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AMCAS and MCAT questions....

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DAL, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. DAL

    DAL no thank you
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    I'd like some advice from fellow pre-meds on my situation. I originally planned on taking the April MCAT and getting my application in as early as possible, June preferably. Because of my job in research, EC's that take up too much time, I have not been able to study nearly as much as I'd like to and I feel like the August MCAT is a much better option for me now. I'm going to enroll in a Kaplan course to make myself study, plus I'd like the time to do as many practice tests as possible. Additionally, I'd like the summer to take a few upper level Bio's and a few spanish courses to brush up my skills while bumping up my GPA a bit (I have a 3.25 with Chem.Eng/Paper Tech. double major and a 3.4 Science). I feel the pressure from the MCAT due to my lackluster GPA, so I need to do well on that horrendous test. At the same time I'd like to apply early. Is it possible to submit my application in August without my MCAT scores but with my summer class grades on my transcript? Will schools send me secondaries without seeing an MCAT score, and will AMCAS even let me submit my application in August without having an MCAT score yet? Or do I need to wait until October to submit my AMCAS application. I realize August is late, but hopefully not to late. But if I have to wait to get my MCAT scores and will not be able to submit my application until October, I fear I would miss out on any chances for interviews. What do you all think? Thanks for any advice you can give.
     
  2. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    The August MCAT is too late, I honestly don't even know why they offer it. If you take it, I would just suggest waiting another year to apply because you are going to be at an immediate disadvantage, ultimately getting fewer interviews and acceptances than you would otherwise get.

    To answer your quesion though, AMCAS will let you submit without MCAT scores, and many schools will send you secondaries as well. But these are the schools that do not screen apps before sending secondaries, they just send them to everyone. However, I don't think any school will even look at your application until it is "complete" with MCAT scores and letters, etc. Therefore, you will be waiting a lot longer to find out if you get interviews. If your MCAT comes back in October, you would be lucky to get any interviews scheduled before the holidays, and many schools will have their classes filled and are interviewing for waitlist spots by that time.

    Do yourself a favor and take the April MCAT. Good luck.
     
  3. Angeliqua

    Angeliqua Senior Member
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    Hi,
    I believe you can submit your AMCAS w/o the August MCAT scores in. However, be careful not to over-extend yourself this summer with a few classes, plus MCAT prep and your research job, things might get crazy and the last thing you want to do is do poorly on the MCAT and have already sent your scores around to schools. I recommend putting a lot of work into the MCAT and hold off on the classes to raise the GPA. Take them in the fall and send the grades as an addendum to the application, I think you can do that. Good luck! :p
     
  4. italianlove

    italianlove Senior Member
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    Hey DAL,

    Yes, you can and should definately send in your AMCAS early. Also schools will send you secondaries without an MCAT score. You need to designate on your AMCAS application when you took the test and that's it. I'd say to even apply earlier with your AMCAS app because secondaries take a while to complete, especially if you're doing it at the same time classes are going on. But it seems that you want to get those extra courses in to boost your GPA and I'm assuming that is why you are waiting until August. So anyway, yes what you said is absolutely doable and you should go for it! Good luck to you. :D Ciao.
     
  5. SicVic

    SicVic Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by DAL:
    <strong>Because of my job in research, EC's that take up too much time, I have not been able to study nearly as much as I'd like to and I feel like the August MCAT is a much better option for me now .</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">This process costs alot of money and lets not forget it also involves alot of time and energy. First I think you should cut down of EC's - they are important but not as important as your grades. Common mistakes by alot of Pre-med's are either too much EC's and then taking too many credits (with poor grades) or No EC's but 4.00gpa.
    I think it will be best if you dont apply this next year - take the MCATs anyway and collect the LORs - and take an extra year off. If you need to take the MCAT again do so and keep yourself busy during the year with academically related activities (since you need to boost up your gpa). Then apply the following year.
    I took this apporach - and I think my application is 10times better than If I would have apply during my senior year.
    Taking off a year has alot of advantages
    -You will definitely have a better app
    -During your year off: you r bascially on vacation (for the last time)
    - Plus you will your app early - because your MCATs and LORs will be done.
    - You dont have to miss classes (since you need to boost your GPA)
    -During the year off, you could be working as well -making money.

    If you can take a year off - I would highly recommend doing so (this applies to everyone) - this process can be easily discouraging.

    Good luck
    :cool:
     
  6. italianlove

    italianlove Senior Member
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    I should add that I agree with johnM. I took the August test and have not gotten many interviews precisely because schools didn't get my scores until later in the interviewing season (and I was even helped along this year with the AMCAS debacle). So if you can, kick ass on the test this summer and then wait the year out to apply. If not, then just do what I did and apply anyway. I'm not exactly crying with two acceptances, but I've only had three interviews (still waiting to hear from the third) and I'm sure that if I had applied in June instead of November that I would have fared much better. Take care. :)
     
  7. DAL

    DAL no thank you
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    Thanks a lot for all of the helpful advice you have given. I am in the process of taking a year off since my decision to attend medical school came after graduation. I really want to take the April MCAT, and already registered for April, but with so much studying and reviewing left to do I worry that it will not be my best effort. I figure I'll just keep on giving my all and determine if I'm ready for the April test in a month or so. The advice to take a few more classes in the coming semesters was given by the Dean of Admissions of the medical school I work at, so I know that is one step I have to take to prove my academic worth to the admissions committee. Easing up on the hours I commit to my EC's will be a last resort since they are the only break I have between work and studying. I think if I have to take the August MCAT I might wait another year since you all have proven that waiting to apply late really hinders the number of interviews and acceptances you could potentially receive. Thanks again for the helpful advice and it feels good being able to relate to some folks on SDN. I do not come into contact with to many pre-med's on a daily basis so hearing stories I can relate to really helps. Thanks you all.
     
  8. none

    none 1K Member
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    Personally, I couldn't imagine taking an entire year off from school. That said, your practice AAMC test results should be your guide as to when you take the actual exam. Notice I said AAMC, not Kaplan or TPR or some commercial company's exam.
     
  9. reesie0726

    reesie0726 Senior Member
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    Good, Dal. I really think a year off will be good. If you have extremely strong stats the august mcat will hurt you, but it wont hurt you as bad. However, your gpa is kind of borderline, even though I know you have a difficult major. So take the year off. Kick a** on the mcat in August. Get all of your lor's now. Get the application in early. Don't let ec's hinder your academic or mcat performance. Adcoms wont care if you have a sh**load of ec's and dont have the numbers. Don't take alot of summer classes while prepping for August MCAT either. Summer classes are intense enough and the Mcat is the most intense. Don't sleep on that test. Maybe prep for mcat in summer and spend your year off taking advanced level science courses.
     

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