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Should I take my MCAT after second year?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Somethingmore, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Somethingmore

    Somethingmore Inexperienced Sophomore
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    Hi there,

    I just finished my first year of University, and I'm heading into a Biology and Physics program next year (but I will still be taking orgo). My first year GPA was around 3.1, but I really slacked off and skipped A LOT of classes, and I know that if I put a stronger effort next year I can pull of a 3.7 or higher. Assuming I pull up my GPA, is it worth taking my MCAT after second year? Here's what I see as the pro and con of such a choice:

    Pro:
    - If I don't do well, I can take it again after third year and still go straight to medical school after finishing my undergrad. This is better as compared to taking it a second time after 4th year and doing nothing useful for the year after my degree is completed, just waiting for med schools to make their decision.

    Con:
    - The way my degree is planned out, I will have to take Cell Biology and Comparative Animal Physiology in my third year. If I take my MCAT after second year, I will have to study this stuff with MCAT prep resources and WITHOUT previous course background. It's a lot easier to review content than learn it from scratch. And looking at my sis' MCAT prep materials, it seems that cell biology and physiology make up a lot of the content covered on the MCAT.

    So what do you guys think?

    Thanks
     
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  3. justapremed

    2+ Year Member

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    I wish I had taken it after my second year. Unless I skimmed too fast, I don't think you mentioned whether you'll have taken all the premed req's by the end of your second year of university (bio/phys/chem). If you will have, I recommend you take it at the end of summer :-D You'll have all summer to prep without worrying about "applying early" and all that.
     
  4. Somethingmore

    Somethingmore Inexperienced Sophomore
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    I wasn't thinking of applying after second year (this doesn't even seem possible unless you've accelerated your courses), but an MCAT score is normally valid for after 3 years from when you complete it, so if I do well on my first attempt I can just use that score to apply after third year (this is also nice because I can work and earn money for one more summer). But my problem still lies in having a weak background in some key BS topics.
     
  5. justapremed

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    Yeah, sorry if it was vague - I wasn't suggesting that you apply after second year. Just take the MCAT after second year, get it over with, focus on your GPA and work on your application after that point on.

    But I was just saying that if you've completed the science pre-req courses by your second year, you should technically "know" the basics that the MCAT tests. From that point on, with review books or with a review course, you really should have all the resources you need for the MCAT.
     
  6. Somethingmore

    Somethingmore Inexperienced Sophomore
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    I've read in places that the best way to ensure you know your stuff for the MCAT is to ace your freshman science courses... unfortunately, I read this after I finished first year! I didn't do terribly in bio, phys, and chem but I could have done just slightly better to ensure that I am confident with concepts on the MCAT. So I was thinking that I may need courses like cell bio and animal phys to give me the solid background in these topics that I didn't obtain in first year. But that would mean doing third year first, then the MCAT...
     
  7. justapremed

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    Really, I think the majority of the people take it after their third year (or during). So even if you do this, you're not "behind" or anything!

    Personally though, and some might disagree, I don't think MCAT tests any difficult concepts (as some prep books say, they're easy materials disguised in difficult problem-solving techniques). So in a way, maybe solidifying the 'basics' with comprehensive prep books/courses while the basic contents are still relatively fresh in your brain might be good? That's just me though :)

    Good luck!
     
  8. rowerlauren

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    I would agree with the above poster.

    I took my MCAT after my Soph year, as did most of my major (chemistry) because we had all the prereqs already done. The MCAT is really not covering anything difficult, it is all about knowing the basics, but knowing them well. Anything not covered in your classes are things that you can teach yourself easily with a good set of prep books.

    I recommend taking the MCAT in August after your second year so you will have the summer to study, and if you do poorly you can still retake the MCAT in April of your third year.
     

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