COVID-19 and Medical school Admissions

We will keep this info up-to-date according the the AAMC. Last updated: April 25th, 2020

COVID-19 has resulted in a lot of unknowns when it comes to the 2021 medical school admissions cycle. This post will help you keep track of every aspect and how to best plan and conquer. All of our information is straight from the source, AAMC.

The MCAT

  • As of April 1st, all April MCAT exams have been cancelled globally.
  • All rescheduling fees will be waived until further notice 
  • There have been six exam dates added 
    • Wednesday, July 22, 2020
    • Thursday, August 13, 2020
    • Saturday, August 15, 2020
    • Saturday, August 22, 2020
    • Thursday, August 27, 2020
    • Saturday, September 5, 2020
  • As of April 10th: All MCAT exam administrations through May 21 have been canceled globally
    • The MCAT Registration System is temporarily unavailable while new dates are added. Check back on April 17 for more details. 
  • As of April 17th: According to the AAMC 

    “Below is an update on our progress:

    • We are adding 3 new dates to the 2020 MCAT testing calendar: June 28, September 28, and September 29
    • We will be adding morning and afternoon testing sessions on exam days.
    • We will implement health and safety measures at the test centers when testing resumes, including social distancing practices.
    • We will expedite MCAT score reporting for some test dates to reduce the impact of delayed score delivery on students’ applications to medical schools.”
  • As of April 24th: Registration will open on May 7 for the updated MCAT Testing Calendar.
  • Try and stay positive through this uncertain time. Make the most of this time and focus on targeted studying. If you need a highly customizable study plan, click here

Your Application

  • As of today, there has been no changes to the 2021 application cycle timeline. 
  • The Early Decision Program (EDP) deadline has not been changed.
  • You may have had to change your classes to pass/fail and are wondering if this will affect your AMCAS GPA. If this is the case, med schools are aware of the change and the AMCAS application accepts pass/fail grades within a transcript. As of now, these pass/fail grades are not included in your GPA. 
    • AMCAS is developing a resource that will provide a comparison of an applicant with letter grades against pass/fail grades so medical schools can understand how the pass/fail grade may impact a GPA calculation. We will let you know when this resource is live.
  • Be sure to check out the upcoming applicant opening cycle webinar on April 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Mark your calendar! 

Letters of Recommendation

  • You won’t be able to talk to your professors in person during this time. Instead you will have to either give them a call or email them. It is crucial to give your professors as much info as possible, don’t assume that they know you super well. We recommend providing them with your resume/CV and your personal statement. When your professors have this info, they are able to write targeted and effective letters of rec.
  • When it comes to admission decision dates, this is decided by each individual med school. To gain this info, please check out our med school list and check out the program’s website.

Your Application Essays

  • When it comes to your personal statement, you want to convey two things. First, why you want to become a physician and secondly, why you will be a great physician. If you are considering incorporating COVID-19 into your essay, you must be able to honestly answer the following, “Does COVID-19 make an astronomical impact on why you choose to become a physician?” If not, don’t include this pandemic in your essay. MANY applicants will be talking about the virus in their essays and you will want to stand out.  
  • Incorporating COVID-19 into any of your essays has to be approached with caution. There is a method to the madness to this and is something you’ll want to be careful about. For guidance please check out our affordable essay review services

Extracurriculars 

  • Chances are you haven’t been able to participate in your scheduled extracurricular activities starting in March or mid March through however long your shelter in place is active. Med school programs will understand this and will in fact expect your activities to have been put on hold. 
  • There are other activities however that can still be done during this time. Check out the crisis text line and/or your local crisis center. These are hotline services that you will be able to do from your couch.