Getting past the medical school admissions process can be difficult, but knowing the guidelines that must be met to be accepted into medical school while you are an undergrad can make the process less stressful. Medical school admissions directors consider several different factors when they are making an admissions decision. Some of the factors you know about and others you may be surprised to learn about. As a prospective medical school student and a physician in-the-making, you should learn about which factors hold the most weight and how your medical school application can make a difference. Read on, and find out about the guidelines you must meet to get a positive admissions decision.
Educational Prerequisite Guidelines
The educational requirements to get into a med school will vary from school to school, but you can be sure that every school will have very strict prerequisite guideline, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. You can generally possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in any discipline, buy you must have a specific set of classes under your belt to show that you are ready for medical school curriculum. Taking science courses is a must, and this is why most will earn a Bachelor of Science degree. You typically need no less than:
- One year of Physics
- One year of Biology
- One year of English
- Two years of Chemistry
Academic Performance Guidelines
After you have checked to see what the medical school admission prerequisite requirements are for a specific school, you should familiarize yourself with how your academic performance can have an affect of decisions. Undergraduate programs are not nearly as challenging as medical school programs, so the admissions councils want to see that you have excelled as a student before you get to the very challenging content. There is typically not a GPA requirement, but the school will prefer students who are near the top of their class. Some schools accept students with a GPA in the 10th through the 90th percentile, but others have higher expectations.
Admissions Testing Requirements
All prospective medical students must take the Medical College Admissions Test for their application to be considered. In addition to your academic performance, your MCAT test scores will be considered in the admissions decision. The council will look at scores annually, assign a weight to each score based on the highest and lowest reported, and then decide if your score is sufficient. Make sure you understand what you will be tested on when you take the MCAT, because these scores are very important.
Volunteering and Community Involvement Guidelines
You will be on-call as a physician 365 days out of the year. Because you must commit so much time to help people, you will be expected to show that you have been committed to volunteering as a student. Long-term projects are beneficial to your application. Get practical experience volunteering in a hospital or even spend time in a project unrelated to medicine.
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The guidelines that you must meet to get accepted into a medical school can feel like a lot, but if you know the evaluation process then you will be prepared. Make sure to get good grades in school, take the right courses, volunteer as much as you can, and stay involved in extra-curricular activities. By doing all of this, you will meet all of the guidelines that must be met to be accepted into medical school.