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

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gonnif

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@gonnif thanks for all your help. i think the verification process is significantly delayed this year. how does that affect the timeine you typically give to students regarding submission. I submitted june 20 and probably wont be verified until mid august....which is really pushing it in my opinion. people have already gotten interviews by then..
1) With the Pandemic, timing and just how a normal cycle usually goes can not applied this year. Put your expectations aside
2) schools understand how difficult this cycle will be from getting transcripts from UG to AMCAS and then getting applications processed thru AMCAS
3) Schools do not evaluate, review, or issue interview invites based on some first come, first served basis nor do they hand they all interviews out at once. Reviews and interview invites are based on quality and competitiveness of the applicant with stronger applicants looked at earlier
4) At best, when admissions is operating at full capacity (which isnt until at least mid-August until early September) schools can only evaluate and review a few to several hundred applications a week. With several thousands applications, it can take up to 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) after your application is complete for evaluation and review to occur
5) With several schools already noting the interview cycle with go thru March 2021, I would suggest that being complete by Oct 1 this cycle is still ontime for solid applicants across most programs and frankly beyond, I would also suggest 20%-25% of interview invites will go out after the new year
 
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blueberry4104

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If I am starting an SMP this fall, how would I indicate that on my application? Should I include it in to the schools attended section?
 

gonnif

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If I am starting an SMP this fall, how would I indicate that on my application? Should I include it in to the schools attended section?
If you are staring an SMP this fall, why are you applying to medical school prior to having any done work in it to show you are improving? You should apply AFTER you have done significant work in the SMP. In some ways, I would consider expressing that you are starting one reason to lean to pre-II rejection as you do not have the evidence to show you can academically handle medical school. Why should a school take the resources and time to consider you this year when next year they will have the evidence?
 
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blueberry4104

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If you are staring an SMP this fall, why are you applying to medical school prior to having any done work in it to show you are improving? You should apply AFTER you have done significant work in the SMP. In some ways, I would consider expressing that you are starting one reason to lean to pre-II rejection as you do not have the evidence to show you can academically handle medical school. Why should a school take the resources and time to consider you this year when next year they will have the evidence?

The sentence I bolded above, not sure what you mean by that.

I have evidence of improvement. My GPA is low-ish, sure, but also comes with a huge upward trend. The rest of my application is strong. I have quality ECs, essays, and a solid MCAT score. This SMP offers a guaranteed interview for this cycle, which if successful would allow me to matriculate in fall 2021. I've taken gap years, gained experience. Personally, I am just ready to apply.
 
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gonnif

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The sentence I bolded above, not sure what you mean by that.

I have evidence of improvement. My GPA is low-ish, sure, but also comes with a huge upward trend. The rest of my application is strong. I have quality ECs, essays, and a solid MCAT score. This SMP offers a guaranteed interview for this cycle, which if successful would allow me to matriculate in fall 2021. I've taken gap years, gained experience. Personally, I am just ready to apply.
1) is your goal to simply apply to medical school or is your goal to actually be accepted and become a doctor?
2) Does the SMP guarantee interviews if you have certain GPA/MCAT, which assumes you will maintain those goals
3) an admissions committee (outside of this SMP) wont make those assumptions nor will they spend time / resources to take a chance on you until you have those grades as part of your record, which will not be with this cycle. Hence, an adcom must reject 80%+ pre-II and a weak applicant that is just starting SMP does not yet have the evidence to show that he/she will be successful. I would wait for what they achieve in the SMP before I would invest limited resources into them.
 

blueberry4104

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1) is your goal to simply apply to medical school or is your goal to actually be accepted and become a doctor?
2) Does the SMP guarantee interviews if you have certain GPA/MCAT, which assumes you will maintain those goals
3) an admissions committee (outside of this SMP) wont make those assumptions nor will they spend time / resources to take a chance on you until you have those grades as part of your record, which will not be with this cycle. Hence, an adcom must reject 80%+ pre-II and a weak applicant that is just starting SMP does not yet have the evidence to show that he/she will be successful. I would wait for what they achieve in the SMP before I would invest limited resources into them.

Interview is guaranteed with certain GPA/MCAT. I will not have a problem with that aspect. I will have first semester grade updates by December. With how delayed the current cycle seems to be, I don't even expect to hear back from some schools until after the new year, especially since I will most likely be complete mid-August. I don't see too much of an issue with that

Also have a friend from my undergrad with same exact GPA (without the upward grade trend I have), lower MCAT than mine, and similar ECs that got an acceptance at a pretty solid mid-tier MD school on the west coast, which is honestly one of my top choices. N=1, I know, but that is just proof to me that there are a lot of other things that go into selecting applicants besides GPA. I feel that the rest of my app will be enough to at least stand a chance. I'll give it to you having an incomplete SMP may not help my chances, but it certainly will not HURT them
 

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Is it possible to reassign letters of recommendation? I just realized that one of my letters does not fit a school's requirements so I would like to change it. However, I can only add letters, but cannot replace them? What is the best course of action for this? I have already submitted amcas
 
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Hey @gonnif!

Two questions:

1) I have a Master's degree in Medical Science with a collaborative specializaiton program in Cardiovascular Sciences. Do I put any of the Med Sci/Cardio. Sci in the Major/Minor sections on AMCAS or do I simply leave it as Master of Science without any details?

2) A few weeks into my shadowing, my doctor asked if I would be comfortable taking patient history under his supervision and I agreed. Is taking patient history frowned upon by adcomms? I was wondering if I should talk about it since I'm thinking of including the experience as one of my most meaningful since I had patient interactions rather than passively observe a physician.
 

gonnif

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Hey @gonnif!

Two questions:

1) I have a Master's degree in Medical Science with a collaborative specializaiton program in Cardiovascular Sciences. Do I put any of the Med Sci/Cardio. Sci in the Major/Minor sections on AMCAS or do I simply leave it as Master of Science without any details?

2) A few weeks into my shadowing, my doctor asked if I would be comfortable taking patient history under his supervision and I agreed. Is taking patient history frowned upon by adcomms? I was wondering if I should talk about it since I'm thinking of including the experience as one of my most meaningful since I had patient interactions rather than passively observe a physician.
1) you can put the cardio as major if you want
2) If you are going to make it a MME with close contact to patients, I do not see how you could not mention it.
 
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MoTheGreatish

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Hey everyone!
I have a question about fee assistance program. Unfortunately I found out about this program after my AMCAS application was submitted (now verified). My family does qualify for the FAP and it has been granted to me. However, since my app was submitted, the FAP can't be used for the primary (even if I want to add additional designations). My question is though, will schools know I have received FAP? I am hoping that my secondary fees could be reduced as the cost of those was limiting factor last year in terms of the number of apps I was able to submit. Would I have to send proof of my FAP to the schools individually or will the AAMC automatically send this information to them?
 
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Im submitting my primary on Monday, will it be considered late this cycle? I was waiting on my transcripts getting received and I also have my MCAT mid-July.
 
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gonnif

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Im submitting my primary on Monday, will it be considered late this cycle? I was waiting on my transcripts getting received and I also have my MCAT mid-July.
Here is the absolute answer: does it mattter? can you somehow submit earlier? have you invented a time machine.
Okay, here is the real answer, compared to all other cycles that have happened in the middle of a pandemic that have impacted the system in more ways then any of the schools think about, you are fine.
 

blueberry4104

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You cant; besides submitting before you actually have any grades from the SMP makes no sense


I understand that you think it makes no sense. Aside from that point:

Couldn't I add it under colleges attended/include future coursework and mark "transcripts not required" so that my app can be verified, and then just update individual schools with my fall semester grades in December?
 

gonnif

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I understand that you think it makes no sense. Aside from that point:

Couldn't I add it under colleges attended/include future coursework and mark "transcripts not required" so that my app can be verified, and then just update individual schools with my fall semester grades in December?
you cant add something your havent started
 
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Can I still apply to 20 schools for free with FAP if I do the 1 school verification initially? I already have been approved for FAP but just waiting on MCAT.
 
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I'm having serious issues with my transcripts. I sent 2 parchment electronic transcripts in early May which are still not received by AMCAS. I've pretty much have given up on those after getting them to "escalate" it a few times. I've also had an issue where they told me that they made a mistake with associating my transcripts with the wrong school and had to "re-associate" my transcripts. Has anyone heard of this? I thought they fixed this issue, but weeks later they're telling me the same thing. They're saying I have to wait 15 business days to request a transcript re-association, which I don't get why I have to wait all of this time and quite frankly don't know why they never fixed it. I am so fed up with this. What am I supposed to do? It literally looks like I won't be able to get into med school because of their incompetence.
 

gonnif

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I'm having serious issues with my transcripts. I sent 2 parchment electronic transcripts in early May which are still not received by AMCAS. I've pretty much have given up on those after getting them to "escalate" it a few times. I've also had an issue where they told me that they made a mistake with associating my transcripts with the wrong school and had to "re-associate" my transcripts. Has anyone heard of this? I thought they fixed this issue, but weeks later they're telling me the same thing. They're saying I have to wait 15 business days to request a transcript re-association, which I don't get why I have to wait all of this time and quite frankly don't know why they never fixed it. I am so fed up with this. What am I supposed to do? It literally looks like I won't be able to get into med school because of their incompetence.
Unfortunately there is nothing I can suggest here
 
Jun 14, 2020
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Question about Letter Writer Title!
One of my letter writers is a professor I had my sophomore year at X University and has since moved to Y University (where she is currently). In AMCAS, should I put her title, office address and University affiliation as the school where I interacted with her? Or her current title and school affiliation? I assumed that I should put the one that is relevant to our interaction (X University) but wanted to double check. Not sure if this matters also but the school where we had a relationship and interacted is much more "prestigious" than the school she is at now but she has a much higher position at the new school (chair of a department).
 

gonnif

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Question about Letter Writer Title!
One of my letter writers is a professor I had my sophomore year at X University and has since moved to Y University (where she is currently). In AMCAS, should I put her title, office address and University affiliation as the school where I interacted with her? Or her current title and school affiliation? I assumed that I should put the one that is relevant to our interaction (X University) but wanted to double check. Not sure if this matters also but the school where we had a relationship and interacted is much more "prestigious" than the school she is at now but she has a much higher position at the new school (chair of a department).
where you had affiliation is fine
 
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where you had affiliation is fine
Thank you for your response!! One more question - when she does her letterhead for the letter, should I ask her to use her affiliation from the school where we interacted or her current one? I would assume to use her current title/affiliation, but again wanted to double check. Thank you again for taking the time to respond!!!
 
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gonnif

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Thank you for your response!! One more question - when she does her letterhead for the letter, should I ask her to use her affiliation from the school where we interacted or her current one? I would assume to use her current title/affiliation, but again wanted to double check. Thank you again for taking the time to respond!!!
Current. They should know as this kind of issue occurs all the time. They will write a letter as "currently professor at A but formerly at B"
 
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Question about Research entries in Work/Activities section!

During one summer, I worked on 2 different clinical studies in the same lab because neither had full-time positions but both had part-time positions. I was wondering if I should include these in 2 separate entries for the Work and Activities section? I was confused on what to do because they were both in the same lab during the same summer and I played minor roles in both. I tried writing a 700 character description including both and its hard to fit both in and do them justice. The studies were completely separate from one another and had different PI's. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance!
 
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Hi, I identified an issue on my AMCAS biographic info section where I accidentally answered yes to "were you required to contribute to overall family income" as I misread it and missed the second half " as opposed to working primarily for your own discretionary spending money". I am not considered SES disadvantaged, disadvantaged status etc. otherwise. Is this a serious concern?
 
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I have IB credits that were transferred and accepted by the us institution. The official transcript doesn’t list courses that the credit was awarded for but it does include the number of hours transferred and GPA for all IB courses. I have a WES evaluation, should I send it to Amcas too?
 
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I requested a transcript from one of my schools in the middle of may. On june 19th I received an email from amcas stating that my transcript was received on 2nd of June. Does that mean my verification process will started on the 19th of june or the 2nd of june when it was received? Thanks in advance.
 

gonnif

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Question about Research entries in Work/Activities section!

During one summer, I worked on 2 different clinical studies in the same lab because neither had full-time positions but both had part-time positions. I was wondering if I should include these in 2 separate entries for the Work and Activities section? I was confused on what to do because they were both in the same lab during the same summer and I played minor roles in both. I tried writing a 700 character description including both and its hard to fit both in and do them justice. The studies were completely separate from one another and had different PI's. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance!
If you feel that they both are deserving of a entry, then do so; it wont be weird as they were different labs for different PIs

Completely trivial. As UG , two summers I work on Fruit Flies for Professor "E.A. Smith" and on Fire Flies for Professor "A.D. Smith." Even more confusing is that A.D. Smith's wife was E.A. Smith's secretary
 

gonnif

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Hi, I identified an issue on my AMCAS biographic info section where I accidentally answered yes to "were you required to contribute to overall family income" as I misread it and missed the second half " as opposed to working primarily for your own discretionary spending money". I am not considered SES disadvantaged, disadvantaged status etc. otherwise. Is this a serious concern?
trivial error I wouldnt be concerned
 

gonnif

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I have IB credits that were transferred and accepted by the us institution. The official transcript doesn’t list courses that the credit was awarded for but it does include the number of hours transferred and GPA for all IB courses. I have a WES evaluation, should I send it to Amcas too?
No, you do not send the WES to AMCAS as they will not accept it. You treat IB like AP. you can list the the courses and split up the credit but if no grades were assigned by the US/Canadian college, then it will not be part of GPA
 
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gonnif

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I requested a transcript from one of my schools in the middle of may. On june 19th I received an email from amcas stating that my transcript was received on 2nd of June. Does that mean my verification process will started on the 19th of june or the 2nd of june when it was received? Thanks in advance.
Neither. You only enter the verification queue when both the primary application and all transcripts are received. So you entered the queue on the 19th and this were the "time to verification" clock starts, which can be now 2-8 weeks
 
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Not sure if this has been pointed out in the thread but should we expect a dip this year given the circumstances? I'd imagine theres some historical data for dips after other economic crisis' etc.
 

gonnif

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Not sure if this has been pointed out in the thread but should we expect a dip this year given the circumstances? I'd imagine theres some historical data for dips after other economic crisis' etc.

Yea so decreases in competitiveness, application volume, schools per applicant volume etc.
The appears to be the perception by premeds which both historically and currently directly opposite the reality. Economic dips often bring people back to school as they lost a job/career and decide time for a change. And in early June, AMCAS got the highest number of applicants starting an application for an opening week. I would not expect any dip in competitiveness
 
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Hey all, I just had a question about how to go about designating a chemistry lecture and lab I had as repeats on the AMCAS. So my first semester I took CHEM 1 Lecture as an Audited class, and CHEM 1Lab for a grade, with a B-, however, this has been replaced on my transcript with 'R' in place of the grade.

The following semester I took them again, CHEM 1 now for grade with an A, and CHEM 1Lab again for a grade with an A.

Now for denoting them on the AMCAS, should I denote both attempts for each course as "Repeat (R)?" or should I just denote the second attempt of each one. Additionally, can I double check does the AMCAS even consider an Audited course to be a 'repeat,' I know it doesn't for withdraws?
 

gonnif

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Hey all, I just had a question about how to go about designating a chemistry lecture and lab I had as repeats on the AMCAS. So my first semester I took CHEM 1 Lecture as an Audited class, and CHEM 1Lab for a grade, with a B-, however, this has been replaced on my transcript with 'R' in place of the grade.

The following semester I took them again, CHEM 1 now for grade with an A, and CHEM 1Lab again for a grade with an A.

Now for denoting them on the AMCAS, should I denote both attempts for each course as "Repeat (R)?" or should I just denote the second attempt of each one. Additionally, can I double check does the AMCAS even consider an Audited course to be a 'repeat,' I know it doesn't for withdraws?
1) for the chem lecture since it was an audit, you do not need to note the retake as a repeat
2) for chem lab, put the original grade of B- for the first attempt and mark BOTH attempts (original take and retake) as repeats
 
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@gonnif I already turned in my application for this cycle, and it was verified. However, I was just taken off the waitlist at a school recently. How do I withdraw my amcas application for this year? It says that I'm unable to since it's already verified.
 

gonnif

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@gonnif I already turned in my application for this cycle, and it was verified. However, I was just taken off the waitlist at a school recently. How do I withdraw my amcas application for this year? It says that I'm unable to since it's already verified.
You need to email each school individually
 
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So when I submitted AMCAS I was supposed to move in a week so I put down the address I was moving to (just a few blocks away). However, I ended up not moving there. I may stay where I am and I may move elsewhere (still same neighborhood). So I have no idea what my address will be most of the cycle. What should I do? I could put down my parents’ address so I don’t miss anything important, but it’s a different state than I’m in and claiming residency in.
 
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Submitted my primary two weeks ago, andI just realized I forgot to put "and lab" with my science courses that were combined lecture/lab. I did check the box for this option, though; just didn't include it in the course title. Is this something I should mention in secondaries that have "update us/things you didn't include in your AMCAS" questions? Will AMCAS fix it when they verify?
 

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So when I submitted AMCAS I was supposed to move in a week so I put down the address I was moving to (just a few blocks away). However, I ended up not moving there. I may stay where I am and I may move elsewhere (still same neighborhood). So I have no idea what my address will be most of the cycle. What should I do? I could put down my parents’ address so I don’t miss anything important, but it’s a different state than I’m in and claiming residency in.
Mailing address is one of the few things you can update on your app, so do that when you know your new address.
 

gonnif

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Submitted my primary two weeks ago, andI just realized I forgot to put "and lab" with my science courses that were combined lecture/lab. I did check the box for this option, though; just didn't include it in the course title. Is this something I should mention in secondaries that have "update us/things you didn't include in your AMCAS" questions? Will AMCAS fix it when they verify?
trivial issue, ignore it.
 
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eyedoctor2020

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1) With the Pandemic, timing and just how a normal cycle usually goes can not applied this year. Put your expectations aside
2) schools understand how difficult this cycle will be from getting transcripts from UG to AMCAS and then getting applications processed thru AMCAS
3) Schools do not evaluate, review, or issue interview invites based on some first come, first served basis nor do they hand they all interviews out at once. Reviews and interview invites are based on quality and competitiveness of the applicant with stronger applicants looked at earlier
4) At best, when admissions is operating at full capacity (which isnt until at least mid-August until early September) schools can only evaluate and review a few to several hundred applications a week. With several thousands applications, it can take up to 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) after your application is complete for evaluation and review to occur
5) With several schools already noting the interview cycle with go thru March 2021, I would suggest that being complete by Oct 1 this cycle is still ontime for solid applicants across most programs and frankly beyond, I would also suggest 20%-25% of interview invites will go out after the new year

Hi Gonnif! Would complete by mid-sept still be ok for applicants with mediocre stats?
 
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This is a question regarding combined transcripts.

I have taken classes from 2 community colleges (mesa cc and chandler gilbert cc) and have listed both schools on my application. Both the schools are in the the maricopa community colleges network which only sends out a combined transcript (my transcripts for both schools would be on this transcript). I sent amcas this transcript, but my application main page indicates that the transcript for only one of the colleges has been received. Is this cause for concern? Should I send AMCAS two copies of the same transcript? I scoured through the AMCAS applicant guide but couldn't find anything. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: I think I have to request a transcript exception.
 

gonnif

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This is a question regarding combined transcripts.

I have taken classes from 2 community colleges (mesa cc and chandler gilbert cc) and have listed both schools on my application. Both the schools are in the the maricopa community colleges network which only sends out a combined transcript (my transcripts for both schools would be on this transcript). I sent amcas this transcript, but my application main page indicates that the transcript for only one of the colleges has been received. Is this cause for concern? Should I send AMCAS two copies of the same transcript? I scoured through the AMCAS applicant guide but couldn't find anything. Thanks in advance.
You needed to have noted this on AMCAS as a transcript exception for one of the colleges. They are waiting for the second college to send a transcript. You need to call AMCAS; I would also get a second copy of the transcript sent to them
 
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