post one (1) helpful tip for people who will be applying....

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ixitixl

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2. Use SDN or interviewfeedback.com to get an idea of what your interviews are going to be like.
 

subtle1epiphany

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i'll echo the first: apply early!

3. make sure your personal statement is well written and properly proofread by someone who knows you, it IS read!

4. don't underestimate your accomplishments, but at the same time don't be arrogant. (kind of obvious...but worth saying)
 
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Lux Aeterna

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6. stay grounded, and tell yourself that once the app is submitted, all you can do is wait. you cannot out-psych the adcom and drive yourself nuts about your app, second guessing the choices you made. whats done is done. when SDN gets too hectic (i.e. when everyone posts their interviews and acceptances and you are still waiting for some, any word), dont let it get to you and take a break from the board!
 

cather

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8. Do practice interviews so that when you go to your interviews, you will be poised and ready for any kind of questions. Interview with friends.
 

TRUE

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9. Do not take the MCAT without taking MANY (8+) practice tests.

10. Don't memorize your interview answers, but don't go in there cold turkey either. If you can't think of something to say with some spare time you have, you'll have more trouble than you think coming up with something when the question comes up...

(sorry, couldn't resist adding two...)
 

Lux Aeterna

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I just thought of a corollary to facted's 10.

10a) Relax at your interviews and have a sense of humor! Laugh and smile at appropriate times... do not be uptight and booooring! My #'s aren't the greatest, but I think I did a good job of engaging the interviewers with some interesting anecdotes and stories
 

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Crank out those secondaries as soon as they come in. They'll pile up, but try to keep yourself to one-a-day. Your sanity is worth it.
 

Gleevec

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11. Get your AMCAS in by mid-late June and have all your secondaries done within a week of receiving them. Doing this is like getting free MCAT and GPA bonus points, seriously (this is especially true of rolling schools, but still useful at nonrolling schools). Do everything as early as possible.
 
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lizzylu

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12. To reiterate the interview process: Do a mock interview preferrably w/ a physician or professional who had given interviews. It's important to get HONEST feedback about your pros and cons (ie. don't say "like", "um" every other word, even when stumped) Smile!
 

TheFlash

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13. Know if your LOR writers will write you good recs. When you go to ask them for one, have a pseudo-interview with them if they don't know you well. Either way, make sure you reiterate the point by explicitly asking if he/she can write you a positive letter of recommendation.

And, as has been said by others on this list, APPLY EARLY! You will be rewarded to no end if you do.

tf
 

darkcity998

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14. Make sure your premed committee who will write your LOR is not late. Get your LORs right now.
 

Mr. Rosewater

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kind of echoing others, but........ show your personality in interviews and essays. i wrote very candid essays and took a lot of risks on them. i got plenty of interviews so i'd say it was a good strategy.
 

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15. Don't apply to too many schools. It will drive you crazy.

So many people apply to 20+; it's a waste of time and money. Apply to enough to overcome the statistical chance that you wont get in. It may feel like your chances are slim everywhere, but believe me, it's more about applying early, doing well on the MCATs, and writing/interviewing well. I think many recommend something like this:

12 schools total:
-6 that have average numbers near yours or look like they have students like you
-4 "safety" schools; schools with lower av.GPA/MCAT.
-2 dream schools.
 

Supadupafly

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16. Study more than you think you need to for the MCAT. This one test is more important than any test you've taken in your entire life. More important than your entire undergrad GPA.
 

DrJ2B

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17. Save up money from working during the semester or summer to fund your application and interview costs. You may have to give up a vacation or not go out as much, but the money will be better spent on the application process. You do not want to miss interview possibilities because you cannot afford to go.

18. Get to know who you really are and why you really want to go into medicine. This will be fruitful when secondaries roll in and when you have interviews.
 

robotdancing

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i know it was #1 on the list, but i think it's worth reiterating...

#1: APPLY EARLY!

it's a pain in the butt at the time, but it's much less of a pain in the butt when you find that you've been accepted at a school you love in mid-october.
 

felipe5

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Be prepared to throw down some cash on the application process!!!!!!!!!

nice thread guys+pissed+
 
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speedbird001

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Make that post by felipe5 #19.

Here's another one:
20. Follow the golden rule. Be nice to everyone you see at your interview. Not only should you treat your interviewers with respect, but also do the same for the secretary and any other staff. I've heard stories of people getting rejected simply because they were rude to the secretary.

Originally posted by felipe5
Be prepared to throw down some cash on the application process!!!!!!!!!

nice thread guys+pissed+
 

greenie8

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21. Get your LORs early. Have them picked out by January or Feb the year you apply. Tell your recommenders that the letters are due ~3 months earlier then they really are. I told my recommenders to have the letters into my pre med office by the end of April. This way I was able to get my committee interview in early May. The entire committee packet was ready to be sent out in August.
 

LaurieB

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22. Take the earliest interview slot that you can, especially if you are interviewing later in the season. This increases the probability that your app will get looked at more thouroughly or more often. Also, some schools run out of spots before they stop interviewing. Goes along the same logic as applying early.

23. Explain to friends and family in advance what a difficult and competitive process this is. That way they'll understand what a big deal it is to get an interview and they'll expect rejections.
 

Tezzie

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24. Don't apply to schools by what other people say. Apply to schools that YOU want to see.

25. Apply to as many or as few schools you want. Make sure that once you are done with the process you will have no regrets.

26. Start an airmiles reward program.
 

BushBaby

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A) Study for the mcat....once you step into that exam room, you better know your stuff.

B) Make sure your application is in on time and on point.

C) Choose your schools carefully, just because you want them doesn't mean they want you.

D) Be thankful for any help you get during the process.

E) Don't think anyone owes you an acceptance...

F) Avoid getting into a AA/URM debate...

G) Have fun in the process and if you don't succeed the first time, pick yourself up and try again.
 

lisa13579

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28. Stay organized if you apply to alot of schools. I kept track of when I sent secondaries, letters of rec in and keep a folder for each school. It's still overwhelming, but at least I know where all my info is!!

29. Do LOTS of practice tests for the MCAT. I wish I did more and know that this is the way to improve your score.
 

shadow

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30. For AMCAS and secondaries: Don't underestimate the amount of time it's going to take to get supporting materials.

AMCAS is notorious for losing or taking weeks to acknowledge your transcripts, so send them in as early as possible and keep checking to see if they are there.

Also, ask for letters early! It is a somewhat difficult process if you don't have a committee letter because for many schools you can't send LOR's before you fill out the secondary, so you are constantly going back to the letter writers and adding one more school to the list once you get the secondary. I suggest going to the letter writers early in the year (now). Find out if they have someone else who handles sending letters, such as a secretary or assistant and get in touch with that person about sending additional copies; the assistant will probably be much easier to get in touch with. Check with the schools regularly to see if letters have arrived; if they haven't ask the letter writer to send an additional copy. (Adcoms lose LOR's.)

**Apply as early as possible! Waiting an extra week or two to send your AMCAS could delay the application process months, because the later you turn in your AMCAS, the longer it takes to process; same thing for secondaries! Stay ahead of the game.
 

felipe5

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Originally posted by Mr.Tweed
Start writing your personal statement now.

I couldn't agree with this tip more.....the PS was the thing that took me the longest, as I kept putting it off. I would have had the AMCAS in way earlier if I woulda written that bad-boy ahead of time

so

a.)reiterate Mr. Tweed's comment: start the ps super-early :thumbup:

b.)when describing your post-secondary experiences on the AMCAS app, try to write descriptions that are not brochure like, but that have a more personal feel to it....i've read a crap load of descriptions that sound like they came from a recruiting brochure, and it doesn't work well here
 

snowbear

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32. Interview Prep: Get in the habbit of reading the NY Times regularly, especially the health section. Go the U. of Washington ethics site and read about all of the ethical issues. Read the interview feedback section on SDN. Go the school's website, and read a lot about the school. But most importantly, RELAX! Even if you find out you have an interview the very next day and haven't prepared, or even if you have known about it for weeks and haven't prepared, WALK INTO YOUR INTERVIEWER'S OFFICE AS A RELAXED PERSON. If you need to take a couple of deep breaths sitting down, do this. Try to not worry about every little detail about your behavior the day of the interview. Walk in the office and just try to think about it as any other conversation. If you're relaxed, than it's easier to be yourself, and they will definately love the real you :)
 
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hale-bopp

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I'm not sure how exactly the numbering is working anymore, but...

31. Remember that your Personal Statement (and secondary essays) are pretty much all your interviewers know about you as a person (other than numbers). Maybe it's obvious, but I didn't really think about it that way when I wrote mine. You "are" your personal statement, so make it count and show who you are.

32. If you have the luxury of having "safety" schools, pick them carefully. If your numbers are way above what they normally get and you have no REAL connection to that school or that area, they might not be so safe, but by making wise decisions about where not to apply, you might be able to save some of money.
 

Tezzie

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33. Do not lie on your application !!!

Yes that includes conveniently "forgetting" about shady past activities that can be found out.
 
E

Eraserhead

Originally posted by Lux Aeterna
6. stay grounded, and tell yourself that once the app is submitted, all you can do is wait. you cannot out-psych the adcom and drive yourself nuts about your app, second guessing the choices you made. whats done is done. when SDN gets too hectic (i.e. when everyone posts their interviews and acceptances and you are still waiting for some, any word), dont let it get to you and take a break from the board!

i second that, i think i lost a few neurons by not taking this advice
 

entropy

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34. stay with a medstudent during your interview... that way, you can get the inside scoop.....
 

NontradICUdoc

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Fantstic thread. A couple of questions:

1) How early is early?

2) What kind of material should we have at hand when filling out the AAMC application?

3) Please elaborate a little on secondaries and what kind of material we should have in order to fill them out?

Thanks,

About a year and a half away from applying so I want to get the ball rolling.
 

ek6

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Originally posted by EMT2ER-DOC
Fantstic thread. A couple of questions:

1) How early is early?

Pressing the SUBMIT button on the amcas app by mid-june (earliest date is june 1, but wait a week to let the system run through any glitches)

2) What kind of material should we have at hand when filling out the AAMC application?

personal statement, biographical, demographic info, transcript to fill out grades, resume with prepared descriptions...think that's all.

3) Please elaborate a little on secondaries and what kind of material we should have in order to fill them out?

do your research on the schools to come up with good reasons for attending their school - about 80% of the secondaries I got had "why our school" as one of the questions. also, check with the school - some schools allow you to submit the secondary before you even hear from them! I did this for several schools - saved loads of time, because they pile up quickly!


Thanks,

About a year and a half away from applying so I want to get the ball rolling.

Even though you're applying a year and a half away, you can probably ask for your recommendations now - why not get it in your file? If you choose not to, ask for them the november before you plan to apply - if you REALLY want to be on the ball. This can get those letters out of the way - remember that admissions committees don't look at your app until it's entirely complete.
 

indo

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Don't let the MCAT scare you. 50% of it is practice, 20% is knowledge, 30% is psychology. Make the MCAT your mental bitch.
 

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Originally posted by indo
Don't let the MCAT scare you. 50% of it is practice, 20% is knowledge, 30% is psychology. Make the MCAT your mental bitch.

completely agree. don't let it psych you out. Relax and you should do great!
 

skypilot

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When you are widening your list of schools to apply to, look at the schools that encourage out of state applicants.
 

spumoni620

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Don't overstudy for the MCAT. Indo's right - it's all about practice and state of mind. the content is hardly as important as techniques. if you overstudy you risk burnout, overthinking, and needless stress - all of which can hurt your performance...

Start accumulating frequent flyer miles - whether thru credit card offers, dad's business travel, ebay, etc. they will come in VERY handy in saving $$$ when interviewing.
 

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You can also call the school before your interview and many will tell you the names of your interviewers...that way you can read some of their publications, know what dept. they are in, and where their interests lay...helps give you a little confidence boost.
 

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Befriend fellow interviewees, you can gain insight on a school, have someone to ease your anxiety, someone to share a cab with back to the airport (or sneak you onto a free hotel shuttle!) and you may be future classmates!

PS-- its nice to see a friendly face at other interviews.. and surprisingly often I saw a few of the same people again!
 

BigRedPingpong

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Letters of Interest DO work!

Send it in to a school about a week or so before they make a decision (if you know when this is).

Also, fall semester of you senior year counts! Don't blow it off! Send in those transcripts when available to schools that you haven't heard from yet.
 

ATPase

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When you walk into an interview, treat it like a conversation rather than an interrogation. This doesn't mean you shouldn't speak intelligently about whatever you're asked, but your demeanor should be confident and congenial. When I've interviewed people (not for med school, but out in the working world), I always gravitate toward those interviewees who engage me with a conversational tone rather than looking like a deer in the headlights when I ask them questions.

Also, Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards program is great. Four round trips = 1 free roundtrip ticket.
 

twinklz

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You can also call the school before your interview and many will tell you the names of your interviewers...that way you can read some of their publications, know what dept. they are in, and where their interests lay...helps give you a little confidence boost.

However, on that same note, don't be surprised when the interviewers you have researched and know something about suddenly have an emergency (they are mostly doctors after all) and you are stuck with a random person. 1) Don't let this unnerve you 2) Be sure to get the new person's name (I never quite got one my interviewer's name...it was rather long and foreign sounding, and when I went to write a thank you note I couldn't find the name anywhere on the school's website):rolleyes:
 
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