Definitely agree that this process seems random! That\'s a little bit of a copout though and it\'s been said way too much. Maybe because it seems pretty true? Students I interviewed with who sit on AdComs have said that it all depends on which AdCom member gets your application first and whether they like it enough to advance it. I suppose that\'s the luck of the draw. But, it\'s definitely true that some AdCom members like certain qualities and other members like different qualities. That\'s what keeps the class mixes interesting, I suppose.
I guess that most people would say I applied very late. I definitely used the secondary application deadlines liberally--I took them at face value sometimes. Did this hurt me? Maybe at a few places. On the other hand, I got interviews from some of the places at which I applied latest. Go figure.
I feel like I had a good mix of schools on my list. I purposefully created a list that included out of state public, out of state private, Ivy, religious, and in-state public & private. I feel like the application had decently broad appeal since I interviewed at at least one school in each category. My original predictions were that I\'d get 1 interview for every 5 schools I applied to and 1 acceptance for every 5 interviews. In the end, I applied to 19 programs and got 8 interviews. 3 acceptances and 2 waitlists (so far). Fortunately for me, my math proved to be worse that I thought it\'d be. The lesson in all this is that you want to maximize whatever you can control in the process: GPA & MCAT are obvious...but you can also try to absorb the inevitable probability of being rejected by applying to a good number of schools.
Feel free to PM with any questions =)