AMCAS Application Guide: All your questions answered (2023)

AMCAS is the premier opportunity for medical schools to get a sense of who you are and it is a standardized application used by many schools simultaneously. Therefore, getting it right is a crucial first step to starting in medical school. it can be a TERRIBLE experience. But no worry! The Cracking Med School admissions team will assist you through every step of the medical school admissions process. This blog post will be your AMCAS application guide.

Our goal is to provide basic information about AMCAS and additional resources, including oursAMCAS work examples and activities manual.

AMCAS Candidate Guide:

1)What is the AMCAS application?

2)Questions from current candidates


4)Medical college application resources

We want to answer any questions that come up when filling out your AMCAS! Do you have questions about your AMCAS application? Feel free to contact us by filling this outContact formbelow or email us A number of students have asked us questions over the years, and we've included the most common questions and answers in the "Questions from current candidates“ section below.

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What is the AMCAS application?

The AMCAS App = Primary Medical School App for most schools

The AMCAS application (short for American Medical College Application Service®) is a centralized application processing service available to applicants entering the freshman class of participating US medical schools. Make no mistake, almost all medical schools use the AMCAS app as their primary app.

No matter how many schools you end up applying to, you submit a master’s application through AMCAS and effectively kill many birds with one stone. This is really great news because it saves a lot of work. Imagine applying to 50 medical schools (which one student we recommended actually did) and having to submit 50 different initial applications! However, the downside to this is that you have to work really hard to ensure your AMCAS application is done right.

What are the different components of the AMCAS application?

1) GPA and grades

The courses you choose can increase your intellectual passions. For example, you might be interested in the social determinants of health. You can highlight this topic in the AMCAS application through the classes you choose (e.g. public health and society) and the letters of recommendation you request.

2) MCAT results

There's no getting around it, but schools will look at your grades + MCAT scores to see if you have what it takes to succeed academically.

3) Personal Statement

Most of the successful AMCAS personal testimonies read by our Cracking Med School admissions team are stories about the candidate. As the old saying goes, "Show, don't tell". A common mistake we see is applicants trying to include too much information about themselves in their application. The AMCAS application and in particular the personal AMCAS declaration is not a CV or bibliography about your life. Stick to 1-2 main points (topics) you want the medical school admissions committee to remember about you and write about them.

buy oursBuchExamples of medical school personal statements from successfully admitted applicants accepted at schools such as Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins.

4) Work and activities section

Your activities show the admissions officers what excites you about medicine. Highlight the impact of your activities and reflect on how they have shaped you.

In addition to descriptions of your AMCAS activities, you can also write short essays for your top 3 activities. As the AMCAS personality statement, paint a picture of yourself through stories and relate experiences back to your themes.

For more specific work/activity section advice and examples of how to write your AMCAS work/activity section, follow our link here:Examples of AMCAS work and activities

5) Letter of Recommendation

Make sure your AMCAS letters of recommendation also include details of who you are and what you have contributed. Make it easy for letter writers by providing them with a document that explains the topics of your application and examples they can highlight.

For example instead of: “Sally was a great member of my research lab. She actively contributed during the lab meetings.”

Your professor might explain, “Sally was working on her own oncology experiment. I worked closely with her to design the experiments. Additionally, during our lab meetings, she often asked insightful questions that prompted other lab members to consider modifications to their experiments. Sally would bring additional and relevant research to accompany the discussions we were having in our lab.”

For advice on applying for medical school recommendation letters, see ourCracking Med School Admissions Book.

(Video) All You Need to Navigate the AMCAS Application (2023 UPDATE)

Workbook and Activities

AMCAS Application Guide: All your questions answered (1)

Use this workbook toWrite STELLAR AMCAS descriptions.This section is just as important as your personal statement.

"*" Indicates mandatory fields

(Video) AMCAS Work and Activities: The BEST Strategies

Common questions we are asked

answers from dr. Rachel Rizal and Dr. Rishi Mediratta

Q: Do you offer prepackaged consulting and editing services?

Yes! We will advise and assist you in completing your AMCAS activity section, personal and secondary medical school declaration.

Take a look at our application packages for medical studies here:Application Packages for Medical College Admission

Believe it or not, this is the most common question we get from candidates! We have an excellent success rate!contact usor email us atinfo@crackingmedadmissions.comif you are interested in our student advisory service.

Q: How many activities should I have? I currently have 6. Is that enough?

We recommend that students have 13 or more AMCAS assignments and activities. If you have fewer than 10 activities, that's not enough. Let us help you brainstorm how to increase activity count. Don't forget to dedicate a space for awards, hobbies, and work experiences.

Q: I don't have enough activities for my AMCAS work and activity space. do you have any recommendations?

More often people forget that they have volunteered and won a freshman or freshman award. Don't forget to dedicate a space for awards, hobbies, and work experiences.

AMCAS application packages

Q: I was a college athlete. The first two years I was a member and the second I was captain. Does it make sense for me to split my activities?

Yes, especially if you don't already have 15 activities. Distinguish yourself in your leadership role from the first activity (you're a member of) by highlighting any impact you've had on your teammates and what you've learned about leadership.Reflection is important!

Q: I presented the same poster at two different events at my university. Should I put them in one entrance or separate them?

If it's the exact same poster, you should probably keep it as an activity.

Q: I have experience working as a clerk and doing clinical research in the emergency department. In both experience descriptions I mention that I shaded. Do I need to add "shading" as a separate category as well?

You can separate it as another activity or include it in your Scribe + Clinical Research activities. We need to read the descriptions and learn more about each activity before making a final recommendation, but you should probably integrate the follow-up component of both activities into both activities (as opposed to a separate activity).

(Video) How to Apply to Medical School | AMCAS Complete Tutorial/Walkthrough

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Q: I used to work as a waitress in a restaurant. Can I list this as an activity?

Definitive! Make sure you connect it to what you learned about customer service or skills you learned on the job and how to apply them to medicine.

Q: Can I list hobbies like playing the piano as an activity?

Especially if you spend a lot of time doing an activity, you may want to include it in the AMCAS Work and Activities section. If possible, try to relate it to medicine and the kind of doctor you want to become. Remember, reflections and connections to medicine are key!

Q: Do you think I can consider world travel as a hobby?

As a general rule, we do not encourage students to write travel as an activity. If your trip includes a medical mission or volunteer work, you must declare it as an extracurricular activity or global health project for charitable causes.

Q: I have four different color experiences. Should I combine them all into one activity or split them into different activities?

The answer to this question is extremely person dependent, so pleasecontact usand let you know about your AMCAS situation if you have any questions about your specific application. Most students should and will put their entire shadowing experience into ONE activity. However, if you have spent a lot of time with a particular practitioner or gained a lot of experience in a shadow activity, having ONE activity space for one of your shadow experiences may be entirely justified.

Q: I have multiple presentations and publications for the same research and lab. Should I place it in one activity or multiple AMCAS workspaces and activities?

When it comes to the same survey, we generally recommend that students write everything down as an activity. If research is the strength of your medical school application, consider writing the publication as a separate activity to further emphasize the impact of the research.

P: I followed several doctors and put everything into one activity. Who should I give as contact information?

It is best to enter the contact information of the doctor you have worked with the most or the clinician you have worked with the most. However, you are welcome to use any of the doctors as contact information.

Q: I had multiple roles in an organization. Should I complete it for multiple AMCAS activities or one AMCAS activity?

The answer to this question depends a lot on the context, your background, your subjects and how many activities you already have. Multiple activities and one activity is fine. There isn't ONE right way to complete the activity portion of AMCAS. However, if you place your engagement in multiple areas in an organization, make sure that the responsibilities, roles, reflections, and descriptions are different between activity usto tell us more about your specific situation and we can help you!

Q: Can I include an activity in the AMCAS Work and Activities section that I did in the pre-college summer?

When it comes to the same survey, we generally recommend that students write everything down as an activity. If research is the strength of your medical school application, consider writing the publication as a separate activity to further emphasize the impact of the research.

Q: The professor/doctor/consultant I worked with on one of my activities has retired. Should I still enter your contact details?

Yes! You can enter a retired person's contact information for their work and AMCAS activities. Try to include the most up-to-date contact information, such as email address and phone number.

Other medical college application resources

This AMCAS 2020 Candidate Guide is one of theseveralBlog posts full of tips for university applicants.

Check out our other informative posts here:

  • AMCAS Work and Activities Manual
  • How to ask for strong letters of recommendation
  • How to brainstorm and write your personal statement for medical school

We hope this AMCAS application guide answers some of your questions, but of course you will come across many questions as you fill out your medical school application! Do not hesitate to contact us. If you need help with your medical school application, check out ourApp packages here. We look forward to help!

(Video) AMCAS Application Walkthrough Workshop 2022

FREE AMCAS Work and Activities Handbook

AMCAS Application Guide: All your questions answered (2)

Use this workbook toWrite STELLAR AMCAS descriptions.This section is just as important as your personal statement.

"*" Indicates mandatory fields

Contact us if you have any questions

We answer all questions about medical studies!
We usually reply within 1 business day.

Please provide us with a phone number if you prefer a call back.

(Video) A Step-by-Step Guide to the AMCAS Application


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