MCAT - to wait or not to wait?

I am currently in Organic and Physics II and that finishes all of my pre- reqs…other than Bio II. I might have went A** backwards, but due to schedule constraints, Bio II is the last to go (Summer 03).
In any case, the dilemma I'm faced with is to take the MCAT in April or August. I've heard that if you take in April you can re-take in August if need be without waiting until next year. On the other hand, if they're now forwarding results automatically to the admissions committee, re-taking is a moot point…not to mention: April would be a real heavy load (still finishing the above science courses and not yet tackling BIO II).
I just realized, I might have answered my own question, but someone please humor me and advise whether to dive in (April) or hold off (August) despite the wait until 2004.

Hold off until August for sure. Specially because you have yet to take the second part of biology and if I remember correctly this is when you are supposed to cover the a&p part. The MCAT does cover some general biology human physiology (lungs and kidneys are pretty common), plus you will need the endocrine and cv system. Anyways, with your load I would not, but some folks have done it taking the above and the april mcat. I am now studying and it is a lot of work. I am putting about 4 hours per day with a day off every week. Some days I put in more, some less, but the everage is 25 hours per week…

I’d wait. If you are worried about doing the MCAT in August (since conventional wisdom is that April is better, timing-wise), know that there is lots you can do to still have your application going in a timely manner. This old thread:…27e1cc28c465f3f
gives a rundown of things you can do long before the MCAT.
This recent thread (which also has a link to the above) gives more helpful tips:…t=ST&f=2&t=1647
Good luck!

This is a very good question and one I'm curious about too.
I plan to take the August 2004 MCAT as I will be finished with my Prereqs in Summer 2004.
My main concern is this:
Will they start my AAMC application process before my MCAT scores are released?
I've looked all over the AAMC site and can't find any information except that the MCAT scores are used in the app process. It also says the processing won't start until they receive the app and transcripts.
Since the app processing takes 4-6 wks, I'd like to get the app in as soon as possible but the MCAT scores won't be out for 60 days (Oct).
Thank Heaven most of my schools have Dec & Jan deadlines, however, I want to apply earlier than later.
Does any one know the answer to this question?

Ok, I think I may have found the answer. In the AAMC instruction manual, it says that medical schools prefer that you receive and review your MCAT scores before applying.
What is your feelings about submitting the app before I receive my scores?. If I feel fairly confident, should I gamble that I've done well enough or wait and take a chance on being wait-listed?

Unless things have changed, you absolutely can - and should! - submit your AMCAS application before taking the MCATs if at all possible. There is all sorts of hoo-doo done to that application before it is transmitted to schools. It has been my understanding that the initial transmission of the application does NOT wait for MCAT scores - those are sent along later as they become available. Unless this new policy about releasing MCAT scores changes that practice, you can definitely get a lot of stuff into the mail slot at schools even without the MCAT score.
Now, some schools “screen” for secondaries, meaning they will not decide about sending you a secondary until they’ve given your application an initial evaluation. In this case, they’re almost certainly going to wait for MCAT scores. But other schools send the secondaries out without screening and so you can get some secondaries even before you’ve taken the MCAT.
Certainly no school is going to send out interview invites without complete applications, meaning MCAT and everything else. But a school may evaluate your file to some extent prior to receiving the MCAT - OR may put it completely aside and not touch it til it’s complete. Each school is different, and there are definitely schools in each of those categories.

Thanks, Mary!
I think you may heard my relieved sigh!
I want to be in the entering class of 2005 so the Aug 2004 will have to do it.
I was afraid that my app wouldn’t make it to the schools in time. Now I know I can send it ahead of time.
Thanks again! biggrin.gif

First, don’t take the MCAT until you are really ready. You do NOT want to take this exam twice if you possibly avoid it. smile.gif
Also, you definitely should appply to AMCAS in June or July (earlier is usually better) even if you are taking the Aug. MCAT. Many med schools will begin to process your application without your MCAT scores, and many will wait until they get your scores before they make a decision to send you a 2ndary application. (It takes about 8 weeks for the schools to get your scores.)

Thanks for the advice, Judy!