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Is the July MCAT still considered early applicant?

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Hi everyone,

I'm registered for the June 15th MCAT and thinking about pushing it back to July for obvious reasons. I know this might be a silly question with an obvious answer, but if I did take the MCAT in July (with my score released on August 15th), would I still have a good chance of getting an October interview? I heard that October is the earliest month DO schools schedule interviews. Is that right? Can anyone shed light on this? I just don't want the month delay to make that huge an impact.

I've already started on my AACOMAS app today for 2008, so it's almost ready to go (sans the personal statement)... It's just this wretched MCAT I'm waiting for...
 

JonnyG

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the idea of being early was getting your stuff in including mcat befor october when the august mcats come back. This being the first season with the ne mcat schedule there is no such thing as early. If delaying a month gets you a better score do it, then you wont need the advantages of being early. Also getting an october interview would depend on things like how fast you can turn around your secondaries and your school being able to do their part.
 

Rogerswife

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I took the MCAT a while ago, so take my experience for what it's worth, but there are other things besides what YOU do at play in the earlyness of your application. First of all, it is my understanding that your application is not complete until AACOMAS receives your MCAT score, which I believe takes at least a month and a half, which puts a July MCAT-taker at late August completion. Then, AACOMAS has to certify your application, which takes at least two weeks, putting you at mid-September. Then, the schools have to look at your application & determine whether or not they will send you a secondary (some send it right away, some actually evaluate whether you fit their primary criterion first), which puts you at late September, early October. You must then fill out and submit the secondary, which can take as little or as much time as you want to take, but let's assume at least a week turn around time. All of this puts you complete in mid-October to early November. Personally, I submitted my primary in July with my MCAT having been completed way before that, turned around the secondaries fairly quickly, and I didn't get my first interview offer until mid-November. So my advice would be: if you TRULY know that you will spend a significant extra amount of time study in between when you would have taken the test and the new test time, go ahead and push it back. However, if you will really only spend a few extra hours and are just pushing it back because you're nervous, take it on the earlier date. I don't have any factual evidence to back this up, just my own experiences, but I believe that earlier application is better even than getting one or two points higher on the MCAT, because admissions is usually rolling, so what might have appeared to be a great application at the beginning of the cycle might look only mediocre by the end. But that's purely based on my own non-scientific opinion, so as I said take it for what it's worth.:)
 

droberge

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I took the MCAT a while ago, so take my experience for what it's worth, but there are other things besides what YOU do at play in the earlyness of your application. First of all, it is my understanding that your application is not complete until AACOMAS receives your MCAT score, which I believe takes at least a month and a half, which puts a July MCAT-taker at late August completion. Then, AACOMAS has to certify your application, which takes at least two weeks, putting you at mid-September. Then, the schools have to look at your application & determine whether or not they will send you a secondary (some send it right away, some actually evaluate whether you fit their primary criterion first), which puts you at late September, early October. You must then fill out and submit the secondary, which can take as little or as much time as you want to take, but let's assume at least a week turn around time. All of this puts you complete in mid-October to early November. Personally, I submitted my primary in July with my MCAT having been completed way before that, turned around the secondaries fairly quickly, and I didn't get my first interview offer until mid-November. So my advice would be: if you TRULY know that you will spend a significant extra amount of time study in between when you would have taken the test and the new test time, go ahead and push it back. However, if you will really only spend a few extra hours and are just pushing it back because you're nervous, take it on the earlier date. I don't have any factual evidence to back this up, just my own experiences, but I believe that earlier application is better even than getting one or two points higher on the MCAT, because admissions is usually rolling, so what might have appeared to be a great application at the beginning of the cycle might look only mediocre by the end. But that's purely based on my own non-scientific opinion, so as I said take it for what it's worth.:)

I completely agree with rogerswife, apply as early as possible... schools usually become more selective later in the application process as classes begin to fill. A point higher on the MCAT will not matter much. Unless you have a horrible MCAT, don't bother retaking it, focus on getting in apps early and brushing up your interview skills. The MCAT has been tested over and over again for validity and has done well. This means most people do not move up or down much when they retake and is not usually worth the effort trying!!!
 

nascardoc

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I took the MCAT a while ago, so take my experience for what it's worth, but there are other things besides what YOU do at play in the earlyness of your application. First of all, it is my understanding that your application is not complete until AACOMAS receives your MCAT score, which I believe takes at least a month and a half, which puts a July MCAT-taker at late August completion. Then, AACOMAS has to certify your application, which takes at least two weeks, putting you at mid-September. Then, the schools have to look at your application & determine whether or not they will send you a secondary (some send it right away, some actually evaluate whether you fit their primary criterion first), which puts you at late September, early October. You must then fill out and submit the secondary, which can take as little or as much time as you want to take, but let's assume at least a week turn around time. All of this puts you complete in mid-October to early November. Personally, I submitted my primary in July with my MCAT having been completed way before that, turned around the secondaries fairly quickly, and I didn't get my first interview offer until mid-November. So my advice would be: if you TRULY know that you will spend a significant extra amount of time study in between when you would have taken the test and the new test time, go ahead and push it back. However, if you will really only spend a few extra hours and are just pushing it back because you're nervous, take it on the earlier date. I don't have any factual evidence to back this up, just my own experiences, but I believe that earlier application is better even than getting one or two points higher on the MCAT, because admissions is usually rolling, so what might have appeared to be a great application at the beginning of the cycle might look only mediocre by the end. But that's purely based on my own non-scientific opinion, so as I said take it for what it's worth.:)

AACOMAS will verify your app and send them to schools without your MCAT. The schools will just hold your file until the scores are released by AACOM. Once the schools receive the scores, then they determine to send secondaries, etc.

I completely agree with rogerswife, apply as early as possible... schools usually become more selective later in the application process as classes begin to fill. A point higher on the MCAT will not matter much. Unless you have a horrible MCAT, don't bother retaking it, focus on getting in apps early and brushing up your interview skills. The MCAT has been tested over and over again for validity and has done well. This means most people do not move up or down much when they retake and is not usually worth the effort trying!!!

Be careful with this statement b/c it is not true. I for one moved up 7 points when I retook the test and I know others who moved up 3+ points.



OP, the issue is that you all are the pioneers of the new MCAT format in that it is offered more than twice a year (April and August for us oldies). There is no longer that distinct difference between early and late - it is kind of fuzzy now. If you think postponing until July will make a significant difference in your score, then push it back. But if your nervous are getting the best of you and you're starting to freak out, I think the best thing would be to take it in June. It's better to have a test under your belt and retake, than pushing back, letting the nerves affect you later and then have to retake in August. Good luck and rock the test, whenever you decide to take it.
 

droberge

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Be careful with this statement b/c it is not true. I for one moved up 7 points when I retook the test and I know others who moved up 3+ points.

I'm sorry if I was indicating it was impossible to move up 7 or so points like Nascardoc.... because it is in the realm of possibilities. It really depends on one's situation and how well the were prepared for the test the first time around. My only point is that the MCAT is built for substantial validity meaning that the test makers made the test to provide the same score, no matter how many times the test is taken. Most people I know who have retaken the test have not moved up substantially and many have moved down a point or two. I am just stating this in the broadest of terms, only the individual who is retaking the test can truly assess themselves to determine whether they can significantly improve.
 
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