application process

How much time should I budget for the filling out of primary applications?

The AMCAS app doesn’t appear to be available without registering on the site, and I’ve yet to do that. I’m also not sure whether I’ll be applying to schools that don’t use AMCAS or AACOMAS, though those seem rare.

So… looking at developing a Personal Statement (which I’m semi-tooling around with now), possible other essays, and gathering all of the pertinent information… what else is there to prep for the app? Will the time requirement be significant enough to influence, say, my MCAT studying?

I don’t know about AAMCOMAS, but it takes a fair amount of time to do the AMCAS application. I’m assuming you are applying this year? If so, you should go ahead and register on AMCAS and etc. and start entering info in. You don’t have to pay anything until you actually submit the application. If you have your essay done, most of the AMCAS application is relatively mindless. And, you can skip around and finish the essay later. I would work on my AMCAS on study breaks.

If you don’t have them already, you should get personal copies of all your transcripts (you will need them to enter your courses into the application). One of the first parts of the AMCAS I did was to enter all of my colleges attended, print off the transcript request forms, and get my transcripts submitted to AMCAS. A lot of the complaining people do about how long it takes AMCAS to verify their application has to with, IMO, the fact that they hadn’t requested their transcripts to be sent in until about the same time that they submitted the application. Your application doesn’t even go in line to be verified until AMCAS has all of your transcripts. So, by getting your transcripts taken care of early in your filling out the application, you can speed up the verification process after you actually submit.

You should also be working on getting your letters of recommendation around. Some schools will send you secondary applications as soon as they get your primary application (without MCAT scores). Have your letters ready, so that once you get a secondary, you can immediately have those sent. LOR’s are a primary reason people’s application files don’t become “complete” in a timely manner.

I don’t know that the applications should influence your MCAT study time significantly, unless you already have limited time to devote to it. I found the AMCAS extremely tedious, so I think its a good idea to split it up into smaller sessions over the course of a couple of weeks.

Thanks, Amy. I’m actually applying next year - in looking at my upcoming schedule, I was trying to figure out a few things, and this crossed my mind.

It seems like a good idea to be sure my LORs, transcripts, and whatnot are all in place ahead of time. The last transcript will likely have to wait until after Spring 07, as I’ll be somewhat relying on those classes for a further boost… but it’s good to know that the early application process itself won’t take too too much time. Thanks

By “have my LORs ready” - would that just mean to have those complete and request they be mailed out? … as well as setting up an online LOR storage account at one of those websites whose names I now forget.

Ok then - you have plenty of time. Have you decided yet when you are taking the MCAT (I haven’t really looked into how the schedule thing is going to be for it next year)? Usually AMCAS is open for people to start working on their apps sometime in April, then the first day to submit completed applications is June 1. Assuming you are taking the MCAT early, I wouldn’t let filling out applications be a priority if it takes away from your study time. There will be time after taking the beast to work on your applications and finish them up, if need be.

Even though you aren’t applying until next year and won’t submit your current transcript until after Spring, I still recommend that you get a personal copy of it prior to starting your application. It will make life a lot easier if you have it handy and, if you discover any errors on your transcript (which happens to more people than you might think), it gives you time to work on getting them corrected before it causes you headaches in the verification process.

As to LOR’s, in the spring, set up an online service (I used Interfolio) and give the info for submitting them to your writers (interfolio allows snail mail, fax, and electronic submission). Give them a timeline for when you will be submitting your application - say, June - and encourage them to have your letters submitted to the service by then. They will appreciate having plenty of time to get them submitted and also only having to submit them once to Interfolio instead of you contacting them every week to send out new letters to different schools. Once they are all at Interfolio (or whatever service you use), then when you get secondaries, you can go online and request copies be sent to the schools. Interfolio usually process the requests within a day or two, and most of my letters were received within a week. An online service will save you considerable grief in tracking down that ONE LOR that is keeping your application from being complete.

Interfolio, that’s the name I was looking for - thanks.

I’m planning on taking the MCAT in July/Aug 07, and I’ll be taking 3 courses / 2 labs Spring semester, so I was looking to be sure I’d give myself enough time for MCAT study. Hm…

The personal statement (which you can polish up now) is the real time-eater. If you have a good resume, you can do the “experiences” section reasonably quickly, and the transcript transcription (haha, I slay me) is just typing. It’s not all that time-consuming if you’re fast on the keyboard. Call it 10 hours, tops. And I had five transcripts.

PLUS the personal statement. I did three major revisions and lots of edits and had several friends read it, and I was a PS slacker compared to most. I was still piddling with it on the way to and from the 2005 OPM conference. Freakin’ essay.