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Critique my application timeline for me?

JR_ski2

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2017
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  1. Pre-Medical
I've been thinking about taking a gap year after college so that I could have more time to prep, especially for the MCAT. It sounds hard to study for the MCAT while taking classes, so I thought maybe I could prep and take the MCAT during the summer after Junior year. If anyone has any advice/critiques for my timeline, please let me know! Or, how can I make prepping for the MCAT while also taking classes more manageable?

Potential schedule:
  • By spring of Junior year: take all med school pre-reqs
  • Spring of Junior year and following summer: MCAT prep
  • End of summer, before Senior year: take the MCAT
  • Late winter/spring of Senior year: compile med school list, write personal statement, retake MCAT if needed
  • Spring of Senior year: AMCAS primary
  • Summer after Senior year: secondaries
  • Fall/Winter after Senior year: interviews & hopefully acceptance!
 

jhmmd

supernatural
Apr 28, 2020
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desert highway
JR_ski2 said:
I've been thinking about taking a gap year after college so that I could have more time to prep, especially for the MCAT. It sounds hard to study for the MCAT while taking classes, so I thought maybe I could prep and take the MCAT during the summer after Junior year. If anyone has any advice/critiques for my timeline, please let me know! Or, how can I make prepping for the MCAT while also taking classes more manageable?

Potential schedule:
  • By spring of Junior year: take all med school pre-reqs
  • Spring of Junior year and following summer: MCAT prep
  • End of summer, before Senior year: take the MCAT
  • Late winter/spring of Senior year: compile med school list, write personal statement, retake MCAT if needed
  • Spring of Senior year: AMCAS primary
  • Summer after Senior year: secondaries
  • Fall/Winter after Senior year: interviews & hopefully acceptance!
  • Hi @JR_ski2! Overall, your plan looks good. How many months total do you plan to spend studying for the MCAT? People generally recommend 3-4 solid months of studying. I would write your personal statement a little earlier because it's weighted more and more these days (with the increasing number of applicants); make sure you have several people look it over for you (people you trust).
Most importantly, make sure you have a light class load while you're studying for the MCAT. It counts just as much as all four years of undergrad. Remember this and good luck; hope this helped! :)
 

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,496
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  1. Pre-Medical
I've been thinking about taking a gap year after college so that I could have more time to prep, especially for the MCAT. It sounds hard to study for the MCAT while taking classes, so I thought maybe I could prep and take the MCAT during the summer after Junior year. If anyone has any advice/critiques for my timeline, please let me know! Or, how can I make prepping for the MCAT while also taking classes more manageable?

Potential schedule:
  • By spring of Junior year: take all med school pre-reqs
  • Spring of Junior year and following summer: MCAT prep
  • End of summer, before Senior year: take the MCAT
  • Late winter/spring of Senior year: compile med school list, write personal statement, retake MCAT if needed
  • Spring of Senior year: AMCAS primary
  • Summer after Senior year: secondaries
  • Fall/Winter after Senior year: interviews & hopefully acceptance!
This is a perfect timeline for those taking at least one gap year, which nowadays is around 2/3 of all applicants.
 
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gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
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The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
This is a perfect timeline for those taking at least one gap year, which nowadays is around 2/3 of all applicants.
Just to add, 60% of matriculants took at least 1 gap year. I dont know if I have a data source for applicants, though it would an interesting comparison
 

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
Just to add, 60% of matriculants took at least 1 gap year. I dont know if I have a data source for applicants, though it would an interesting comparison
I have been told by various admissions staffers in various forums (both online and in person) that they do not discriminate against people going straight through, and that the 1/3-2/3 breakdown is reflective of their pool. Only one school so far has told me that their applicant pool is 50-50 while their matriculant pool is 1/3-2/3. Maybe the schools are not being entirely forthcoming with me as an applicant, but this is what they are telling me. I also saw very detailed stats from one UG that shows less than 30% of its applicants have zero gap years (apparently, in that case, the advising office is giving good advice about the need for gap years, and the students are following that advice), so I do believe what the med schools are telling me.
 
Last edited:

StudentDoGter

MS1
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Sep 17, 2014
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I’ll just chime in and say not to underestimate the time it may take to refine and polish your personal statement. It typically involves many drafts, and your LOR writers may request a copy prior to finishing their letters. I definitely did not anticipate the amount of TLC needed for the PS and it was stressful o_O
 
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JR_ski2

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2017
30
9
86
  1. Pre-Medical
  • Hi @JR_ski2! Overall, your plan looks good. How many months total do you plan to spend studying for the MCAT? People generally recommend 3-4 solid months of studying. I would write your personal statement a little earlier because it's weighted more and more these days (with the increasing number of applicants); make sure you have several people look it over for you (people you trust).
Most importantly, make sure you have a light class load while you're studying for the MCAT. It counts just as much as all four years of undergrad. Remember this and good luck; hope this helped! :)
I was planning on studying for the MCAT starting the spring of junior year, around/after classes get out in early May. That would leave me about 4 months if I took the MCAT in August or September. Thanks for the advice about the personal statement!
 

JR_ski2

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2017
30
9
86
  1. Pre-Medical
I’ll just chime in and say not to underestimate the time it may take to refine and polish your personal statement. It typically involves many drafts, and your LOR writers may request a copy prior to finishing their letters. I definitely did not anticipate the amount of TLC needed for the PS and it was stressful o_O
Thanks for the advice! I hadn't thought about how LOR writers may want to look at my PS. I think it would be good to have my PS out of the way before working on the AMCAS primary. How many months should I give myself to write my PS?
 
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