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Getting Into Medical School
The AAMC is here to help you navigate the journey from pre-med through residency and beyond—with reliable, trusted resources and services.
MCAT Exam Policies for U.S. and Canadian Medical Schools
View MCAT® Exam policies to see which exam(s) medical schools will accept for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 application cycles.
Section 8: Essays
Every applicant is required to submit a Personal Comments essay. The available space for this essay is 5300 characters (spaces are counted as characters), or approximately one page. You will receive an error message if you exceed the available space. Click the HelpText or see Section 8 of the AMCAS Instruction Manual for suggestions of things to think about when writing this essay.
If you're applying to an M.D.-Ph.D. program, you must complete two additional essays: the M.D.-Ph.D. Essay and the Significant Research Experience Essay.
To avoid formatting issues, we recommend that you type your essay directly into the AMCAS application rather than copying and pasting your essay from other software. Alternately, you can
Draft their essay(s) in text-only word processing software, such as Microsoft Notepad or Mac TextEdit, then copy and paste your essay(s) into the application. Copying formatted text into the application may result in formatting issues that you will not be able to edit after your application is submitted.
Proofread carefully! There is no “spellchecker” in the AMCAS application, and no changes will be permitted to this section after you have submitted your application.