Getting into medical school is an increasingly selective ordeal so that these pointers, a combination of common sense and experienced judgment from admissions committee officers, may help not only the A student with impressive MCAT scores but also the marginally acceptable student who needs help emphasizing his/her strengths. Medical schools are looking for people who show maturity, motivation, honesty, promise, and yes, neatness counts--in interviews and on applications. Admissions people are not operating in a vacuum: they know in which colleges half the students have 3.4 averages and where ""Organic Chemistry for Artists"" is offered. The main message here: don't cover up seeming liabilities--a bad freshman year, psychiatry, few extra-curricular pursuits. Patterns are more important than isolated situations; almost any shortcoming can be overlooked if a reasonable explanation is available. The personal interview is the best opportunity to present a positive, informed outlook; be prepared to answer questions precisely. Nevertheless, good grades, high MCAT scores, and influential recommendations weigh heavily. A useful, encouraging reference that acknowledges the competition yet allows for recognition of more modest track records.