Almost 900,000 students applied to med school in 2019-2020. There are so many students applying that there many not getting accepted to the programs they want to get in to. Rachel Tobin Yale was one student who earned her acceptance to the Duke Program med school. Her application was strong enough to stand out and gave her a coveted seat to start her medical degree. How can you better your chances of getting accepted? Here are some great tips for two areas where being prompt and early will pay off.

1. The earlier you complete and submit your application, the better off you’ll be.

Schools receive so many applications, and by the end of the season, admission reps are worn out. They’ve sorted and sifted through an enormous amount of cover letters, resumes and personal statements and are ready to be done. Applying early shows prospective schools you’re ready, committed and capable to start your medical journey. Med schools run on a rolling-admission process, so the earlier you apply, more seats are available. You’ll have fewer students to “compete with” if you follow the statement that the early bird gets the worm.

2. Give recommenders enough time to get their letters in.

The more time you give someone to write a recommendation letter, the better off the letter will be because they’ll have ample time to analyze your work, relationship and achievements over the duration of their time knowing you. You don’t want a recommendation letter to look like it was thrown together because admission councils obviously recognize these types of things. They’re able to really dissect a letter that speaks volumes about someone’s work ethic and ability. They are looking for something more than generalities. They want personality and details to shine. Opt for professors who know you well, employers who believe you exceed expectations at your work and anyone who’s familiar with your passion for medicine and may have a personal story to include. A strong backing from recommenders means you’ll have a much better chance of getting accepted.

With so many applications sent to med schools all across the country, as an applicant, you have to stand out. Being prompt with your application could get eyes on yours before there are too many to count and it could be a major boost to raising your chances of acceptance.