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To Submit or Not to Submit the AMCAS (Pre-MCAT Results in Hand)

Applying to medical school is a stressful and time-consuming process. Filling out the forms, fulfilling the necessary requirements, gathering all the documents, writing those essays, and then finally waiting for the results are all factors that contribute to a difficult procedure. Another aspect that makes the entire situation even more complicated is the timing. Should you send in your AMCAS application before receiving your MCAT results, or wait to send everything together?

The Importance of Completion

In most cases, students will wait for their MCAT results before sending in their AMCAS application. This is the preferred order of events for a number of reasons:

  1. Applying to medical school is expensive. It also takes a tremendous amount of time and mental energy. Often students feel this sacrifice isn’t worth making if they haven’t yet received their results because if they scored low on the MCAT, many schools will not accept them anyway.
  2. Some universities will not even consider an applicant before seeing their MCAT score.

What’s more, once you’ve sent in your AMCAS application, the heat is on. As if MCATs weren’t stressful enough, with an application already in progress, students are put under tremendous pressure to perform on their tests, and many cannot handle the weight.

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On the Other Hand…The Early Bird Catches the Acceptance

Since medical schools are flooded with applications, it is highly recommended that students send in their applications as early as possible. The earlier a school receives your application, even one that doesn’t include your scores quite yet, the earlier it is processed and the more likely that you will receive secondaries and even interviews earlier. Additionally, schools that work on a rolling admissions basis will take applicants until they’ve reached their fill. After that, applicants will be rejected regardless of MCAT scores or any other information.

So…What Should You Do?

So what is the answer? Ideally, you should wait until you receive your scores before submitting your application, but there will be some cases when this best case scenario just won’t work for you, like if you’re in a rush to apply to med school and simply took the MCAT too late, or if you are super-confident that you’ll hit your target score and you know that the schools that you’re applying to will look at your application with a score still on the way. You need to weigh the pros and cons of applying early and applying with a complete application, and do what feels right for you.

Worried about your low GPA and how it might impact your medical school admissions chances? Download a free copy of Accepted’s admissions guide, Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know!

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