August MCAT takers expand the application pool this year?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Hopkins2010, Jul 11, 2001.

  1. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    I'm thinking that the application pool this year will effectively be much larger than previous years due to the delays by AMCAS.

    There will probably be almost no penalty for taking the August MCAT this year, which should significantly increase the number of people (during a single time frame) that the med schools are considering.

    When I say penalty, I know theres no concrete way to assess it, but generally speaking in previous years schools would delay the process for those who took the August MCAT and wait for their scores to come in. By the time that usually happens, there are fewer spots in the med school class so their chances are somewhat reduced since most schools use rolling admissions.

    Anybody care to speculate on how many people this year will fit the following:

    1) Taking the August MCAT
    2) First time to take the MCAT
    3) Applying for 2002

    It is these applicants who will make the market more crowded relative to previous years.

    Just food for thought.
     
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  3. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    I will be the one who fits your three criteria.

    u too baylor?
     
  4. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    legi2000,

    No actually I took the MCAT in August 99, so my MCATs are at the cutoff level for most schools as far as accepting MCATs more than 3 years old.

    Good luck, looks like you picked the right year to take the August test. :D
     
  5. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    thanks. Good luck in your MD/PhD applications!

    ;)
     
  6. 4 Ever

    4 Ever Senior Member

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    Add me to that list that falls into all 3 of those criteria that you listed... In a way I suppose it gives me a bit more of a chance to get in and lord knows, everyone would like to increase their chances in any way possible...
     
  7. gower

    gower 1K Member

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    The AMCAS application fiasco may have put things beind schedule, but when it gets straightened out the completed delayed early applications with April scores are likely to be looked at first. The AMCAS problem did not delay the normal MCAT test dates. It may string out interviews and acceptances later than usual. In a word (okay, more than a word), the entire application process will have been displaced as a unit. First come, first served. Late testers should still be at the end of the line.
     
  8. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    I agree completely. I don't believe fewer individuals with prior test scores will be applying becuase the AMCAS application has been delayed.

     
  9. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

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    Granted, this is just my opinion, but...

    I really don't think the 4 week lag in AMCAS submissions getting to med schools is going to "help out" the August test takers. For those submitting AMCAS apps with MCAT scores (i.e., not waiting on the August 2001 scores), they will receive secondaries soon and theoretically have completed files by late August-early Sept (in contrast to other years where people applying on June 1 would have completed apps by late July-early August). Once their files are completed and reviewed, they could receive interview offers in late Sept or early October -- and then be on campuses interviewing in late October (depending on the school).

    The timing I observed with my applications was this: you receive secondaries in a random fashion -- some come very quickly, others take a long time (this also depends on whether the school screens for secondaries). Once the application was "complete" (e.g., AMCAS, secondary, and letters of rec), it took approximately one month to receive an interview offer, if you were going to get one (this is in most cases). Once you got the interview offer, you had to schedule a date -- usually about a month in advance. (Again, however, it depends on the school -- some call/write you and let you choose a good date, others give you dates to choose from, and still others only give you one day and tell you not to change it.) Once you interview, it takes anywhere from one month to several months to receive a response.

    Compare this with people taking the August '01 MCAT -- even if they complete the secondaries and send in their letters of rec at schools that send 2ndaries to everyone, the results of the MCAT will not be transmitted until late October (as we all know quite painfully, it takes at least 45 days and closer to 2 months for the scores to be transmitted). This means their files will not be reviewed for interview slots (in most cases) until November and that they won't receive interview offers until late November. With the usual 1 month lag between the time of receiving an interview offer and actually arriving for it, this means the August test takers will not be interviewing until mid-December or January.

    So, while the October interviewees are awaiting admissions decisions, the August '01 test takers will be waiting for interview offers.

    Again, this all depends on the strength of each individual's application. Some August test takers may be more qualified than people applying in June -- as a result, they will end up getting an interview and receiving an acceptance over someone who applied earlier. I guess the other thing to keep in mind is that medical schools interview over several months and generate waitlists for a reason -- they want to see the entire applicant pool and pick up the "strongest" or "best" applicants throughout the cycle, instead of grabbing the first 150 or so that seem good to them.

    I know I've contradicted myself a few times in this, but that's how med school admissions cycles go. So, I guess the bottom line is that even if more people apply because of a perceived "leveling of the playing field," it will only assist those who are exceedingly strong candidates. Those who would have benefited from applying in June will not get much of a "boost" from the mishaps with AMCAS.

    Just thought I'd thrown in my thoughts. Feel free to point out weaknesses in my argument, as I am sure there are a few. ;) Good luck to everyone!
     
  10. 12R34Y

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    I agree with BeckyG and Gower.....I think first come first served still applies.

    later
     
  11. jordews

    jordews Senior Member

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    I don't know.. It seems to me that from everything I've read that even ad comms are saying that the timetable is going to be pushed back. This would push Becky's timeline back a little. Usually by now, schools already have a number of AMCAS applications to sort through. But this year, no AMCAS appplications have even been submitted to schools. So especially for schools that screen for secondaires, this is going to push their timeline way back. I'd be willing to speculate that interviews won't be granted to anyone until october at the earliest, and by this time the august test scores will be rolling in, and going to schools. In my opinion this would give the august test takers somewhat of an advantage over previous years, if they have everything else turned in and theyre just waiting on their scores. I just think less spots will have been given out before the august test takers are being considered. Just my opinion.
     
  12. mike_D

    mike_D Member

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    Let's go back to what Becky said and think about this logically. There will definintely be suitable applicants applying with August MCAT scores. As Becky said, that is one reason for wait-lists (i.e.-med schools know more apps are coming!!) I will admit that there is a SMALL advantage to applying early with April MCAT scores. However, the only disadvantage I see is to applicants with sub-par stats applying late. It is NOT first come first serve in ALL cases. Many, many people make this a bigger deal than necessary. Bottom line---if you have what it takes to enter med school, application time is not a factor (unless of course you apply too close to or after a school's deadline).
     
  13. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    One question, if med schools want to get the best people throughout the entire process, why do so many of them use rolling admissions? It seems to me as if their purpose would be better served to NOT use rolling admissions.

    I see BeckyGs point. However, I am betting that this process is going to be delayed further than you are guessing. Remember, there have been delays with just about every step of the way. I think its unlikely that all of a sudden everythign will click into place and the process will go back to a normal rhythm. I hope it does, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.

    We know that there are bugs in the software that AMCAS is using to download the apps to the schools. The real question is, has AMCAS been working on that the WHOLE TIME while they have been debugging the web based app, or are they JUST NOW starting to address the problem? My gut instinct says that the second scenario is what is playing out right now. Given that, I think the delays will be more than just a few weeks more.

    Hope I'm wrong, but nothing that AMCAS has done so far has been reassuring to me.
     

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