Applying this summer/no time to study for MCAT--when to take??

cfx

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That pretty much sums it up.

I'm graduating mid-May, and am planning on applying to med school this summer (taking a year off--hope to start Fall 2011). Obviously, it's best to apply as early as I can. It's my understanding that I can apply without my MCAT scores, and just send them in when I get them, correct? But what's the cutoff date for sending them in (i.e., how far can I push this?), and how are applicants judged when adcoms have no access to your score?

Most importantly, how would you recommend that I handle applying and taking the MCAT, when I have no time to study for it during the semester? Is it possible (and would it hurt my chances) if I just studied for, say, 8 weeks after graduation, took the exam mid-July, but submitted my applications (sans test scores) in June?
 
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pdxjazz

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That pretty much sums it up.

I'm graduating mid-May, and am planning on applying to med school this summer (taking a year off--hope to start Fall 2011). Obviously, it's best to apply as early as I can. It's my understanding that I can apply without my MCAT scores, and just send them in when I get them, correct? But what's the cutoff date for sending them in (i.e., how far can I push this?), and how are applicants judged when adcoms have no access to your score?

Most importantly, how would you recommend that I handle applying and taking the MCAT, when I have no time to study for it during the semester? Is it possible (and would it hurt my chances) if I just studied for, say, 8 weeks after graduation, took the exam mid-July, but submitted my applications (sans test scores) in June?
There are many of us following a similar plan, especially those with a high GPA that cannot afford our grades to slip (no downward trend), those that need a slight boost in their GPAs and require the study time to focus on classes, or for those retaking a late spring MCAT.

By taking a mid-July MCAT, and entering your schools on your AMCAS application (submitted in early June) it will allow you to work on secondary applcations for most schools while those schools wait for your MCAT score. So for most schools you will be complete in mid-August, which the general consensus on SDN is about the time adcoms start reveiwng applications (some start a bit sooner, some later).

Ideally you want a high MCAT score, high GPA, and an early application. The reality is for many that all three may not be possible. My priority is the first two.
 
Oct 21, 2009
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Keep in mind:

AMCAS needs time to verify your application, likely 4 weeks minimum after you submit. Verification time seems to get longer as the cycle progresses.

MCAT scores take about 30 days to be reported after the test date.

Don't even consider any secondaries until after you have taken the MCAT. Any extra time prior needs to be spent on test prep.

Your personal statement is an important part of the application and deserves considerable attention prior to clicking "submit".

I don't think schools will consider your app without an MCAT score. After your scores are available, you should call them to verify they received your scores and your application is complete for consideration.

I'd take a practice test right after graduation or before to see where you're at in your prep and how long you might need to prepare.
 
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cfx

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Thanks for the replies so far. I guess I'm a little confused on how primary applications work. Let me know if this is correct:

You can submit your primary application (AMCAS) containing grades/activities/LOR/PS etc. in early June--an MCAT score is not required at this time in order to submit. Once it has been verified/submitted to schools, those who do not pre-screen (most?) may send you secondaries, but no adcoms do any review or judgement of you app until August, so it's basically sitting in limbo in the meantime, allowing those who submitted w/o mcat scores until August to get them in without holding you app up in any way. Yes? No?

So, does the date that you submit your AMCAS to schools put you in the order that adcoms review your app come August, or does something else determine the order (i.e., date of secondary submission), and would no MCAT hold this back?

Thanks.
 

pdxjazz

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Mar 2, 2009
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Thanks for the replies so far. I guess I'm a little confused on how primary applications work. Let me know if this is correct:

You can submit your primary application (AMCAS) containing grades/activities/LOR/PS etc. in early June--an MCAT score is not required at this time in order to submit. Once it has been verified/submitted to schools, those who do not pre-screen (most?) may send you secondaries, but no adcoms do any review or judgement of you app until August, so it's basically sitting in limbo in the meantime, allowing those who submitted w/o mcat scores until August to get them in without holding you app up in any way. Yes? No?

So, does the date that you submit your AMCAS to schools put you in the order that adcoms review your app come August, or does something else determine the order (i.e., date of secondary submission), and would no MCAT hold this back?


Thanks.
You can submit your AMCAS application for verification w/o the MCAT and the LORs. You will need to have both, along with the secondaries to be considered "complete". So try and get the secondaries and LORs finished before the MCAT score is released so you are not waiting any longer than necessary. Once your file is complete, the adcoms will review your entire application and hopefully invite you for an interview. For any questions on the LOR process, here are a couple links:
http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/faq/amcaslettersfaq.htm
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=525299

Because it can be quite confusing to new members:
Verification is done by the AAMC to insure the AMCAS application is correct as it relates to the college course work you entered as compared to your official college transcripts. This process typically takes several weeks or more.
Complete is the date when the medical schools have all the stuff (AMCAS, secondaries, MCAT, etc.) they require and then can review your file for interview consideration.