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Question: What are my odds of getting accepted to medical school, based on my GPA and MCAT scores?
Answer: In 2021-2022, the AAMC reported 60,334 total applicants to US medical schools. Of those, 21,942 matriculated*. That translates to a 36% acceptance rate. Not too shabby, considering medicine is such a competitive professional path. Worth keeping in mind: these numbers do reflect a certain level of self-selection: applicants who are willing to put themselves through the hassle and cost of applying probably possess the basic qualifications. But if you’re a “glass-half-empty” kind of person, you’ve probably already noted that about 64% of applicants do not make it into medical school.
So how can you realistically gauge your odds of getting accepted to medical school? Glad you asked! The AAMC offers a handy grid that can help you determine how similar applicants in years past have fared with your MCAT and GPA scores: https://www.aamc.org/system/files/2021-11/2021_FACTS_Table_A-23.pdf
But remember, the AAMC employs a holistic approach to applications*. Don’t ever assume that your numbers predetermine your outcome. Underperformers still have a chance and overperformers still get rejected.
Everything in your application matters. An experienced medical school admissions editor can help you put your best foot forward.
What’s the ideal length for my residency personal statement?
A residency personal statement should be under 750 words. I shoot for a length of 650-700 with my clients. Yes, ERAS allows a whole lot more. Don’t take the bait. You’ll be a laughingstock if you submit a personal statement that’s overly long or ridiculously short.
Here’s the rub: Everyone will tell you that this sucker needs to fit on a single page. BUT, everyone also has a different calculation for what that means.
Let’s face it, the single page rule is a pre-digital dinosaur. Most of us aren’t printing out these documents anymore. Fun fact: aspiring residents used to mail handwritten letters to their programs of interest! (For those who complain about customizing residency essays to specific programs, at least you don’t have to worry about your penmanship.)
All this begs the question: How many characters or words are equivalent to one page in ERAS? Well, if you type directly into the form or cut-and-paste from Word, you may get about ~3500 characters or so. You may also get some funky formatting issues. However, if you follow ERAS’s instructions and type your essay into a plain text editor, then cut and paste that text into the ERAS form field, VOILA! You may have enough room for up to 650 words.
Wishing you happy writing and a perfect residency match!
Wondering what’s new for 2022 VMCAS applications? Curious about the ever-evolving essay prompt and length requirements? Read on, friend!
Official 2022 VMCAS prompt, per the AAVMC website: Your personal statement is a one-page essay (not to exceed 3,000 characters) that gives veterinary admissions committees a clear picture of who you are and, most importantly, why you want to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
For those of us keeping track, it comes as no surprise that the VMCAS application changed yet again last year. Over the past decade or so, VMCAS essays have seen a number of iterations: from a longer autobiographical essay, to several short essays of shifting lengths, to the current personal-statement-in-miniature format.
If you’ve applied previously (loads of vet applicants are actually reapplicants, so you’re in good company), perhaps you recall writing several “short” essays. Personally, I liked this format! It allowed applicants to explore distinct aspects of their strengths and experiences.
However, applicants who took those prompts way too literally wrote generic essays. Consider this question from two cycles back: In what ways do veterinarians contribute to society and what do you hope to contribute? Many applicants dutifully dedicated half their essay to listing vets’ contributions. If you’ve read one list of contributions, you’ve read them all. Admission committees were probably bored stiff.
Why did I like those prompts? Because they gave creative applicants an easy advantage! What a gift!
But now we’re back to a standard personal statement like you’d write for nearly any professional or graduate program. Except not quite…
What’s different about writing a veterinary school personal statement? I have a couple of quick tips. (Full disclosure: I do save a little something back for my personal clients. After all, vet school is insanely competitive, and my clients come first.):
Obviously, this is the point where I remind you that EssayMD can give you some amazing input at a reasonable price. And I where I reassure you that we’ve worked with lots of other people like you. And that we helped them stand out. By all means, feel free to reach out to me personally (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’re interested in taking your VMCAS application to the next level. We provide comprehensive, knowledgeable editing and proofreading for all aspects of your veterinary application!
Have you read through this year’s Residency Match Day stats yet? Lots of movement (both positive and negative) in the numbers. Still waiting for the total available residency slots to take a big leap though.
While we continue to await definitive news on how COVID-19 will impact the 2020 and 2021 application cycles, one thing’s for certain: the process, as we know it, will be very different than years past. Though the AAMC is still hedging its bets with a “wait and see” approach, we can all reasonably assume that many, perhaps most, deadlines and processes will accommodate widespread education, business, and social fallout.
The majority of applicants will face a litany of unprecedented issues:
In short, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Most applicants will face some major complicating factors. The AAMC already realizes it will have to make BIG adjustments. Sit tight, remain calm, and get ready for a fun ride.
Bottom line: if you are adaptable—which you should be if you want to be a great physician—this could be your year. We predict that the total price tag for the application process will be significantly reduced. It is likely that most/all interviews will move to a virtual format, equating to HUGE SAVINGS for applicants. For perhaps the first time ever, you don’t have to be hamstrung by a tight interview travel budget. Broadening your geographical range can be a major asset in the admissions game!
Here are a few tips and resources as you prepare for an adjusted medical school and residency application season:
2020 hasn’t been the easiest on anyone, but you can make the challenges work in your favor. Applicants who persevere through life disruptions may realize unprecedented advantages. Best of luck!
How will Coronavirus (COVID-19) affect medical school admissions?
At this point, it’s all conjecture! But COVID-19 is already making its impact on current medical school students and applicants. As schools suspend operations, move to online formats, and work to slow the spread of the pandemic, flexibility will be key.
In the short run, the adjustments feel relatively minor:
But what about the long run? What happens to the next class of medical school applicants? Best case scenario, this all wraps up neatly and the impact is negligible. Worst case scenario? The entire process is turned on its head. A few of our predictions for how things might shake out:
One final thought: COVID-19 has sharpened the public’s interest in the current state of American medicine. It is possible that we will see some major injections of funding into our healthcare, research, and medical education systems to shore up our crisis readiness. If that happens, your timing may be perfect to apply!
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Early Bird Special
The AMCAS application is open!
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