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committee deadline & low practice MCAT. need advice ASAP!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by HPlover03, May 19, 2014.

  1. HPlover03

    HPlover03 2+ Year Member

    May 19, 2014
    So to use my schools pre-med committee, I have to take the MCAT on May 31st.. so in like 12 days. My practice test scores are heinous and I'm not ready to take the actual MCAT. So my question..

    Take the MCAT, not score well, like 25 or below :confused:, be able to use the committee and retake in August?
    Or don't use the committee, :bookworm: hopefully raise my scores, take it in August, and then have to explain why I didn't use the committee?

    Which of the two evils is better??

    Has anyone been in this situation?! PLEASE HELP :nailbiting::(:(
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  3. DrCharlemagne

    DrCharlemagne Old Maid in Training 7+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2010
    Contact your pre-med advisor, and consider putting off the app for a year if you don't think you'd be prepared to take the MCAT until August. Applying that late with even a stellar app is generally a waste of everyone's time and your money.
    DokterMom likes this.
  4. Shazam243

    Shazam243 2+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2014
    The second one.
  5. Zelda840

    Zelda840 2+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    You can't erase a low mcat score. Don't take it until you're ready.
  6. Fedxup

    Fedxup 2+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Get individual letters instead. But I agree with everyone don't take the MCAT until you are ready.
  7. Plecopotamus

    Plecopotamus 2+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Delay applying for a year. Do something meaningful to contribute to your app in that year. The plus side that offers is that even if you never get a *great* MCAT, you'll have experiences that make you more attractive with merely an *ok* MCAT.

    Having had to take more gap years than I intended, I know it initially seems like the end of the world. However, once you make peace with delaying for a year, you will feel a lot of stress lifted. The stress you're under is not going to contribute to a better app -- honestly, the way you feel now, do you think you'd even perform at your best for your current level of MCAT preparation? And if you'd spent a ton of $ on apps and then had to retake the MCAT in Aug, do you think you'd perform optimally knowing all that was at stake having a prior low MCAT score to overcome? Would your secondardies be as well written if you completed them while stressing about this stuff?

    Part of what adcoms are evaluating when they look at your app is your apparent judgment. Taking the MCAT when that unprepared (sub 25) or applying without a committee letter when one is actually available to you can't say something good about you.
  8. DK2014

    DK2014 2+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    Do not apply this year, unless is you are strictly interested in DO schools.
  9. areserine

    areserine 2+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2011
    I have to agree about taking a gap year. I was dead set on taking one, and then ended up having to take two. It's been a huge blessing in disguise in terms of what I've learned with time off, people I've met, and a huge boost for my app. One year seems like a ton when you're on this defined path, but it'll past so incredibly fast that it won't feel like anything. Give yourself the gift of mental health and a better app.
    kyamh likes this.
  10. Zach Morris

    Zach Morris

    Mar 16, 2014
    Do not take an MCAT if you think you will get a sub 25!! Ideally, you want good MCAT scores and a committee letter. That being the case, I would probably wait a year and bolster your application. It will allow you to (1) adequately prepare for the MCAT and (2) target the weak areas of your application and fix them. You really want to go into your first application cycle guns blazing, so don't rush if you don't think that your application is strong enough.
  11. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Apply with the best possible app, even if it means waiting a year. Take the MCAT only when you're ready. I have colleagues who would reject or low wait list you if they asked "so what happened on the MCAT?" and you answered "well, i was in a hurry to take it because I needed a committee letter". This brings into question your ability to make good choices.

    You don't need the committee can get and submit individual ones.

  12. HPlover03

    HPlover03 2+ Year Member

    May 19, 2014
    thanks for all the advice! it really helped to get an outside perspective! I have postponed my MCAT and am prepared to take a year off! I already have a job in the medical field and can gain more experience and get some more volunteer hours elsewhere. gonna do whatever i can to boost my app! thanks again, really appreciate all the replies
  13. Plecopotamus

    Plecopotamus 2+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Kudos to you for feeling this way (seriously), but is this advice really broadly applicable?

    Obviously, I completely agree that it would be foolish to get a bad MCAT score in order to meet a committee letter deadline. And I HATE committee letters, b/c I've known too many people who had good LORs and were screwed over by a late or unflattering committee letter. And I know there are specific deans/adcoms who prefer LORs. BUT there are a lot of schools that are pretty emphatic that you should have a committee letter if you are coming from a school that offers them and are <2 years post graduation. Even if they don't use the words "required" or "must have" (which I think some do), I am reticent to recommend ignoring any "strongly suggested" recommendations when it comes to med school apps, b/c app fees aren't intended to be a charitable donation.
  14. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    We Adcoms assume applicants are vested enough in their success as to do their homework. I'll agree that we like committee LORs because we're lazy and a nice summation of the applicant is preferable than reading 4-5 LORs. BUT, a lack of a committee LOR shouldn't be crippling.

    More relevant is the OP's situation, where OP, in desparation will be willing to hinder his/her stats in order to get that committee LOR.

  15. Plecopotamus

    Plecopotamus 2+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    My impression is that a lot of your colleagues in MD admissions do not share your feelings about this. But maybe it's a mythical concern that just gets overblown by postbacc programs trying to squeeze money out of us.

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