new and need advice

I’m new to the site and looking for some advice. I’m 27 and graduated in 04 with a BS in biology, but I’m a few credits short on my pre-reqs which i’m taking this summer and fall and I’ve yet to take the mcat. I would really like to apply for entrance into med school for fall of 2010. My questions are

When should I start the application process?

How will still finishing my pre-reqs affect my application?

When is a good time to take the mcat?

How will taking the mcat so close to applying affect the process?

How do I get quality letters of recommendation being that I’ve been out of school so long and I’m not sure how many of my professors remember me?

Sorry for so many questions, but the process seems a little overwhelming at times and I’m not really sure what to do.

I have yet to take the MCAT, but I have been out of school much longer and was still able to get some very nice letters of recommendation. I think you will be surprised by how well some teachers remember their students. Start the process as soon as possible, you want to apply as early as possible according to the esteemed members of this forum and others. I have been studying for the MCAT for about two and half months, planning on taking it at the end of the month. have you taken a practice test yet? offers a free test which I felt was very useful for assessing some of my weaknesses. What method of preparation are you considering? is somewhat useful, but easier than much of the EK and Kaplan material I have been using. As to how everything will affect the process, there are far more knowledgeable members than I, perhaps Judy Colwell or Dr. Renard may have some advice for you. Good Luck!..Jaysun

Thanks for the advice. I’ve purchased a few mcat study books and will probably use that as my main method, I would really like to take a study course, but not sure I can afford it.

Can I start the application process while still being short on my pre-reqs (i’m taking them this summer and fall)

I’m also worried about taking the mcat too soon, because i’m sure alot of the material on the test will be taught in the classes i’m getting ready to take (org chem I and II, physics II)

To be honest, I think that if you are just now starting to put your plans into place, you’re already probably very late for 2010. The folks applying for 2010 are putting together their application packets as we speak… taking the MCAT in the next month or two (if they haven’t taken it already)… have already arranged for their letters of recommendation and have started polishing their personal statements.

Applying to med school, to me, felt like planning a war (well, what I imagine planning a war is like!). There are a LOT of different things to consider, many different “fronts” to tackle at once. You owe it to yourself to do a really good job on the preparation for this, and it is NOT easy to do it quickly.

Applying without completing most, if not all, of the prereqs puts you at a disadvantage, because your competition is, for the most part, people who HAVE done 'em all - and done very well. So unless you’ve got a distinctively good application even before completing your prereqs, you are generally going to be better off going a little slower.

Yes, delaying the application by a year means you’re guaranteed a “glide year,” where you’ve completed your prereqs and are “just” applying to med school – this really chafes at people, that they are sitting around instead of actually IN med school. But you greatly increase your chances of having to apply to med school twice if you apply before your application is really a solid, competitive one… and then you’ve got the glide year anyway, plus you’re out a bunch of money.

Good luck to you!