AMCAS, or How to Get Admitted to a Medical School in the US
If you are an international student who wants to obtain a Doctorate of Medicine (M.D.) degree in the United States, we have good news for you. Since studying at a medical school is far from being a piece of cake, the least what could have been done not to scare all the potential students away was to simplify the application process. For this purpose, American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) was created. It is a platform guaranteeing that applying process to any medical school is the same throughout the US. With its help, you need to fill in only one application form and may send it to as many educational establishments as you wish. Let us have a look at how you can be easily admitted!
Before actually starting to apply to a medical school of your dream, you will have to read online instructions on how to handle the application process through the AMCAS and certify doing it. You should obligatory read them since they will help you get a picture of how the system works. Once you have done it, you may proceed with creating an account on the AMCAS website. It implies choosing a username and password to be able to access your application form, edit it before submitting, or check its status. Then, an actual application begins.
Stage One: Identification
At this stage, you will have to provide all information that is to assist the AMCAS in identifying and matching you with any supporting documents sent in, for instance, a transcript. The required data are your name, sex, age, and alternate identification number. The latter is a code that consists of letters and numbers and was used in the educational establishments, which you graduated earlier. The alternate ID can be found in your transcript.
Stage Two: Biography
At this point, you will be asked to provide your personal data and education received so far. You will need to specify your contact information, i.e., address and phone, citizenship status, criminal history, and fluency in languages. The next step would be to fill in the form about all the schools and colleges that you graduated or just attended. It includes even those schools where you have not received any credits or completed a course.
Stage Three: Academic Achievements
Here, you will have to list all the classes that you have even taken in both high school and college as well as the grades attained. All the data provided will be examined by the AMCAS and should fully match the official transcripts, which you are supposed to mail. Be sure to input only correct information and check it several times before submitting. You should also note that official transcripts should not be obligatory mailed as you start the application, but AMCAS must receive them as early as possible to be able to send the application to the schools of your choice.
Stage Four: Working Experience
This phase of the application process implies adding the information about your professional life. The form allows listing 15 activities or experiences. Although you might be tempted to provide as much data as possible, it is not advisable. You should include only those experiences that are indeed relevant to the chosen area. Furthermore, you will be required to fill in the field about your letters of recommendation. You should indicate who wrote them and clearly explain which school should get which one. Remember that the letters themselves must be mailed directly to the AMCAS.
Stage Five: School Choice
At this stage, you can finally choose the schools that you would like to attend. However, do not make hasty decisions. Before indicating something, make a research on the educational establishments that interest you. Find out about their ranking and policy concerning international students, types of programs offered, extracurricular activities as well as any other information that might be useful. It would be a total failure if you accidentally chose a school that does not have a program that is suitable for you.
Stage Six: Essays
You will be required to write from one to three essays depending on the degree for which you are applying. Only one personal comments essay should be composed in case you apply for neither M.D. nor Ph.D. If you are interested in either of these programs, you will need to provide personal comments, significant research experience essay, and, of course, a Ph.D. or M.D. essay. The final stroke would be to specify the scores for standardized tests such as MCAT, LSAT, GMAT or GRE.
Once you have gone through these stages and sent all the required supporting documents, your job is done here. What is left to do is to check the status of your application from time to time and wait for marvelous news about being admitted to the medical school, which you wanted to attend most of all. So, inform AMCAS about yourself and let it do the rest.