spector0

5+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2012
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Psychology Student
Last year APPIC moved to the standardized reference template. While it (from what I hear) was a disaster, it seems this year they are continuing with that format.

My questions are as follows, and may be only interpretive in nature:

The section instructions state that "Your reference is required to supply their recommendation by using the “Standardized Reference Form for the AAPI." Does is apply to all references?

Also, how many references should I aim for?

"The standard requirement is to have at least 2 Standardized Reference Forms; however, you can list additional referees if desired. Only four Standardized Reference Forms may be attached per site."

Are my bounds then 2-4, or am I seriously overthinking this and merely getting hung up on language?
 

SLB-CO

2+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2015
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I don't think it was that terrible terrible. The thing many people were caught up on is that writers had to name 'areas of growth' which were interpreted by those of us who are anxious as 'things I'm doing bad now'. But supposedly they were helpful for sites because they do indeed want to know why you would benefit from training there... I don't know what the thoughts were from the internship application reviewers' side - that is solely based on what I felt and heard as an applicant.

That said - Most sites require 3 letters of rec; it says the number in their brochures. I was told to never attach more than 3 if they request 3. You can choose which letters go to which sites, so I asked my 4 clinical supervisors and my advisor to be references. I sent my advisor's letter to all sites; I chose the clinical supervisors' letters based on how the setting I worked in most matched the setting I was applying to. It also made me feel better to have letters in the system as back-ups in case someone dropped the ball and submitted their letter late (which has happened to other students in my program). Good luck! :)
 
Apr 11, 2012
450
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Psychologist
I actually thought the form was absolutely terrible, because to answer all the questions involved having to write like 4 pages (this is from the perspective of a faculty member who had to write them). APPIC has changed the format this year based on a LOT of feedback from different training councils, and it seems more reasonable, plus they've restricted the page limit this year.

Otherwise agreed with the previous comments--3 is typical, 4 max per site, and all of the reference letters need to be in the standardized letter format (the new one).
 
Nov 4, 2015
266
223
Status
Psychologist
They've been using the standardized form in Canada for years, even though the switch was only last year for US programs. I imagine it makes people grumpy to have to rewrite a more standard letter to fit the template, but I think the goal was to get more usable data out of the references - as opposed to just receiving 99% letters that say the student is amazing and wonderful and would be great at every single site ever. It was recommended to me to send my referees some examples for each section from the time I worked with them to help them - so if you worked with a client who had an interestingly diverse background, remind them of that so they can use that example for your diversity experience, or if you wrote X neuropsych assessment reports, remind them of that info. It's not really too terrible.

And yes, most sites want 3, some will take more or less but don't send more unless they specifically ask for it. All using the same form. Your DCT has to submit something brief on your behalf about your progress and general readiness for internship, and I believe that's a different format, but you don't have to worry too much about that since, ostensibly, your DCT knows and approves of you applying this cycle.

Good luck, OP!
 

ClinicalTears

2+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2015
101
75
Status
Psychology Student
Applies to all references

Aim for four

Also, be prepared to write them all. Lol. I had to last year.
 

SLB-CO

2+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2015
127
96
Applies to all references

Aim for four

Also, be prepared to write them all. Lol. I had to last year.
Seriously? I didn't realize that happened so often. I provided my CV, internship and career goals, and what I felt I thought the reviewer could uniquely speak to for each of mine, but I never even saw the letters (we waive our right to them, no?) save for a couple paragraphs emailed to me from certain references...
 

stw2010

7+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2010
71
60
Status
Psychology Student
Applies to all references

Aim for four

Also, be prepared to write them all. Lol. I had to last year.
Granted I applied the year before the standardized template was used -- but the most letters of rec (and which almost all the sites asked for) was 3 letters of rec. I applied to mostly children's hospitals and academic medical centers. Not sure if that made a difference. Best of luck!
 

ClinicalTears

2+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2015
101
75
Status
Psychology Student
Granted I applied the year before the standardized template was used -- but the most letters of rec (and which almost all the sites asked for) was 3 letters of rec. I applied to mostly children's hospitals and academic medical centers. Not sure if that made a difference. Best of luck!
Most, if not all sites, require three.

I aimed for four because sometimes (rarely) things pop up and your writers cannot get the letters done. Life gets in the way.
 
Nov 4, 2015
266
223
Status
Psychologist
Most, if not all sites, require three.

I aimed for four because sometimes (rarely) things pop up and your writers cannot get the letters done. Life gets in the way.
All my sites required three, but in retrospect asking 4 people would have been helpful. My first application was due around 2 PM in my time zone on a Friday, and my third letter writer hadn't uploaded his letter by the night before. I called him on his cell around 11 AM Friday morning, and he was clearly in a coffee shop, "Oh yes, I know that's due today, working on it is my top priority." OMG WHAT HOW HAVE YOU NOT WRITTEN IT YET PANIC PANIC PANIC. Those few hours were spent frantically refreshing the email app on my phone over and over until he finally submitted it (thankfully, before the deadline, and with no technical glitches). Honestly the most stressful part of applying to internship.
 

Kadhir

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2015
218
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Psychology Student
Another reason to ask four people is that depending on the particular site, you might want want to include one faculty member's letter over another. I did not see any benefits in doing this for myself, but it's one strategy.
 

AcronymAllergy

Neuropsychologist
Moderator
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7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
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I wasn't a fan of the rec letter forms last year just given how they were formatted, which made them awkward to read through. I appreciate the idea, though, and hope it's better this time around.

And yes, as has been said, the form is for all rec letters, and you should aim for at least three references.