Jun 24, 2019
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Hi y'all. So I am currently a junior and am planning on taking a gap year so I have basically an extra year to take the MCAT. Knowing myself and how important the MCAT is, I feel like using this summer to study for it and take it where I have much fewer distractions would be much more ideal than trying to study throughout the school year while trying to balance school, research, and other ECs. This way, I also would have plenty of time to retake it if I happened to need to (let's hope not) and if I don't need to, I could use the extra time to relax more senior year but also focus more on my honors thesis and other activities I have going.

I guess my only concern with this is that I feel like I already wasted a summer last summer due to my plans getting canceled because of COVID-19. I mean, granted, I tried to virtually volunteer and shadow consistently, worked a little bit, dipped my toes into MCAT studying, and whatever else I could do to keep myself productive, but I guess I did not get the experience I had hoped to get like many others. So I guess my question is would it be bad to take this upcoming summer to study for and take the MCAT? I would also try to do in-person shadowing if I can and continue to volunteer for hospice and virtual volunteering alongside studying, but that would be about it.

I am also just feeling extra unsure because I brought this plan up to my friend who told me I would be better off getting a certification over the summer and using that to get a job since that supposedly "looks better" (I don't really believe them, but it wasn't great to hear either).

Let me know what you guys think!
 
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Dec 29, 2019
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This isn't a direct answer to your Q but you should definitely start studying now, even if a little bit. Even 30 minutes of BB/PS vocab studying a day will stack up a lot, arguably better than 8 hour per day for 2-month grind schedules (the latter is literally 95% memorization, so time wins over all).
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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This isn't a direct answer to your Q but you should definitely start studying now, even if a little bit. Even 30 minutes of BB/PS vocab studying a day will stack up a lot, arguably better than 8 hour per day for 2-month grind schedules (the latter is literally 95% memorization, so time wins over all).
I've been trying to do anki cards here and there although definitely not as consistently since school started back up. I will definitely try though! I am hoping my current biology and psychology classes might help with studying too. Thanks for the advice! Although do you have any advice about the original question I asked?
 
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Dec 29, 2019
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I've been trying to do anki cards here and there although definitely not as consistently since school started back up. I will definitely try though! I am hoping my current biology and psychology classes might help with studying too. Thanks for the advice! Although do you have any advice about the original question I asked?
Not necessarily. Everyone has a different approach to the MCAT. Some people can study for 2 months just practicing questions and can score 99th percentile. Meanwhile, some can study for 6 months and get a 505. YOu have to evaluate your own foundations and test-taking ability and go from there—no one can tell you what you should do. Maybe try some light studying and take a practice test in 3 months and see how it ends up. Then go from there.
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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Not necessarily. Everyone has a different approach to the MCAT. Some people can study for 2 months just practicing questions and can score 99th percentile. Meanwhile, some can study for 6 months and get a 505. YOu have to evaluate your own foundations and test-taking ability and go from there—no one can tell you what you should do. Maybe try some light studying and take a practice test in 3 months and see how it ends up. Then go from there.
You're right, I might just do that! Thank you.
 

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I personally believe studying all summer (between junior/senior year) for the mcat and taking it in august right before school starts was one of the best premed decisions I made. It allowed me to focus on nailing my gpa senior year and putting more time towards my ECs/building relationships with profs. Regarding getting certified in something, it’s overrated. You can work as a patient care tech with no cert and get arguably better clinical experience than an EMT who sits in the station all day and only gets 5 calls. However, it would be easier to get your gap year job with some sort of cert, I don’t think you should build your mcat schedule around it. Take it over the summer and use your senior year to get certified in something for your gap year job. Just my two cents
 
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I personally believe studying all summer (between junior/senior year) for the mcat and taking it in august right before school starts was one of the best premed decisions I made. It allowed me to focus on nailing my gpa senior year and putting more time towards my ECs/building relationships with profs. Regarding getting certified in something, it’s overrated. You can work as a patient care tech with no cert and get arguably better clinical experience than an EMT who sits in the station all day and only gets 5 calls. However, it would be easier to get your gap year job with some sort of cert, I don’t think you should build your mcat schedule around it. Take it over the summer and use your senior year to get certified in something for your gap year job. Just my two cents
Thank you so much for your thoughts! I think I will likely do the same as you and do my MCAT studying this summer given all of the positives it has.
 
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