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August MCAT or wait until January?

Kay5

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2018
11
1
76
Hello!

I'm conflicted on whether I should take a Mid-August MCAT test date (right before the start of the new semester) or wait until January 2021? I've finished all pre-req courses and I'm currently taking biochemistry online (will finish end of July).

I will be entering Junior year with a difficult fall semester, and the courses I'll be taking don't really apply to the MCAT topics. My biggest fear is that a little over two months isn't enough time to prepare and that needing to wear a mask, etc. might add more unnecessary stress in August. Any opinions/advice?

Side Note: I recently took a Kaplan diagnostic and got 498, but ultimately want to reach about 514.
 

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,541
2
7,324
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  1. Pre-Medical
Hello!

I'm conflicted on whether I should take a Mid-August MCAT test date (right before the start of the new semester) or wait until January 2021? I've finished all pre-req courses and I'm currently taking biochemistry online (will finish end of July).

I will be entering Junior year with a difficult fall semester, and the courses I'll be taking don't really apply to the MCAT topics. My biggest fear is that a little over two months isn't enough time to prepare and that needing to wear a mask, etc. might add more unnecessary stress in August. Any opinions/advice?

Side Note: I recently took a Kaplan diagnostic and got 498, but ultimately want to reach about 514.
Anyone who knows what they are talking about will tell you not to take the test until you are ready. Nothing else matters, so difficult fall semester, masks (which might still be necessary in January -- who knows?), etc., are all irrelevant if you cannot be ready in 2 months.

On the other hand, it would be best to take the test when the material is most fresh in your mind. Two months is more than enough for some people, and not nearly enough for others. Nobody here knows you as well as you know yourself, in terms of whether you can start studying now and be ready by mid-August. Yes, masks suck, but you don't know whether or not they are going away. Also, if it matters, the test will be a littler shorter in August than in January.

The Kaplan diagnostic is worthless in predicting where you really are -- it is artificially deflated in order to try to sell you a course. You won't know if you are on track for a 514 until you take a few AAMC FLs. Good luck!!!
 

JimKimSlim

Full Member
Feb 5, 2020
669
497
66
  1. Medical Student
Did you already sign up for the test? You’ll be on a very long waiting list, if you haven’t. Otherwise, it wouldn’t hurt to start studying for the MCAT now. If you don’t feel ready by test day, then just postpone it. If you’re trying to apply this coming cycle, you should take it on August and get it out of the way.
 

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,541
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  1. Pre-Medical
Did you already sign up for the test? You’ll be on a very long waiting list, if you haven’t. Otherwise, it wouldn’t hurt to start studying for the MCAT now. If you don’t feel ready by test day, then just postpone it. If you’re trying to apply this coming cycle, you should take it on August and get it out of the way.
Is that universal? I was under the impression that availability was highly dependent on location and, to a lesser extent, time. I'm pretty sure all the 12:15s will be gone, but if you want to test in August in a place that has actually opened up since the end of May, I'd be shocked if there was a very long waiting list at all locations for all times, given how "not early" August testing is for this cycle.
 
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Kay5

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2018
11
1
76
Did you already sign up for the test? You’ll be on a very long waiting list, if you haven’t. Otherwise, it wouldn’t hurt to start studying for the MCAT now. If you don’t feel ready by test day, then just postpone it. If you’re trying to apply this coming cycle, you should take it on August and get it out of the way.

I haven't signed up for the exam yet, but I checked and saw that a couple of nearby testing centers had availability at the 6:30 am and 6:00 pm time slots. I'll been applying next cycle (2021-2022).
 

Kay5

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2018
11
1
76
I haven't signed up for the exam yet, but I checked and saw that a couple of nearby testing centers had availability at the 6:30 am and 6:00 pm time slots. I'll been applying next cycle (2021-2022).

Also, I thought that August 14th was the only mid-August test date? However, on the AAMC registration page, it's saying that August 13th and August 15th also have exam times? Did they add new test dates or is this something different?
 
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