For those dreaming of becoming a doctor, you have to take the MCAT. Further, there are steps that you must follow to ensure you qualify at every level. The day of seeing yourself in scrubs performing life-saving surgery is not that far down the road. You must research and pay attention to what you must do to get there. Consider this process when trying to get into the medical school of your dreams.
Why Undergrad is Important
Your undergrad studies need to have specific elements for your pre-medical education. While in undergrad, it is imperative that you complete a year in subjects such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.
As a future doctor you will need to know about the overall structure of the body. This means understanding cells and genetics. It’s imperative you have these talents to succeed in the medical field. You must understand how to administer dosages, which medications work with different body types, and know key medical terms.
How to Prepare for the MCAT
You must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to become a doctor. The test is computerized and administered online through the (AAMC) Association of American Medical Colleges. It’s best to take the exam in your junior or senior year. Give yourself at least 12 weeks or more to study for the entire exam. It’s to your advantage to get organized by creating a schedule. Stay with it up until you have to take the test. Make sure you’re working with good study materials that prepare you the best for the exam. The MCAT test dates happen 14 times per year at Prometric Testing Centers.
Take note that the AAMC has added a new section called Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior. The other three sections include Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, and Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems.
Apply to Medical School
Admittance of students occurs regularly, with spots filling up fast. Your first step is to submit your application through either TMDSAS (for Texas Medical Schools), AMCAS (for MD admissions), or AACOMAS (for DO admissions). You’ll need to be prepared to give a school transcript, scores, personal experiences, volunteer work, and an essay about what draws you to medicine.
Consider including two letters of recommendation with your application. These can be from a professor or a mentor. You’ll also want to add in a personal essay. Your essay should give a vivid description of the hardships you’ve faced in your life to challenges you overcame. Talk about who inspired you to get in the medical field.
When the application process rolls around, you’ll either get a rejection letter or asked to submit a second application. Once that is reviewed, it comes down to an invite to campus, or you get another rejection letter. Interviews often happen in September and February.
Aside from taking the test, these are ways to get into the medical school of your dreams. Make sure to take the exam prep, choose the appropriate classes while as an undergrad, create a study schedule, and keep networking. Understand and study for the new section added along with the other critical areas. This will give you an advantage when the test day finally arrives. Find the right center where you can take the test, and remember preparation is everything.
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