Taking the MCAT in august after I finsh orgo 1 and physics 2 over the summer semester. I know this puts me a large disadvantage relative to students that took the exam in april. However, is there still a possiblity I can get into med school for 2012? I am coffident that my GPA will be around a 3.7 and my MCAT score should be above average. In addition, I am the head of my household with a wife and daughter to provide for (work almost full time) and I did a year of volunteer work overseas. What do you think?
- jcfreakdavid Said:
Will this make you the strongest candidate possible? Is you goal to get into medical school or to get into medical school quickly?
There are several reasons while this strategy will put you at not only a disadvantage for this cycle, but may negatively affect you in future cycles.
1) You are taking the MCAT very late in the cycle for rolling admissions. While you can submit your application prior to MCAT, adcoms are not supposed to review the application until all materials have been submitted, verified, etc. Just by the number of available seats that go down as the rolling admissions cycle goes forward, your chances are reduced.
2) Summer Organic is a bitch. Been there, done that, wasn't pretty. It is basically 15 weeks of schooling that your are doing in 5 weeks per semester. If you are doing lecture and lab, it is more than a full time job. Ochem is a killer mostly due to the amount of material. Missing a day in the summer class, if the car breaks down, your kid gets sick, etc. just can make it extremely difficult to catch up. And you remember you want to do well in this course.
3) Trying to prep for MCAT while in summer Ochem is nearly impossible. With all the work for Ochem, trying to get MCAT prep in is extremely doubtful. And your are trying to do well on the MCAT!
4) If you do all the Ochem and MCAT and get mediocre grades/scores, what do you do? If you apply and get rejected, you then have a flag on your application for next time.
Most students underestimate the time needed to master Ochem and get a good a grade (make that time and half in a summer course). They also underestimate the prep time needed to master MCAT (another full time job). Not too mention that you want to spend time on your actual application. And your a the head of household with the time that takes. To me, you have about the equivalent of 3 full time jobs and risk doing poorly at all them.
I think it a risk that does need to be taken
I think if you try this now you’ll be behind the 8-ball on timing and you’re taking a real risk with your summer grades and your ability to prep for the MCAT. It’s harder than other standardized tests you have taken, and longer, and deserves dedicated practice. You should allot the same time to it as you would a 4-credit hour tough science class.
If you take another year you can stretch this out, maybe work a little more, clean up your finances a bit if they need it, and have a sharp and rocking and prompt application a year from now.
Thank you all. Just a couple counter points for your considerations.
- At our state university, orgo is a 13 week long summer class with no lab. They doubled up the lab for orgo II. As you can imagine it’s a massive pain in the ass of a lab. Probably taking it in the fall by itself.
- I own my house outright and paid all my monthly bills (Car and HOA) till August. In other words, I should have enough time to dedicate about 5 to 6 hours a week of MCAT prep for 4 months.
- I’m a minority (I don’t want to use the system, but what ever helps me get in)
- I applied and should get FAP (fee assistance program) which pays for the primary and 15 secondary applications. MCAT is reduced to 85 bucks. God is do good to us!!!
Trust me when I say, that I am leaning towards waiting another year and kicking some more ass at school. But it is tempting to try and see what happens.