When beginning to plan for PA school, many students question which major will help them get into the best PA program possible. Students that are in the process of completing their undergraduate studies or those who have decided to return to school often think that majoring in biology, pre-med, or even a pre-PA program will give them the competitive edge needed to get into a top rated program. While this vein of thinking is completely logical, challenging majors like these aren’t always your best bet. Read more »
Category Archives: PA School
It seems like many PA programs are increasing the amount of months it takes to complete their curriculum. The average PA program length has increased to around 26 months, with some spanning 36 months or more. While some may argue that the quality and depth of PA training will increase with more program time, this approach isn’t necessarily true.
Longer program lengths do allow for additional training and projects, but they also come with some negative consequences. Read more »
More often than not, applicants don’t focus enough of their attention on their letters of recommendation. Many pick a handful of references, provide them with the information needed to submit their recommendations, and completely forget about them. While you can’t involve yourself to the point where you’re editing your own letters of recommendation, an outstanding letter of recommendation could very well be the difference between landing an interview and being passed over by admissions committees.
Searching for the perfect PA program can be a daunting task. Weighing the pros and cons of each program on your radar can be stressful and may even obscure the fact that you should be looking for the right school that fits your needs. If you’re too focused on being a perfect applicant, you may end up applying to a program that doesn’t end up serving your best interests.
While in the process of writing your personal narrative, it’s important to keep its major purpose in mind. The purpose isn’t to showcase your life story, nor is it to prove that you’re the most talented or qualified PA who has ever walked the earth. Your personal narrative’s sole purpose is to secure an invitation for an interview- that’s it!
One of the hardest parts of applying to PA school is actually choosing which programs are right for you. You should be looking for the right school that fits your needs while simultaneously compiling a list of schools where you’d be a good candidate. When searching for programs, ask yourself the following questions about each school. You’ll find that by doing this, you’ll have a better sense of what each program has to offer.
Do you know what PA programs look for when judging their potential students? Knowing what each program looks for and how they’ll be assessing both your interview performance and application materials are crucial in determining your success. Think of it this way: its much easier to get a high score on a test if you know how you’re being scored. The same concept rings true for your acceptance into a PA program.
There are three main scoring criteria all programs use when judging their candidates; cognitive and verbal abilities, motivations, and interpersonal skills. By keeping these three main scoring criteria in mind, you’ll have a much easier time writing your personal narratives and conducting yourself during your interviews.
Choosing the best PA program for you can be difficult. There are plenty of websites that list the “top 10 PA programs”, but a good fit is based on more than price and acceptance rate. You should be looking for the right school that fits your needs. If you’re too focused on being a perfect applicant, you may end up applying to a program that doesn’t end up serving your best interests and may end up getting less out of your time in school.
When searching for programs, try to focus on the following:
There are literally hundreds of different questions you could be asked during your PA school interview. During your preparation, try to focus on the questions that are most commonly asked rather than what “might” be asked. Be sure prepare your answers for these questions early on so you have ample time to focus on other material that may need extra attention.
Preparing your PA school application can be difficult on your own. Creating a timeline for the application process can help you stay on top of your application materials, but it won’t provide you with additional tools to help you actually prepare. If researching PA programs, preparing your narrative, gaining health care experience, or practicing for your interview is overwhelming, you may want to consider using some of the valuable resources below. You’ll find that with a little reassurance and a helping hand, you’ll be able to ace the entire application process.
- The PA School Finder: Having trouble finding programs that fit your needs? This comprehensive online PA program database may help you narrow down your potential programs so you can focus on your application materials.
- Personal Narrative Review: If you’re not confident about your personal narrative, why not ask a Physician Assistant who has already gone through the process for a second opinion? Bonus points: they’ve been on the admissions board for the Rutgers PA Program, so they’re personally familiar with the application process.
- Mock Interviews: If your interview skills need polishing, we can help – remember, the best way to avoid jitters is to be confident through preparation!
- Free Clinic Finder: If you need more health care or patient contact experience and don’t know where to start looking, this online resource can help you find clinics in your area to reach out to for volunteer experience.
- PA Shadowing & Mentorship: Our program works – 100% of our program graduates have gotten into PA school, and we can help you too!
- Apply to the EXCELL Pre-PA program: If you’re ready to jump right in, apply today – admissions are on a rolling basis, so early applicants are more likely you are to secure one of our competitive spots!