alexrgross

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Its really important for me to score well and give myself all the time I can for prep. Will the last test date hurt my application even if I score well? What do people who have already been accepted think of taking a September MCAT? When did you take yours and was it as important for you as it is for me, in terms of your app profile?
 

alexrgross

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Its really important for me to score well and give myself all the time I can for prep. Will the last test date (September 9) hurt my application even if I score well? What do people who have already been accepted think of taking a September MCAT? When did you take yours and was it as important for you as it is for me, in terms of your app profile?
 

werd

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taking the mcat that late will be very detrimental to your application. if you need to wait until september to take it, i'd recommend waiting until the next application cycle to apply.
 

DrYoda

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Its really important for me to score well and give myself all the time I can for prep. Will the last test date (September 9) hurt my application even if I score well? What do people who have already been accepted think of taking a September MCAT? When did you take yours and was it as important for you as it is for me, in terms of your app profile?
When I took it took about a month to get the test back. Assuming that is still true, your application will not be complete until October. That will definitely put you at a disadvantage.
 
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Although a september date is extremely late, you should only take it when you are fully ready. There is no point in taking it earlier in the summer when you're not ready, bomb it, and then end up having to retake it in august/september anyway. Just make sure the rest of your application is top-notch/unique as hell because your lateness in terms of complete application status will not allow for any issues with the rest of your app.
 

tremulousNeedle

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Take the MCAT when you think you are ready.

Taking it in September will definitely be a huge obstacle to overcome. If the rest of your application is stellar, then you still may get interviews and acceptances. If your app is average, then you may get few, if any interviews, which may turn into even fewer acceptances or waitlists.

No one should tell you whether or not to apply this cycle because even though your odds are reduced, they are not reduced to zero (no one will be able to tell you exactly where you lie). Just keep in mind that a lack of success this cycles, could be 100% attributed to a late completed application.

-senior medical student (T-42 days) / admissions committee interviewer
 
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I took the Sept 09 MCAT and had 5 interviews with 2 acceptances, 2 post int holds, and still waiting on 1 school thus far so it is not the end of the world to take the Sept MCAT. That being said I agree with everyone that posted before me that it is a detriment that your application will have to overcome. I do believe that if I had taken an earlier MCAT I would have received more interviews. I got lucky though and got into the school I wanted all along (Jefferson Medical College). Whatever you decide to do make sure you are ready for the MCAT and good luck with all of your future goals.
 

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it will hurt. i rocked an early AUGUST mcat and my application was finally complete in september....i got some solid interviews and acceptances so far...but i contacted a lot of the schools i got rejected from pre-interview and they told me that i should have applied earlier.
 

alexrgross

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I have an average application otherwise and Im not vying for a berth at the top tier. My app is nothing awsome or extravagant, but decent nonetheless. Thats the reason I want to make the MCAT count for every point. The scales are a bit tipped against me as an average applicant, but I can tip the scales the other way with a higher MCAT. Could the late app be worth this extra edge? (Another thing im thinking is if I get no offers, at least I wont have to retake the the test next cycle)
 

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Go DO. They do stuff a bit later in the application cycle.
 

JJMrK

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I have an average application otherwise and Im not vying for a berth at the top tier. My app is nothing awsome or extravagant, but decent nonetheless. Thats the reason I want to make the MCAT count for every point. The scales are a bit tipped against me as an average applicant, but I can tip the scales the other way with a higher MCAT. Could the late app be worth this extra edge? (Another thing im thinking is if I get no offers, at least I wont have to retake the the test next cycle)
IMO: If this is the case, applying that late could effectively kill your application cycle before it begins. You want to do everything you can to maximize your chances for success. Since you aren't ready to go on the MCAT yet, I would plan on applying next year. Take your MCAT in January or April of 2011, and submit your AMCAS on June 1st. Use the extra year to study for the MCAT and bolster your experiences.
 

tremulousNeedle

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I have an average application otherwise and Im not vying for a berth at the top tier. My app is nothing awsome or extravagant, but decent nonetheless. Thats the reason I want to make the MCAT count for every point. The scales are a bit tipped against me as an average applicant, but I can tip the scales the other way with a higher MCAT. Could the late app be worth this extra edge? (Another thing im thinking is if I get no offers, at least I wont have to retake the the test next cycle)
It appears as though you already have your plan set. Placing the highest priority on your MCAT preparation seems rightfully important to you. Just remember that if you are unsuccessful this next application cycle, you should continue to strengthen your application and apply again the next cycle because a late AMCAS submission can be the difference between acceptance and rejection.

Recently, at my school’s last interview date, I interviewed an above average applicant with MCAT 35, GPA 3.7, with a good collection of EC's. The problem is that his AMCAS completion was late August, which caused him to get an interview in April instead of October or November. When admissions are rolling, this can make or break you. He probably would have been offered a seat in the class earlier in the season, but now he will be waitlisted.

Good luck.

-senior med student / admissions committee interviewer
 

alexrgross

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About rolling admissions, Im not sure what it means exactly. Does that mean that it acceptances are given on a first come first served basis? It sounds like the above average applicant you interviewed was being seen when the class was already full.
 

tremulousNeedle

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About rolling admissions, Im not sure what it means exactly. Does that mean that it acceptances are given on a first come first served basis? It sounds like the above average applicant you interviewed was being seen when the class was already full.
For the most part you are correct. Schools will always interview more applicants than they have positions for. This ensures that they will be able to completely fill the class come August. Consider this hypothetical example, the best medical school in the nation probably only needs to interview one to two applicants for every position they have in a class, while the worst medical school may need to interview 15 applicants for every position. Depending on the quality of the school your are interviewing at, most late interviews end up being for waitlist spots because the school has already offered up all of the positions in the next class.

On May 15th of every year applicants can only hold an acceptance to one school and have to decline the rest of their offers. This is when most medical schools know who is in their class and shortly thereafter they use waitlist applicants to fill the remaining empty positions. Movement on the waitlist varies greatly by school and year. Obviously, top tier schools move less into their waitlist than average schools. However, there is also variation from year to year; for example, regarding the class entering in 2005, there were numerous schools across the nation that didn't take anyone off of their waitlist and there were actually a couple schools that offered more acceptances than they had available in there entering class (presumably they didn't expect as many people to accept the positions that were offered).
 

alexrgross

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I see. Well, I have the option to reschedule my test either two or three weeks earlier than I had planned. Though one of those days is an afternoon test. Hypothetically I could take the test then and do as well as I would in the seat I have now. Still, that would leave me two weeks ahead of the applicants who are taking tests towards the end of the application window, thus ahead of relatively few applicants (seeing as how the majority of applicants pick off the early test dates). From what I can tell, I think that my best shot is to stick to my ground. I just can't afford to rush the MCAT and as for a dice roll on being late versus being dull, well...basically I'd rather be late. Theres no way I can take the test early enough to offset the lateness factor without lowering my score, and since my app is on the line anyway I cant afford it. Thanks for the input, keep in touch.
 

dw2158

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I have an average application otherwise and Im not vying for a berth at the top tier. My app is nothing awsome or extravagant, but decent nonetheless. Thats the reason I want to make the MCAT count for every point. The scales are a bit tipped against me as an average applicant, but I can tip the scales the other way with a higher MCAT. Could the late app be worth this extra edge? (Another thing im thinking is if I get no offers, at least I wont have to retake the the test next cycle)
you won't have to retake for the next cycle either way. i purposely planned my schedule so that i took the MCAT in august of 2008 and applied in june of 2009. your score is good for 3 years.

I see. Well, I have the option to reschedule my test either two or three weeks earlier than I had planned. Though one of those days is an afternoon test. Hypothetically I could take the test then and do as well as I would in the seat I have now. Still, that would leave me two weeks ahead of the applicants who are taking tests towards the end of the application window, thus ahead of relatively few applicants (seeing as how the majority of applicants pick off the early test dates). From what I can tell, I think that my best shot is to stick to my ground. I just can't afford to rush the MCAT and as for a dice roll on being late versus being dull, well...basically I'd rather be late. Theres no way I can take the test early enough to offset the lateness factor without lowering my score, and since my app is on the line anyway I cant afford it. Thanks for the input, keep in touch.
a few weeks will make almost no difference. i would suggest just waiting until the following year to apply.
 

alexrgross

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I dont stand to gain anything by waiting, otherwise I would. I have thought about it tho. Even if I dont have a chance, by applying to open the dialogue with medical schools and that way I can talk to them about my application. So next year, I'll know better where to focus my time and effort. THanks for your comment.
 

tremulousNeedle

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a few weeks will make almost no difference. i would suggest just waiting until the following year to apply.
Through my work with the admissions committee at my school and my experience reviewing AMCAS applications and interviewing applicants, a few weeks can make the ONLY difference for certain applicants (I have seen this happen quite a few times).

Schools can divide applicant in only so many ways. You get to a point where there are several other applicants with your same GPA and MCAT score as well as comparable EC's; at some point the only remaining factor to separate applicants is the date that their AMCAS application was complete. The group most affected by this phenomenon is the average student (application is not good enough for special consideration, but not bad enough for immediate rejection).
 

dw2158

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Through my work with the admissions committee at my school and my experience reviewing AMCAS applications and interviewing applicants, a few weeks can make the ONLY difference for certain applicants (I have seen this happen quite a few times).

Schools can divide applicant in only so many ways. You get to a point where there are several other applicants with your same GPA and MCAT score as well as comparable EC’s; at some point the only remaining factor to separate applicants is the date that their AMCAS application was complete. The group most affected by this phenomenon is the average student (application is not good enough for special consideration, but not bad enough for immediate rejection).
ok, what i should have said was once you're already applying that late, a few weeks won't make much of a difference. seriously-- most people are "complete" at schools in july or august now. the earliest the OP is talking about being complete at schools is october (or late september if he moves the test up) and i think that will already be a disadvantage.

but you're right that technically a few weeks can change things. i just think it's unlikely to at that stage in the game. JMO.
 

tremulousNeedle

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ok, what i should have said was once you're already applying that late, a few weeks won't make much of a difference. seriously-- most people are "complete" at schools in july or august now. the earliest the OP is talking about being complete at schools is october (or late september if he moves the test up) and i think that will already be a disadvantage.

but you're right that technically a few weeks can change things. i just think it's unlikely to at that stage in the game. JMO.

Ah... you were saying that the applicant would be a late submission either way. I get it now. :)
 
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Do not not not not apply late.

My roommate took an august mcat.. Ivy league school 35 mcat 3.6 gpa and great extracurriculars and only received 3 interviews (out of 20 schools) - to his state school, our college, and his dad's old medical school.

Early is a huge advantage.
 

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I see. Well, I have the option to reschedule my test either two or three weeks earlier than I had planned. Though one of those days is an afternoon test. Hypothetically I could take the test then and do as well as I would in the seat I have now. Still, that would leave me two weeks ahead of the applicants who are taking tests towards the end of the application window, thus ahead of relatively few applicants (seeing as how the majority of applicants pick off the early test dates). From what I can tell, I think that my best shot is to stick to my ground. I just can't afford to rush the MCAT and as for a dice roll on being late versus being dull, well...basically I'd rather be late. Theres no way I can take the test early enough to offset the lateness factor without lowering my score, and since my app is on the line anyway I cant afford it. Thanks for the input, keep in touch.
To be honest, that's not early enough to make a difference. You are far better off applying next year. It's possible you will get in this cycle applying that late, but most likely you will just end up wasting a ton of money.
 

tremulousNeedle

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I think this thread has progressed to the point of beating a dead horse (I have also contributed to the madness), but there is one thing that I forgot to mention. When schools receive your AMCAS application, there is a specific section on the print-out that states whether or not the applicant has applied through AMCAS in previous years.

The concern is what individual schools do with this information. Some don't even look at it, while others, if they see more than 2 previous application cycles, automatically rejected the applicant. Reasons for these auto-rejections are often not advertised, but I presume they have something to do with the fact this particular applicant has failed the application process several times, so let's not even bother interviewing them (obviously, this is probably more likely to occur at more elite schools, but who knows). Somewhere in between these two extremes, many schools actually place re-applicants into a special screening pool. This usually earns the applicant a special review of their application, looking for additions or changes since the last failed application cycle. If they don't see any substantial additions, this may lead to a rejection. If they do find substantial additions, then the applicant will reenter the general applicant pool.

So with all of that being said, applying before you are ready is not without its consequences; however, it is difficult to qualify these consequences because they are unique to each medical school.

Sorry for being a negative Nelly. Good luck.

-senior medical student / admissions committee interviewer
 

alexrgross

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Ive decided to push my test up to Sept 2 from Sept 9. That gives me 5 weeks to study after the formal review. I am comfortable with that time schedule. After all, there is a lot of material pertinent to the MCAT and it will take some time to cycle through it until I am proficient enough to perform at the level to which I require.

I appreciate your perspective about the application process. It is somewhat unusual that a school would frown on an applicant who applies more than twice. I can see taking the MCAT more than twice. To my understanding, as long as I continue to deepen my experience and coursework in preparation, I should be sharpening my profile as an applicant - not dulling it.

Im applying this year because I have the wind in my sails, I feel excited by the road ahead. The fact that it may not work out is well set into my mind just the same as the fact that it might. Even though my risks may be increased because a late MCAT and a sub par GPA, the odds are still in my favor with a solid MCAT, personal statement, and EC's. Plus if I get to the interviews, I give my best shot at making a great impression.
 

tremulousNeedle

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My last post typically refers to those who have applied through AMCAS 3+ times, rarely does it apply to those who are just on their second application cycle. I just didn't want to leave it out there that applying numerous times is not without its consequences.

You have a good attitude. Remember that for many schools, they only offer interviews to those who have "won" the numbers games. For those schools, if you make it to the interview, that is the only thing that matters from that point on. Make sure you bring that positive attitude to those interviews.

Best of luck.
 

dw2158

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My last post typically refers to those who have applied through AMCAS 3+ times, rarely does it apply to those who are just on their second application cycle. I just didn't want to leave it out there that applying numerous times is not without its consequences.

You have a good attitude. Remember that for many schools, they only offer interviews to those who have "won" the numbers games. For those schools, if you make it to the interview, that is the only thing that matters from that point on. Make sure you bring that positive attitude to those interviews.

Best of luck.
i'm sure this varies from school to school, but is that really true where you are? i always assumed they still looked at your whole app after the interview. not that it matters for me anymore...
 

tremulousNeedle

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True, this practice does vary from school to school, but schools will rarely interview someone they are not willing to accept (i.e they have won the numbers game).

At my school, this is true. We only interview ~10% of our applicants. We make our recommendations immediately after the interview. Four days later, our admissions committee members acts on the interviewer recommendations, and 8 days after the interview the applicants receive an acceptance, a waitlist position, or a rejection based on how the interviewers feel they would fit/succeed at our school.

It is a little complicated how we make our recommendations, but if we all agree, there is a clear-cut acceptance or rejection; how our adcom assigns people to the waitlist is a little more subjective after we make our recommendations.