lostnconfused

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I'm wondering what is considered early/normal/late for this cycle since I know the timeline is a little different this time with the new MCAT. I'm about half way done with my secondaries but I see myself working on them into the end of August and perhaps even early September. I have secondaries that I am turning around in 3-4 weeks. Is that too late?

Also, does anybody know which order the applications are reviewed up - primary or secondary submission?
 

gonnif

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(2017 timeline posting counter #022)
-AMCAS Opens May 3rd, 2016 for entering data and requesting transcripts
-AMCAS primary can be submitted June 7th, 2016 in order to start the verification process
-AMCAS doesnt start transmitting verified applications until June 24th (though some schools have secondaries sent to contact info upon submission to AMCAS)
-Verification peak is about August 1st and takes 20 days
-Most Primary Apps are transmitted early July thru early September
-Letters via AMCAS are processed/transmitted separately from primary
-Letters can be added after primary has been submitted and transmitted and are mostly not needed until secondary reviews at the earliest.
-Most adcoms dont start meeting for review until at least mid-August, more likely September (though adcom staff may be doing early reviews).
-Submitting Primary Application June is Early, July Medium, August Late
-Having Primary verified and transmitted to school by end of August is normal speed
-Having Secondary and all LORs complete to school by mid-September is normal speed, by end of October is very late.


Getting primary in on time does matter because of all the other items that follow it. But applicants often see the beginning and not understanding how it flows from there. Additionally, how each school then opens a file, reviews them on GPA, MCAT, and other factors, and what order they wind up in a queue has less to do with when the primary arrives then when the secondary is completed and received along. Since the majority of schools, I dare say, send out pre-transmission, unscreened, or minimal cut off screened secondaries, this is probably a larger factor in where you wind up in the queue for 1) reading an application and 2) decision on interview invite. As I have said previously, and will undoubtedly say dozens of time during this 2017 application cycle (see count above) review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
 

WedgeDawg

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Early secondaries are turned in during July and early August. Normal is turned in during the rest of August and maybe first week of sept. Late is after that.
 
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gonnif

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The better way to think of this is that as the later you are, the more likely your opportunities/chances are reduced, and likely at some continually increasing odds as the cycle rolls on. By Labor Day is the beginning of this speeding cycle and it by mid-September, the the chances and opportunities are quickly decreasing. This is school dependent as well. So in the same way that having an May MCAT is the most optimal and efficient application cycle that maximizes your chances and opportunities , Having your application complete and ready to review with primary, secondary, MCAT, and LOR by Labor Day is most optimal and efficient way to maximize your chances and opportunities.

This does not mean your chances suddenly drop to zero but generally start degrading depending on the school and your competitiveness. Lastly, your secondary application must be well-crafted with concise, coherent, and compelling answers to the essays. You dont get in by being submitting fast, you get in by being good. So, in my opinion it is better to be well-written but on the later side than hastily done bu submitted early
 
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Hopeful_vet

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I'm wondering what is considered early/normal/late for this cycle since I know the timeline is a little different this time with the new MCAT. I'm about half way done with my secondaries but I see myself working on them into the end of August and perhaps even early September. I have secondaries that I am turning around in 3-4 weeks. Is that too late?

Also, does anybody know which order the applications are reviewed up - primary or secondary submission?
3-4 weeks seems like a long time to sit on one secondary. I didn't spend more than 1-2 days on any one secondary.


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I try to get any secondary I receive turned in maximum 2 weeks after I receive it. My actual turn around time is more like 5 days, but I have turned in a few secondaries 2 weeks after receiving.
Like others have said, after labour day is late. But if you receive a secondary after that time, try to get it in ASAP and don't sit on it.
 
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lostnconfused

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Thank you so much everyone, all of that was very insightful!!!

I submitted all my primaries at once, and received secondaries in batches of ~10-20s so that's why it's taking me so long. I wouldn't advise doing that for anyone going forward, pace your primary submissions after you have been verified.

Thanks again everyone!!
 

WedgeDawg

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Also, just as a casual reminder, the so-called "2 week rule" is BS

Get them out fast but actual date of completion matters infinitely more than turnaround time, because turnaround time doesn't matter at all.
 

Hopeful_vet

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Also, just as a casual reminder, the so-called "2 week rule" is BS

Get them out fast but actual date of completion matters infinitely more than turnaround time, because turnaround time doesn't matter at all.
Except for Wake Forest.. They have a real two week deadline.


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mw18

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Also, just as a casual reminder, the so-called "2 week rule" is BS

Get them out fast but actual date of completion matters infinitely more than turnaround time, because turnaround time doesn't matter at all.
QFT. I came here to say this. When @WedgeDawg and I were applying a robust 2 years ago it seemed like every forum said if you don't get your secondaries turned around in a few days or at worst 2 weeks, then the school was going to take that as a sign of a lack of interest. n=1 but it didn't affect me at all, and logically doesn't make a ton of sense because it implies they take the time to care about when they sent you a secondary invite. I waited on many of my secondaries because I had a letter writer who was dragging and I wanted my secondaries to be as up to date and well done as possible before I submitted. I ended up going to the school that I was complete at the very last.

Except for Wake Forest.. They have a real two week deadline.


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This is a good caveat. Some schools have deadlines and those need to be met. UNC/UGA are two that I remember having timelines from your invite. This is definitely something to pay attention to and read the entire secondary email to look for. But schools that you have until their actual application deadline to submit by only need to be done as efficiently as possible.
 
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WedgeDawg

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Except for Wake Forest.. They have a real two week deadline.


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Yes you're right - if the school explicitly states they want the secondary turned around in a specific amount of time, then you should heed their advice. Information given by the schools themselves supersedes any advice we give here. As I remember, UCSF has a 4 week turnaround time too. But for the vast majority of schools, it doesn't matter.
 
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mistafab

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OP - it is more like it is on time or late. If you look up the submission date x time to verify app chart, it is clear that students submitting in June and July are at a clear advantage. I'd say that for allopathic you should submit as early as you can.

I'm wondering what is considered early/normal/late for this cycle since I know the timeline is a little different this time with the new MCAT. I'm about half way done with my secondaries but I see myself working on them into the end of August and perhaps even early September. I have secondaries that I am turning around in 3-4 weeks. Is that too late?

Also, does anybody know which order the applications are reviewed up - primary or secondary submission?