Dec 17, 2013
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I recently received an interview invitation from U Penn and was given a list of dates to choose from that span from the beginning of October to the beginning of November. I understand that choosing an earlier date is typically better, but choosing the earliest day available to me would mean that this would be my first interview. Choosing the last day available to me would mean that I will have had two interviews under my belt already.

So which is better? Interviewing earlier with less experience, or interviewing a month later with two interviews already done?


Any help would be appreciated!
 

LizzyM

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I'd go with interviewing with two already done. The first time is often a bit nerve-wracking and if this might be your top choice you'd like to have a bit more experience going into the interview. Early November is still plenty early.
 

Osteoth

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I'd go with interviewing with two already done. The first time is often a bit nerve-wracking and if this might be your top choice you'd like to have a bit more experience going into the interview. Early November is still plenty early.
So for interviews completed before October 15 when the first acceptances go out, how many acceptances are given out by the first release date?
 
Mar 26, 2013
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I think it kind of depends on your personality as well. Are you comfortable interviewing? Are you terrified at the thought of it?

If the thought of interviewing gives you serious anxiety, I'd wait until you have other interviews under your belt first. If you're pretty good in interview-like situations and you've given yourself adequate prep time, then I'd say doing UPenn first isn't as big of a deal.

Personally, I feel much more comfortable interviewing now that I have several interviews under my belt. I wish I would have had the option to do my "lower on the list" schools first for that reason.
 

lionelronaldo

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@LizzyM, If someone is completed by July, is it possible that top tiers school still send out II in October/November (I guess they cannot decide to put me in the II list or rejection list until then) to him?
Or does not getting the interviews in July/September mean the school is already not interested?
 

LizzyM

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@LizzyM, If someone is completed by July, is it possible that top tiers school still send out II in October/November (I guess they cannot decide to put me in the II list or rejection list until then) to him?
Or does not getting the interviews in July/September mean the school is already not interested?
Most of the applications arrive in a flood before August 31. It takes weeks to review them all and I've been in situations where I was reading excellent applications in October that were submitted in July. Until the application is reviewed, you can't be invited and it takes a long time for hundreds of applications to be reviewed. I'd figure that you should hear by the first of the year from any school that is interested in you. In some cases, I'd recommend an interview in October but the first available interview date would be in January. Rather than make the invitation only to have the applicant decline the invitation after getting admitted elsewhere, the school tends to issue invitations with 4 weeks lead time. Therefore, you might not here until early next year despite being complete early in the cycle.
 
Apr 1, 2014
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Most of the applications arrive in a flood before August 31. It takes weeks to review them all and I've been in situations where I was reading excellent applications in October that were submitted in July. Until the application is reviewed, you can't be invited and it takes a long time for hundreds of applications to be reviewed. I'd figure that you should hear by the first of the year from any school that is interested in you. In some cases, I'd recommend an interview in October but the first available interview date would be in January. Rather than make the invitation only to have the applicant decline the invitation after getting admitted elsewhere, the school tends to issue invitations with 4 weeks lead time. Therefore, you might not here until early next year despite being complete early in the cycle.
you are the best lizzy m! thanks for making admissions more transparent for the rest of us :) have a wonderful weekend
 

lionelronaldo

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Does it mean that I am less desirable if I get interviews late in the season instead of early if I submitted early?
Thanks so much!
 

LizzyM

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Does it mean that I am less desirable if I get interviews late in the season instead of early if I submitted early?
Thanks so much!
No, it could mean that your reviewers were "on service" or otherwise occupied with other things and put their responsibilities as reviewers on the back burner. Keep in mind that most schools use faculty volunteers to review applications in their spare time and sometimes it is not done as promptly as one would hope.
 

Goro

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My learned colleague illustrates yet again why patience is a virtue in this process, and the need for instant gratification is not.

Most of the applications arrive in a flood before August 31. It takes weeks to review them all and I've been in situations where I was reading excellent applications in October that were submitted in July. Until the application is reviewed, you can't be invited and it takes a long time for hundreds of applications to be reviewed. I'd figure that you should hear by the first of the year from any school that is interested in you. In some cases, I'd recommend an interview in October but the first available interview date would be in January. Rather than make the invitation only to have the applicant decline the invitation after getting admitted elsewhere, the school tends to issue invitations with 4 weeks lead time. Therefore, you might not here until early next year despite being complete early in the cycle.
 
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NYCdude

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My learned colleague illustrates yet again why patience is a virtue in this process, and the need for instant gratification is not.
Can you kindly explain why some people are granted interviews or have their applications completed before individuals who submitted earlier than them? Is it as LizzyM states, that different applications are given different reviewers who each have their own pace of reviewing materials? Thanks.
 

Goro

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I think LizzyM's posts explain it all. Just because you got your apps in first doesn't automatically mean you're first in line.

Can you kindly explain why some people are granted interviews or have their applications completed before individuals who submitted earlier than them? Is it as LizzyM states, that different applications are given different reviewers who each have their own pace of reviewing materials? Thanks.
 

NYCdude

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I think LizzyM's posts explain it all. Just because you got your apps in first doesn't automatically mean you're first in line.
I see. So there's no need to panic if a school hasn't sent you anything within 1-2 months of you submitting your application, correct? If so, when is a reasonable time to begin to worry? lol
 

Goro

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Nope panic when Mar/Apr rolls around.

Med schools get ~5000-13000 apps, and don't have a lot of people in the Admissions Dean's office to go through them all. At my school, it's something like 5 people...and we get>5K apps!

I see. So there's no need to panic if a school hasn't sent you anything within 1-2 months of you submitting your application, correct? If so, when is a reasonable time to begin to worry? lol
 
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Aug 14, 2014
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Some schools explicitly state that their interview seasons are from September to January. Those same schools then state that they send out final decisions in March. If I'm not offered an interview by January, can I then just assume I got rejected?
 

ridethecliche

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No, it could mean that your reviewers were "on service" or otherwise occupied with other things and put their responsibilities as reviewers on the back burner. Keep in mind that most schools use faculty volunteers to review applications in their spare time and sometimes it is not done as promptly as one would hope.
I understand and appreciate that everyone is busy, but you'd think there was a decent way to triage thing to have some semblance of order...
 

LizzyM

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Some schools explicitly state that their interview seasons are from September to January. Those same schools then state that they send out final decisions in March. If I'm not offered an interview by January, can I then just assume I got rejected?
Yes, that would seem to be a logical conclusion.
 
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LizzyM

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I understand and appreciate that everyone is busy, but you'd think there was a decent way to triage thing to have some semblance of order...
You would think that people would not bite off more than they can chew and you'd think that a volunteer would say, "I can't do a full load during September so send me half and then I'll make it up in October". But instead, they hope that they will find the time but they don't and they fall behind and feel ashamed, or angry that they are getting slammed with extra work when they could have avoided it by being honest about their other obligations and asking for a break. Human nature.
 

guppythefish

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You would think that people would not bite off more than they can chew and you'd think that a volunteer would say, "I can't do a full load during September so send me half and then I'll make it up in October". But instead, they hope that they will find the time but they don't and they fall behind and feel ashamed, or angry that they are getting slammed with extra work when they could have avoided it by being honest about their other obligations and asking for a break. Human nature.
So much to learn from your post. Thank you!!!
 

gyngyn

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I understand and appreciate that everyone is busy, but you'd think there was a decent way to triage thing to have some semblance of order...
If a sufficient number of applications are not completed in a reasonable time, we re-assign them.

High priority applications are given to those who have shown evidence of accurate, expeditious review. They get a commendation to their Chairman (with a copy to the Dean).
 

musicalfeet

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If a sufficient number of applications are not completed in a reasonable time, we re-assign them.

High priority applications are given to those who have shown evidence of accurate, expeditious review. They get a commendation to their Chairman (with a copy to the Dean).
What would be considered high priority? Out of curiosity..
 

LizzyM

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What would be considered high priority? Out of curiosity..
URM and/or high LizzyM score. In particular, those applicants who can be identified with a quick screen as someone who will be a hot commodity who may otherwise have a fist full of offers and retire from the interview trail before you ever have a chance to interview 'em. You want to get those applicants in early.
 
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SSSMDt

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I was given an II and they only allowed me to pick between two dates (in the first week of October) to schedule despite their interview process lasting from Oct to March.. Is this typical? It's my top choice and I was hoping to interview for it in November when I might have already completed other interviews but that was not an option for me...
 

gyngyn

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I was given an II and they only allowed me to pick between two dates (in the first week of October) to schedule despite their interview process lasting from Oct to March.. Is this typical? It's my top choice and I was hoping to interview for it in November when I might have already completed other interviews but that was not an option for me...
Fairly common.
 
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