Since the introduction of the biochemistry section to the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), premedical students across the country have bemoaned its addition to the exam. As a first-year medical student who just finished my biochemistry block, I am coming to realize the importance of learning the Kreb’s cycle and other seemingly arbitrary facts. This article is intended to provide tips and tricks on how to learn and memorize some of the more complex portions of the biochemistry section of the MCAT. I also hope to provide some clinical relevance to help motivate you in studying this dense material.Read More
MCAT & Medical School Admissions
When studying for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), most students tend to focus on studying through content review and reading preparation books. However, an essential method for preparing for this exam is taking numerous practice tests to prepare for the format as well as the arduous length of the exam. A critical portion of this practice is to effectively review exams in order to assess strengths and weaknesses in both content and testing strategies. Below we will discuss tips to optimizing your practice exams and strategies for reviewing them.Read More
Daily, physicians face challenges to apply, analyze, and communicate scientific and medical information. The ability to communicate and analyze is a softer skill that is difficult to develop compared to the effort it takes to memorize something like the Krebs’s cycle. This vital skill set has become emphasized by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) through the production of the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Section (CARS) on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). CARS is the section that most premedical students struggle with and requires the most time to build skills. Identifying question types on your exam will allow you to establish patterns of performance and test trends. Below we will discuss the six most common types of questions you will encounter on the CARS section and how to best approach them.Read More
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is one of the most challenging graduate school entry exams. While the content and strategy is difficult, it is essential for students to focus on planning when preparing for this lengthy exam. A successful MCAT preparation begins with creating a study schedule that manages to accommodate your other commitments while meeting your preparation needs. Here are eight tips to assist you in preparing your own study schedule for the exam:
Preparing Your Letters of Recommendation for Medical School Admissions
High quality letters of recommendation can make all the difference when you are applying to medical school. The best letters are the ones that can provide great details on your strengths and all of the reasons that you should be considered as a student. When you are getting ready to include these in your application, remember all of the following:Read More
In my years as a scientist, I have found that in a world as diverse and unpredictable as our own, it is paramount to remain consistent in the ways we study the world and conduct experiments. Good studies need to have control groups that do not receive treatment and reflect the status quo. Likewise, when preparing to battle the beast that is the MCAT, consistency is key. While the ideas below are broadly relevant to any type of standardized exam, they are particularly important when preparing for the MCAT. Why? Because the MCAT requires memorization of so many facts across multiple subject areas, understanding of a broad range of concepts, and the ability to focus to apply these facts and concepts to correctly answer difficult questions. The GMAT by contrast, a test taken for admission to graduate business school, requires absolutely no knowledge of business subjects at all.
Here are a few factors to consider keeping consistent when preparing for the MCAT.
The college personal statement is an opportunity for a student to sell himself or herself in the application process. This purpose of this essay is to show the admissions office who you really are. What about you is different from other applicants? What does your perspective make you unique? What experiences have you had that will shape your college career? This essay should provide additional evidence of your intellectual and creative achievement.
As this is such an important part of the application, it’s important to do your research before you begin writing. Below is a list of valuable websites and resources to help you approach your personal statement:
- College Board is a mission-driven, not-for-profit website that aims to connect students to college success and academic opportunities. Each year, it helps millions of applicants prepare for a successful transition to college through various programs and services. For tips on personal statements and essays, check out Big Future by the College Board.
- College Confidential is a website designed to guide students and parents about the many aspects of the college admissions process and help them understand each stage of the process. The website has assembled an editorial team responsible in creating content and gathering helpful information about college admissions from the web.
- College Essay Organizer is a website that gathers past and present essay questions from different colleges and universities in the US and shares them to aspiring college students to help them write impressive personal essays and statements. The website has been helping tens of thousands of students get into the colleges of their dreams for decades through the service it provides.
- InGenius Prep is a website run by former admissions officers from the most competitive schools in the United States. It provides helpful advice, tips, and information about college application, passing standardized tests, interview preparations, and admissions requirement handling. Every year, InGenius Prep helps millions of applicants get into their dream colleges through application consultancy and candidacy building.
- U.S. News & World Report is a big, multi-platform, publisher of news and information about education, career, and employment. It is known for the rankings it presents for Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools, Best Law Schools, Best Medical Schools, and specific programs within those more general categories. Aside from these, the website features blogs, interview texts, and other useful information about college application and admissions that can help aspiring college students get into the school they prefer the most.
Getting into medical school requires mental and emotional preparation, as well as financial readiness. Med school is expensive, and everyone who wants to be a doctor knows this. If, despite the looming financial burden and the premed critics you will face, you are still thinking about applying to med school, below is a summary of the financial cost of attending medical school. Proceed with caution...
Medical School Tuition
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the median tuition in 2013-2014 was $31,783 for resident students at public institutions, $55,294 for non-resident students at public institutions, $52,093 for resident students at private med schools, and $50,476 for non-resident students at private med schools. These figures do not include health insurance, housing, and other expenses.
So, for four years of medical school, a public school would cost $127,132 for resident students and $221,176 for non-resident students. At private schools, the entire cost of medical education totals $208,372 for resident students and $201,904 for non-resident students.
So, you have decided to go to medical school. You rocked your premed program, strengthened your CV, and passed the MCAT with flying colors. You now reach the moment to decide where to submit your applications and how many medical schools should you apply to.
Deciding which medical school to apply to is an extremely important part of the application process. Moreover, it can really be challenging, expensive, and time consuming. Not only do you need to identify which schools will be able to provide you with your academic needs and educational expectations, but you will also have to match your qualifications with the school’s standards.
Considerations when Applying to Medical School
- Applying to med school costs a lot of money. The AMCAS costs $160 for the first application, and $33 for succeeding applications. Thus, applying to ten schools will cost you $457 for the AMCAS application alone. In addition, you will also have to submit secondary applications that often times cost money, too. Expect to pay at least $150 for secondary applications.
- Applying to med school can be time consuming. After submitting your AMCAS application, it can take several weeks for your application to be verified and released to the schools you have applied to. The hard work continues when you are expected to complete your secondary applications, which require new essays, forms, and documents to be submitted. Finally, the interview process will also take a lot of your time and energy.
- You can never be too sure about your applications to med school, as acceptance rates are extremely low. With this in mind, make sure that you submit your applications to a good number of medical schools to guarantee that you will get into one, including reach schools, safety schools, and fit schools. While you want to attend a top-tier medical school, as everyone else does, it is smart to have a fall back option in case you will not make it.
So, How Many Medical Schools Should You Apply to?
Medical school is expensive. When applying, you have to be mentally prepared for the financial burden that attending medical school will place on your life. So, how much does medical school cost? Let’s find out...
Medical School Tuition and Fees
In 2013–2014, the average cost of med school tuition and fees at public schools was approximately $31,783 for in-state residents and $55,294 for non-residents. At private schools, the average annual tuition and fees was approximately $52,093 for residents and $50,476 for non-resident students. These figures discuss tuition alone and don’t even include health insurance, housing, books, and the cost of being out of the workforce.
According to Julie Fresne, the director of student and resident deb management services at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), with such an immense cost of attending medical school, the median debt level for a graduating medical student is approximately $175,000 while 25% of graduating medical school students have debt exceeding $200,000.
These numbers can truly be discouraging. However, aspiring medical students should know that there are many resources to help manage your money, get financial aid, and to pay for medical school.