dweji16

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So... I was thinking about this on the way back home from my MCAT class last night... the class was talking about how the average number of schools an applicant gets accepted to is 1.

The strange thing I feel is that, surely if an applicant seemed good enough to be accepted by 1 school, there were more schools that feel the same.

So, is it a possibility, that since schools can check where you've been accepted (I forget when this is possible, but I heard they can at one point), then they will tend to not accept you and give others who haven't been accepted a chance? Especially if the school you were accepted at is a bit higher in terms of ranking, the likelihood that applicant goes to the other school is higher, so rather than waiting to see whether the applicant accepts an offer, opts to accept someone else who doesn't have an acceptance yet.

I just can't fathom why it is that so many people only get 1 acceptance. Albeit, different schools look for different things... but it's not like picking different species of humans... many premeds are similar in many ways.

But I still can't help but think that there might be something like this at play.
 
Jun 1, 2009
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Schools probably do not talk to each other about MD-only acceptances (but they can find out in Feb or April where you've been accepted from the AAMC depending on if they've accepted you or not, respectively). There are just too many applicants and it would be a waste of time trying to game the system into only giving each applicant one acceptance.

I believe that some MSTP programs *do* talk to each other, and some go so far as to ask applicants flat out if they are their first choice (presumably to base decisions), but it is definitely possible to be accepted to more than one MSTP as well even when this occurs.

I've never heard of the average number of acceptances being 1, but something like half of all applicants who apply get into 0 schools...so I can see why the average could be brought down if these students are included in the calculation.
 

TheFlashMD

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About half of applicants have 0 acceptances. So assuming your stats are correct, matriculants have an average of about 2 acceptances.
 

CityLights

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I've always been curious about this, too.

I haven't taken a stats course yet, so I can't comment on in from a technical point of view really. But this how I see it... most people aren't even accepted to ANY school... so it does kind of make sense that among those who are lucky enough to get accepted at all, that it would be to only one school given that the majority of applicants are very well qualified.

EDIT: Oh, if you're not talking about matriculants but applicants, then the above post makes sense.
 

guyski79

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Yeah, could be true if you include people who don't get in anywhere (56% or so).

That would mean that if a person does get accepted somewhere, they'll probably get in at 2-3 places.

Sounds about right based on other people I know.
 

justdoit31

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Also several people apply ED or withdraw applications once they get in where they want (I pulled all apps by the end of November the year I applied so who knows what would have happened if I kept mine out longer)
 

dweji16

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Yep.. I definitely know my fair share of people who got into >=2 schools and those who didnt get into any.

But I know far more people who only got into 1 school... and had around 6-8 interviews. It just seemed strange to me. And these were quality applicants, who I know had strong interviews based on their speaking skills. A lot of them got their first acceptance really early, (around October), then did interviews earlier in the next year, and got waitlisted or rejected to every single school that they interviewed at following their acceptance.

It's a strange process out there.
 

brooklynblunder

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# makes sense with like 60% not getting in and some people withdrawing after acceptance and a few getting in through ED
 

morning

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There are way too many variables to even begin to speculate. How many people don't submit their applications the first possible day? How many people bomb their interviews? How many people don't complete secondaries on time? How many people got a bad LOR and didn't realize it?
 

Batzmarucy831

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Well according to AAMC, about 48% of all applicants matriculate, meaning these students get into at least one school and attend the following year. That leaves over 50% of students in an empty loop and sadly 0 acceptances.

Personally, I applied about 15 schools, and got 6 interviews, attended 5 of those, 2 acceptances, and 2 waitlists... The reality is, there are numerous factors going into committee decisions, at times they seem arbitrary. It's a dark world, kind of like those secret meetings closed off to the public...

Ways to help with your application is to apply EARLY, before the end of summer, complete secondaries, and ace the interviews by being yourself. (plus, have a solid gpa and mcat score)...
 

cubssox2000

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It makes sense when you think of it as the rule of thirds. The average applicant will get interviews to 1/3 of the schools they apply to, and will get accepted to 1/3 of the schools they interview at. Depending on scores, the number of schools applied to can range from 1 to 40. The average applicant (30; 3.6) probably applies to about 30 schools, gets 10 interviews and 3 acceptances. If you factor in people who apply to less schools (those with 35+) and those will poor applications (-25), then the overall averages starts to drop to about 1.