It is that time of year again. Those students dreaming of becoming a veterinarian one day are heading back to school. Those that are in veterinary school are taking one step closer to graduating with their DVM while many of those still completing their undergraduate work will be taking one giant step closer to their dream….VMCAS.
For those students in veterinary school who have already been through the VMCAS process, they can smile and breathe a sigh of relief when they see younger friends post about it on Facebook or complain and question them about the countless pages to fill out. If you are a student who is currently working on your VMCAS and applying this year or applying next year, then I will be writing some posts for you and discussing some tips I found useful about the various parts of the application process.
First, VMCAS is common lingo among vet students and those applying, and it officially stands for “Veterinary Medical College Application Service.” (Sidenote: I’ve called it VMCAS so long I just googled it to double check what it really stood for.) VMCAS becomes available in the late spring of the year you wish to apply and is due roughly at the beginning of October. This means you have several months to tackle the beast. That is suggestion #1, take time to fill it out! VMCAS is not something that can easily be completed in a few hours (it can be done, but it is not recommended for the sake of your sanity).
The second suggestion seems like it should be an easy one, but I will say it anyway. Suggestion #2 is check your work. There is a lot of information to put into VMCAS, especially in regards to your academic history and listing your classes. It is easy to make a mistake as you check boxes, select different options, etc. It is important though because you wouldn’t want a mistake (like putting in the wrong letter grade) to affect your application.
Suggestion #3 is save your work often. Taking the time to save your work is very important because if you lose your internet connection, VMCAS’s website has an error, or your computer decides to crash or freeze you may see hours of tedious work vanish. Clicking the save button is a quick way to prevent frustration.
The final general suggestion for applying to VMCAS is suggestion #4 submit your application before the deadline. The closer the final deadline comes the busier that the VMCAS website will be. This means it will be slower as you are trying to use it, and you don’t want to risk something going wrong that might prevent you from submitting your beautiful and final application. Save yourself the stress and do it a few days before at the minimum.