I would appreciate any help and advice anyone cares to give! I am really in need of a good, realistic MCAT study schedule. Here’s my situation: I graduated in 1988 with a degree in biology. I went back and took physics 15 years ago and this past year, I took organic. I talked to the Dean of Admissions at my local med school who advised me to take 8 more additional or repeated biology/biochem classes over four semesters. (I work and have a family and don’t want to go any faster.) He wants me to come see him again next summer to let him know how I am doing. He also recommends that I take the MCAT spring of '08, retake over the summer. (Yeah, I’ll most likely have to.) and apply for the next fall. To try to do this, I will be taking Survey of Biochem and genetics this fall and will spend many, many hours on my own of MCAT prep. Genetics will be my first bio class since 1988, so I have a LONG ways to go to be ready for the MCAT this spring, if it’s even possible. I have a Princeton Review Book and an Examcrackers chem book. I am not even sure this is doable, let alone have any idea of how to begin or how many hours to budget a day, where to start, etc. Also, is taking it this spring realistic, with bio classes as old as mine?
i have been doing a lot of research about how to prepare for the MCATS even though i’m not planning on taking it until Spring 2009…i found the studentdoctor.net forums very helpful…check this out:
Good Luck to us both!
Genetics is a good course to take for getting back into biology but there is SO much more to it than that. I’d actually recommend a course in cell biology first. And I don’t think your biology is going to be current enough to take the MCAT until you’ve done a few more classes; I think it’s unrealistic to presume you’ll be able to take it in spring '08.
And to show that I am very arrogant, I must differ with that Dean of Admissions who advised taking the MCAT more than once on purpose. No, no, no. Don’t do it. I don’t think it’s a good idea to take the MCAT “for practice” when all the scores count. You can buy lots of practice tests from AAMC and prep courses such as Kaplan and Princeton Review; in the case of the AAMC, they are the real thing and in the case of Kaplan and PR, pretty good approximations. Spend your time and money doing your own practice and do NOT sign up for the real thing until you intend for it to accompany your application that year.
Just my $.02
savoring the idea that I do not have to take another exam for SEVEN YEARS, having completed my American Board of Family Medicine certification exam today! (um, that assumes I pass… but that seems likely)
First, thank you, noor524! That was a really good website you referred me to!
Thank you, Mary, and congratulations on no more exams for seven years! How I envy you right now. Based on your advice and what I saw on the student doctor site, what do you think of my revised plan? Instead of taking the MCAT in the spring, take it in August, putting all my eggs in one basket. This would allow me to have biochem and three bio classes done and take cell bio in the spring. After school ends in May, I could devote most of May, all of June and July to studying full-time, 6 - 8 hours a day, if needed. Of course, if I don’t do so well, there are no other chances to take it in time for that admission cycle. That’s a kinda daring plan…
I agree with Mary - don’t plan on “feeling out” the MCAT. Take the time to prepare as fully as you can for it, as it sounds like you now intend. You can get a feel for your scores with practice tests, without having to justify a score you didn’t intend to stand on, anyway.
The MCAT is not the be-all and end-all of the application, but it is important enough that you want to get it right the first time.
And for general advice: take enough time with this process that you can enjoy the marathon as best you can .