What Is The AMCAS & How Does It Work?January 4, 2014
Applying to medical school can be very complex but some procedures have been put in place that makes things just a little bit easier. All the applications for post-baccalaureate study have the same basic components, such as standardized tests, personal statements and admissions essays. Generally, transcripts and letters as well as standard test scores are all submitted separately by testing agencies, professors and the university registrar offices.
At the other end, every receiving school has its admissions office that puts together all the applications. Applicants have to monitor every graduate program to make sure that all the items have been received and that they have completed their application as required. Despite all precautions, the chances of error always exist and this is where medical school applicants have the edge – they use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
The AMCAS is a centralized, non-profit, application processing service. It compiles all the applications and then forwards them to the medical schools that you are applying to. As the applicant you are required to collect all the materials, request transcripts and the standardized test scores. You are also responsible for soliciting the letters of recommendation. AMCAS then forwards your application to the schools that you are applying and you have to fill out just one application.
While the process of applying through the AMCAS is highly simplified, it is also very demanding in terms of the information that you are required to fill out. You will end up spending a great deal of time gathering all the information you need. Once that it done, you will have to be careful with filling out that information and then proof-reading it. The American Medical College Application Service has the following sections:
- Identification Information. You will have to make an entry of your legal name, your sex and birth date. There are spaces for a preferred name or variations of your name, like a nickname or a family name. You will also have to fill out ID numbers that might appear on the transcripts that are sent to AMCAS by schools that you have attended.
- Education Information. You are required to give a complete list of all your educational experiences. You will have to enter information about your High School, Colleges, Transcripts and institutional Action.
- Biographic information. In this section you are required to submit details such as your citizenship, race and ethnicity, legal residence, languages spoken and contact information as well as details of any misdemeanors or felonies.
- Your email address comes next and though there is space for this in the biological information field, you will also have to fill this out in the separate section that has been provided there.
- Another section asks you to make a mention of any felonies and misdemeanors that show up on your record.
- The coursework section is where you have to list all the college courses you have taken.
- There is a work/activities section and you can add information about activities, awards, extracurricular activities here.
- There is a letters of evaluation section
- Next comes the section where you fill out the names of the medical schools that you are applying to.
- Then comes the section where you write your personal essay
- At the end is the section where you enter standardized score like the MCAT and GRE.
It is important to fill out all the sections carefully and ensure that you do not leave anything blank. After all, this application decides whether a college invites you for an interview or not.