Dr. Stalker

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If we have been complete at schools for a long time (say since July for all students that applied early on in the application cycle) what does it mean when your status is "complete and in review." If a school has reviewed your application in August and decided not to extend you an II, hold, or rejection, what do they do? Will they review it a few weeks later? Do they periodically just keep reviewing the old applications while new ones are coming?
 

avgn

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In review does not mean someone has already read it. It means it is ready to be reviewed. You or we have no idea of knowing if people have read it or voted on it or anything. There are thousands of apps to be read and we know from evidence that review does not proceed chronologically. Stop fussing over this, you have no option but to wait it out. Sorry man
 
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nwts

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It depends on the school. Some only say "in review" if they have yet to finish their initial review, and then put you in a separate "hold for re-review" status once you've had your initial review. Others say "in review" for everybody who is complete but has not yet received an II.
 

sovereign0

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Get used to that status. It's a kind of limbo, and at many schools you will either keep that status until you receive an interview (could be tomorrow, February, or never) or receive a rejection email at the very end of the cycle (so called "silent rejection").

It's not just you though, it's the universal "Your application is complete and in our giant pile. We may or may not interview at some point." status, so you are in good company.
 
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Dr. Stalker

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Ah, I see, thanks for all the responses. I guess since I was complete so early at all of the schools I applied to had gotten to my application, read it, and decided what to do and was waiting for a response.

If an application has been read in, say August, and the screeners were unsure what to do with it, will they visit it again in one month or something? @Goro @LizzyM @gyngyn
 

gyngyn

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Ah, I see, thanks for all the responses. I guess since I was complete so early at all of the schools I applied to had gotten to my application, read it, and decided what to do and was waiting for a response.

If an application has been read in, say August, and the screeners were unsure what to do with it, will they visit it again in one month or something? @Goro @LizzyM @gyngyn
It may have been screened into a stratum which is neither weak enough to immediately reject, nor strong enough to immediately interview.
 
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Dr. Stalker

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It may have been screened into a stratum which is neither weak enough to immediately reject, nor strong enough to immediately interview.
What do screeners look for when determining II? Are numbers top priority in that stage of the game?
 
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Dr. Stalker

Dr. Stalker

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In review does not mean someone has already read it. It means it is ready to be reviewed. You or we have no idea of knowing if people have read it or voted on it or anything. There are thousands of apps to be read and we know from evidence that review does not proceed chronologically. Stop fussing over this, you have no option but to wait it out. Sorry man
If applications are NOT reviewed chronologically, then what is the advantage in applying early...?
 

Doug Underhill

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There is no advantage to applying early without rolling admissions. With rolling admissions, you have the advantage of being in the pool for every applicant review session.
 

gonnif

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If applications are NOT reviewed chronologically, then what is the advantage in applying early...?
Rule 1: Take a Breath

Besides the finite number of interview slots, the finite number of incoming seats, the rolling admissions in filling seats, applying early does get you in on the enormous workflow of whittling down several thousand applications to several hundred for interviews to a hundred or so acceptees. You also do not know how each individual school does their processing or where you may fall into their system. Some schools may have a more indepth review by adcom staff to identify outstanding candidates, in-state/OOS, undergraduate alumni, children of alumni, recognized/known feeder schools, URM, or other features that warrant first processing. Your application may go to 1 reader or be split up to several readers. Perhaps they work by subcommittee for evaluation and recommendation to a full committee for II. All this review takes weeks. Lastly, students forget that August is still generally a slow month. Now that Labor day has come and gone, processing at all schools is at full strength.
 

avgn

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If applications are NOT reviewed chronologically, then what is the advantage in applying early...?
I think it's just to get your app into the pool as @gonnif mentioned. Maybe some schools do it chronologically, maybe other schools do a little bit in order and then jump around. But you are correct in that the SDN obsession with submitting on the first day, week, month, whatever, is overplayed, as is the case with SDN's many other beliefs. Moral I think is that we should all just rest easy! Find something to occupy your time so you don't go crazy :p
 
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gannicus89

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Kind of related to this topic- does anyone know how a "random review" works? Just guessing here, does it mean you can have your app completed as early as July but won't get pulled for a review for months due to a...lottery system? I don't understand why schools who do rolling admissions would go for something like this.
 
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Dr. Stalker

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Thanks @gonnif and @avgn, this explains a lot. I was under the impression that adcom reviews files as they come in, i.e. chronologically. It makes a lot of sense as to why they do not do that, and there's no way we can possibly figure out the nuances of the entire screening and II process. Best thing is to just wait around :)
 

gonnif

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I think it's just to get your app into the pool as @gonnif mentioned. Maybe some schools do it chronologically, maybe other schools do a little bit in order and then jump around. But you are correct in that the SDN obsession with submitting on the first day, week, month, whatever, is overplayed, as is the case with SDN's many other beliefs. Moral I think is that we should all just rest easy! Find something to occupy your time so you don't go crazy :p
The issue isnt so much submitting early as much as there is an expectation, assumption, or even entitlement of thus being reviewed and evaluated first. Additionally, applicants mostly fail to grasp the enormous, time consuming task that adcoms have to do in examining several thousand applications.
 
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It may have been screened into a stratum which is neither weak enough to immediately reject, nor strong enough to immediately interview.
Are stronger applicants given sooner interview dates?
 

gyngyn

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There is no advantage to applying early without rolling admissions. With rolling admissions, you have the advantage of being in the pool for every applicant review session.
There is still an advantage to an early application to "non-rolling" schools. Interview slots are used up fast.
 

gonnif

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There is no advantage to applying early without rolling admissions. With rolling admissions, you have the advantage of being in the pool for every applicant review session.
There is still an advantage to an early application to "non-rolling" schools. Interview slots are used up fast.
Whether there or not there are rolling admissions, the task of reviewing, evaluating, and ultimately deciding on candidates is a dynamic. rolling process. Adcoms do not have one massive meeting where they decide the fate of thousands of applications. It is done slowly over time, excluding many, keeping a few, and whittling down that possible pile until final decisions. In short, the process is always rolling; applicants just dont find out about it until the end
 
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gyngyn

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Whether there or not there are rolling admissions, the task of reviewing, evaluating, and ultimately deciding on candidates is a dynamic. rolling process. Adcoms do not have one massive meeting where they decide the fate of thousands of applications. It is done slowly over time, excluding many, keeping a few, and whittling down that possible pile until final decisions. In short, the process is always rolling; applicants just dont find out about it until the end
This is so true!
 

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gonnif

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Are stronger applicants given sooner interview dates?
They are at my school!
I was actually speechless and flabbergasted by this question as it seems to represent a lack of basic understanding on how this process works. Medical school admissions, by the numbers of applications is essentially a negative process. They are looking for ways to reduce the thousands of applications into several hundred for interviews and ultimately acceptees. Conversely, schools are always looker for strongest applicants to review first. The mistake that most applicants make is that "strong" means GPA and MCAT only. In the attached chart you will see what a recent AAMC survey of admissions offices, with 127 responding, rank as factors.
 

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Dr. Stalker

Dr. Stalker

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What I was trying to ask was:

Is it possible a student's application has been seen since they applied very early, and the screeners or adcom weren't sure what to do with it so they put it aside, and does this hypothetical "unsure pile of applications" receive frequent reviews by screeners or adcom members as more and more applications come in throughout the application cycle?
 

gyngyn

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What I was trying to ask was:

Is it possible a student's application has been seen since they applied very early, and the screeners or adcom weren't sure what to do with it so they put it aside, and does this hypothetical "unsure pile of applications" receive frequent reviews by screeners or adcom members as more and more applications come in throughout the application cycle?
The method of review varies by school.
I'm not familiar with any school using "unsure" as a classification. We tend toward numerical stratification. When (and if) they get to the stratum into which you have been screened you may be offered an interview, or rejected.
 
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