Naokuvi

5+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2014
119
112
Status
Pre-Medical
Currently my MCAT is scheduled for September 23rd. I have been studying for around four months and my practice test scores (from Kaplan) are Diagnostic: 493 FL1: 499 FL2: 505 FL3: 507. During my last month I want to focus on memorizing those hard to remember contents and also go over my weak points and make sure I have covered everything in the AAMC outlines. I also plan to do a lot of full length section practice and full length exam-like practice. I really want to be studying 8 hours a day or more as I am currently studying six hours a day.

That being said, my junior year starts on August 24th, a month before the MCAT. I have the option of taking 12 hours but so far I am signed up for 15. If I take 12 hours I can still graduate senior year pretty easily but in order to finish my Sociology minor I will probably have to take a summer class or just add on more hours my Senior year. I'm trying to decide whether to take 12 hours to have more time in my last month to study and potentially reach a higher score than if I took one more class. I'm also afraid of burning out because I know it will get harder to manage school, work, and MCAT prep once the semester starts.

So far my pros for 12 hours are:
More time to study from August 24th-September 23rd for the MCAT
More time to allocate to shadowing and exploring on campus research
Easier to avoid burn out and get some good sleep
Easier to maintain a 4.0 GPA to possibly apply with a 3.9-4.0 depending on my second semester success.

Cons:
The MCAT prep only lasts for a month into the school year so I'll be spending 2/3 of the semester with a lighter schedule even though I know I could do more.
More time crunched to minor

My schedule currently is: Biochemistry 1 (4), Immigrants (3), Anatomy Physiology 2 (4), Medical Terminology (1), and Bio 1 TA (3). I am also going to be involved in a lot of student organizations and I work 9 hours a week and volunteer 4-8 hours a week. If I drop a class it will be the class over immigrants.

SDN community, what would you do if you were in my situation? I would really like some insight over this since I'm so conflicted over what to do. Thanks!
 

Marcion

5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2015
172
145
Status
Pre-Medical
Take fewer hours if you think your MCAT study schedule will suffer. I put off last quarter's bio lab till this summer session for precisely this reason. I didn't see a way to fit a lab that was taking up 10 hours plus of my week outside of lab sessions together with my MCAT review. I'm currently taking the lab right now instead (and it turns out the professor teaching the summer session isn't as hardcore about having super detailed lab reports or research proposals as the guy teaching the rest of the year... go figure.)

It worked for me... I made a 520... The MCAT was basically my life for most of April, May, and June this year. Taking Biochem while you prep is a good idea, I did that too and it helped keep it super fresh in my head.
 
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Feb 15, 2015
123
83
Status
Pre-Medical
Have you considered moving your MCAT one of the earlier September dates? Your Kaplan practice test scores are pretty good. It might be possible for you to write a bit earlier so your school semester doesn't overlap quite as much with your exam prep.
 

Naokuvi

5+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2014
119
112
Status
Pre-Medical
@soccergurl1987

I actually moved from an earlier to later xD. Right now my chem/phys score has barely hit 125. All my other scores have been carrying it. I want to spend more time on physics since that's one of my weak subjects. I also haven't taken biochem 1 yet. Self-studying it, it didn't seem bad and I actually score really well on those questions but I want to spend a few days memorizing all the structures and also memorizing and understanding the metabolic pathways. I moved my test back so I could have more leeway to cover these areas and work in some more prep (plus this test is anxiety inducing which pretty much pushed me to moving it back)
 
Feb 15, 2015
123
83
Status
Pre-Medical
@soccergurl1987

I actually moved from an earlier to later xD. Right now my chem/phys score has barely hit 125. All my other scores have been carrying it. I want to spend more time on physics since that's one of my weak subjects. I also haven't taken biochem 1 yet. Self-studying it, it didn't seem bad and I actually score really well on those questions but I want to spend a few days memorizing all the structures and also memorizing and understanding the metabolic pathways. I moved my test back so I could have more leeway to cover these areas and work in some more prep (plus this test is anxiety inducing which pretty much pushed me to moving it back)
Fair enough. No point in rushing if you're too stressed out. Those recent scores for Kaplan are good though (at least if they haven't changed that scoring scale since I took the test). In that case, I agree with everyone else. I'd take the lighter course load. No point in risking both your GPA and your MCAT, and stressing yourself out even more. The test is stressful enough :p
 

Saxappeal1

M.D.
5+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2013
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Resident [Any Field]
12. 12. 12. 12. 12. 12.
 

Banco

2+ Year Member
May 28, 2014
1,221
1,074
Status
Medical Student
Seriously take as little coursework as you possibly can.
 
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