Pre-med junior - a few things you should be doing nowNovember 11, 2013
While some premeds apply to med school only after a gap year, almost 90% of students apply for these coveted seats as they near the end of the junior college. If you are a junior in college and aspire to apply and gain admission in a medical school, here are some things that you should definitely be doing.
The AMCAS factor
AMCAS or American Medical College Application Service is the common application for any medical school. This allows you to fill out a single profile and this profile can then be submitted to multiple schools of your choice. Though some schools do not accept an application via AMCAS, it is the norm for a majority of medical school applications in the U.S. Medical school applications can be very time-consuming but there is no other way of going through this process.
The AMCAS is the 1st chance you get to let medical schools get a glimpse of who you are. It is best that you be well aware of all the technicalities of the process before you actually get started on it. The very first thing you have to do is to take a look at the AMCAS Application Website. Keep in mind that it is never too soon to do this check. The sooner you look at the site, the better acquainted you will be with how it works. This will also bolster your confidence when you actually start applying for various colleges.
Best Time To Take The MCAT
The thumb rule is that the MCAT has to be taken in the year prior to the one that you want to start medical school. If you are undecided about whether to take the MCAT a little early in the year or later, here are some questions you should be asking yourself:
- Will I be taking the exam just once or will I want to take it another time?
- Have I gained mastery over the material or am I going to require additional study or coursework?
You can get all MCAT registration information at www.aamc.org. Start thinking about how you are going to prepare for this important test and also allocate 3-4 months to study for it.
Getting Your Recommendation Letters
Though your grades and MCAT scores are important, references and recommendation letters hold a certain amount of weight as well. They give you an edge and also validate your sincerity about joining medical school. Develop some strong relationships with people from the field and request them to give you reference letters for your medical school applications.
In addition to all these things, think about taking a gap year before heading for med school right after you graduate from college. You can start organizing your activities and remaining courses based on whether you will be joining medical school right after college. Review all the admission requirements and gear yourself up for all the preparation that is involved in medical school applications.