There are three general steps to the medical school application process. See the tabs below to view the three steps, an application checklist, and more information on financial aid resources.

Application Process

There are 3 general steps in applying to medical schools: the primary application, the secondary application, and the interview.

1. Primary applications

2. Secondary applications or supplementary forms are specific to individual schools; medical schools send these to applicants only after they have received the AMCAS application. Both frequently request additional information, essays, letters of recommendation, and/or fees. Some schools screen applicants before the applications or forms are sent out. The cost for secondary applications can range from $0 to $150.

The AAMC PREview Professional Readiness Exam is a non-academic test that assesses core competencies known to predict success in medical school students and practicing physicians. Many schools are now incorporating this exam into their application process.

Test Breakdown: 

  • ~90 minutes (secured by live remote human proctor)
  • Location: anywhere (i.e. home, library, etc.)
  • Offered March - October
  • Can only take 1 time/year
  • When you send your score to schools, they will see all previous scores.


  • Available 30 days after the test date
  • Score 1 - 9

Cost: $100 flat rate fee. For those with Fee Assistance Benefits, $0.

CASPer (Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) is an online situational judgment test that assesses collaboration, communication, empathy, equity, ethics, motivation, problem-solving, and professionalism.

Test Breakdown: 

  • 90 minutes long, including an optional 15-minute break halfway through
  • 12 scenarios: 8 video-based and 4 text-based, each followed by 3 open-ended questions

Scoring: Each scenario will be scored by a unique scorer. Schools will receive a cumulative z-score based on the scores of the 12 unique scorers. Applicants will not see their scores.

Cost: CASPer costs $10 as a base fee and an additional $10 per school.

3. Interviews: After reviewing the primary and secondary applications (or supplementary forms), medical schools invite promising applicants to interview. Applicants are responsible for all costs incurred while interviewing, including airfare, lodging, ground transportation, professional attire, and meals.

  • Interview Information
  • AAMC Interview Preparation Guide
  • AAMC Interview Resources
  • Sample Interview Questions
    • A common question asked: "Tell Me About Yourself." There are many different ways to approach this, but it is highly recommended to consider the outline below to construct your response: 
      • Present: What is your current role? What does your scope of practice include? Share any recent big accomplishments. 
      • Past: Brief summary of how you become interested in the career field. Any previous experiences relevant to applied jobs or companies?
      • Future: Transition into your future plans, why you're interested in this career field, and how you are a suitable candidate. 
    • Another common question asked is "Why Medicine?"
      • Read what admissions faculty from America's top medical schools think about common answers.
  • Health Professional School Interview Room Reservation Request: Applicants can submit a reservation request for a classroom with wifi access on campus.

AAMC Application and Acceptance Protocol: AAMC has provided a set of recommendations to help ensure that all applicants receive timely notification about the outcome of their application and to protect schools and programs from having unfilled positions in their entering classes. These protocols are often referred to as “Traffic Rules”. These recommendations include having prompt and accurate communication with medical schools to which applicants have applied and promptly withdrawing their application should they decide before April 30th to not attend a medical school that has offered them an acceptance.

Reapplicants: Many applicants may not be admitted to the professional school that they desire on their first try. However, if and when applicants choose to re-apply, there are many things to consider before re-submitting another application in the following cycle.

Reapplicant Statistics:

  • ~60% of applicants are not successful in any given cycle.
  • ~25% of every applicant pool is made up of reapplicants.
    • Many medical schools will not classify you as never to be admitted but as not yet ready for admission


  • The more applicants know about the school, the better their chances of being accepted.
  • Most application questions can be answered by reading the MSAR.
  • Review individual schools’ websites to find out how they handle:
    • Advanced Placement (AP) credits
    • International Baccalaureate (IB) credits
    • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits
    • Military credits
    • Courses taken at a community college
    • Non-US coursework
    • Courses taken for credit/no credit instead of a grade
    • Residency issues
    • Time limits on prerequisite science courses

Please note that if courses are retaken because medical schools may not accept Advanced Placement (AP), online, or community college credit, your financial aid and/or scholarship status may be affected.

Application Checklist
Financial Aid