. If the blue line is below the orange line, the apps for that day were all verified prior to first transmission.​
 

gonnif

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Rule One: Take A Breath

This question comes up every year and every year I say the same thing. It is mostly meaningless. While you are likely to get a secondary sooner, it is unlikely to have any impact on when you are evaluated, if you get an II, etc.
1) AMCAS transmit applications to school in batch format. That is all applications on that day are transmitted together is no particular order
2) schools will screen and prioritize for evaluation based on academics and other factors. It normally takes 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) to get evaluated and reviewed for II
3) therefore rarely are applications considered in chronological order
4) your evaluation will not begin until all parts of your application (primary, secondary, mcat, LOR) are received.
 
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Rule One: Take A Breath

This question comes up every year and every year I say the same thing. It is mostly meaningless. While you are likely to get a secondary sooner, it is unlikely to have any impact on when you are evaluated, if you get an II, etc.
1) AMCAS transmit applications to school in batch format. That is all applications on that day are transmitted together is no particular order
2) schools will screen and prioritize for evaluation based on academics and other factors. It normally takes 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) to get evaluated and reviewed for II
3) therefore rarely are applications considered in chronological order
4) your evaluation will not begin until all parts of your application (primary, secondary, mcat, LOR) are received.
With all due respect, you really should consider modifying #4 this year.

MCATs were cancelled from 3/27 through 5/21, resuming on 5/29 and continuing right through the very end of September. A significant number of schools have publicly stated that they WILL begin an evaluation without MCAT scores this year, as an accommodation to those impacted, understanding that scores might not be available until the end of October. It is misleading to state that nothing is going to happen until that time when some schools (see CA) will send secondaries and even IIs without them this year.
 

jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
With all due respect, you really should consider modifying #4 this year.

MCATs were cancelled from 3/27 through 5/21, resuming on 5/29 and continuing right through the very end of September. A significant number of schools have publicly stated that they WILL begin an evaluation without MCAT scores this year, as an accommodation to those impacted, understanding that scores might not be available until the end of October. It is misleading to state that nothing is going to happen until that time when some schools (see CA) will send secondaries and even IIs without them this year.
It is worth noting, however, that ~50-60% of schools send out secondaries to every person who applies. Literally. It's a money-making business.
 
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It is worth noting, however, that ~50-60% of schools send out secondaries to every person who applies. Literally. It's a money-making business.
Yes, of course. I was only pointing out that people should not feel, this year, as though they are not going to be reviewed without MCAT scores, because at a significant number of schools, that is just not true. MCAT scores WILL be required before anyone is accepted, but people should not hold off on submitting applications just because their MCAT scores are going to be late this year.
 

jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
Yes, of course. I was only pointing out that people should not feel, this year, as though they are not going to be reviewed without MCAT scores, because at a significant number of schools, that is just not true. MCAT scores WILL be required before anyone is accepted, but people should not hold off on submitting applications just because their MCAT scores are going to be late this year.
Don't MCAT scores still have to be verified?
 

Seihai

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Rule One: Take A Breath

This question comes up every year and every year I say the same thing. It is mostly meaningless. While you are likely to get a secondary sooner, it is unlikely to have any impact on when you are evaluated, if you get an II, etc.
1) AMCAS transmit applications to school in batch format. That is all applications on that day are transmitted together is no particular order
2) schools will screen and prioritize for evaluation based on academics and other factors. It normally takes 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) to get evaluated and reviewed for II
3) therefore rarely are applications considered in chronological order
4) your evaluation will not begin until all parts of your application (primary, secondary, mcat, LOR) are received.
Fully agree - being in the first "batch" of applications transmitted is largely just something overblown in importance. Being verified and transmitted a few days after the "first batch" is not going to diminish your chances significantly. I can attest to the fact that schools don't even evaluate applications strictly in the order they were received.

The primary reason I made this and included that date of first transmission is to try to reassure people who are likely going to post on this forum terrified that they won't be able to submit first-day applications, especially this cycle.

I believe I've heard the general rule of thumb is to have all secondaries submitted by Labor Day. Assuming you want at least 2 weeks to finish your secondaries, that would make the latest time for you to be complete (primary-wise) and submitted would be the beginning of August.



With all due respect, you really should consider modifying #4 this year.

MCATs were cancelled from 3/27 through 5/21, resuming on 5/29 and continuing right through the very end of September. A significant number of schools have publicly stated that they WILL begin an evaluation without MCAT scores this year, as an accommodation to those impacted, understanding that scores might not be available until the end of October. It is misleading to state that nothing is going to happen until that time when some schools (see CA) will send secondaries and even IIs without them this year.
Frankly, I don't think this is really the case. What schools constitute as "evaluating" an application may mean simply deciding whether or not to send a secondary and then putting you on hold afterwards regardless of whether you complete the secondary until they get your score. Furthermore, getting a secondary is nothing to really be proud of - a significant number of schools will send secondaries to every person who submits a primary.

There's also other nuances to the process beyond just blanket "schools will evaluate you and consider you for interview without an MCAT score." For example, a school may try to evaluate people, but they will have to employ more stringent screens before doing so. This does not mean they won't eventually evaluate anyone, but they will likely be prioritizing people to evaluate based on their likelihood of getting a good MCAT score.

To clarify: even though many people who complete a secondary without already having an MCAT score do ultimately get an MCAT score, a significant enough number of people withdraw before completing their MCAT or get an uncompetitive score for a given school for it to be worth evaluating them all prior to getting an MCAT score. This means that they may be much more heavily weighing other factors and might be prioritizing review of people without MCAT scores based on those other factors (most likely GPA and other easily quantifiable numbers that correlate with MCAT). For those who aren't as competitive otherwise, they will likely be deprioritized or evaluated only after they do get an MCAT score.

Further, just because MCAT exams were delayed doesn't mean a score is going to evaluate people who have their score in October equally to people who have their score in, say, August. Someone who has their score and is complete by August is going to be a more easy target for interview invites, and schools will likely hold on sending interview invites to people who they aren't otherwise already sure about until they get the MCAT scores for those people. It's a significant investment to interview someone (even with virtual interviews), and schools don't want to waste interview slots on people who might wind up being uncompetitive due to having a poor score.

Making a blanket statement like "schools will evaluate you and invite you for interviews without an MCAT score" inspires false hope in people who think they won't be disadvantaged by not having a score until much later in the cycle. By all means, I don't think having a delayed score is going to impact people who do have their score by July or August, but not having a score until September or October is not going to be ideal for your application.
 

Seihai

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Don't MCAT scores still have to be verified?
AMCAS verification is not dependent on having an MCAT score. Your MCAT score will automatically be added to your application as soon as it is released to you, and you can be verified before you have an MCAT score (assuming you submit without the score).

The people who administer the MCAT also run AMCAS, so it would be strange if they had to verify their own score report.

The main thing included in verification is making sure your coursework entries and grades match your transcript, which is why you won't be put into the queue for verification until all of your transcripts are in.
 

jhmmd

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Seihai said:
AMCAS verification is not dependent on having an MCAT score. Your MCAT score will automatically be added to your application as soon as it is released to you. The people who administer the MCAT also run AMCAS, so it would be strange if they had to verify their own score report.
Gotcha
 
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Fully agree - being in the first "batch" of applications transmitted is largely just something overblown in importance. Being verified and transmitted a few days after the "first batch" is not going to diminish your chances significantly. I can attest to the fact that schools don't even evaluate applications strictly in the order they were received.

The primary reason I made this and included that date of first transmission is to try to reassure people who are likely going to post on this forum terrified that they won't be able to submit first-day applications, especially this cycle.

I believe I've heard the general rule of thumb is to have all secondaries submitted by Labor Day. Assuming you want at least 2 weeks to finish your secondaries, that would make the latest time for you to be complete (primary-wise) and submitted would be the beginning of August.





Frankly, I don't think this is really the case. What schools constitute as "evaluating" an application may mean simply deciding whether or not to send a secondary and then putting you on hold afterwards regardless of whether you complete the secondary until they get your score. Furthermore, getting a secondary is nothing to really be proud of - a significant number of schools will send secondaries to every person who submits a primary.

There's also other nuances to the process beyond just blanket "schools will evaluate you and consider you for interview without an MCAT score." For example, a school may try to evaluate people, but they will have to employ more stringent screens before doing so. This does not mean they won't eventually evaluate anyone, but they will likely be prioritizing people to evaluate based on their likelihood of getting a good MCAT score.

To clarify: even though many people who complete a secondary without already having an MCAT score do ultimately get an MCAT score, a significant enough number of people withdraw before completing their MCAT or get an uncompetitive score for a given school for it to be worth evaluating them all prior to getting an MCAT score. This means that they may be much more heavily weighing other factors and might be prioritizing review of people without MCAT scores based on those other factors (most likely GPA and other easily quantifiable numbers that correlate with MCAT). For those who aren't as competitive otherwise, they will likely be deprioritized or evaluated only after they do get an MCAT score.

Further, just because MCAT exams were delayed doesn't mean a score is going to evaluate people who have their score in October equally to people who have their score in, say, August. Someone who has their score and is complete by August is going to be a more easy target for interview invites, and schools will likely hold on sending interview invites to people who they aren't otherwise already sure about until they get the MCAT scores for those people. It's a significant investment to interview someone (even with virtual interviews), and schools don't want to waste interview slots on people who might wind up being uncompetitive due to having a poor score.

Making a blanket statement like "schools will evaluate you and invite you for interviews without an MCAT score" inspires false hope in people who think they won't be disadvantaged by not having a score until much later in the cycle. By all means, I don't think having a delayed score is going to impact people who do have their score by July or August, but not having a score until September or October is not going to be ideal for your application.
Of course, earlier is always better than later. That said, schools were always willing to accept MCAT scores through the end of the test year, which always ends in September. This year is different, for obvious reasons.

Schools are either saying one thing when they are going to do another, or people really will be evaluated this year without regard to whether or not they have a score available in July or August, because schools are not going to hold against an applicant the fact that an April exam couldn't be rescheduled until August. Time will tell -- I'm just going by what the schools are saying, and taking them at their word. By the way, all schools, such as TX schools, aren't saying this, so I don't what schools would have to gain by lying about this.
 
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Seihai

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What date of submission do you guys roughly estimate will result in an application still being sent out in the first batch, this cycle?
From my second post in the thread:
3) The transmission time for 2019 and 2018 were at the end of June (June 28 and June 30, respectively). This cycle (2020) will have its transmission date delayed to July 10. At face value, this may imply the latest day you can submit this cycle could be later. However, every cycle is different (for example, in 2018 verification in June was delayed overall compared to 2019 due to difficulties with electronic transcripts at the beginning of the cycle).

If you wanted a rough estimate, I would aim to submit by the end of the first week of June if you really want to be in the first batch, simply because I believe verification will be delayed this cycle (akin to how it was slightly delayed in 2018) due to COVID. However, being in the first batch isn't nearly as important as people make it out to be - it's just an arbitrary checkpoint that people like to grab onto because it usually corresponds with when schools start sending out secondaries (because schools don't see applications until they get that first batch).
 
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gonnif

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With all due respect, you really should consider modifying #4 this year.

MCATs were cancelled from 3/27 through 5/21, resuming on 5/29 and continuing right through the very end of September. A significant number of schools have publicly stated that they WILL begin an evaluation without MCAT scores this year, as an accommodation to those impacted, understanding that scores might not be available until the end of October. It is misleading to state that nothing is going to happen until that time when some schools (see CA) will send secondaries and even IIs without them this year.
The UCs joint statement notes that are basing secondary decisions on primary only and not waiting for MCAT (ie deciding to send a secondary or not). They make no mention of evaluation process. (see below)

https://medschool.ucsd.edu/admissions/PublishingImages/Pages/default/COVID 19 Joint Statement.pdf
MCAT Tests – We will accept applications from individuals who were unable to take the MCAT due to COVID-related test cancellations. For these candidates, we will base secondary application decisions on the information that is available to us at the time of the application. Assuming that MCAT testing resumes prior to October, we will require applicants to have taken the MCAT before we make admissions decisions for the Class of 2025. Accordingly, applicants should not delay applying simply because an MCAT score is not yet available.

Indeed, some of the UC's seem to imply that they are not sure how their process will change

https://forums.studentdoctor.net/th...ation-visualizations-for-past-cycles.1411849/
The situation is fluid, as the need for social-distancing and other impacts of COVID-19 may extend and force additional MCAT cancellations. We are not yet able to determine how this will impact our process overall, so we ask for your patience as we don't have all the answers yet and may need to adapt our policy to fit the situation to ensure an equitable review process for all applicants.

The issue with schools is with the resources (both time and staff) to evaluate and review applications. Without a major tool, such as MCAT, to trim applications, there is still no clear picture what schools will do. It will likely fall to GPA for prioritization in evaluations early in the cycle
 
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The UCs joint statement notes that are basing secondary decisions on primary only and not waiting for MCAT (ie deciding to send a secondary or not). They make no mention of evaluation process. (see below)

https://medschool.ucsd.edu/admissions/PublishingImages/Pages/default/COVID 19 Joint Statement.pdf
MCAT Tests – We will accept applications from individuals who were unable to take the MCAT due to COVID-related test cancellations. For these candidates, we will base secondary application decisions on the information that is available to us at the time of the application. Assuming that MCAT testing resumes prior to October, we will require applicants to have taken the MCAT before we make admissions decisions for the Class of 2025. Accordingly, applicants should not delay applying simply because an MCAT score is not yet available.

Indeed, some of the UC's seem to imply that they are not sure how their process will change

AMCAS Time to Verification Visualizations for Past Cycles
The situation is fluid, as the need for social-distancing and other impacts of COVID-19 may extend and force additional MCAT cancellations. We are not yet able to determine how this will impact our process overall, so we ask for your patience as we don't have all the answers yet and may need to adapt our policy to fit the situation to ensure an equitable review process for all applicants.

The issue with schools is with the resources (both time and staff) to evaluate and review applications. Without a major tool, such as MCAT, to trim applications, there is still no clear picture what schools will do. It will likely fall to GPA for prioritization in evaluations early in the cycle
But, they are explicitly saying "we will require applicants to have taken the MCAT before we make admissions decisions for the Class of 2025. Accordingly, applicants should not delay applying simply because an MCAT score is not yet available." They could easily substitute interview for admissions, and yet they don't do so, which implies that they WILL (or, at least might) make interview decisions before MCATs are available.

In any event, what's important is that they are saying not to wait for an MCAT before applying, which directly contradicts your advice that "your evaluation will not begin until all parts of your application (primary, secondary, mcat, LOR) are received." The UC statement is one data point from one set of schools -- I'm sure it will apply all around the country, since literally thousands of applicants who would have taken the test between late March and late May, and had scores available by July 10th, now won't have scores available until September or October. Schools are either going to accommodate them or go forward without them.

Plenty of adcoms opined in March that their applications weren't needed, it's a seller's market, and they could just wait a year. It's not playing out like that. AAMC has moved heaven and earth to get everyone tested. I doubt the schools aren't on board, and that it's all going to be for nothing because people who don't have scores available by the end of August are going to be left behind. Just saying. And that's without having the benefit of 50 years in the space. So far my uninformed premed instincts have been pretty good with respect to this.

The pool is going to be a helluva lot more shallow than normal without all these applicants, and the AAMC and its schools are doing everything in their power to include them. It's inconceivable that they will push evaluations back up to three months while waiting for this single, although certainly important data point, especially when they say they won't. I realize you won't believe it until you see it, since you don't have experience from the last pandemic to fall back on, but, remember, it was not that long ago that you thought there might not be a cycle at all this year because the world as we knew it was ending. The process is apparently significantly more flexible than you thought possible, even with all of your experience (or maybe your wealth of experience actually makes it more difficult for you to allow for the possibilities, because it "hasn't been done before"!).
 
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Seihai

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Bumping this because I keep seeing questions from neurotic premeds asking when they can submit.

It doesn't matter that much even to be in the first batch. It's overrated. If you get verified on July 20th and submit your secondaries by the end of that month, you'll be in the exact same shoes as someone who was verified on June 20th (getting their secondaries around July 10th) that submitted their secondaries by the same time.
 
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Myself and many others cannot verify our application until mid-June when spring quarter ends for our institutions and final transcripts can be sent to AMCAS. People that are able to verify now have been receiving notifications from AMCAS that it could take up to 8 weeks for verification, therefore for many of us who submit mid-June it could go latest mid-August before we are verified and able to submit. How bad is this? Would it be more favorable to submit now with winter transcripts given the potential delays in verification?
 
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Myself and many others cannot verify our application until mid-June when spring quarter ends for our institutions and final transcripts can be sent to AMCAS. People that are able to verify now have been receiving notifications from AMCAS that it could take up to 8 weeks for verification, therefore for many of us who submit mid-June it could go latest mid-August before we are verified and able to submit. How bad is this? Would it be more favorable to submit now with winter transcripts given the potential delays in verification?
I was just about to ask this. That same email also said they are currently "ahead of this timeline" so my guess is that submitting between now and mid-June wouldn't take the full eight weeks. And if it does... at least the delayed timeline is something that impacts all applicants. As others have said, this cycle is different and perhaps verification by late July/early August may even be considered early this time around.
 

HouseJC

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Myself and many others cannot verify our application until mid-June when spring quarter ends for our institutions and final transcripts can be sent to AMCAS. People that are able to verify now have been receiving notifications from AMCAS that it could take up to 8 weeks for verification, therefore for many of us who submit mid-June it could go latest mid-August before we are verified and able to submit. How bad is this? Would it be more favorable to submit now with winter transcripts given the potential delays in verification?
@ryeguy, @ilikekinase1, right now it is still "early" in the cycle; taking about 4-5 days to verify. Although the longer you wait to submit (but please proofread your application first), you'll join the queue and wait in line. I anticipate that as late June-early July comes around, the wait will be even longer (especially given the COVID-19 delays). As for your question of whether to submit your application first without your final grades, that depends on you. Are you going to enter your spring quarter grades onto the AMCAS application?
If no, then it's fine. Submit your application and transcripts ASAP to get in line.
If yes, then don't submit. Your app will not be verified until AMCAS receives ALL your transcripts. In the verification process, they will check your grade entries on AMCAS vs. those on your transcript. If there are grades missing (which will happen if you submit now without your spring grades, as I presume you don't know your grades yet), then the application will be returned to you anyways.
 

Seihai

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Myself and many others cannot verify our application until mid-June when spring quarter ends for our institutions and final transcripts can be sent to AMCAS. People that are able to verify now have been receiving notifications from AMCAS that it could take up to 8 weeks for verification, therefore for many of us who submit mid-June it could go latest mid-August before we are verified and able to submit. How bad is this? Would it be more favorable to submit now with winter transcripts given the potential delays in verification?
They say "up to 8 weeks" to give themselves leeway should something unexpected happen (for example, the protests did delay things a bit at their main address). In past cycles, they have said that apps could take up to 6 weeks to be verified; that does not mean that every app will be verified at the 6 week mark. Practically, it is unlikely that they'll come close to their ceiling except at the peak of the cycle, which has historically happened in July.
 
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Hi, I have a random question, it may be dumb, but why is it important to submit secondaries early for someone who hasn't taken the MCAT yet? I'm taking my MCAT mid August which means my medical school application won't be marked "complete" nor would they start reviewing my app until scores are received ~sept 1 I have received a few secondaries so far and my application is verified but I don't get why I shouldn't wait till after the mcat to write/submit my secondaries.
 
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