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Applying early gives you the best chance, I know. But apps are due in Jan. Would August still give me an advantage?

August 8th is the earliest I can apply... Im starting the MCAT prep course in May. May 18th-July1st. MCAT july 8th. So, results back by august 8th and Ill send them then.
 

girlofgrace7

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August is definitely late. I made the mistake of sending out my applications right around then. If you think you can get your secondaries out ASAP (like a week or two later), then go for it. Unfortunately, if you'll be back in school during August, chances are that you'll push them back like I did (I sent most of mine out during Oct. and Nov.).

DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that the deadline for secondaries is the deadline the school gives you (with the exception of UC's who give you a 30-day window). If you send out your secondaries even as late as Nov., you significantly cut back your interview offers. I got 3 interview offers out of 27 schools I applied to... and was told by one interviewer that she was surprised at that with my numbers (but she knowingly asked if I had sent out my secondaries later in the season and then affirmed that the "late" secondaries were likely responsible).
 

Untraditional

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If any schools are on your list that do rolling admissions or get a large volume of applications early apps can help you.

If you're stuck with August for sure, get your transcripts and rec letters in early and verified so that your MCAT is the last piece you need. You can get your primary out the day scores are released if you're satisfied.

You could also check the forum for the secondary threads and start working on the essays early. People usually post the prompts. Do it right and you can have all your secondary essays finished by the time your schools actually open them up to you and turn them around the same day, keeping you relatively early.
 
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JJMrK

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That's on the late side. If you have your AMCAS already in and verified before you get your scores, it might be doable (but definitely not ideal). Whatever you do, don't wait until you get your scores to submit your AMCAS because by the time it is verified you will be very late. If you are thinking about applying this cycle, submit AMCAS to one school very early, let it get verified, and then decide if you want to go forward from there based on your MCAT score. That will save you a lot of money.
 

Bernoull

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Applying early gives you the best chance, I know. But apps are due in Jan. Would August still give me an advantage?

August 8th is the earliest I can apply... Im starting the MCAT prep course in May. May 18th-July1st. MCAT july 8th. So, results back by august 8th and Ill send them then.
It's latER than June or July obviously but it's NOT TOO LATE to get interviews and acceptances. I completed mostly late August/early September and did well admissions wise.

However, on aggregate, u're much better much sending in ur app AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!!

GL
 

LizzyM

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AMCAS electronically distributes applications to the schools. One year, the Dean of Admissions told me that 25% of all the applications expected that year arrived in the first batch! I would estimate that applicants taking the MCAT for the first time in August of their application year land in the last 25%to be complete. At that point, many interview slots have been filled already. At some schools, some offers have already been made before your application is even reviewed. (This doesn't mean you are interviewing for the waitlist but an August MCAT does mean that it is likely that your interview will be in the early months of the new year.)
 
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slowbutsteady

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It's too late.

Story: Friend with 3.85/37. Applied in late August. Got only 4 interviews. Got 4 waitlists.

Finally accepted in May to one school.
 

mybubbles14

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YES.

However, if you must...start working on all of your secondaries and submit AMCAS to at least one school well before then. I took a July 30th MCAT, but my AMCAS was verified in June and my secondaries were complete such that all I needed to be complete were my MCAT scores. I got my first two invites within a week of each other and within about 2 weeks of my scores being released (ish). I was also fortunate enough to have an Oct. 15th acceptance, because I only submitted initially to schools I knew were rolling and/or I had the best chance at. I'm fairly certain that if I had waited until after the fact I wouldn't be holding an acceptance at my top choice.

Applying late can be done but it is not ideal...People are not lying to you when they tell who you can make a huge difference. I have friends that I felt should definitely have an acceptance/more interviews, but I think not submitting secondaries until sept./oct. played a large roll in that. :(
 

Geekchick921

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It will set you at a disadvantage, for sure.

Is this the earliest test prep course you can take? Do you think you really NEED to do a structured review course? Can you just start reviewing yourself now and test in June? August is late, don't do this.
 

flip26

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August is late for average applicants, especially at rolling admissions schools that start sending out acceptances in October.

August is OK for superstar applicants, and less of an issue at non-rolling schools, but even for those schools interviews are "rolling" and you are at a disadvantage unless you are a stellar applicant.
 

IDoIt4Love

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if you have strong stats and are not picky about where you go, then you'll probably be fine. I took an August MCAT and submitted my AMCAS in September. Got interviews at all but one of my state schools, got wait-listed at all of them, and then on my last interview (OOS), I got in. I still think there's a good chance I'll get accepted off the wait-list to one of my state schools too, later on in the summer.

Yes, you will need to lower your expectations a bit. But your chances won't be completely shot. Of course, if you're still a college senior and time is not a big concern, I would just take a year off after graduation and apply first thing next May.

Keep in mind, too, that some 50% of people who take the MCAT have to take it again...so your score on this one may be the ultimate determining factor as to whether you apply this year or not.
 

flip26

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Keep in mind, too, that some 50% of people who take the MCAT have to take it again...so your score on this one may be the ultimate determining factor as to whether you apply this year or not.
Need a source on that one...that sounds awfully high.
 

LizzyM

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Need a source on that one...that sounds awfully high.
Well, given that half of all applicants don't get in anywhere during a given cycle and given that some of the people with the lowest MCAT scores don't even bother applying, I wouldn't be surprised if half of all MCAT takers take it at least twice, particularly now that the number of test dates has expanded so dramatically (use to be just 2 dates per year: April and August).
 

flip26

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Well, given that half of all applicants don't get in anywhere during a given cycle and given that some of the people with the lowest MCAT scores don't even bother applying, I wouldn't be surprised if half of all MCAT takers take it at least twice, particularly now that the number of test dates has expanded so dramatically (use to be just 2 dates per year: April and August).
Maybe I live amongst extraordinary folks, but I don't personally know anybody who took it more than once.

I am not doubting that the average may approach 2 MCATs per applicant, but my guess is that this number is greatly skewed by the people who take it 3+ times - I am questioning the fact that 50 percent of people who take it once take it a second time.
 

LizzyM

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Maybe I live amongst extraordinary folks, but I don't personally know anybody who took it more than once.

I am not doubting that the average may approach 2 MCATs per applicant, but my guess is that this number is greatly skewed by the people who take it 3+ times - I am questioning the fact that 50 percent of people who take it once take it a second time.
Are all these folks at the end of the cycle with offers in hand. Then yes, you are in amazing company. If not, it is too soon to tell how many will choose to retake at some point.
 

flip26

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Are all these folks at the end of the cycle with offers in hand. Then yes, you are in amazing company. If not, it is too soon to tell how many will choose to retake at some point.
Yes, they are - a large group, around 30 people, +/-. Never really thought about it until now, so yes, clearly this is above average territory as evidenced by the acceptance success rate, but still...none of them took the MCAT more than one time - I am just not seeing serial MCAT test takers, except for here on SDN.

As for the 50 percent of test takers retaking, it still sounds high, but if someone has a source on this, please post it.
 
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It's late unless your stats are too awesome for the school to pass up. :cool:
this, sort of: even if your stats are perfect you could miss out on an interview or two at some top tier schools (my friend was ivy 3.95, 40, great ECs/LOR/personal statement and didnt get an interview at 2 of his top choices)
 

bookfreak89

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this, sort of: even if your stats are perfect you could miss out on an interview or two at some top tier schools (my friend was ivy 3.95, 40, great ECs/LOR/personal statement and didnt get an interview at 2 of his top choices)
So there is a risk for even stellar applicants? Interesting.
 
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Thanks for your advice everyone.

My logic is that if Im going to take the MCAT, I want to do the best that I can, therefore I took the prep course. Even if I dont get accepted for 2011 cycle, I can use the same MCAT score for the 2012 cycle. Itll be a good score because Im dedicating the whole summer (and 1,900$!!!) to it.

So, I can send letters of rec, personal statement, and all my other stuff first, then send MCAT scores separately once I get them?
 

slowbutsteady

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This process demands that we exercise control over the few variables that are within our control.

It is within our control to apply early and broadly.

Following these 2 simple rules will expand your overall chances of admission, as well as the choices you may be fortunate enough to have at the end of the process.

Fail to take heed at your peril.
 

Auriga

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You could also check the forum for the secondary threads and start working on the essays early. People usually post the prompts. Do it right and you can have all your secondary essays finished by the time your schools actually open them up to you and turn them around the same day, keeping you relatively early.
Do EXACTLY that. I took mine in July, and that wouldn't have been a problem. But I didn't get my app and secondaries out until Sept thru Nov. That part took a lot longer than I thought. If I could do it over again, I'd have gotten a lot of my AMCAS app and the secondaries done, at least first draft, before I got my scores back. That's a significant amount of time. Even with working and classes, I should have prioritized it more. With 22 schools applied, I got only 3 interviews with one yes and two waits. Now, I'll never know if that was because of my craptacular GPA or that I applied later in the year that I wasn't taken into as serious of consideration at the schools I wanted most to attend. Now my heart just aches for the school where I'm on hold.
 

Auriga

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So, I can send letters of rec, personal statement, and all my other stuff first, then send MCAT scores separately once I get them?
Yes you can. There'll be a spot you can put the date you will take the MCAT in the AMCAS application. My opinion is it's better to get a good score than to rush it just to get it in earlier. But use that score-waiting month wisely! >_<
 

NerdyAndrea

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Okay so in light of this thread, after I take Physics I & II, Chemistry I & II, Biology I & II, and Organic Chem I & II I should take MCAT Junior year, and then start applying to med school in Jan. Junior Year or Jan. Year I graduate?

I am slightly confused on timeline.....I do know earlier the better.

A
 

Untraditional

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Okay so in light of this thread, after I take Physics I & II, Chemistry I & II, Biology I & II, and Organic Chem I & II I should take MCAT Junior year, and then start applying to med school in Jan. Junior Year or Jan. Year I graduate?

I am slightly confused on timeline.....I do know earlier the better.

A

Seems like most people advocate getting prereqs out of the way before the MCAT and having your MCAT scores and supplemental materials ready by spring of the Junior year. You should be applying the summer between Junior and Senior years, so May-ish. If you are taking a year before med school you should be working on things in early spring, also targeting a may application.

Find any med school you like and they will have a timeline for prospective students.

The steps on the critical path are:

-Undergrad prereqs and ECs
-Meeting with your pre-health advisor and collecting rec letters (if you have a committee letter there will be a deadline for that ahead of your AMCAS deadline)
-Taking your MCAT
-Getting your AMCAS in, which means transcripts, Rec letters and PS
-Secondary submissions, each has their own deadline but try to turn them around as quick as possible.

The above isn't the only way to do it, but you put yourself in a better spot by getting in early.
 

LizzyM

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All pre-reqs by Spring of Junior year
MCAT: April of Jr year
Collect LORs: Spring of Junior year
Complete MCAT application: May of Jr year
Submit: first possible date that Spring (early June)
Summer after Jr. Yr: complete secondaries
Fall -Winter of Senior Yr.: interview
Spring of Senior Yr: :banana:
 

JJMrK

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All pre-reqs by Spring of Junior year
MCAT: April of Jr year
Collect LORs: Spring of Junior year
Complete MCAT application: May of Jr year
Submit: first possible date that Spring (early June)
Summer after Jr. Yr: complete secondaries
Fall -Winter of Senior Yr.: interview
Spring of Senior Yr: :banana:
I wish.
 

Bbon

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Like others have said, August will definitely put you at a disadvantage. Ideally, I think your best bet is the following: Cancel your MCAT class, assuming you can get a refund since it hasn't started yet. Buy study guide books containing all the material you need. Reschedule your MCAT for June, start reviewing a little now, and kick it into full-time-job-like study mode once the summer starts. Simultaneously have your AMCAS ready by early June. If you do all that, you're now one of the earliest applicants, with exception to schools that screen their secondaries (where you'd still be pretty early nonetheless).