Question about 2008 app cycle

So first semester is over (wohoo!) I thought that not having taken a hardcore college class in over 3+ years would hurt me but ended with an A-, A, and A+ in English, Bio, and Gen Chem I respectively. Going to wrap up bio and chem II this summer so next year only have physics and orgo to worry about.

I am planning on actually applying (completing AMCAS) in the summer of 2008. However, It’ll take me that long to wrap up all my prereqs. I will be done with all prereqs by May 2008. The problem here is taking the MCAT of course. I had set a tentative goal for myself of taking it the last possible date in May 2008, but I’m afraid that’s not enough time to prepare. Would my application still be competitive if I take a mid June MCAT instead? I don’t think the 2008 dates are published yet, but I’m all about strategy & planning so want to have a gameplan in advance.

I’m just curious what other people did something similar, or they just took longer to prepare for MCAT and wait until next application cycle.

(Please move thread if in wrong spot, it didn’t feel like a very specific MCAT related question so I posted here )

The earlier your submit your AMCAS the better. That being said, you can submit your AMCAS before you take the MCAT. Your application will not be processed but you can still get your transcripts in and have them ready. Since it now takes 1 month to get your MCAT scores, your application will be complete sometime in early July and you will be in great shape.

I hope this answers your question.

I agree with Gabe. Actually, if I remember correctly, schools don’t even download applications for the first time until sometime in July. Go ahead and get the application around, submit your transcripts (you DON’T have to wait until you submit the application to do this, btw). Although, you may want to wait until the end of the spring term to submit the transcript for your current school if you are enrolled in classes. Your AMCAS does not go in line to be processed until a few things have occured: 1 - its after the first date to submit apps; 2 - you have submitted your application; and 3 - ALL of your transcripts have been received by them.

Because of the overwhelming amount of applications that are received by AMCAS in the first few days the submissions are allowed, it often takes up to a month for them to get verified early in the season. Schools do not actually receive the applications until they are verified. Now - some schools get notification that you have submitted an application for their school and will send out secondaries before they have even officially received your application or it has been verified. If that is the case for any schools that you apply to, you can go ahead and submit your secondary and LORs and be ahead of the game on those.

So, you should be fine with a June MCAT. If for some reason your app does make it through to your schools before your MCAT score is available, it won’t be by much. Many schools will send out secondaries without MCAT scores, as well. Make sure you have your LORs around, so the minutes you get secondary applications, you can send them in.

I didn’t submit my AMCAS until after I took the AUGUST MCAT, and didn’t submit most of my secondaries until late October. (I don’t advocate this approach, btw.)I was accepted at all of the schools I applied to. Granted, this is not the best approach to take, but I just wanted to make the point that submitting your application late (as in August, September late) does not automatically ruin any chance you have of getting in.

Congrats on the good grades and good luck with the rest of your classes.

In addition to what the others have said, I recommend that you not short-change yourself on your MCAT. You may need more than a month to prepare to tackle this beast. I would allow 3-4 months, possibly starting before spring classes are over if you can swing a Kaplan class, your regular classes, and work if that’s also in there.

I agree with Emergency that you don’t need to get your application in right at the outset to be successful, though it’s not good to wait until November or December either because by that point you would be applying only for waitlist spots. Keep getting great grades and rock the MCAT and everything else will fall into place! Best of luck,

I did what you’re doing - did all the prereqs in a relatively concentrated span of time. I also prepared for the April MCAT during my second semester of o-chem and physics. I didn’t quite have all the physics but it wasn’t a big deal. Now, I should caution that I’ve always been one of those obnoxious “good test takers” and so I have been accused at times of minimizing the amount of time needed to take on this heinous test. So my two cents given here is probably worth less than that.

Okay, having given the necessary disclosure statement, let me say: I considered my coursework to be a good prep for the MCAT - and it was - but I also took a Kaplan course. I have to say that in my case I was basically paying Kaplan to force me to keep up with a study schedule; if left to my own devices I’d have procrastinated too much and wouldn’t have gotten through all the material.

I always put my coursework first, reasoning that I could postpone or retake an MCAT, but a lousy grade on my transcript would stay there forever. There was something about that mindset that helped it work for me. And I figured that really putting my all into prereq coursework was, in its own way, MCAT preparation because it was focused on the topics that are on the MCAT.

What I’m trying to say is, you may be ready for the MCAT just as a result of going through all the coursework and taking the necessary “how to take the test” stuff. So the end of May could be fine for you.