Some background: I've just finished my freshmen year and just transferred out of Electrical Engineering after I realized how much more flexible my schedule would be as a pre-med in Biology. I claimed AP credit for all core classes with the exception of Calc I and II because I was planning on doing pre-med in EE while still graduating in 4 years. If I want to, I can have all med school pre-reqs done by next summer (requiring me to undertake both Orgo II w/ lab and Phys 2 w/ lab in the Spring). As of right now, I have very weak EC's (random club memberships, 2nd place in school's robotics competition and sporadic volunteering). The question: I've heard of people taking their MCAT the summer after their sophomore year and my pre-med adviser mentioned that several of her students swore by the 6-week, full day MCAT courses. I read a thread discouraging students from attempting to prepare for the MCAT along with a full course load and agree with the fact that a Summer dedicated to MCAT prep and immediately after finishing the pre-reqs would help you reach your highest potential score. So my question is: is it worth it for me to rush into the MCAT and sacrifice an entire Summer's worth of EC's considering my EC's are already weak? If I take the MCAT at the usual time in Spring of Junior year, I'll probably get a lower score but in turn, I can use this coming Summer for a research position at UT Southwestern or clinical exposure through a job at the county hospital (I know I'll get at least one of them). During Junior year, I plan on joining a mentorship program at my university that coordinates 12, 8-hour weeks of shadowing (4 hrs clinical/4 non) and maybe loading up with a full year's worth of research as well. If I take the MCAT over the Summer, this would leave me with: -a higher and early MCAT score (hopefully leading to an early application) -non-medical retail job from this Summer (also took Govt II at local CC this Summer) -about 80 hours of volunteering at a hospital from Sophomore year -about 40 random volunteering hours -about 100 hours (a Fall semester) shadowing (I may get more from family friend doctors) -1 semester as a coordinator for the shadowing program (leadership?) -about 1 years worth of some research (if I can keep my courseload light Junior year) Sorry for the long post but I was hoping for an opinion on my prospective plan as I don't think it is the path more often traveled. Another drawback is that I was hoping to minor in Spanish but I'll be taking Spanish I this Fall and will not be able to take Spanish II the following Spring if I need to cram both Orgo II and Phys II in that semester. A semester (or 2 including Summer) off between language courses is probably a bad idea so I don't think I'll be able get that Spanish minor. So assuming that when I apply, I have about a 3.95 cGPA/sGPA and about a 32-34 MCAT (rough guess based on where my friends and family have scored), will these EC's hold back my application? I'm basically picking between a stronger MCAT score with weak EC's or a more balanced app. I'm aiming for either UTSW or Baylor. Thanks for any response and sorry in advance if I broke some forum rules/etiquette. I'm still a noob here. So... or ?