*~*~Official AACOMAS Questions Thread 2020-2021~*~*

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PapaGuava

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Please use this thread to ask any questions specific to the AACOMAS application for the 2020-2021 cycle.

Ask away and good luck!

Last year's AACOMAS question page can be found HERE

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Hey y'all,
For DO schools, is this the general requirement for LORs?
- 1 letter from a DO/MD (DO preferably)
- 2 letters from science professors who have taught you
- 2 letters of your choice from people who know you (such as faculty or employers, ofc)
 
I’d say 1 from each category. I even double dipped. My employer was an MD, so that was two check marks.

Good luck to you!
 
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I’d say 1 from each category. I even double dipped. My employer was an MD, so that was two check marks.

Good luck to you!
Thanks! I'm planning on getting one from a DO, one from an MD, two from science professors, and one from a prof who I TA'd for. Feel free to lmk if I should take one out and replace it with something else. I'm all ears!
 
Quick question with the cycle about to open. Should you wait for spring grades to be released before inputting your grades? For example if finals is May 4th-8, and grades are posted the next week, should you wait until they are posted to submit the primary? Also if you get approved for FAP is it wise to apply to a throw away school to bypass the $195? I'm asking because I know funds run out and with the coronavirus going on my MCAT test along with others have been pushed back I wont exactly have my score in very soon, can you apply to a throw away school in order to use the FAP that they require you to use within 14 days?
 
Quick question with the cycle about to open. Should you wait for spring grades to be released before inputting your grades? For example if finals is May 4th-8, and grades are posted the next week, should you wait until they are posted to submit the primary? Also if you get approved for FAP is it wise to apply to a throw away school to bypass the $195? I'm asking because I know funds run out and with the coronavirus going on my MCAT test along with others have been pushed back I wont exactly have my score in very soon, can you apply to a throw away school in order to use the FAP that they require you to use within 14 days?

They will need your transcript to verify the grades you input so I wouldn’t submit your grades through AACOMAS until they have received your transcript in order to verify the grades.

I’m not sure about the FAP requirement but I’ll move this post to the AACOMAS questions thread.
 
Is there a way to fit in a relative who is currently going to a DO but not yet graduated or would it be better left for part of the Why DO secondaries when talking about experiences with DO's?
 
I attended a phlebotomy program/course at a local technical college and they are claiming they can't adhere to AACOMAS "Official" transcript criteria. I went on to receive a certification from an independent company and included in my PS an experience with a patient whom I interacted with while going through clinicals.

AACOMAS email keeps putting me in touch with people who like to copy/paste the help section of their website and the phone number they have listed doesn't have robot options specific to my situation. Should I leave this institution out of my application if this was the only course I took there? Would I also have to exclude the patient experience and certification?
 
Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone knew if we can send our transcripts before the application opens? Even if it's just a few days or the weekend before. I know transcripts take a little while to send over and was wondering if there is any benefit to sending sooner rather than later.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 
Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone knew if we can send our transcripts before the application opens? Even if it's just a few days or the weekend before. I know transcripts take a little while to send over and was wondering if there is any benefit to sending sooner rather than later.

Thanks in advance for the help!
I think you need to have started the application for that cycle beforehand so you'd need to wait for it to open
 
Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone knew if we can send our transcripts before the application opens? Even if it's just a few days or the weekend before. I know transcripts take a little while to send over and was wondering if there is any benefit to sending sooner rather than later.

Thanks in advance for the help!

You will get an Application ID# that will be needed to transfer your transcripts as far as I know, so you will have to wait. However, everyone has a month or so to finish their primary applications before the medical schools begin to receive them. So there is plenty of time.
 
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Is there a huge benefit to submitting the primary app on exactly May 5th? Do they wait for LORs to verify the app? Also, my final grades won't be in until May 22 so would I have to wait until my final grades are in anyways to be able to submit the primary app?
 
Does anyone know when is the 2021 cycle application starts? i didn't see the AACOM update.
 
Is there a huge benefit to submitting the primary app on exactly May 5th? Do they wait for LORs to verify the app? Also, my final grades won't be in until May 22 so would I have to wait until my final grades are in anyways to be able to submit the primary app?
You would have plenty of time to mail in your transcript and upload your grades. The colleges don't begin receiving the primary applications through the system until June 15th. So even if you submitted your application within the first few days of the system opening after May 5th, it won't make a difference. June 15th is when applications actually begin to send out. So use that month to get everything sorted out.


Does anyone know when is the 2021 cycle application starts? i didn't see the AACOM update.
May 5th is when the AACOMAS applications open so you can begin working on your primary application on that day. June 15th is when colleges begin receiving the primary applications.
 
I am getting into the process of applying for the 2020-2021 cycle. During my Freshman year of undergrad I attended Ohio State but had to withdraw from all of my classes as I had two ACL surgeries in one semester. Do I still include this transcript in my application?
 
I am getting into the process of applying for the 2020-2021 cycle. During my Freshman year of undergrad I attended Ohio State but had to withdraw from all of my classes as I had two ACL surgeries in one semester. Do I still include this transcript in my application?

If it is listed on your transcript, then you have to report it because AACOMAS will verify your transcript and will fix it for you/report an error about it.
 
I know what I am about to write is going to sound really stupid, but hence why I am asking. So I am not sure if I should answer this. The covid 19 pandemic did significantly contribute to my anxiety since my dad has underlying healthcare problems and stopped me from wanting to volunteer in a local hospital, I didn't want to be out in public any more than I had to since I was worried about this virus and passing it to others, especially my father. Also, my heightened anxiety hindered my motivation to study for my MCAT on time. But I don't know if i should say any of this.

Should I leave it blank, or would that be a bad idea? I would appreciate any advice. Thank you all and stay safe.
 
Some schools have specific requirements, such as only 2 letters, or one letter from so and so ect.
I sent all 4 letters (2 science, 1 volunteer, 1 phsyician) to AACOMAS. Should I send all 4 to the schools I applied to, or hand pick which letter I want sent to each individual school?

Thanks!
 
I know what I am about to write is going to sound really stupid, but hence why I am asking. So I am not sure if I should answer this. The covid 19 pandemic did significantly contribute to my anxiety since my dad has underlying healthcare problems and stopped me from wanting to volunteer in a local hospital, I didn't want to be out in public any more than I had to since I was worried about this virus and passing it to others, especially my father. Also, my heightened anxiety hindered my motivation to study for my MCAT on time. But I don't know if i should say any of this.

Should I leave it blank, or would that be a bad idea? I would appreciate any advice. Thank you all and stay safe.

I would not tie in the anxiety with your MCAT/studying, but you could possibly use it as something that has made you stronger.

Some schools have specific requirements, such as only 2 letters, or one letter from so and so ect.
I sent all 4 letters (2 science, 1 volunteer, 1 phsyician) to AACOMAS. Should I send all 4 to the schools I applied to, or hand pick which letter I want sent to each individual school?

Thanks!

Any letter you upload to AACOMAS will be sent to all schools you apply to, and they will select the letters that meet their requirements.
 
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What’s the continuing education section for? I'm a licensed real estate broker which I had to take a course and pass a state exam for and have gained a certificate in language interpreting as well. Is that stuff I should include in this section or do we only list medically related certifications?
 
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For the experiences section, is it okay/wise to condense activities? For example, I was thinking about condensing the two MDs I have shadowed into a single experience and same for the two DOs I have shadowed.
 
What’s the continuing education section for? I'm a licensed real estate broker which I had to take a course and pass a state exam for and have gained a certificate in language interpreting as well. Is that stuff I should include in this section or do we only list medically related certifications?

I couldn't find anything that said you should only list medically related certifications, so I imagine it wouldn't be bad if you wanted to list it.

For the experiences section, is it okay/wise to condense activities? For example, I was thinking about condensing the two MDs I have shadowed into a single experience and same for the two DOs I have shadowed.

Yes it's okay to condense your activities, but if there was something significant in a particular shadowing experience, I would separate it.
 
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Does anyone know how long it takes for AACOMAS to copy reapplicant data? They said it may "take some time." Depending on how long it is, I'd rather just plug everything in again myself...
 
Does anyone know how long it takes for AACOMAS to copy reapplicant data? They said it may "take some time." Depending on how long it is, I'd rather just plug everything in again myself...

It only took a couple of hours for me.
 
Is it advantageous to submit applications now versus end of the month versus June 14? Thanks everyone
 
Is it advantageous to submit applications now versus end of the month versus June 14? Thanks everyone

No you’ll be fine, but I would always try to have everything verified and ready to go by that date when some DO schools start bringing in the primary applications.
 
Quick question, if my LOR I put for the primary app don't fit all of my schools requirements will that hurt me? Will I have the opportunity to submit alternative LOR if they deem the ones associated with my primary are not the ones they need?
 
Quick question, if my LOR I put for the primary app don't fit all of my schools requirements will that hurt me? Will I have the opportunity to submit alternative LOR if they deem the ones associated with my primary are not the ones they need?

The schools will the pull the letters they need from your primary application, so no it won’t hurt you or anything. If for some reason they needed another letter and all of your LOR slots were taken, then you could use a letter delivering service. However, I’d just make sure you can satisfy all of the requirements for the schools you plan to apply to through your primary application to make life easier.

For example, I had a DO letter, MD letter, Committee LOR from my university, 1 non-science professor LOR. These four just about covered all the requirements for the schools I applied to at the time. Then I added 2 letters from different science departments at my university.

Is 6 still the max amount of LORs you can upload to your AACOMAS application?
 
The schools will the pull the letters they need from your primary application, so no it won’t hurt you or anything. If for some reason they needed another letter and all of your LOR slots were taken, then you could use a letter delivering service. However, I’d just make sure you can satisfy all of the requirements for the schools you plan to apply to through your primary application to make life easier.

For example, I had a DO letter, MD letter, Committee LOR from my university, 1 non-science professor LOR. These four just about covered all the requirements for the schools I applied to at the time. Then I added 2 letters from different science departments at my university.

Is 6 still the max amount of LORs you can upload to your AACOMAS application?
Thank you! I wish my university did a committee letter cause it would make my life a whole lot easier. Yes they still only allow 6. I did a DO, Research PI, Undergrad Advisor, TA supervisor, one science prof, one non science prof. I am hoping since my research PI is a science prof too they will just take his letter for a second science but I don't know cause I never took his specific course.
 
I am a reapplicant and was wondering if I need to send my transcript again. Nothing has changed on it and in AACOMAS it says "Official transcript received xx/xx/2019". I am just confused about whether or not they need another copy for the new cycle.

Thanks in advance!!
 
For the AMCAS app, I grouped together all shadowing, all pubs, all awards, all research, & all hobbies together.

This filled ~ 11 spots. I know quality >>>> quantity, but I saw AACOMAS has a shorter character count and no "Most Meaningful Experiences" section to elaborate on certain things (unless it does -- I might've missed it as I only recently looked at the app.)

I also saw that AACOMAS doesn't have the same 15 activities limit. Does the short 600 character count we are given to explain our activities suggest we should spread out different shadowing experiences, for example? The limit is so low that it'd make it harder to list say "doctor 2's contact info, doctor 3's contact info" in the explanation part while explaining the experience as well.
 
I am a reapplicant and was wondering if I need to send my transcript again. Nothing has changed on it and in AACOMAS it says "Official transcript received xx/xx/2019". I am just confused about whether or not they need another copy for the new cycle.

Thanks in advance!!
I called AACOMAS and asked them about this yesterday, and they informed me I do not need to send in transcripts again, they roll over. They said I can just hit the "order" button and mark the "I have already done this."
 
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Just for the purposes of having my application processed and verified in the meantime, what "throwaway" school should I apply to via AACOMAS? Any suggestions? Thanks.
 
Hey @PapaGuava I was wondering if you, or anyone, can help me answer a question.

On AACOMAS, we don't put an end date if we're continuing an activity so the hours listed are ONLY the ones completed, correct?
 
Hey @PapaGuava I was wondering if you, or anyone, can help me answer a question.

On AACOMAS, we don't put an end date if we're continuing an activity so the hours listed are ONLY the ones completed, correct?

Yeah that would be fine :), and I’ll move your question to the AACOMAS Question Thread
 
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What is the standard way people are listing shadowing hours?

Are schools strict on the hours per week? IE if I do 1 hour for 200 weeks just to get 200 hours total, is that fine? (I don't really have that much shadowing).

I feel like this system can lead to confusion as well when projects taper commitment such as doing 40 hours/week for a month then 2 hours/week for another month. I am just getting the total hours and back-calculating the hours/week for some activities.
 
For the awards/scholarship/presentations and such, are y'all going with a sentence or so description?

Would it be okay to say: "Due to my work in X org, I got Y monies/honors/cabbages" or should I hype it up some more? @Goro
 
One of my evaluators forgot to put a date on the LOR. I had already submitted it via Interfolio, and it's been received by AACOMAS so I am unable to make any changes. What do you suggest I do? I am applying to 17 DO schools.

Thanks to anyone who answers,
 
Helloo!
Do I need to have all of my letters gathered in interfolio in order to send them to aacomas? Or can I send them as soon as I receive them. Thank you!!
 
One of my evaluators forgot to put a date on the LOR. I had already submitted it via Interfolio, and it's been received by AACOMAS so I am unable to make any changes. What do you suggest I do? I am applying to 17 DO schools.

Thanks to anyone who answers,

Don’t quote me on this (no pun intended ha) but I believe last year someone just contacted AACOMAS and they were able to help with letter removal before they submitted their primary applications. I know in the past you couldn’t adjust it, but you may be able to now. However, you can’t remove it yourself.

Helloo!
Do I need to have all of my letters gathered in interfolio in order to send them to aacomas? Or can I send them as soon as I receive them. Thank you!!

No, once you upload them to AACOMAS they are tied to your application. You don’t need all them to be there to have them sent out to schools.
 
Thanks for answering previous questions. I would like to know if the letters coming from science professors have to be only from professors that taught me the pre-req classes? what about letters from upper division courses?

thank you again!
 
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Thanks for answering previous questions. I would like to know if the letters coming from science professors have to be only from professors that taught me the pre-req classes? what about letters from upper division courses?

thank you again!

Any science professors you had a class with in the past would work just fine whether it be a upper division course or pre-requisite courses.
 
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Hello all! I hope everything is going well during application time. I was just wondering how long does it take for transcripts to show up on the application. I've got the "received" email from the service but it still shows "not received" on the app.
 
If I'm taking Physics II this summer which is a prereq course for all the schools I'm applying to, am I allowed to check it off as a prereq for the "Program Materials" section even if there isn't a grade yet?
 
Hello all! I hope everything is going well during application time. I was just wondering how long does it take for transcripts to show up on the application. I've got the "received" email from the service but it still shows "not received" on the app.
It should only take a day or two, but if they have it then it’s just a function that will switch over to your application. You’re all set.

If I'm taking Physics II this summer which is a prereq course for all the schools I'm applying to, am I allowed to check it off as a prereq for the "Program Materials" section even if there isn't a grade yet?
If you enter it as a prerequisite right away, you ll need the grade which wouldn’t match up with your transcript if I remember correctly.
 
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I removed my question since I figured it out. Thank you again.
 
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Hello all! I was supposed to take an elective lab course in person in the summer, but it has been officially cancelled. I had to switch one of the in-progress courses on my application, but I have already uploaded the official transcript from the school into AACOMAS, do I need upload a new transcript now because I changed the course?
 
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