The Shadowing & Extracurricular Readiness Score (SERS)

The SERS is an effort to score a pre-health student’s shadowing and extracurricular experience, relative to the advice of authoritative sources (experts in admissions to Med/PA schools).

You should take the quiz if you are a pre-med considering applying to medical school in the future, or any similar healthcare path, such as Physician Assistant (PA).

Many pre-health students have found it very helpful, and we hope you find it helpful too. Get started below! If you’d like more context before starting, scroll down to below the quiz.

Understanding Your Score

  • 100–81: You appear to be well-positioned to apply to med/PA school as far as shadowing and extracurriculars go; any marginal improvement could help you stand out even more (and give you more admissions offers and/or scholarships) but may very well not be necessary
  • 80–51: You’re in a solid footing but you may significantly benefit from smartly investing more in shadowing and other unique extracurricular opportunities between now and when you apply to med/PA school
  • 50 or below: You may want to fundamentally reconsider your approach to shadowing and extracurriculars, and ensure you have a clear understanding of what med/PA schools want

Is Atlantis something you should consider for your next college break? Only you can answer that, but we hope that the score can help guide you in decisions such as this one.

How the Quiz Was Built

In the quiz you’ll read 20 statements from very reputable experts (identified next to each statement) about what matters for medical school admissions (healthcare exposure, grades, and competencies). You’ll then be asked “How confident are you on where you stand?” (1 = not confident at all, 5 = very confident). Your overall score will be calculated at the end. The grading rubric appears above, after the quiz.

Note that the SERS is an attempt to turn something subjective into something more objective, and should be taken as general guidance rather than a scientifically precise measurement. That said, this is the most precise measurement that we have seen to date, since nothing else out there exists that is more data-driven.

A Note on Sources

Note also that the quiz borrows statements from highly reputable sources; however, it was not built in partnership with any of the entities cited, nor do we, of course, imply an endorsement of Atlantis here. However, we see part of our role being to help disseminate the best advice to all pre-med students, whether they attend elite schools or not, and this is part of the goal for this quiz. Too many students are confused by contradictory advice, and the quiz is an attempt at bringing the best advice together in a way that makes sense and is easy to digest.

Note also that the statements quoted are opinions that are widely shared among many reputable sources, and we could easily quote many other similarly authoritative sources in place of each of the statements. We never quote any opinion that we could not identify many other similar opinions from equally reputable sources.