HawkeyeLover26

2+ Year Member
May 18, 2016
24
26
Status
Pre-Medical
Alright, so I'm kind of in a huge dilemma right now. I am scheduled to take the MCAT next Saturday (August 20th). This is already the third time that I've changed my MCAT date (from June to July to August) and I devoted pretty much the whole summer to studying. I'm kicking myself because I feel absolutely unprepared and my TPR practice test scores are hovering around a 496-500, with a two point increase in my practice test scores since May. My weakest areas are CARS and Chem/phys (consistently less than 125 on practice tests).

I was on the edge about taking a gap year last month, but my advisor and a physician I know kept telling me that they were confident I have a decent chance of getting in to either an MD or DO school this year if I just give myself an extra month to study, even if I were to get a lower score (around a 500-502) and even if I apply late in the cycle (secondary submissions late sept-early oct), not to listen to SDN, etc etc. Basically, they keep telling me that I should avoid taking a gap year without trying to apply this year.

The following are reasons I've been encouraged to apply: My gpa is decent (3.72 cgpa and 3.51sgpa), I have stellar leadership, clinical, and research experience; my personal statement and letters are pretty strong, and I put in the work to submit my primaries, my state's med school has a high preference for in-state students

The following are reasons I am personally thinking about taking a gap year: scoring a 501-502 at the most on the real MCAT next week if I don't void it and if I get lucky, I dont want to put myself at a disadvantage for having a low score on my record, I know there is a lot more I can do to improve my focus (which admittedly was not optimal during the 3 months I've been studying) and my strategy when I study for the MCAT, and even if I applied this year I'll be applying super late in the cycle anyway. Also, I could always improve my less than stellar sgpa, get paid work experience, have more time to work on my weak interviewing skills, etc.

Right now, I'm leaning towards the gap year. But this would mean I'll take the MCAT next week (since I spent $500+ on it) just to see what its like and then void it. Or should I just take the MCAT next weekend, hope for the best, and allow my application to continue processing?

I know the gap year probably seems like a no-brainer to some of you, but this a huge decision for me given that I've spent countless hours preparing to apply this year and given what my advisers have been telling me..and not to mention my parents hate the idea of me "wasting a year". Any guidance or advice would be much appreciated.
 

medbunny56

2+ Year Member
Dec 10, 2015
1,076
275
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
take the aamc scored and then report back to us
if you dont feel confident then please do yourself a favor and delay
a 501-502 is even low for DO
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,503
31,247
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
Taking an MCAT when not confident is not being prepared is a negative
Taking an MCAT this late in the cycle and expecting success is a negative
Counting the number of hours you have prepared as a factor is a negative

The goal is to get into medical school.
A good application completed and reviewed early is the cycle is needed to get in
A solid MCAT is needed to be part of that application

There is no rational basis for taking the MCAT period.
You should withdraw application and focus on next cycle

This is why I say you should not consider applying until your have taken your MCAT
An MCAT later than May puts enormous pressure and tasks on a student for a less than optimal application cycle
 

efle

not an elf
5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2014
11,670
15,445
Status
Medical Student

WhoTellsYourStory?

2+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2016
60
63
Status
Medical Student
I scored in the low 500s for all my practice test, scored a 508 on the AAMC practice test, and then got a 510+ on the real thing. Any test besides the AAMC practice will have deflated scores. The most important thing is don't take the MCAT unless you are completely confident in your ability. It's better to take a gap year than have a rushed application with a poor MCAT score.
 
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efle

not an elf
5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2014
11,670
15,445
Status
Medical Student
I scored in the low 500s for all my practice test, scored a 508 on the AAMC practice test, and then got a 510+ on the real thing.
This sort of thing was reported frequently when MCAT2015 first launched. TPR and Kaplan in particular were really misleading and discouraging people with their practice tests, scores were consistently much better than expected on the real deal.
 
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