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How to make myself a stronger canidate for the next cycle?

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WedgeDawg

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I think you should apply in 2017 in June once you have your MCAT score back.

Right now, the most important things to do are keep your GPA up (it's at a good level now) and maybe try your hand at some research (might be a good thing to do this summer). Other than that, it looks good.

Again, I strongly recommend applying in 2017 so you don't have to apply immediately after you get your MCAT in august where you'll be at a severe disadvantage.
 

elliejellybean

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I saw on the AAMC site you submit your MCAT later is that not a good idea
 

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WedgeDawg

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It is true but it's generally a bad idea because you're at a disadvantage because your application will not be considered until the MCAT is in, which might be after people are already attending interviews, so you lose out on the possibility of getting early interview invites.
 

elliejellybean

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So you're suggesting a gap year? I considered getting my masters in Neuroscience but I am not interested in doing research at all labs are just not my thing. Is there anything else I could do to be competitive so they'll grab me after sending in my MCAT? You think these schools (Drexel, Howard) are too far of a stretch?
 

WedgeDawg

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I don't think these schools are a stretch by any means, I just think it would be safer to be able to apply on day 1 rather than on day 60-90. It's a rare applicant who is strong enough to be "grabbed up" after a later application.

Can you get into these schools with a very late application? Yes, it's possible, but it's much less likely than if you apply the first day you can.
 
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elliejellybean

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Wedgedawg, I see what you're saying now. Thank you!

Open to hearing others feedback as well. Keep this thread alive lol
 
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GrapesofRath

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While you are the type of applicant who could still potentially generate interest if your app is kind of late with a decent MCAT score(a URM with a 3.7/510+ is going to be highly coveted by med schools) it's in your best interest to take the MCAT by June at the latest for the coming cycle. If you can take your MCAT by June(or honestly July) and have a decent score(I'd say 502+) you really don't need a gap year if you don't want it.

As is, you have a lot of good stuff. Keep up all the volunteer work. If you are interested in bigger name schools, research experience would be rather important. Your initial list looks fine; you could probably afford some more reach types with a 510+ if you are inclined. Even 505+ and I think there are some schools like Emory that could be interested.
 
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elliejellybean

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I would be shooting for the July 22 testing date if I decide i want to risk the late app. Drexel (first medical college for women), Meharry (family alum), Howard (well because its Howard), and Morehouse (because I'm in Atlanta now) are still pretty much still my top four all things considered. I really appreciate your input :)
 

Doug Underhill

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I think you are likely to get yield protected at Drexel. It seems like your primary motivation for going there is the same as half of their applicant pool. Drexel is a low-yield school that gets 10,000 applications. It's not bad (no US MD is), but you can do a lot better.

With a 515+, you are a competitive candidate for Harvard/Yale/Stanford. 510+ would probably draw interest at schools like Emory and Duke.

Just ace the MCAT and apply ASAP. Do you have a study plan?
 

elliejellybean

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Really? I had been discouraged by an advisor to apply to reach schools because the wouldn't offer me as much scholarship as the schools I named. I know pursuing a career in medicine is going to cost me, but I'd be very happy to have my first year covered by a scholarship or something. I chose Drexel, Meharry, Morehouse, and Howard as my top schools because their missions and population served aligns with my previous service. I am working on a kickass personal statement so I really hope I don't get yield protected at Drexel or anywhere else for that matter lol.

As for studying I just got awarded the starting line scholarship for the Kaplan course which I will be taking from May-July, new books two days ago, taking a light semester spring so I can fit in study plan on AAMCs, then go hard core May, June, July. Youre more than welcome to add your suggested study plan :)
 
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elliejellybean

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I also just got awarded FAP so I can definitely apply more places.
 

Doug Underhill

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I think the MCAT forum here has better study plans than Kaplan. Any good study plan needs to be bolstered by questions and practice exams. Practice exams, taken under identical conditions to the real MCAT, are a strong predictor of actual performance on test day. The official AAMC practice exams are very accurate to the test material.

Anyway, if you really want Drexel and you demonstrate that on the secondary, you have a good shot there. I just think you can probably do better.
 

shopsteward

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You've got good reasons for going to the colleges you named. I'd just like you to take into account a couple of wider considerations. The first is that as a woman and a minority I hope you are aware that one of the things holding people like you back in a patriarchal society is ingrained lower expectations. Your advisor is not necessarily immune from having those ingrained lower expectations. Do they have evidence to show that you might get a lower scholarship if you apply to reach schools? You could try contacting admissions of schools you are potentially interested in directly to see what they say.

The second consideration is that if you aim for a reach school, you have the chance of leaving an extra place at one of the HBCs for someone who would not make it into any other sort of school. Which is a "general good" point rather than a personal one, so is a lower order consideration but still perhaps worth taking into account.

One final point: you are still very young - on your plan you would be applying next summer aged 19 or 20, to start med school aged 20 or 21. Even if you did take an extra year in order to kill the MCAT and get a complete application in on the first day, you would still be in the youngest group of applicants for that year. You wouldn't be at all behind your expected cohort and in the extra time you could perhaps earn some money to help with med school finances and take some time to widen your life experience as well.

Good luck whatever you do.
 

elliejellybean

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Well... basically the way he explained it, as politely as he could, is that they were already doing me a favor by letting me into their program with stats below their standards... the reason more than likely being they need to diversify their class. He didn't provide any statistical data, but I figured that since he's an advisor that's what he gets paid to do... and what do I know I'm just a black girl from the projects :laugh: . I'll definitely look into speaking with admissions at the schools the others have mentioned.
I sincerely thank you for your input. You all are truly awesome :)
 

JessebenBenjamin

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I'm not sure if you mentioned this already but... which community do you represent? ( what's your ethnicity?)
 
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