By: Alessandra Santiago
At this point in the series, we have covered everything from writing your Personal Statement to preparing for the secondary applications to selecting your schools. The Primary Application will open for students to begin compiling their materials on May 4, and students can submit their application materials as early as May 28 to pass the initial verification review. In the time between now and that initial submission date, make sure your materials are as ready as they can be.
So what should you be working on now? If you are in the midst of deciding where you will apply, review our article about selecting your schools. In it, we have included a sample chart for organizing your school selections. We recommend using it — or creating your own — to fill in your target schools, the dates and details for submission at each school, and any relevant values of your schools that would be worth highlighting in your secondaries (read each school’s mission statement for clues!). You can find details about your schools of interest through the Medical School Admissions Requirements page.
Do you have your transcripts on hand? This week, order your official transcripts from all of your post-high school academic institutions, if you haven’t done so already. It may take some time for them to arrive given the status of COVID-19 protocols, so place the order now to receive them by early May.
When did you last check in with your letter writers? While it is unlikely your letter writers will have composed your letters yet, loop back with them this week to inform them of your timeline, especially if you have any changes to your application process due to COVID-19 (you can find information from the AAMC about changes to the 2021 application cycle here).
Have you started drafting your writing prompts? Now is the time to set pen to paper, metaphorically-speaking. If you haven’t already written a first draft of your Personal Statement or your most meaningful activities, spend some time writing functional drafts within the next few weeks. Reach out to your readers/editors to inform them that you will provide them with your Personal Statement imminently, and thank them again for their time. You may also want to touch base with your pre-med department or advisor to see if they have any remote readers who could provide feedback on your essays.
In the months approaching the start date of the application process, this is prime time for preparing your application materials for a flawless submission. Spend a little time thinking strategically, and do your best to compile what materials you can during this time.