Identifying Medical School Admission Requirements

By: Dean Novosat

Medical schools prepare students for a career in the field of medicine. They train the students to become nurses, doctors, therapists, technicians and administrators. They offer many options for medical degrees. So, students can choose the curriculum that is more likely to meet their personal goals and expectations.

The admission criteria is different for different medical schools but almost all the medical schools require taking the MCAT, specific coursework and obtaining a degree. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized examination for prospective medical students in the United States. In addition to scientific concepts and principles, it demands critical thinking, problem solving, reading and writing skills from the candidate.

The sections of the MCAT are similar to the required coursework: physical sciences, biological sciences, verbal and a writing sample. The best way to get good score in MCAT is to get MCAT test prep course. It has been estimated that 70 to 80 percent of all the medical applicants have taken an MCAT test prep course. There are various other preparatory materials available as well. These include both print and computerized practice tests, various books and classroom based courses offered by many test preparation companies.

There are also many co-curricular activities that are absolutely necessary to be a competitive applicant. Some schools even deny an interview if the applicant can not show enough activities on the application. Most medical schools do not consider the applicant seriously if he has never been in a clinical setting.

In general, the GPA, the MCAT scores, the application material, the recommendation letters (written by faculty, physicians or managers who have interacted with the applicant in co-curricular activities), and personal interview are the main areas used by admission committees to evaluate candidates. Medical schools look for candidates who are passionate about medicine as a profession. So, a candidate needs to show that he is willing to spend four years, studying a topic he loves, learning it and building on it. They are looking for people who are willing to take the time and effort to make a serious contribution.

However, Harvard University is the top most medical school; the choice of the medical college decides the future of the candidate. So it is necessary to consider certain other issues, besides the reputation of the medical school. The candidate should be aware of the courses being offered by the medical school and its admission criteria. The cost of the school and its physical location should be considered too, as the candidate spends a few important years of his life there.



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