Can a Medical School Advisor Help me with my Medical School Application?
Many students applying to medical school wonder if a medical school advisor can help them with their medical school application. The short answer is yes, but it depends on which advisor you choose. Medical school advisors can be costly, will using their services increase your chances of acceptance? What if a medical school advisor helped you with your applications and you didn't get accepted anywhere? Will it be worth it? In this blog, we'll answer these questions and tell you everything you need to know about medical school advisors so you can make an informed decision.
Here’s what you’re going to learn:
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A medical school advisor is an advisor that provides advice, tools, and recommendations to help you with your medical school application and medical school interview preparation. This can include helping you decide which schools to apply to, write a medical school personal statement, medical school secondary essays, prepare for the CASPer test and practice for your interviews. Your friends and family members, as well as anyone on the internet, may act as a medical school advisor, providing information and suggestions about your medical school application, but it's important to note that these are not the same as qualified medical school advisors.
The truth is, a professional and qualified medical school advisor costs money, as does any service whether you are getting a haircut, having your car cleaned or visiting the dentist. It is extremely valuable to have someone experienced and knowledgeable, ultimately knowing more about the application and admissions process than you, help you with your application and we all know that value costs money. The cost of a medical school advisor varies, application review plans can start as low as $1,000, with some students spending between $3000-$10,000. Now that may seem expensive, but let's break it down and look into the cost of the application process. And keep in mind that unlike that Frappuccino that keeps adding pounds, this is an investment that will help you secure both a fulfilling career and a respectable income for life, if and only if you find the right medical school advisors to help you.
On average, most students apply to 16 medical schools. Review our blog, how many medical schools should I apply to for our expert advice and strategy. AMCAS charges $170 for the first school and $40 for each additional school afterward. So that's $770 for 16 medical schools. Secondary applications can also be pricey, on average, $100 per school. Now we're at $770 plus $1600 equalling $2370. You'll have to write the MCAT at a cost of $315, plus cover your accommodation and travel expenses for any interviews you receive. Depending on where you apply to, some of these will be out of state involving a domestic flight which could be $500 alone. Hotels can cost around $100 per night, for one or two nights, then there is still taxis and food to consider. Even if you only received two interviews which involved a domestic flight, the rough total cost is already over $4,000! All of this doesn't even factor in additional costs such as MCAT preparation, the cost to transfer your undergrad transcripts per school, the cost of re-writing the MCAT if needed and so on. Now, say you spent all that money and you didn't get in. That's it, you're left with a hefty hole in your pocket with no success on the other end. Instead, you'll have to apply all over again, spending the same amount of money the following year. Or, you could have invested the money into a medical school advisor with near-perfect success rates to ensure you secure a spot the first time. This can save you the cost of re-applying and the immense amounts of time involved with re-applying.
Students who use an established, reputable, professional, expert medical school advisor often have strong applications and strong interview skills. Therefore, they are more likely to get accepted into medical school, depending on the advisor and that advisor's evidence-backed success rates. If you think about it, top performers, regardless of their field, often have assistance which allows them to be at the top. Top-performing athletes have coaches just like top-performing singers have vocal coaches. Medical school advisors take your strengths and make them stronger. They take your weaknesses and strengthen or eliminate them, ultimately making you the best candidate you can be. Advisors can help students prepare for each and every scenario they may find themselves faced with during their interviews, whether it's an MMI, panel, traditional or conversational interview. Students who have received interview training experience are calm during their interviews and are better prepared to answer questions in a confident manner, often resulting in higher overall interview scores.
Medical school advisors also help students spend less time preparing their applications because they provide clear, easy to follow advice and recommendations. The entire application process can be overwhelming and knowing how to start, what to include and how to stand out isn't easy. Medical school advisors are already steps ahead of you because they've done this hundreds if not thousands of times and know how to navigate and expedite the process.
Top medical school advisors also provide honest, objective, expert feedback. Family and friends, for example, are likely to read your personal essay and rave about it, whether or not they think it's great, so as not to hurt your feelings or discourage you. Perhaps they will tell you that your essay isn't right when really you may be on the right track. The bottom line is, a medical school advisor can give applicants the best chance of acceptance into medical school.
Medical school advisors are not cheap, but as previously mentioned, it is worth it if you're using a top advisor, but what if you're not? The biggest disadvantage of using a medical school advisor is that they are not all good, and some of them are downright terrible. They may be providing incorrect or out of date information, give you tips, tools, and recommendations that don't work or could even be exaggerating their success rates to try and get more students to sign up unknowingly. Most advisors don’t have formal training either themselves or for their coaches. For example, here at BeMo, our medical school admissions consultants receive over 100 hours of training and only 5% of applicants pass our training to become mentors to our students.
The short answer is, everyone! No one is perfect, just because you have excellent grades and an excellent MCAT score, unbeknown to you, your writing or interview skills may be below average compared with other applicants. The admissions committee is looking for a well-rounded applicant, and unfortunately, grades alone are not enough to guarantee you a spot. While it is true that not all accepted individuals take advantage of a medical school advisor, anyone who is looking for extra confidence in the strength of their application can certainly benefit. If you have any weaknesses in your application, are wondering how you can get into medical school with a low GPA, have a low MCAT score, a lack of research experience, or few extracurriculars, you need every other area of your application to stand out to be accepted. A medical school advisor, in most cases, is your best course of action.
When considering if a medical school advisor is right for you, it's helpful to begin by discussing when a medical school advisor isn't for you. Simply put, if you're not willing to spend the time or the money required to work with a medical school advisor, then using one is not right for you. Sometimes students are just looking for a few quick tricks and tips to get accepted to medical school, but the reality is, a few tips here and there is not going to ensure your acceptance. Think of it like a puzzle, every bit of true verified advice you receive is one piece to the puzzle, but if you collect only a few pieces, you'll never have enough to complete it. If you want thorough, in-depth feedback and advice for your medical school application, you have to work for it, just the same way a good advisor will have to work to get you there. Both practice and perfection take time, it's not something you can achieve overnight. A medical school advisor is also not right for you if you're not open and willing to receive constructive criticism and feedback. If you already think that you know everything and believe that you've perfected your skills and application, definitely don't work with an advisor.
If, however, you believe that you can always learn something and have areas of your application that can be improved upon, a medical advisor can help you. Once you've reviewed our blog, how hard it is to get into medical school, you'll realize that expert help is critical and if you're serious about having the best chance of getting into medical school and are willing to spend the time, effort and money required, then a medical school advisor is right for you.
Check out our video below for some tips:
Do your research. This is something I can't stress enough, just because a company exists and claims to help you get into medical school, it doesn't mean they can. I'll give you the top 8 tips to help you select the best medical school advisor.
1. How many reviews do they have on an independent site such as Trustpilot?
If a service is good, it will have raving fans and happy applicants would constantly share their experience with others. For example, BeMo has hundreds of Trustpilot reviews and it has a 4.8/5 rating. This is the highest rating of all medical school advisors combined. Click here to see our Trustpilot Reviews.
2. Determine if they are qualified.
A good advisor is one that knows the admissions process inside and out, often having gone through the process themselves or having worked in admissions offices as interviewers or evaluators. Check out their website to learn about their team members. Do they have the expertise and knowledge to be an admissions advisor? Does the company put their team through rigorous standardized training to ensure each advisor is equivalent in both skill and knowledge? (most companies don’t!) If you can't find this information, how do you know the individuals you'll be working with know what they're talking about? Check our our blog to find out if BeMo Academic Consulting is worth it.
3. What is their success rate?
Many medical school advisors will have success rates posted on their website regarding how many of their students get accepted into medical school (ours is 93.5% for students working in our Platinum or Titanium programs!)
It's important to dig further into this number to find out if they can prove their successes. Have they conducted research to verify that using their services result in tangible improvements? Anyone can list a statistic, but not everyone can verify it. In addition to their proven success rate, what do their students have to say about them? Are the reviews available on a third party website like TrustPilot to ensure they are not fabricated? If there is no proven indication of their success rate, consider it a major red flag.
4. Find out what happens if you don't get accepted.
It's important to find out what the policy is if you follow all of the advisor's instructions, recommendations, and training and still do not get accepted. Do they firstly guarantee that you will be accepted and if you are not, do they offer to give you your money back? If they are not willing to guarantee their work, it tells you that they don't truly believe in the service they are providing and are not confident in their skills. If they don't even believe in their product, you shouldn't either. (Did you know that BeMo is the only company that offers both a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a Get In or Your Money Back® guarantee?)
5. Do they offer a free initial consultation?
You wouldn't purchase a car without test driving it, so don't spend money on a medical school advisor without testing them out first. Having a one-on-one conversation where you can be honest about what you're hoping for, and they can be honest about how the process will work and what they can provide you with is essential. In this initial consultation, you can also gauge if the advisor seems genuine and is truly interested in your success and helping you achieve your goals.
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6. Are their prices transparent?
When you're looking for a medical school advisor, their costs should not be a secret. If you can't find this information on their website, they may be hiding additional costs or fees associated with their services. What else are they not being honest about? You want a company that is upfront about the costs and provides the information in an easy to find location.
7. Be sure they offer personalized feedback.
Whichever medical school advisor you choose should be providing you with in-depth, personalized feedback as to what your strengths and weaknesses are as well as real strategies that are specific to your improvement and growth as an applicant. You can find generic feedback on the internet, don't settle for anything less than personalized feedback.
8. Are they offering to complete your application for you?
This is a BIG problem. Not only is having a medical school advisor complete your application for you unethical, if a school f out, you would have zero chance of admission. You would be banned for life. Even if you made it to the interview stage, your evaluators would soon realize the inconsistencies between your answers compared with the experiences you had someone else fabricate. They have enough experience to be able to recognize the difference between a true, genuine answer and one that is falsified. Do not work with any medical school advisor who will complete your application for you.
Whatever you do. Choose wisely.
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About the Author:
Dr. Behrouz Moemeni is the founder and CEO here at BeMo. He is compelled by a vision to change the education system. He believes everyone deserves access to higher education. Specifically, he is determined to create and provide admissions and educational training programs that reduce the social barriers at professional programs. He is also driven by a mission to create the next generation of admissions/candidate screening tools that are more fair, while technologically and scientifically light years ahead of current admissions screening tools out there. He's an internationally renowned admissions expert and has given talks at many conferences including his talk at TEDx.
Tedx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjC7cM8a5zU
To your success,
Your friends at BeMo