Feb 16, 2021
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Hello!

I am a premed student hoping to apply to MD schools this cycle pending a good MCAT score. My GPA is the most concerning part of my application. I am just barely above a 3.0, but I stayed a fifth year at my university to take extra classes and received all A's but one B+ in the last two quarters. I have one more quarter left to graduate and of course hope to continue an upward trend. Considering I will have retaken all my trouble courses and had a solid upward trend, I wanted to try to apply this cycle. The rest of my application looks solid; hundreds of hours volunteering, thousands of hours of a clinical job throughout my last two years, URM, medical reasons for my sharp drop in grades, a bit of research, letters of rec, and soon shadowing. I qualify for FAP, so application costs will hopefully not be as much of a problem.

My question is related to the date of my MCAT (but please also let me know if applying this cycle is unrealistic!).
My school quarter ends on June 10th and I would ideally want at least 20 days of straight MCAT practice to test on June 30th because I've already started my content review, but expect school to continue hindering studying. This would put me at a score release date of July 30th.
Considering my extremely low GPA, am I at an even bigger disadvantage if I submit my primaries by August 1st once my MCAT score is in?
Is it any better if I submit my primaries right after (hopefully) feeling good about the exam around July 1st, but without the MCAT score?
Will schools basically throw me out if they only see a 3.0 and no MCAT vs seeing a 3.0 and a hopefully great MCAT?
Is it better to take the MCAT right after finals or even during the quarter just to get my application in earlier?
Considering COVID, is an August application late? or is it just late because my stats are low and I need every advantage I can get?

Sorry for the long question and happy studying!
 

lumya

Indoor Cat
2+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2018
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Submitting august 1st is not too late. If you want to, you can submit your application to one school, so it can get verified, and then add the rest of your schools once you get your score back.

Take the MCAT when you feel ready, don’t rush it just to get your app in a couple weeks earlier.
 

GreenDuck12

7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
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  1. Medical Student
Will schools basically throw me out if they only see a 3.0 and no MCAT vs seeing a 3.0 and a hopefully great MCAT?
Is it better to take the MCAT right after finals or even during the quarter just to get my application in earlier?
Considering COVID, is an August application late? or is it just late because my stats are low and I need every advantage I can get?
Schools likely will not review your application till it is marked complete which would be after receiving MCAT score and any secondary application materials. A 3.0 gpa may trigger auto screens at some programs but may be fine for others. You recognize that you’re at a disadvantage with your GPA, don’t add another by taking the MCAT when you aren’t in the best position to do so. the best time to take the MCAT is when you are prepared to do well. It is unlikely that will coincide with the academic term or finals period you mentioned above. it is likely that will be after a period of dedicated study with minimal competing interests for your time. There is a much greater risk of trying to apply early with a subpar score than applying later in the cycle with a stronger score.
 
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