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

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TheDataKing

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Disclaimer: I did not write this thread - it has been passed down through the eons by pre-allo staff.

It is that time of year again!
:partyblob::partyblob::partyblob::partyblob::partyblob::partyblob::partyblob:


The AMCAS Application will be opening SOON! This is a place for all things AMCAS related so that we don't flood the first page. All threads created after this one will be merged into this thread. All previously created threads that are bumped will be re-directed here, and closed if bumped again.
Reminder: Each thread has a search function!! PLEASE use it!!.

Also, one of your first resources should be the source itself. Almost any basic question you have about AMCAS can be found by reading the AMCAS FAQ and the AMCAS instruction manual. Please try to find your answer before posting your question.
The AMCAS FAQ can be found here and the 2020 applicant guide can be found here.

This thread is brought to you by the Pre-Allopathic Volunteer Staff. Ask away, and good luck!!

-- -- --

AMCAS FAQ from 2012 through 2019; please let us know if there are any changes. Will be continuously updated as new information is brought to light.

General Submission/Big Picture Questions

1. When does AMCAS open? How soon can I submit?

The AMCAS application opens on May 4th, 2020, and you can submit starting May 28th, 2020 @930am EST.

2. When can I start uploading my transcripts to AMCAS?
As soon as the application opens, on May 4th.

3. How should I organize my information in the Work and Activities Section?
The Pre-Allo staff has created a new thread that compiles some of the best bits of information and contains a FAQ for the Work and Activities section. That thread can be found here. Please post questions regarding this section into that thread.

4. What about Letters of Rec?
Funny you should ask. There is a thread for that too.

5. What should I include in my personal statement?
Wouldn't you know....there is a thread for that too. Check out the Official Personal Statement Reader Thread for some great advice.

6. How is AMCAS different from prior years?
See these threads for more information : http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=804620 and http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=807218 and (NEW!) Explain New Traffic Rules

7. What is all of this about being a reapplicant?
AMCAS will only show you are a reapplicant to each of the individual schools you have applied to previously. No school at anytime during the AMCAS process can see if you have previously applied to any other school, nor can it see any other school your are currently applying to. No school except the individual school your are reapplying to can see any part of your previous AMCAS application, and only if they have kept it on file, which most schools do. AMCAS does not provide your previous application to any school, whether a reapplicant or not. Every MD school can see if you have been accepted previously at an MD school. While AMCAS guidelines do allow individual schools on their secondary applications to ask if you had ever previously applied to medical school, the question does not appear to be widely used. It is more common for individual schools to ask if you have ever been accepted previously matriculated at any medical school, which would include allopathic, osteopathic, or off-shore.

8. What parts of the AMCAS application can I change after submitting? If I change these things, will I have to wait longer?
You can add and assign LORs (Letters of Recommendation)
You can change your name, current address, and alternate names
You can add a future MCAT test date

Several other things that can be found here on the AMCAS official site.
No, you will not have to wait longer once you re-submit.

9. How long does it take to get verified after submitting?
It varies. Generally, the later you submit, the longer it takes. You can look at last year's verification times here.

10. When do secondaries come out?
This varies from school to school. If you are interested in a particular school, your best bet is to check out that school's specific thread in the "School Specific Discussions" forum.

11. What are some important dates that I should know?

May 4th, 2029 -- AMCAS Application Opens
May 28th, 2020 -- First Day to Submit AMCAS
July 10th, 2020 -- First Day Applications are Transmitted to Medical Schools (updated 4/20/20)
October 15th, 2020 -- First Day Acceptance Offers Can Be Made
April 15th, 2021 -- AMCAS Suggests Narrowing Down to 3 Acceptances by This Date
April 30th, 2021 -- Date By Which Applicants Must Hold Only One Acceptance

Transcript/Coursework Questions

12. What about transcripts in general? Tell me everything!
Once the AMCAS application opens in May, you will be given an AMCAS ID number. You are also then able to add schools (and the dates you attended those schools) into AMCAS. When you do this, you will be able to print a transcript sheet that contains your AMCAS ID number on it for each school. When you go to order your transcripts, have your school include this sheet with the transcripts to be sent.
12a. I know this was asked in question 3 above....but do I really really really have to include every transcript?
Yes, you MUST include transcripts from all colleges you have ever attended. You cannot send the transcripts yourself (as in, getting a copy into your hands, and then sending it to AMCAS); they have to come from the school directly to be considered official.
12b. Do I have to include the AMCAS sheet when sending in my transcripts? What happens if I don't?
You should really include this sheet; giving AMCAS any chance to lose your transcripts is a bad idea. However, I can tell you from personal experience that one of the 8 transcripts I had to send was done online, and I was unable to include the sheet. I gave instructions for them to write my AMCAS ID on the envelope, and it got there fine. But again....making more work for AMCAS employees or giving them an excuse to lose your stuff is never a good idea.

13. What about in-progress courses, or courses I know I am going to take over the summer? What about Pre-reqs I am taking over the summer?
There is a chance for you to list all future courses on the AMCAS application. No, you can not update these grades later in AMCAS, but you CAN update individual schools later with these grades. This is actually a perfect opportunity for you to send an Update Letter to schools telling them again how much you love them, and telling them what you've been up to.

14. I took a class at a community college while I was in high school. Do I still need to report that transcript?
Yes. If you don't, you are risking being found out and having a school revoke an acceptance.

15. My spring grades don't come out until May/June/July/Whatever. Should I wait until I get them to submit my application?
If you decide you want to apply as early as possible, your spring grades would not be on your transcript. This is a judgement call. If your spring grades matter a LOT (they contain 3 prereqs, all As, and this is the first time you've taken a full load), wait until they come in before you send your transcripts in.

If not (they result in a minimal impact to your GPA, have only 1 prereq, and don't show anything special), go ahead and submit and plan to send updates to schools. Sending them some good grades is a good reason to contact them later if you've had a lot of silence from them. You are at a greater advantage being early than having more grades that will barely impact your GPA.
I would also suggest "rushing" transcripts whenever possible. The peace of mind is worth the extra money.
Also, keep in mind; you can submit without transcripts. The problem is that you will not be verified without them.

16. Does AMCAS begin verifying my coursework once they receive my transcripts?
No. AMCAS only verifies coursework once you submit your application. AMCAS will send you an email notifying you of the date they receive your transcript and the school that sent it, but that doesn't mean that your coursework is being verified.

17. Do I need to send in my transcript again, even if I sent it in last year?
Yes. See here AMCAS® FAQs

18. Will medical schools notice that a class included a lab?
In addition to selecting the "Combined Lecture and Lab" radio button, it is recommended that you add "and Lab" to the end of the course name. The 2020 AMCAS instruction manual says this:
2020 Applicant Guide
If you disagree with a change that AMCAS made, then submit an "Academic Change Request" form found on the Main Menu of your AMCAS application, but be prepared to back up your claim.

20. Help! What do I do with my AP classes?
Read through the AMCAS instruction manual, particularly page 41. For additional information on specific schools that accept AP credit, see this thread.

21. How do repeat courses average into the AMCAS application?
Both classes will need to be listed when you enter your information into AMCAS, and they will both be used when calculating your final GPA. If you want, you can this of this as "averaging" the grade, with the full amount of credit being equal to both classes together. Example: 3 units of C, class is retaken for 3 units of A. The final calculation would be 6 units of B.

22. Can I have my school send in a digital copy of my transcript? What email address do I send it to?
AMCAS has started accepting eTranscripts from some institutions that have registered with them. Consult your pre-health advisement office to see if this is available for your school. Your registrar will still need to send the eTranscript directly to AMCAS (AMCAS does not accept transcripts via email from applicants).

This FAQ is a work in progress. Please feel free to make suggestions in this thread or via PM for its contents; both questions and answers.

If you think something should be added to the FAQ, you see something that needs to be updated, or for any other concerns, tag @TheDataKing , @PapaGuava , @gyngyn , @Matthew9Thirtyfive , @Lucca , or @Engrailed in one of your posts (or PM us!). If you do this, it's a HUGE HUGE HUGE help if you post the link to your source in your post!

Thanks and best of luck everyone!

Link to last year's thread!
 
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gonnif

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gonnif

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Please note: Below is a a very brief timeline summary for a normal cycle. With the Novel Corona Virus / COVID-19 pandemic this year is anything but normal. There is not definitive information on how things will proceed so all applicants can do is move forward

********AMCAS 2021 Timeline Summary (post count #005)************
-Applicants should be filling out the AMCAS 2021.
-AMCAS provides dozens of “How to” tutorial and videos, most of which are linked in my signature. Applicants should download the free 2021 AMCAS Applicant Guide when available. It should be considered the study guide on how to fill out AMCAS.
-Applicants should have the MSAR, which should be considered the text book for the application process
-Applying to medical school is a full time job from May until through September and then on call for the rest of the cycle. There is no general rule across schools when they may evaluate and review your application, possibly invite you for an interview, when the interview may be, when a decision may be reached, or when you may get off a WL. For some of you, the cycle will run until August 2021.
-AMCAS May 4, 2020, Primary application opens up. Can send formal requests for transcripts from your schools and letter requests to your letter writers.
-AMCAS May 28, 2020, Completed primary applications with all ECs, PS, and course information can be submitted.
-You enter the verification queue (“time to verify”) only when both completed primary application and all transcripts have been received.
-AMCAS does not, repeat, does not verify LOR or MCAT score. Your primary application will be verified regardless of LOR or MCAT score status
-AMCAS June 26, 2020,(delay due to COVID-19) JULY 10 begins transmission verified applications (though some schools have secondaries sent to contact info upon submission to AMCAS)
-Verification peak is about August 1st and takes 20 days
-Most Primary Apps are transmitted early July thru early September
-Secondaries timelines can vary widely as to when to they are sent out from almost immediately upon submissions to 3 months, though most are in the range 1-3 weeks after transmission.
-Letters via AMCAS are processed/transmitted separately from primary
-Letters can be added after primary has been submitted and transmitted and are mostly not needed until secondary reviews at the earliest.
-While applications are transmitted at end of June, most schools do not start any processing until at least mid-July at the earliest; even then, most dont get up to full speed until mid-August.
-There are usually 3 main phases in processing application
----1) Initial Screening/Evaluation: A hybrid of automatic GPA/MCAT screen plus human for "quick review" of application. Used to for general priority and, in some cases, which team/subcommittee gets application. At some schools, preset criteria or informal policy can lead to II at this stage.
----2) Full Evaluation: This is where evaluator/reader/team/subcommittee will fully evaluate all sections of primary, secondary, and LOR and generally summarize in broad categories or point system. This essentially becomes your priority for adcom review and II. This function may be split up among several evaluators and may go to a team or subcommittee for II decision. Application are not typically evaluated until complete with Primary, Secondary, MCAT, and LOR
----3) Full adcom: this is where your fully evaluated application is reviewed and decided for interview invite After interview Adcom will vote on admission (acceptance or alternate WL)
-Application and candidate evaluations timeline varies widely by school may not done in a linear, chronological order. EDP, High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
-Most adcoms dont start meeting for review of evaluated applicants until at least mid-August, more likely September, though some reviews may be done earlier for groups mentioned above. Evaluation may start almost immediately at some schools.
-Schools receive 5,000-10,000 application but can only evaluate several hundred applications a week. Therefore, it can take anywhere from 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) or more to be evaluated, reviewed and invited for interview after your application is complete.
-Schools must reduce several thousand applications to several hundred interviews.
At least 80% of applicants at any individual school must be rejected pre-interview.
-There are about 900,000 individual applications across 150+ medical schools with about 150,000 interview slots maximum. That means on average of 16 submitted applications only 3 will get an II.
-Applicants should check each applicant portal daily until application is marked complete, under review, or similar. After that, you should check applicant portal 2 to 3 times as week as schools may invite you for interview solely by portal; some schools do not send email for interview invite.’
-Medical Schools are deciding on Acceptance. All applicants start as “Unaccepted” or rejected. With 60% of applicants not getting a seat, all applicants must assume that may be reapplicants and start enhancing their record from the moment they submit AMCAS.
-Medical schools have no requirement to inform you of any decision other than an interview invite, an acceptance, or alternate/WL position. Some schools will never send out any rejection or other notice on your application as all start as “rejected”.
-Timing of early, on time or late refers to any impact that “lateness” may have on your chances. Being early or on time does not improve your chances but rather it means that timing will not be a factor in lowering your chances.
-Submitting Primary Application June is Early, July Medium, August Late
-Having Primary verified and transmitted to school by middle of August is normal speed
-Having Secondary and all LORs complete to school by Labor Day is early for all applicants at all schools, even highly competitive programs.
-Late or end of September is about on time for solid candidates at most programs
-End of October is about late for almost all programs
-After that point you will generally start getting impacted by the number of applications submitted and the finite number of essentially rolling interview slots. Seats given by rolling admissions is not a big factor in this. These aren’t absolute dates nor is it a fixed timeline. It should be used as a guideline
-Medical schools focus on evaluation and pre-II review up until approximately Thanksgiving. At that time they need to start transitioning to post-interview acceptance decision. However, with the increasing number of applications per school, some fraction of interview invites will continue into the new year.
-Timing matters to getting your application in. Once you are in and evaluated, timing has little impact on your chances. It is a myth that schools fill all the seats early and then just have alternate slots.
-When you get invited for an interview is a better indicator of your interest of the school rather than when the actual interview is. Stronger candidates typically invited earlier.
-Medical schools cannot inform regular MD candidates of admission (acceptance or alternate) prior to Oct 15th. However, medical school can inform applicants of any other decision, such as rejection or hold, at any time from initial primary submission until past end of cycle. Do note that the only formal vote an admission committee need to make is for admission (acceptance or alternate/WL) and that is the only decision they must inform you about. A large fraction of applicants will never get a formal rejection; they will simply never get II or acceptance.


Getting primary in on time 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. Additionally, how each school then opens a file, reviews them on GPA, MCAT, and other factors, and what order they wind up in a queue has less to do with when the primary arrives then when the secondary is completed and received. Since the majority of schools, I dare say, send out pre-transmission, unscreened, or minimal cut off screened secondaries, this is probably a larger factor in where you wind up in the queue for 1) reading an application and 2) decision on interview invite. As I have said previously, and will undoubtedly say dozens of time during this 2021 application cycle (see count above) review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
 
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TheDataKing

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If I took a course for an EMT certificate at a community college in the summer after freshman year, but didn't do anything with the credit and never ended up getting the EMT license, would I still have to report it? I didn't even know there were grades for that course and I'm not sure how I would find a transcript for it since I never did anything with the credit or certificate either.
Edit: I wasn't completely sure since on the AMCAS guide it says: Continuing Education Units CEU credits are usually used in vocational, licensure, and certificate programs (e.g., real estate licenses, teacher and nursing certifications). You are not required to list CEU courses on your application.
Does this count as continuing education since it didn't contribute to any sort of degree?
If you had credit hours reported for it, yes. You need transcripts from any and all colleges you've where you've taken classes (even if they were in high school or over the summer). Check and see if the course was for CEU or was for credit - you can call the registrar at the community college
 

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When should we send transcripts?
 

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I got course credit for being a TA. Under the AMCAS course classification, would this be "Curriculum and Instruction", or simply the subject that I was teaching?
I believe you put exactly what it says on your transcript (so if it says "Curriculum and Instruction" on your transcript, definitely put that)
 

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Do schools like CU Boulder and Emory accept IB credits for their writing requirement? Both websites (and many of the other med school websites I'm looking at) only mention accepting AP credits as a comparable substitute.
 

gonnif

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Do schools like CU Boulder and Emory accept IB credits for their writing requirement? Both websites (and many of the other med school websites I'm looking at) only mention accepting AP credits as a comparable substitute.
You have to contact and ask the directly. CU Boulder used to be a stickler for prereqs and rarely granted waiver. s As I tell all students, since you should apply to the broadest array of medical schools, you need to have the prereqs that are accepted by most schools. Therefore, take an actual english course prior to matriculation. Since prereqs are not checked for fulfillment until after acceptance, you risk being forced to deferred to get a prereq.
 
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gonnif

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One of them is listed as "undergraduate open seminar" and the other is listed as "junior/senior special topics" - I assume I'd just categorize these by whichever subject they are in this case?
Its fine to do it that way
 
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Hey everyone! Can someone help make sense of the delayed July 10th transmission of applications? Should I still submit my application on the first day to be part of the first batch of applicants or is there a little more leeway to submit the application now? What would be an ideal time to submit everything? Any help is always appreciated :D
 

chemistry hahgdgjjhdf

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A question I have that I have not been able to find Is, what do we classify our classes that we took this semester as? I did 9 weeks in class and the rest is online. Do I classify as online or in person on the application? Thank you!
 

gonnif

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A question I have that I have not been able to find Is, what do we classify our classes that we took this semester as? I did 9 weeks in class and the rest is online. Do I classify as online or in person on the application? Thank you!

AMCAS doesnt ask for live vs Online so the question is moot
 
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gonnif

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Hey everyone! Can someone help make sense of the delayed July 10th transmission of applications? Should I still submit my application on the first day to be part of the first batch of applicants or is there a little more leeway to submit the application now? What would be an ideal time to submit everything? Any help is always appreciated :D

You dont get in because your application is first; you get in because your application is a highly polished, well-written, coherent, concise and compelling narrative showing a strong pattern of motivation, commitment, and achievement. You will may, I said may, have little more leeway as the the first transmission is now later. However that assumes that AMCAS will be operating at full staffing and/or with verification at full productivity. So, you submit your application when its ready.

********AMCAS 2021 Timeline Summary (post count #006)************
-Applicants should be filling out the AMCAS 2021.
-AMCAS provides dozens of “How to” tutorial and videos, most of which are linked in my signature. Applicants should download the free 2021 AMCAS Applicant Guide when available. It should be considered the study guide on how to fill out AMCAS.
-Applicants should have the MSAR, which should be considered the text book for the application process
-Applying to medical school is a full time job from May until through September and then on call for the rest of the cycle. There is no general rule across schools when they may evaluate and review your application, possibly invite you for an interview, when the interview may be, when a decision may be reached, or when you may get off a WL. For some of you, the cycle will run until August 2021.
-AMCAS May 4, 2020, Primary application opens up. Can send formal requests for transcripts from your schools and letter requests to your letter writers.
-AMCAS May 28, 2020, Completed primary applications with all ECs, PS, and course information can be submitted.
-You enter the verification queue (“time to verify”) only when both completed primary application and all transcripts have been received.
-AMCAS does not, repeat, does not verify LOR or MCAT score. Your primary application will be verified regardless of LOR or MCAT score status
-AMCAS June 26, 2020 (delayed to due Corona/COVID-19), JULY 10 begins transmission verified applications (though some schools have secondaries sent to contact info upon submission to AMCAS)
-Verification peak is about August 1st and takes 20 days
-Most Primary Apps are transmitted early July thru early September
-Secondaries timelines can vary widely as to when to they are sent out from almost immediately upon submissions to 3 months, though most are in the range 1-3 weeks after transmission.
-Letters via AMCAS are processed/transmitted separately from primary
-Letters can be added after primary has been submitted and transmitted and are mostly not needed until secondary reviews at the earliest.
-While applications are transmitted at end of June, most schools do not start any processing until at least mid-July at the earliest; even then, most dont get up to full speed until mid-August.
-There are usually 3 main phases in processing application
----1) Initial Screening/Evaluation: A hybrid of automatic GPA/MCAT screen plus human for "quick review" of application. Used to for general priority and, in some cases, which team/subcommittee gets application. At some schools, preset criteria or informal policy can lead to II at this stage.
----2) Full Evaluation: This is where evaluator/reader/team/subcommittee will fully evaluate all sections of primary, secondary, and LOR and generally summarize in broad categories or point system. This essentially becomes your priority for adcom review and II. This function may be split up among several evaluators and may go to a team or subcommittee for II decision. Application are not typically evaluated until complete with Primary, Secondary, MCAT, and LOR
----3) Full adcom: this is where your fully evaluated application is reviewed and decided for interview invite After interview Adcom will vote on admission (acceptance or alternate WL)
-Application and candidate evaluations timeline varies widely by school may not done in a linear, chronological order. EDP, High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
-Most adcoms dont start meeting for review of evaluated applicants until at least mid-August, more likely September, though some reviews may be done earlier for groups mentioned above. Evaluation may start almost immediately at some schools.
-Schools receive 5,000-10,000 application but can only evaluate several hundred applications a week. Therefore, it can take anywhere from 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) or more to be evaluated, reviewed and invited for interview after your application is complete.
-Schools must reduce several thousand applications to several hundred interviews.
At least 80% of applicants at any individual school must be rejected pre-interview.
-There are about 900,000 individual applications across 150+ medical schools with about 150,000 interview slots maximum. That means on average of 16 submitted applications only 3 will get an II.
-Applicants should check each applicant portal daily until application is marked complete, under review, or similar. After that, you should check applicant portal 2 to 3 times as week as schools may invite you for interview solely by portal; some schools do not send email for interview invite.’
-Medical Schools are deciding on Acceptance. All applicants start as “Unaccepted” or rejected. With 60% of applicants not getting a seat, all applicants must assume that may be reapplicants and start enhancing their record from the moment they submit AMCAS.
-Medical schools have no requirement to inform you of any decision other than an interview invite, an acceptance, or alternate/WL position. Some schools will never send out any rejection or other notice on your application as all start as “rejected”.
-Timing of early, on time or late refers to any impact that “lateness” may have on your chances. Being early or on time does not improve your chances but rather it means that timing will not be a factor in lowering your chances.
-Submitting Primary Application June is Early, July Medium, August Late
-Having Primary verified and transmitted to school by middle of August is normal speed
-Having Secondary and all LORs complete to school by Labor Day is early for all applicants at all schools, even highly competitive programs.
-Late or end of September is about on time for solid candidates at most programs
-End of October is about late for almost all programs
-After that point you will generally start getting impacted by the number of applications submitted and the finite number of essentially rolling interview slots. Seats given by rolling admissions is not a big factor in this. These aren’t absolute dates nor is it a fixed timeline. It should be used as a guideline
-Medical schools focus on evaluation and pre-II review up until approximately Thanksgiving. At that time they need to start transitioning to post-interview acceptance decision. However, with the increasing number of applications per school, some fraction of interview invites will continue into the new year.
-Timing matters to getting your application in. Once you are in and evaluated, timing has little impact on your chances. It is a myth that schools fill all the seats early and then just have alternate slots.
-When you get invited for an interview is a better indicator of your interest of the school rather than when the actual interview is. Stronger candidates typically invited earlier.
-Medical schools cannot inform regular MD candidates of admission (acceptance or alternate) prior to Oct 15th. However, medical school can inform applicants of any other decision, such as rejection or hold, at any time from initial primary submission until past end of cycle. Do note that the only formal vote an admission committee need to make is for admission (acceptance or alternate/WL) and that is the only decision they must inform you about. A large fraction of applicants will never get a formal rejection; they will simply never get II or acceptance.

Getting primary in on time 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. Additionally, how each school then opens a file, reviews them on GPA, MCAT, and other factors, and what order they wind up in a queue has less to do with when the primary arrives then when the secondary is completed and received. Since the majority of schools, I dare say, send out pre-transmission, unscreened, or minimal cut off screened secondaries, this is probably a larger factor in where you wind up in the queue for 1) reading an application and 2) decision on interview invite. As I have said previously, and will undoubtedly say dozens of time during this 2021 application cycle (see count above) review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
 
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Jack-Kennedy35

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You dont get in because your application is first; you get in because your application is a highly polished, well-written, coherent, concise and compelling narrative showing a strong pattern of motivation, commitment, and achievement. You will may, I said may, have little more leeway as the the first transmission is now later. However that assumes that AMCAS will be operating at full staffing and/or with verification at full productivity. So, you submit your application when its ready.

********AMCAS 2021 Timeline Summary (post count #006)************
-Applicants should be filling out the AMCAS 2021.
-AMCAS provides dozens of “How to” tutorial and videos, most of which are linked in my signature. Applicants should download the free 2021 AMCAS Applicant Guide when available. It should be considered the study guide on how to fill out AMCAS.
-Applicants should have the MSAR, which should be considered the text book for the application process
-Applying to medical school is a full time job from May until through September and then on call for the rest of the cycle. There is no general rule across schools when they may evaluate and review your application, possibly invite you for an interview, when the interview may be, when a decision may be reached, or when you may get off a WL. For some of you, the cycle will run until August 2021.
-AMCAS May 4, 2020, Primary application opens up. Can send formal requests for transcripts from your schools and letter requests to your letter writers.
-AMCAS May 28, 2020, Completed primary applications with all ECs, PS, and course information can be submitted.
-You enter the verification queue (“time to verify”) only when both completed primary application and all transcripts have been received.
-AMCAS does not, repeat, does not verify LOR or MCAT score. Your primary application will be verified regardless of LOR or MCAT score status
-AMCAS June 26, 2020 (delayed to due Corona/COVID-19), JULY 10 begins transmission verified applications (though some schools have secondaries sent to contact info upon submission to AMCAS)
-Verification peak is about August 1st and takes 20 days
-Most Primary Apps are transmitted early July thru early September
-Secondaries timelines can vary widely as to when to they are sent out from almost immediately upon submissions to 3 months, though most are in the range 1-3 weeks after transmission.
-Letters via AMCAS are processed/transmitted separately from primary
-Letters can be added after primary has been submitted and transmitted and are mostly not needed until secondary reviews at the earliest.
-While applications are transmitted at end of June, most schools do not start any processing until at least mid-July at the earliest; even then, most dont get up to full speed until mid-August.
-There are usually 3 main phases in processing application
----1) Initial Screening/Evaluation: A hybrid of automatic GPA/MCAT screen plus human for "quick review" of application. Used to for general priority and, in some cases, which team/subcommittee gets application. At some schools, preset criteria or informal policy can lead to II at this stage.
----2) Full Evaluation: This is where evaluator/reader/team/subcommittee will fully evaluate all sections of primary, secondary, and LOR and generally summarize in broad categories or point system. This essentially becomes your priority for adcom review and II. This function may be split up among several evaluators and may go to a team or subcommittee for II decision. Application are not typically evaluated until complete with Primary, Secondary, MCAT, and LOR
----3) Full adcom: this is where your fully evaluated application is reviewed and decided for interview invite After interview Adcom will vote on admission (acceptance or alternate WL)
-Application and candidate evaluations timeline varies widely by school may not done in a linear, chronological order. EDP, High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
-Most adcoms dont start meeting for review of evaluated applicants until at least mid-August, more likely September, though some reviews may be done earlier for groups mentioned above. Evaluation may start almost immediately at some schools.
-Schools receive 5,000-10,000 application but can only evaluate several hundred applications a week. Therefore, it can take anywhere from 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) or more to be evaluated, reviewed and invited for interview after your application is complete.
-Schools must reduce several thousand applications to several hundred interviews.
At least 80% of applicants at any individual school must be rejected pre-interview.
-There are about 900,000 individual applications across 150+ medical schools with about 150,000 interview slots maximum. That means on average of 16 submitted applications only 3 will get an II.
-Applicants should check each applicant portal daily until application is marked complete, under review, or similar. After that, you should check applicant portal 2 to 3 times as week as schools may invite you for interview solely by portal; some schools do not send email for interview invite.’
-Medical Schools are deciding on Acceptance. All applicants start as “Unaccepted” or rejected. With 60% of applicants not getting a seat, all applicants must assume that may be reapplicants and start enhancing their record from the moment they submit AMCAS.
-Medical schools have no requirement to inform you of any decision other than an interview invite, an acceptance, or alternate/WL position. Some schools will never send out any rejection or other notice on your application as all start as “rejected”.
-Timing of early, on time or late refers to any impact that “lateness” may have on your chances. Being early or on time does not improve your chances but rather it means that timing will not be a factor in lowering your chances.
-Submitting Primary Application June is Early, July Medium, August Late
-Having Primary verified and transmitted to school by middle of August is normal speed
-Having Secondary and all LORs complete to school by Labor Day is early for all applicants at all schools, even highly competitive programs.
-Late or end of September is about on time for solid candidates at most programs
-End of October is about late for almost all programs
-After that point you will generally start getting impacted by the number of applications submitted and the finite number of essentially rolling interview slots. Seats given by rolling admissions is not a big factor in this. These aren’t absolute dates nor is it a fixed timeline. It should be used as a guideline
-Medical schools focus on evaluation and pre-II review up until approximately Thanksgiving. At that time they need to start transitioning to post-interview acceptance decision. However, with the increasing number of applications per school, some fraction of interview invites will continue into the new year.
-Timing matters to getting your application in. Once you are in and evaluated, timing has little impact on your chances. It is a myth that schools fill all the seats early and then just have alternate slots.
-When you get invited for an interview is a better indicator of your interest of the school rather than when the actual interview is. Stronger candidates typically invited earlier.
-Medical schools cannot inform regular MD candidates of admission (acceptance or alternate) prior to Oct 15th. However, medical school can inform applicants of any other decision, such as rejection or hold, at any time from initial primary submission until past end of cycle. Do note that the only formal vote an admission committee need to make is for admission (acceptance or alternate/WL) and that is the only decision they must inform you about. A large fraction of applicants will never get a formal rejection; they will simply never get II or acceptance.

Getting primary in on time 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. Additionally, how each school then opens a file, reviews them on GPA, MCAT, and other factors, and what order they wind up in a queue has less to do with when the primary arrives then when the secondary is completed and received. Since the majority of schools, I dare say, send out pre-transmission, unscreened, or minimal cut off screened secondaries, this is probably a larger factor in where you wind up in the queue for 1) reading an application and 2) decision on interview invite. As I have said previously, and will undoubtedly say dozens of time during this 2021 application cycle (see count above) review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
Hi @gonnif , I had the opportunity to work with a Nurse- Scientist who I performed clinical research under. I worked with her on a paper, got a poster presentation and an oral presentation. She was a great individual who mentored me throughout. However, the problem is she is highly against physicians as when she was working in the 60s, she feels they looked down her and other nurses .

She has tried to get me to deviate my path from medicine; for ex., I told her I'm passionate about religion and she suggested I choose Theology school. I told her I enjoy patient care and immediately she said I should choose nursing school. I think she is under the impression that i'm not 100% on medicine.

I really want to ask her for a letter, but I am worried that the letter might say something wrong about my desire to be a physician or something negative of that nature. What would you advise in this situation? Is there any way i can find out her thoughts on the matter in writing me a good letter?
 

gonnif

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Hi @gonnif , I had the opportunity to work with a Nurse- Scientist who I performed clinical research under. I worked with her on a paper, got a poster presentation and an oral presentation. She was a great individual who mentored me throughout. However, the problem is she is highly against physicians as when she was working in the 60s, she feels they looked down her and other nurses .

She has tried to get me to deviate my path from medicine; for ex., I told her I'm passionate about religion and she suggested I choose Theology school. I told her I enjoy patient care and immediately she said I should choose nursing school. I think she is under the impression that i'm not 100% on medicine.

I really want to ask her for a letter, but I am worried that the letter might say something wrong about my desire to be a physician or something negative of that nature. What would you advise in this situation? Is there any way i can find out her thoughts on the matter in writing me a good letter?
If you are questioning it here, it is already a risk. just from what you have said, I wouldn't get a letter from her
 
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Goro

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Hi @gonnif , I had the opportunity to work with a Nurse- Scientist who I performed clinical research under. I worked with her on a paper, got a poster presentation and an oral presentation. She was a great individual who mentored me throughout. However, the problem is she is highly against physicians as when she was working in the 60s, she feels they looked down her and other nurses .

She has tried to get me to deviate my path from medicine; for ex., I told her I'm passionate about religion and she suggested I choose Theology school. I told her I enjoy patient care and immediately she said I should choose nursing school. I think she is under the impression that i'm not 100% on medicine.

I really want to ask her for a letter, but I am worried that the letter might say something wrong about my desire to be a physician or something negative of that nature. What would you advise in this situation? Is there any way i can find out her thoughts on the matter in writing me a good letter?
Screaming red flags all over this one!
 
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gonnif

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Are there any schools that are accepting without the MCAT because of COVID-19?

Several schools, most notably, all the UC and other California schools have announced some policies on this.

https://medschool.ucsd.edu/admissions/PublishingImages/Pages/default/COVID 19 Joint Statement.pdf
The purpose of this message is to address concerns from prospective applicants who are experiencing unprecedented educational upheaval during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants for the upcoming application cycle can count on our common commitment to the following principles:

Pass/Fail Grades – Our schools will accept pass/fail grades, without prejudice, for courses taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has always been our practice to consider grades in the context of numerous other aspects of the application, and an international crisis certainly provides a unique and compelling context. In making this statement, we are cognizant of the fact that some undergraduate schools are providing an option for students to take courses either for grades or on a Pass/Fail basis. We therefore want to be explicit that applicants should not feel pressured by us to choose the graded option. Students and their families are facing many challenges at the moment – maybe even life and death challenges. The pressure for grades need not be one of them.

MCAT Tests – We will accept applications from individuals who were unable to take the MCAT due to COVID-related test cancellations. For these candidates, we will base secondary application decisions on the information that is available to us at the time of the application. Assuming that MCAT testing resumes prior to October, we will require applicants to have taken the MCAT before we make admissions decisions for the Class of 2025. Accordingly, applicants should not delay applying simply because an MCAT score is not yet available.



****The Novel Corona Virus/COVID-19 & the Future for Premeds(Post Count #023)****
Because of COVID-19 and the very dynamic changes this will bring throughout society for the this year (and likely for the next 2-3 years if pandemics of the 20th century would indicate), questions will come up again and again about online prereqs, P/F courses, MCAT prep and testing, volunteering, shadowing, Physician LOR, lab requirements, etc. However, there is no definitive answer as no one knows which schools will act in which ways, nor how the upcoming cycle will happen. However, as medical schools are on the front lines of this both in treating patients as well as setting appropriate behavior for community public health, it would seems reasonable that most medical schools will take into consideration over the next few years at least. In this time of War, and make no mistake we are in a World War of Corona, we all must learn to live with uncertainty and ambiguity about the future.

*Coronavirus (COVID-19) and AMCAS FAQ
*Coronavirus (COVID-19) and The MCAT Exam FAQ
*Joint Statement from the Admissions Deans of California Medical Schools Regarding Academic Work and MCAT Tests that are Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak
*TMDSAS Update: COVID-19 Impacts on EY 2021
*Brown University Covid-19 Pre-Health/Pre-Med FAQ
(Brown’s Pre-Med FAQ above provides good summary of issues at bottom of their page)
*SUNY Upstate Information for Fall 2021 Cycle College of Medicine Applicants
 

back2skewl

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What are people's thoughts on in-person interviews in this upcoming cycle? Should we expect everything to be virtual?
 

gonnif

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What are people's thoughts on in-person interviews in this upcoming cycle? Should we expect everything to be virtual?
more than likely yes. But nothing is certain until it happens

****The Novel Corona Virus/COVID-19 & the Future for Premeds(Post Count #023)****
Because of COVID-19 and the very dynamic changes this will bring throughout society for the this year (and likely for the next 2-3 years if pandemics of the 20th century would indicate), questions will come up again and again about online prereqs, P/F courses, MCAT prep and testing, volunteering, shadowing, Physician LOR, lab requirements, virtual interviews, etc. However, there is no definitive answer as no one knows which schools will act in which ways, nor how the upcoming cycle will happen. However, as medical schools are on the front lines of this both in treating patients as well as setting appropriate behavior for community public health, it would seems reasonable that most medical schools will take into consideration over the next few years at least. In this time of crisis, we all must learn to live with uncertainty and ambiguity about the future.

*Coronavirus (COVID-19) and AMCAS FAQ
*Coronavirus (COVID-19) and The MCAT Exam FAQ
*Joint Statement from the Admissions Deans of California Medical Schools Regarding Academic Work and MCAT Tests that are Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak
*TMDSAS Update: COVID-19 Impacts on EY 2021
*Brown University Covid-19 Pre-Health/Pre-Med FAQ
(Brown’s Pre-Med FAQ above provides good summary of issues at bottom of their page)
*SUNY Upstate Information for Fall 2021 Cycle College of Medicine Applicants
 
D

deleted987908

Would we be able to include any future opportunities we have on the applications? I'm set to start medical scribing this summer or fall (due to covid-19) and have president/vice president positions in two clubs this coming school year.
 
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clumsy.md

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@Catalystik Does info from past application cycles rollover to new ones? I'm a re-applicant and didn't think I'd be needing to input all of my coursework again.
 

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hello, I have a question about my letters of recommendation. I currently have 1 very strong letter from my research PI, 1 strong letter from an upper level science professor, 1 strong letter from a non-science faculty member, and 1 letter from my post-grad job teaching with TFA since I have been out of school for a year. I had previously thought my research PI would also count as a 2nd science letter but now realizing it does not. my question is am I better off applying with what I have or should I try to get a second science letter that would probably not be as strong at this point? most of the schools I am applying for say they only require 1 (a few say they suggest 2). thank you!
 
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@Catalystik Does info from past application cycles rollover to new ones? I'm a re-applicant and didn't think I'd be needing to input all of my coursework again.
If you submitted an application for the 2019-2020 application cycle (and got verified), most information should have repopulated. If you applied in a cycle prior to that, it's my understanding that not much carries over.
 

LiftingMed

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So my university isn't on the approved sender list for etranscripts, but AAMC is relaxing the rules and allowing fax and email from non-approved ones too, does anyone know the email address to send it to? I found this link, but wasn't sure if [email protected] is for that. I did email my registrar since I couldn't find any information on their site about it either.

Edit - My registrar told me to send it to that email, [email protected].

 
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gonnif

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Would we be able to include any future opportunities we have on the applications? I'm set to start medical scribing this summer or fall (due to covid-19) and have president/vice president positions in two clubs this coming school year.
No, the activity must have started in order to list it.
 

sylvester500

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Can anybody comment on criteria used to determine if an applicant is exempt from submitting transcripts from a particular school? I began a class at a non-home university one summer (independent of my degree-granting institution), then stopped after I realized the course wasn't really worth my time.

Any idea if it's worth submitting an exemption request?
 

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My undergrad transcripts lists the course names for the courses AP credit got me credit for. For a few APs, they only give generic (non-dept. specific) elective credit, and they are listed like "Elective Credit 4 units." I'm having trouble interpreting the AMCAS guide on this one, do I just list "AP Credit: Elective" for each of those as the course name and then put "Other" for course classification? Or would I just list the name as "Elective Credit"?
 
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gonnif

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I have a 1 credit hour course that was satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading only - no letter grades. On my transcript, there is an S for satisfactory.
On AMCAS when I am entering the course, should I enter "S" and check Pass/Fail in the Special Course Types? Or should I enter it as "P", or "Satisfactory"? Nowhere on the transcript does it say what "S" means.
you enter EXACTLY what it says on Transcript. So enter "S"
 
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gonnif

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Can anybody comment on criteria used to determine if an applicant is exempt from submitting transcripts from a particular school? I began a class at a non-home university one summer (independent of my degree-granting institution), then stopped after I realized the course wasn't really worth my time.

Any idea if it's worth submitting an exemption request?

Get a transcript

https://aamc-orange.global.ssl.fast..._amcas_2021_applicant_guide_42220.pdf#page=33
When entering coursework, you must include information and corresponding grades for every course you have ever enrolled in at any U.S., U.S. territorial, or Canadian postsecondary institution, regardless of whether you earned credit.
 
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gonnif

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My undergrad transcripts lists the course names for the courses AP credit got me credit for. For a few APs, they only give generic (non-dept. specific) elective credit, and they are listed like "Elective Credit 4 units." I'm having trouble interpreting the AMCAS guide on this one, do I just list "AP Credit: Elective" for each of those as the course name and then put "Other" for course classification? Or would I just list the name as "Elective Credit"?
You can do one of the following
1) give each elective credit the name of the AP exam you took that earned you that credit. For example if you took AP American History, you can list it as "Elective Credit (AP American History)" and classify accordingly
2) leave it as just elective credit and classify as other

I would do #1 one this
 

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You can do one of the following
1) give each elective credit the name of the AP exam you took that earned you that credit. For example if you took AP American History, you can list it as "Elective Credit (AP American History)" and classify accordingly
2) leave it as just elective credit and classify as other

I would do #1 one this

Sorry for bugging you, but just to clarify, even if my school did not assign department specific elective credit but it was simply "elective credit" going towards my total units, under #1 you would still recommend putting the dept down for the AP?
 

gonnif

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So my university isn't on the approved sender list for etranscripts, but AAMC is relaxing the rules and allowing fax and email from non-approved ones too, does anyone know the email address to send it to? I found this link, but wasn't sure if [email protected] is for that. I did email my registrar since I couldn't find any information on their site about it either.

Edit - My registrar told me to send it to that email, [email protected].


1) Your registrar CANNOT email a transcript directly to AMCAS.
2) What AMCAS is saying if you school has a 3rd party vendor that does transcript processing for the college, they can contact the vendor to arrange transcript delivery. AMCAS will accept fax and email from known 3rd party vendors
3) If you school does not have a vendor, then the registrar can use the email [email protected] to request the secure fax number, which will likely come with requirements to prove you are the registrar.
4) You can have registrar mail the transcripts

AMCAS for Registrars
Due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), AMCAS is now accepting transcripts from registrars by email and fax. If your institution currently has an electronic transcript vendor, please continue to use your vendor.

If your institution has a vendor and AMCAS is not an “approved sender” fax and email is still accepted. Please contact your vendor to arrange delivery.

Registrars Only: If you would like the transcript secure fax number contact [email protected] with the subject line “Instructions.”

All eTranscripts must be in PDF format and conform to the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) PDF Attachment standard.



BTW, this is really confusing as AMCAS COVID-19 FAQ website it states the below.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and AMCAS
My institution does not provide electronic transcripts. What should I do?


We encourage all schools to submit electronic transcripts, though AMCAS continues to accept official paper transcripts from all institutions. Visit your institution's website for more information and/or guidance on changes to their processes. Paper copies will be processed upon receipt, however, please note that there may be a delay.
 

gonnif

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Sorry for bugging you, but just to clarify, even if my school did not assign department specific elective credit but it was simply "elective credit" going towards my total units, under #1 you would still recommend putting the dept down for the AP?
By department, I presume you mean the course classification which are not the same thing. So if you have taken a AP exam that is clearly classified by the content, then yes put the classification down. All AP Exams should be easily classified
 

Escherian

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By department, I presume you mean the course classification which are not the same thing. So if you have taken a AP exam that is clearly classified by the content, then yes put the classification down. All AP Exams should be easily classified

Ah, I see. Thank you!
 

LiftingMed

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1) Your registrar CANNOT email a transcript directly to AMCAS.
2) What AMCAS is saying if you school has a 3rd party vendor that does transcript processing for the college, they can contact the vendor to arrange transcript delivery. AMCAS will accept fax and email from known 3rd party vendors
3) If you school does not have a vendor, then the registrar can use the email [email protected] to request the secure fax number, which will likely come with requirements to prove you are the registrar.
4) You can have registrar mail the transcripts

AMCAS for Registrars
Due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), AMCAS is now accepting transcripts from registrars by email and fax. If your institution currently has an electronic transcript vendor, please continue to use your vendor.

If your institution has a vendor and AMCAS is not an “approved sender” fax and email is still accepted. Please contact your vendor to arrange delivery.

Registrars Only: If you would like the transcript secure fax number contact [email protected] with the subject line “Instructions.”

All eTranscripts must be in PDF format and conform to the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) PDF Attachment standard.



BTW, this is really confusing as AMCAS COVID-19 FAQ website it states the below.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and AMCAS
My institution does not provide electronic transcripts. What should I do?


We encourage all schools to submit electronic transcripts, though AMCAS continues to accept official paper transcripts from all institutions. Visit your institution's website for more information and/or guidance on changes to their processes. Paper copies will be processed upon receipt, however, please note that there may be a delay.

My university has currently suspended paper transcripts. I'm not sure what 3rd party vendor they're using, but it's not getting directly sent by the registrar. They did get back to me and told me to use [email protected] when filling out the request, if they were misinformed, then I guess I'll find out.
 

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My biostatistics class was a 4 credit class with a lecture and discussion. Do I check Lecture and Lab or just Lecture on the course input for AMCAS?
 

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Is there any negative impact of not disclosing family income? Also, "How have you paid or did you pay for your post-secondary education?" includes living expenses?
 

Jack-Kennedy35

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1. If my volunteer coordinator for a hospital volunteering experience is no longer active, who can I list as my contact? I don't know if the current volunteer coordinator has a record of my activity.
2. If I am the founder of a community service project, who can i list as my contact? The vice president?

@Catalystik @gonnif
 
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deleted1044797

1. If AP Exam credit is listed on the official transcript under Fall 2003, but I was enrolled in the college from 2010-, do I need to list the AP credit under Fall 2003?

2. If I attended Summer classes as a non-degree at Institution 2 while enrolled in Institution 1, then transferred in the Fall to Institution 2, how do I list this under enrollment? Do I need to get a separate transcript for the summer from Institution 2?
 

gonnif

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1. If AP Exam credit is listed on the official transcript under Fall 2003, but I was enrolled in the college from 2010-, do I need to list the AP credit under Fall 2003?

2. If I attended Summer classes as a non-degree at Institution 2 while enrolled in Institution 1, then transferred in the Fall to Institution 2, how do I list this under enrollment? Do I need to get a separate transcript for the summer from Institution 2?
1. list as 2010
2. A single transcript. Degree/non-degree is irrelevant. Its solely enrollment.
 
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gonnif

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1. If my volunteer coordinator for a hospital volunteering experience is no longer active, who can I list as my contact? I don't know if the current volunteer coordinator has a record of my activity.
2. If I am the founder of a community service project, who can i list as my contact? The vice president?

@Catalystik @gonnif
1. If you have contact for former coordinator, list that else. Else list current coordinator.
2. You can list yourself
 
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gonnif

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Is there any negative impact of not disclosing family income? Also, "How have you paid or did you pay for your post-secondary education?" includes living expenses?
1. No negative impact
2. Include all expenses
 
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deleted987908

When should the CASPER be taken? Or when is the best time?
 

chemistry hahgdgjjhdf

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I am curious as to what to put for the disadvantage status for the application. I ask this because I did put yes for this but as I was writing my description for it, I realized a lot of what I wrote I already mentioned in my personal statement. Should I put yes and essentially keep it similar to my personal statement, try to word it different, or just put no?
 
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