Nov 11, 2020
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I need honest advice. I am a junior in college graduating in 2022 and planning on going to medical school. I changed my major after my freshman year, so I am a year behind on prerequisites for the MCAT. My first hope would be to attend medical school right out of undergrad, so I would start fall 2022. With this I know I need to take the MCAT at the very latest in the start of June. However, I just don't know if that's reasonable. I am currently in organic chemistry 1 and signed up for org 2 next semester, and I haven't even taken biochemistry. I talked to some people who taught themselves what they needed to know about biochem for the MCAT and still did well. How reasonable is this to do? Would I be able to start studying for the MCAT while teaching myself biochemistry? Can I start studying for the MCAT while taking the rest of the prerequisites? Is it reasonable to expect to only take the MCAT once, or do most people plan on taking it twice? I'm a good test taker, and a good student with a 4.0 in the classes I have taken (including an A in org 1). I don't really have anyone to ask and I don't really know where to go next or what to do. If anyone has experience in this or could give honest advice that isn't just the "expected" way to take the MCAT, that would be sooo appreciated.
 

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I need honest advice. I am a junior in college graduating in 2022 and planning on going to medical school. I changed my major after my freshman year, so I am a year behind on prerequisites for the MCAT. My first hope would be to attend medical school right out of undergrad, so I would start fall 2022. With this I know I need to take the MCAT at the very latest in the start of June. However, I just don't know if that's reasonable. I am currently in organic chemistry 1 and signed up for org 2 next semester, and I haven't even taken biochemistry. I talked to some people who taught themselves what they needed to know about biochem for the MCAT and still did well. How reasonable is this to do? Would I be able to start studying for the MCAT while teaching myself biochemistry? Can I start studying for the MCAT while taking the rest of the prerequisites? Is it reasonable to expect to only take the MCAT once, or do most people plan on taking it twice? I'm a good test taker, and a good student with a 4.0 in the classes I have taken (including an A in org 1). I don't really have anyone to ask and I don't really know where to go next or what to do. If anyone has experience in this or could give honest advice that isn't just the "expected" way to take the MCAT, that would be sooo appreciated.
Lots to unpack here. What precludes you from taking the scenic route? Taking the MCAT on a whim is much different than 'giving it a whirl' on the SAT, it is part of your permanent record and is also not cheap. Not to say your plan is technically impossible, but trying to do content review, questions, classes, and teach yourself 'new' material is spreading yourself very thin, where someone who has a 4.0 and is a good test taker gives themselves an amazing chance to succeed if they take their time.

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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I need honest advice. I am a junior in college graduating in 2022 and planning on going to medical school. I changed my major after my freshman year, so I am a year behind on prerequisites for the MCAT. My first hope would be to attend medical school right out of undergrad, so I would start fall 2022. With this I know I need to take the MCAT at the very latest in the start of June. However, I just don't know if that's reasonable. I am currently in organic chemistry 1 and signed up for org 2 next semester, and I haven't even taken biochemistry. I talked to some people who taught themselves what they needed to know about biochem for the MCAT and still did well. How reasonable is this to do? Would I be able to start studying for the MCAT while teaching myself biochemistry? Can I start studying for the MCAT while taking the rest of the prerequisites? Is it reasonable to expect to only take the MCAT once, or do most people plan on taking it twice? I'm a good test taker, and a good student with a 4.0 in the classes I have taken (including an A in org 1). I don't really have anyone to ask and I don't really know where to go next or what to do. If anyone has experience in this or could give honest advice that isn't just the "expected" way to take the MCAT, that would be sooo appreciated.

You shouldn’t plan on taking the MCAT more than once. Take it when you’re ready and only when you’re ready. There is absolutely no reason you have to go to med school right out of undergrad. Most people are taking gap years now, and if you need a gap year to get your application the best it can be, then so be it. It is MUCH better to take a gap year and apply once and get in than to try to rush your app and have to reapply.
 
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Taking the MCAT without biochem is just making things so much harder than they need to be. I also took a gap year largely because of the mcat and was able to study over a summer, which was a million times less stressful than studying during the school year would have been.
 
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How are your ECs? If you have to spend lot of time for ECs it's going to be tough to self study biochem and do MCAT prep. Also, what score are you targeting?
 
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Having been in a similar situation, I would absolutely not take the MCAT without taking a formal biochemistry class. The MCAT is arguably the most (or 2nd most) important aspect of your application. With a 4.0 sGPA you've already shown your aptitude in science classes, why not knock out the class so you have a great foundation. With a great MCAT score, you put yourself in position to attend the best medical schools in the country.

Side note: do not rush to finish everything so you can attend right out of undergrad. Gap years are so common now it's almost the norm.
 
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I didn’t realize you were trying to take the mcat before biochem. I did this, and while it is possible to do well (I did great on the mcat before I took biochem), it is a huge pain in the ass and a lot of extra work. You have to teach yourself basically a whole biochem course on top of your other prep and courses. If I had to do it again, I would have waited but I literally didn’t have a choice.
 
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How are your ECs? If you have to spend lot of time for ECs it's going to be tough to self study biochem and do MCAT prep. Also, what score are you targeting?
This^^^^^^. Quite frankly, depending on how far along you are in the process, applying at the end of your junior year will be a non-starter regardless of MCAT timing. 2/3 of all matriculants have at least one gap year. You literally need hundreds of hours of combined clinical experience, non-clinical volunteering, shadowing, and maybe research (depending on which schools you are targeting) to be competitive.

Since the OP didn't touch upon this, OP is either well aware of this and has all the boxes checked, or not, in which case taking the MCAT without having taken biochem will be moot, since an application without everything else will go nowhere, even with a 4.0/520+.
 

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I need honest advice. I am a junior in college graduating in 2022 and planning on going to medical school. I changed my major after my freshman year, so I am a year behind on prerequisites for the MCAT. My first hope would be to attend medical school right out of undergrad, so I would start fall 2022. With this I know I need to take the MCAT at the very latest in the start of June. However, I just don't know if that's reasonable. I am currently in organic chemistry 1 and signed up for org 2 next semester, and I haven't even taken biochemistry. I talked to some people who taught themselves what they needed to know about biochem for the MCAT and still did well. How reasonable is this to do? Would I be able to start studying for the MCAT while teaching myself biochemistry? Can I start studying for the MCAT while taking the rest of the prerequisites? Is it reasonable to expect to only take the MCAT once, or do most people plan on taking it twice? I'm a good test taker, and a good student with a 4.0 in the classes I have taken (including an A in org 1). I don't really have anyone to ask and I don't really know where to go next or what to do. If anyone has experience in this or could give honest advice that isn't just the "expected" way to take the MCAT, that would be sooo appreciated.
1. You want to have completed every single pre-req BEFORE you take the MCAT, so that your studying is review and you're not seeing MCAT topics for the first time when you start to study for it. Remember, repetition repetition repetition. A lot of people just assume that they can teach themselves the pre-reqs, or that they don't need this or that pre-req--this is a myth.
2. Don't rush this. You want to take the MCAT once, and nail it. DON'T plan on taking it twice or thrice. You know what they say, "Planning to fail is failing to plan" and vice versa. This is a little sarcastic but I'm sure you get it.
3. Good job on your A in ochem 1. I would utilize the strategies that worked for you in this course with the rest of your courses, because this is a very difficult, weeder type course.
4. Good luck! :)
 
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I need honest advice. I am a junior in college graduating in 2022 and planning on going to medical school. I changed my major after my freshman year, so I am a year behind on prerequisites for the MCAT. My first hope would be to attend medical school right out of undergrad, so I would start fall 2022. With this I know I need to take the MCAT at the very latest in the start of June. However, I just don't know if that's reasonable. I am currently in organic chemistry 1 and signed up for org 2 next semester, and I haven't even taken biochemistry. I talked to some people who taught themselves what they needed to know about biochem for the MCAT and still did well. How reasonable is this to do? Would I be able to start studying for the MCAT while teaching myself biochemistry? Can I start studying for the MCAT while taking the rest of the prerequisites? Is it reasonable to expect to only take the MCAT once, or do most people plan on taking it twice? I'm a good test taker, and a good student with a 4.0 in the classes I have taken (including an A in org 1). I don't really have anyone to ask and I don't really know where to go next or what to do. If anyone has experience in this or could give honest advice that isn't just the "expected" way to take the MCAT, that would be sooo appreciated.
Do not take the MCAT until you've taken the prerequisite classes. Give yourself a break, maintain your GPA, and take the MCAT when you're really read so you have to take it only once. A gap year is usually a good thing.
 
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