*NOTE: This post is from last year & is now outdated. Looking for the latest? Go here.*
This past week the American Medical College Application Service aka the AMCAS 2016 officially opened! This application is a huge undertaking and it may seem a little early but it’s completely advisable to start now. The AMCAS is used by nearly all the med programs in the U.S. with the exception of schools in Texas. They use the Texas Medical & Dental School Application Service aka the TMDSAS and it officially opened May 1st.
But back to the AMCAS… the whole thing is 85-pages of crazy-detailed information and the AAMC does a great job laying it all out with videos, charts, etc. so we’ll only hit up the AAMC’s big highlights and linked sections here below ☺
Before You Apply…
o First thing first, here is the full 2016 AMCAS Instruction Manuel that you are required to read. Make your life easier and actually read the whole thing. You’ll have to verify that you read it and you shouldn’t start this whole med school process by lying anyway, right?
o The application fee for the submitting your AMCAS is $160 (that includes one medical school designation) and additional medical school designations: $37 each. Keep in mind there is the Fee Assistance Program and if you qualified to use it when registering for the MCAT you probably qualify here too!
o You’ll use your AAMC username and password to login, save, edit, and submit your AMCAS. This is the same login info from registering for the MCAT and Fee Assistance Program. If you are completely new to the AAMC website you can register here.
There are 9 sections of the AMCAS to complete. Click the section number to learn more about each section.
o Sections 1-3: Your Background Information
This is the standard personal and biographical information.
o Section 4: Course Work
Even the AAMC admits, “The Course Work section is often reported as the most difficult section to complete.” Here you take a copy of your transcripts to enter detailed information regarding every single course in which you enrolled at any college you attended.
o Section 5: Work and Activities
This is where you enter any work experience or extracurricular activities, awards, honors, or publications that you would like to show off to the admission committees. A maximum of 15 experiences may be entered and 3 entries can be designated as your “most meaningful” experiences. Really it’s quality > quantity, so don’t go crazy here.
o Section 6: Letters of Evaluation
Here you will enter the information regarding your letter of recommendation writers. Up to 10 letter entries may be created but keep in mind individual programs don’t need/want 10 letters!
o Section 7: Medical Schools
This is where you will select the schools to which you will apply. It is also where you can designate the schools you wish to receive specific letters of evaluation.
o Section 8: Essays
Here’s the big bad essay section where you explain why you wish to attend medical school and address any pertinent information not included elsewhere in the application. This is the place in your application where you can make a case for yourself in your on words! Remember: PROOFREAD! There is no spellcheck in the AMCAS and also keep in mind no bold or italics will show.
o Section 9: Standardized Tests
This is where you any test information goes i.e. MCAT scores/ future MCAT test dates and even GRE score if you got some.
It is strongly recommended to make use of the “Print Application” button on the Main Menu and proofread your application carefully. Realize that very few changes can be made after you officially submit your application, which you can start doing as early as June 2nd, 2015.
After you submit your completed application and all of your transcripts are received the AAMC then verifies the information like the course section of your application. You can login using your AAMC username to monitor the status of your application.