May 19, 2015
Other Health Professions Student
I have done some searching and I feel as though my situation is unique enough that this is worth posting. So I am currently a clinical laboratory science student, doing the program postbacc after getting a degree in microbiology. The work as a medical laboratory scientist is good, but I have always intended on going to medical school, and this degree gives me a nice fall back. My undergraduate GPA from my micro degree was a 3.25. I am currently at a 3.6 in this program. I am also getting plenty of clinical experience both in volunteering as a phlebotomist at a free clinic and working part time in the microbiology lab of a large hospital.

However, it has come to my attention that I would be best served to do very well on the MCAT, if I want a true shot. I am trying to figure out what to do in regards to studying for it. I have EK. That is it so far. I had originally signed up to take this last August test, but I just got married this summer and things were far too chaotic, along with a molecular biology course for CLS program, to fully dedicate to studying. I cancelled the test until further notice.

Ideally, I would like to take the test next June or July. The thing is, the CLS program is very intense, far more intense than my bachelors in microbiology ever was. It feels unrealistic to be able to put in any kind of significant studying for the MCAT while trying to prepare to handle the clinical rotations I will be on for this program starting in November, in addition to being ready to take the ASCP boards to become certified MLS(ASCP). I literally have to study endless hours at a time to make sure I can keep this 3.6+ GPA.

My big problem is that I feel terrified of trying to study for only 2 months or so once everything with CLS is said and done. It has been 3-4 years at this point since I've taken things like O-chem or physics. What would you guys suggest my plan be? Should I just do my best to study both the MCAT and my CLS course work simultaneously, or is there a better plan? All I know is these courses I am in now like endocrinology, parasitology, mycology, immunohematology, etc. all mean serious business.

I appreciate you all taking the time to help me out.

Aug 27, 2015
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)

Your story sounds all too familiar.

After two years of pushing back the MCAT, I have finally come to the realization that I will never feel completely comfortable/prepared. I am currently in a position that makes it impossible to take any time off to exclusively prepare for the MCAT. So, rather than give up, I stubbornly grind on and devote any free time I have to studying. I use the Kaplan book set, Khan Academy, and Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry by Nelson (5 E). The struggle is real.

Personally, I think a tug-of-war dynamic between CLS and MCAT should be avoided if possible, but that is a decision you will have to make.

If you are in a position to completely drop everything for 2 months and focus on nothing but the MCAT, DO IT and don’t look back. I would love to have 2 months of uninterrupted, focused studying. If you are committed and driven enough, this should be enough time.

Do. Or do not.

Good Luck!