Timing is crucial when it comes to applications, including when to ask for medical school recommendation letters. You should be thinking about this even before your application year, as you want to develop strong relationships with professors, mentors and advisers so that you can ask them to write you letters. These relationships take time to build. If you haven’t thought about this before your spring of junior year you could be left with lackluster, generic letters.

Great letters also take time to write. Recommenders are usually busy people. They can’t drop everything to write you a letter on the spot.  You need to give them plenty of warning. A good rule of thumb is to try and ask a month in advance. April/May is a great time to secure your letter writers. This gives them ample time to write a thoughtful letter about you and ensures your application is completed as soon as possible, a great help at rolling admissions medical schools.

What else can you do to ensure you’ve got great letters? You can help professors remember you by giving them a little cheat sheet about your goals and what is going on in your life right now in case it’s been a while since you worked with them. For those who really need help (students asked to write their letters that the professor will sign, those unsure of who to ask for letters, professors new to writing who need guidance) Admit2Med can help! Contact us to find out how.