I need a stronger application!!

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Nov 24, 2008
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I recently decided to give up my corporate job and pursue medical school. I took the MCAT (22) without studying in September just to have a score for 09' applications. I will be taking it again in January. I graduated in 06' with a 3.1.
I need to improve everything including GPA, MCAT, and medical experience. Here are my questions:

What can I do for experience? (research, doctor shadowing, medical volunteer?) and where do i find these and qualify?

What has been the best prep for the MCAT?

Am I better off retaking classes I didn't do so well in or master's science courses?



SDN Chief Administrator
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Sep 30, 2008
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I can't give you any specific advice on getting experience; usually it varies from hospital to hospital, school to school. Poke around the websites of some places you're interested and see if they have any entry level tech jobs available, and maybe also see what they can give you as far as volunteer opportunities for the hospitals.

More importantly, though, I would not retake the MCAT in January and instead put it off until April or May; I don't think a month of studying would be enough to get the kind of score increase you're looking for, which, considering your GPA, should be in the 30s at least. It took me six months to get a 9 point jump in my MCAT from my diagnostic, and while I think it's possible to get that in a shorter period of time if you really study hardcore, an 8+ point increase in just a month's amount of studying is a lot to shoot for. I personally had success with Kaplan, but others swear by Exam Krakers and (to a lesser extent, it seems) Princeton. Choose one and follow their method.

As far as retaking classes vs. taking masters classes, do neither. AMCAS will just average any retake grades with the old grades, meaning you won't improve your GPA as quickly, and master's level classes won't affect your undergrad GPA, which is what med schools are most interested in. Instead, take additional upper division science classes at the undergrad level.

Good luck to you!