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When should I expect secondaries?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Cameron, May 31, 2000.

  1. Cameron

    Cameron Senior Member 15+ Year Member

    Nov 3, 1999
    Kansas City
    Well, I sent off my AMCAS-E disk today (feels good to finally send that off!) and am wondering when I should expect to begin receiving secondaries? My transcripts are already on file and since I took the MCAT last August my application *should* be ready for processing once they receive my disk. How long does it typically take AMCAS to process the applications if they're sent in early? How soon after I receive a Transmittal Notification from AMCAS will schools begin sending me secondaries? I'm trying to plan out my summer a bit and would like to know when I should start setting aside time to work on my secondaries. I'd appreciate input from those who've been through this before. Thanks!

    - Cameron Swinton
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  3. noah

    noah Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2000
    First off all, congratulations on getting your AMCAS in early, it will definately give you an edge over other applicants. You'll probably begin getting secondaries in early-mid July. If you get those in early, you may get interviews in September/October. Best of luck.
  4. dlbruch

    dlbruch Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 1999
    Cameron, You may want to get all of your rec. letter in order now so that when the secondaries come you only have to worry about the essays. Waiting for letters of rec. can seriously delay an app.!
  5. Cameron

    Cameron Senior Member 15+ Year Member

    Nov 3, 1999
    Kansas City
    My recommendation letters are already on-file in our pre-med office. They'll send out the committee letter along with the recommendation letters when I get the secondaries. I was required to get all my recommendation letters by mid February, so that shouldn't be a problem.
    How long does an average secondary take to complete? I realize that this can very GREATLY depending on the style of the secondary and how much time you put into the essays and such. Still, it would be interesting to hear how long it took some of you to get through all of your secondaries.
    Thanks for your replies.

    - Cameron Swinton
  6. psi1467

    psi1467 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    I'm headed to the post office right now, to put my disk in the mail. Anyhow, I just read on the AMCAS-E software that you should expect secondaries within two weeks after your transmittal notice. I suppose that would be in the same ballpark as the previous post: around mid-July. Good Luck. Now I better go make sure all of my recommendations are in order.
  7. Carbon Klein

    Carbon Klein Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    My turn around time for each secondary was no more than one week. I would have up to 12 schools lined up on my shelf and in an almost chronological order of when they arrived. (I applied to 34 schools and only returned about 25 secondaries). They began to arrive about one month after my AMCAS went in and they came pretty consistantly every day to every 3rd day for about 2 months. I was going nuts try to juggle the checks, the letters of recs, the writing of the essays and the typing of the secondaries. Many secondaries require you to relist (ie. type onto the original form application) your premed courses including English and Calculus/Math, plus their grades. It can be time consuming to type up all that information for all those secondaries.

    Those schools who only want a check (like Boston Univ), will get a turn around time of "same" day and I USPS Priority mail with confirmation of delivery of everything ($3.55, 2-3 days to arrive).

    Even though you have to type your personal information onto the original form of the secondary (name, birth place, premed courses etc)...I rarely typed the essays on the secondary. I became very creative with the fonts (usually a 10 font, but I went as small as an 8 font for some schools because their application had limited space) and printer options on my computer and finally, I would have a copy of my printed essay on paper. I would then take that copy and xerox it onto the original secondary application so that it looks neat. Sure, I killed a million trees in the process, but I always recycle my paper products anyways.

    Some schools have the one question secondary...please share something about yourself that you think that admissions committee would like to know...or something along those lines. I tended to write a one page essay (font 10, single spaced) that's pretty generic and recycle the same essay for most of the schools with this question.

    Then there are schools with specific questions...Rush comes to mind. I must have spent about 10 hours writing the Rush application. One cool thing about secondaries is that it really makes you reflective and even proud of how far you've come when you critically evaluate yourself for those essay questions....what are some things you did for your community? What are some problems you've encountered in school, academic and did you deal with those problems....what are your strengths and weaknesses? (Old trick known by all....your weakness is really a hidden strength...."I tend to concentrate too hard on one job at hand, which is good when I need to get the job done, I can be sure that I can accomplish that, but it is a disadvantage when I need to perform several tasks, which is why I have learned to budget my time and energy...." See how that weakness became two strengths?).

    Oh yeah, have your friend get a camera and take about 15 pictures of your smiling face and then get double exposures of them at the photomat. Then cut each out to passport size. You'll need about 1-2 pics for most secondaries. Real passport photos are ridiculously expensive (like $25-$50 for a set). My way will cost you about $10 for 30+ pictures.

    I'm sure you're already planning to do this, but photocopy all your secondaries and keep a copy for yourself. [​IMG]

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