Using Your Gap Year to Give You an Extra Edge

Traditionally, medical school students matriculate into medical school directly after their final year of undergraduate training. However, more and more, students are deciding to take their time when they apply to medical school. Instead of racing to apply during the summer after earning their Bachelor’s degree, they choose to take a year off – or a “gap year” between undergraduate and medical school.   Many students have reservations about taking a gap year. They think that somehow, they’ll be at a disadvantage and be “left behind.” After all, students applying to medical school likely have been taking classes with other pre-med students for the past four years. Seeing your classmates become first-year medical students as you sit out a year can make you feel as if you’re stagnant.   Interestingly, however, 44.8% of medical school matriculants in 2021 reported that they were applying to medical school one to two years after they [...]

The Early Bird Gets into Medical School: Why You Should Apply Early  

Applying to medical school can be a stressful process! At Code Blue Essays, we know how lengthy and complicated it can get, especially if you are applying to multiple medical schools. Fortunately, we have the hacks you need to make your application season as streamlined and low-stress as it can be!  As a rule, medical school hopefuls should aim to complete their applications as soon as AMCAS allows. Code Blue Essays even has you covered with information regarding your application timeline and when you should prepare yourself for the application drop! Getting your primary applications in early ensures that you are in the first round of candidates that undergo review.   Medical school acceptance rate is only 6.3%, and schools offer placements on a rolling admission basis. If you wait to submit your primary application, by the time you can interview, you will interview for far fewer spots, and are less [...]

Are You Showing Admissions Committees the Best Version of You?

At Code Blue Essays, we have watched as medical admissions have become more competitive than ever. We know that as it gets tougher to gain admission to medical school, candidates have to submit an application showing admissions committees their best. We have been helping students do just that since 2014. Keep reading for ways you can transform your application from “good” to great!  Choosing Clinical Experiences  Good: Getting the required 100 hours of clinical experience in one summer shadowing a family friend who is a physician, and then turning your attention to maintaining your grades and focusing on the MCAT.  Better: Accumulating more hours than the minimum required for admission, and completing many of those hours under a continuous commitment.   Medical schools want to see students show meaningful experiences, and you can gain them much more easily when a student builds an extended relationship with an institution. It is also [...]

4 Rules for Choosing the Experiences to Highlight on Your Application  

Preparing to apply to medical school is rigorous. Every medical school hopeful spends their undergraduate career preparing for the application process. If you are applying to medical school this cycle, here are just a few things you have been working toward:  Earning top grades: The average matriculant to medical school last year had a 3.74 GPA (3.67 Science; 3.83 Non-Science).   Studying for the MCAT in hopes of scoring in the top percentile of test-takers: AAMC recommends that students spend 300 hours studying for the MCAT. The average MCAT score for matriculants in 2022 is 511.9, or around the 84th percentile.   Completing clinical experiences: Medical school applicants should have at least 100-150 clinical hours to record on their application.  Staying active in your community: Applicants also complete community service hours, and medical schools typically want to see that a student has an ongoing commitment nearing 10-15 hours a month.  All of [...]

AAMC’s Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students 

Are you wondering if you have what it takes to “make it” in medical school? Great news! AAMC has outlined the fifteen core competencies for students entering medical school, and we’ll describe them below. Knowledge and appreciation for these competencies can give you valuable perspective for completing your medical school applications! If you know what a model medical school student looks like, you can shine in your application as that model medical student!  These competencies are officially endorsed by the AAMC Group on Student Affairs (GSA) Committee on Admissions (COA).   AAMC divides the skills into four main categories:  Interpersonal  Intrapersonal  Thinking and Reasoning  Science  It’s easy for students hoping to go to medical school to assume that only their academic and science skills matter. After all, they have been working for years to build a strong transcript highlighting science courses, and they spent months preparing for the MCAT and building [...]

3 Questions Admissions Committees Ask When They Review Your Application 

Medical School Admission is getting more and more competitive: 62,442 students applied to medical schools last year for a total of 22,666 spots. With applicants each applying to an average of 18 schools, admissions committees have nearly 1.1 MILLION applications to look at. As an applicant, the mystery lies in what those admissions officers want in an ideal candidate. At Code Blue Essays, we can unravel that mystery by revealing the three questions admissions committees ask when they review your application:  1) Can you make it through medical school and succeed?  The first question admissions committees have is whether a student has the ability to make it through medical school. Medical education is intense, so admissions committees need to know that you have the tenacity to take on the challenge. Medical schools want their students to graduate – graduation rates range between 81% and 85%. As such, they want to [...]


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