Dec 7, 2018
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I'm a 19 yr old URM black male, 3.7 GPA, finishing up the first semester of my junior year. I'm shadowing two doctors, started undergraduate research this semester, am involved in hospital volunteering, a volunteering and mentoring organization for low income youth in my college city, african student organization, and of course the standard pre med organizations. I decided to take the MCAT this year in April, to be ready for the TMDSAS Application cycle opening up in May.

My logic behind this was that I think my GPA may be the strongest it will ever be at the end of my Junior year. I don't see my GPA getting any better after my senior year considering some of the classes I have to take for my major. I wan't to know if my plan of action is logical enough to warrant the stress of MCAT studying and structuring my whole application to be ready by May, just because I think that's when my GPA will look slightly better.
 

puahate

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So your question is related to MCAT timing? You don't want to apply later with a lower GPA? Is that correct?
 
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puahate

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Yeah you are correct
Couple of thing come to mind. Can you drop or scale back on the things you are currently doing? GPA and MCAT are way more important. Perhaps employ extra help in your organizations and cut down on volunteering.

If not you are better of taking your MCAT after all of this to be safe. I doubt your GPA will drop significantly to matter unless you get a C or under.
 

theKingLT

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I'm a 19 yr old URM black male, 3.7 GPA, finishing up the first semester of my junior year. I'm shadowing two doctors, started undergraduate research this semester, am involved in hospital volunteering, a volunteering and mentoring organization for low income youth in my college city, african student organization, and of course the standard pre med organizations. I decided to take the MCAT this year in April, to be ready for the TMDSAS Application cycle opening up in May.

My logic behind this was that I think my GPA may be the strongest it will ever be at the end of my Junior year. I don't see my GPA getting any better after my senior year considering some of the classes I have to take for my major. I wan't to know if my plan of action is logical enough to warrant the stress of MCAT studying and structuring my whole application to be ready by May, just because I think that's when my GPA will look slightly better.
TBH I think you should wait a cycle to apply for a few reasons:

1.) You are young and that is a challenge you will have to overcome in interviews. An extra year, especially time out of school working, can really help.
2.) If you are worried about your senior year grades then having the stress and workload of an app cycle (which is like a full-time job) will only add to the issues. This could hurt your grades even worse and put you in a poor position if you have to re-apply. Additionally, if your course load is really going to be so tough, the additional work of applying could result in low enough grades to warrant schools rescinding an acceptance--unlikely, but possible if your grades really tank. It's better IMO that you delay applying and focus on getting those A's senior year, even if it means cutting back your ECs.
3.) It would allow you to take the MCAT at the end of next summer. This means you would have all summer (hopefully without many other commitments or classes) to study and kill the exam. Like you said, if you apply this coming cycle you will need to take the MCAT earlier to be early in the Texas cycle, so you would have to be studying during the semester with all of your classes going on, and likely wouldn't be able to keep up with volunteering or score as well on the exam. I've seen people go from a 502 MCAT to a 520 with proper preparation. As a URM, that could mean the difference between acceptance to a low-tier MD/DO school and a full-ride to Harvard, but you need to make sure you do it right the first time.

There is nothing wrong with entering med school a year later, especially at your age. In your case I think it would take a lot of stress off of you to delay applying and could make a significant difference on the strength of your application, an aspect that could result in an acceptance or even scholarship that you otherwise wouldn't have gotten.
 
Dec 7, 2018
6
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TBH I think you should wait a cycle to apply for a few reasons:

1.) You are young and that is a challenge you will have to overcome in interviews. An extra year, especially time out of school working, can really help.
2.) If you are worried about your senior year grades then having the stress and workload of an app cycle (which is like a full-time job) will only add to the issues. This could hurt your grades even worse and put you in a poor position if you have to re-apply. Additionally, if your course load is really going to be so tough, the additional work of applying could result in low enough grades to warrant schools rescinding an acceptance--unlikely, but possible if your grades really tank. It's better IMO that you delay applying and focus on getting those A's senior year, even if it means cutting back your ECs.
3.) It would allow you to take the MCAT at the end of next summer. This means you would have all summer (hopefully without many other commitments or classes) to study and kill the exam. Like you said, if you apply this coming cycle you will need to take the MCAT earlier to be early in the Texas cycle, so you would have to be studying during the semester with all of your classes going on, and likely wouldn't be able to keep up with volunteering or score as well on the exam. I've seen people go from a 502 MCAT to a 520 with proper preparation. As a URM, that could mean the difference between acceptance to a low-tier MD/DO school and a full-ride to Harvard, but you need to make sure you do it right the first time.

There is nothing wrong with entering med school a year later, especially at your age. In your case I think it would take a lot of stress off of you to delay applying and could make a significant difference on the strength of your application, an aspect that could result in an acceptance or even scholarship that you otherwise wouldn't have gotten.
I really appreciate what you wrote, it gave me a lot of insight, thanks so much, honestly.
 
Dec 7, 2018
6
3
Couple of thing come to mind. Can you drop or scale back on the things you are currently doing? GPA and MCAT are way more important. Perhaps employ extra help in your organizations and cut down on volunteering.

If not you are better of taking your MCAT after all of this to be safe. I doubt your GPA will drop significantly to matter unless you get a C or under.
Yeah I'm beginning to have the feeling that it wouldn't be worth rushing the MCAT for a slight deviation in GPA, barring a C in a class my senior, which I will be definitely trying to avoid.
 

puahate

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Yeah I'm beginning to have the feeling that it wouldn't be worth rushing the MCAT for a slight deviation in GPA, barring a C in a class my senior, which I will be definitely trying to avoid.
I was in the same postion as you I decided to take my MCAT after graduation. I have a decent MCAT now and have time to prep for my applications in my current gap year.
 
Dec 7, 2018
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I was in the same postion as you I decided to take my MCAT after graduation. I have a decent MCAT now and have time to prep for my applications in my current gap year.
Yeah extra time to prep for the MCAT and craft a solid application seem like great incentives to wait. Thanks for your insight man.
 
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