Apr 6, 2020
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Hello everyone!

I'm a senior in college who is on a reinvention path at the moment. Planning on applying to mostly DO schools in the coming cycle and doing either a DIY post-bacc or SMP in the meantime. My cGPA is 3.2 and my sGPA is 3.0.

I am registered to take the MCAT on March 13. My plan is to study full-time for 6 weeks until classes start on January 25, then cut the hours down and take practice tests every weekend until the exam.

I'm currently registered for 15 credit hours in the spring, all of which are BCPM. The classes are:

- Physics 2 (4 hours)
- Research for credit (4 hours)
- Intro to microbiology (4 hours)
- RNA and biotechnology (3 hours)

My question is: do you guys think 15 credit hours is advisable to couple with a March 13 test date? The only other commitment I'll have is volunteering which will only be a few hours per week. Plus I'm planning on getting the bulk of my studying done over the winter break. However, I could certainly drop the RNA and biotechnology class, go down to 12 hours, and remain full time.

I'm mainly asking this question because the MCAT will be hugely important for my application. I just recently got serious about being pre-med and fixed my studying habits, and I know that I'll need a stellar MCAT score to show any admissions committee that I've changed. However, on the flip side, I need good grades in science classes. My GPA is pretty low and I only have 2 semesters worth of A's in science classes so far. For context, I took a Kaplan diagnostic way back in June (prior to physics 1 and biochem, both of which went pretty well) and got a 503.

Thank you all for the advice in advance!
 
Mar 29, 2019
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The more time you can spend on the MCAT the better. The first 6 weeks will help a lot, however you will likely only be able to do some practice as I'm assuming most of that time will be spent doing content review. If you don't need that class, drop it so you can spend more time on MCAT studying. You ideally only want to take this exam once. Best of luck!
 
Apr 6, 2020
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The more time you can spend on the MCAT the better. The first 6 weeks will help a lot, however you will likely only be able to do some practice as I'm assuming most of that time will be spent doing content review. If you don't need that class, drop it so you can spend more time on MCAT studying. You ideally only want to take this exam once. Best of luck!
Thank you! I'll reassess once add/drop/swap period comes in January and I have a better idea of where I'm at with prep.
 
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How do you normally feel about standardized tests? Your schedule seems reasonable alongside studying, though it'll likely be pretty difficult. Your chances at DO become pretty good with around a 510+ on your MCAT, but it's really hard to assess whether or not 12/15 credits are doable because everybody is different.

Why are you taking the RNA course? If the only reason you're taking it would be to boost your BCPM GPA, then it might be advisable to drop it because one course won't move the needle that much, while giving you significantly more time to study for the MCAT.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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Feb 5, 2020
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Personally, 0 hours is the best. In my case, I was studying 2 hours every night during school and full-time employment and about 8 hours during weekends, but I studied over a span of 5 months. Since your MCAT score needs to compensate for your GPA, it would be great to give it all your effort, and if that means less coursework and more MCAT studying, you know the answer. I'm always invested in reinvention stories, so I'm looking forward to hearing about your success stories in the future. :oops:
 
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Apr 6, 2020
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How do you normally feel about standardized tests? Your schedule seems reasonable alongside studying, though it'll likely be pretty difficult. Your chances at DO become pretty good with around a 510+ on your MCAT, but it's really hard to assess whether or not 12/15 credits are doable because everybody is different.

Why are you taking the RNA course? If the only reason you're taking it would be to boost your BCPM GPA, then it might be advisable to drop it because one course won't move the needle that much, while giving you significantly more time to study for the MCAT.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
I tend to do well on standardized tests, as I'm a good test taker. And you're correct: I'm taking the RNA course to boost my BCPM. You bring up a great point, and I really appreciate the advice! I want to make this score as high as possible, so I'm leaning towards dropping the RNA course and just taking 12 credits.

Personally, 0 hours is the best. In my case, I was studying 2 hours every night during school and full-time employment and about 8 hours during weekends, but I studied over a span of 5 months. Since your MCAT score needs to compensate for your GPA, it would be great to give it all your effort, and if that means less coursework and more MCAT studying, you know the answer. I'm always invested in reinvention stories, so I'm looking forward to hearing about your success stories in the future. :oops:
Wow that sounds like a lot. I've held a few part time jobs throughout college but doing all of those things at once....not possible for me. I never quite studied in high school, and once I arrived at a top university I got slapped in the face with bad grades as a result. I recently re-evaluated where I was at and got serious about entering medicine, so I'm super excited for this journey too. Thank you for the support!
 
Dec 5, 2020
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You may need a post-Bacc program due to your low GPA to get into a DO or MD school, unless you are a nontraditional applicant with some serious other credentials such as military service, years of work experience in another field, etc. Competition is fierce and even people from Ivy league schools with GPAs in your range seldom get in as traditional applicants, but proving yourself with a Masters degree or Post-Bacc degree where you ace science or hard math grad classes is going to be needed to have a realistic shot of admissions. I don't say this to make you lose hope, but schools require academic excellence because medical school is much harder than undergrad school. Its like taking 30 semester hours per semester. Don't take my word for it - look into this for yourself. Start here:
 
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Apr 6, 2020
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You may need a post-Bacc program due to your low GPA to get into a DO or MD school, unless you are a nontraditional applicant with some serious other credentials such as military service, years of work experience in another field, etc. Competition is fierce and even people from Ivy league schools with GPAs in your range seldom get in as traditional applicants, but proving yourself with a Masters degree or Post-Bacc degree where you ace science or hard math grad classes is going to be needed to have a realistic shot of admissions. I don't say this to make you lose hope, but schools require academic excellence because medical school is much harder than undergrad school. Its like taking 30 semester hours per semester. Don't take my word for it - look into this for yourself. Start here:
I already have plans to complete a post-baccalaureate program. Many of them require an MCAT score, hence the thread.
 
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I already have plans to complete a post-baccalaureate program. Many of them require an MCAT score, hence the thread.
503 is already in the range for DO schools. Pump up your GPA and take your time with the MCAT. The more science coursework that is behind you, the better you'll do with the same amount of hours cause you'll already have the background.
 

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