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

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Sep 23, 2019
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Thank you @gonnif . I have not yet submitted my application. If I request a transcript exception on one of the colleges, should I send a second copy of the transcript?
 

gonnif

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Thank you @gonnif . I have not yet submitted my application. If I request a transcript exception on one of the colleges, should I send a second copy of the transcript?
No, list the "second" college as Transcription exception

https://aamc-orange.global.ssl.fast..._amcas_2021_applicant_guide_42220.pdf#page=21

Transcript Exception Request
If you indicate that a transcript is not required, you must request a transcript exception from the
Colleges portion of the Schools Attended section. You can do this online only before you submit your
application. If you need to request a transcript exception after you have submitted your application,
please contact the AAMC Services Contact Center (via 202-828-0600 or [email protected]).

Below are the reasons for seeking a transcript exception. You must select only one option:
• Canadian CEGEP [for collège d’enseignement général et professionnel] or Grade 13 Program.
• Current/future coursework (spring, summer, fall).
Multiple degree or consortium/cross registration program with no separate transcript available.
° Choose this option if no separate transcript is available from the school where
coursework was attempted. Only one transcript is required for schools that
you attended more than once, as long as all coursework appears on the same
official transcript.
 
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AquaticSunrise13

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Does anybody know if any medical schools are conducting virtual interviews this cycle due to coronavirus? If so, what medical school schools are currently doing that for this cycle?
 
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AquaticSunrise13

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Assume all medical schools will be doing so for the 2020=2021 cycle

Great. Thank you. Also, just to confirm, if you resubmit your application since you have to add another letter of recommendation that does not change your queue in line for verification right? You’re still at the same position?
 
Apr 27, 2020
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For the activities section I want to describe my clinical volunteering I've done at a few hospitals. I volunteered at around 3 locations pretty evenly, and I've amassed around ~300 hours. How should I go about consolidating them into one activity for the AMCAS? Should I just have a general description of volunteering (it was pretty much the same responsibilities at each facility) and should I just pick the most recent hospital to list as the contact? I'm just concerned that no one volunteer coordinator could confirm my 300 hours, since I've done around 100 each for each hospital.
 

gonnif

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For the activities section I want to describe my clinical volunteering I've done at a few hospitals. I volunteered at around 3 locations pretty evenly, and I've amassed around ~300 hours. How should I go about consolidating them into one activity for the AMCAS? Should I just have a general description of volunteering (it was pretty much the same responsibilities at each facility) and should I just pick the most recent hospital to list as the contact? I'm just concerned that no one volunteer coordinator could confirm my 300 hours, since I've done around 100 each for each hospital.

You can do this a few ways. I suggest if they are all similar you somehow title/heading/organization with all hospitals (eg Hospital A/Hospital B), put total hours, you can use the repeat the function for dates or simply overall beginning and end dates. Open with
"Volunteered with similar duties at:
Hospital A (dates / hourses
Hospital B (dates/hours contact name/phone
Hospital C (dates/hours contact name/phone

Then describe
@Catalystik can likely give a better way to do this
 

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For the activities section I want to describe my clinical volunteering I've done at a few hospitals. I volunteered at around 3 locations pretty evenly, and I've amassed around ~300 hours. How should I go about consolidating them into one activity for the AMCAS? Should I just have a general description of volunteering (it was pretty much the same responsibilities at each facility) and should I just pick the most recent hospital to list as the contact? I'm just concerned that no one volunteer coordinator could confirm my 300 hours, since I've done around 100 each for each hospital.
You can do this a few ways. I suggest if they are all similar you somehow title/heading/organization with all hospitals (eg Hospital A/Hospital B), put total hours, you can use the repeat the function for dates or simply overall beginning and end dates. Open with
"Volunteered with similar duties at:
Hospital A (dates / hourses
Hospital B (dates/hours contact name/phone
Hospital C (dates/hours contact name/phone

Then describe
@Catalystik can likely give a better way to do this
-Title: Multiple Hospital Volunteer Positions.
-Dates in the header can be all inclusive for all the gigs. Total Hours in the header is the total for all three.
-Header info should have most recent hospital and contact

-Narrative: Give general description that applies to all the positions.

-At the end (in reverse chronological order):
Hospital A (dates /sub-total hours
Also:
Hospital B (dates/sub-hours, contact name/phone
Hospital C (dates/sub-hours, contact name/phone

If you have space, you could mention the department you volunteered in, too.
 

AquaticSunrise13

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that is correct
Do you have to resubmit your application if you added one more letter of recommendation? If so, how do you do that? AMCAS says they received my letter of recommendation, but there's no place to resubmit it; when I hover over it, it doesn't allow me to resubmit it. FYI I originally submitted my application on 6/18 and it has been marked "Review for review" since then. Thanks.
 

gonnif

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Do you have to resubmit your application if you added one more letter of recommendation? If so, how do you do that? AMCAS says they received my letter of recommendation, but there's no place to resubmit it; when I hover over it, it doesn't allow me to resubmit it. FYI I originally submitted my application on 6/18 and it has been marked "Review for review" since then. Thanks.

1594306734526.png
 

ProcrastinatingPremed2020

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Hi all, so I'm running into an issue with a letter writer. I have 4 letters but am waiting for a science letter to come in, he said he'll have it in today but I'm worried by the time its sent in and received by AMCAS it'll be too late for the first wave of apps sent out. Is it possible to assign the letters I have to schools and submit those ones to schools and then add his on to schools that require 2 science letters?

Or should they mainly just be in by the time secondaries are submitted? i.e in a week or so
 
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gonnif

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Hi all, so I'm running into an issue with a letter writer. I have 4 letters but am waiting for a science letter to come in, he said he'll have it in today but I'm worried by the time its sent in and received by AMCAS it'll be too late for the first wave of apps sent out. Is it possible to assign the letters I have to schools and submit those ones to schools and then add his on to schools that require 2 science letters?

Or should they mainly just be in by the time secondaries are submitted? i.e in a week or so
1) You do not need letters in order for application to be transmitted
2) you can assign letters later and they will be sent out in 1 buisness day
3) you need letters at time of secondary submission
4) you have plenty of time
 

AquaticSunrise13

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Due to coronavirus this year, what's considered "early" for having your application verified and processed? Just because 1 of my schools took forever to send out my transcript, my application is way behind. Everything besides that was great. At this rate it doesn't look like I'll be verified until August 14th. Where does that place me in terms of a scale that goes from early, okay, late, really delayed?
 

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Hi! On secondaries, would you recommend that abbreviations be redefined in each individual essay for a particular school, or is okay to write out something like "emergency department (ED)" in the first essay and then use only "ED" if/when I include it in another essay from the same school? Thanks!
 
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gonnif

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Hi! On secondaries, would you recommend that abbreviations be redefined in each individual essay for a particular school, or is okay to write out something like "emergency department (ED)" in the first essay and then use only "ED" if/when I include it in another essay from the same school? Thanks!
Thay would be fine
 
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premed5152

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Hi! So at the time of my primary application, I didn't put projected hours on my work and activities for a research position I began in February because I ended up being furloughed in June because of COVID 19 (date to be brought back was TBD at the time & didn't want to lie..). I was recently told that I'd be brought back and I'll be working full time again...how should I describe this / the expected hours I plan on completing in my secondaries? And will this hurt me because I didn't put the projected hours? Thanks!
 

gonnif

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Hi! So at the time of my primary application, I didn't put projected hours on my work and activities for a research position I began in February because I ended up being furloughed in June because of COVID 19 (date to be brought back was TBD at the time & didn't want to lie..). I was recently told that I'd be brought back and I'll be working full time again...how should I describe this / the expected hours I plan on completing in my secondaries? And will this hurt me because I didn't put the projected hours? Thanks!
Unless there is a question on "What else would you like to tell us" or "future plans" there really isnt place to put this in secondary, And if you do have those questions I would just note 1 or 2 lines that say "after being furloughed due to COVID-19, Irecently returned to a reseach postion XXX that I have described previously described in my AMCAS Primary Application. I projecting an additonally XXX hours for a total of YYY in this lab"
 
Apr 29, 2020
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Hi all, I'm writing with a deep sense of panic and would love any and all advice. I took two english courses at a community college in 2011-2012 when I was a sophomore in high school. That was the year a parent had some severe health problems and there was a lot going on and I honestly can't remember a lot from that year.

A week ago, I was talking to my mom and she mentioned she heard the CC I took these classes at had closed. I was beyond horrified because I completely forgot I ever took classes there, and submitted my AMCAS without it. We weren't sure if I was ever formally enrolled (or just sitting in), so I asked the registrar of the nearby CC that took over their files. She said it was unlikely that I had a transcript. So, my verified AMCAS went out to schools on the first date of transmission.

Today, I unexpectedly received a transcript from the registrar. I apparently got two A+s on the english classes. I would have of course sent in this transcript, I just completely forgot this ever happened, and now I'm just really horrified at what it will mean for my AMCAS. What do I do? Since my AMCAS has already been verified and sent out, does this mean AMCAS will withdraw my app? I can't put into words how horrified I am, and I can't believe that I would make this mistake after all the work I put into this application. Any and all advice would be really welcome, thank you so much in advance. @gonnif @LizzyM @gyngyn
 
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gonnif

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Hi all, I'm writing with a deep sense of panic and would love any and all advice. I took two english courses at a community college in 2011-2012 when I was a sophomore in high school. That was the year a parent had some severe health problems and there was a lot going on and I honestly can't remember a lot from that year.

A week ago, I was talking to my mom and she mentioned she heard the CC I took these classes at had closed. I was beyond horrified because I completely forgot I ever took classes there, and submitted my AMCAS without it. We weren't sure if I was ever formally enrolled (or just sitting in), so I asked the registrar of the nearby CC that took over their files. She said it was unlikely that I had a transcript. So, my verified AMCAS went out to schools on the first date of transmission.

Today, I unexpectedly received a transcript from the registrar. I apparently got two A+s on the english classes. I would have of course sent in this transcript, I just completely forgot this ever happened, and now I'm just really horrified at what it will mean for my AMCAS. What do I do? Since my AMCAS has already been verified and sent out, does this mean AMCAS will withdraw my app? I can't put into words how horrified I am, and I can't believe that I would make this mistake after all the work I put into this application. Any and all advice would be really welcome, thank you so much in advance. @gonnif @LizzyM

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This actually isnt much of an issue. I strongly suggest that you do nothing for now. If and when you get accepted to a school, you can write a VERY short letter saying this was an oversight and here is the copy of transcript. I will forward official transcripts as requested. If you do anything else, it could lead to having your application withdrawn. No one will care about this oversight in the end but leave it alone
 
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Oct 19, 2019
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Hello
I’m in the process of submitting my transcripts. AMCAS has received one from my main institution but im confused about my CC transcripts. They have eTranscript option and so I used that. I also attached a Transcript Request form. AMCAS directions concerning eTranscripts really confuse me, I am not sure I did this correctly?
also, I’m enrolled in an smp right now, taking upper level science and math courses. Will my app still be verifiEd without sending a transcript from this school? Because obviously I can’t right now because we are still in the middle of the 1st semester.
 

gonnif

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Hello
I’m in the process of submitting my transcripts. AMCAS has received one from my main institution but im confused about my CC transcripts. They have eTranscript option and so I used that. I also attached a Transcript Request form. AMCAS directions concerning eTranscripts really confuse me, I am not sure I did this correctly?
also, I’m enrolled in an smp right now, taking upper level science and math courses. Will my app still be verifiEd without sending a transcript from this school? Because obviously I can’t right now because we are still in the middle of the 1st semester.

1) The eTranscript option at your school may not follow the "standard" way of AMCAS accepting these transcripts. If the school did not have approval for etranscripts prior to this cycle, then the registrar needs to email AMCAS for instructions
Registrars Only: If you would like the transcript email or fax instructions, contact [email protected] with the subject line “Instructions.”

2) SMP does not need transcript for current class
 
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1) The eTranscript option at your school may not follow the "standard" way of AMCAS accepting these transcripts. If the school did not have approval for etranscripts prior to this cycle, then the registrar needs to email AMCAS for instructions
Registrars Only: If you would like the transcript email or fax instructions, contact [email protected] with the subject line “Instructions.”

2) SMP does not need transcript for current class
Thank you so much for clarification. I was able to get everything sorted! All my transcripts have been received now, except from my SMP but they have sent me an email and said they are currently reviewing it to see if it will be waived because obviously it has to be. I don’t know why mine didn’t pop up as “not required” like other people I know. Thank you so much!
 
Aug 16, 2019
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I was verified yesterday. The address I put on my AMCAS was an address that I was supposed to be living in now but I found out last week that I will actually be living at my current address for longer instead (until January).How do I/can I change the address on my verified application?
 

gonnif

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I was verified yesterday. The address I put on my AMCAS was an address that I was supposed to be living in now but I found out last week that I will actually be living at my current address for longer instead (until January).How do I/can I change the address on my verified application?
You can change address on AMCAS after verification I believe
 
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Hi @gonnif I'm a non-trad and have a question about the GPAs sent to schools. Long story short my first round of undergrad (2006-2011) was rough. 2.8 cumulative rough. However my master's GPA was a 3.87 and my doctoral GPA was a 3.97 (left after 2.5 years to pursue medicine) and post-bacc classes I've been taking these past couple of years are all 4.0. Looking at a lot of schools they say minimum for everything is a 3.0. Is this only undergrad or is minimum for cumulative every class I've ever taken? If it's the latter and they include grad classes then I'm clear, if it isn't what would you suggest I do? I know grad classes don't really hold a lot of weight but do they at least get calculated into my overalls? I have a 520 MCAT and am an entire decade wiser than when I was in undergrad, but I fear I will be screened out automatically or ineligible to even be considered. Thanks in advance for the help!
 
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gonnif

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Hi @gonnif I'm a non-trad and have a question about the GPAs sent to schools. Long story short my first round of undergrad (2006-2011) was rough. 2.8 cumulative rough. However my master's GPA was a 3.87 and my doctoral GPA was a 3.97 (left after 2.5 years to pursue medicine) and post-bacc classes I've been taking these past couple of years are all 4.0. Looking at a lot of schools they say minimum for everything is a 3.0. Is this only undergrad or is minimum for cumulative every class I've ever taken? If it's the latter and they include grad classes then I'm clear, if it isn't what would you suggest I do? I know grad classes don't really hold a lot of weight but do they at least get calculated into my overalls? I have a 520 MCAT and am an entire decade wiser than when I was in undergrad, but I fear I will be screened out automatically or ineligible to even be considered. Thanks in advance for the help!
[/QUOTE]
1. Applicants get way, way, way too focused on a single metric like GPA. While UG sGPA (BCPM) is the primary metric as it has at least a very rough standard across all applicants, schools will take into account grade trends. post-bacc, SMP, and, to a much lesser and widely varying extent, other graduate GPA. However, this is specific by individual school and all schools will at least screen AMCAS Primary beyond a formalistic calculation of metrics
2. With such a low UG GPA and such a highly improved grad, post-bacc, and MCAT metrics, you need to address this VERY BRIEFLY in PS (in less than 1 sentence) and make a statement that your grad/postbacc GPA and MCAT are much more representative of your academic ability. You should have used this "effective" GPA and MCAT when targeting schools
3. I am more concerned with leaving a PhD program. Medical schools look for a pattern of motivation, commitment, and achievement, and you are weak on all three. This is especially true of commitment: if you weren't going to stay and finish a PhD you decided to start, how can they be sure you will stay and complete the lengthy and arguably more difficult training of medical school and residency.
 

gonnif

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1. In my schools attended section...
I took classes through a community college while in high school. Does AMCAS consider community college a "jr college"? Just want to make sure I enter it right.
Yes
2. TA'd biochem, but got a grade for it so it is on my transcript with the biochem course code. Do i enter it as "chemistry" or "other"?

Classes are classified solely on course content ; department is just a rough guide for students. you can list this as BCPM. If AMCAS disagrees they will change it without penalty
3. my thesis seminar is on my transcript for fall and spring, but the same course code so my transcript makes it "repeated." AMCAS app guide says not to put it as repeated. however, it was p/f and for 0 credits. is there any special code i need to add? deferred grade? exempt? or is it self explanatory as is?
Self-explanatory
 
Apr 9, 2020
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Since em dashes are considered special characters and I can't insert them in my PS, would using 2 dashes as an em dash look unprofessional? Are there other good substitutions for this?
 
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What time is too late to take CASper? I am taking mine on July 30th but I was thinking of moving it to this weekend. I read you don’t study for it but at the same time I don’t want to rush it
 

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Good point...do you think it would be detrimental do just use '-' if I had to with my sentence structure as is?
I think it is more detrimental to delay finishing your essay over a favorite punctuation mark. I'm not trying to be sassy here, but reminding you to let trivial things go and address the big picture.
 
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gonnif

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Is this the right thread to ask for advice about a school list?
I've already submitted my application but I am second-guessing a few of the schools I submitted to and am wondering if there are a couple of others I should throw into the mix. I've already applied to 32 which I know is a lot and I am currently working on secondaries. Advice is appreciated:
Male/white
AZ resident
cGPA: 3.61 (big upward trend)
sGPA: 3.58 (big upward trend)
MCAT: 514 (129/127/130/128)
Clinical experience: 80 hours Hospital/ER cut short due to COVID; would have 150
Non-clinical experience: 125 hours total
Shadowing experience: 50 hours;
40 hours orthopedic/hand surgery (two different outpatient centers, two different clinics)
10 hours aesthetic/reconstructive surgery
spring/summer shadowing canceled due to COVID
Research: 975 total hours: 2 different labs, 2 posters; I was awarded a research scholarship at my undergraduate institution to collaborate with a professor on a project.
Summer research position canceled due to COVID
Extracurriculars: D1 soccer my freshman year which I quit in order to focus on academics and pursue pre-med and other activities. Club soccer (captain) sophomore year to present.
Honoraries for pre-health and history (I am a Biology/History major)

School List:

State Schools
University of AZ - Tucson
University of AZ - Phx campus

Albany
Wake Forest
Miami
SLU
Creighton
Iowa
Loma Linda
Wayne
Jefferson
Loyola
Nova
MCW
NYMC
West Virginia
Colorado ? (Wondering if this may be a reach)
V Tech ?
Maryland
Tulane
Quinnipiac
Vermont ?
Virginia Commonwealth
Wright
Oakland
Seton Hall
Eastern Virginia
Florida Atlantic ? (I added this last minute over USF which I now question. Thought they were OOS friendly but wondering now.)
TCU
UCF
Rush
Greenville
Please post this i WAMC and remove here
 
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Jul 10, 2020
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Wondering if schools will wait for new updated MCAT scores this cycle or will they go ahead and evaluate your application if it is technically "complete"? Retaking on August 29th and wondering if I should go ahead and send in secondaries so I'm not late or wait until I have a new score to submit them and complete my application in Mid-Sept. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
 

gonnif

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Wondering if schools will wait for new updated MCAT scores this cycle or will they go ahead and evaluate your application if it is technically "complete"? Retaking on August 29th and wondering if I should go ahead and send in secondaries so I'm not late or wait until I have a new score to submit them and complete my application in Mid-Sept. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
Schools do not have to wait for a planned MCAT score. I would suggest waiting to send secondaries
 
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1. Applicants get way, way, way too focused on a single metric like GPA. While UG sGPA (BCPM) is the primary metric as it has at least a very rough standard across all applicants, schools will take into account grade trends. post-bacc, SMP, and, to a much lesser and widely varying extent, other graduate GPA. However, this is specific by individual school and all schools will at least screen AMCAS Primary beyond a formalistic calculation of metrics
2. With such a low UG GPA and such a highly improved grad, post-bacc, and MCAT metrics, you need to address this VERY BRIEFLY in PS (in less than 1 sentence) and make a statement that your grad/postbacc GPA and MCAT are much more representative of your academic ability. You should have used this "effective" GPA and MCAT when targeting schools
3. I am more concerned with leaving a PhD program. Medical schools look for a pattern of motivation, commitment, and achievement, and you are weak on all three. This is especially true of commitment: if you weren't going to stay and finish a PhD you decided to start, how can they be sure you will stay and complete the lengthy and arguably more difficult training of medical school and residency.

Thank you so much for your reply! Just to clarify when you speak of the "effective GPA" you suggest I target schools with, are you suggesting I use my true combined with the improvement, or think of it more as my improved GPA (last 127 hours of coursework since undergrad is a 3.94, with 37 of those hours being science and a 4.0)?
 

gonnif

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Thank you so much for your reply! Just to clarify when you speak of the "effective GPA" you suggest I target schools with, are you suggesting I use my true combined with the improvement, or think of it more as my improved GPA (last 127 hours of coursework since undergrad is a 3.94, with 37 of those hours being science and a 4.0)?
1) in your PS I suggest a VERY BRIEF phrase that "my latest nearly 130 hours of coursework at a 3.9 GPA and a 520 MCAT is representative of my academic ability" or something along those lines preferably more concise than above
2) your improvement is more of a guide. You should think of your effective GPA as a 3.75-3.85
 
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1) in your PS I suggest a VERY BRIEF phrase that "my latest nearly 130 hours of coursework at a 3.9 GPA and a 520 MCAT is representative of my academic ability" or something along those lines preferably more concise than above
2) your improvement is more of a guide. You should think of your effective GPA as a 3.75-3.85

This is wonderful news. While my PS (already submitted) did not explicitly say such things I did comment briefly on how improved of a candidate I have become over the last decade. The vast majority of it was also spent explaining how I've remained close to medicine even in another field and culminated in why I left my doctoral program to pursue medicine, so I feel that also addresses your other concerns. I know many secondaries allow for further clarification of things and I will be sure to address my improvement more explicitly in those.

Thank you so much for your help with this, my situation has made it very difficult in targeting schools but your and Goro's advice has been truly invaluable. The work you do for all of us on here is greatly appreciated.
 
Aug 16, 2019
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I’ve already been verified and am submitting secondaries. I moved to an apartment that I was not originally planning to and my address on AMCAS is not a place that I will be living. I need to update this address to my current one. If I update this on my AMCAS now will I be unverified? Will it cause any issues? It is the same state of legal residence as I declared
 

gonnif

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The Big Bad Apple
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I’ve already been verified and am submitting secondaries. I moved to an apartment that I was not originally planning to and my address on AMCAS is not a place that I will be living. I need to update this address to my current one. If I update this on my AMCAS now will I be unverified? Will it cause any issues? It is the same state of legal residence as I declared
wont cause an issue, update address
 
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Jul 1, 2020
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I have 8 hours of exemption credit in a foreign language that AMCAS changed from "exemption" to "advanced placement," I think because my school gave me actual credit hours (P/F) for the courses. The exemption was awarded after a foreign language placement test before starting my freshman year. I just used it to get into 3rd semester french instead of starting with 1st. Is this worth an academic change request?
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,479
39,397
The Big Bad Apple
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Are IB classes/tests entered the same way as AP classes?
Yes

International Baccalaureate (IB)
To claim IB credit, the credit hours must be listed on your transcript. Include IB credit courses only once
(indicating IB under Special Course Types), even though IB credit for the same subject may have been
awarded by more than one institution. IB courses may be assigned under the institution awarding the
most credit. IB credit should be entered under the first term in which the college credit was initially
granted. If no term is designated, include the credit with FR coursework.
If the transcript from the college awarding IB credit does not list course names, enter the subject area
for which credit has been earned (e.g., IB Credit: English) as the Course Name
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,479
39,397
The Big Bad Apple
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
I have 8 hours of exemption credit in a foreign language that AMCAS changed from "exemption" to "advanced placement," I think because my school gave me actual credit hours (P/F) for the courses. The exemption was awarded after a foreign language placement test before starting my freshman year. I just used it to get into 3rd semester french instead of starting with 1st. Is this worth an academic change request?
AMCAS is correct. Since you were awarded credit outside of a class, it is treated like AP .... all special course types are treated like this
 
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