Prepare Your Rankings of Programs
After you have evaluated all the programs to which you have applied that are participating in the Match, you must determine your order of preference for these programs. Rank your most preferred program first, your next most preferred program second, and so on.
Prior to the Rank Order List deadline, you and the program(s) to which you have applied may express your interest in each other. While voluntary communication of expected rankings is permitted, statements implying or requesting a commitment are prohibited. You must not request information regarding how any program intends to rank you or any other applicant. Similarly a program must not request that you divulge information regarding how you intend to rank any program. Please review the 2018 AOA Match Interview Policy on the AOA web site.
Your Rank Order List should accurately reflect the true desirability of each program to you, regardless of how you think the programs will rank you. Applicants need not make prior commitments to programs or submit to inappropriate pressures in constructing their Rank Order Lists (e.g., "I'll rank you high only if you rank me high"). Because of the way the matching algorithm works:
Your best strategy is to rank your choices in order of your true preferences without consideration for how you expect to be ranked by any program
You may rank as many programs as you wish. By submitting a longer list of programs, you may reduce the likelihood of being left unmatched; therefore, you should rank all programs participating in the Match to which you have applied and with which you are prepared to accept a position. Regardless of the number of programs you rank, you will be matched to the most preferred program on your list that ranks you and does not fill all its positions with applicants it prefers.
Do not rank any program that you consider unacceptable (i.e., you would not want to be matched to the program, even if it was the only position available to you in the Match). As noted in the Applicant Agreement, the results of the Match are binding. If you are matched to a program you have ranked on your list, you must accept your Match result or face being in breach of contract with the AOA.