masterchemcraig

New Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2005
1
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey all. I'm a sophomore bioengineer/biochemistry dual major. I'm not a declared "pre-med", but I'm taking all the necessary classes. I dont' know what I want to do yet, pursue engineering or medicine. But I want to keep my options open. I had a few questions for you all, hopefully you can help.

1.) By the end of this semester, I'll have completed all the courses on the mcat. Should I take the mcat then next semester (the spring semester of my sophomore year), the summer after my sophomore year, or should I wait until my junior year? I'm not sure how long the test is valid after you take it. Should I give it the go this year, or should I take a summer to study for this test and take it later? As an engineer and division I athlete at my school, it's pretty much impossible for me to study for this test during the school year.

2.) Do you find undergraduate teaching (such as bio or ochem) to be helpful for mcat studying, or just a waste of time?

3.) If I were to go do undergrad for 4.5 years or 5 years, when would be the best time to take the test (assume Q1 is for 4 years).

4.) Do you think being an athlete will be a good thing to have on my resume, or will it completely looked over? I'm investing a huge amount of time into it, and although I love it, I don't want it to jeopardize my future if I could be doing something more beneficial in place of it.

Thanks!
 

SeventhSon

SIMMER DOWN
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2005
1,022
1
35
San Diego
Status
MD/PhD Student
masterchemcraig said:
Hey all. I'm a sophomore bioengineer/biochemistry dual major. I'm not a declared "pre-med", but I'm taking all the necessary classes. I dont' know what I want to do yet, pursue engineering or medicine. But I want to keep my options open. I had a few questions for you all, hopefully you can help.

1.) By the end of this semester, I'll have completed all the courses on the mcat. Should I take the mcat then next semester (the spring semester of my sophomore year), the summer after my sophomore year, or should I wait until my junior year? I'm not sure how long the test is valid after you take it. Should I give it the go this year, or should I take a summer to study for this test and take it later? As an engineer and division I athlete at my school, it's pretty much impossible for me to study for this test during the school year.

2.) Do you find undergraduate teaching (such as bio or ochem) to be helpful for mcat studying, or just a waste of time?

3.) If I were to go do undergrad for 4.5 years or 5 years, when would be the best time to take the test (assume Q1 is for 4 years).

4.) Do you think being an athlete will be a good thing to have on my resume, or will it completely looked over? I'm investing a huge amount of time into it, and although I love it, I don't want it to jeopardize my future if I could be doing something more beneficial in place of it.

Thanks!
I'm a chemE.

I'm graduating in my 5th year which I'm completing right now, and applying at the same time.

My advice is to apply the summer after graduation (i.e. take a year off), as it's a nightmare to deal with engineering classes and all this med school app stuff.

How long is the MCAT is good for? Usually 3 years, it's a school specific issue and there usually is some variance. As far as when to take it... the best time for me to have taken it would have been right after my sophmore year when i had just finished ochem, bio, and physics sequences, but I wasn't sure I wanted to do med school then yet, and I had completely mastered those topics at the time. If you only did "ok" in those classes then probably isn't a good idea.

If you aren't going to have a gap year and ace ochem etc. I might consider taking it early. If not, wait until way later and pick a time in your schedule when you know you can study. I had to go back and review tons of stuff I had forgotten but everything turned out alright.

I want to say that being an athlete will undoubtedly help you because it shows that you can handle a huge time commitment on top of school. If you can get good grades and be an athelte, I think it would look great. At the same time, however, you have to convince adcoms that you want to be a doctor, so if it is also deleterious to being able to volunteer/shadow etc. then it could be detracting from more important parts of your application.

In the end, I would be yourself and find out what's important to you. If you feel some things are lacking in your app you can always have a gap year and fill them in. I wish I had done that.

I hope this helps.