Complete application? Need some app process insights.

ocwaveoc

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Hi all fellow premed students.
I will be completing my prereqs this coming May and will be applying for med schools this June when the applications come out. However, I will be taking my first MCAT in August (Yeah, I know it's advisable to take it earlier. But, I don't have other choices at this point).

My questions are:
1) I know I can fill out the application, submit transcripts etc even before the MCAT is taken in August. But, what does it mean when I read people say "application was complete in such and such month"? Is an application complete when all transcripts, application and MCAT scores are submitted or when the secondaries are complete as well?

2) In order the expedite things, I'd like to have my letters of recommendations ready to be mailed when secondary requests come. Do some schools ask for secondaries even without seeing the MCAT scores?

3) June- fill out the application and submit transcripts.
Aug-MCAT
Oct-receive secondary requests and mail LORs out.
Am I missing anything in this timeline? Also, is there a way to expedite anything else....ie completing secondaries even before they are asked for?

Any insights will be appreciated.
 

NovemberWhiskey

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Hi all fellow premed students.
I will be completing my prereqs this coming May and will be applying for med schools this June when the applications come out. However, I will be taking my first MCAT in August (Yeah, I know it's advisable to take it earlier. But, I don't have other choices at this point).

My questions are:
1) I know I can fill out the application, submit transcripts etc even before the MCAT is taken in August. But, what does it mean when I read people say "application was complete in such and such month"? Is an application complete when all transcripts, application and MCAT scores are submitted or when the secondaries are complete as well?

2) In order the expedite things, I'd like to have my letters of recommendations ready to be mailed when secondary requests come. Do some schools ask for secondaries even without seeing the MCAT scores?

3) June- fill out the application and submit transcripts.
Aug-MCAT
Oct-receive secondary requests and mail LORs out.
Am I missing anything in this timeline? Also, is there a way to expedite anything else....ie completing secondaries even before they are asked for?

Any insights will be appreciated.

Your app is complete at a given school when they have everything. AMCAS, MCAT, LORs, 2ndary, Fee, etc. So you will not be complete (and therefore not get interviews) until they get your MCAT scores.

Most schools request a secondary from everyone, so yes you can fill the essays etc out before taking the MCAT/formally receiving 2ndary. The secondary questions will start popping up here on SDN in July or so. The exceptions are state schools, most of which screen, and Vanderbilt who only give secondary out with interview. There are more, but I don't know them off the top of my head.
 

gary5

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Submit your applications at the earliest dates and send your LORs at the earliest dates (June or whatever, I forget). Then take the August MCAT, then work on your secondaries full-time starting immediately after the MCAT. Try to get your secondary application to your top choice schools before they receive your MCAT scores. I forget whether or not schools wait for MCAT scores before they send out secondary applications. If your top choice schools do this, then get the questions from someone on SDN and write these essays before you receive the secondaries for those schools.

Anyway, my point is, do everything absolutely as early as possible. If you're slow, it'll cost you a year. I took the August MCAT, submitted everything as early as possible and got in. For my top choice school, I received my MCAT results before they did. I hand-delivered a copy and they accepted it, which put me in front of every other August test taker.
 
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ocwaveoc

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Hey thanks for the replies.
Gary5, am I allowed to send in the LORs in June even before getting the secondary requests and the MCAT? You were an Aug MCATer and got in. I'll model my approach after you since as some say find someone who's done what you want to do and model your plan after his.
Can I also simply ask the schools what they require from their secondaries before they even ask me to submit one and tell them that I want to be prepared?
Thanks.
 

tutelefrute

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You can also often find the secondaries on the schools' websites if you do a little research. It never hurts to send a secondary to a school before they officially email you the link.

In terms of rec letters, some schools will ask you NOT to submit anything until asked to do so, probably because they haven't created a file for you yet. But most schools will create your file as they start receiving your credentials. My advice is that you send in everything as early as possible so that the moment your MCAT score is available, your application is complete.
 
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