August 29th MCAT? Worth it or power through for August 14th.

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CalBear456

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Jan 3, 2018
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Hi guys,

I have submitted my primary application and have been verified to one school. My mcat is scheduled for August 29th right now with a score release on September 15th. If my secondaries are ready to go by September 15th and I submit on or before this date, is this alright for this cycle?

Or would you recommend I just power through and take it on August 14th, getting score back on September 1st? Are the two weeks going to be a difference maker this cycle.

Please give me honest and straightforward advice because even though I am very worried right now, I want to be realistic with my outcome. I will go with your advice, because I know that will be in my best interest.

@Catalystik @Goro @LizzyM @gonnif @gyngyn
 
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M&L

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Hi guys,

I have submitted my primary application and have been verified. My mcat is scheduled for August 29th right now with a score release on September 15th. If my secondaries are ready to go by September 15th and I submit on this date, is this alright for this cycle?

Or would you recommend I just power through and take it on August 14th, getting score back on September 1st? Are the two weeks going to be a difference maker this cycle.

Please give me honest and straightforward advice because even though I am very worried right now, I want to be realistic with my outcome. I will go with your advice, because I know that will be in my best interest.

@Catalystik @Goro @LizzyM @gonnif
Have you tried taking any practice tests? How are you doing on those ?
Also - based on your current plan of studying , What would you have to skip ?
 
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Just fyi, some schools won't send you their secondaries right away, some will take a few days/weeks. Also, it might be better to move your exam up to the 14th and then use the last two weeks of August to work on prewriting/submitting secondaries instead of working on both at the same time, but that's just a thought.
 
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CalBear456

2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2018
73
9
Just fyi, some schools won't send you their secondaries right away, some will take a few days/weeks. Also, it might be better to move your exam up to the 14th and then use the last two weeks of August to work on prewriting/submitting secondaries instead of working on both at the same time, but that's just a thought.
I was actually planning on adding schools based on my practice test scores close to the 3rd week of August.
 

Goro

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Hi guys,

I have submitted my primary application and have been verified to one school. My mcat is scheduled for August 29th right now with a score release on September 15th. If my secondaries are ready to go by September 15th and I submit on this date, is this alright for this cycle?

Or would you recommend I just power through and take it on August 14th, getting score back on September 1st? Are the two weeks going to be a difference maker this cycle.

Please give me honest and straightforward advice because even though I am very worried right now, I want to be realistic with my outcome. I will go with your advice, because I know that will be in my best interest.

@Catalystik @Goro @LizzyM @gonnif
In the age of COVID, you'll be OK with this timeline.

Do NOT take the MCAT until you are 100% ready for it.
 
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CalBear456

2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2018
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Have you tried taking any practice tests? How are you doing on those ?
Also - based on your current plan of studying , What would you have to skip ?
Hi so I've been studying for a while now (September) and unfortunately for too long because I forgot some content. It's very frustrating because I finished my books but It feels like I forgot everything. My mistake was focusing way too much on content and not on practice, so that's probably why It didn't consolidate well.

So for the past two months or so I have been refreshing my knowledge. I finished Biology, Biochemistry, half of Physics, half of psychology. Gen Chemistry is probably my strongest subject. I have been focusing a lot more on questions now and it's been working.

But yeah with August 14th, that's 4 weeks away. If I were to do this then I would have to drop UWORLD and basically shift to AAMC only. If Augsut 29th, then I guess for the next 3 weeks do UWORLD while finishing Psych and Physics and then do AAMC.

I am planning my FL exactly 4 weeks out.
 

CalBear456

2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2018
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That

That makes sense. Have you taken any practice tests yet?
Hi unfortunately no. I am planning to take one on August 1st for a August 29th date.

So, if I am to stick to my August 29th date. I'll prob look to add on the rest of my schools by August 21st or maybe the 19th based on my practice scores. Then basically start writing my secondaries from the 29th of August until September 15th, to submit everything on this date.
 

KnightDoc

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Hi unfortunately no. I am planning to take one on August 1st for a August 29th date.

So, if I am to stick to my August 29th date. I'll prob look to add on the rest of my schools by August 21st or maybe the 19th based on my practice scores. Then basically start writing my secondaries from the 29th of August until September 15th, to submit everything on this date.
It's already not great, but it's only two weeks, and two weeks are not going to alter the course of anyone's cycle one way or the other. Also note that some schools are not going to wait for MCAT scores to release secondaries this year, so, if you have them pre-written, you will very likely have an opportunity to submit several of them before your score is released if you are going to send primaries without it.
 

CalBear456

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Jan 3, 2018
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It's already not great, but it's only two weeks, and two weeks are not going to alter the course of anyone's cycle one way or the other. Also note that some schools are not going to wait for MCAT scores to release secondaries this year, so, if you have them pre-written, you will very likely have an opportunity to submit several of them before your score is released if you are going to send primaries without it.
Wait are you suggesting that say I receive secondaries from some schools by the end of August, I should try to submit them asap even without my MCAT score?

Will schools take certain amount of time to process the secondary? In that way maybe a secondary I submit by September 1st will coincide with my MCAT being received on September 15th and schools can look at both simultaneously ? Is this better for me?
 

KnightDoc

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Wait are you suggesting that say I receive secondaries from some schools by the end of August, I should try to submit them asap even without my MCAT score?

Will schools take certain amount of time to process the secondary? In that way maybe a secondary I submit by September 1st will coincide with my MCAT being received on September 15th and schools can look at both simultaneously ? Is this better for me?
I am not really suggesting anything. Most people wouldn't go beyond the one throwaway school before knowing their score, but you already said you were going to send your primaries before having the score, after you had a feeling based on your FLs. Once you've done that, you are already an applicant, so it never occurred to me that you would not send the secondaries after sending your primaries. If you don't intend to do that, why send the primaries?
 

CalBear456

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Jan 3, 2018
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I am not really suggesting anything. Most people wouldn't go beyond the one throwaway school before knowing their score, but you already said you were going to send your primaries before having the score, after you had a feeling based on your FLs. Once you've done that, you are already an applicant, so it never occurred to me that you would not send the secondaries after sending your primaries. If you don't intend to do that, why send the primaries?
Sorry I was confused. I will start sending secondaries immediately and won't wait to submit them all on one day.

Do you think September 15th is really bad for when I would be complete at schools? I heard Gonnif say otherwise and that october 1st is reasonable to be complete this cycle BUT I do have a quandary with that.

Please tell me your honest opinion and what you would suggest I do to expire the process. Should I add more schools earlier than my planned 3rd week of August mark? If it helps, I recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a 3.8 gpa.
 

Catalystik

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I have submitted my primary application and have been verified to one school. My mcat is scheduled for August 29th right now with a score release on September 15th. If my secondaries are ready to go by September 15th and I submit on this date, is this alright for this cycle?
I agree with @Goro that for the 2020-2021 season, you'd be fine with your current plan.
 

KnightDoc

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Sorry I was confused. I will start sending secondaries immediately and won't wait to submit them all on one day.

Do you think September 15th is really bad for when I would be complete at schools? I heard Gonnif say otherwise and that october 1st is reasonable to be complete this cycle BUT I do have a quandary with that.

Please tell me your honest opinion and what you would suggest I do to expire the process. Should I add more schools earlier than my planned 3rd week of August mark? If it helps, I recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a 3.8 gpa.
Honestly, to avoid any potential disasters, I would wait until I had my score before submitting anything, other than the throwaway you already submitted to expedite the verification process. The rule is normally to try to be done by Labor Day, but this year isn't normal, due to tests being delayed, transcripts being delayed, etc. As others have said, prior years' Labor Day is probably this year's end of September.

If you are confident, you can certainly move things along by doing what you were planning, but I honestly don't like the risk/reward (if you unexpectedly bomb the real thing, you will be an applicant when you didn't intend to vs. whatever tiny boost comes from your application being complete a few weeks earlier than it otherwise would be).

You are in great shape with a 3.8 from Berkeley. If you get a MCAT score to match, and assuming the rest of you application is comparably excellent, you are going to do VERY well, regardless of whether your primaries are submitted on 8/21 or 9/15. I'd take my time and do it right!!

Of course, please take my advice with a grain of salt. :) I still haven't submitted anything because my MCAT has already been canceled multiple times since April, and with my ECs pretty much on hold since March, I'm having second thoughts about applying at all this cycle. I won't make a final decision until after I see my score in August, but I'm pretty conservative in terms of being willing to delay a year rather than rushing and having the application not be as strong as possible. But, for what it's worth, I AM practicing what I am preaching. I would never submit a primary to a school I cared about blind, without knowing my actual MCAT score, not just how I am doing in practice with no pressure. And that's even though plenty of schools have encouraged us to do just that, in order to minimize the impact on their process.

In any event, the difference between submitting primaries the third week of August or the second week of September will not determine how you do this cycle.
 
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