Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

August MCAT=Suicide?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Karina, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. Karina

    Karina Surgeon in training...
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hey Guys!
    Yeah...I have decided to take the August exam, for a number of reasons. Is it really THAT BAD? I mean, I feel like preparing for the test this spring (while I am taking Biochem, Neuroscience and other classes) was a little too much. I plan to have more time to prepare in the summer. Now, I'm just worried about how it will affect my application and my chances.

    If you took the August test...what's your opinion?

    I really appreciate it!
    Have a good one! and Happy Easter!
    Karina
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. hsouth

    hsouth Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took the August MCAT, and started hearing back from schools within 2 weeks of the score releases. I ended up interviewing at 4 schools (one in Nov, three in Feb), and am waitlisted at 3 (haven't heard back from the 4th). I think it worked out fine for me.
    Best of luck to you!
    ~H
     
  4. patzan

    patzan Waiting for March 20th
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I took it in April, but know of several people who are suffering dearly because they got apps in pretty late (October). If you do, make your scores the last thing schools are waiting on. I think it definitely puts you to some degree of disadvantage, but not out of the game by any means.
     
  5. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    1
    Taking the August exam will not adversely affect your chances of admission to medical school, PROVIDED THAT you submit your primary and secondary applications as early as possible. You must get your applications in promptly. :smuggrin: :eek: (God I love these new emoticons)
     
  6. Karina

    Karina Surgeon in training...
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    hmmm...that was my original intention..have the scores be the last thing the schools were waiting on...BUT, I am getting a letter from the pre-health committee at my school. They won't evaluate me, until I get my scores...so the letter might be late also.
    I wonder if I should just wait around until April 2005
    ARRRRGGGHHH...This sucks ! :(

    Karina
     
  7. josehernandez94

    josehernandez94 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took the April MCAT and I'm happy with that decision. Our pre-med advisor told us that we'd be at a disadvantage taking the August MCAT unless we knew we'd do really well (like 33+). I know that because I took the April MCAT and got my applications in early, I fared much better than if I had gotten started later in the game (I really don't believe I'd have the acceptances I do had I taken the August MCAT and applied later, even though I actually did really well on the MCAT).

    I know one person who's taken the August MCAT and has yet to be accepted to medical school. Outside of his average MCAT scores, he has a tremendous application. But I believe that it's been overlooked because if you apply later, schools are more apt to screen you by numbers (instead of focusing on other components of your app, like personal statement, ECs, letters) and are also going to have fewer places in their class to offer you. At the beginning of the cycle, an application reviewer who thoroughly reads your personal statement might get really excited about you and will be more inclined to suggest offering an interview. Later on in the cycle (say around October-December), when most people have gotten their applications in, that same reviewer might not have time to read your personal statement and consequently maybe you wouldn't get that interview. Granted, that's a worst-case scenario, but it's certainly conceivable. I'm not saying that you can't or won't be accepted if you take the August MCAT. There are plenty of people on this site alone who have been. I just think that in the end, it puts you at a disadvantage. I guess it matters less for the non-rolling schools.
     
  8. hsouth

    hsouth Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree - I forgot to mention that you should try to get in your primary asap (long before the August MCAT), complete any secondaries you get before the August MCAT before you take the test so all the schools are waiting on is your score, and finish the rest as soon as you get them. I tried for a 1 week turnaround time on all of mine. (Note "tried"!)
    :)

    ~H
     
  9. chintu

    chintu Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    3
    I took the aug mcat. It definitely puts you at a disadvantage, but its not too bad if you get the rest of your app in early and also if you have a good app. I only applied to 11 schools, got interviewed at 7; so far 2 acceptances, 2 waitlists, and no word from others. I was thinking about a year off but for me its a long time without school. I recommend it if you don't have a problem with it.
     
  10. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    1
    They won't evaluate you until they receive your MCAT scores? That's ridiculous. Even so, you can submit your primary application (i.e., the AMCAS and/or TMDSAS application) as early as you want, since this application does not require any recommendation letter to be "complete." However, the fact that your pre-med committee will not evaluate you until they get your MCAT scores could be a serious problem. If I were in your shoes, I would try to convince them to evaluate you without any MCAT scores...I don't understand why they need them in the first place. That's a stupid policy. :mad: :smuggrin:
     
  11. Ozymandsss

    Ozymandsss Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't care what anyone says. Taking the August MCAT absolutely affects your chances. I had my primary and all of my secondaries in on the dot, and didn't start getting interviews till really late. Now, I was fortunate enough to get into several schools, including my top chioce, so its not prohibitive, but you need to know that you will be at the bottom of the pile. That said, I am glad that I took it in August because I kicked the MCATs ass which was more valuable in the long run than taking it earlier in april. So, if you just aren't ready for it in April, take it in August and don't look back. :thumbup:
     
  12. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,361
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took the August MCAT and here's my take on it. I believe taking the August MCAT affected my chances negatively, but only at some schools. For example, one of the first rejections I received was from Vanderbilt; I found out they interview a majority of their applicants really early in the process so by the time your August score comes out, there aren't many interviews left.

    If you're from California, the UCs run late with their interviews so I think it doesn't matter either way whether you took the April or August MCAT. My suggestion to you would be, take the August MCAT and apply this year but only to really good schools that you'd be thrilled to go to. Don't apply to any "backup schools" and here's the reason why.

    The worst case scenario would be to apply to a variety of schools and get accepted only to your backup schools that you don't really want to go to. Once that happens, you pretty much have to attend there. You're then left wondering whether had you applied early next year, would you have gotten into a school you liked a lot better. By applying only to select schools, you'll either get into a top choice school or not get in at all in which case, you can apply again early next year. That time around, you can apply to a higher number of schools. In that scenario, you'd still be on the same timeline as if you hadn't applied this year at all. Good luck.
     
  13. twizzlers

    twizzlers Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think it's suicide by any means. I actually took the April MCAT, felt I could do better, so I retook it in August. I got most of my secondary invites early November after scores are released mid-October, and so I had most of my secondaries & letters of rec. mailed out in November, and things worked out. Sure, the April MCAT is preferable, but many, many people get into great schools with August scores. (And also, like Alexander said above, it depends on the schools you're applying to. I don't think Aug. scores made any difference with all the UC schools I applied to.)

    So in your situation, with the scores being released in mid-October, if your committee can write you your letter and have it ready to be mailed by early November, you should be all right, because you probably won?t get many secondaries and requests for your letters until early November anyway. (at least that was the case with me)

    And one more thing: if you're taking the Aug. MCAT, you gotta have some patience. :) While your April MCAT friends may found out in December or January that they've been accepted, you may have to wait until March or April for your decisions to start coming in.
     
  14. BubbleBobble

    BubbleBobble Where's the "any" key?
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    1
    I took the August exam too, but was confused for a minute reading these responses.

    Readers: People here are talking about taking the August exam *during* the year you are applying, not *before*.
     
  15. DrBodacious

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Messages:
    833
    Likes Received:
    89
    I think the August MCAT makes the process more stressful. I had later interviews and thus got waitlisted at schools I probably would have gotten accepted to. I just got an interview invite to Drexel last week! But I'm glad I took the Aug MCAT becuase I'm sure I did 3 or 4 points better than I would have taking the April MCAT, at least. I also made the mistake of not asking for my LORs until the beginning of the fall semester I was applying, and a couple of my profs dawdled on those. Get your LORs in order now (tell profs to write them now), so they can be sent out ASAP in early fall.
     
  16. athena21

    athena21 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took the August mcat the last application process. i got my first acceptance in oct/nov. but, i feel that i got shafted out of some more competitive places that would have at least interviewed me if i had turned in my app earlier. i had a 3.5 from a top 10 university and 33 mcat with excellent extracurriculars and awards. still, the interviews were sparse and a lot later. i was relieved to be accepted to my state school early, but really thought i could have gotten better interviews had i taken it earlier--but prolly wouldn't have gotten a better score...it's a tradeoff
     
  17. BigRedPingpong

    BigRedPingpong Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2003
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    1
    i also am an august mcater. got about 8 interviews and went to four of them (2 of them are top 20s). after I got my first two acceptances I dumped the rest. august mcat is a good idea for those that need the summer to boost scores.
     
  18. Its a good approach. I kind of wish I would have done this. I rushed through prep for my April MCAT while doing a TON of other stuff, then took a whole year off before applying. In retrospect, it would have been better to have taken the August MCAT (and probably scored higher) and to have just applied to my top choices and had any not worked out, applied to tons of schools the following cycle. I can't be sure, but I think I would have been accepted to a school that I would have been happy with. On the other hand, doing research this year was cool too.
     
  19. Super Rob

    Super Rob Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are a freakball of an applicant (numbers maxed, lots of medically related jobs, highly prestigious awards, and innumerable accomplishments in other areas like music or business) then it will not make much of a difference when you take the MCAT.

    But for 99.9% of applicants who fall short of a Marshall or a Fulbright, you probably should take the April MCAT. No matter how "above average" you think you are at the schools you apply to, know that admissions committees have an interest in filling seats as soon as possible, and that a lot of August people get passed over... and or waitlisted everywhere.

    A lot of people comment that if you have over a certain gpa and mcat combination, then it shouldn't matter... but they are wrong. Let's face it... if you have a 4.0 and a 40, you are probaby going to get in SOMEWHERE if the rest of your application looks good. But your chances of getting into your top choice school go down considerably when you wait until August to take the test. Some schools might reject you pre interview with those stats simply because your file was marked complete on October 14th, got reviewed November 30th, and an indecisive committee member threw it back into the pile where it stayed forever and ever and ever, until April 5th when someone said "Shish, we liked this kid but we just filled our class and waitlist!"

    Meanwhile, someone whose application was complete on August 1st may have been reviewed three or four times, and that fourth time could have been enough for an interview offer.
     
  20. Take the April MCAT if you can. My friend has a higher GPA and MCAT than me, but she took it in August while I did it in April. We're both from CA. She didn't hear anything from any CA schools while I got into one and am waiting to hear from another.

    If you're just trying to get into ANY med school, then the AUG MCAT is fine, but if you're trying to get into CA with so-so numbers or any competitve school, do the April.

    Good luck!
     
  21. 10minutes

    10minutes M.D.Candidate
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    1
    I personally know a guy who had 3.7gpa and 36MCAT but only got waitlisted in two schools. He took April MCAT but he made a stupid mistake by not sending his secondary applications until late October. Fortunately for him, he got accepted to one of those two schools and he's a student there now. But had he applied earlier, he probably would have gotten into some more...
     
  22. raralista

    raralista Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took the August MCAT and then waited a year to apply - this was ideal for me because 1. it gave me time to really focus on the test and 2. I wanted another year off before going to school. I think taking the August test and applying at the same time is risky - the whole process is stressful enough as it is - why make it worse? (I also think most people benefit from extra 'time off' before med school)
     
  23. mikedc813

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,113
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    There's been a lot of great feedback posted already so I'll make mine short. I took the August MCAT because I was sick during the April MCAT and did poorly. I am a perfect example of what NOT to do!!! DO NOT take the MCAT if you don't feel 100% ready. I can't emphasize this enough. It will really hurt your chances and you have to agonize through the whole study process for a second time. I applied to A LOT of schools and only got 2 interviews - University of South Florida and St. Louis University. My scores are solid (3.5/29R) but not stellar. I am supposedly very high on the waitlist at USF so I'll probably get in, but I am sure my chances would have been MUCH better getting my scores in early and not having a horrible first MCAT score. So yes it is possible to get in with the August MCAT, but I would say that it is much much harder and you have to be a candidate that stands out moreso than if you took the April exam because there are fewer spots left.
     
  24. lizzylu

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    That's great advice! My uncle gave me that advice when I was taking the August MCAT but I didn't want to go through the application process twice. Everything worked out fine, but I took a year off before applying w/ my August scores.
     
  25. dantheman

    dantheman Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will add to the continuing opinions regarding when to test. I took it in August and rocked it. But that was because I had to; my gpa is poor. If you can take it in april and your application is otherwise good take it in april, so long as you can get a decent score. But if you are not at least in th HIGH twenties (28,29) I would definitely wait until August. Just my two cents
    DTM
     
  26. LionInTheDark

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I took the August MCAT this past year because I had zero free time before the April MCAT. Looking back on my application year, I came to two conclusions re: August MCAT:

    1) If you really fit with a school, and would've been admitted after the April MCAT, you'll probably get in before it's all over anyway. For example, Pitt was among my top choices going into the process, and since a couple of weeks after MCAT scores were released, they have shown me alot of love.

    2) I've done alot more waiting and felt alot more unsure about what/where I'll be doing next year than if I took the April MCAT. All my positive decisions came in a three day period in March. That's a long time to go without any admissions.

    I'm happy with the result of this process, but I think the August MCAT made the journey alot harder.
     
  27. derf

    derf Ohio Land
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    0
    OP, there are ALWAYS exceptions to the game (see previous posters success stories), but in general most folks nailed it right on the money. You would be doing yourself an injustice to taking the August test. A great example follows: My friend from Stanford had a 3.9, 38 MCAT and stellar ECs/research... By taking the August test, he essentially disqualified himself from all schools. He waited until the following June and reapplied. He got into UCSF in Sept, and later got into Columbia. See the difference. Take the April instead of hoping you become another success story.
     
  28. nikoo

    nikoo Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    6
    I was considering not applying this year because of the MCAT but as it turns out, I'll be at UCSF next year! I'm glad I applied this year because now I'm going to my dream school and I didn't lose that year. HOWEVER, I felt at an incredible disadvantage at a lot of my interviews because I knew I was so late in the process and was basically inteviewing for waitlist positions. At the same time, I think if you have a strong application and have everything done quickly, you should be okay!
     
  29. OrneryOne

    OrneryOne Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    1
    I took the August MCAT. I had a good score, but it was not 33+. I had all my secondaries, LORs, transcripts, etc. complete as early as possible. I applied to 16 schools. My first interview was in November with two in December and six in January. I had two more scheduled in February when I was accepted by my #1 choice (a top 20 school), so I declined the remaining interviews. I'm not saying there is not a disadvantage to taking the August MCAT, I'm just sharing what my experience was.
     
  30. late inthe game

    late inthe game Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    I too am an August MCAT/September Application for whom everything has worked out just fine. I'm posting just to let people who apply late in the future know, that they don't necessarily need to freak out (like I did) in October or November or whenever their friends start getting acceptances and they have yet to even be invited to an interview. They also don't necessarily need to freak out in March (like I did) when they still haven't heard from their top choices. Of course, I'm sure it's much better to avoid applying late if at all possible, but not all is lost if your life arranges itself such that you have to apply late.
     

Share This Page