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  1. Hello everyone, I will be applying to schools this cycle and I am beyond excited and nervous. I just wanted to create this group to share our progress so far and where we're at in terms of application timeline. Feel free to share your experiences, thoughts and any questions. Let's help eachother out! Goodluck everyone
  2. This week, I am continuing my series on the most common personal statement mistakes. If you didn’t catch part one, check it out here. Below, you can find five more mistakes that applicants make when writing their personal statements. Writing About Something That Makes You a “Good Applicant” - Referencing being a “strong applicant” in a personal statement is not something I am a huge fan of. Your goal throughout your academic and clinical experiences should be to build a foundation that will make a better PA student and a stronger PA. It should not be about checking off boxes just because you think that it's what adcoms want to see. Don’t list off your extracurriculars in your personal statement, including things because you feel that they make you a “more competitive” applicant. This essay is not a resume. Instead, write about experiences that you’ve had that are central to your decision to pursue this profession, not about those that you think adcoms want to hear about. Addressing Difficult Topics the Wrong Way - To include or not to include… that always seems to be the question. Whether it’s bad grades, mental health issues, struggles with addiction or other life tragedy, it’s hard to know what should be addressed in a personal statement. I find that when applicants choose to include difficult topics, they focus too much on the negative without emphasizing the positive while including lots of unnecessary details. They often don’t even mention how their experience was relevant to their journey towards the PA profession at all. The big takeaway here is if you are going to touch on a difficult topic in your personal statement, make sure that it's an integral part of your journey before dedicating characters to it. If you have decided to include it, the best thing you can do is be concise about shortcomings/difficult subject matter/etc. Don't dwell on the negative. Instead, emphasize how you addressed the issue whether it's mental health, grades, chronic illness or whatever other issue or circumstance you experienced. Did you grow from it? Did it push you towards the profession more? Did it motivate you to change something? Explore that. Forcing the Reader to Read Between the Lines - I can’t tell you how many times I highlight a sentence and make the comment, “Why?” Applicants will often say something like, “Being a paramedic/scribe/MA/EMT made me want to become a PA. It was a great experience.” But, why?! What exactly was it about this experience that drove you to pursue your goal of becoming a PA? When sharing your experiences, make sure you say exactly what you want to say. Don’t force the reader to make inferences about your feelings and insights. Using Passive, Questioning Language - This one seems minor but it can change the entire tone of your essay. Let me give you an example - “Some of my grades in my undergraduate career were not stellar, but I think that with my recent successes I am likely more prepared to take on PA school. I know it will be a challenge but I feel I could be ready.” Try to avoid using terms like, “I feel… I think… Could… Would... Probably… Likely…” when projecting your future success. Be certain of yourself in your language and your tone. Reframing this and emphasizing some stronger language - “Although I occasionally struggled early on in my undergraduate career, my more recent successes are a reflection of my true academic ability. PA school will be a challenge, but I know that I am ready and more prepared than ever to take it on.” In this iteration, you’ve said that your recent successes are reflective of your abilities, not that “they might be.” You have said that you “know” you are prepared to handle PA school as opposed to just “thinking” you could be ready. Flowery Language - Last, but definitely not least, flowery language. This one is an essay killer. “The morning was crisp and bright when I stepped out my creaky, old door. I noticed the beautiful, pink rose sprouting from the green bush, covered with dew droplets on petals that were as bold and stunning as they were fragrant.” This is drowning in unnecessary descriptors. Please, don’t do this. Adcoms don’t want to read this. You probably don’t even want to read this. It’s all filler. Tell an engaging story but avoid using flowery, overly descriptive prose that says absolutely nothing while taking up an offensive amount of characters. Be concise and intentional with your writing.
  3. I guess I'll get this started because I have a question! Has anyone gotten to the section on the supplemental that asks about the other PA programs your applying to? Do you know why this information might be relevant? I haven't been asked this question by other schools!
  4. Hey y’all! I just posted a new article geared towards pre-PA students. It’s part one in a two part series about the biggest mistakes I see when critiquing and editing personal statements!
  5. Hi Everyone! I have a question that I HOPE someone on here has experienced and can help me out with an answer! As you know, many schools allow for one or two prereqs to be in progress when applying, but some require all to be completed prior to CASPA submission. My question is, if I put all my info into CASPA and say my course is in progress then submit to the programs that allow in progress submissions, can I then change that course to say completed or indicate that its not in progress any more and submit to the program that requires all to be completed once I'm done with the course? Or is there some way that they would know its completed, because the transcript submitted prior won't have that in progress course on there and I don't know if I need to request another transcript be sent to CASPA. Or, if one program has already been submitted and in the process of being verified then it voids all access to any of the academic materials that I would edit/add for other programs that have not yet been submitted. Would I need to contact the program and directly send them another copy of the transcript showing completion of the course? I know many programs say not to send them anything directly. I've contacted CASPA and they aren't answering my question to my satisfaction, but I'm sure one of you lovely people can. Thank you in advance!
  6. I am looking to submit by tonight and would appreciate the help. I would prefer if you are a PA, work at the pa school, admissions, or something of this sort but all help is definitely welcome. Please PM me if you can provide some assistance cMore
  7. Hello Everyone, Since is almost time to apply for this cycle, though I should start a discussion for this year. Anyone knows interview dates?
  8. I could not find a feed for Indiana State so I decided to start one to talk with those that may apply there this cycle.
  9. I played division 1 football for 4 years. Can this be added under the experiences section in CASPA? It really helped to shape me as a person and also the teamwork aspect of the PA profession is something that really appeals to me because of my background in the sport, so I think it should be included but just wanted to get input from others.
  10. daydreamy

    CV vs. Resume?

    Hello All! For those who are applying to programs that require a CV/resume (i.e. Drexel), have you already completed your CV/resume? Are we allowed to choose if we submit a CV or a resume, or do they require a CV? Thank you! :)
  11. Hi everyone, 1) I am new to this forum and I have a question pertaining to transcript entry. I just graduated from college (BS in Psychology), but prior to entering university, I was dual-enrolled with a local community college while I was still in high school. I have 21 credits that were taken prior to entering my freshman year as well as 6 additional credits taken from the same community college the summer after my freshman year. I added that community college to allow myself to manually add my classes to that transcript, but I am not sure what to put for "academic status" since most of those credits were taken prior to my freshmen year at university and the drop down does not have a "pre-college" option. Does this make sense? 2) After watching the video on the sidebar, I am also a bit confused on what to do since I retook a course. Do I manually add both grades into my transcript, or just add the first grade, and then click to review and finalize my transcript, and then add the new grade I got when prompted if a retook any classes? Thank you in advance for any help!
  12. Hey y’all! First time applicant here. Just got my first rejection letter (first school I’ve heard from) so I’m feeling a little down right now. I’m applying to PA school with a lower gpa and wanted to make a support/advice forum for other people in my situation. I’m just starting my senior year of undergrad and I have a cumulative CASPA gpa of 3.22. My sGPA is a 3.18, nsGPA of 3.36. My BCP total was a 3.07 because Orgo and biochemistry killed my GPA (I got a C+ and C respectively). However my other science gpa is a 3.46. As far as other stats go, I got a 300 cumulative on the GRE (148 verbal, 153 quant and 5.0 on writing) I have about 800-900 hours of HCE/PCE, 500 as a PCT and another 300-400 as a dental technician. I just accepted a scribe position and will be doing about 20 hours a week this and next semester. I also have about 150 volunteer hours and 400 leadership hours through clubs and executive boards I’ve been on. I was also a coxswain on my university division 1 rowing team for a year and a half (which is about 1200 hours of practice time and I was the leader of the boat) I would appreciate any advice/support of people who are in or have been in this situation!
  13. Hello, I am trying to calculate my caspa cGPA and sGPA and I know AP credits aren't included in the calculation but I was wondering if anyone knew if post-secondary classes are which are classes I took in highschool at a community college near me? Thank You!!!
  14. Hi everybody, So originally I decided to apply to the CASPA application next spring when the CASPA cycle opens to gain a better chance of admission. Now, I’m rethinking of applying to a few schools to see where I am with my application. I’m anxious and excited for school. Here’s my background: PSU Graduate (22) My GPA isn’t the strongest, only a 3.2. Struggled my freshman/sophomore year (in wrong major). Changed my major to kinesiology and ended up on deans list every semester upon graduating. I have ~320 hours of health care experience 300 GRE 50+ hours of shadowing PAs What is do you think is the best option? To apply now or wait until April when the cycle opens? I don’t want to waste money and not get in because too many spots are taken. People have told me different opinions and I would like to get more opinions. Thank you! Tyler
  15. How to Prepare for PA School Interviews Each leg of the PA application process comes with its own unique kind of stress. First, there’s the chaos of preparing and submitting your CASPA. You have to round up letters of recommendation, order and input all of your transcripts, send out GRE scores, perfect your personal statement and keep track of supplementals for each program. After submitting, there’s an eerie quiet that settles over. You patiently wait to hear back from schools… or you check your email repeatedly hoping for news. Same thing, right? Some schools will get back to you in days, others may take weeks or months. Eventually the madness culminates in an interview invitation, which brings on a new kind of stress. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, but how exactly do you prepare for the next step in the process? Research interview questions. There are many lists of PA school interview questions that you can find with a quick google search. Some major categories to focus on are behavioral, ethical, situational and standard PA interview questions. There are also books about the interview process with commonly asked questions. A good starting point is “How to Ace the PA School Interview” by Andrew Rodican. Brainstorm and practice! It was helpful for me to create a working document with a list of the questions I found. I brainstormed with each question in mind and made bullet points of things I could touch on in my answers. Often times these points were in reference to specific situations I found myself in or relevant experiences that I had. I was careful not to write out word for word answers. It’s important to maintain authenticity and some degree of spontaneity in your answers - you want to avoid sounding too rehearsed. I then made it a point to review my list and practice answering each question out loud. I would do this with friends or colleagues, but oftentimes I would just practice by myself when I was driving in the car. Research the program. When walking into an interview, you should be well informed about the program and faculty. Scour the website, reach out to alumni or current students and try to become as educated as possible. There are many things to keep in mind when researching a program, but here are a few things to consider: Is there anything unique about the curriculum format? How long is the program? Is the program well established? Is there a cadaver lab? If so, are cadavers prosected or are they dissected by students? What kind of opportunities are there for early clinical exposure? When researching, keep a list of questions that come up. Make notes of interesting aspects about the curriculum and clinical rotations. This will prepare you to ask thoughtful questions on your interview day and will ensure you don’t forget to ask about something that is important to you. If possible, arrange a mock interview! This is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for the interview process. It’s an excellent way to work through the nerves associated with interviewing and it can help you understand your weak spots. Mock interviews can be done with colleagues, peers, friends, family, professors and even through paid services online. My undergraduate institution offered free mock interviews for students, so be sure to check with your university to see if this is an option. Stay up to date about the PA profession. Be informed about issues facing the profession. Understand the role that PAs play in healthcare - be sure that you can articulate exactly what a PA does and how that can differ from NPs and physicians. Understand any state specific laws about practice. Know your application. This is a big one that can easily be overlooked. Know your application inside and out! The details should always be fresh in your mind. Maybe you worked on a research project sophomore year and the details are now long forgotten. You may have written your personal statement months ago, and it’s easy to forget what you chose to emphasize when talking about yourself. Anything you put on your application is free game, and you should be ready to answer questions accordingly.
  16. Has anyone received/had an interview at MSJ?
  17. Hi everyone! I hope everyone's doing well during the application process. I have a question regarding adding new experiences. I recently added shadowing and research experience to my application but I have already submitted my application in the end of June. Will the schools be able to see the update when they review my application or will they see whatever I had sent in by the time of the upload? Thanks!
  18. Last week I got my first official application decision of the cycle. Opening the email, I scanned the words frantically until I found the sentence I was fearing the most. It read, “I regret to inform you of the program’s decision not to pursue your application further.” These words translate much more simply to “rejection.” For a moment I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I knew that I would be receiving rejections throughout the cycle, but had hoped and prayed it wouldn’t be from this school. Not only was this program one of my top choices, but it is also the only school in my home city. The realization that I would not have the opportunity to interview hit me like a ton of bricks. With GPAs well above the program’s average and my state residency giving me a leg up over other applicants, I felt that I would likely secure an interview. I was wrong. After the news, I began to question my application strategy entirely. I chose to apply more intentionally to a handful of carefully selected programs landing on the lower side of things - 6. As the September 1st deadline for many programs was only a few days away I sent my GRE scores off to an additional school that I was going back and forth on, hoping that they would arrive on time. I was relieved to have everything complete with one other program, but I still questioned if 7 would be enough to land me an acceptance or even an interview. At this point I was doubting myself, my personal statement, my clinical experiences… everything. I wondered if there were red flags in my application or if I said the wrong things in the answers to the supplemental questions. I tried to stay optimistic, but I was disappointed and feeling insecure. My first rejection was certainly humbling, planting seeds of doubt that were becoming overwhelming. And then I saw it. I was eating my lunch and scanning my email when I suddenly read “Invitation to Interview” in the subject line of an email from my top choice. My heart started racing and my palms were sweating. After seeing the date provided, only 3.5 weeks away, I could barely focus enough to read about the interview details. I was ecstatic. Their initial email contained a typo and in a follow up email with a correction the admissions director revealed that I was the very first applicant to be offered an interview. I couldn’t believe it. This school was my reach, and I certainly wasn’t counting on being offered an interview, let alone the first one. I was over the moon. Here I am now, in the midst of the cycle with one interview scheduled and one rejection. Things are still up in the air, but I feel that I am at least back in the game. The ups and downs of this roller coaster ride will continue, and I couldn't be happier. Thus far, this process has been unpredictable. Although I have heard this repeated many times here by those wiser than myself, this experience has definitely shown me that there is no such thing as a sure thing when applying to PA school. Don’t be so quick to count yourself in, but also don’t count yourself out.
  19. Does anyone know why CASPA does not consider Developmental Biology as a science course? I thought it would contribute to science GPA. Am I missing something?
  20. Hey guys! So I have a question about CASPA and ETS. On my CASPA profile there are a few schools that are missing from schools that have received my GRE score but according to ETS, the scores have been received by all the schools that I entered. Should I resend the score or contact the Admissions Representative to see if they did receive my scores?
  21. Hi everyone! I submitted my CASPA in the middle of may and it was verified around may 20th I believe, but in the past few weeks after submitting I was able to successfully get in contact with multiple PAs and begin shadowing them. I already updated my CASPA once to reflect my first shadowing position, but now I have started shadowing another PA and I want to add that to my CASPA experiences as well. Will it look bad to schools that I am updating my application so often or will it make any difference? I just dont want it to come off as looking bad on their end but I want to add in my experiences to show what I have been doing. Thanks so much!
  22. Evening folks, Let me preface this by saying I wasn't a strong student in my original (philosophy) undergrad, but I've been digging out of that hole for 7 years since and my application is strong outside of my overall GPA. And this is my first application cycle and experience with CASPA. Issue: I got my verification notification today and cracked open my application pdfs to check them: My total earned (graded) credits is off, as are my quality points. 9.5 earned credits and 12.4 quality points, to be exact. The only thing I can figure is that they double-entered some of my less desirable courses. But the big issue here is that the difference is just enough to pop my overall GPA under a 3.0, which is the cutoff for every program I've applied to. It's verified. So it's been sent to my programs already? I sent them my excel work and unofficial transcripts for reference; I attached the excel sheet with my calculations in case anybody is curious - or wants to check my math. Questions: Can/will CASPA fix this? (Is the spreadsheet I provided enough to be convincing?) Should I be notifying my programs on my own that I'm currently disputing my GPA with CASPA? (I'm worried they may decide to toss my application when they see a sub-3.0 overall gpa) Thanks in advance, and sorry if this is long-winded or convoluted. I may or not be panicking a bit currently (CASPA was "in a meeting" when I tried to call them at 16:00) Credit Hours shareable.xlsx
  23. Hi all, I just had a quick question and wanted to see if anyone had experience with this. I got my CASPA in and verified in later may and still havent heard back from schools yet. I thought this was just par for the course but when checking in on the forums for certain schools it seems that if these schools are already beginning to send out interview invitations and I have not heard anything yet. Does this mean that I am probably going to get rejected? Im just worried because some of the people who were invited for interviews had their applications verified and submitted after mine which makes me think I am a no go. Does anyone have any experience with this and maybe they are just going out of order? Thanks so much!
  24. Hi everyone! I just wanted to ask a question for some advice, I recently began working as a pharmacy technician and I wanted to add this on my caspa and update and send to schools. Although, I was shadowing a PA recently and she told me not to put my pharmacy technician experience on my caspa because she thought they might think that I want to become a pharmacist or that Im using it as a "back up". Would it be bad for me to add my experience as a pharm tech to my caspa? Or has anyone ever run into problems with things like this in an interview? I was going to put it but I was conflicted after that because I dont want to make a bad impression or anything. Thanks everyone!
  25. This is my first draft and I would love some feedback as soon as possible. Thank you! Personal Statement CASPA.docx
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