Seriously. Armybound's sad, upsetting, woe-filled story convinced me to ask the med schools flat out whether there were any problems with my LORs.I've had trouble and found out that I had a bad LOR.
You should continue to try to get a hold of schools about reviewing your application. If email isn't working, give them a call. Get a hold of the Dean if you have to. You really need to find out what isn't good about your application, because your numbers are strong.
bottom line: you need to work on your interviewing/personality/personablenessI've got some serious trouble regarding my application. Anyone else have someone write a bad letter of recommendation?
I've gotten interviews at almost all of the schools I applied to, and some of them are quite good. I have volunteer and medical experience (I'm an EMT). I also work full time as a researcher. I received a 35 on my MCAT with a 3.9 GPA. I've also been told by two of my interviewers that my personal statement was outstanding and stood out above the rest.
However, I keep getting waitlisted and rejected. I used to think it was my interview. I mean, I have had one or two poor interviews (which did not lead to rejections), but most of them have actually been okay. I've been contacting the schools, and none of them have pointed out any weaknesses. I was told that my interviews were fine while still having room for improvement.
One school even said they would offer advice to the applicants during the cycle, but they will not respond to any of my emails for some reason. I feel blacklisted.
I'm starting to think it's one of my LORs. I used the same letters this year and last with the same results. (Though my application is much stronger this year) They are from people I trust, and I know that two of them were shocked I was not admitted last year.
I did not know one of them very well though. I was not a natural science major (humanaties, actually), but I needed a letter of recommendation from a natural science professor. It was known to be a very hard class at my college, and I was getting 120% on some of the tests after the curve. (some averages were 40/100) Since he didn't know me, I simply asked him to talk about my ability in the natural sciences. Reasonable enough, right? I really didn't know any of my natural science professors well. At least none who were eloquent writers.
I was outright rejected by two schools pre-interview, and one of those I did not meet the prerequisites (they had changed). The others only came after the interviews which suposedly went ok. Why is it that all of these schools are interviewing me and then finding something wrong post interview. Unless I'm having poor interviews at all of the schools, and they're lying to me.
If I don't get admitted to a school, I'll just move on. The thing is, I'm really upset because I've spent about $12,000 dollars on the entire process (travel, MCAT, secondary fees) and I really don't have a lot of money. That's four times more than what my car is worth! I'm almost to the point now where I want to cancel the rest of my interviews this year to save money wasted on travel.
Has anyone ever been in a similar situation? I really can't believe one of those letters would be bad though. There's really not a lot of bad things to say about me. I have flaws, but maybe someone was just being ultra critical without realizing the reprecussions of it. (You know, trying to provide an honest evaluation but ultimately talking about a disproportinate amount of negatives. I know I've done that on evaluations)
some schools don't read LORs until after the interviews.bottom line: you need to work on your interviewing/personality/personableness
you are just trying to find someone else to blame but if you in fact did have a bad LOR you wouldn't have gotten interviews at almost every school you applied to!! if your best interviews have been "ok" then that right there is your problem. from what i've seen, once you get to an interview you basically have almost a 50% chance of eventually getting in and outright rejections are very rare and are reserved for those who severly underwhelmed them. Obviously on paper you are just fine because you are getting interview invites. stop trying to blame someone else and do some introspection
yup. I was told by our school's adcom that basically every letter makes the student look like s/he walks on water. When they receive a less strong/neutral letter it stands out as a negative against the student.On a more serious note, a bad LOR doesn't necessarily have to say a person's a cheater. It can just be a simple reservation or neutral/slightly negative comment that makes it a bad LOR.
I would bomb these schools with LOIs and update letters this spring. Show that you're interested and hope for the best.Some closure would definitely be nice. I probably won't find it until May 15th.
Yeah, I'm still waitlisted (or in the rolling admissions process - same thing) at 6 universities. Realistically, the odds aren't bad, but I just have a feeling that something's wrong. If that's the case, I could be waitlisted at 20 and it wouldn't matter.
I haven't dismissed the fact that it's my interviews. I haven't dismissed the fact that it's anything. I just think it's unusual to have had 6+ bad interviews and faulty who tell me my interview skills aren't bad. I'm not 100% certain.
Oh well, it'll work out or I'll move on. Again, thanks for the opinions guys.
What I thought when I read this was, "well that's just a euphemism for 'bad interview'." But I don't know if what you wrote is exactly what you were told and maybe the interview isn't your problem. I will say this, though, I doubt anyone is going to come right out and tell you "wow, you're a cr*ppy interviewee".I was told that my interviews were fine while still having room for improvement.
Many letter writers will balance out their praise with some criticism. This is not unexpected by adcoms and so I doubt that this would cause any problems.Thanks for the advice guys. I really don't think someone intentionally wrote a bad letter. I'm just afraid that they tried to write a great letter by analyzing my strengths and weaknesses. Unlike grad school, it seems that any flaw, or even a neutral letter, can be a death sentence in the admissions process. If they thought it would be a good idea to write three strengths and three weaknesses for example, that might seem like a good idea to them, but it would show a disproportionate amount of weaknesses to the committee.
This is true. When speaking with advisors, they'll almost always speak in euphemisms. It's up to you to break down what they're saying, probe when necessary, and listen for hesitation in their answers.What I thought when I read this was, "well that's just a euphemism for 'bad interview'." But I don't know if what you wrote is exactly what you were told and maybe the interview isn't your problem. I will say this, though, I doubt anyone is going to come right out and tell you "wow, you're a cr*ppy interviewee".
Good luck. Hope you find out what's going on.
I agree with this - it sounds like the OP applied to too few schools (13), or said differently, not enough schools outside of the Top 20 to 25...the competition at these schools is fierce, and the OP hasn't exactly done badly this cycle with only one outright rejection and 5 waitlists...Many letter writers will balance out their praise with some criticism. This is not unexpected by adcoms and so I doubt that this would cause any problems.
I'm still convinced that what you're seeing is the product of applying to relatively few schools; 13 is not that many. You'll see from outstanding profiles by others on SDN that they were placed on waitlists (and still are on those waitlists) and were rejected from others.
You were NOT soundly rejected, which gives you hope at some schools. The narrow list of schools and any number of random variables that plague us all in the application cycle are likely to blame.
I would calm down by doing whatever it is you do (ER, etc.) and not be as amazingly critical of yourself as you're being.
Being so negative and fixating on things you have no control over is not a pattern that you want to fall into, my friend.
First, the cycle isn't over yet and he has the potential to get off all of those waitlists (maybe--depends on the schools).I don't think 13 is that small a number if you have a strong application (which the OP seems to have on paper at least). And I think the fact that he has that many interviews is evidence that he applied broadly. No one should need 6+ interviews to get in.