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MD Applicants

  • fpo-profile-avatar
  • capriccio

  • Application cycles: 06/06/2018
  • Demographics: Female, 25, East Asian
  • Home state: Wisconsin
  • Last Active: 05/09/2021
  • Brief Profile: Trad, ORM
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/06/2018

    • Undergraduate college: Public University
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 525
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 131, C/P 132, P/S 130, CARS 132
    • Overall GPA: 3.90
    • Science GPA: 3.90

    Summary of Application Experience

    Summary of stats:

    Clinical: ~300 hours hospital volunteering
    Shadowing: ~50 hours
    Nonclinical: ~200 hours—ESL stuff
    Research: 1000+ hours basic science, university awarded fellowships, no pubs, 1 minor poster presentation
    ECs: music group, student newspaper, science outreach
    Hobbies: art, music
    Leadership: leadership positions in student orgs
    Overview of application
    23 primaries
    21 secondaries completed
    9 interview invites
    8 interviews attended
    1 post-II rejection
    3 waitlists
    4 acceptances

    Application Timeline summary

    -MCAT studying: Took MCAT in Jan of junior year. Studied weaker subjects over the summer before junior year. Stopped Sept-mid Nov because of school. Started studying again in Nov, and then full time studying in Dec/Jan (my school has a month long winter break) with FLs, SBs, Qpacks, and Anki.

    -Throughout undergrad: periodically wrote down memories or reflections about my experiences for reference during application cycle **I really recommend this!!**
    -late April: began brainstorming and outlining for personal statement **recommend attending a personal statement workshop**
    -May: intensive drafting of PS; also wrote all activity statements
    -6/6: submitted AMCAS
    -June: started pre-outlining secondaries
    -6/30: AMCAS verified
    -early-mid July: began receiving secondaries
    -mid-late July: submitted ~1/2 of secondaries
    -late July-mid Aug: major burnout
    -late Aug: got my a** in gear and finished the remaining 1/2
    -late Aug: first II from WashU (complete mid July)
    -Sept: II from Penn (complete mid July); II from Columbia (complete mid July)
    -Nov: II from UW Madison (complete late Aug); II from Hopkins (complete early Aug); II from Northwestern (complete late July)
    - Dec: II from UChicago (complete late Aug); II from OSU (complete late July); A from UW-Madison
    - Jan: II from Medical College of Wisconsin (complete late Aug)
    -Feb: A from MCW
    -early March: A from UChicago; WL from Penn, WashU; R from Columbia
    -late March: A from Hopkins
    -April: WL from Northwestern, and the cycle is finally done!!!
    Pre-II Rejections: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU, Icahn, Pitt, Mayo, Rochester, UCSF, Boston U, UMich, Einstein

    For more info about individual schools where I received IIs, scroll down the school list section.

    Regarding ECs
    Do what you love and enjoy. The whole premed experience will be so much more fulfilling if youre doing things that genuinely interest you. Ive seen a lot of anxiety over having the X-factor, and while its crucial to identify and emphasize your unique points, I also think people over-exaggerate the kind of ECs you need for T20 applications. Excluding my musical/artistic hobbies, my ECs are definitely accessible to anyone on a college campus, and I believe the important part was that I was truly passionate about what I was doing, and I knew how to present them in the best possible light.

    Regarding essay writing in general
    Dont be afraid of writing and rewriting and rewriting (and rewriting). My first PS draft looked nothing like my final PS draft. I have 10+ different PS drafts in my folder, written over the course of 1.5 months. I have countless versions of my challenge and diversity essays and for any and all other secondary prompts. Its okay for your first draft to be terrible. Find second, third, or even fourth opinions. Improve, improve, improve, recognize that your essay will never be perfect, and realize that at some point its okay to cut it off and submit.

    Regarding Secondaries
    Secondary writing was the most exhausting aspect of the application process. I recommend prewriting or at the very least pre-brainstorming, because I didnt prewrite very much. Writing 20 secondaries burned me out big time, so I cant imagine what its like for the folks who do 30 secondaries. Finish them in a timely manner, but theres no need to get them in so quickly such that you sacrifice quality.

    Regarding Interviews
    This was the other exhausting aspect of the application process, especially since I was taking a full credit load during interview season. Try to schedule a day with few classes and with classes that dont require attendance—I got away with scheduling almost all my interviews on a Thursday. My college also had a month-long winter break, so I scheduled 4 interviews over that time period. Traveling is tiring, and by the time I finished 8 interviews, I was relieved I didnt have any more IIs coming my way.

    As for actual interviewing, be pleasant, natural, and confident. Practice the basic questions out loud. Research the school beforehand. Think of questions beforehand. I liked looking at the SDN interview feedback pages, selecting a few questions, and typing out a short response to prepare. Skim over your primary and secondary, because interviewers love asking about your activities.

    Invited for Interview, Withdrew

    Ohio State University

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    Columbia University

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    University of Pennsylvania

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    Washington University in St. Louis
    Northwestern University


    Johns Hopkins University
    University of Wisconsin
    University of Chicago
    Medical College of Wisconsin

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