A Last-Minute Checklist for AMCAS Submission

It’s that time of year again. AMCAS, or the American Medical College Application Service, is now open to submissions. It can be overwhelming to compile an application worthy of admission to a medical school, and small (but still important) details can thus fall through the cracks.

However, there are several steps you can take to avoid this dilemma. You can download the official AMCAS Instruction Manual. You can also follow AMCAS on Twitter to learn of real-time issues with the submission system. Perhaps most importantly, you can refer to a last-minute checklist for AMCAS submission as you finalize your application, which can help you:

  • Organize the last days of your submission process

  • Catch potentially disastrous mistakes

  • Respond when something goes unexpectedly wrong

By June 1, 2017 (or the date that AMCAS opens to submissions in future years), you will have likely completed each of the nine sections on the application—if you have not, finish that important step now and return to this checklist after! 

[RELATED: How to Improve Your Med School Application]

You may have heard that it doesn’t matter when you submit so long as your AMCAS application is complete by a school’s deadline. Don’t allow this to put you at ease. Instead, think about it this way—when you visit a doctor’s office, you would prefer the physician to see you sooner, rather than later. Promptness speaks to your level of professionalism. It might not be specifically required, but it’s an unsaid expectation. The best rule of thumb is to submit your application as soon as you can without compromising the quality of your admissions portfolio.  

Checklist for AMCAS submission

So how can you ensure that you’ve struck the appropriate balance between timeliness and quality? Use this last-minute checklist for AMCAS submission. 

1. Verify your personal information, including contact details. Have you accurately listed your address? Have you specified a telephone number that you can be reached at, no matter the time? Is your email address one that you will check constantly? In short, if a medical school wishes to contact you, will they be able to?

2. Double-check your transcripts. Transcripts are one of the primary reasons for AMCAS application delays. It is your responsibility to send transcript request forms to your institution(s), and to ensure that an official transcript has been submitted via physical mail or a secure AMCAS file transfer. Schools cannot email transcripts to AMCAS. Reapplicants must also resubmit official transcripts.

3. Review your coursework. Like transcripts, incorrectly recorded classwork is a significant source of delays. Each entry should include the course’s name and number, as well as credit hours (if applicable) and grade. You will also be asked to classify your coursework. This section will be compared to your official transcripts, so take precautions to avoid erroneously entering an incorrect grade or class number. Remember that even repeated coursework is included!

4. Double-check that you have created AMCAS entries for your letters of evaluation. If you haven’t received all of your letters, politely remind your writers. Note, too, that you’re responsible for selecting which medical schools receive which letters. Recheck your choices, and verify that all programs are assigned the proper letters of evaluation.

5. Check your MCAT scores. Are your results accurate?

[RELATED: What is an Average MCAT Score?]


A final word about AMCAS submission

Your last-minute checklist for AMCAS submission should include a critical final step—a thorough proofreading. Is your personal statement free of errors? Have you clearly and concisely completed the Work and Activities section? This portion can provide just as much insight as your essay.

Once you have submitted your application, it is finally time to relax—and to begin preparing for interviews!


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