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Cotterpin

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It's not a good idea to pick your school list without seeing your MCAT score first. What if the MCAT doesn't go as well as you hoped, but you already only applied to top schools? You might end up being a reapplicant.
 
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efle

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Have not taken the MCAT before

my GPA is not ideal

I am gearing myself toward more top schools (UCLA, U Chicago, UCSF, Columbia, etc).
This is such classic SDN !

Dont start thinking of yourself as a top school oriented applicant until you actually clear the hurdle of outscoring ~95% of the country's premeds.

As for the timing, you are correct it would hurt you to study all summer and test at the end. If you took it in August you wouldn't have a score until September, and the unofficial deadline to be a normal applicant is Labor day. Plus, if you get a score that is not ideal, you're locked into being a reapplicant because you've already submitted your primaries/some secondaries. Much better to test earlier (like by end of June) and then start the application process if you get a satisfactory score.
 
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infinityavenue

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-Future Fulbright applicant for immunology-based research, told I am competitive for this

Future Fulbright applicant and future Fulbright recipient are two very different things. You're counting your eggs before they hatch for both this and the MCAT. Take the MCAT when you're actually ready and capable of scoring well within the range of top schools. August is too late.
 
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Goro

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Come back for advice when you have an MCAT score, and THEN apply. Applying, especially to top schools, without knowing a score is an act of hubris.


Deciding whether or not to apply this coming summer 2017. Have not taken the MCAT before. Essentially considering submitting w/o an MCAT score on June 1, filling out any secondaries I receive during the summer, and taking my MCAT in August. Would be studying all summer for it. I realize secondaries are not reviewed until my score comes in, which takes a month. Thing is, even though my GPA is not ideal, I am gearing myself toward more top schools (UCLA, U Chicago, UCSF, Columbia, etc). I believe my MCAT score could make up for any inadequacy my GPA may present, so it's critical I do well on it.

cGPA: 3.7, sGPA: 3.6, state school in FL. Very very competitive ECs - research, leadership, etc Strong life story/PS. Wondering if I am competitive for the schools I am interested in, but more importantly if taking the MCAT that late will kill my chances with these types of schools. If I do decide to take the MCAT and just apply, does taking it in the beginning of August versus the end of August make a huge difference?
 
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gonnif

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Even considering to apply any school without an MCAT score borders on the incredulous, but year after year I get loads of students who propose these ideas.

You MUST do well on the MCAT in order to get into a top school
You SHOULD know your MCAT score before you apply
You SHOULDN'T RUSH your MCAT to do that
You SHOULD strongly consider taking a gap year and spend the extra time prepping for the MCAT
 
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partypantss

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It's frankly pretty naive to be talking about "top schools" and assuming you'll get such a high mcat score before you've even taken a practice test for it.. There are many many premeds with 4.0s that struggle with the mcat. You do realize that the score range you would need to consider "top schools" is 95th+ percentile right? What makes you THAT confident that you will score within the top 5% out of all those premeds that take the mcat? You have no evidence to support that you are capable of achieving such a score (not saying it isn't possible, just that it's ridiculous to somehow assume you can do it based on zero evidence.) It is very unwise to make your school list before you know your mcat score. It is even worse if you're doing an august mcat and trying to apply that cycle. That is making you on the late end for ALL schools, "top" or otherwise.

If you will be taking the MCAT in August, don't apply that cycle unless you're willing to apply late and increase your chances of being a reapplicant. If you're absolutely set on applying that cycle, then at least wait to make your school list until after your scores come in.

Are you URM? Can you go into more detail about what makes your ECs so competitive?
 
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UNMedGa

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Take the time you need to get the MCAT right. I decided to take it in August before my senior year and then do a gap year while applying and it has been the best decision. I had the whole summer to really focus on MCAT studying, got a good score, and then had the whole winter to work on essays and pre writing some secondaries so I was prepared to apply the following spring. It has been a fairly smooth process. Just make sure to take the time you need in the best circumstances for your study style in order to do well because it's a very important test.
 
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partypantss

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As long as your scores are in by the time you apply in June, it doesn't matter when you take it between now and then. Just make sure that you're adequately prepared, and try to take it only once. Make it count.
The OP is asking about applying before the scores are in. as in submitting primary in June and then taking the mcat that August.
 

doglover919

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If you submit in June you'll have secondaries coming in soon after which you'll want to work on. I'm not sure if schools send secondaries without MCAT scores on file but it might be hard to devote your whole time to studying if they do send them. Each secondary takes quite a bit of time and energy to complete.
 

ready2go2

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Deciding whether or not to apply this coming summer 2017. Have not taken the MCAT before. Essentially considering submitting w/o an MCAT score on June 1, filling out any secondaries I receive during the summer, and taking my MCAT in August. Would be studying all summer for it. I realize secondaries are not reviewed until my score comes in, which takes a month. Thing is, even though my GPA is not ideal, I am gearing myself toward more top schools (UCLA, U Chicago, UCSF, Columbia, etc). I believe my MCAT score could make up for any inadequacy my GPA may present, so it's critical I do well on it.

cGPA: 3.7, sGPA: 3.6, state school in FL. Very very competitive ECs - research, leadership, etc Strong life story/PS. Wondering if I am competitive for the schools I am interested in, but more importantly if taking the MCAT that late will kill my chances with these types of schools. If I do decide to take the MCAT and just apply, does taking it in the beginning of August versus the end of August make a huge difference?

Take it before August... It is only December, plenty of time to study and take the test before summer.
 
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mistafab

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Q: How detrimental is taking MCAT in August when applying for top schools?

A: Very detrimental - move forward with this plan at your own peril.
 
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