Applying this cycle- When to add on remaining schools?- Mcat Delay!

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2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2017
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Hey guys,

My application has just been verified and I have applied to only one school thus far. My MCAT is scheduled for August 8th, with a score return of August 25th.

1.) First of all, I guess the most direct question is, should I bother applying this cycle? I know apps are being transmitted July 10th rather than the end of June; so just going off of this there is a 2-week delay from the norm excluding all the transcript and processing delays.
2.) I do plan on pre writing my secondaries, either starting immediately after my MCAT date (August 8th) until September 7th and submit by labor day. Or I can basically add along more schools maybe by August 4th or so, based on my practice MCAT scores, to basically allow schools time to send in secondaries. So that they can be submitted right around the time of my mcat release.
- My worry is that if I wait until August 25th to add on all my schools then there might be a delay in receiving them and that might prevent me from getting them in by September 7th.

3.) I know labor day was considered the on time mark in previous cycles to be complete and I wanted to see what experienced members think is the "on time" mark this cycle? Would it be September 15th? I don't know how i feel about early October being a safe mark to be complete.

Thanks and hope everyone is safe! @LizzyM @Moko @Catalystik
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Top MCAT/USMLE/COMLEX Tutors Answer Your Questions
2+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2019
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How's the rest of your application? If you do well on the MCAT and the rest of your application is strong enough, then an August 25th score date won't be the end of the world. You'll be a little bit later than other applicants, but it probably won't break your application.

Many schools will send secondaries very soon after they receive your primary (1-2 days), so I would wait for the MCAT score to submit to schools. If your AAMC FL exams have been pretty consistent, then you could submit them sooner. That way, you can at least prewrite some secondaries.

Labor day has been used in the past as a general guideline for when to submit your apps. In reality, there's going to be almost no difference between September 15 vs 16, or 16 vs 17, etc. Submit as early as you can once you feel your secondaries are ready.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
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1. If your application is ready to go then yes you should apply this year. If your application isn't ready or you find that your MCAT is low and would risk an unsuccessful cycle, it may be worthwhile to hold off.

2. I wouldn't add more schools until you have your official score. Most secondaries are sent within 1-3 business days, with some taking a little bit longer. There is a risk that your official score is lower from your practice scores as I've seen numerous folks drop 5, 6, or 7+ points from their practice average. Should that happen, you may be considered a reapplicant in a future cycle even if you didn't complete the secondary. Just spend some time prewriting your secondaries and once you add more schools, be prepared to spend several hours each day completing them.

With the delays AMCAS is experiencing, plus a larger number of applicants submitting materials in August and September, I think there will be more interview activity later on in the cycle than normal - especially with the evolving conditions of the pandemic. Should admissions committees and admissions offices be required to work remotely or at a lower capacity or experience furlough, things will move much more slowly this cycle. I would expect fewer interviews in September and October and more interviews in January, February, and March.

3. I agree with the poster above - mid September will likely be fine. Many folks are taking the MCAT later than they otherwise would have. The difference between getting your application in a week earlier or later is largely overestimated. Remember, schools do not necessarily process applications in the order that they are received.
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