Hi everyone –
I’m looking for advice – I’ve completed all but Physics 2 of my prereqs, and am now at a crossroads. I just completed organic 2 this summer, and surprised myself with a strong grade. But I intentionally focused only on chem this summer, and postponed the mcat prep. Now that the course is over, I’m looking now to the mcat. My question is, do you think it would be realistic (and/or worthwhile) for me to push for the Sept 7 test date so that I can get my apps out this year, or would I be shooting myself in the foot to try to rush things? I took a practice mcat from kaplan today, and I scored 8’s on all of the sections, but I’m not really sure how/what that compares to.
Hi everyone –
Congrats on organic 2 in the summer! That’s an accomplishment in and of itself.
Only you can tell if you’re ready. If you already have a strong foundation in the test material, it may work fine for you. OTOH, you may be pushing it overmuch.
If you hold off until next year, do you expect you’ll do better on the MCAT?
If you hold off until next year, do you think your odds will be better?
What does the potential 1-year difference mean to you?
I’m actually trying to get a feel for how good of a score predictor something like your Kaplan test would be (in this thread). If you’re considering a 2007 MCAT, you may want to check out the AAMC practice test site and take one of those, as well.
Either way, good luck!
I used ExamKracker’s 10-week study schedule with all EK materials (their books and Audio Osmosis) and that was all I did to prepare, while taking physics and working close to full-time. If you really buckle down, you can prepare for the MCAT in 10 weeks. I think 5-6 is pushing it.
Hm. Only you can determine if you think you can be ready. With all of your courses being recent, if you can devote a fair amount of time to MCAT study, you might be fine. All 8s without having done any prep seems pretty good.
The bigger issue, as I see it, has less to do with your MCAT prep timeline and more with your application timeline. In addition to studying for your MCAT, you really need to be getting your AMCAS application around ASAP. This takes a lot more time than you might think, especially the personal statement. You will also need to be getting your LORs rounded up so that they would be ready to go the minute you received any secondaries. By taking the September MCAT, your application (best case scenario) won’t get serious scrutiny until your scores are released, and that’s assuming that your AMCAS is submitted and verified, you’ve received secondaries prior to the release of your scores and have submitted all required materials for your application to be complete. Overall, this will make your application very late in the cycle, and will put you at a disadvantage. I’m not saying that it will be impossible, but with rolling admissions and many schools filling their classes by January, it certainly makes the odds a lot steeper.
You will have to decide if it’s worth the risk to you. In order to apply for this cycle, you will have to submit your application without having any idea of what your MCAT score is like.
Thanks for all of your advice. Is there any penalty/repercussions for re-applying to a school? That is, pushing for the end of 2007 cycle, and if I don’t get accepted reapplying for the beginning of the 08 cycle? I would of course take additional coursework in the meantime and if needed retake my mcat… Or is a “rushed” application genuinely looked down upon, regardless of if you improve it?
I don’t think schools hold it against you if you end up applying twice. On your first (relatively late-cycle) go-round, they’ll happily cash your secondary check and possibly even interview you for the wait list Then a few months later they’ll just as happily cash another secondary check from you and review a new application from you. It IS known if you’ve applied before and your old app will be compared to your new one.
The application year is a ROYAL pain in the a$$. Going into it with the almost-expectation that you’d do it twice seems unnecessarily painful to me. I know you are in a hurry and you want to get going, but you can find things to do in the intervening year and have your application ready to go at the beginning of the following application season.
There’s no crystal ball to predict how it will work. There are definitely people who get in with late applications. You are somewhat stacking the deck against yourself but no one else can really advise you on your comfort level with that.
The risks involved in applying late: lose money, lose time from work (going to interviews), spend a lot of time on applications with somewhat less likelihood of success.
If you end up applying the subsequent year, you WILL need to submit updated applications including an updated personal statement to show how you’ve “improved” as a candidate in that year. It probably isn’t quite as bad as starting the application process from scratch but it is definitely still a lot of work.
Search for posts by “Matt Fugazi,” who has written lots about the process of applying twice.
- minidee2003 Said:
I'm looking for advice -- I've completed all but Physics 2 of my prereqs, and am now at a crossroads. I just completed organic 2 this summer, and surprised myself with a strong grade. But I intentionally focused only on chem this summer, and postponed the mcat prep. Now that the course is over, I'm looking now to the mcat. My question is, do you think it would be realistic (and/or worthwhile) for me to push for the Sept 7 test date so that I can get my apps out this year, or would I be shooting myself in the foot to try to rush things? I took a practice mcat from kaplan today, and I scored 8's on all of the sections, but I'm not really sure how/what that compares to.
24 is a bit low. If you can raise those 8's to 9's or 10's, and if your GPA is competitive (mid to high 3's) I think you'll have a competitive application. Take a practice test every week and work work work on answering more questions in a shorter time, and drill yourself mercilessly to correct knowledge gaps.
But as others say, if you are pushing too hard for this cycle, consider waiting a cycle. Medical school will always be there and it might be cheaper and less stressful to wait and really buff up your application.
The national average for people taking the MCAT…8’s across the board.
For those then who apply to med school…9’s across the board.
National average for matriculating students (individual med schools will have different numbers)…10’s across the board. Some years it is an 11 in bio.
Thanks so much for all of your advice I am plowing away for the test, and after 2 aamc tests have managed to pull up my verbal and my bio up by a total of 3 points. I haven’t touched physics and gen chem yet, starting today, but I have lots to work on in that space. Plugging away…