It's becoming increasingly difficult for a medical school applicant to stand out on paper, through their applications or in person, during their interviews. With the amount of applicants growing each year, and the level of competition increasing, many successful students are turning to medical school admissions consulting to ensure they have the best possible chance of acceptance. While there are many medical school admissions consultants out there, students often wonder how a consultant will increase their chances of admission and how they can select the best consultant for them.
In this blog, I'll discuss:
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Medical school is becoming more and more competitive with the chance of admission as low as 1% but what is accounting for this fierce level of competition? Part of the reason is increasing applicants year after year. According to the AAMC, during the previous admissions cycle, there were over 10,000 more applicants that applied to medical schools in the U.S compared to 10 years ago. Similarly, in Canada, there were over 5000 more applicants that applied to medical schools in Canada compared with 7 years ago. This represents an increase of roughly 25% over the previous 10 year period for US applicants and a 15% increase in Canadian applicants. With population growth, aging and the retirement of older physicians, the AAMC predicts a shortage of between 42,600 and 121,300 doctors within 10 years. Luckily, millennials are stepping up to the plate, but more applications means more competition for the limited spots available. Despite the predicted shortages of doctors, getting into medical school will always be challenging. Every requirement of the admissions process is a test – whether that comes in the form of a personal statement, secondary essay, GPA and MCAT scores, schools put their students through this rigorous testing to ensure that each student accepted is capable of completing their courses, clinical rotations, and can handle the physical and emotional demands that a practicing physician faces. The process is purposely exhausting and difficult because, in addition to attempting to select the best candidates, the process will also deter those that are not willing to endure the hardships involved in applying in the first place.
The truth is, most students who get accepted into medical school have worked with a medical school admissions consultant or a medical school advisor. Every applicant is unique, each possessing different strengths and weaknesses, most students who believe they can improve on even one area have decided to work with a professional. In such a competitive field as medicine, any improvement can make a difference between acceptance and rejection. That's not to say that a student can't get in without the help of a professional, this does happen, but the reality is, it's not very common.
Students often feel overwhelmed with the entire admissions process as there are so many unknowns. They struggle to determine how many medical schools to apply to, write their medical school personal statements, secondary essays as well as practice for their interviews, all while trying to balance life and family demands. So, who is actually working with a medical school admissions consultant?
1.Students with low GPA/MCAT Scores
Some students that use the services of a medical school consultant have an average to low GPA and MCAT scores. Due to this, every other aspect of their application has to be beyond good in order to stand out among the rest of the applicants so naturally, they seek professional help.
2.Students with average to high GPA/MCAT Scores
Similarly, even students with a competitive GPA and MCAT score still seek the help of a medical school admissions consultant. Medical schools are looking for well-rounded individuals, simply having a high GPA and MCAT score is not enough to be guaranteed a spot. Applicants need to have excellent personal statements, essays and need to perform extremely well on their interview, which can be weighed as high as 100% requiring serious medical school interview preparation. Most students are not highly skilled in every single area of the admissions process. No matter how excellent a student's GPA, grades and MCAT score it's still possible that their interview or writing skills are below average, and in some cases, poor. In fact, last year we helped a student with near-perfect stats (GPA of 4.0 and MCAT score in the 99th percentile) get into 3 medical schools after 2 previous unsuccessful attempts when they had applied on their own)
3.Students with gaps in their application
There are also students with noticeable gaps in their application or those who have taken a gap year before medical school. These students, for example, may be missing volunteering experience, shadowing experience or perhaps they haven't participated in any extra-curricular activities. These individuals also enlist the help of a professional so as to help them highlight other areas of their application and fill in gaps they didn't know could be filled.
4.Students with weak writing skills
Personal statements, primary essays, and secondary essays need to be very well written. There are many students who sit down, try to begin writing and realize they are struggling to write down anything in an interesting, clear, effective manner. Perhaps they have their ideas ready, but they just can't seem to formulate them into an essay, or maybe they don't even know where to begin. A medical school admissions consultant works with these individuals to help them craft a successful statement or essay which will go through many revisions until it's just right.
5. Any student who feels they can learn or improve
Everyone is good at something or even a few things, but it's rare to be good at everything. For that reason, students who feel that there is something they can improve on, something they can learn, or want to reduce their stress levels and gain an added level of confidence during their interview work with an admissions consultant.
A medical school consultant will work with you one-on-one to increase your chances of acceptance through proven strategies, techniques and practice methods. Starting with the application process, an application preparation package will ensure that the consultant is with you every step of the way, through brainstorming which schools to apply to, to helping you with your personal statement, essays, CASPer test, and interviews. As medical school consultants have often been on the other side of the admissions process, they know exactly what evaluators and interviewers are looking for. They possess the skills and knowledge to find weak spots in your application and strengthen them, to remove red-flag or unfavorable items, and to showcase your attributes, personality, experiences, and strengths which make you a desirable candidate. The admissions committees will be sifting through thousands upon thousands of applications, the first area you need to stand out in is on paper. This can prove to be difficult without the help of a medical school consultant and their ability to help you create a striking application that can't be overlooked like so many in the pile. Depending on the school, the next stage of the admissions process could be a CASPer test, which is a computer-based sampling of personal characteristics. This test is often used to help whittle down the pile of applicants to decide who should be invited to an interview. Our blog, CASPer prep tips will tell you what you need to know about this test and give you some key tips for how to succeed. Individuals with higher CASPer test scores will be invited to continue through the admissions process while those with low scores will not. An excellent medical school advisor will be able to help you improve your CASPer test scores. The final stage of the admissions process will be the interview stage. Medical school admissions consultants can help you prepare for your interview by providing you with mock interviews, sample questions such as 100 sample MMI questions, and most importantly, provide you with expert feedback that is personalized to your responses. The interview will be your last hurdle to overcome and will often make or break your chance of acceptance, so preparing with a professional is essential for many students to develop strong interview skills and feel calm and confident on interview day.
Check out our video for a quick recap:
1. Missing reviews.
If you're looking for a new restaurant to try, you'd probably visit TripAdvisor, Google reviews or some other reliable review website to see what past attendees have to say about the food, staff, and service. It's no different when it comes to selecting a medical school admissions consultant. If a service is good, no matter what the service is, there will be many happy customers that are more than happy to talk about what a positive experience they had. If a consultant has mostly negative reviews, it's easy to steer clear of them, but what if you can't find any reviews? If a consultant is missing independent, verified reviews, you should consider this a red flag. Without reviews, you're only left to assume two options. Either the company doesn’t have the experience they claim to have, or they are actively deleting unfavorable reviews, either option isn't good. For this reason, avoid any consultants who are missing reviews or whose reviews cannot be verified on an independent website such as Trustpilot.
The BeMo Difference
We've helped thousands of students around the world and have hundreds of reviews on Trustpilot. In fact, we have a 4.8/5 rating, which is the highest rating of all medical school advisors combined. Click here to see our Trustpilot Reviews
2. A low or unverified success rate.
Most consultants will have a success rate posted on their website which will tell you what percentage of students they helped were accepted. Of course, if this number is low, your chances of being accepted with that consultant will also be low, but it's important to dig further into this number to see if they have conducted research to verify that their tools and methods actually work.
The BeMo Difference
While most companies cannot prove that their methods work, here at BeMo we have conducted research and can scientifically back up the fact that our products and services work. Click here to check out our double-blind study and review our blog for a list of all schools our students have gained acceptance. We're proud of our 93.5% success rate for students working in our Platinum or Titanium programs.
3. No guarantees.
A guarantee is a measure of company confidence in a product or service. If a medical school admissions consultant isn't proving a guarantee that their services actually work, it tells you that they don't believe in what they're offering, and if they don't believe it, why should you? This is another major red flag that could leave you mentally, emotionally and financially vulnerable if you work with a consultant that doesn't have any guarantees. What will happen if you spend the time, effort and money working with a consultant and you don't get in? Don't leave this to chance, it's best to stay away from any consultants that do not guarantee their work.
The BeMo Difference
BeMo absolutely believes in their products and services which is why we're the only company that provides both an 100% satisfaction guarantee and a Get In or Your Money Back® guarantee.
4. No free option to try them out.
A top medical school admissions consultant will give you the opportunity to try out their services at no cost to you. Why? Because medical school admissions consulting isn't free, it costs money and if you're going to be spending money on a service, it should be one that is excellent and truly works to give you the best return on investment – in this case, getting into medical school! If you're in the market for a new car, you wouldn't simply just purchase one without even driving it off the lot. You would want to test drive it to ensure firstly, that it works, and secondly, to determine how it drives and if it's the right fit for you. The same goes for an admissions consultant. A free initial consultation gives you the opportunity to discuss what you're hoping for and ask any questions you may have to understand how the process works and what you can expect to get out of it. Speaking with someone one-on-one also gives you the chance to assess how the consultant is with you. Did they avoid answering some of your questions? Did they seem uninterested in what you had to say? Were they rushing your meeting the entire time? Did they genuinely seem interested in helping you achieve your goals?
The BeMo Difference
BeMo provides every student with a free initial consultation to give them the chance to speak with us face-to-face to learn about how we can best help them.
5. Are you unsure of their qualifications? Are their consultants properly training or just brought on willy nilly?
It's important to check the qualifications of the admissions consultant you'll be working with. Visit their website and research their team members to see what background they have. You'll need to know whether or not they have the skills, training, and expertise to advise you, otherwise it's impossible to trust that they know what they're talking about, so don't just assume this information without verifying it. You also want to ask them how each of their consultants are selected and trained.
The BeMo Difference
Did you know that here at BeMo, we put all of our consultants through rigorous, standardized training to ensure that uniformly, we're providing the same expert advice, tools, and recommendations proven to work? We're proud to say that we only hire the best and those with a serious desire and commitment to help students be the best version of themselves and get accepted. In fact, less than 5% of applicants who want to work with us actually get hired at BeMo! Even then they have to go through a 100 hours of training before they are allowed to mentor any of our students. Our admissions experts have either worked as interviewers, evaluators or have gone through the admissions process themselves. They have all aced their training, and together, have 53 years of experience in the field of admissions. Check out our blog to find out if BeMo Academic Consulting is worth it.
Would you like us to help you with your medical school application?
To your success,
Your friends at BeMo