What's the consensus on anticipated hours?

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xNinjaBurrito1

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So I'm filling out my work/activities list right now and I'm thinking about not adding anticipated hours to any of my activities. Every thing I've seen on SDN within the last year suggests that anticipated hours are meaningless because A: plans change and anyone can say that they "expect" to add another 1000 hours clinical and non-clinical, regardless of if that is feasible or if they have any intention of trying. And B: It seems like the experts here and adcoms care only about completed hours.

Honestly, I'd rather make no promises and allow myself to take a break from the ceaseless grind I've been on since May of last year, but not if adcoms are going to look at me sideways for not projecting more hours.

(let's assume for the sake of argument that my completed hours are already sufficient for consideration)

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I would add them just because everyone else will have them even if they don't matter. Better not to stand out here
 
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I think I have mentioned that if anticipated hours mattered and "everyone" puts something down, then completed hours become useless.

Just say you promise to complete 2000 hours by matriculation when you have 0 hours. Should you get the same standing as someone who has 2000 hours now? What incentive would there be to say you would complete 200 hours vs. someone promising 500? We already have a potential "hours embellishment" issue (oops, I typed 500 instead of 50).
 
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Not an adcom, but I was accepted this cycle.

The way I approached it was at the time of application when I hit submit, I answered it in an honest and 'conservative' fashion. No exaggeration, since everyone and their dogs can detect that.

For example, I started a volunteering 6 months before the current cycle, and got 60 hours (some months I did more, some I did less). I included the 60 hours, and for my anticipated hours, I put in 100 (rather than 120 if you go based on my hours/week of what I did so far). I did plan on continuing for sure, and I was more modest in my anticipating hours since I also know stuff happens and I may not complete those hours.

Fast forward a year after submitting my application, I actually volunteered more, and did 150 hours (and still continuing!) instead of 100.

Remember: "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain. Be honest in your anticipated hours, and even if things don't work out, you were still being honest at the time of submission.
 
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Not an adcom, but I was accepted this cycle.

The way I approached it was at the time of application when I hit submit, I answered it in an honest and 'conservative' fashion. No exaggeration, since everyone and their dogs can detect that.

For example, I started a volunteering 6 months before the current cycle, and got 60 hours (some months I did more, some I did less). I included the 60 hours, and for my anticipated hours, I put in 100 (rather than 120 if you go based on my hours/week of what I did so far). I did plan on continuing for sure, and I was more modest in my anticipating hours since I also know stuff happens and I may not complete those hours.

Fast forward a year after submitting my application, I actually volunteered more, and did 150 hours (and still continuing!) instead of 100.

Remember: "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain. Be honest in your anticipated hours, and even if things don't work out, you were still being honest at the time of submission.
I'll agree that if you did anticipated hours honestly, with a reasonable estimate of future hours, that would be great. You could do more or less. But most applicants want to just say they waited until application year to add the experience, and that's the strategy that we tell people is not generally a successful one.

Still 100 more hours promised makes a difference if one starts with ZERO vs. starting with 150 hours (which is the general minimum threshold) vs. 250 hours (recommended for "more competitive" applicants). In the first case, it shows you admit you don't have a competitive application given the number of applicants who do have 150+ hours.
 
I always think it looks odd when students list activities they haven't done with a very high number of hours. Especially if it's clinical and they have no clinical experience otherwise. General rule, is be honest and realistic.
 
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