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Jan 24, 2016
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Hi all SDNers,

I am new here, but really need some advice. I have never posted on a forum before, so here goes.

Here is a quick summary regarding me:
I graduated in 2014 with a 3.97 at an upper tier liberal arts college with a BA in Biology and Hispanic Studies. I ended up taking three gap years working full time first as a medical scribe in the ER and then as the chief recruiter at a Cardiology scribe company. I postponed my MCAT several times, mainly due to a combination of my own laziness, lack of mental/emotional preparedness to go back into school, and need to work full time.

Now fast forward to the present day:
I am scheduled to take the MCAT June 18 in order to apply for the 2017 cycle. I finally was prepared to hunker down and study. Then life threw me a major curveball. This past November, my father took his own life. As an only child and the product of divorce, I have been the executor of his estate. Needless to say, between grieving, settling his affairs, and working part time, I have had difficulty studying. I could in theory quit my job to focus on only studying (I would be able to financially survive for a few months), but my primary support system is at work, and I don't know if I could emotionally handle that isolation right now.

I am honestly at a loss as to what to do, which is why I have reached out to the interwebs. I could:
1. Maintain my current work schedule and hope I somehow become focused enough to prepare adequately for the June MCAT.
2. Quit work and only study for the MCAT (and possibly go crazy).
3. Accept that I should not apply this cycle, but still try to take the MCAT this year (i.e. in September). At least then, I could retake the MCAT if need be before the 2018 cycle and still feel like I accomplished some of my goals.
4. Other options...

By working in the medical field for several years, I know now that medicine is what I wish to pursue. I just don't know how to get there right now.

Thank you so much in advance for any and all thoughts!!

Jack Westin

MCAT Education Technology Company
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10+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2011
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I'm sorry for your loss and I applaud you for you determination. I think you clearly understand what it takes to do well on this exam and how important it is to have structure. I would recommend not rushing to take the exam but you should study everyday until you are ready. Definitely keep some kind of connection to the outside world as you study. Try to stay balanced but give yourself time to do well.

Life doesn't always go as planned. You cannot control what hand you are dealt. But you can control how you play that hand. Taking extra time to assure your success on the MCAT can also be seen as an investment. If you took the exam too early, you will most likely have to retake it. This could take even more of your time than simply studying for it once, in an extended period of time. The extra year you have could be used as a period of reflection and growth- both personally and professionally. Good luck and feel free to PM me anytime.