Four Tips for Completing Your AMCAS Application

The 2018 AMCAS application cycle is now open. While the information entered in the application is straightforward, it can be easy to make simple mistakes that may delay processing time. We asked the AMCAS Verification Team, who reviews and processes thousands of applications each year, to provide some essential tips to help you successfully complete your application and avoid potential delays.

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The 2018 AMCAS application cycle has started. If you plan to apply to attend medical school starting in Fall 2018, the application is now open for you to begin working through the sections of the application. While the application is straightforward, it can be easy to make simple mistakes that can delay the verification process. To help you fill out an application that may be processed faster, we asked for tips from the AMCAS Verifications Team, as they review and process thousands of AMCAS applications each year. The Verification Team provided us with some important tips to help you avoid making mistakes and ensure your application gets successfully verified.

Tip 1: Carefully fill out the Course Work section

On average, applicants enter 52 different courses from two to three different schools. Before filling out this section, we strongly recommend using a personal copy of your official transcript(s) to reference as you enter your coursework. Any omissions or incorrectly entered information can delay your application’s verification. Here are some things to keep in mind as you fill out this section:

  • Be certain to include ALL coursework taken at post-secondary institutions, regardless of whether you received credit, if it was Pass/No Pass, or you withdrew. This includes college-level courses taken during high school.
  • If you repeated a course, enter all of your attempts and corresponding grades even if your school has a grade forgiveness policy.
  • Enter your coursework in the sequence it appears on your official transcript(s). This helps to avoid inadvertent omissions. 
  • Do not list coursework twice. If coursework was transferred to another school, you must list the respective schools in the Schools Attended section (be sure to list coursework only once under the corresponding school where the coursework was actually taken).
  • You can combine lecture and lab hours if you received the same grade for both. Or, if the lab grade is Pass AND it’s assigned zero credit hours, you may list just the lecture and its corresponding grade. 
  • AMCAS will make corrections on your application if necessary. However, 10 or more omissions, including missing grades and/or credit hours, requires AMCAS to send your application back to you. This will delay processing time.  
  • If you have taken courses while serving in the military, you will need to provide a Joint Service Transcript (JST), if available.
  • For courses you’re currently enrolled in or plan on taking, select “Current/Future” as the special course type.
  • All coursework must be entered in English. If available, request your official transcript(s) in English.
  • If your school uses a numerical grading scale or one with special symbols, enter them exactly as it appears on your transcript. AMCAS Verification staff will review and convert accordingly.

Tip 2: Understand how to request transcripts

The number one cause of processing delays and missed application deadlines are transcripts. You will need to send transcripts from each U.S., U.S Territory, or Canadian post-secondary institution at which you were enrolled. Here are things to keep in mind when requesting transcripts:

  • Review the AMCAS Instruction Manual to know how to request transcripts using the AMCAS Transcript Request Form, from which schools you will need to provide transcripts from, and what to do if no transcripts are available.
  • See if your school(s) provide AMCAS-approved e-transcript(s). Check with your school’s registrar office or website.
  • When requesting your official transcripts, make sure the correct transcript ID number is assigned to your request, as a mix-up for e-transcripts can cause processing delays.   

Tip 3: Know what you can change on your application post-submission

Once you certify that the information you entered on your application is correct and you hit the submit button, you’re limited in what you can edit in your application post-submission. Changes allowed post-submission can be found on the Certifying and Submitting your Application page. Should you find discrepancies on your verified application, you can submit an Academic Change Request (ACR). Review the relevant section of the AMCAS Instruction Manual for more information.

Tip 4: For reapplicants*: double check your entire application (*Reapplicants are current applicants who applied and submitted an AMCAS application in a previous cycle.)

Most of the information you entered in the previous year’s application will roll over if you previously submitted an application. In addition to any updates you wish to make to your application, you will want to check everything thoroughly before submitting. If your previous application was verified, please keep any changes the Verification Team made to any part of your application.

 

Be sure to bookmark the AMCAS Instruction Manual and the other tools and tutorials to help you complete the application. Follow us on Twitter @amcasinfo for additional tips, resources, and answers to your questions.

With these tips and best practices in hand, we wish you much success on your path to medical school!

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