How to Prepare for Medical School: Practical Advice For Pre Med StudentsApril 18, 2014
If you have made up your mind that you are going to apply to medical school, there are certain things that you can work towards in order to increase your chances of obtaining admission into a medical school of your choice.
Maintain a good GPA
Your GPA along with your MCAT score are the two of the first factors that medical schools will look into when reviewing your application. If you are looking at applying to some of the best medical schools in the country, it is necessary to work on your GPA right from your freshman year. If you keep your scores consistent and then do well in your MCAT, your chances to get into a good school with improve greatly.
Participate in extracurricular activities
Medical schools look for students who have a good all-round development. Join a club, be a part of a research group, shadow a medical professional or simply volunteer with an organization that is doing work in the field of medicine. Not only will this help in your overall development but it also helps you get a clearer vision about whether or not this is a career you want to pursue.
Start working on your CV
Most students start on their CV only when they are nearing graduation day. However, having an ongoing CV will help you remember all the activities you have been a part of and help you note down your achievements better so that you don’t miss out on anything. Start your CV right from your freshman year and keep adding to it. This way, it will always be ready and up-to-date when you need it.
Start getting ideas and making notes for your personal statement
Again, you might wonder why you should start doing this so early. But you never know when you will suddenly get a great idea to include in your personal statement. Keep a document of these ideas so that when the time comes to actually write your statements, you can pick and choose the best ideas and create an outstanding personal statement.
Work on strong reference letters
A good recommendation letter can make all the difference when it comes to the crunch. Look for noted personalities and academicians who will give you a glowing reference and at the same time, start taking part in extracurricular activities so that you expand your network of people who are in a position of authority.
Explore the qualifying requirements at different schools
Everyone dreams of going to a certain medical school. Right from your freshman year, start looking for medical schools. Write down your top preferences, those which are realistic options and those which are safe back-ups. Every school has its own specific criteria for student selection so try to build on what they want from an applicant right from the beginning.
Ask for help when you need it
Many students hesitate to ask for help from others no matter how much they need it. This is a mistake – everyone needs help sometimes and it is a good idea to ask. Need help with technicalities for your applications or with some other aspect of the curriculum? Your school counselor or teachers would be glad to help. Looking for financial help? Whatever help you need, whether it is financial or academic, you can always get advice and guidance from one of the faculty at your school.