fldrenee

pre-medical student
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Nov 25, 2008
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Florida
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Pre-Medical
Hello, I am currently a junior in undergrad. and hope to attend medical school in Fall of 2010. I plan on taking the MCAT in Spring of 2009 and applying in Fall of 2009. I was wondering if would it be more beneficial to take the MCAT once in the beginning/ middle of Spring and then once in the Summer before I submit my application OR should I just plan to take the MCAT once in the Summer before I apply and allow myself more and time and focus to prepare? The MCAT scores are not averaged right? Also, I plan on taking Kaplan does anyone have an advice/info/tips pertaining to the Kaplan prep course? Thank you very much and good luck to everyone! :)
 

RySerr21

i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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Dec 22, 2007
5,931
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Fellow [Any Field]
Hello, I am currently a junior in undergrad. and hope to attend medical school in Fall of 2010. I plan on taking the MCAT in Spring of 2009 and applying in Fall of 2009. I was wondering if would it be more beneficial to take the MCAT once in the beginning/ middle of Spring and then once in the Summer before I submit my application OR should I just plan to take the MCAT once in the Summer before I apply and allow myself more and time and focus to prepare? The MCAT scores are not averaged right? Also, I plan on taking Kaplan does anyone have an advice/info/tips pertaining to the Kaplan prep course? Thank you very much and good luck to everyone! :)

For the love of pete.....TAKE THE MCAT AS FEW TIMES AS POSSIBLE. That means if you can find a way to get out of taking the MCAT............DO IT (even if you have to sell a little piece of your soul....just kidding).

No but really. Plan on taking it one time. ONLY take it a second time if it is absolutely necessary (ie you did really poorly, or you did way worse than yoou were expecting and believe you can do better).

If you sign up to take in the spring, be prepared to ace it in the spring so that you dont have to take it again. If for any reason you feel you are unprepared, RESCHEDULE for the summer, spend more time studying and reviewing, and take it once in the summer. There is no rush. You can take it in May/July and still be right on time for the cycle.

I cant stress this enough......TAKE IT AS FEW TIMES AS POSSIBLE. If this seems like strange advice to you now....just wait til you are 3 months in to studying and you want to punch yourself in the face anytime you see the letters M-C-A or T in any combination. The thought of having to take the 5 hour beast for a 2nd time will make you want to off yourself. I woulda went to hell and back before I took that thing again.

good luck :)
 

schismal

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Mar 12, 2008
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OR should I just plan to take the MCAT once in the Summer before I apply and allow myself more and time and focus to prepare?

This. Take it once, when you're ready.

Don't ever walk into the real MCAT with the presumption that it is "just for practice." That's what the online AAMC tests are for.
 

CarrieBad

10+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2008
158
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Medical Student
It is clear by the nature of this question that you have not yet studied for, nor taken this beast of a test. Trust me, do not take this test more than once if you don't have to. It's like volunteering to have all of the nails in your hands and feet ripped out of your body... twice.
 

airplanes

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Jun 30, 2008
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The Danger Zone
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Attending Physician
Study up and take it once. You won't want to take it again. Also, if you're planning on taking the MCAT in the summer, remember that it will take a month for your scores to be released and quite some time for your AMCAS application to be verified and sent to medical schools. You want to submit your AMCAS as early as possible (earliest is June but you can start working on your Personal statement and activities etc beforehand). You can also submit your AMCAS without an MCAT score but this would be kind of a crapshoot unless you are very confident you did well. And most schools wont consider your application until the MCAT score comes in. Submitting AMCAS in the Fall (september or later) = BADDD
 

AZFutureDoc

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May 26, 2008
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I applied this year with a high 20's score, and I have no acceptances yet (2 interviews though.) That was actually my second time taking it too! The second score was higher than my first by 1-2 points per section, but it still isn't that great!

My thing is that each time I took it, I was doing very well (mid 30s) on practice tests. I was taking AAMCs and Princetons, and doing great, I thought. I could go through hundreds of flashcards without missing one. But then when I take the stupid test for real, I dunno what in the world happens... I studied and took practice tests in a quiet computer lab on campus, and didn't cheat myself at all! My grades show that I know this material (3.8 on the 8 courses it tests), but for some reason, I can't get the score I am really capable of. If I don't get in anywhere this year, I am looking at taking it a 3rd time :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:. My real concern is that I have known the stuff well for each of the 2 crappy times, and honest to everything holy, I have absolutely no idea how I can improve. I knew my crap front and back the second time, and still, I didn't even get an average score... Each time, I was strong in VR on practice tests, but it was the section that KILLED my score on the real thing. My science scores are actually pretty good (double digits). I dread having to restudy for it, only because I messed up one section unexplainably.
 

suizyme09

I haz a flavor
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Aug 20, 2008
147
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Columbus
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I don't know if this is an option for you but I took the MCAT the fall before I applied. This way I was able to take the Kaplan course over the summer before the MCAT which gave me plenty of time to study. Also, I think the course is cheaper in the summer (it was for me but i dunno if it still is). Anyways finally this also leaves you a chance to study and retake the Kaplan course (for free if you don't do well the first MCAT) during the fall/spring and retake the MCAT for a better score. Look into this possibility because it worked great for me!:)
 

bornready

Membership Revoked
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Nov 24, 2008
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In My House
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[/LEFT]
This. Take it once, when you're ready.

Don't ever walk into the real MCAT with the presumption that it is "just for practice." That's what the online AAMC tests are for.
Best advice. The MCAT is not something that you want to take more than once. Work really hard while studying the first time and hopefully everything will work out.

I suggest taking the AAMC Sample MCAT exams to gauge your score. If you are consistently scoring where you want to after a while, take the real deal. Don't think if you are scoring a 21 on the practice exam that you will bust out a 41 on the real thing. It is possible!!! But I would not trust it.
 

Chemist0157

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Aug 1, 2007
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...OR you could be like me. Take it once, take it again and make the same thing, AND then take it one more time just for fun. ;)
 

katarina90

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Jan 4, 2008
255
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Nevada
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It is clear by the nature of this question that you have not yet studied for, nor taken this beast of a test. Trust me, do not take this test more than once if you don't have to. It's like volunteering to have all of the nails in your hands and feet ripped out of your body... twice.
Yikes, all these graphic depictions are making me a bit nervous (taking it next year, for the first and hopefully only time)

...chemist0157, you are a masochist...
 

Chemist0157

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Aug 1, 2007
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Attending Physician
Yikes, all these graphic depictions are making me a bit nervous (taking it next year, for the first and hopefully only time)

...chemist0157, you are a masochist...
Hello. My name is Chemist0157. Since I am a masochist, I decided to apply to medical school.
 

finknottle

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Sep 21, 2008
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i feel like a lot of people are exaggerating. ok sure the test is not fun and studying for it is not that fun either but seriously it's not that bad and there is definitely no need to be scared.

main thing to remember is to practice a lot. make sure you have at least 1-2 months of solid studying and as everyone else has said, only take it once if you can.
 

cbrons

Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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Jul 29, 2007
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I've been studying by myself for this test on and off since May. There is not a snowballs chance in hell I would be even remotely excited to have to take it more than 1 time. I take it May 28th. I plan to pick my life back up on May 29th.
 

Excelsius

Carpe Noctem
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Apr 6, 2008
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Hello, I am currently a junior in undergrad. and hope to attend medical school in Fall of 2010. I plan on taking the MCAT in Spring of 2009 and applying in Fall of 2009. I was wondering if would it be more beneficial to take the MCAT once in the beginning/ middle of Spring and then once in the Summer before I submit my application OR should I just plan to take the MCAT once in the Summer before I apply and allow myself more and time and focus to prepare? The MCAT scores are not averaged right? Also, I plan on taking Kaplan does anyone have an advice/info/tips pertaining to the Kaplan prep course? Thank you very much and good luck to everyone! :)
Once. Here is why: all med schools look at BOTH scores. Even worse: some med schools AVERAGE your scores. So, if you take it once and don't do well, your next score will be dragged down by the first, even if you do well on it.

If you take it once and get a low score, then you absolutely will have to take it again, no question (unless you want DO or Caribbean). So the real question here is should I study as best as I can before I take the first MCAT? The answer is yes.
 

batman1983

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Mar 4, 2007
651
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Pre-Medical
A friend of mine took the exam twice, but voided the score the first time. I would recommend taking it in Spring if you feel ready, and worst case, if you feel that you did poorly on it afterwards (from my experience, you can sense it), you can void the exam and at least have the summer backup to retake it.

At the same time, I hated having to study for it twice, esp since I waited 2yrs before retaking it. When I retook it the second time, I had a couple months to essentially relearn my first two years of college since I had forgotten all that stuff. Thus, if you need to retake it, I recommend doing it as soon as possible following the first time you took it.

As for how schools look at MCAT scores, I really dont know much about that process works, but I think it varies fromschool to school. However, from my experience, a significant improvement of scores seems to really make a difference. Even though I took the last MCAT exam for 2009, and as a result, I am technically applying late in the cycle again(ie, I didn’t get my scores back till late Oct and as a result, I am probably having my applications to most schools being reviewed in Nov), I still have been able to get several top tier invites(UCLA, UCinn, Case, Southwestern).
 

dragonfly99

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May 15, 2008
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Try to only take it once...make sure you are ready.
If you don't get the score you want, then retake. It's not like the ACT where a lot of people just take it 2 or 3 times, trying to see if they can get a higher score. I think a lot of schools look at all your MCAT scores, so you don't want any bad ones on there...but I think a lot of them will cut you slack if you had a lower 1st time and then did significantly better then 2nd time. Still, you just don't want a low score to be on there at all if you can help it. Plus it's expensive exam and time consuming to have to restudy.
 

MrBlonde

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Nov 22, 2008
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Countdown city!
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I would watch out about voiding the test though. When I took it, by the end, I was dog tired and really down on myself because I thought I had BOMBED it. I mean, I ran out of time, left questions unanswered, did like 4 verb passages in the final five minutes, it was a mess. I got to that final page where you can decide to void the test or not. I agonized for the whole time (5 minutes?) they give you to decide but in the end, on a whim, I got kind of pissed and accepted what I thought was a for sure terrible score. I drove home thinking that despite my months of hard studying I'd failed, and I really began to contemplate whether medicine was for me. I checked my score the next month not expecting much and bam! I ended up getting in the thirties. If had voided that test I'd be going for a PhD in English Lit. or something.:smack:
:laugh:
 
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