I am a non-traditional student, who has just finished the requirements for an M.A. in philosophy. I took all the basic core pre-med sciences while an undergraduate. This means I took all my pre med courses between three and six years ago. I am planning on starting a post-bac in Spring 2005 (this upcoming January) at UPenn. My question relates to whether or not it is realistic to expect to do well on the April MCAT if I begin studying now in November, and study through until April. I have probably forgotten most of what I know of the sciences, and from January through April I will be taking three science courses in fulfillment of the UPenn post-bac requirements. This means that ideally I could dedicate November and December almost entirely to MCAt study. However, from Jan through mid-April my time will be divided between intense sciences and MCAT study. Is it too great of a risk to take it in April? Should I wait to take it until August 2006? While taking it in August 2006 would buy me extra study time, it would delay my application for Fall 2006. Let me know what you think.
Why are you in such a hurry? Do you really have to start medical school in the fall of 2007? I don’t really think your plan is doable…unles you’re a genius and you remeber a lot (but you said you don’t). I don’t want to be repetitive, but if you do some search on this forum, you’ll see that everyone says not to take MCAT unless you’re ready!!! 100% ready!!!
I have all my sciences fresh - I started last fall, and I’m still considering taking MCAT review class…
it’s my 5 cents.
Let me begin by saying that only you can answer that question for yourself. I agree with madkasia that you need to be 100% ready for the MCAT. You don’t want to go into the exam unprepared. You also do not want to get behind in your classes next semester either because it could adversely affect your GPA. When you apply, you want to have everything working in your favor.
Just so you know, if you decide to take the MCAT in August, you don’t have to wait until after the MCAT scores come back to apply for 2007. You can go ahead and submit your application early next summer. Most schools will send you secondaries to fill out and will hold your file for review until they receive your MCAT scores in October. (I submitted my application in June of this year to 36 schools. There were only 5 that did not go ahead and send secondaries before I took the MCAT.) You may hear some people say (usually not on OPM) that taking the MCAT in August is too late. Remember the important thing is that you do well when you take the MCAT. That should be the most important thing to consider when making your decision.
Good luck with whatever you decide!
Something to think about: Will the post-bacc coursework be repeats of your prereqs, or upper-division stuff? That is, will your classes be helping you review for the MCAT?
I don’t think MCAT prep is feasible with a three science courseload. MCAT prep at a MINIMUM should be considered the same time commitment, or more, as a four-credit science class w/lab. I don’t think you’ll have the time. And if your spring semester courses are NOT prereq courses, but instead new science material - oy. My head hurts just thinking about it.
As Lu said, you are NOT at the huge disadvantage that some will claim by taking the August MCAT. You only want to take this sucker once if you can help it. Don’t take it til you’ve devoted sufficient prep time, and with your schedule I think that’s going to be August.