fruitcake2511

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    I apologize if this isn't in the right place. I am completely new to this website as far as posting goes. I am also sorry in advance for the extrondinarily long post. I am currently in the middle of a breakdown, so bare with me if you can.

    I truly feel lost. This past year has been insanely difficult and I feel like I just keep getting knocked down. Growing up, I always aspired to be a physician. My uncle becoming a general surgeon may have factored in on that, I'm not sure. I'm going to give you some background information and then get to the point of this post. For starters, my (ex) significant other of six years was not exactly desirable. Despite me graduating high school with honors a year in advance, as well as on track to graduating with my Bachelor's in psych (this May) in just under 3 years, it was still not fast enough for him. We were constantly arguing about me being in school, which drew medical school completely out of the picture for me. (Some advice - Horrible idea, never put your true aspirations in jeopardy to please others, you'll instantly regret it). Our breakup really got me thinking again about what I ACTUALLY want to do with my life. I tried to go down the path of a few different careers so far, such as vet tech, and hated every minute of it. I came to the conclusion that medicine is where I really want to be. I never wanted to be a nurse, as I more enjoy the "medical model" and science of things, however, I started facing the infamous internal debate between PA or MD/DO months ago.

    The length of school does not bother me. In fact, I would love to learn as much as possible. Recently, I have been spending a considerable amount of time volunteering at hospitals, shadowing PAs in different fields of study, etc. Upon shadowing them, I have discovered I do not want to be dealing with the acute illnesses I have seen most of them encounter on a daily basis. For me, the career seems only half fulfilling. No disrespect towards PAs or anything, I'm sure you are all lovely, just doesn't seem to be the right fit for me.

    Well, before I sunk into that debate, I signed up to take the GRE exam, as many PA Schools require it. I came to the conclusion that PA School wasn't right for me after I already paid for the exam and spent a few months studying for it, so I took it anyway. I actually took the exam today and was incredibly disappointed with my scores. In fact, disappointed is an understatement. I scored exactly average for quant, slightly below average for verbal. I have yet to get my writing scores back, but felt pretty good about that section.

    To be fair, today was one of the worst days for me to have to take a major standardized exam. A kitten ran under my vehicle as I was backing up (I'm sure you can infer that outcome) literally 2 hours before I was supposed to take the exam, witnessed a major car accident on the highway on my way to the exam so had to stop and give a witness report. Despite leaving an hour in advance, I still managed to be late due to traffic and arrived in a panic. By the time I sat down for the exam, I felt like I had been through a category 4 hurricane. These are in no way excuses for my piss poor testing performance, but I'm sure they were all factors in the matter somehow.

    With that being said, if I did so terribly on the GRE with genuine commitment to study and implanting strategies, how on earth am I going to conquer the MCAT? That exam is twice as long and requires an in-depth knowledge of particular topics. My scores on the GRE really led me to seriously doubting my capabilities. I do not want a stupid standardized test to be the reason I cannot go to medical school. I know the two tests are drastically different in the eyes of most. I am hoping that is a good thing for my case.

    To make a long story short, am I essentially doomed? Any tips for overcoming MCAT anxiety and what to study/how long to prepare? Any insight you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated! My GPA currently is about 3.5, most of my science based courses will be taken from now up until May. I thoughly enjoy science, so I'm looking forward to them and can foresee myself doing well. In order to apply for the upcoming cycle, I would need to take the MCAT around April 1st. :)
     

    KnightDoc

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      Thanks for the reply! So maybe take a practice test to get an assessment score and see where I stand as far as studying and reviewing goes?
      Have you completed all the prerequisites? If not, don't take a practice test, since it will just give you an artificially low score and serve to discourage you. If you won't be done with the prereqs until next May, you should consider pushing the MCAT back to next summer or even later, even if it means delaying the application by another year. (Since you graduated both HS and UG early, you are still very young, correct?)

      As everyone here keeps saying, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so try to do it right rather than fast. For what it's worth, it totally does not sound like you are doomed, because the GRE is a very different test from the MCAT. Your ability to do well on the MCAT will totally depend on your mastery of the material and ability to navigate the unique style of the exam. I seriously doubt the GRE under the stress you were under is predictive of anything.

      Your 3.5 GPA isn't the greatest, but it's certainly not disqualifying, especially if your science GPA will be higher, you do well on the MCAT, and/or you are willing to consider DO in addition to MD.

      Good luck!!!
       
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      fruitcake2511

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        Will graduate at 20 so I guess I should see that as an accomplishment. Didnt do it on purpose, just happened that way, have always been pretty dedicated with schooling. Thanks so much for the encouragement! My general chemistry, anatomy/physio, microbiology will all be done in December. I've taken plenty of psych courses since that is what my degree is in, a sociology course as well, and stats. It's organic chem, biochem, and physics that are only offered in the spring which sucks but gotta make it work
         
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        KnightDoc

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          My main interest is in science so I can predict pretty fairly that my science GPA will be higher. The only reason mine is so low atm is bc this past yr has been rough for me with major family/relationship issues so a few low Bs kinda ****ed me lol
          I misread your first post, and thought you already graduated! Given that you will be 20 when you graduate next year (and would therefore only be 21 if you apply next year for entry in August 2021), you would actually be at a disadvantage since the trend seems to be more and more for people to take gap years (2 or 3 in many cases). Since you are a little late to the game, a second gap year for you to flesh out ECs, properly prepare for the MCAT and maybe work and save some money would work out really well for you.

          Assuming everything goes well, you would only be 22 (the age of a typical candidate coming right out of school), and yet would have the maturity and experience of someone with two gap years. My advice would be to focus on doing well next year academically, graduate, then focus on the MCAT next summer (either a class or self-study, whatever works best for you), take it next August or September (close enough to when you finish your prereqs so they will be fresh in your mind, far enough out that you could retake in the 2020-21 test year if necessary) and plan to apply in June 2021 for entry in August 2022.
           
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          fruitcake2511

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            Man I wish I was done already lol. I will definitely consider that advice! I should be able to gauge a little more once this semester really kicks off. I thought the classes fresh on my mind would help, was trying to formulate a study group for the MCAT with some of my classmates. I have plenty of time but tried to plan ahead. Never been much of a planner but there's no room for error when it comes to this exam. If studying for that plus my prereqs becomes too much and overwhelming, your plan doesn't sound bad at all! I actually didn't know taking a few gap years was a popular thing! I didn't go into this with the mindset of rushing but I figured if I could pull it off, starting med school early would be fantastic. Graduating HS and on track to graduating UG early came as surprises as well! Not lucky with very many things but school has typically been one of the few.
             
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            KnightDoc

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              Man I wish I was done already lol. I will definitely consider that advice! I should be able to gauge a little more once this semester really kicks off. I thought the classes fresh on my mind would help, was trying to formulate a study group for the MCAT with some of my classmates. I have plenty of time but tried to plan ahead. Never been much of a planner but there's no room for error when it comes to this exam. If studying for that plus my prereqs becomes too much and overwhelming, your plan doesn't sound bad at all! I actually didn't know taking a few gap years was a popular thing! I didn't go into this with the mindset of rushing but I figured if I could pull it off, starting med school early would be fantastic. Graduating HS and on track to graduating UG early came as surprises as well! Not lucky with very many things but school has typically been one of the few.
              Yeah, gap years are becoming more of a thing because the competition is so intense that people are having a hard time putting together a competitive application right out of school because of all of the expectations around ECs, and their inability to do everything while going to school full time. Also, needless to say, it includes people who have unsuccessful cycles, as well as people like you who become focused on applying to med school relatively late in their UG years.

              Nowadays, apparently, more than half of the entering class at most schools have taken at least one gap year, as you are on track to do now. Since you are so young, however, skipping a year in both HS and UG, you are in a position to take two gap years and still lose no time as compared to a traditional applicant. If you have the patience, the second gap year will give you a huge leg up in your application in terms of experiences to write about. In addition, it will make your MCAT prep a whole lot easier (which is what you initially asked about), since you won't have to worry about studying for the MCAT while simultaneously taking ochem, biochem and physics, needing to do well in all of them.

              I get not wanting to lose the year, but, in the scheme of things, given how long the process is, a year is nothing, especially when you are lucky enough to be graduating at 20.
               
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              fruitcake2511

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                These are all great points and you have no idea how much I appreciate you taking the time to write to me about it when you had no obligation to do so! Working during those gap years if I chose to take them would benefit me greatly. It's certainly an option to consider, glad you brought it up! I definitely wanted to do a measure twice cut once approach to this and not have to reapply to multiple cycles if at all possible but I know that isn't always the case, as the competition between schools is insanely tough
                 
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                KnightDoc

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                  These are all great points and you have no idea how much I appreciate you taking the time to write to me about it when you had no obligation to do so! Working during those gap years if I chose to take them would benefit me greatly. It's certainly an option to consider, glad you brought it up! I definitely wanted to do a measure twice cut once approach to this and not have to reapply to multiple cycles if at all possible but I know that isn't always the case, as the competition between schools is insanely tough
                  My pleasure. You seem to know what you are doing. It looks like you just had your confidence shaken by your SO not being supportive and your GRE experience. I only decided to chime in because you sounded a little distraught and then looked like you were going to take a practice test way before you were ready for one, which would have only added to your despair!!

                  My advice, assuming you have zero interest right now in the second gap year, is to forget about the MCAT for now and focus on your fall semester. If you really want to take the test next April, you really need to start studying in Dec-Jan. Take the assessment then, before you sign up for the test. If your score really sucks (you are a genius if you can get a decent score on test designed to show you how much you need a prep course in order to succeed! :)), then consider reassessing and not worrying about the MCAT until after you've taken your spring science classes, which will necessarily push you back another year for MD, although not necessarily for DO because its cycle runs later.

                  Either way, you will be in great shape as long as you hold true to form and do well in your science classes. That's what will help you perform much better on the MCAT as compared to the GRE, as long as you are prepared. With respect to measuring twice cutting once, as you peruse the forum you will find lots of folks being admonished for taking the MCAT before they are ready. You are going to have a hard time getting ready while simultaneously taking three core classes.

                  Various schools treat multiple scores differently, but none totally ignore a bad first score. You really don't want to have to take this test more than once if you can avoid it. The key is to maximize your chance to do well the first time you take it rather than rushing it with the thought of taking it again if necessary. It seems like a lot of people don't do this and then come here looking for advice after a bad first score.
                   
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                  KnightDoc

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                    I am completely open to DO schools btw, initially planned on applying to both since the end goal is to just be a doctor. DO doesn't bother me in anyway, was actually extremely confused about the difference between the two for a while lol
                    Well, the good news then is that DO is easier to get into and has a cycle that extends later into the season, so you would have time to take the MCAT in August-September and still have an on-time application for that year. Of course, if your grades, MCAT and ECs support it, you would be sacrificing much better opportunities in the MD world just to go a year earlier. So maybe a good plan for you would be to plan to take the test late next summer, and then, depending on your score and your level of patience, decide whether to apply DO only next year or DO and MD the year after. :)
                     
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                    fruitcake2511

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                      Greatly appreciate you looking out for me, have not had many ppl do that in the past. And yeah he was the biggest ass**** on Earth, wasted 6 yrs with that one, took a MAJOR toll on me tbh, more than I would like to admit. He also totaled my vehicle (that I had paid off lol), left right after that so I basically had to start from nothing which is why my GPA is now around 3.5. Not an excuse but that was the reality. I am not happy about it, was severely mad with myself but considering I was hysterically crying while trying to complete research papers, exams, etc, still think I did fairly well. And funny you mention that because I've been scouring this website and Reddit for the past few weeks and have already seen a **** ton of threads like "first mcat was terrible, now what?" Rlly don't want to be in that position if I can help it. Actually in 23 credit hours this semester so I'm IN for it to say the least. About 9 of those credits are things I would classify as "easy", just classical music elective and things like that, but it's still a lot of work. I should know by Octoberish if I'll be able to handle studying for the MCAT as well. And you're right, was distraught, which became my normal for a while unfortunately. I forgot about the DO cycle running later so that's good news! Do you have an opinion when it comes to DO? I've heard they're more understanding and accepting of non-traditional students, but not nessecarily "easier" to get into. Not sure how much truth that holds.
                       
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                      KnightDoc

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                        Greatly appreciate you looking out for me, have not had many ppl do that in the past. And yeah he was the biggest ass**** on Earth, wasted 6 yrs with that one, took a MAJOR toll on me tbh, more than I would like to admit. He also totaled my vehicle (that I had paid off lol), left right after that so I basically had to start from nothing which is why my GPA is now around 3.5. Not an excuse but that was the reality. I am not happy about it, was severely mad with myself but considering I was hysterically crying while trying to complete research papers, exams, etc, still think I did fairly well. And funny you mention that because I've been scouring this website and Reddit for the past few weeks and have already seen a **** ton of threads like "first mcat was terrible, now what?" Rlly don't want to be in that position if I can help it. Actually in 23 credit hours this semester so I'm IN for it to say the least. About 9 of those credits are things I would classify as "easy", just classical music elective and things like that, but it's still a lot of work. I should know by Octoberish if I'll be able to handle studying for the MCAT as well. And you're right, was distraught, which became my normal for a while unfortunately. I forgot about the DO cycle running later so that's good news! Do you have an opinion when it comes to DO? I've heard they're more understanding and accepting of non-traditional students, but not nessecarily "easier" to get into. Not sure how much truth that holds.
                        I think that you will find the environment here pretty supportive overall, so welcome!! And thank you for saying that. :) A lot of times it's just easier on an anonymous forum of people with similar interests as compared to the real world, where everyone wants something from you and puts their own interests first.

                        Why do you ask about non-traditional, since right now you are very traditional? Non-traditional to me is the person who has been working for a few years and then all of a sudden decides to become a doctor after trying something else. It is not a science major taking a year or two break before med school. That is actually the new normal, with more people taking at least one gap year than not.

                        I don't have a personal opinion on DO, other than it is definitely easier to get into (look into the median stats at all of the schools, both MD and DO, and you'll see what I mean), considered less prestigious (I really don't care about that, but I throw it out there :)), and supposedly not as easy to match into more competitive specialties from (because it is easier to get into, and therefore has a stigma attached to it, at least at some residency programs). There is certainly nothing wrong with it, but if my application was competitive for MD, I wouldn't limit myself to DO just to save a year in what is a very long road.
                         
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                        fruitcake2511

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                          Couldn't agree more with that top statement. And you're always welcome! If you ever need anything (not that I will be great help or the first person u should come to lol), feel free to message me. If I can help someone out in anyway, would love to do so. Makes me feel good and like my life is not a total waste. And the reason I ask is my degree up until this point has all been online. I have never even stepped foot onto my 4 yr college campus. All of my prereqs are in person at a cc (non-degree seeking student there) and will be transferred to my current university so I can graduate from there. Not sure how that will come up on transcripts, but everything will go over as the course name I took, not an elective. Didnt want to go that route but apparently some of the classes I need, according to my advisor, do not exist at my current school. Not sure how that is possible considering they have a chemistry major option, but it's what I was informed of so I went with it. A lot of ppl end up in that situation apparently. Wasn't sure if that classified me as nontraditional, but it made me feel a little uneasy. It is important to note that all of my labs (for anatomy, microbio, chem, genetics) are in person as well!
                           
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                          fruitcake2511

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                            I'm technically enrolled in two schools atm. I have classes at my 4 yr college (online) and a community college. It is a busy schedule, but gotta do what you gotta do I guess. I'm a pretty disciplined individual. I do enjoy actually being in a classroom again, which should help with ECs within school. I am in the National Society of Leadership & Success, but that's the only school related activity I currently participate in. My non-clinical volunteering was at a veterinarian office and dog grooming shop, clinical volunteering is currently at my local hospital on the medsurg floor, as well as shadowing PAs/MDs/DOs. Have a lot going on but it's worth it in the grand scheme of things as long as I don't lose the balance of things.
                             

                            KnightDoc

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                              Couldn't agree more with that top statement. And you're always welcome! If you ever need anything (not that I will be great help or the first person u should come to lol), feel free to message me. If I can help someone out in anyway, would love to do so. Makes me feel good and like my life is not a total waste. And the reason I ask is my degree up until this point has all been online. I have never even stepped foot onto my 4 yr college campus. All of my prereqs are in person at a cc (non-degree seeking student there) and will be transferred to my current university so I can graduate from there. Not sure how that will come up on transcripts, but everything will go over as the course name I took, not an elective. Didnt want to go that route but apparently some of the classes I need, according to my advisor, do not exist at my current school. Not sure how that is possible considering they have a chemistry major option, but it's what I was informed of so I went with it. A lot of ppl end up in that situation apparently. Wasn't sure if that classified me as nontraditional, but it made me feel a little uneasy. It is important to note that all of my labs (for anatomy, microbio, chem, genetics) are in person as well!
                              Absolutely; we will both be here for the foreseeable future, and I have a feeling you have a lot more to offer than you realize! :)

                              Your school is a bricks and mortar institution, correct? So, technically, your degree will not be from an online school, even though you have taken a lot of classes online, correct? Now, I'm a little out of my depth (I haven't looked into this because I haven't had a need to), but I've read that some schools don't like cc classes for prereqs, and some don't like online classes (not sure if this applies to prereqs or all), so I'm not sure how this combination will impact you. It won't make you non-traditional (after all, you are a 19-year old pursuing a 4-year bachelors degree, what's more traditional than that? :)), but it might cause some schools to not accept your credits. I'd throw that question out to the crowd here, and/or look into it at specific schools you are interest in.
                               
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                              KnightDoc

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                                I'm technically enrolled in two schools atm. I have classes at my 4 yr college (online) and a community college. It is a busy schedule, but gotta do what you gotta do I guess. I'm a pretty disciplined individual. I do enjoy actually being in a classroom again, which should help with ECs within school. I am in the National Society of Leadership & Success, but that's the only school related activity I currently participate in. My non-clinical volunteering was at a veterinarian office and dog grooming shop, clinical volunteering is currently at my local hospital on the medsurg floor, as well as shadowing PAs/MDs/DOs. Have a lot going on but it's worth it in the grand scheme of things as long as I don't lose the balance of things.
                                The big category of ECs that you are missing is community service. You have a lot going on now, so I wouldn't stress about it, but you would want to think of something you would enjoy getting involved in during your gap year that you could write about whenever you apply.
                                 

                                fruitcake2511

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                                  The support and kindess of ppl on here is great, super encouraging when you get down on your own abilities. And yes, it is a brick and mortar institution! I could've went to the actual campus if I wanted, was originally going to go to IU (god I hate Indiana, miss the east coast desperately!!), got in but my house is full of rescue dogs so couldn't bring myself to leave them just yet and I visit family in Maryland quite often so it kept my options open. Was the right choice at the time, didn't miss the ppl at all. Originally posted that question on the non-traditional forum, but only got one response that wasn't too positive lol. Think I should call my university and ask if my classes will be labelled "online" on my transcript?
                                   
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                                  fruitcake2511

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                                    The big category of ECs that you are missing is community service. You have a lot going on now, so I wouldn't stress about it, but you would want to think of something you would enjoy getting involved in during your gap year that you could write about whenever you apply.
                                    Sounds like a good idea. When I was at the grooming shop, we did a lot of things for the local animal shelter, such as bathing/grooming dogs before they went to their new homes or into foster places. Do not know if that counts as serving my community, but it was my hometown and the streets are crawling with strays :(. I considered doing the clearinghouse or a soup kitchen or something to add to the mix. Sound like a good option?
                                     

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                                      The support and kindess of ppl on here is great, super encouraging when you get down on your own abilities. And yes, it is a brick and mortar institution! I could've went to the actual campus if I wanted, was originally going to go to IU (god I hate Indiana, miss the east coast desperately!!), got in but my house is full of rescue dogs so couldn't bring myself to leave them just yet and I visit family in Maryland quite often so it kept my options open. Was the right choice at the time, didn't miss the ppl at all. Originally posted that question on the non-traditional forum, but only got one response that wasn't too positive lol. Think I should call my university and ask if my classes will be labelled "online" on my transcript?
                                      I would definitely ask if the courses will be labelled. I would also anonymously call a few med schools you might be interested in and see if they care. I think the bigger issue might be all of the prereqs coming from a cc. It would really suck if, after doing well in all of your science classes, you had to go to the time and expense of taking post-bacc science classes at a 4-year school just because of a bias against ccs.
                                       
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                                        Sounds like a good idea. When I was at the grooming shop, we did a lot of things for the local animal shelter, such as bathing/grooming dogs before they went to their new homes or into foster places. Do not know if that counts as serving my community, but it was my hometown and the streets are crawling with strays :(. I considered doing the clearinghouse or a soup kitchen or something to add to the mix. Sound like a good option?
                                        YES!! Of course an animal shelter counts as serving the community, but serving the underprivileged and going out of whatever your comfort zone is (like the soup kitchen) is really what they are looking for.
                                         
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                                        fruitcake2511

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                                          God, that will be my worst nightmare. The ONLY reason I chose the cc for prereqs is bc one, my stupid non-competent academic advisor told me they're not offered (which I established isn't the case) and if I took them there, they would have to be online. Was reading the majority of med schools will not accept online courses/labs so a cc was my only option really. Even if the courses are not labeled as online, my labs would have been, which is a recipe for disaster (they're also extremely difficult and you do not learn ANYTHING valuable, did this for my first bio class)
                                           
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                                            YES!! Of course an animal shelter counts as serving the community, but serving the underprivileged and going out of whatever your comfort zone is (like the soup kitchen) is really what they are looking for.

                                            That is great news! Have always been super emotionally involved as far as animals go so I literally did that because I wanted to and felt that it was needed. Something people-centered will probably only help me. Currently, live in an extremely small town crawling with many undesirable people so there is plenty to do.
                                             
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                                            KnightDoc

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                                              God, that will be my worst nightmare. The ONLY reason I chose the cc for prereqs is bc one, my stupid non-competent academic advisor told me they're not offered (which I established isn't the case) and if I took them there, they would have to be online. Was reading the majority of med schools will not accept online courses/labs so a cc was my only option really. Even if the courses are not labeled as online, my labs would have been, which is a recipe for disaster (they're also extremely difficult and you do not learn ANYTHING valuable, did this for my first bio class)
                                              Too soon to panic!! :) If I were you, I'd start a new thread in the regular pre-med (not MCAT) forum asking about cc for all prereqs to see if anyone has any specific knowledge. I'd also throw in an anonymous call to a school or two you are considering, explaining your situation and seeing how they react. Depending on how that goes, maybe then it will be time to panic. :)

                                              Either way I'm sure you will be fine, but maybe then the more forgiving nature of DO schools might become more relevant. :)
                                               
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                                              fruitcake2511

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                                                Great advice, will certainly follow through with both of those suggestions. The whole cc thing really worried me but did not have much of a choice. Was not sure if the schools I apply to will see them as two separate transcripts or not. I was actually surprised they even offered high-level science courses. To me, it should not be looked down upon, but unfortunately, I am not on the admissions committee and I am sure there is plenty of negative energy/stigma that comes with it. You sound like a very calming individual, someone I desperately need in my chaotic life lol!
                                                 
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                                                KnightDoc

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                                                  Great advice, will certainly follow through with both of those suggestions. The whole cc thing really worried me but did not have much of a choice. Was not sure if the schools I apply to will see them as two separate transcripts or not. I was actually surprised they even offered high-level science courses. To me, it should not be looked down upon, but unfortunately, I am not on the admissions committee and I am sure there is plenty of negative energy/stigma that comes with it. You sound like a very calming individual, someone I desperately need in my chaotic life lol!
                                                  Totally understandable about not having a choice, and the fact that you did well should be mitigating, especially if you do well on the MCAT. I'm sure it will be fine at some schools, but the only thing that really matters is whether or not it will be a problem at the schools you will be targeting.

                                                  It's funny, but calming is not usually an adjective used to describe me. I guess it helps when I am not personally involved! :)
                                                   
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                                                  fruitcake2511

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                                                    Thanks for those kind words, needed them for sure! And same here, normally people use things like "chaotic" lol. It certainly does! When people are personally involved there's so much criss crossing that goes on, if that make a sense. It's like they want you to pick a specific thing (career, school choice, whatever it is) based on their needs/thoughts (have done this before - it's an EXTREMELY disastrous plan) so it can be incredibly discouraging. Idk why people cant just support one another, regardless if things work out for the other party or not. It isn't difficult :/

                                                    Had someone who I consider to be one of my closest friends say, "Well if you do apply, you're going to be at the bottom of the totem pole within the class of ppl you're with and that is if you get in, high chance you wont, so I wouldnt" and it really just pissed me off. Man, I love people!!! Lmao
                                                     
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                                                    WrenchesToMD

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                                                      First and foremost, I am sorry about your situation. Keep your head held high, and do not hesitate to seek professional help if things seem too overwhelming.

                                                      It sounds like medical school may have been right for you all along. As far as support for pursuing medical school, as a non-trad I will say don't expect too much lol. I have mostly received opposition from those I have told, and all of it can be traced back to this cultural pressure of needing to have the white picket fence, kids, spouse, 9-5 career, blah blah blah by the time you're like 25. You gotta do you though!

                                                      As far as the GRE, perhaps you didn't perform as expected because it's not what you really want to be doing in the first place? Sure the MCAT is a lot longer, but if you're studying for something you know is going to open the doors in life you want to open then it's much more enjoyable.

                                                      My pieces of advice/tips that helped me tackling the MCAT are 1) you NEVER walk into the testing center feeling 100% ready 2) Test anxiety: I went into test day the same way I did ever undergrad exam, "if I fail, so what I'll take it again" 3) Take the MCAT when you are scoring where you would like with AAMC materials, third party resources are too unpredictable. I postponed the MCAT for an entire year because CARS was abysmal.
                                                       
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                                                      fruitcake2511

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                                                        I appreciate your kind words, more than you'll ever know! They rlly mean a lot despite me not having a clue who you are & I sincerely mean that. Your point about the GRE is a great one, never thought of it that way but makes perfect sense. Those MCAT tips seem to be quite insightful. It's comforting to know the AAMC tests can be used to relatively gauge how you'll do on the actual exam and it has been accurate for many individuals. The official practice tests for the GRE weren't very accurate for me at all, although the question styles were very similar
                                                         

                                                        WrenchesToMD

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                                                          No problem at all, don't mention it :)

                                                          The AAMC practice tests for many, including myself, were exceptionally accurate at predicting actual scores, hence my MCAT postponement lol. If you had enough money to purchase only one practice question resource, I'd choose the AAMC every time.

                                                          Oh and another MCAT tip that made test day less stressful, sort of expanding on hungrydoc's post about getting off the forums, do not gauge your value/worth/ability/etc. off of what you see other people scoring on the forums. By and large you will come across the students who scored 520+ or are gunning for that range. Nothing wrong with it and hats off to those who have accomplished that. However, statistically you have a 98% chance to score lower than that, and that is ok!

                                                          So do what it is you need to in life to find what you feel will bring you the greatest sense of purpose, and ignore the naysayers. I didn't decide to go to college and pursue medicine until I was 25/26, and prior to that the vast majority of my education came from the School of Hard Knocks.

                                                          Feel free to shoot me a message if you have any other questions!
                                                           
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                                                          KnightDoc

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                                                            Thanks for those kind words, needed them for sure! And same here, normally people use things like "chaotic" lol. It certainly does! When people are personally involved there's so much criss crossing that goes on, if that make a sense. It's like they want you to pick a specific thing (career, school choice, whatever it is) based on their needs/thoughts (have done this before - it's an EXTREMELY disastrous plan) so it can be incredibly discouraging. Idk why people cant just support one another, regardless if things work out for the other party or not. It isn't difficult :/

                                                            Had someone who I consider to be one of my closest friends say, "Well if you do apply, you're going to be at the bottom of the totem pole within the class of ppl you're with and that is if you get in, high chance you wont, so I wouldnt" and it really just pissed me off. Man, I love people!!! Lmao
                                                            I know exactly what you are talking about, and I have a few thoughts. My favorite is that you do not make 100% of the shots you don't take, so that would always be my answer to anyone who tried to discourage me from trying something I wanted to do, so a high chance of failure is really not a reason to not take a shot if it's something you want!

                                                            My other thought, without really knowing anything about you or the dynamics of your relationship with your "friend" (but I have seen it so many times that I'm pretty sure I'm right, so I figured I'd take a shot :) and have you tell me it's none of my business and I'm wrong if I'm overstepping), is that people will oftentimes discourage you from reaching for something that will elevate you out of an insecurity that you will succeed and overshadow them and their accomplishments rather than a genuine belief that you won't succeed.
                                                             
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                                                            fruitcake2511

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                                                              No problem at all, don't mention it :)

                                                              The AAMC practice tests for many, including myself, were exceptionally accurate at predicting actual scores, hence my MCAT postponement lol. If you had enough money to purchase only one practice question resource, I'd choose the AAMC every time.

                                                              Oh and another MCAT tip that made test day less stressful, sort of expanding on hungrydoc's post about getting off the forums, do not gauge your value/worth/ability/etc. off of what you see other people scoring on the forums. By and large you will come across the students who scored 520+ or are gunning for that range. Nothing wrong with it and hats off to those who have accomplished that. However, statistically you have a 98% chance to score lower than that, and that is ok!

                                                              So do what it is you need to in life to find what you feel will bring you the greatest sense of purpose, and ignore the naysayers. I didn't decide to go to college and pursue medicine until I was 25/26, and prior to that the vast majority of my education came from the School of Hard Knocks.

                                                              Feel free to shoot me a message if you have any other questions!

                                                              That's good to know! As of rn I'll honestly be happy with 512-515, not shooting for perfection but it needs to be a relatively good score. Applaud you for not letting others get you and going for what you really wanted! The worst thing you can do is not go after your true dream career/passion in life on the idea that you're too old or bc you want to please someone else. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders, so congrats on that and all your success thusfar. Will certainly reach out with any questions that come up, need all the help I can get lol
                                                               
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