How to Prepare for the Upcoming CASPA Cycle: Live Q&A

As a PA school application cycle enters into the fall season, much of the buzz in the pre-PA world centers around interviews, acceptances, and emergency application fixes. 

The discussion between current applicants on pre-PA forums (and even within our Be a PA Community) can be so lively that, sometimes, the voices of those who are further out from applying to PA school can get drowned out. 

And if you’re not yet in the midst of applying, understanding what you should be doing to prepare and when you should be doing it is sometimes a bit of a mystery.

Heck, surmising what current applicants are even talking about when they mention rolling admissions, supplementals, or CASPA GRE codes can make you feel like you’re out of your depth. 

However, I’m a firm believer that right now is the perfect time to start getting up to speed if you plan on applying in the next cycle, which opens in April. So, a couple of weeks back, I dedicated a live question and answer session to lend a hand to aspiring PAs applying in the upcoming cycle. 

Here’s how things went down on our live session. 

Questions Answered (with video timestamps)

How do I find shadowing if I’m striking out?

Yulia: I earned my degree overseas, but I’ve taken all of my PA school prerequisites in the US. Do I need proof of my prior degree for CASPA? 

Resource mentioned: Third-Party Vendors for Foreign Transcripts

Ethel: How is patient care experience calculated? How far back can we document this experience?

Live Q&A with Next-Cycle PA School ApplicantslBe a Physician Assistant

What if I wasn’t certified for my patient care role, do the hours count as PCE?

Blog resource: How to Expertly Classify Your Experience as PCE vs. HCE

What job titles would a program consider to be direct patient care experience?

Blog resource: How to Choose the Best Role for Patient Care Experience

Robyn: I’m a more mature student with a lot of healthcare experience. Should I be seeking out a role that would give me a different category of experience, like teaching, that CASPA provides an option for?

Parker: How should I be separating patient care experience and volunteer hours on my application? Some of my patient care experience was volunteer, and I don’t want to double dip. 

When should I begin my CASPA application?

Blog resource: Why You Should Create Your CASPA Application Right Now

Ethel: Should I have other people around me review my personal statement for my application or go with a paid service?

Resource mentioned: Be a PA Application Bundles

Cynthia: I’ve shadowed both a PA and a doctor. Is there a particular amount of shadowing hours I should aim for?

Jen: Do you think PA schools will look negatively upon going cold turkey with patient care to spend the time fulfilling prereq courses?

Blog resource: Are You Dedicated Enough to Be a PA?

If, like these future PAs, you’ll be applying in the upcoming CASPA cycle, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your master plan, getting specific on the details, and building an action sequence that smooths your path to PA school. 

And, you can can do all of this with guidance and support while getting your questions answered along the way in my 6-month LIVE coaching experience, Future-PA Navigators.

Create your comprehensive PA-school application plan and find your community at Enrollment closes on Thursday, September 19.