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For those who have taken the MCAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gildas, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. gildas

    gildas Senior Member
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    Everyone I talked to in my school took either a semester off or less credit to prepare for the MCAT. I am planning on taking it next year in april, but I will be taking 16 credit this fall and more than 12 next spring. Do you t hink it will hurt my chance to get a good score?
    Thanks
     
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  3. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    Certainly there are others in your situation who have done just fine, but it certainly doesn't help you any. My general recommendation is to take the MCAT the summer after your sophomore year. At that point you have all the science background you need and you should be able to devote more time to studying, plus there is time for you to retake if you need to.

    Personally, I would not want to try balancing MCAT studying with a full load of schoolwork and all the other stuff I like to be involved in. It's not that it can't be done, it just can't be fun! (that rhymes!)

    Good luck.
     
  4. premyo2002

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    Holding 16 units isn't that bad..I have some other questions:
    Do you work? If so how many hours?
    What are the courses?
    How many hours can you study for the mcat?
    Are you taking a prep-course?

    I would say, that to some extent, time put in and score are proportional- However, it really depends on the person. If you are the kind of person that needs a lot of study time, and you wont have that time available to study, you might consider another option
     
  5. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    I took it two weeks ago, I'm carrying 25 (semester) units. It can be done.

    Just ask me later how well, though.
     
  6. gildas

    gildas Senior Member
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    well I am a junior. I will be taking Microbiology, biology and society,Biochem, some humanity classes this fall. All my classes for next spring will be clinical lab sciences classes. And I don't know if I will be working, I might just for few hours a week. Thanks
     
  7. TheRussian

    TheRussian Life Size Mirror
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    Last april I took 14 credit hours. My classes included Physics, Physics Lab, Advanced bio course on growth control and cancer, and biomedical ethics. In addition to that I took a prep course for the MCAT that had 10 hours of class time and just about as much homework time. I did fine in my classes AND on the MCAT so it's duable.

    Trekkie, I don't think that most pre-meds completed their pre-med courses by the end of sophmore year. My impression was that most take physics junior year. I don't see a point in taking the MCAT before completing these courses. Also it gives you time to take biochem, anatomy, and/or physiology which are very helpful for the MCAT.
     
  8. Doc Martins

    Doc Martins Senior Member
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    I took the MCAT a week and a half ago, and I took a Kaplan course and 14 credits. I decided not to work this semester, because then I could just focus on school and MCAT work. Can't say how I did yet, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    I agree with the point that you should not take the MCAT before taking courses such as Physics and Organic. It would be a better idea to take these courses while you are studying for the MCAT, so at least it's fresh in your head.
     
  9. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    I guess the pre-med requirement stuff might vary by school. At my school, physics is a 100-level course and most pre-meds take it either their freshman or sophomore year. I definitely would not recommend taking the MCAT without already taking all the associated college-level courses it tests on.
     
  10. Anka

    Anka Senior Member
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    I took the MCAT while working 60 hours per week, taking six classes, training for the olymics and otherwise walking on water. It was intense but an awesome experience. You know that euphoric feeling you get when you haven't slept in three days? THAT was the feeling! More legal than acid, and better halucinations.

    Anka
     
  11. Mistress S

    Mistress S Don't mess with the S
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    Gildas-
    Plenty of people have taken the MCAT alongside a busy school and work schedule and done fine, but that doesn't mean you should--you have to know yourself and how you perform best. Personally, I took the MCAT while working full-time and didn't study enough; I got an okay score (29) but not one that reflects my potential. I now plan to retake, which is a huge pain and totally screws up my plans. Of course I could have studied more, I only worked 9-5 in general so even with communting I still had most of the evening to study. But the reality, at least for me, is that after working all day I rarely had the motivation to study for 3 hours at night. It can be done, but it will be exhausting and if you don't have to put yourself through that I would advise against it--this is an important enough test that if you can avoid working and/or taking difficult classes while studying, it will be worth the financial/academic sacrifice. That said, there are some people who seem to thrive off this kind of situation--who perform well when they have a million things going on at once so they have every moment scheduled and no free time. That would drive me insane, but some people seem to be more productive that way; if you're one of those types, then by all means take the MCAT with plenty of other activities. Ultimately, you just have to know yourself and your needs; if you worry about being overwhelmed with school and the MCAT, then consider taking a lighter courseload. It will all be worth it later when you get that sweet 45. ;)
     
  12. hamhamfan

    hamhamfan internet fairy
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    If you aren't going to take a year off, I suggest taking it early, like this summer. That way, you can just worry about the MCAT. It's great having only it to worry about..and don't worry about the subject material being too high or anything. I didn't have any high level classes... I think that the extra time and less stress was what really helped.
     
  13. UDbiochem

    UDbiochem Senior Member
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    17 credits (max allowed at my school) + Kaplan + MCAT two weeks ago...

    I went a little insane for a while, but I did it. I do wish I had taken a lighter load though, or taken it last summer.
     
  14. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    I think you need a couple of light days before the exam to relax, but you should be fine to take a normal classload. Just don't let yourself get tired or frazzled before the test. It's muy importante to keep your cool during the MCAT.
     
  15. felipe5

    felipe5 Fingerpickin' Good
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    I totally agree with the above posters that it can be done......I took the MCAT last year with 15 credits (not too bad), but with a CRAP-LOAD of EC's. I did well, but in retrospect, I wish I would have taken it easy on all of my activities. So, my advice to you is, if you can afford to do it, to take it easy......it'll make your semester a lot smoother, and as the rgporter said, help you to not get even more stressed out than you need to be. :horns:
     
  16. avicoo

    avicoo SDN Donor
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    I am going to echo what many of the other posters have said. It depends on how you function as an individual.

    Personally, I seem to do a better job managing my time when I am extremely busy. I was able to more effectively study while I was taking classes and working. I took two weeks off right before the test for last minute cramming and practice exams. I spent most of those two weeks goofing off with my books in front of me, accomplishing nothing.
     

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