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do schools REALLY track secondary turnaround times?

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shoopshoop

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pretty much what the question says - started working mid july, stupidly didnt prewrite have some of my top choices sitting at around 4 weeks. how screwed am i for getting into these places?

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No, adcom members likely are never aware of your turnaround time, date, etc nor does it have any impact in their decision making. Adcom staff, who organize and manage the application files, sending/parsing them out to readers, scheduling interviews, etc mostly use the turn around "date" in order to workflow of the thousands of applications that are coming in. The delay will only impact/effect you from the limited number of interview slots and pushing you further into the cycle. Likely that has a small, if any impact at this date.

this makes me feel so better! i have heard adcoms, i believe @gyngyn, mention his school does and i am freaking out about not being timely.
 
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this makes me feel so better! i have heard adcoms, i believe @gyngyn, mention his school does and i am freaking out about not being timely.
Relax, I just make a mental note that other secondaries were a higher priority for a particular applicant. This is usually a better strategy for many applicants!
 
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Relax, I just make a mental note that other secondaries were a higher priority for a particular applicant. This is usually a better a strategy for many applicants!
I've been having a lot of stuff thrown at me the last two months (burned out from the MCAT early July, sick all through mid July, then packing and moving the next week, so I didn't get nearly as much prewriting done as I wanted.. then had a really intense course fitting an 8-week course into three weeks for Aug that just finished... and I've been doing job applications on top of all this). I was verified Aug 2 and I added all of my schools then (only added one when I submitted since I was waiting for my MCAT score)... this means I got about 20 secondaries all at once. The long and short of it is I have a several I've been sitting on since then because I've been busy, been waiting to hear back from someone who might be offering me a job (which would look nice on the app), and also because I'm anal (maybe too anal?) about editing the crap out of what I have written already. I've thrown every prompt into one word doc where I do prompts as I get ideas and so I think I'm going to end up with a situation where I submit every app to most every school all on one day around the 2-3 week mark... Do you think this could give every school the impression that someone else is my first choice?

Also, do late letters of rec factor into your decision time in terms of the secondary being "complete"? I have 2 out of 6 letter writers who have been dragging their feet since May. They SHOULD have them in by the end of August but I'm not 100%.
 
I've thrown every prompt into one word doc where I do prompts as I get ideas and so I think I'm going to end up with a situation where I submit every app to most every school all on one day around the 2-3 week mark... Do you think this could give every school the impression that someone else is my first choice?

Also, do late letters of rec factor into your decision time in terms of the secondary being "complete"? I have 2 out of 6 letter writers who have been dragging their feet since May. They SHOULD have them in by the end of August but I'm not 100%.
At my school you are not complete until all required documents have been submitted.
I doubt most places even notice the lag time between releasing secondaries and their return as long as they come in well before the deadline.
 
Yah I have just been doing them mostly in the order I received them, but after about 18 I have gotten somewhat burned out. Very hard to give them the full mental attention required when you only have a few hours of a few days after a full work day to write them. I did feel pretty stupid about not even reading some for 2-3 weeks only to discover that they took about 45 seconds to complete :smack:
 
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I've been having a lot of stuff thrown at me the last two months (burned out from the MCAT early July, sick all through mid July, then packing and moving the next week, so I didn't get nearly as much prewriting done as I wanted.. then had a really intense course fitting an 8-week course into three weeks for Aug that just finished... and I've been doing job applications on top of all this). I was verified Aug 2 and I added all of my schools then (only added one when I submitted since I was waiting for my MCAT score)... this means I got about 20 secondaries all at once. The long and short of it is I have a several I've been sitting on since then because I've been busy, been waiting to hear back from someone who might be offering me a job (which would look nice on the app), and also because I'm anal (maybe too anal?) about editing the crap out of what I have written already. I've thrown every prompt into one word doc where I do prompts as I get ideas and so I think I'm going to end up with a situation where I submit every app to most every school all on one day around the 2-3 week mark... Do you think this could give every school the impression that someone else is my first choice?

Also, do late letters of rec factor into your decision time in terms of the secondary being "complete"? I have 2 out of 6 letter writers who have been dragging their feet since May. They SHOULD have them in by the end of August but I'm not 100%.
You should append that entire explanation verbatim onto the end of all your secondaries.

Or never speak of it again because no one gives a ****. Submit them when they're done.
 
Complete means primary, secondary, MCAT, and LOR/LOE are all present in the file. Since schools deal with thousands of applications, they only want to review applications once for each step. So they mostly will not review your application until all those pieces are present.

Is it possible though to get an II without any LORs in?
 
Is it possible though to get an II without any LORs in?
There are states required by statute to interview some (large) proportion of IS applicants. I would probably send out II's just because it would fulfill this requirement.
 
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Yah I have just been doing them mostly in the order I received them, but after about 18 I have gotten somewhat burned out. Very hard to give them the full mental attention required when you only have a few hours of a few days after a full work day to write them. I did feel pretty stupid about not even reading some for 2-3 weeks only to discover that they took about 45 seconds to complete :smack:

That is the WORST :bang:Did that a few times!!
 
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I had all of mine (that didn't have hard deadlines) for a while because I had a lagging LOR and I don't think it affected much (other than that I was complete much later than I intended). Obviously @gyngyn knows better than I do, but I would say a quality secondary beats a quick turnaround secondary any day.
 
I had all of mine (that didn't have hard deadlines) for a while because I had a lagging LOR and I don't think it affected much (other than that I was complete much later than I intended). Obviously @gyngyn knows better than I do, but I would say a quality secondary beats a quick turnaround secondary any day.

Absolutely.
 
Complete means primary, secondary, MCAT, and LOR/LOE are all present in the file. Since schools deal with thousands of applications, they only want to review applications once for each step. So they mostly will not review your application until all those pieces are present.

Just to refresh on timeline reality:

AMCAS doesnt start transmitting until July 1st (though some schools have secondaries sent to contact info upon submission to AMCAS)
Most Primary Apps are verified and transmitted mid July thru late August
Most adcoms dont start meeting for review until at least mid-August, more likely September (though adcom staff may be doing early reviews).
Submitting Primary Application June is Early, July Medium, August Late
Having Primary verified and transmitted to school by end of August is normal speed
Having Secondary and all LORs complete to school by end of September is normal speed, by end of October is about late.

Getting primary in early does matter because of all the other items that follow it. But applicants often see the beginning and not understanding how it flows from there.
Hey, I know this is a very old thread but how would you say the timeline holds today? What is the normal speed for having secondaries and LORs done?
 
@gonnif What factors are involved in deciding an applicant's initial strength/priority, and thus their place in the "queue"?
 
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