Quantcast

Should I take a gap year/take and void my MCAT next week?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

HawkeyeLover26

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
May 18, 2016
Messages
24
Reaction score
26

Members don't see this ad.
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

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
1,078
Reaction score
275
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

Rule One: Take a Breath
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
24,259
Reaction score
41,614
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
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
14,134
Reaction score
22,711
Practice company exams are notoriously deflated and low in predictive power. Take the AAMC scored and report back. You might surprise yourself and hit ~508 on the scored practice exam.
 

WhoTellsYourStory?

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Messages
70
Reaction score
89
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

efle

not an elf
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
14,134
Reaction score
22,711
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Top