August MCATers applying this fall

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by glomerulus, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. glomerulus

    glomerulus Junior Member

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    I have a question about exactly how the application process works. I just took the MCAT on the 17th, but am still planning on applying this fall. I know that schools process applications in the order that they are received so it is best to get your application in as soon as possible. Unfortunately, until Saturday I had been studying and had not gotten to my application. I plan to now do it as soon as possible, but I am kind of under the impression that there are quite a few people in similar situations to mine. Specifically my question involves all these people that took the August MCAT, but are still applying this fall. Is there any benefit for those who got there application in already? Since August MCAT scores aren't out will these people still be "higher up" on the list. Or are all August MCATers in the same boat once the scores come out?

    The reason I am specifically wondering is because right now I am kind of assuming that as long as I submit my app before the MCAT scores are released, it will be processed at the same time as all the other August MCAT students. Is this true? If it is, I may pay AMCAS the $15 dollars to see my scores early and then send in my application after this if I am satisfied. I would only do this if my app would still be received before MCAT scores are officially "released", thus not putting me behind all the other August students.

    Does anyone know anything about this? If so, I could really use your help.

    Thanks a lot
     
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  3. nero

    nero Senior Member

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    i'm in the exact same situation as you.......i'd like to know this too..........i figure that as logn as the aamcas is submitted before mcats are released to schools, then everything will come together.............when do the schools get it?......on oct 1 (available on net) or 19th (get in maiL).........

    nero
     
  4. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    I don't know the answer to your questions. I am in the opposite position - I took the August MCAT but submitted early. Why? Because the schools will all have my secondaries filled out and essays
    ready to read when the MCAT comes in. With those that wait till 1 week before the MCATs come out you will be processed in the rush of all the other people who are taking this "last minute" approach. The schools will, in their own sweet time, send you a secondary, which will then take you a variable amount of time to fill out and return, and then you will get added to the bottom of the stack till they clear through all the August MCATers whos essays/secondaries/checks were already there on MCAT release day.

    Thus my opinion is that early submission is beneficial even for August MCATers. But I could be wrong.
     
  5. isidella

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    not to jinx anybody (especially myself), but here is the nightmare:
    what if your apps are in early, the secondaries are done, the letters of rec. are in, you are $1000+ poorer. Then the school gets the August MCAT scores and your numbers really suck, enough to sink your entire application. ??? oh the horror

    I am going to see my scores via early score release and then submit AMCAS if my numbers are OK (that should be OCT 1st or so). Hopefully since I am applying MD/PhD, the smaller applicant pool size will work in my favor.

    If I am applying this late in the game at a disadvantage, I just cannot fathom spending that much money when I am not sure if my scores will bite me on the butt. Is there anyone else out there worried about this?

    Isid:confused:
     
  6. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    isidella

    I would think we all worry about that - as that is really the ONLY possible motivation to send in the AMCAS late (if you were confident of the MCAT scores, where would be the advantage of waiting to
    see them?). It is both a matter of self-confidence and a willingness to gamble on yourself. For myself however

    1) I AM confident my MCAT score will be good enough to get me into med school, even though I haven't seen it yet

    2) I AM willing to take the gamble, as it is myself I am betting on.

    If it doesn't work out - oh well - but then by getting things in early I believe I give myself the "best shot" at this - which can only help whether my MCATs are good or bad....For me it just depended on whether I was committed to this application cycle or was waivering whether to delay a year....when I decided I was "going for it" that's exactly what I did...
     
  7. glomerulus

    glomerulus Junior Member

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    Boy Wonder,

    You mentioned that schools would have your secondaries ready and waiting for your MCAT scores. Have you already received secondaries back from school even though they don't have your scores? I was thinking that it may be possible that all of the primaries of August MCATers would just be put aside until the scores are released. If this was the case, then really there would be no difference between getting it in 2 months before the scores are released or 2 days before the scores are released. It there any truth to this? I really don't know.
     
  8. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    glomerulus. I have applied to 19 schools. I have received secondaries from 16 of them.
     
  9. Artemisia

    Artemisia New Member

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    I too am in the same position. But like Boy Wonder I submitted my AMCAS mid July and was finally processed and transmitted last week. As of today I have recieved 2/12 secondaries. As for the age old question on benefits of submitting your application now or closer to MCAT release date I cannot say. There was a thread discussing that sometime back. If I find it I will post it . I know this doesn't help much but its my 0.02cents:( :)
     
  10. afilerman

    afilerman Junior Member

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    If you want to know what a school does, just call their admissions office and ask them. There are still a number of schools this year who are sending out secondaries to everyone, so you can't necessarily use this as a gauge of your standing, but at least it gives you a head start on filling some of the paperwork out.
     
  11. Mike59

    Mike59 Sweatshop FP in Ontario

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    I guess everyone's experience is different. I'm an August MCATer also and I am only missing secondaries from 5 of 19 schools I applied to. 2 of those 5 them have contacted me, letting me know that they will wait for my MCAT score to come back first.

    I am going to gamble and fill out all the secondaries I have now (what's a $600 gamble in this process??). This way when the score comes back (even if it's mediocre), I'd be in good standing with most of the schools time-line-wise.

    If a school has rolling admissions, I say you have to send in the secondary before the Sept. rush otherwise your app gets thrown to the bottom of a pile (and at some schools, we're talking 5000-10000 applications!) Good Luck!
     
  12. conure

    conure Master Distiller

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    I am also in this situation and I agree with Mike and Boy Wonder.

    I submitted my AMCAS 10 days ago and I have gotten one secondary. I expect to have more to keep me busy until the MCAT scores come in.

    You have already accepted the gamble of applying late in the cycle so why not take the gamble on the MCAT scores? Not to mention in takes AMCAS at least three weeks to certify your app.

    In my eyes you need to have some secondaries in before your MCAT scores come, this can only help you in the process and if your lucky you may even get an interview before the New Year.
     
  13. isidella

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    So if you have a lousy April score and submit AMCAS with the August retake box checked, do the schools see the April score first, or do they not even look at MCAT scores until the August score release?
    (sorry if I am a little green around the ears here.)
     
  14. jot

    jot

    well first of all the vast majority of school are doing no screening for secondaries. seconadly, if you have checked the august box, they will either send you the secondary based on your april score, or just wait. but unless the gpa is below their cutoffs, i don't think that any rejections/interviews will come until they have all of the info.

    a friend (n=1) is appying with an april composite of 5v,13p,11b and is checked the box for retaking -- but he has already recieved an interview from rwj in new jersey, and almost all secondaries.
     
  15. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    :laugh: :laugh:

    I'm sorry, this just made me laugh...I think it's the refreshing acknowledgement of the limits of individual testimony...so rare on this board sometimes...

    thanks for keeping it 'real' jot!
     
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  17. surge

    surge Medicinski Znanstvenik

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    Also an August MCATer....
    the only other thing to keep in mind is the AMCAS 'processing' time... meaning, if you wait until the scores are released to submit your application, you are adding the time needed by AMCAS to process it. If it's already 'processed' (I think this primarily has to do with their administrative issues and transcript verification), then it's truly ready when the scores are out.
    And, as many have pointed out, schools will see the applications before the August scores, so generally (I called around about this, and jot said the same) if you're good enough (or they don't screen) you'll get a secondary, whereas as you're not, they will still wait on the August scores before deciding for sure.
     
  18. shanet74

    shanet74 Member

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    I agree with the majority of you. Definitely get the AMCAS application in. Unless you see yourself doing some highly significant research project, or some other enlightening thing toward your application in the next couple months; you should send in the application. If you recieve bad scores on the MCAT, you still have nothing to loose (perhaps some cash) by sending in your application. This will give you time to start working on the secondary applications that many schools have already began to send out. Another option could be to apply to a few schools now, submit your AMCAS application, and I believe you can add more schools later if you wish.
     
  19. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist

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    I sent mine in back in June, although I took the August MCAT. I had no grand plan or reason, I just wanted to be done with it as soon as possible.
     
  20. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    yeah, I had no gran plan either Samoa, it just made sense to me - I was committed to the MCAT being a one time thing, so I was sure I would apply, so I sent things in early.

    However, I am now doubly glad I sent things in early as if I hadn't I might have decided I wasn't ready for the MCAT and chickened out, delayed the MCAT till April, put my app back a year...but as it was I had no choice...and I'm one of those people that having a deadline really helps...submitting before MCAT forced me to buckle down and view the MCAT as a one shot chance, or a big waste of a couple thousand in application fees...
     
  21. blackbird03

    blackbird03 Senior Member

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    A few questions for you guys:


    Did you guys send the UC application to UCs? Which UC schools specifically ask for this instead of the AMCAS?

    I didn't send in my primary app for NYU and Columbia yet? Am I really late?

    I have a letter in the mail from UCLA asking me for further review, is that a secondary? If it is, i am highly surprised because I have a sub-30 MCAT and thought they'd wait for my august scores.

    Finally, Can we send our secondaries BEFORE receving august scores? (Oct 1 st.) Aren't the school gonna get this info from AMCAS anyways?


    thanks! We august applicants should stick together. :clap:
     
  22. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist

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    Yes.
    No.
    I don't know.
    Yes.
    Definitely.
     
  23. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    I took the August MCAT and applied last year. I submitted my AMCAS in July (would have been earlier but for last year's horrible AMCAs mess). I applied to 23 schools, and only one (Wake Forest) waited for my scores before sending/letting me do a secondary. Although my stats were not spectacular (3.5/30), I had decent results (13 interviews, 5 acceptances, 6 waitlists). I definitely recommend applying before, rather than after, scores come out. Everything takes much longer than you think it will, and you want your file ready to go to the adcom the minute those scores come out (actually it won't automatically go the minute the scores come out -- it takes some schools forever to get the scores into the file). You're already at a disadvantage in being an August MCATer. Why put yourself at the end of that line?
     
  24. walrus

    walrus Member

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    From what I've heard from various sources (including some friends on their school's adcomms), most schools know that a substantial number of people are taking or retaking the August MCAT so they take that into consideration when doling out interviews for the "earlier" applicants. They know there will be plenty of >30 MCATs rolling in from the August administration so it's not like someone with a 27 is gonna sneak in and take their place just b/c they got their app. in in July. I wouldn't sweat taking the August MCAT and sending your apps in on or around the time the scores are released. If you're a solid candidate, you'll get in regardless of when you apply. True, some people on the borderline might be aided a little by earlier apps, but in general, I don't see a big deal in applying a little later.
     
  25. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member

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    a 5 on the verbal??!!
     
  26. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Well, walrus, maybe I'm just borderline, but I'm glad I did it the way I did. I think your trust that "solid" candidates will get in no matter when they apply is naive. Maybe an "exceptional" or "super" candidate, but even some of them waited agonizingly long times to get in off waitlists in this last cycle.

    My acceptances came from my early interviews, and my waitlists came from my later ones (with the exception of USC, which is a non-rolling school). The reason I got those early interviews despite being an August MCATer was that I got everything in as early as possible (and in one case pushed for an earlier interview so that I could coordinate with the early interview non-AMCAS Columbia had granted me).

    The process is very random and crap-shootish, so maximizing your odds seems the sensible thing to do.
     
  27. firebreather3

    firebreather3 Junior Member

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    Well I took the August MCAT last year and sent in my AMCAS a week or two after I received the result (sometime in October I think...). Meh, I had no idea how I did on the exam so I didn't want to waste time or money applying if I got a bad score. Worked out fine for me, I did get in. Which is not to say that I would endorse applying late, but it's definitely possible to get in.
     

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