Nov 27, 2010
342
78
Status
Medical Student
Hello friends,

I did a search looking for a similar topic but couldn't find anything, which was kind of surprising...

I'm currently finishing up a post-bacc program. I'm taking Biology and Organic Chemistry at the moment. I'll be applying this summer for Fall 2012 matriculation, which means I need to take the MCAT at some point before this summer. I was contemplating taking the January 2011 MCAT, even though I haven't even gotten halfway through Biology and Orgo yet. My reasoning is that I'll have more free time over the holiday break to focus on MCAT studying, and can learn MCAT Bio and Orgo content well enough from a prep book to perform well on the test to justify the semester or so of class content I'm foregoing by not waiting until later instead.

Has anyone else had experiences with this? Am I crazy for thinking I can take the MCAT without having finished the classes on which the MCAT is testing me?

Thanks.
 

n3xa

"the anchor"
7+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2009
2,078
214
37
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hello friends,

I did a search looking for a similar topic but couldn't find anything, which was kind of surprising...

I'm currently finishing up a post-bacc program. I'm taking Biology and Organic Chemistry at the moment. I'll be applying this summer for Fall 2012 matriculation, which means I need to take the MCAT at some point before this summer. I was contemplating taking the January 2011 MCAT, even though I haven't even gotten halfway through Biology and Orgo yet. My reasoning is that I'll have more free time over the holiday break to focus on MCAT studying, and can learn MCAT Bio and Orgo content well enough from a prep book to perform well on the test to justify the semester or so of class content I'm foregoing by not waiting until later instead.

Has anyone else had experiences with this? Am I crazy for thinking I can take the MCAT without having finished the classes on which the MCAT is testing me?

Thanks.

General Biology is the class you're taking right now?
Have you taken physics and general chemistry yet?
 
Aug 10, 2009
1,807
13
Tulsa, OK
Status
Medical Student
Hello friends,

I did a search looking for a similar topic but couldn't find anything, which was kind of surprising...

I'm currently finishing up a post-bacc program. I'm taking Biology and Organic Chemistry at the moment. I'll be applying this summer for Fall 2012 matriculation, which means I need to take the MCAT at some point before this summer. I was contemplating taking the January 2011 MCAT, even though I haven't even gotten halfway through Biology and Orgo yet. My reasoning is that I'll have more free time over the holiday break to focus on MCAT studying, and can learn MCAT Bio and Orgo content well enough from a prep book to perform well on the test to justify the semester or so of class content I'm foregoing by not waiting until later instead.

Has anyone else had experiences with this? Am I crazy for thinking I can take the MCAT without having finished the classes on which the MCAT is testing me?

Thanks.
No, you can't learn from a prep book well enough for the MCAT. This is a common mistake that we pre-meds make. We are so used to scoring in the 99th percentile that we don't realize that we are competing against others that are also in the 99th percentile.

The MCAT is not written so that someone with only a surface knowledge of Organic Chemistry,genetics, biology, physics, can do well. Yes, the books will tell you that all the information to answer the questions are in the passages, and that is true, but what you don't understand is how much information is in those passages.

One of my passages was about testing a drug on several groups of rats with different symptoms of multiple genetic diseases. The questions were on how different genes would react with different suppressors and promoters. Try to do that quickly while also trying to remember genetics and biochemistry. Remember that you have 9 minutes to read that 500 word passage and answer those 8 questions.

A mid-May MCAT is plenty of time to get your application submitted on the first possible day. Have your application ready to verify on June 1st (with all transcripts already sent in) for one school, get your MCAT scores in Mid-June and add your other schools to your app then. AMCAS doesn't send your application to the schools until late June. You are at the front of the line.
 

Richardh

10+ Year Member
Jul 3, 2008
345
1
Status
please don't take the mcat when you haven't finished learning the basics. you also need to take into account that studying during the holidays is not a good idea because most of your friends and family members will be in the holiday spirit while you won't be (hence there will be so many distractions and you won't be able to focus) (even if you try to focus you will feel under pressure to concentrate and study). I recommend you to finish taking your class then studying and taking the MCAT. it is better to achieve a competitive score by taking the test only once instead of multiple takes. good luck :)
 

phltz

7+ Year Member
May 13, 2010
889
30
Status
Medical Student
Hello friends,

I did a search looking for a similar topic but couldn't find anything, which was kind of surprising...

I'm currently finishing up a post-bacc program. I'm taking Biology and Organic Chemistry at the moment. I'll be applying this summer for Fall 2012 matriculation, which means I need to take the MCAT at some point before this summer. I was contemplating taking the January 2011 MCAT, even though I haven't even gotten halfway through Biology and Orgo yet. My reasoning is that I'll have more free time over the holiday break to focus on MCAT studying, and can learn MCAT Bio and Orgo content well enough from a prep book to perform well on the test to justify the semester or so of class content I'm foregoing by not waiting until later instead.

Has anyone else had experiences with this? Am I crazy for thinking I can take the MCAT without having finished the classes on which the MCAT is testing me?

Thanks.
Even if you're planning on submitting every application the very first day, there's absolutely no downside to an April or May test date as compared to a January one. Even a June date would let you be on the earlier side of having your app complete.

By taking the exam in January, you are forgoing several months of intensive science instruction on the exact material that will be on the MCAT, taught by professional teachers with PhDs. You will be shortchanging yourself several additional months in which you could do minor MCAT studying on top of your coursework. Compared to a late-May or early June date, you will be forgoing several post-finals weeks in which you could study full time for the MCAT.

Ok, so there are some serious cons. What are the pros? Intensive studying over the winter holiday is not a pro - you could do that whether you take the MCAT in January or May. I really don't see any pro for your January plan, except possibly that you'll have less to worry about in the Spring, and so could enjoy yourself more. That seems pretty weak to me.

The only good reasons I could see for someone in your shoes to take a January MCAT would be 1) if you are pursuing some sort of linkage program through your posbacc that requires a January MCAT date, 2) if you're absolutely confidant that you have such a stellar application that you can get into your dream school even if you don't do your best on the exam, or 3) if you're anticipating being able to score at least a 40 in January, and figure that you're past the point where an extra couple of points on the MCAT really matter.
 
OP
HatWobble
Nov 27, 2010
342
78
Status
Medical Student
Thanks, everyone. I will start familiarizing myself with MCAT study materials over the holiday break and leave my anticipated test date as TBD until I score highly enough on practice tests to feel confident.