need advice... do I need to postpone my MCAT?

I’m not sure if this question needs to be in this forum because it applies to MCAT and OPM… I am a non-trad, I took all prereqs 12-16 years ago and am really struggling… I started studying for MCAT in Dec 17, took my first FL (Kaplan FL 1) on Feb 4th after content review got a 489, took NS FL 1 next week got a 501, In the next 3 weeks I took NS FL 2 and 3 and got 499, 495 respectively. In all fairness my dog passed in this time so I felt like the drop in my scores was because of that… BUT I just took AAMC FL 1 and got a 493 (123,123,123,124)… My test is April 21st and I feel like I should postpone to May… I work full time and have been trying to fit 25 hours of studying in each week this includes test review… I can’t do much more I’m a supervisor at my job and I can’t drop down to part time…

I guess I’m trying to figure out what to do from here… Do I reschedule? do I need to go back to content review? OR do I need to immerse myself in AAMC material and questions to improve my scores?

Will postponing to late May hurt my chances by delaying my application?

First question: What do you think is the root cause of your scoring consistently around 500ish? One major factor may be how you’re studying, and simply postponing the MCAT really won’t address that problem. There is SO MUCH that is testable on the MCAT that simply doing AAMC practice tests will not cover the breadth of material you’re expected to know. For the MCAT, especially for nontrads, I’m an (unpaid) proponent of commercial test prep. Not just the books that let you self-study, but the structured courses that help you piece together the knowledge, timing, and test taking strategies needed to succeed. Those types of courses can help you focus your energy on “high yield” topics that may or may not be a better use of time, depending on what questions you actually get asked on the real thing. If you feel like you have the content mastered, then maybe just a simple test-taking strategy website/book will give you the most bang for your buck. In full disclosure, I used the Kaplan on-demand program for the “old” MCAT and crammed all of my relearning/studying into about 3-3.5 months. I was working full time so had no life outside of test prep and work during that period. The lessons and question banks were really helpful in my opinion. I know nothing about their content or utility for the “new” mcat, and my opinion of them has declined since using their Step 2 prep stuff. I understand UWorld may have some MCAT stuff that may be worth looking at. They seem to be the go-to test prep for all things post-MCAT board review for medical school.

Second question: If I recall correctly, AAMC will process your application for verification while still pending your MCAT scores. This was at least true a few years ago. You could still submit your application when the system opens up and have everything transmitted out when your scores became available. I don’t remember the whole timeline, but taking a test date that has a score release date near the application release date won’t necessarily “hurt” you. At the time, I didn’t realize that and sat on my application until my scores were out, which set me back a couple of months. All that said, please double check with the AAMC/AACOMAS user manuals.

I answer this on Session 118 of the OPM Podcast!

Good morning!

I just listened to the podcast and appreciate your input, I will reach out to the schools I’m applying to today. For more information, I have taken all pre-med pre-reqs because I have a doctorate in physical therapy I finished in 2012. I have practiced as a P.T. nearly 6 years now. I completely understand the concern about the age of my pre-med pre-reqs and I will follow up with that immediately… Thank you!