Should I push my mcat date back?

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coral45

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Hi all!

I am a non-traditional applicant in that I had to withdraw from school during my sophomore year for health reasons. After recovering, I took a year off to work as a medical assistant, and enrolled in night classes at a community college to ease my way back into being a student again.

The grades I received when I was sick are lower than my more recent grades (Fr: 3.77, So: 2.9, Jr: 3.7, Sr: 3.6, 3.48 over all). I also volunteered throughout college, was an EMT for a year, and did research for a year/was published. I have great rec letters, including one from a physician who was invited to the admissions committee at VCU. My parents both attended medical school at UT Southwestern.

My concern is that I am scheduled to take the mcat on June 20, but every time I take a practice exam my score goes down (30, 29, 27,25, 21). I don't know if its because I am just tired, stressing myself out, etc. Should I wait to take the mcat in August and apply for the 2015 year? Or should I relax, be more confident, and apply for this cycle... I am 25 years old and I would hate to wait another year, but I don't want to do anything that will compromise my competitiveness as an applicant. VCU is my top choice (VA resident) and UTSW is my second.

Also, I've gotten conflicting advice about whether taking the mcat more than once is a bad idea... Thanks for your help!

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Hi all!

I am a non-traditional applicant in that I had to withdraw from school during my sophomore year for health reasons. After recovering, I took a year off to work as a medical assistant, and enrolled in night classes at a community college to ease my way back into being a student again.

The grades I received when I was sick are lower than my more recent grades (Fr: 3.77, So: 2.9, Jr: 3.7, Sr: 3.6, 3.48 over all). I also volunteered throughout college, was an EMT for a year, and did research for a year/was published. I have great rec letters, including one from a physician who was invited to the admissions committee at VCU. My parents both attended medical school at UT Southwestern.

My concern is that I am scheduled to take the mcat on June 20, but every time I take a practice exam my score goes down (30, 29, 27,25, 21). I don't know if its because I am just tired, stressing myself out, etc. Should I wait to take the mcat in August and apply for the 2015 year? Or should I relax, be more confident, and apply for this cycle... I am 25 years old and I would hate to wait another year, but I don't want to do anything that will compromise my competitiveness as an applicant. VCU is my top choice (VA resident) and UTSW is my second.

Also, I've gotten conflicting advice about whether taking the mcat more than once is a bad idea... Thanks for your help!
Don't the MCAT until you are absolutely ready. Your scores (like herpes) are forever. We will always be able to see a weak score and wonder if that is what we can expect when you matriculate.
 
Don't the MCAT until you are absolutely ready. Your scores (like herpes) are forever. We will always be able to see a weak score and wonder if that is what we can expect when you matriculate.
Seconded. Do NOT take the MCAT until ready. Adcoms take MCATs very seriously, and while retaking an MCAT is not the end of the world, they do take into account any and all scores you submit. Applying when your score is not high enough will compromise your competitiveness for sure. This has nothing to do with "confidence" or "balls." It has everything to do with being smart about the process.

Take a short breather, relax, don't stress. If you have the time to study full-time this summer, change your test date and register for the August MCAT (the latest MCAT where I would say your chances are still....OK).

If your practice scores are consistently reaching 30 by August, take the MCAT and submit your primary to ONE school (pick a neutral option, not your favorite). Once you receive your score, if it is satisfactory, apply to more schools within range of your score.

If your practice scores are still low (<28), then yes I would recommend waiting until next cycle. Do something fun/meaningful in the gap year and you'll be glad you waited. Med school's a long journey anyway. If you're 100% set on becoming a doctor, you're likely to get there. Just don't rush it - do it right.
 
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you shouldn't take it until your ready.The later AAMC are more representative of the actual MCAT. So if you scores are going down this more than likely means your not gonna do well on the actually thing.
 
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Think about this carefully: why would you take a career-defining, high-stakes exam when you're not ready?

Even if it means delaying applications until next year, you should only take the exam when you're ready.

Hi all!

I am a non-traditional applicant in that I had to withdraw from school during my sophomore year for health reasons. After recovering, I took a year off to work as a medical assistant, and enrolled in night classes at a community college to ease my way back into being a student again.

The grades I received when I was sick are lower than my more recent grades (Fr: 3.77, So: 2.9, Jr: 3.7, Sr: 3.6, 3.48 over all). I also volunteered throughout college, was an EMT for a year, and did research for a year/was published. I have great rec letters, including one from a physician who was invited to the admissions committee at VCU. My parents both attended medical school at UT Southwestern.

My concern is that I am scheduled to take the mcat on June 20, but every time I take a practice exam my score goes down (30, 29, 27,25, 21). I don't know if its because I am just tired, stressing myself out, etc. Should I wait to take the mcat in August and apply for the 2015 year? Or should I relax, be more confident, and apply for this cycle... I am 25 years old and I would hate to wait another year, but I don't want to do anything that will compromise my competitiveness as an applicant. VCU is my top choice (VA resident) and UTSW is my second.

Also, I've gotten conflicting advice about whether taking the mcat more than once is a bad idea... Thanks for your help!
 
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