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320422

I'm a junior, biology major, have full course load (15 credit hrs), and want to take the mcat in Aug. I want to go to med school after I graduate.
I got some help from the medical school faculty and she made me a MCAT study schedule: 4 hours content review, 2 hours doing MCAT practice tests questions, so total of 6 hours devoted to MCAT. (Here are books that I have right now: Princeton Review MCAT Workout, Kaplan MCAT Advanced, EK MCAT VR & Mathematical Tech. 7th Ed.)

I have other classes to study for and need time to go work out and volunteer. I don't have enough time to study for my classes.
I saw SN2ed's 3-month schedule and am bit convinced..
What should I do? Can I possibly take the MCAT in Aug. and get a decent score? Or should I take it later?
I guess I'm so paranoid about wanting to get into med school after I graduate...and trying to keep up with my goal/timeframe..

I need advice!
Please help!
 

Geekchick921

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Settle down.

Firstly, if you take the MCAT in August, or even later, it will set you at a serious disadvantage this coming application cycle. If you won't feel ready to take the MCAT before then, you can take your chances, or you can wait a year. Most people here recommend about 3 months of hardcore studying for the MCAT. If you need to take another year and apply right after you graduate college, it won't be the end of the world. You can also use that year to strengthen your ECs, if you need to do that.
 
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320422

Settle down.

Firstly, if you take the MCAT in August, or even later, it will set you at a serious disadvantage this coming application cycle. If you won't feel ready to take the MCAT before then, you can take your chances, or you can wait a year. Most people here recommend about 3 months of hardcore studying for the MCAT. If you need to take another year and apply right after you graduate college, it won't be the end of the world. You can also use that year to strengthen your ECs, if you need to do that.
Thank you for replying! So should I focus on my current classes now and maybe take the MCAT in spring of my senior year? (What is EC by the way?)
 

OrangeRoost

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ECs refer to your extracurricular activities, such as hospital volunteering, shadowing, research, clubs, leadership, fraternity, community service, etc. I would suggest that you put as much time as you can into studying and apply early in the spring (or late if you pwn the fall MCAT) with a lot of volunteering, shadowing, and community service under your belt. Best of luck!
 

Geekchick921

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Thank you for replying! So should I focus on my current classes now and maybe take the MCAT in spring of my senior year? (What is EC by the way?)
I would take it as soon as you feel ready, if you're going to push applying back to the 2011-2012 application cycle. If you will be finished your pre-reqs this semester, you can study all summer and take it in September (I have heard rumors the September MCAT is hard for this reason, but I don't believe it) or any other time between now and next June. The SDN consensus is that mid-June is the latest you should take the MCAT for applying that year, but unless you're going to have an easy last semester in college and can afford plenty of time to study then, I would take it sometime in the second half of this year, after you've devoted enough time to studying.

As the person above me said, ECs are your extracurriculars. The trifecta is volunteering, clinical experience, and research. Leadership is also good (running a club, being a TA, etc.) and physician shadowing. Good luck!
 
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320422

ECs refer to your extracurricular activities, such as hospital volunteering, shadowing, research, clubs, leadership, fraternity, community service, etc. I would suggest that you put as much time as you can into studying and apply early in the spring (or late if you pwn the fall MCAT) with a lot of volunteering, shadowing, and community service under your belt. Best of luck!
Thank you for replying! I will do my best.
 
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320422

I would take it as soon as you feel ready, if you're going to push applying back to the 2011-2012 application cycle. If you will be finished your pre-reqs this semester, you can study all summer and take it in September (I have heard rumors the September MCAT is hard for this reason, but I don't believe it) or any other time between now and next June. The SDN consensus is that mid-June is the latest you should take the MCAT for applying that year, but unless you're going to have an easy last semester in college and can afford plenty of time to study then, I would take it sometime in the second half of this year, after you've devoted enough time to studying.

As the person above me said, ECs are your extracurriculars. The trifecta is volunteering, clinical experience, and research. Leadership is also good (running a club, being a TA, etc.) and physician shadowing. Good luck!
Thank you. I'm thinking that this summer I should work on my shadowing and volunteering and take the MCAT during spring of my senior year. If I get a decent score then I will apply early for the 2011-2012 cycle. But I was also thinking that If I study hard core starting from May for that Aug. MCAT along with volunteering or shadowing, will that be okay?
 

pdxjazz

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Thank you. I'm thinking that this summer I should work on my shadowing and volunteering and take the MCAT during spring of my senior year. If I get a decent score then I will apply early for the 2011-2012 cycle. But I was also thinking that If I study hard core starting from May for that Aug. MCAT along with volunteering or shadowing, will that be okay?
I would suggest studying hard core for this August's MCAT rather than during your senior year. It is more difficult to study for school and the MCAT at the same time and you cannot afford to let your grades slip (and perhaps improve them if neccessary). You will have almost 4 months of fulltime study, and it doesn't get much better than that. If somehow you don't do well in August, you still have the option to retake a spring or early summer MCAT. On your off days this summer you could work in some shadowing and/or volunteering. With a lighter senior class load, you should have plenty of time to strengthen your ECs throughout the year.

The downside to missing this year's application cycle is you will have a year off after graduation and that may sound a bit scary. The upside is you will be able to fly around the country for interviews without disrupting your senior year classes, and will give you even more time for ECs.