?doctor

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I am currently a college junior and would like to take the MCAT Spring 2021 and apply to medical school Summer/Fall 2021. I have completed all the required premed courses and I have enough credits to graduate a semester early (December of Senior year). Would it look bad if I instead took next semester off (Spring of Junior year) so that I could study for the MCAT?
 
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deleted889094

I wouldn't do it unless you have a reason why you need to. Or unless you're going to get a 524. Most everyone is able to study for the MCAT and do school at the same time. It's not a good luck if you can't produce amazing results. Besides, it's good prep for medical school and step
 
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Catalystik

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I am currently a college junior and would like to take the MCAT Spring 2021 and apply to medical school Summer/Fall 2021. I have completed all the required premed courses and I have enough credits to graduate a semester early (December of Senior year). Would it look bad if I instead took next semester off (Spring of Junior year) so that I could study for the MCAT?
Who would know why you took off that term? You might have been ill. You might have had financial issues. Maybe your family needed you. Maybe you felt online-only classes don't warrant the university fee. Or maybe an essential in-person lab wasn't available to you.

Would you still live on campus so you could engage in any essential ECs you are already involved in? If not, how do you afford your monthly rent payments? Would your presence at home endanger any older folks living there if you don't plan to "lock down?" Will the college grant you a leave of absence so you don't have to reapply in order to return next fall?

There are a lot of considerations, but, no, it won't "look bad" to take off a term of college.
 
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?doctor

2+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2017
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  1. Pre-Medical
Who would know why you took off that term? You might have been ill. You might have had financial issues. Maybe your family needed you. Maybe you felt online-only classes don't warrant the university fee. Or maybe an essential in-person lab wasn't available to you.

Would you still live on campus so you could engage in any essential ECs you are already involved in? If not, how do you afford your monthly rent payments? Would your presence at home endanger any older folks living there if you don't plan to "lock down?" Will the college grant you a leave of absence so you don't have to reapply in order to return next fall?

There are a lot of considerations, but, no, it won't "look bad" to take off a term of college.
Thank you for your response. Yes, I would continue to live in my off-campus house In order to continue my extracurricular activities. Besides studying for the MCAT, I would try to increase my volunteer and shadowing hours which I was not able to do during the fall semester.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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What did you decide to do? I have enough credits to graduate in 7 semesters and was thinking my of doing the same thing since it’s been so hard to get clinical hours this last year.
 
Nov 15, 2020
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I'm interviewing now and took a year off in undergrad because of a family issue. I've only been asked about it in a minority of interviews, and I usually just say I had a family issue and they let it go. I think it's ideal if I could say that I filled it with some great experiences of research/volunteer, etc but I'm not sure it has hurt me as much as I thought it would. Good luck.
 

Goro

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I am currently a college junior and would like to take the MCAT Spring 2021 and apply to medical school Summer/Fall 2021. I have completed all the required premed courses and I have enough credits to graduate a semester early (December of Senior year). Would it look bad if I instead took next semester off (Spring of Junior year) so that I could study for the MCAT?
It is a common pre-med delusion that you have to finished UG in four straight years.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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I wouldn't do it unless you have a reason why you need to. Or unless you're going to get a 524. Most everyone is able to study for the MCAT and do school at the same time. It's not a good luck if you can't produce amazing results. Besides, it's good prep for medical school and step
If he or she was going to graduate in 7 semesters anyway, why would it matter if they took off a semester junior year instead of senior year?
 
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deleted889094

If he or she was going to graduate in 7 semesters anyway, why would it matter if they took off a semester junior year instead of senior year?
That's not the same thing. It's not taking a semester off senior year, it's graduating early. One is taking a break, the other isn't.
 
Feb 5, 2020
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I can hardly imagine taking a semester off negatively affecting your medical admissions. Average age of entering class is 24, and some do absolutely nothing but prepare for the MCAT during those two gap years. You should be
worried about getting more clinical experience, since most applicants are older and had plenty of clinical experience pre-COVID.
 
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Nov 30, 2020
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I graduated in 7 semesters straight, leaving my senior Spring to work full-time in my research lab. My PI had committed to hiring me back in March, so I was able to include that blurb on my AMCAS app and in any secondaries that asked about time off between applications and matriculation. I was asked about it in all of my interviews so far (I guess to verify if I was still able to do it). Only one MSTP director asked me why I chose to graduate early. Seemed like everyone had either seen it before or was ever-so-slightly impressed.

If you do take Junior spring off be prepared to answer why if an interviewer presses. Short answers are fine!
 

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