Dec 4, 2015
57
5
Status
Pre-Medical
my original plan was to apply without some of the courses at schools that only 'recommend' the coursework rather than 'require'.

I emailed a few of the schools and they said it was possible, but I'm doubting my abilities at this point. I have Kaplan and TBR books. They are pretty good, but I almost feel like I need to take all the courses for a few reasons now and doubt my ability to get a high score on the MCAT without the courses.

I thought it was going to be a bit easier than this. Anyone else in a similar situation?

I'm 33. Haven't taken chem/physics since 2005 and it has really faded. I landed some good internships and have been doing that as well since January, but all of this stuff is not paid, the courses are expensive, and i'm a bit burnt out. The thought of taking all the courses again just seems brutal. It would be fine if they were free or something, but they are not. I'm signed up for bio/bio lab this semester, but I might need to take a lot more.

Also, it seems that applying without the courses could likely be a waste of all my time for the whole process. I'm a bit stuck right now. Thoughts?
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
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Attending Physician
You do not get rewarded by rushing in this process. The MCAT and Med school will always be there when you are ready for them. Get all your ducks in a row first, and only then pull the trigger. 33 is not close to a record in terms of age of applicants these days and in some specialties you still may have a 30+ year career ahead of you so don't stress about or skimp on a single extra year at the front end.
 
May 11, 2016
278
397
Status
Medical Student
Sure you CAN apply. But will your MCAT be good enough? How will they know you are able to handle the rigorous classes if you haven't completed them all? Do fully understand what it means to be a 2nd time applicant?
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,668
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
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Med schools aren't going anywhere.

This process selects for people who make good, informed choices too.


my original plan was to apply without some of the courses at schools that only 'recommend' the coursework rather than 'require'.

I emailed a few of the schools and they said it was possible, but I'm doubting my abilities at this point. I have Kaplan and TBR books. They are pretty good, but I almost feel like I need to take all the courses for a few reasons now and doubt my ability to get a high score on the MCAT without the courses.

I thought it was going to be a bit easier than this. Anyone else in a similar situation?

I'm 33. Haven't taken chem/physics since 2005 and it has really faded. I landed some good internships and have been doing that as well since January, but all of this stuff is not paid, the courses are expensive, and i'm a bit burnt out. The thought of taking all the courses again just seems brutal. It would be fine if they were free or something, but they are not. I'm signed up for bio/bio lab this semester, but I might need to take a lot more.

Also, it seems that applying without the courses could likely be a waste of all my time for the whole process. I'm a bit stuck right now. Thoughts?
 
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OP
P
Dec 4, 2015
57
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Sure you CAN apply. But will your MCAT be good enough? How will they know you are able to handle the rigorous classes if you haven't completed them all? Do fully understand what it means to be a 2nd time applicant?
yeah it is proving difficult to study for these parts of the MCAT on my own. I don't know what you mean about 2nd time applicants - hopefully I will just apply once.

Also, do prereqs expire - are my chem/phys classes from back in the day (2005) valid?
 
Apr 25, 2014
1,679
1,025
Florida
Status
Medical Student
Depends on the school some want req courses within 5-7 yrs. Don't apply until ur ready. It is much harder to fix things than do it right the first time. Too often people try to take short cuts and end up being in the 60% who don't get in.

Good luck

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May 11, 2016
278
397
Status
Medical Student
yeah it is proving difficult to study for these parts of the MCAT on my own. I don't know what you mean about 2nd time applicants - hopefully I will just apply once.

Also, do prereqs expire - are my chem/phys classes from back in the day (2005) valid?
Second time applicant meaning if you apply without requisite courses and a potentially risky MCAT score due to lack of classes, you risk failing to be accepted the first time. Second time applicants seem to have quite the uphill battle.
 
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Spriteling

5+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2013
304
188
Status
Medical Student
Don't do it. I applied without several pre-requisites (I was in the process of taking them). I ended up with only two IIs, though I had a very strong application, otherwise. I was fortunately accepted, but it's not worth the risk.
 
Apr 25, 2014
1,679
1,025
Florida
Status
Medical Student
For a school if they accept you and you do poorly it is a waste of their time so it's a risk to them. With 6-10K apps for 150-250 slots why should they take the risk. Being a 2nd time applicant will highlight what they will see as poor judgment and impulsivity. Not good med school traits.

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Logistics

Lots of Cynical Experience
7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2010
202
45
Right Where He's Supposed To Be
Status
Medical Student
Your situation is possible. I'm 35 and currently a second year medical student that was able to get accepted into medical school without an undergrad degree at a school that only had credit / class requirements. Like you, it had been over a decade since I'd last taken classes. I enrolled in the local community college which turned out to be nearly free with government student aid, and in one year (and summer) I took Physics 1/2, Bio 1/2, Chem 1/2, Anatomy 1/2, Ochem 1/2. I studied for the MCAT over summer while taking Ochem, then took the MCAT and outscored the average applicant of the one school I was applying to by quite a bit.

If you doubt your abilities, don't risk a shoddy MCAT. Do what I did. Retake classes (on the cheap) to thaw your brain, show the ADCOM that you can handle a ridiculous science load (because that's what med school is), then take the MCAT out back behind the shed. One year of prep is a small price to pay for a good MCAT score, and a more recent track record of commitment / good grades will help make your case. There are probably five people in my class in their 40s, so don't think spending an extra year to raise your stock is going to break you.

You say you thought it would be easier, you're worried about money, are already feeling burnt out, and the thought of taking all those classes just seems brutal... I'd almost discourage you from applying to medical school (because it's everything you're worried about times ten... maybe even times eleven!). Those classes would not be a waste of time if they make you a better student and help you perform better on the one test that gets you into med school.

Lastly, medical schools are not looking for doubt. It is a big, expensive, life-path-setting deal. If you don't think you can handle it, who knows you better than you? You cannot afford doubt. You can't afford hope, either. All you can do is work and grind. There are no shortcuts into medical school, just less common ways.