Hey, So several questions in one post - exciting times for the beneficent , advice-rich multitasker ! So, first things first - cum. gpa 3.49, sci gpa 3.40 I switched into the pre-med track the semester before I was "supposed" to graduate and have shown considerable improvement in terms of science gpa/grades in general since that semester I switched (the past, last 3 semesters, during which I finished the bulk of my pre-med courses), I received two-three B's and the rest As. (Math and a cog psych course a few years back, along with the hard switch semester to the pre-med lowered my gpa relatively significantly) Do you think improvement, especially with the sciences, will be a major factor when looking at GPA ? I also took the 4/19 MCATs and did not like the score I received (29Q). Since extenuating circumstances/several factors came into play (gotta love those car and caffeine crashes!), I know I could do significantly better. The re-take is scheduled for July 12 so the earliest I'd get the scores back would be August 12(?). My question is whether or not I should start the application process now, later, or should save it for the following year. Also, since I switched to the pre-med track late into my college career and rushed thru it, I don't much extracurriculars under my belt: a volunteer gig at a hospital for 2 semesters, week long service trip to NO, semester long thing with the student emergency med program, "research" gig for 2.5 years doing mainly pollinations and data entry [point being that it probably isn't considered "research"]. Since I know late applications decrease the chances of acceptance and given circumstances, my question again, given the relatively late MCAT retake score release, is whether or not I should start the app. process now, later, or much later. (monetary concerns is also a factor with the app process) Also a question for the backpackers- I've been doing some research into options for the little time off before med school and found a few attractive options. One is an english teaching program offered in China for ~$3500 with airfare. The program offers TEFL certification, crash course in Mandarin, and board. Another offers the same deal in China for $1700 without airfare and without a TEFL cert (which isnt a huge deal), but I'd have to wait until next year. Another offers an english teachin gig in Thailand, for around 1700 without airfare, but with board. However, accd to the website, the pay rate is 15000 baht, which is around 450/mo. I heard that a standard teacher's pay is around 30000 baht, but if I were to do freelance work, i'd have to find my own accommodations which I heard is fairly high for foreigners. Another program I found is in New Zealand. The program offers visa assistance (along with the others) and job placement services for ~$600. My questions are - do these programs seem worth the cost or is it manageable without and without any huge headaches ? also, not being a main concern, but I feel that a teaching gig would seem more attractive to the admittance boards (along with other employers) than just working in another country and traveling. Am i on point there ? Also, assuming that I apply for med schools now and get interviews, would it be a significant disadvantage to be overseas during the year of ? Also, this, assuming it pans out, would be my first trip overseas so, reiterating, do you think the programs are worth the cost ? Please keep in mind that I support myself and have student loans and costs assoc. with the pre-med to consider. I guess any advice from the backpackers, backdrifters and the like would be much much appreciated. uhhh...i think thats it. Thanks!