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Do all schools preferentially invite stronger candidates to interview earlier or do some schools review apps in a completely chronological or random order? Basically, do all school stratify apps to some extent?
 
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I would believe most if not all schools filter apps and stratify for certain aspects to offer competitive applicants an earlier interview. Schools wouldn't spend millions in research and recruitment if there wasn't some method to the madness. We can't forget they are a business, and they make their money by graduating doctors who will pass boards.
 
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they are a business
Louder for the people who think med schools are benevolent orgs who have an applicant’s best interest in mind.

Anyways, my crazy tinfoil hat theory is that many schools stratify by running your app through an algorithm and assign points based on the numbers and info you enter and also for “buzz words”, or they have a set of screeners who don’t necessarily review your whole app but assign points to certain parts. Sum the points and that decides where in the pile you are at. Some form or another of that. You can even throw in a dash of chronology by have A-tier, B-tier, C-tier piles and then reviewing each pile in chronological order.
 
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Do all schools preferentially invite stronger candidates to interview earlier or do some schools review apps in a completely chronological or random order? Basically, do all school stratify apps to some extent?
What do you think?? What would you do? Risk losing stronger applicants to other schools in order to adhere to a first come, first served methodology?

Random order???? LOL!! :) Of course they stratify -- the million dollar question is how, because there are a gazillion different ways to do so, but yes, they all do it. Go on every single school specific thread and you will find examples of people receiving all kinds of outcomes - IIs, Rs, As, Holds, WLs - out of chronological order. Only the very naive believe it is random, although how they are stratified is a mystery to those of us not on an adcom.
 
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gonnif

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Louder for the people who think med schools are benevolent orgs who have an applicant’s best interest in mind.

Anyways, my crazy tinfoil hat theory is that many schools stratify by running your app through an algorithm and assign points based on the numbers and info you enter and also for “buzz words”, or they have a set of screeners who don’t necessarily review your whole app but assign points to certain parts. Sum the points and that decides where in the pile you are at. Some form or another of that. You can even throw in a dash of chronology by have A-tier, B-tier, C-tier piles and then reviewing each pile in chronological order.

Most schools do something along these lines. And the classification is dynamic so I more and "better" apps come in, it can push earlier submitted apps down in the order
 
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gonnif

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What do you think?? What would you do? Risk losing stronger applicants to other schools in order to adhere to a first come, first served methodology?

Random order???? LOL!! :) Of course they stratify -- the million dollar question is how, because there are a gazillion different ways to do so, but yes, they all do it. Go on every single school specific thread and you will find examples of people receiving all kinds of outcomes - IIs, Rs, As, Holds, WLs - out of chronological order. Only the very naive believe it is random, although how they are stratified is a mystery to those of us not on an adcom.

I call it the "black box of admissions"
 
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gonnif

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I wrote this a while back

Once an application has reached a school there are 3 different phases done by 3 different people or groups for 3 different goals

1) Screening: Also can be referred to pre-screen, initial review, early review, etc. This is done usually by adcom (office) staff and/or readers/evaluators to sort, classify, and assign applications to evaluators and/or teams/subcommittees on broad criteria and priorities. Initial academic metrics (GPA/MCAT), URM, alumni, linked programs, feeder schools, and other items can have an application moved up in the queue for processing and evaluation.

2) Evaluation: This is where a reader and/or group of readers fully analyze and evaluates an application. Since schools get thousands of applications, all the evaluations will be recorded an what is known as a cover sheet, summary sheet, evaluation sheet, or similar which will usually have some kind of scoring and/or classification system for each part of your application. This may assign categories from Outstanding, Excellent, Above Average, Average, Below Average, Subpar, Not Qualified or a system that assigns points that are then added and given an overall metric. For example, GPA, school selectivity, difficulty of program, grade trends, post bacc, MCAT subscores may be given points added to an overall academic metric or score. Additionally, your application may be broken apart and evaluated by different people and brought together in an overall score that would best be seen as your review priority. They may evaluate each part as they come in This may have intermediate steps of a subcommittee and predetermined criteria that certain score levels are granted interviews before the next step

3) Review: This is where the adcom meets and reviews each applicant for interview. and this where is where applications must be complete (primary, secondary, MCAT, LOR) prior to review. Application may be presented by the primary reader/evaluator, by the subcommittee chair, the adcom staff, or just reviewed as they come up. Applications that receive higher priorities in the evaluation step are likely to be scheduled for review first. Since schools get thousands of applications presenting large workflow, lower priority applications may take several weeks or months to reach review and possible interview invite.
 
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I have heard that at some schools, they review apps in random order to ensure that non rolling admissions does not bias the admissions process (ie everyone has the same chance to get an interview regardless of when they submit). Is this true?
 
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I wrote this a while back

Once an application has reached a school there are 3 different phases done by 3 different people or groups for 3 different goals

1) Screening: Also can be referred to pre-screen, initial review, early review, etc. This is done usually by adcom (office) staff and/or readers/evaluators to sort, classify, and assign applications to evaluators and/or teams/subcommittees on broad criteria and priorities. Initial academic metrics (GPA/MCAT), URM, alumni, linked programs, feeder schools, and other items can have an application moved up in the queue for processing and evaluation.

2) Evaluation: This is where a reader and/or group of readers fully analyze and evaluates an application. Since schools get thousands of applications, all the evaluations will be recorded an what is known as a cover sheet, summary sheet, evaluation sheet, or similar which will usually have some kind of scoring and/or classification system for each part of your application. This may assign categories from Outstanding, Excellent, Above Average, Average, Below Average, Subpar, Not Qualified or a system that assigns points that are then added and given an overall metric. For example, GPA, school selectivity, difficulty of program, grade trends, post bacc, MCAT subscores may be given points added to an overall academic metric or score. Additionally, your application may be broken apart and evaluated by different people and brought together in an overall score that would best be seen as your review priority. They may evaluate each part as they come in This may have intermediate steps of a subcommittee and predetermined criteria that certain score levels are granted interviews before the next step

3) Review: This is where the adcom meets and reviews each applicant for interview. and this where is where applications must be complete (primary, secondary, MCAT, LOR) prior to review. Application may be presented by the primary reader/evaluator, by the subcommittee chair, the adcom staff, or just reviewed as they come up. Applications that receive higher priorities in the evaluation step are likely to be scheduled for review first. Since schools get thousands of applications presenting large workflow, lower priority applications may take several weeks or months to reach review and possible interview invite.

Wow interesting thanks for this. Are interview invites generally given by the committee (a room of people meet and decide if someone should get an interview) or by individual screeners who rate the app? If I interview in August or September, is it more likely that a higher percentage of my interview group will get in as opposed to my interview group interviewing in January? Are applications reviewed several times in a cycle to determine if they should get an interview invite (basically the school waiting to see what other apps come in first)?
 

gonnif

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Wow interesting thanks for this. Are interview invites generally given by the committee (a room of people meet and decide if someone should get an interview) or by individual screeners who rate the app?
Yes

it can be by formal policy at initial screen, informal policy by screeners, by individual evaluators, by team of evaluators, by formal subcommittee vote, by full adcom. I will add that since 80% applications must be "rejected" or rather not accepted, virtually any evaluator can recommend no action

If I interview in August or September, is it more likely that a higher percentage of my interview group will get in as opposed to my interview group interviewing in January?

Irrelevant mostly; its when you get INVITED for an interview not when you get interviewd

Are applications reviewed several times in a cycle to determine if they should get an interview invite (basically the school waiting to see what other apps come in first)?

With 5,000 plus applications, screening, evaluations, and reviews take place constantly. Essentially, your evaluation summary / classification / score becomes your review priority for interview, whatever that process is by the school
 
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Yes

it can be by formal policy at initial screen, informal policy by screeners, by individual evaluators, by team of evaluators, by formal subcommittee vote, by full adcom. I will add that since 80% applications must be "rejected" or rather not accepted, virtually any evaluator can recommend no action



Irrelevant mostly; its when you get INVITED for an interview not when you get interviewd



With 5,000 plus applications, screening, evaluations, and reviews take place constantly. Essentially, your evaluation summary / classification / score becomes your review priority for interview, whatever that process is by the school


But surely the people interviewing in sept and oct received early interview invites?
 

gonnif

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I have heard that at some schools, they review apps in random order to ensure that non rolling admissions does not bias the admissions process (ie everyone has the same chance to get an interview regardless of when they submit). Is this true?
This makes no sense as non-rolling admissions has no pressure that seats will fill; there isnt a bias on when they submit in order to get a seat. As in every school there are limited admissions resources/finite interview slots, so they undoubtedly classify applications for evaluation and review priority. I know of no school that randomizes applications in the manner you describe. I do know many premeds who have random "I have heard" myths with no evidence other that their own hopeful goals
 
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This makes no sense as non-rolling admissions has no pressure that seats will fill; there isnt a bias on when they submit in order to get a seat. As in every school there are limited admissions resources/finite interview slots, so they undoubtedly classify applications for evaluation and review priority. I know of no school that randomizes applications in the manner you describe. I do know many premeds who have random "I have heard" myths with no evidence other that their own hopeful goals

On average, do people who interview in later months tend to get in at lower rates than those who interview in the earlier months? Of course, some could have gotten the invite in august and scheduled their interview in feb but on the whole, most people interviewing in feb got the invite later. In particular for non rolling schools.

Also, random question. But can one get in with a "neutral" interview if their app is otherwise stellar?
 
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