Our most important advice is to apply only when your record is strong enough to have a decent chance of success, and when you have the time and energy needed for the application process.
To help you decide if your record is strong enough, you should critically evaluate your record for risk factors. As risk factors build up, so do the chances of rejection. Here are some of the important risk factors that will reduce your chance of being accepted:
Having a total GPA below 3.50
Having a science GPA below 3.50
Having a total MCAT score below 30
Having any individual MCAT score below 9
Taking the MCAT in the summer you are applying
Applying to only a few schools
Applying to the wrong schools (state schools outside your state, only very selective schools)
Taking premed science requirements during summer school
Submitting your application after June 30
Not having sufficient medically-related experience
Taking only the minimum number of science courses to fulfill premed requirements (2 biology, 4 chemistry, 2 physics)
Never taking more than one science course in a semester
Submitting secondary applications after Labor Day (if they were received before then)
The first four risk factors listed above, referring to grades and MCAT scores, are very important in determining success in admission to medical school. Even the most sterling personal qualities will not substitute for low grades and MCAT scores.