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Apply in June, or wait a year? Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mistress S, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Mistress S

    Mistress S Don't mess with the S
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    Hey everybody,

    I am facing a difficult decision and am not sure what to do. I have been planning for a long time to apply to med school this June. I am in my final term of classes for my BA in English, but I still have to write an honors thesis to graduate which I will probably finish this summer. I have a good GPA (3.75, BCPM ~3.5) and took the MCAT last Aug scoring a 29 (BS 10, PS 7, VR 12). Because of the breakdown of scores on my MCAT, I have been trying to prepare to retake the MCAT this April hoping to improve my PS score, but all the stress from full-time classes, part-time work, trying to write my thesis, and studying for the MCAT has kind of made me miserable, especially in the last couple of weeks since I realized that I needed to get my butt in gear about the MCAT and have been studying hard (2-6 hrs/day, on top of work and school) to do that.

    Since about Dec., worrying about my thesis and the MCAT on top of everything else started getting me down, and I wasn't getting much done with either as a result. Then I decided I needed to prioritize and put the thesis on the back burner while I focused on the MCAT, but I still don't feel adequately prepared to retake it in ~2 weeks. I could still apply and retake in Aug, but this puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage with my app since schools will probably wait to consider me until they get my scores in Oct., and this would only be slightly less stressful anyway as once I complete classes I will begin full-time work, will still need to finish my thesis, and study for the MCAT over the summer.

    I feel ready to apply, I have worked hard to get to this point and would like to have something to show for that. However, all the stress lately has made me fairly unhappy and since I have been such a psycho stress case it is also affecting my relationships with others. I don't like feeling so worried all the time, there's more to life than the MCAT and school. I could wait to apply until next June, this would allow me plenty of time to prepare to retake the MCAT a year from now as well as relax, travel, volunteer, and enjoy life a bit. I don't like the idea of waiting and being almost 26 when I start med school, and I feel like sort of a slacker for not being able to handle all of this better, but the thought of not dealing with school or anything school-related for a whole year sounds nice and would allow me to do other things. Basically I like the thought of applying this year and think I would be ready to start med school fall 2005, but I don't like everything that would go along with it (studying for the MCAT this year along with doing my thesis, not getting much of a break between finishing u-grad and starting med school). Should I just bite the bullet and do it now, or take my time and apply next June?
     
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  3. jtorres

    jtorres Senior Member
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    what are you waiting for? instead of posting here you should be working on your application so that you can submit it the first day available.
     
  4. TheRussian

    TheRussian Life Size Mirror
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    It all depends on how you do in two weeks on the MCAT. As an indicator my friend got similar stats and so far has netted 4 to 5 waitlists. Chances are he'll get in somewhere but he'll be waiting all summer. To be more competitive you need to bring your MCAT above a 30 and make sure you go up in PS by at least 2 points, preferably more. If you get a good score go for it, and you don't have to submit your application on the first day possible despite popular belief.
     
  5. ddmo

    ddmo BMF
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    It really depends on where you want to go. I am sure that with that MCAT score and your GPA, you could get into an allopathic medical school, if not a few. Yet, if you are aiming for a top ten, it would probably be wise to re-take the mcat. But, if you are worried about not getting in at all, I think you will be fine.
     
  6. ek6

    ek6 Senior Member
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    If you were to apply this June, you have the entire lag year to travel, relax, and work. Doesn't that sound like the best deal? Use the lag year to put everything on backburner and relax.

    Btw, regarding being at a disadvantage by taking the august mcat, call up some schools you apply to and check to see if you're application gets looked at BEFORE your August scores come in. If you check off that you are taking the August MCAT, you can still get an interview invite before the scores come in because you already have your first scores. I was in the same situation - I took the August MCAT last year (but had a previous score) - and I landed my 1st interview invite in late August. NYMed, Temple, USUHS, and some other schools, handle your August MCAT scores this way. Check it out.

    Otherwise, I say - go all out for the April or August MCAT, but if you do - submit your AMCAS in June! Then relax this year...
     
  7. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    it seems like you have nothing against taking a year off so you should do that. the year you apply...its stressful as well trying to do multiple secondaries...at least it was for me....but i guess taht depends on how many schools you will apply to.

    but yeah dont feel like a slacker...you arent.
     
  8. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    I had a 29 (10,10,9V) and 3.7 gpa and I did quite well in the process. I don't think your breakdown will hurt you that much though I do think schools like to see a balance in your scores.

    I applied the first day in June and I think that helped me a lot in getting quick interviews. I also applied to DO schools and with your stats and as a nontraditional student, you have a good chance trying DO. Good luck.:thumbup:
     
  9. Dr. Chiquita

    Dr. Chiquita Senior Member
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    I was in a similar situation as you were when I was in college. I had alot on my plate, having to retake MCAT, senior honors thesis/research, most importantly pulling my grades up. So I decided to take some time off. One thing led to another, I am now taking two years in between college and med school to pursue master's. This not only gave me enough time to study for MCAT, which I retook last August and improved 4 points, I have gained more EC's in the meantime and cultivated more meaningful relationship with my recommenders. I will be applying this June with having everything set to go.

    I really think if you study, you can pull up that PS score and get definitely above 30 for sure. I think a 7 on any section can at some med schools keep you out. One thing I have learned from people I know is that applying the second time after getting rejected from everywhere the first time around is only going to hurt you more. So take your time, do it right once, and have no regrets.

    BTW, I will be 25.5 years old when I start med school. I think that makes us old folks kinda precious. ;) Good luck with whatever path you decide.

    -J
     
  10. bewitched1081

    bewitched1081 Senior Member
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    applying is a very expensive process. i suggest that you wait to take the mcat in august. dont take it too many times. study as if you want a 45. try to get straight a's. spruce up your research, extracurriculars, and clinical experience. make sure you have some clinical research or medically related research. show some leadership and service to your community by committing yourself to something. get some solid clinical experience. if you want to travel, maybe you can travel with a medical team to underserved areas in other countries. that would definitely make you a unique applicant. there are so many things that you can do in your time off that will take your application from where it is now to a few notches up.
     
  11. bewitched1081

    bewitched1081 Senior Member
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    oh i forgot to add that the application process is also very draining. first you have to fill out all of the secondaries. then when you get interviews you have to make all the travel arrangements, which takes a long time if youre a bargain hunter. if you get acceptances it's all good, but if you get rejections and waitlists it can make you go crazy (read some threads). lastly, before you go to interviews do some MOCK interviews. im one of those people who doesnt like doing that type of stuff. i justified not doing it by saying that i would just be honest. i wasnt really worried about being nervous. i just wrote down my answers to the most common questions (why do you want to be a dr why do you want to go to this school...) but there are definitely better ways of representing yourself. i should have gotten some feedback. my only practice was during the real interviews.
     
  12. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating
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    Hey, you're going to be 26 regardless, so what's another year?

    I took the MCAT in april 2002 and could've applied for 2003 entrance, but put it off a year. I'm currently 26, will turn 27 before school starts.

    Basically, I wouldn't put too much weight on age/time in your decision to apply this yr or not. I look at it this way - you're going to have a full career as a doc, there is no need to rush into it. You sound like someone who wants to strive for the best she can - so do that. Take the year to focus and kick ass on the MCAts, get your thesis done and not be so stressed out.

    I just realized that these next few months are precious -- I will not have the time luxury I have now once I start school.

    bonnie
     
  13. LoneCoyote

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    I had a 29 (11V, 10B, 8P) and a high GPA and I had good luck with this process even though I only applied to a limited # of schools. The 8 did not hurt me as much as I thought it would. Then again I know that 8 seems to be like the lowest possible cut-off at some schools cuz I have heard of people with a 7 in PS (but lower GPA then yours) getting waitlisted and not getting in anywhere. So I think you could probably get in somewhere with your GPA and score if you apply widely and are willing to so some waiting. And you could apply early in June, you'll get some secondaries, re-take in August and just aim to come up 1-2 points in PS.

    But if you're feeling really stressed out already maybe you should just wait the year. This process is very stressful. I had not anticipated how much the waiting would cause so much stress, and I did not go into it with high expectations. I'll be 25 when I start and I've stressed out about the age thing too and the bottom line is that in the long trun 1 yr really won't make too much difference.
     
  14. APPLY APPLY APPLY! Do it!
     

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