PSA for PTE & CTE Confusion (for MD Schools)

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Sandman23

All Glory to Jesus
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Sometimes, you only learn things after the fact. Ladies and gents, that's what happened to me. Here I am to give y'all folks the lowdown for next cycle & hopefully every year after. Admins, would be helpful if y'all could pin something like this or bring it up in future years. I sure know I would've wanted it

  • Dropping to 3 As by Apr 15th is only a courtesy, NOT an obligation. No shame in keeping more than 3 As past that; and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This ain't time to be forced into anything
  • Dropping to 1 A by Apr 30th is an obligation. If you wanna know what'll happen, I'll tell you now: you'll get a harshly worded email setting a deadline within a week or maybe a couple
  • Neither PTE (Plan to Enroll) or CTE (Commit to Enroll) will drop these As for you
    • PTE is optional by default unless the school explicitly requires it
      • When you select PTE, you're saying that you've narrowed down to 1 A
    • CTE is required at some point - a deadline given by your school(s)
      • For a rough range, some schools could have CTE as early as May 15th (or maybe earlier, but May 15th is the earliest I've heard of - which is the case at Carle) or a couple weeks before orientation
  • Couple paraphrased excerpts from the AAMC's CYMS tool page (which is surprisingly very useful; take a read here):
    • PTE:
      • When you PTE before Apr 30th, you can continue to interview, hold acceptances, receive more acceptances & stay on any waitlists
      • Beginning Apr 30th, the only things that change about PTE are 1) PTEing at this point means you have only 1 acceptance but can be on as many waitlists as you want and 2) schools can now see one of 5 things:
        • _[can't seem to find it but there was a post on SDN that included this, would appreciate if anyone could link me to it]_
    • CTE:
      • Means you have to drop all waitlists & all but 1 A; if your school has an early CTE, keep in mind that it means you'll have to drop your WL by then
    • See attachment for what med schools can get from their reports & when


  • The above does NOT apply to TMDSAS
    • Admissions staff, specifically at Long, has verified that you can stay on waitlists past CTE
      • 1) You can stay on TMDSAS waitlists past CTE
      • 2) Only exception to this is that you do have to narrow to 1 A WITHIN the TMDSAS system, meaning you can hold onto 1 A in TMDSAS and 1 A in AMCAS
        • It's part of the reason why Long doesn't show up on AMCAS's CYMS! (it all makes sense now 🤯)


P.S. AAMC terms their Apr 15th & Apr 30th dates as "traffic rules"; terminology is misleading & Apr 15th is honestly a "suggestion"


Author's note: A lotta this is paraphrased for brevity sake; if you find anything inaccurate, please lmk. I've reviewed this &, unless something has slipped through the cracks, I can verify everything here by both anecdotal experience & objective evidence. I genuinely hope the SDN community finds this helpful

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