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August MCAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by acuzen, Mar 25, 2001.

  1. acuzen

    acuzen New Member

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    What's the word on taking the August MCAT instead of the April test? What kind of liability would taking the August test present? I don't feel like waiting one year to take the test and then another to enter med school as I'm 33 years old and prefer to start school sooner than later.

    Anyone with experience in this matter?
     
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  3. Toran

    Toran Senior Member
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    The problem is that you are starting the admissions process much later than the rest of the group. Many of the seats will have already been taken, if the school is on a rolling admissions basis. I understand why you would want to get started as soon as possible, so best of luck.. Many people get in from the August MCAT, however your chances are not as great. And, if nothing else at least you will have seen the MCAT once already if you have to take it again in April.
    Just focus on getting an excellent score, and if you must take it again you must improve.

    Toran
     
  4. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    A second to Toran's advice.
     
  5. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    The previous posters have already given good advice. My question to you is how strong is your application? If you have a very good all-around application (high GPA, expected high MCAT, good extra-curriculars/volunteer/work experience) then the August MCAT won't be an enormous hindrance, although it does make things more difficult for you. There are lots of posters currently who took the August MCAT and are having a good amount of success in the process. However, it also sounds like they had very, very competitive applications to begin with. If you have a more borderline application, it is probably in your best interest to wait another year -- if you are borderline and late in the rolling admissions process (which you will be because of the MCAT), it seems to hurt your chances much more. If you do decide to apply this year with taking the August MCAT, my best advice would to still get as early a start on your applications as possible. Aim for turning your AMCAS in during the first week of June -- many schools will automatically send you secondaries -- turn those around as quickly as possible (within a few days if you can). Then, everything will be ready to go once your MCATs are received in the fall.
     
  6. Asteras1

    Asteras1 Senior Member
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    I agree with some of the previous comments but, take my advice: Do NOT TAKE the August MCAT unless you meet one of 2 conditions.

    a.) You took the April MCAT and did not do well. You must now retake it in August.

    b.) You lack adequate time to prepare for the April exam. Better to have a good late score than a poor early score. All you'll do is get the rejection letters sooner.

    Otherwise, take it in April! If you do well, the process will be sped up significantly which may mean much less wating for secondaries, interviews, and decisions. Imagine the joy of getting an acceptance early in october or november. The pressure to get in is off much earlier for you compared to the August MCAT takers no matter how strong your overall application is. As for myself, taking the August MCAT was the worst thing I ever did. I should've waited a year in order to take it in April. Why put yourself at an automatic disadvantage in an already highly competitive process if you can avoid it?


     
  7. wooo

    wooo Senior Member
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    I would like to add something to this point. If you are from a heavily populated area, this is good information. However, if you live in a rural type state that has less than 1000 apps to med school, and you want to go to that state's school, the August test will not do much damage. April is better, but the August is not as bad on smaller state's, state school.

    [This message has been edited by wooo (edited March 26, 2001).]
     
  8. acuzen

    acuzen New Member

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    Thanks for the response. I thought a bit of background might be in order:

    I'm a 33 year-old non-trad student with five years away from my undergrad. My science gpa is around 3.8 something or other and my overall GPA is 3.6 something. During my undergrad I studied medical Spanish in Mexico for a semester and I travelled about 10 months in Latin America so I speak Spanish relatively well. I finished a Masters program in Oriental Medicine two years ago and afterward I travelled in Malaysia and Thailand where I studied meditation and the martial arts. After three months of travel I moved to New York where I've been working as an acupuncturist (very non-trad) in a physical rehab clinic. In this environment I've been able to test the theories and protocols of acupuncture for the treatment of pain and injuries and I must say, it's been an edifying educational experience. So now, two years later I've decided to attend medical school to provide another approach for my patients and to balance my Eastern knowledge. I suppose I have a pretty good application but I'm unsure as I've been out of the loop for so long.

    I have a successful business now so I can wait another year to take the MCAT but I also have almost five months to study for the August MCAT and plan to do well....

    I live in New York so will apply to all the New York colleges plus maybe Penn State. Anyone take the August MCAT and get into a NY state school?

    I do have a question about letters of recommendation. It's been six years since my undergrad; who should I get the LORs from?

    Thanks,
    acuzen
     
  9. Hallie

    Hallie Member
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    acuzen,

    you might also want to look at the requirements of some of the schools you will be applying to. i have seen some that require you to have completed your prereqs fewer than six or seven years before applying. would delaying your application by one year cause your coursework to be invalidated? you might also want to consider taking an evening science course (say, biochem or something) to show the med schools you still have your stuff in terms of coursework. finally, if i were you, i WOULD take the mcat in august and go for it! you will have a good feel for how the application process is going by next spring, in which case you can rev up to apply again next year if need be. good luck!
     
  10. Hallie

    Hallie Member
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    also, regarding letters of rec, you could get a letter from the additional evening course you take (you can do this at a state school if there's one nearby to save $$). if you had any letters written for you while in undergrad, you could get in touch with those profs and ask them to update the letters for med school. finally, get letters from every major professional (and volunteer) experience you have had. the good thing about being a non-traditional applicant is that you have a lot more flexibility in terms of your letters of rec.
     
  11. acuzen

    acuzen New Member

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    Thanks Hallie for the additional info! I'm currently taking a microbiology course and I'm beginning to study for the MCAT; it's been a long time and I'm a bit overwhelmed but I know with organization, perseverance, and dedicated study-time I'll get it. Thanks for your encouragement!

    ACUZEN

    [This message has been edited by acuzen (edited March 27, 2001).]
     

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