Primary Application Period

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by hansen44, May 6, 2008.

  1. hansen44

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    Ok so I posted something similar in a different section but I found that no one really had any good advice so I figured I would post here were some people have had experience. I am taking the MCAT May 31st this year and applying this summer. Friends that have taken the exam the same time, applied, and were accepted said not to put in my primary until my MCAT scores were in because some believe that when a school receives the primary without the MCAT scores they put it at the bottom of the pile. But the possible payoff is that if I send my primary in June they can process it and by the time the MCAT comes in around July the schools can process the application and send me secondaries probably mid July. Otherwise if I send the primary in July when I get the scores it wont be processed by Schools probally until August so I wont receive secondaries until then and since its rolling admission my applications will be in late August rather than late July if I send my primary in by June. What do you guys think, for those of you have applied what do you think about this idea, did you do something similar, hear about someone else doing it and perhaps having good luck? Opinions from people with experience or who knows people with experience would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
     
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  3. JeepMD

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    Good question. I am also eager to hear the answers, as this is also a problem I am facing in this coming application cycle.

    Everything I am hearing is "apply broadly, apply early". However, that is tough to do when I am retaking the MCAT in July and so the scores will not be available until mid-August. Personally, I'd like to get the primary (AMCAS) submitted in Early June, and just indicate that I am retaking the MCAT. However, I hear that this also puts your application on hold until that score is posted, and so really what is the point? Especially given that others on here have indicated that they believe schools may make a decision based on the information at hand, without really waiting for additional scores!

    My pre-Med advisor indicated that as long as all application materials are in by Sep 1st, then this is still considered "early" and thus this should be the target date. Please, anyone with successful experiences in the application process please help out the O.P. as well as myself.
     
  4. Pedsbro

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    I would very strongly disagree with that. September is pretty late in the cycle...some schools' deadlines are only a month later (Oct 15). I think the processing times are a little shorter than what OP mentioned. If you already send in your transcripts before you even submit AMCAS, then the moment you do submit it (with your brand new MCAT scores), they start verifying and transmit it to schools. I've heard of people getting their AMCAS verified within the same day, or with a day or two after! As long as everything checks out (everything is entered correctly under courses, transcripts are in and can be easily matched, etc), I don't think it'll take that long, so it might be worth waiting. I have not heard that schools put apps w/o scores at the bottom of their pile, but I have no idea and I suppose it's possible that it occurs. But if you're talking about still submitting in late June or July whenever the scores come out, I think it'll be fine and the turnaround time for verification isn't as long as you think
     
  5. cargirl110

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    Submit your AMCAS as early as possible. I was planning on submitting mine last July, but was in a horrible accident and ended up submitting the first day in September. Even then, it took OVER A MONTH for my AMCAS to get verified. And no, my application was not full of mistakes. Take it from me, try to get everything ASAP. I definitely learned my lesson.
     
  6. hansen44

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    So in your opinion cargirl110 you think I should send in the primary with transcripts before my scores come out that way when scores are sent the application will be verified quickly? And Pedsbro you think I should send in the transcripts as soon as possible because thats what takes so long to process, then when I get my scores I can send in the primary with scores which should be processed quickly. In fact I have heard of others recommending sending the transcripts early and holding on the primary that way when I do send the primary in it should take that long and it wont be put on the bottom of the pile by schools. thanks for your help, if anyone else has any more suggestions please let me know. thank you
     
  7. cargirl110

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    Personally, I would have my transcripts sent. Then, I would submit my AMCAS. Whenever your MCAT scores do come out, I would make sure they are uploaded onto your submitted AMCAS application, and I would also AMCAS and be like, "I just wanted to check that my MCAT scores were received and uploaded properly." That way, you won't be waiting for verification since you have that already done. The later you submit your application, the longer the verification process takes because the office is bombarded with so many applications so you will be waiting in line for awhile.
     
  8. gman33

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    Submit your AMCAS as early as possible, regardless on when you are taking the MCAT. If you wait until your score comes out, it may be mid August or later by the time your primary app is complete. WAY TOO LATE.

    Many schools will send you secondaries without an MCAT score. You can be working on these throughout the summer.

    There is some truth to being on the bottom of the pile without an MCAT score. You'll go back in line once your score comes in. Your application will automatically get updated once the score is released. Recheck AMCAS a day or two after you get your score. Call AMCAS if it's not updated.

    Whoever said Sept 1 is a good date to be complete has no idea what they are talking about. While it's not too late to miss out, it's much later than ideal.
     
  9. Mobius1985

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    I agree you should submit to AMCAS as early as possible so your transcripts are certified while the wait time is 1-2 weeks instead of 5-6 weeks as it will be a few months later, or if your transcripts are complicated. But only apply to one school. After you see your score, add all the other schools you wish to. They will be sent out to all those schools in one business day. If your score is dismal, you may choose not to add more schools, so as not to waste application dollars. If the score is good to go, the entire application is fresh for all but the first school. I applied in three waves, and this approach worked well.
     
  10. hansen44

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    Thats a good idea, thank you everyone for all of your help.
     
  11. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor?
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    Are there some schools who won't review your file before your scores come in? Yes. But are there schools who will send you secondaries before your scores come in? Yes. I would get everything in ASAP. I don't think you go "to the bottom of the pile." In the former, I think that your file may not be processed immediately, but it will be brought up for evaluation once your scores come in. There is no sense in letting all of the other schools wait on the school that's the slowest to respond.

    And if you're a re re-app, then you probably already have a score, and schools can just go off of that until your new ones come in.
     
  12. quitecontrary

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    Would you recommend the above advice for first time applicants retaking the MCAT later in the summer? And when you mentioned "only apply to one school," which one school should that applicant choose ie. an in-state school, their first choice? Just interested in learning more about that approach you mentioned, Mobius. Thanks for suggesting it!
     
  13. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor?
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    I disagree with this thought process. It may have worked well for you, but there is no point in delaying anyone's application like this. The MCAT is computer-based, and you can take it any time you want. You should be able to time your taking of the exam well before you start your applications. You should know what your score is prior to opening your AMCAS application.

    Wasting application dollars? More important than that is time, and you shouldn't apply unless you are fully prepared - and that means knowing your score, knowing who to ask for LORs, knowing where you're going to apply.

    Yes, the applicants this time may not have been able to change their plans mid-season, but for everyone else a 1+ years out, they should not put themselves in this situation.
     
  14. Mobius1985

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    1) Yes, I think this approach works best for those who take the MCAT later due to, e.g., needing to finish a prerequisite class, need for uninterupted study time, inability to get desired test site at preferable time. If you tested at an optimal time (April, May) you'd already know the results before applying to AMCAS.

    Let me make the comment that many going into the MCAT feel strongly about what their score will be, due to repeatedly getting that score on practice tests. Yet over and over on this forum, I see postings by those who scored dramatically lower than expected, and had already applied to many schools whose average acceptee stats suggested they would not give serious consideration to one with that score. Waiting until you know your score will allow you to target your applications to the most appropriate schools. Of course, some score much higher than expected, and similiar advice would apply.

    2) The one school I applied to initially was my safety school, as I felt they were more likely to consider a weaker MCAT score.
     

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