December 21st, 2016
So, you don’t have any medical school acceptances yet? What should you do?
I have worked with many applicants who start to consider what steps to take when the admissions season is in full swing yet they have no acceptances. In deciding what your best option might be, it is important to learn from other applicants’ mistakes. Here are some ill advised responses to having no acceptances:
1) Wait and hope
Every year, someone will contact us in July or August and say, “I realize I should have been in touch sooner, but, I was hoping that one of my two waitlists would turn into an acceptance. I know it is late, but I want to start working on a reapplication ASAP and I want to submit in two days.”
Do not wait until it is potentially too late to improve your reapplication. Be proactive. Decide now how to approach your reapplication. Will you improve your application documents? Will you get better letters of reference? Will the grades you have earned during the application year boost your GPA and improve your chances? Do you need to retake the MCAT? Do you need to take a year off to improve your candidacy? Don’t wait and hope. Start now to determine your best options.
2) Retake the MCAT and keep your fingers crossed that your score will improve
When trying to bump your MCAT score, you must critically evaluate your past preparation and performance. Try to pinpoint what you could do to improve your score significantly. Do you need more time to prepare? Did you need more in-depth studying of specific areas ? Applicants who simply review all of their past materials and pray for a higher score rarely see significantly improved results.
3) Submit the medical school application again without making any changes
When we do reapplication analyses at MedEdits, we can typically identify why a student wasn’t accepted. It is important to go through your application carefully and to objectively evaluate your candidacy to understand what you can do to improve your chances of admission when you reapply. Putting together another application that is essentially unchanged from the previous one and throwing your hat into the applicant pool in not an effective strategy.
When trying to figure out why you aren’t getting better medical school admissions results, be honest with yourself. If you haven’t received any medical school acceptances, you likely can do something to improve your results.
JESSICA FREEDMAN, M.D., is president of MedEdits Medical Admissions and author of the MedEdits Guide to Medical Admissions and The Medical School Interview. Follow Dr. Freedman and MedEdits on Facebook and Twitter.
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