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Hello again - sorry for all of the recent questions! I am the first one in my family going through this process and reading about other experiences is so incredibly helpful.

I have been planning out a theoretical schedule for junior year and senior year (currently a sophomore). I'm planning on a gap year after undergrad. This past fall semester I took cell bio, orgo I, biostats, and physics I, and that was quite the difficult load w/4 lab courses, even when I wasn't involved in any super-time consuming ECs. I could take physics II this sem, but I will have a part-time job as a behavioral health tech as well as a TA for an intro bio course. Super excited for both of those positions. I think that's plenty to keep me busy, and I wouldn't want to risk taking physics II this sem and tanking my grade in another course while I also juggle being a TA and a part-time job. Hopefully this seems like a reasonable schedule. 4 courses is considered a full load at my college:

Completed so far (after this spring semester): Bio 1/2, Chem 1/2, Stats (biostats), Orgo 1/2, two English courses

Summer 2021: research internship + shadowing

Junior fall (2021): semester abroad

Junior spring (2022): Biochemistry, Physics II, Sociology 101, and one elective course in any department (Should I take an Anatomy and Physiology course before the MCAT? - is that easy to self-study for?)

Summer 2022: Study for MCAT and take in August, volunteer/shadow/scribe

Senior fall (2022): 3 psych courses for a neuroscience minor, one elective course or additional biochem course

Senior spring (2023): Neurobiology, Calc I, one elective course

Summer 2023: Applications

Thanks again everyone!
 

Rachapkis

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Why are you taking the MCAT before your senior year? The MCAT is one of the most important determinants of whether you will be admitted to medical school (approx. 60% of applicants are not) and, if so, which schools give you a nod. If at all possible, take the MCAT only once and get a good score. I recommend finishing college, accumulating all of the knowledge for the MCAT you possibly can, and then taking the MCAT after a distraction-free study period.
 
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Why are you taking the MCAT before your senior year? The MCAT is one of the most important determinants of whether you will be admitted to medical school (approx. 60% of applicants are not) and, if so, which one. You need to try as hard as you can to take the MCAT only once and get a good score. I recommend finishing college, accumulating all of the knowledge for the MCAT you possibly can, and then, if possible, taking the MCAT after a distraction-free study period.
Originally I was a thinking that the summer before senior year will be a good idea, likely because I can devote the entire summer to studying and will have all of the pre-reqs out of the way. And I could self-study for psych if I have not taken a psych class by then.

So May of senior year would probably be the better plan? I would probably plan a very light course load and maybe only do 3 courses that semester. I just wasn't sure if it was better to have the MCAT done before senior year so I could have a good idea if I would need to retake it again/I could also see which schools I should be applying to.
 
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KnightDoc

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Originally I was a thinking that the summer before senior year will be a good idea, likely because I can devote the entire summer to studying and will have all of the pre-reqs out of the way. And I could self-study for psych if I have not taken a psych class by then.

So May of senior year would probably be the better plan? I would probably plan a very light course load and maybe only do 3 courses that semester. I just wasn't sure if it was better to have the MCAT done before senior year so I could have a good idea if I would need to retake it again/I could also see which schools I should be applying to.
Nope -- you had it right the first time. Why would you create another year of separation between completing the coursework required for the MCAT and taking the exam? It's far from impossible to do a review later, but the optimal time to take the exam is when the material is most fresh in your mind, and when you have the most time to dedicate for preparation. For you, and MANY other people, that is the summer after junior year. Good luck!!!
 
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Nope -- you had it right the first time. Why would you create another year of separation between completing the coursework required for the MCAT and taking the exam? It's far from impossible to do a review later, but the optimal time to take the exam is when the material is most fresh in your mind, and when you have the most time to dedicate for preparation. For you, and MANY other people, that is the summer after junior year. Good luck!!!
Thank you!!
 
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Agreed with KnightDoc. You should take your MCAT as soon as you can after finishing the prereqs. The summer after Junior year the the perfect time to study for and take the MCAT because that'll be the longest period of time you'll have before your app cycle.

OP, your schedule looks good! Be sure to get in research/clinical and non-clinical volunteering and you'll be in good shape by the time you apply (as long as your GPA/MCAT are acceptable).

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Agreed with KnightDoc. You should take your MCAT as soon as you can after finishing the prereqs. The summer after Junior year the the perfect time to study for and take the MCAT because that'll be the longest period of time you'll have before your app cycle.

OP, your schedule looks good! Be sure to get in research/clinical and non-clinical volunteering and you'll be in good shape by the time you apply (as long as your GPA/MCAT are acceptable).

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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Sounds good - will definitely stick with the MCAT study of the summer plan!
 
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Anatomy and Physiology are helpful for the MCAT but you can probably get away with self studying. If you think you can handle it, you could sub AP for sociology 101 or just add it, but obviously its more important to do well on it if you do take it.
 
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Anatomy and Physiology are helpful for the MCAT but you can probably get away with self studying. If you think you can handle it, you could sub AP for sociology 101 or just add it, but obviously its more important to do well on it if you do take it.
I hear that A&P is great extra preparation so I might end up doing that instead of soc. One thing I am really trying to do is space out all of my prereqs so I have the highest chance to do well in each, and so far it's going pretty well. Thanks!
 
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