Dr. Pepper

Duffman in Disguise
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Hey guys,

I'll make this question brief. Basically, I am ending my sophomore year and I intend on taking the MCAT sometime during my junior year (or during the summer after my junior year) and I am considering taking an MCAT summer course right now to study. The reason that I am considering this is that I feel this might be the only time I have when I will be completely free to study for the MCAT; however, I understand that there would be several months between the end of the course and the actual MCAT and I can see how that should discourage me from taking it now.

Therefore, I have two questions:

1. Should I take the MCAT review course this summer (summer after sophomore year)?

2. When should I take the MCAT during my junior year to ensure that I can get applications in on time without repercussion?

Thanks a lot.
 

DoctorPardi

In Memory of Riley Jane
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I wouldn't take an MCAT prep course unless you were going to take the MCAT immediately following the end of the course. It would be a huge waste of money in my opinion. Your regular pre-requisite courses already serve this purpose to prepare you in advance.

Also you mention not having a lot of free time to study for the MCAT and this might be your only chance. Maybe it is just me, but I had similar thinking and it was a HUGE mistake. I felt like I had to keep working full time, taking summer classes, etc instead of focusing on the MCAT and I made a 27. (Luckily I got accepted, but I'm the exception not the rule)

I think you should plan on having at least 2 full months to study for the MCAT, maybe you'll find you are scoring in the 30's pre-studying and you feel confident you can do minimal prep. That however is never a guarantee and not planning to do your best on possibly the most important aspect of your medical school application would be an awfully bad decision.

Also to actually address your question about timing. I would say take the MCAT following a good prep, but try to do it June or earlier of the year you are applying. Also get your AMCAS app in before you get your scores back so when your scores come in all your work is done and it is in the school's hands. As long as you are complete around late July or August I would say you are still early to normal. Once you start getting complete late August to September then you are on the late side. (generally consider when a school starts offering interviews, you want to be complete a few weeks before they give out their first interview)
 

TheRealMD

"The Mac Guy"
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1) MCAT should be taken ASAP after the prep-course ends, assuming you are scoring well on your practice tests, but you cannot purposely wait to take it later.

2) Prep course should not be the first time you learn physics or ochem. A few can get by, most people will not.
 
OP
Dr. Pepper

Dr. Pepper

Duffman in Disguise
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2005
1,252
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Behind the orange juice....
Status
Medical Student
A couple of things:

1. It's been a long time since I posted here but I feel absolutely embarassed that I posted this topic in the pre-allo forum, knowing full-well that there is an MCAT forum.

2. Doctorpardi, so good to see you again. I'm so glad you made it to medical school. You were always a blast to talk to on SDN.

3. I wrote this thread to convince my mother, who felt that studying for the MCAT earlier was better, even though I said it would be a waste unless I took the MCAT immediately after (also, I haven't taken physics before which is obviously problematic, but it still didn't register). I showed her the first few posts and it convinced her, so thanks a bunch you guys. Score one for Dr. P. :D

Anyway, I won't be back on SDN probably until midway through my junior year, just because this website gets crazy after a while. I look forward to it though. Thanks for all your help guys.
-Dr. P.