My advice, having hopefully learned from my failures in last year\'s cycle.:
1. Apply early - no excuses, this is probably one of the most important things (First week of June is great, but within 3 weeks is decent too. I submitted in July last year and wasn\'t complete at many schools until September). This means getting all your LOR\'s and Transcripts ready to go wayyyyy before June. Same with the Personal Statement.
2. Pre-write secondaries and turn them in within 1-2 days of receiving invites: this goes hand in hand with #1. Not only does it show the schools that you are very interested, but you have a chance at early interview dates (especially important for rolling admissions). It also allows you to make multiple revisions of your essays. Use SDN for prompts from last year as most schools don\'t change. I pre-wrote 33 of them this year and usually marked complete within hours to a few days max.
3. Proofread: With something like 40000 applicants, a typo may not seem like a big deal but when there are 100 people with your exact stats, who do you think they\'ll pick to interview. I\'d let a friend read all your secondaries/PS and use a text-aloud program to proofread your essays
4. Sell yourself: There is more to the EC\'s than just listing them out. How can they look important to the adcom if you don\'t even think they are. Connect each one to your interest in medicine or to skills that would make you a great physician. Last cycle, my EC description in the primary and in secondary apps lacked personality. They were probably just factual and downright boring. I\'m not saying be dramatic, but sound excited about what your\'ve experienced.
6. School choice: You should only apply to schools you would actually attend, but keep in mind that if you got in nowhere, you\'d give anything just to go somewhere. I applied to too many top schools and was overconfident, and after not getting in, I regretted not having more safeties because you can be damn sure I\'d have taken any acceptance regardless of ranking.
7. Send interest letters: This one is debatable, but I don\'t see what it can hurt. Go through the details of a school and find why you want to go there. Is the curriculum a good match to your learning style? Do they have a program you really like (clinics, research, etc)? Do you have family in the area? You want to tie in your attributes to what they offer.
8. DO NOT apply if you\'re not ready. It\'s much better to take a year to perfect an application than to half-ass and rush it. Re-applicants are at a significant disadvantage. You have to show big improvement to even be considered the second time, and you\'ve wasted thousands of dollars.
I\'ll be adding to this as time progresses but hopefully there is at least some stuff that helps you guys out. Feel free to leave me some feedback or ask questions. I\'m always glad to help out