Preparation for medical school begins long before you start
the application process. It is important that you take the
right courses, including a wide range of laboratory-based
science classes, search volunteer and leadership experience
and apply what you learn in your classes for the Medical
College Admission Test. In addition, it will build good
relationships with professors and advisors help you have
options when it's time to ask for letters of recommendation.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Almost all medical schools require prospective students to
take the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT. MCAT exam
assesses students ' readiness for medical school. The
standardized, multiple-choice exam tests students on
problem-solving and writing skills, science concepts and
critical thinking. Students get scores for verbal reasoning,
physical sciences, writing sample, and biological sciences.
Medical schools typically accept scores that are not more
than three years. Students can register for the MCAT take
practice exams, study tips and score information at
Coursework is different at each school. But according to the
Association of American Medical Colleges, most schools
require one year at a time of biology, physics and English.
Two years of chemistry-two semesters of General Chemistry
and two semesters of organic chemistry-is also required.
Students are encouraged to take science classes, offering
laboratory experience. A year in math or calculus also is
required by many schools, such as Harvard Medical School.
Courses in the humanities and social sciences, including
foreign languages, philosophy, sociology and the arts, also
is required by many schools as Harvard and Johns Hopkins
University. Research, independent study, computer literacy
and honors courses is also recommended by the school staff.
most medical schools use the American Medical College
Application Service. The application service does not make
decisions for the individual schools admission requirements.
They provide a centralized application process that makes it
possible for applicants to file only one application, which
can be sent to a large number of schools. The service
accepts transcripts and letters of recommendations, gathers
and verifies students ' program files and sends MCAT scores.
Deadlines for application are provided by the individual
schools. Also check with each school to determine if they
have secondary uses.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are a different access requirement
for medical school. Letters of recommendation may be
submitted through the American Medical College Application
Service. People to consider asking whether letters are
science professors, academic advisers, counsellors, doctors,
research institutions, community leaders and employers,
especially if you've been out of school for a long period of
time. Schools have different requirements for they produce
and the amount of letters of recommendation, so it may be
necessary to control the schools ' websites for more
information. For example, Harvard requires two letters from
science professors, one non-science professor, all areas of
research professors with a maximum of six letters. Also be
sure to give Recommenders deadlines, even early deadlines
for when to submit your letter. You do not want late-night
letters to delay your medical school application.
Interviews are not a guarantee of admission. According to
The Princeton Review, they allow admissions officials to
weed out the good from the great. Some schools have
one-on-one interviews, while other user panels, which may
include faculty members, admissions representatives, doctors
and upper level students. Interviews allow you to show
admissions officials the real you over what they've read in
the paper. You may be asked questions about your classes,
volunteer work, ethics, or current health care trends.
Interviews are also an opportunity for officials to see how
you will react to stressful situations and sometimes
difficult questions. Many student health professions clubs
offer mock interviews with community doctors or professors.
These are opportunities to practice your interview skills.
Along with making good grades, students who are considering
medical school should consider volunteering with a local
hospital or clinic. They should also seek out leadership
opportunities in a variety of recreational activities.
Research work or other medical experience can support
students ' application.