bme94

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
436
92
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi,

I'm scheduled to take the MCAT August 25th. However, I do not feel I'd be ready by this time. I wanted to take the September 1st exam. The only issue is that, I work nights as an ER scribe, and I'm working the third last and second last night before the exam...I feel this would truly mess up my sleep schedule. I can't get anyone to trade with me either so far.

I thought about the September 9th exam, but I'm wondering...is this way too late? I really don't want to ruin my chances for this cycle, because here's the kicker - my MCAT last year was a 499. I wanted to submit my primaries this month, but I can't because I'll probably be auto rejected...basically what this means is that, even though I'll submit a throwaway school, I won't be able to add more schools until I get my MCAT score back on October 12th if I take the September 9th exam.

I just graduated in May, so technically this is my gap year...but I really DON'T want to take 2 years off...does anyone have any advice? Stats: cGPA: 3.71, sGPA: 3.6. ECs: 500 hours of clinical research, 300 hours of non-clinical research with my name on an abstract, will have ~ 200 hours of scribing by the end of this month, ~100 hours of community service, a few clubs...Help please!
 

GBCrzzyy

The moon is just the back of the sun.
2+ Year Member
May 18, 2016
400
362
Status
Medical Student
I don't think the time difference between 8/25 to 9/9 will make a huge difference in your application. the DO timeline is much longer than MD so I don't think it would be a big deal. Although it's pretty late and you might not be able to find openings at testing centers that soon. My other concern would be, what would you change from 8/25 to 9/9 that would suddenly make you comfortable for the exam if you don't think you'll be ready by 8/25? It's just a very very small gap between the dates with room for very little progress. If it were me, I would take the extra year off and make sure you are absolutely ready before you take it again. You may still get some love from newer schools with your current MCAT. Those overnight shifts would definitely ruin you for 9/1 so I wouldn't do it.
 
OP
B

bme94

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
436
92
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't think the time difference between 8/25 to 9/9 will make a huge difference in your application. the DO timeline is much longer than MD so I don't think it would be a big deal. Although it's pretty late and you might not be able to find openings at testing centers that soon. My other concern would be, what would you change from 8/25 to 9/9 that would suddenly make you comfortable for the exam if you don't think you'll be ready by 8/25? It's just a very very small gap between the dates with room for very little progress. If it were me, I would take the extra year off and make sure you are absolutely ready before you take it again. You may still get some love from newer schools with your current MCAT. Those overnight shifts would definitely ruin you for 9/1 so I wouldn't do it.
For me, honestly, I just want to get a few more full lengths in. I took the AAMC scored exam: 126/122/128/130. My CARS is improving, but I just want to make sure it's consistent enough before I take the exam. Don't schools screen out for any section less than 124/125 though?
 

GBCrzzyy

The moon is just the back of the sun.
2+ Year Member
May 18, 2016
400
362
Status
Medical Student
For me, honestly, I just want to get a few more full lengths in. I took the AAMC scored exam: 126/122/128/130. My CARS is improving, but I just want to make sure it's consistent enough before I take the exam. Don't schools screen out for any section less than 124/125 though?
some do but if you just take CARS section tests between now and the exam and lightly review the other topics, I think you will be in good shape. If you have the kaplan books, read the entire CARS booklet (which really isn't big at all) and do all the practice problems. You can totally hammer that out in a week and it should help you get those extra couple points in CARS. that's just what I would do but you need to do whatever makes you comfortable.
 
OP
B

bme94

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
436
92
Status
Pre-Medical
some do but if you just take CARS section tests between now and the exam and lightly review the other topics, I think you will be in good shape. If you have the kaplan books, read the entire CARS booklet (which really isn't big at all) and do all the practice problems. You can totally hammer that out in a week and it should help you get those extra couple points in CARS. that's just what I would do but you need to do whatever makes you comfortable.

Thank you, I appreciate your help! Do you know if there's a cut off date to take the MCAT? I looked at one osteopathic school's website, and they said it was in May? I'm really confused
 

GBCrzzyy

The moon is just the back of the sun.
2+ Year Member
May 18, 2016
400
362
Status
Medical Student
I really would take it before january but that's pushing it. January = february scores = incredibly late and almost no chance without a really great application, if you can submit and be complete by November I think you have a decent shot assuming your score is good. If you don't take it this month though, I would seriously consider just waiting a year. I know how much that would suck (i'm trying to avoid that route too if I can)
 
OP
B

bme94

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
436
92
Status
Pre-Medical
I really would take it before january but that's pushing it. January = february scores = incredibly late and almost no chance without a really great application, if you can submit and be complete by November I think you have a decent shot assuming your score is good. If you don't take it this month though, I would seriously consider just waiting a year. I know how much that would suck (i'm trying to avoid that route too if I can)
Oh wow, I would never consider taking it that late. I just thought maybe some of the schools required you to take it by a certain date. I wouldn't mind waiting a year, if I wasn't already doing that :( is it because the Sep 9th exam is just so late? Or because there won't be much improvement by that time?
 

GBCrzzyy

The moon is just the back of the sun.
2+ Year Member
May 18, 2016
400
362
Status
Medical Student
Oh wow, I would never consider taking it that late. I just thought maybe some of the schools required you to take it by a certain date. I wouldn't mind waiting a year, if I wasn't already doing that :( is it because the Sep 9th exam is just so late? Or because there won't be much improvement by that time?
it's not that it's late but that if you don't feel ready for 8/25 then it is unlikely you will feel comfortable for 9/9. If you think it will make a big difference for you then do it I really don't think the extra two weeks will hurt your chances as long as you get a better score than your 1st attempt
 
OP
B

bme94

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
436
92
Status
Pre-Medical
it's not that it's late but that if you don't feel ready for 8/25 then it is unlikely you will feel comfortable for 9/9. If you think it will make a big difference for you then do it I really don't think the extra two weeks will hurt your chances as long as you get a better score than your 1st attempt

Thank you for your advice! I hope we both get in this cycle!
 

AnatomyGrey12

2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
9,280
18,754
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
For me, honestly, I just want to get a few more full lengths in. I took the AAMC scored exam: 126/122/128/130. My CARS is improving, but I just want to make sure it's consistent enough before I take the exam. Don't schools screen out for any section less than 124/125 though?
Don't take it until you get that CARS up. If you scored that low on the scored full length then you are setting yourself up for disaster on the real CARS deal
 

dwgrubbs1s

2+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2015
197
227
Status
Medical Student
I am also taking it the 25th and felt shaky. Did A BUNCH of review and hammered down my weak areas and am doing much better (for now) than I was. Length of the test is tough but I can handle that. It's trivial small stuff I should've hAd but missed. With your stats I would say if you do well you shouldn't have an issue. I thought I wasn't going to do much better in my delay but it helped as far as content knowledge and using it on practice test. You'll be fine. Worst case scenario you hold back a year and apply. Your stats look good for some MD schools
 
OP
B

bme94

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
436
92
Status
Pre-Medical
Don't take it until you get that CARS up. If you scored that low on the scored full length then you are setting yourself up for disaster on the real CARS deal
Thanks for your advice, I took that back in July. My practice tests scores have been going up, but I just want to be a little more consistent.
 
OP
B

bme94

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
436
92
Status
Pre-Medical
I am also taking it the 25th and felt shaky. Did A BUNCH of review and hammered down my weak areas and am doing much better (for now) than I was. Length of the test is tough but I can handle that. It's trivial small stuff I should've hAd but missed. With your stats I would say if you do well you shouldn't have an issue. I thought I wasn't going to do much better in my delay but it helped as far as content knowledge and using it on practice test. You'll be fine. Worst case scenario you hold back a year and apply. Your stats look good for some MD schools
Ahh I feel shaky too! I'm glad you got your weak areas down. I thought about applying to my state MD schools, but isn't it way too late for this cycle?
 

dwgrubbs1s

2+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2015
197
227
Status
Medical Student
Ahh I feel shaky too! I'm glad you got your weak areas down. I thought about applying to my state MD schools, but isn't it way too late for this cycle?
It is pretty late for the MD cycle, especially considering you still are planning to take the MCAT. As far as DO schools, and I am no expert, but I believe you are still in good shape. If you retook the MCAT late August or September I think your chances wouldn't vary much. As others have posted, it wouldn't be a horrendous idea to wait until next cycle, take the MCAT in the spring, and apply to many MD schools as well. Others gave this advice to me but my GPA (3.5) is not near as stellar as yours so I am below the curve for many MD schools. This is why I am going to go ahead and shoot for this cycle at DO schools. You luckily have several options and I believe you will be fine either way. The ball is in your court.
 
OP
B

bme94

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
436
92
Status
Pre-Medical
It is pretty late for the MD cycle, especially considering you still are planning to take the MCAT. As far as DO schools, and I am no expert, but I believe you are still in good shape. If you retook the MCAT late August or September I think your chances wouldn't vary much. As others have posted, it wouldn't be a horrendous idea to wait until next cycle, take the MCAT in the spring, and apply to many MD schools as well. Others gave this advice to me but my GPA (3.5) is not near as stellar as yours so I am below the curve for many MD schools. This is why I am going to go ahead and shoot for this cycle at DO schools. You luckily have several options and I believe you will be fine either way. The ball is in your court.
Yeah, that's what I figured. I'm only applying to my university's MD school - that's it! The rest are DO schools. I really don't want to wait until next cycle, because that would mean I would have two years. What if I got my application verified with this month with a "throw away" school, and added more schools when I got my MCAT score? Does it take a time for schools to receive your primaries that way? Hope we both get in this cycle, btw!
 

dwgrubbs1s

2+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2015
197
227
Status
Medical Student
Yeah, that's what I figured. I'm only applying to my university's MD school - that's it! The rest are DO schools. I really don't want to wait until next cycle, because that would mean I would have two years. What if I got my application verified with this month with a "throw away" school, and added more schools when I got my MCAT score? Does it take a time for schools to receive your primaries that way? Hope we both get in this cycle, btw!
I am new to this process also and have many same questions. However, from what I understand it takes about a month to become verified. Upon verification, many schools will send out secondaries (some may wait for MCAT while others may send them out before scores are back). As far as putting only one school down "a throw away school" I have heard of many people doing this. I am not too sure on how much delay it would cause in other schools receiving your primary. The only thing I know of that would be delayed is the filling out of secondary applications (for schools that send them out before an MCAT score arrives). Since most of it is electronic, I wouldn't figure that it would take that long for schools to receive your primary. I believe the longest step would be verification of the primary, which you would take care of by applying initially to the "throw away" school. Maybe someone else has some knowledge of how much longer it would take schools to receive the primary doing it that route. I also hope we both get in this cycle too. I am ready to start a career in medicine!
 

AnatomyGrey12

2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
9,280
18,754
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
Yeah, that's what I figured. I'm only applying to my university's MD school - that's it! The rest are DO schools. I really don't want to wait until next cycle, because that would mean I would have two years. What if I got my application verified with this month with a "throw away" school, and added more schools when I got my MCAT score? Does it take a time for schools to receive your primaries that way? Hope we both get in this cycle, btw!
You apply to the throw away school to get verified. Once you are verified and add schools your application is sent to those schools as soon as the fee is paid. I started getting secondaries within 12 hours of submitting my primary.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dwgrubbs1s

ERinspired

10+ Year Member
May 2, 2009
398
264
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
For me, honestly, I just want to get a few more full lengths in. I took the AAMC scored exam: 126/122/128/130. My CARS is improving, but I just want to make sure it's consistent enough before I take the exam. Don't schools screen out for any section less than 124/125 though?

Most don't. See my signature.
 
OP
B

bme94

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
436
92
Status
Pre-Medical
You apply to the throw away school to get verified. Once you are verified and add schools your application is sent to those schools as soon as the fee is paid. I started getting secondaries within 12 hours of submitting my primary.
Wow, 12 hours? That's pretty quick! Thank you!
 

dwgrubbs1s

2+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2015
197
227
Status
Medical Student
You apply to the throw away school to get verified. Once you are verified and add schools your application is sent to those schools as soon as the fee is paid. I started getting secondaries within 12 hours of submitting my primary.
That is pretty fas
Physical Science. 124.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
Physical science is my weakest area. Been working pretty hard to get it up. I'm really surprised at the lack of emphasis on organic chemistry now. From everything I've heard of the old MCAT, it was very O-chem heavy.