Embarrassed and dejected, I went in the premed office to talk to my adviser. I wanted him to review my application and tell me why I was not accepted to medical school that year. I had good stats, good letters of recommendation, and an average personal statement–so why not even one interview??? However, he was just as stumped as I was, and recommended that I call the med schools and ask them myself, which I did.
Medical College of Wisconsin, which was one of my back-up schools, told me that everything in my application looked great, but that I had sent in my application just a little too late. Seriously??? I sent in my application in mid-August, only a couple of weeks after I got the secondary, and that was too late???
Yes. Mid-August is definitely too late. Two weeks is a HUGE amount of time when it comes to sending in secondaries. Hundreds of other well-qualified applicants were sending in their applications to the same schools I was every day, putting me at the bottom of a large stack of applications. What makes me want to kick myself in the face is that MCW’s secondary didn’t even have an essay–I could have easily submitted it the day I got it, but deprioritized it because it was only a back-up school.
What You Should Do
Remember: Send in your primary AMCAS or TMDSAS the day it opens!!! See my page on applying for tips on how to do this. I waited two weeks to send in my primaries the first time, and then it took me another two weeks to send in most of my secondaries, putting me behind by a total of a month!
The second time I applied, I had my AMCAS and TMDSAS ready to go on opening day, and finished most of my secondaries a day to two after I got them. And for all of the secondaries that did not require essays, whether they were high on my priority list or not, I submitted them immediately.
My success: Most of my interviews were early interviews, meaning that I was in the first group of applicants to interview at most of the schools I interviewed at. My first interview was August 10th. I had 9 interviews by the end of September.
So, see the difference? My biggest mistake was applying late–nothing really changed in my application the second time that would have yielded such drastic results! I did not feel like I was applying late, but the reality is that if you are not applying the day or two after the application opens, you are already behind hundreds of other applicants.