Delaying MCAT (again): more prep vs. later app cost-benefit analysis

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7+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2013
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Thanks for reading. I believe (correct if wrong)I am a strong applicant, save that I haven't yet taken MCAT.

UC Davis Class of 2017:
- Major: Political Science
- 3.87 sGPA, 3.94 cGPA
- 2 years of clinical research
- 9 months as ER tech (EMT-certified)
- 3 months as healthcare policy analyst intern
- 5 weeks clinical work in South Africa (area of research)
- 1 year of clinical work in undergraduate university-associated rural clinic
- ER scribe
- Volunteer leadership position for congressional campaign (Federal, House of Representatives)

- Documented disability
- Community college transfer / non-trad

Additional relevant background follows; questions bolded at bottom if you wish to skip.

Underlying longer-term problem: I more ground to make up on MCAT content review than typical.

- Never taken:
• psychology/sociology
• anatomy (cell bio only)

- Taken, but poor retention
• lab procedure stuff
• research paper reading "skills"
• general chemistry (4 years ago, largely forgotten)

Given this, and that my record does not indicate any of these deficiencies I am concerned the MCAT may "expose" me. I also feel as though I have "more to lose" in that and a 515+ score is required to prevent major limitations on my potential as an applicant that are not baked in as MCAT TBD "wait and see" applicant.

I am scheduled to take MCAT June 2 (delayed before from April 20) and don't think I am on track to be prepared by test day (some urgency to assess as seats may fill). I have spent a lot of time on content review, creating comprehensive Anki decks for Bio/Biochem/P/S.

At this point, with 80 days remaining (55 non-work days), I need to invest time to:

• review Bio/Biochem/P/S decks in full
• strengthen passage-based skills (many unforced errors, low comprehension)
• really strengthen C/P, my weakest section (memorize equations etc.)
• CARS is of least concern, and seems to be on track

Time is short enough now that I am starting to feel a push-pull between these areas to cover and looks as though having all of my bases covered isn't "adding up" within available timeframe.

I have been experiencing significant and worsening anxiety ("impending sense of doom") over this period that was acute enough that my therapist has prescribed my beta blockers that I am to start on tomorrow. It would be fair the anxiety has somewhat sapped my efficiency.

With that background, I'll state the fundamental question being asked succinctly:

Is it "normal" to sit for the test knowing full well that you have not completed content review due to having had to shift over to simulating test conditions/passages as you run short on time?

Should I delay my MCAT from June 2 to June 17 (or even June 30 if 2 weeks is argued to be inconsequential)?

Does the fact that I am an otherwise strong applicant (again, correct me if I'm wrong) make me less subject to the disadvantages associated with applying in mid/late July? (my primary will be sent out to 1 school without MCAT, as is often suggested)

Am I just being neurotic and shooting myself in the foot?

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In the future, try to TLDR. I can confirm that you are being neurotic and the time spent writing that manuscript could have been spent sleeping, studying, etc. Just study, take FLs, and if it makes sense, you may want to take a course.

Don’t take the MCAT until you’re ready, but at the same time, you need to recognize no time will be perfect nor will you likely feel 100% ready to take it. Take as many FLs as you can in a test environment (no distractions, music, etc.) and assess where you’re at.

Best of luck to you.

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