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Ranking different factors in med school app

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Sach, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Sach

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    I have listed 12 factors that play a role in med school application process. I would be interested in hearing everyone's opinion. Please rate the following in med school application process from #1 (most important) to #12 (least important).

    -MCAT
    -GPA
    -Applying Early
    -Interviews
    -Personal Statement
    -Clinical Experience
    -Research
    -Shadowing
    -Other ECs (Besides Clinical Exp/Research/Shadowing)
    -Submitting Secondary on Time
    -LORs
    -State residency
     
    #1 Sach, Dec 28, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  2. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    1) MCAT=GPA
    3/4) Clinical Experience/Shadowing
    5) Other ECS
    6/7) Interviews and research
    8/9) Applying Early and Submitting secondaries on time
    10/11) LORS and Personal Statement


    Thats my take on it....

    Im pretty confident about the first 4....the last 7 are open for debate and school dependent.
     
  3. Sach

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    Would you say MCAT is just as important as GPA? or at some schools, maybe GPA is more important than MCAT?
     
  4. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    1)MCAT and LOR/Personal connections (knowing an adcom, dean writing LOR)
    2) GPA
    3) Application date
    4) Interview
    5) ECs, Research, and Personal Statement
    6) LOR if you don't know someone

    Definately knowing someone important in the process can make this much simpler. And from personal experience I have seen students with less on the above and really great interview skills get in several places that he shouldn't have by the numbers.
     
  5. Sach

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    haha what do you mean "LOR if you don't know someone"?
     
  6. HawaiianPreMed

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    Every school is different however, the general view is that both your GPA and MCAT scores are the most important factor in your application.

    A high GPA can make up for a slightly lower MCAT and vise-versa. Now if you make a 17 on your MCAT or you have a 2.0 GPA your application will most likely not be given a second glance. Even if you have some killer volunteer work, EC's, etc

    And you can do a search through these forums for more info. I do believe this question has come up many times in the past.
     
  7. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    Saying they weight them evenly is an oversimplification. There is what's called an academic index... where your school is rated in difficulty (yeah i'm oversimplifying) and then the overall score is often added to other scores... (like your MCAT) and all of this is weighted to give students a numerical value. That sets up a ranking of sorts... and can decide tie-breakers etc....

    Surely there are posts to describe this process. It is different at different schools... but in general it is kind of a standard way to think of the process. I'd google it or search SDN... But long story made short... it depends...
     
  8. HawaiianPreMed

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    haha you caught that.

    I've heard both sides of the spectrum on that. For one, my adviser who was on the adcom for one of the med schools in my state told me that a 3.4 from duke is > a 3.7 from my state university. Granted, he said that's how they did it at the med school he was on the adcom for, and he couldn't speak for the other med school in my state.

    I due agree about the oversimplification... However I think the OP was looking for a simple answer and not a essay about the many possible ways an application can be looked at. It's like explaining the opinions on why the matriculant scores of WashU and the carribean schools are so different... it is very diverse depending where you apply.
     
  9. 202781

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    1. MCAT
    2. GPA
    3/4 (tie). Clinical/shadowing
    5. Applying early
    6. Personal Statement
    7. Interviews
    8. Research
    9. Other ECs
    10. LORs


    I guess I am not going to rank the last one (submitting secondaries on time) because it is just dumb not to. And if you dont some schools will not look at your app.
     
  10. thegetupkid

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    1. Applying early !
    [RIDICUlOUSLY HUGE GAP]
    2. Everything else

    It sucks to work so hard for 4 years and have that go wasted because your app wasn't looked at. I know people that studied for 2 years for the MCAT, but didn't take the time to apply in a timely fashion. WHY?!?!?!?!?!?
     
    #10 thegetupkid, Dec 29, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  11. Mobius1985

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    You list "Other ECs", but I think that listing an activity demonstrating altruism and humanistic service is so essential that it should be mentioned separately. JMO.
     
  12. NCDocWannabe

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    I think you coud argue that State Residency is pretty important for a lot of schools. CA and TX schools immediately come to mind...
     
  13. Sach

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    lol..seriously? Applying early is that important?
     
  14. Law2Doc

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    These, plus state residency, probably are the biggies in more or less the correct order. But I would suggest that once you get to the interview stage, your interview (#6) moves up into the #1 slot, and can totally make or break you. The rest is what got you there, but how you come off in person makes all the difference as to whether you get the nod or end up languishing on a waitlist (or worse).
     
  15. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    I think he was exaggerating. Obviously it's not as important as GPA/MCAT/ECs, but if you are an average/borderline candidate, applying early can definitely make a difference between being accepted and having to re-apply. Having your applications complete and ready for review as early as possible is crucial to playing the game, so keep that in mind.
     
  16. thegetupkid

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    Likewise, if you are a great applicant (3.8+/37+) a tardy application can also be the stamp of death.

    And i wasn't exaggerating about the importance of applying early. Since the timeliness of one's application can preclude the application from any review, I would have to say that it necessarily trumps GPA/MCAT/ETC. That being said, I'm more specifically referring to extremes (i.e. applying early June instead of October 14th at 11:58pm)--applying on July 7th as opposed to July 14th shouldn't make that much of a difference.
     
  17. dienekes88

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    It's very important.
     
  18. Abulcasis

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    Interesting...

    Thanks for this info!
     
  19. Danbo1957

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    State residency for states schools is the most important factor - some schools go 97% instate...

    Private schools take the "best" applicants available (Hopkins especially). MCAT, GPA and Personal Statement are taken together to form a snap shot of each applicant, that combined with the interview, detemines offer.
     

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