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General Admissions & OTCAS When is the best time to start OTCAS application?

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emily23ot

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Hi all,
I'm looking to apply to OT programs this fall and plan to start in Fall 2021. I recently made my OTCAS portal account to scope out the application a bit and noticed that the application is open for some spring start programs, but that it will close mid-June and reopen July 18 for the 2020-2021 cycle. My question is, when do people usually begin start filling out the OTCAS application? I'm confused, if I start working on it now (ex: request letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.) that it will be deleted when this current cycle closes in June and I'll be starting from scratch in July? Advice? Thanks!
 

OThopefully183

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I usually start filling out the application once it opens in July. Since it takes awhile to make sure everything is included, I like to make sure and anticipate what else I need. But yes definitely wait until the cycle closes and enter the stuff once it opens again in July or it will get erased. But just use this time to look at what to expect.

So like Letter of Recommendations I usually start 3 months ahead of when I would like to turn it in. So if I aim to turn it in October, I would ask my recommenders July. It is just to make sure they have enough time and gives me some extra time in case one falls through. Also have backups! You need three to submit, but I highly suggest having a professor if possible. I almost did not get into the program because of that. I only had letters from OTs and my work supervisor.

Transcripts if they are ready I highly suggest to send them in just to get them out of the way. One less thing to worry about.

I think what you should really work on early is the OTCAS general personal statement (the prompt should be up already) and look at each programs and see if they require additional essays. This took the most time for me as I had to brainstorm, write, and ask my friends to read and proof read my essays. I also hate talking about myself. But that did pay off as I felt that made my essay much stronger and better my chances as I really had mediocre stats.

Let me know if you have any more questions and best of luck to you! I know the application is very confusing and can be overwhelming at times.
 
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ABAtoOT2019

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Hi all,
I'm looking to apply to OT programs this fall and plan to start in Fall 2021. I recently made my OTCAS portal account to scope out the application a bit and noticed that the application is open for some spring start programs, but that it will close mid-June and reopen July 18 for the 2020-2021 cycle. My question is, when do people usually begin start filling out the OTCAS application? I'm confused, if I start working on it now (ex: request letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.) that it will be deleted when this current cycle closes in June and I'll be starting from scratch in July? Advice? Thanks!

Yes you have to wait until it opens in July, but I suggest working on it ASAP when it opens! Personally, it made such a difference in my results (I applied two years in a row.) I reached out to my recommenders in July as well. I had September 15 as my goal date but told them it was September 1st. That way I got letters early and if someone forgot to send it to me I wasn’t rushing! Good luck!
 
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