Updated: Jan 9
Please, I beg you, do not create your school list by searching for averages and matching metrics (aka using MSAR). There is such a better way. It will be a ton more work, but please trust me...it will be so much better.
Here's the thing: You do not want to apply to a single school that you would not be excited to attend. The WORST possible outcome in this process is you get accepted to one school, the one school you didn't want to go to. That happens. You need to do the work upfront and find a reason you like every single school on your list. If you do not like the school, take it off.
The other benefits to researching your schools ahead of time are writing better secondaries and making natural connections to your schools because you aligned your school list with who you are. When you write your secondaries, you want to speak to your schools. You want to show the connection and value you bring to them from your own experiences. You want to name specific programs, tracks, faculty, researchers, communities, clinics, etc that exist at that school and how you will benefit from them. If you don't have all that data mined ahead of time, before writing secondaries, you will experience a bottle neck at the secondary process as you try to find elements for each of your schools at the last minute.
Listen to this presentation I gave on creating your school list strategically. Let me know if you have any questions.