I cannot stress this enough when it comes to medical school applications: APPLY BROADLY! The entire process is an extreme crapshoot and there really is no such thing as a safety school. You may think you have a great chance at one school only to end up being rejected pre-secondary. The same can apply to schools that you think are a reach. When I applied last cycle, I did not think I had even the slightest chance at GA-PCOM even though my heart was set on it. I had previously been rejected from the school and various forum boards said they did not take any MCAT section with a score of less than an 8. Obviously that is not the case, although it may be more of a general guideline than a set rule. There were also a few schools that I received secondary applications to that heavily screen the primary applications. I’m pretty sure my graduate school GPA was taken highly into consideration even though it was not explicitly mentioned on their websites. I even received e-mails from some of these schools stating that they were interested in receiving my MCAT scores after a retake to help with their decisions. The fact that I could not pull my score up was definitely a factor in my rejections.
The point of this post is not to discourage anyone, but to make sure you don’t make some of the same mistakes I did in my first two application cycles. A new application cycle is opening, and I want everyone to have the best possible chance of getting an acceptance. Applying to medical school is an expensive process, and having to re-apply because you did not choose the right schools the first time can be even more expensive. It is super important to utilize the AACOM CIB and AAMC MSAR books to pick the right schools for you. In a previous post, I wrote about how I selected some of my schools, so feel free to check it out if you need a little guidance. Also, if there is that one school that you feel you don’t have the slightest chance at but your heart is set on it, apply anyway. I can say from experience that it just might result in some great news. Best wishes to everyone applying to medical school this summer!