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How To Request Letters of Recommendation

The first thing to remember when requesting letters of recommendation is: DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK! Ideally, you are friendly with the people you are asking, so the tone of asking should not be too stressed. When asking, you should be confident, relaxed and clear about what you are requesting the person to do.

“Hi Professor X, I am planning on applying to medical school in the upcoming cycle and I was wondering if you would be able to write a strong letter of recommendation for me.”

You should be asking people who could speak strongly about you. These are the professors who led your small group lectures, your seminars and your lab sections, the leaders of your volunteer organizations, or the TAs of your research.

Another thing that is extremely important is to ASK EARLY! Some of the main delays in the submission and acceptance of the application by AMCAS are due to the fact that recommendation letters have not yet been submitted. AMCAS requires the full application packet to be completed before submission is allowed. Also, the sooner you ask, the more likely the individual is to remember your outstanding performance as a student/volunteer/researcher. The best time is one to two weeks after a class has finished, or after a project has been completed.

Before you ask, make sure you have any possible materials the writer may need to aid them in writing the best letter possible. In advance, prepare your resume and a short statement of what is motivating you to go to medical school. In the statement, include some of your personality and qualities that you would like the writer to remember when they are formulating your letter. Give these materials to the author so they have somewhere to start.

For samples of letters of recommendation for medical schools, both good and bad, click HERE:

Top Test Prep is a leader in the medical school admissions industry. For more help with your letters of recommendation, or any other aspect of the medical school admissions process, visit TopTestPrep.com or call (800) 501-7737 today!

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