Getting into Medical School For Dummies
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Your medical school primary application is the first step in getting admitted to medical school. The application services submit your primary application to every medical school you apply to, so completing it properly is an admissions must.

The primary application contains detailed information about every aspect of your candidacy for medical school, from your academic record and list of activities to a personal statement and biographical information. Check out the following tips for guidance as you prepare to undertake this critical step of the medical school admissions process:

  • Start your personal statement at least two months before you plan to submit your application. A compelling personal statement takes a long time to create, and you don’t want to end up rushing to finish it or delaying your application while you perfect your statement.

  • Be aware of length limits. Each section of the application has specific character limits. Check the specifications for each element before you start working on it to avoid having to go back and cut down an essay or response that turns out to be too long.

  • Compile a list of the information you need to fill out the work and activities section. This way, you aren’t scrambling around looking up details while you’re trying to finish this section. For each activity, you need the name of the organization, dates you participated, hours per week, location, and contact information of someone who can verify your participation.

  • Start filling out the AMCAS and AACOMAS applications online in May. Although you can’t submit these applications until June, they’re available online in May so that applicants may begin entering information. (TMDSAS opens in May and may be submitted then.)

  • Request copies of transcripts from every post-secondary institution you’ve attended to be sent to the application services you’re using. The application services verify the course work you’ve entered on your application against your official transcript. You must list every course you’ve taken and provide the application service an official transcript from each institution you’ve attended.

  • Proofread carefully. Nothing looks worse than an application riddled with errors. Proofread every word of the application carefully, and have someone else read your application over as well.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Carleen Eaton, MD, has used her expertise in admissions and test preparation, as well as her experiences as an applicant who received acceptances to top-ranked medical schools, to guide hundreds of applicants successfully through the medical school admissions process. She is the founder of, a medical school admissions consulting firm.

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