vir0n

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Here is my current situation - I have been studying the April MCAT since about late Jan. I'm starting to feel that I will not be ready for April's test. Honestly, I don't want to end up with a lower score a 2nd time around.

I know that by taking the April MCAT rather than the August one is important for early consideration by ADCOMs, which helps to increase the chances of being accepted. So I have a lot of decisions to make. Do I take risk it and take it in April (which could mean doing worse) or do I take risk it and take it in August? (Which means more study time, but could hurt my chances for acceptance.)

Based off your stats, should I even take it again? I mean, rather than taking it again, would it be more beneficial for me to improve my application in
other ways? (shadow, community projects, more clinical experiences, etc. etc.)

Here are my current stats:

- 27 on MCAT (9,8,10)
- Graduated with a 3.75 GPA in Microbiology
- Good ECs
- Currently conducting research full-time at large and well known pharmaceutical company

Thanks,

vir0n
 

ntmed

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vir0n said:
Based off your stats, should I even take it again? I mean, rather than taking it again, would it be more beneficial for me to improve my application in
other ways? (shadow, community projects, more clinical experiences, etc. etc.)
The primary attributes that schools consider are overall GPA, science GPA, and MCAT. Your MCAT is borderline (people get in with a 27 MCAT). Assuming everything else in your application is reasonable, improving your MCAT is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your chances.

vir0n said:
I have been studying the April MCAT since about late Jan. I'm starting to feel that I will not be ready for April's test.
What are you basing this on? Three months of studying (late Jan to April), 40 hours a week should be more than enough time, especially since you did well in your premed courses. Is it cold feet, bad results on some of your practice tests, or is it because you haven't been able to spend much time preparing?

vir0n said:
Do I take risk it and take it in April (which could mean doing worse) or do I take risk it and take it in August?
I would take the exam when I was best prepared, even if it meant taking it in August. But if you take the August exam, be prepared to reapply to medical school the following year.
 

PBMaxx

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If you decide to take the August MCAT, just make sure you do your AMCAS and any secondaries as early as possible (I'm talking June/July). You don't have to wait for MCAT scores to submit your AMCAS, and there are some schools that will give out secondaries without your August MCAT being reported. They will wait, however to move on your file (i.e. interview) until October, when the scores are reported, so this will put you marginally your April MCAT peers.

Good luck :luck:
 

ntmed

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PBMaxx said:
If you decide to take the August MCAT, just make sure you do your AMCAS and any secondaries as early as possible (I'm talking June/July). You don't have to wait for MCAT scores to submit your AMCAS, and there are some schools that will give out secondaries without your August MCAT being reported. They will wait, however to move on your file (i.e. interview) until October, when the scores are reported, so this will put you marginally your April MCAT peers.

Good luck :luck:
The "early as possible" principle the PBMaxx references is correct. However, the dates he/she provides are incorrect. If you rely on the August MCAT, you will not be sent any secondaries in June/July.

If you rely on the August MCAT, your scores will not be available until late October. It is at this time that AMCAS will start to process your application, which will likely not be complete until November.

Only then will the schools you applied to receive your application. And only then will they send you secondaries.
 

PBMaxx

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ntmed said:
The "early as possible" principle the PBMaxx references is correct. However, the dates he/she provides are incorrect. If you rely on the August MCAT, you will not be sent any secondaries in June/July.

If you rely on the August MCAT, your scores will not be available until late October. It is at this time that AMCAS will start to process your application, which will likely not be complete until November.

Only then will the schools you applied to receive your application. And only then will they send you secondaries.
Good points. However, there are schools that will send you a secondary before the MCAT is reported/AMCAS is processed. UIC is one of them (sent me a secondary before AMCAS had been verified and processed). In addition there are other schools that let you have access to their secondaries even while you are still completing your AMCAS (you can't submit them, but you can start working on them).

As ntmed pointed out, you will be behind others, but you will be far from severely handicapped (IMO).

Since you have a previous MCAT score, I wonder if what ntmed said about AMCAS not processing your app. until scores are reported still holds. I don't know one way or another-- honest question.
 

ntmed

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PBMaxx said:
As ntmed pointed out, you will be behind others, but you will be far from severely handicapped (IMO).
Most schools select the majority of the people they will interview by mid-September. If you apply to medical school with the August MCAT, your application won't be considered until at least November. You will be at a significant disadvantage.

Back to the OP: PBMaxx and I see things a little differently, which is okay. We're both giving our honest opinions. If you're not sure, talk to your premed advisor for confirmation. Anyway, I think the more important issue is that you should retake the MCAT when you are ready. It will be much better if you take it in April. But if you have to take it in August, so be it. You still have a chance. But be prepared to reapply the following June.

PBMaxx said:
Since you have a previous MCAT score, I wonder if what ntmed said about AMCAS not processing your app. until scores are reported still holds. I don't know one way or another-- honest question.
In this situation, it's up to the applicant. The applicant can specify that AMCAS use the current MCAT or wait until the August scores are available.
 

EPA7X1

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Take it in April. I believe in having your application in the day it is due.

You should be able to get in with your current stats, however. Where are you applying?

I also agree that improving the MCAT can only help. If you do timed practice tests from now until the April test, you should improve your score. You will be ready if you work hard.

Do you have some kind of exposure to medicine? I mean shadowing, or a patient care related job? This is a very important part of your application that you didn't really mention.
 

MoosePilot

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You shouldn't force yourself to guess whether you've improved or not.

Have you taken some AMCAS practice tests under realistic conditions? That's the best way to estimate how you're do.

If you studied since Jan and seen no improvement, you're either maxed out (not likely), haven't studied intensely enough, or haven't studied effectively. You might consider a commercial prep course next time if you need a next time.

You do want to retake the MCAT, your GPA is so good, your MCAT is the main thing that's going to hold you back.
 

2tall

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With sufficient preparation (and the fact that you've been studying since January) you can definitely improve your score by at least 3 points in five weeks. Study hard during the week. Reduce work and volunteer activities to as little as possible. Reassess your progress each weekend with a practice test.

If it's a couple of days before the exam and you still don't feel ready...cancel it.

If you decide to apply with your current stats...APPLY EARLY and make sure everything is spotless. Your personal statement should make adcoms feel like you're a close relative. Your LORs should make them want you as a friend or a part of their organization. Alas, an interview should suffice.

Keep the faith.