Fledermaus

2+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2017
3
0
Hello SDN!

Wondering if you could give me some feedback/advice on current projection/next steps:

Caucasian/female/21 years old
Microbiology Junior at State University (4 semesters left), minor in Spanish
Transferred Universities once from in-state to in-state
cGPA 3.3, sGPA 3.0
800+ hours of volunteer/extern in Europe
360+ hours working as a scribe
Just started independent study this semester, plan to continue for at least 2 years.

Planning to take a gap year after graduation, become trained as EMT and work as EMT while studying for MCATS and continuing with research in current lab.

Thoughts/advice? Apart from GPA (which I can and will improve), how can I make myself more competitive?
Any advice or strategies on studying for MCAT, especially over the course of 1+ years?

Thanks in advance!
 

workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
1,292
818
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello SDN!

Wondering if you could give me some feedback/advice on current projection/next steps:

Caucasian/female/21 years old
Microbiology Junior at State University (4 semesters left), minor in Spanish
Transferred Universities once from in-state to in-state
cGPA 3.3, sGPA 3.0
800+ hours of volunteer/extern in Europe
360+ hours working as a scribe
Just started independent study this semester, plan to continue for at least 2 years.

Planning to take a gap year after graduation, become trained as EMT and work as EMT while studying for MCATS and continuing with research in current lab.

Thoughts/advice? Apart from GPA (which I can and will improve), how can I make myself more competitive?
Any advice or strategies on studying for MCAT, especially over the course of 1+ years?

Thanks in advance!
What were the Europe hours? Like an "internship abroad?" If so, I doubt med schools will put a heck of a lot of stock into that, so you will definitely want to add volunteer hours in your community here in the United States.

For prolonged MCAT study, just consistently devote an hour or two a day to content review, then memorization, before delving into practice problems. I studied over 6+ months and that helped me, just have a consistent schedule you do not deviate from.

Good luck OP. Finish strong in your classes!
 
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Shotapp

2+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2015
973
1,018
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Pre-Medical
What were the Europe hours? Like an "internship abroad?" If so, I doubt med schools will put a heck of a lot of stock into that, so you will definitely want to add volunteer hours in your community here in the United States.

For prolonged MCAT study, just consistently devote an hour or two a day to content review, then memorization, before delving into practice problems. I studied over 6+ months and that helped me, just have a consistent schedule you do not deviate from.

Good luck OP. Finish strong in your classes!
How many hours did you typically study in a given day and how much did you cover in that time period? What books did you use as well?

The reason why I am asking is because I will need to study +6months as well. I have the Princeton review books but Kaplan looks like a better fit.
 
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workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
1,292
818
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
How many hours did you typically study in a given day and how much did you cover in that time period? What books did you use as well?

The reason why I am asking is because I will need to study +6months as well. I have the Princeton review books but Kaplan looks like a better fit.
So I broke it up into three phases. In phase 1, I just got through all of the books once. I would do one at a time. During this phase, I tried to do at least two hours, but would vary a lot by how I felt that day, other stuff going on etc.

Phase 2, I began reviewing all the notes for each topic. On mondays I'd do bio, tuesdays biochem, weds chem, etc etc. In phase 2 I strictly did 2 hours of review a night, followed by 6 hours of review on saturday.

Phase 3, I started integrating practice exams. I still did the same 2 hour daily review, but on Sundays I would take an FL, then review it on Monday.

I used TPR for everything except biology (which was kaplan) and really liked them overall. TPR was excellent in prep for o chem and gen chem IMO. I felt like the kaplan review book I had was more on rote memorization whereas TPR was more about giving you tips to address problems, if that makes sense. Point is, they approach the MCAT differently, but that doesnt make one better for the other. If you feel like you like the kaplan stuff more, use them.
 
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Shotapp

2+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2015
973
1,018
GA
Status
Pre-Medical
So I broke it up into three phases. In phase 1, I just got through all of the books once. I would do one at a time. During this phase, I tried to do at least two hours, but would vary a lot by how I felt that day, other stuff going on etc.

Phase 2, I began reviewing all the notes for each topic. On mondays I'd do bio, tuesdays biochem, weds chem, etc etc. In phase 2 I strictly did 2 hours of review a night, followed by 6 hours of review on saturday.

Phase 3, I started integrating practice exams. I still did the same 2 hour daily review, but on Sundays I would take an FL, then review it on Monday.

I used TPR for everything except biology (which was kaplan) and really liked them overall. TPR was excellent in prep for o chem and gen chem IMO. I felt like the kaplan review book I had was more on rote memorization whereas TPR was more about giving you tips to address problems, if that makes sense. Point is, they approach the MCAT differently, but that doesnt make one better for the other. If you feel like you like the kaplan stuff more, use them.
I really like your approach. I will stick with TPR. I'm just nervous about starting my studying but I will work hard and be consistent in my goals. I will not take the MCAT until I'm scoring in my ideal score of +515. Thanks and sorry OP.

I copied and pasted your post so I will definitely be using it as a guide.
 
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workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
1,292
818
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I really like your approach. I will stick with TPR. I'm just nervous about starting my studying but I will work hard and be consistent in my goals. I will not take the MCAT until I'm scoring in my ideal score of +515. Thanks and sorry OP.

I copied and pasted your post so I will definitely be using it as a guide.
Good luck man, embrace the process and expect to be discouraged and overwhelmed sometimes. Happens to everyone.
 
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Fledermaus

2+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2017
3
0
@workaholic181 Thank you so much for your insight! I will follow your advice and start early.

One question though: I hear the MCAT has been changed to include more extensive writing components, meaning probably more argumentation, syntax, and vocabulary (in the form of written assignments). They are also testing more sociology and psychology as far as I am aware.

Do you know any good way to prepare for these apart from reading MCAT prep books?

Thanks again!
 

el_duderino

Some men play tennis, I erode the human soul
7+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2012
6,250
7,412
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Resident [Any Field]
Get involved in your community with something not health-related, and bring that science GPA up.
 
Sep 25, 2017
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Please help!!
I am in my Junior year of my Undergraduate Career at the University of Iowa. I have a University of Iowa cGPA of 3.31 and an overall GPA including some college credits from high school of 3.55. I have 4 years experience as an EMT and 1-year experience as a Paramedic. I am involved on campus as being the President of a student organization, I will have 2-3 years of research under my belt, and I also volunteer regularly. I have not taken my MCAT yet, but I will take it this May. I am wondering what my chances of getting accepted into an MD program are and I would also like to narrow my search for Medical schools. I am starting to worry about my GPA, and just would like some general advice. I have done lots for my resume over the years, but my GPA has dropped and I am concerned. Any help is appreciated!!
 
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