Should I take the old or new MCAT? Right near border

Nov 13, 2013
6
1
I'm currently an undergrad junior and am pretty set on taking a gap year after I graduate. My plan was to take the MCAT in early August 2014 leaving me all summer to study for it. I would apply right after I graduate in 2015 for a 2016 admission. But I recently remembered that the MCAT changes in 2015, and the majority of applicants at the time that I apply will have scores from the new MCAT.

Would having a MCAT score from 2014 and an old format score hurt my chances for admission in 2016? I could wait and take the new MCAT in 2015, which would have the plus of making my scores valid for even longer since I'm taking a gap year. However, this route would force me to prepare for the exam during the school year, I have never taken any courses gear towards the psychology, sociology, or behavioral aspect of the new exam, nor would I really know how to study properly for the new format.

Any advice?
 

cinnalyn

7+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2012
34
66
Arizona
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I'm in the same boat as you, but I'm considering 2 gap years (for personal/financial/familial reasons) so the new MCAT is looking nice to me. Everyone I have talked to (admissions staff, advisors, etc) has said that those who take the new MCAT will essentially be guinea pigs because at this point we don't have as much preparation material as we do for the old MCAT. If you have taken the old MCAT, as long as your scores are still valid, I have been told that they will still be accepted for later matriculation.
 

youmed

7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2011
230
101
California
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm currently an undergrad junior and am pretty set on taking a gap year after I graduate. My plan was to take the MCAT in early August 2014 leaving me all summer to study for it. I would apply right after I graduate in 2015 for a 2016 admission. But I recently remembered that the MCAT changes in 2015, and the majority of applicants at the time that I apply will have scores from the new MCAT.

Would having a MCAT score from 2014 and an old format score hurt my chances for admission in 2016? I could wait and take the new MCAT in 2015, which would have the plus of making my scores valid for even longer since I'm taking a gap year. However, this route would force me to prepare for the exam during the school year, I have never taken any courses gear towards the psychology, sociology, or behavioral aspect of the new exam, nor would I really know how to study properly for the new format.

Any advice?
If you plan on matriculating in 2016, then you will apply for the 2015 application cycle. The 2015 application cycle will accept the "old" MCAT so you are good to take the 2014 MCAT. If you plan on applying for the 2016 application cycle then you MUST have taken the "new" MCAT; the "old" MCAT will no longer be valid for submission. The 2014 MCAT will not hurt your chances at all and you do not want to be taking the "new" MCAT due to its changes in length, time, added section, et al. Take the 2014 MCAT and rock it.
 

rain4venus

5+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2013
475
146
Status
Non-Student
If you plan on matriculating in 2016, then you will apply for the 2015 application cycle. The 2015 application cycle will accept the "old" MCAT so you are good to take the 2014 MCAT. If you plan on applying for the 2016 application cycle then you MUST have taken the "new" MCAT; the "old" MCAT will no longer be valid for submission. The 2014 MCAT will not hurt your chances at all and you do not want to be taking the "new" MCAT due to its changes in length, time, added section, et al. Take the 2014 MCAT and rock it.
Of course, taking in 2014 means that if you don't get in for the 2015 cycle you'll have to retake before the next cycle, and furthermore you probably won't even know til spring that you're not going to get in.

I'd still vote for the old MCAT though
 

surfguy84

7+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2012
590
231
Status
Medical Student
Just as an FYI for those who don't realize, the last of the OLD MCAT format is given January 2014.

EDIT: Typo, should be Jan 2015
 
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youmed

7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2011
230
101
California
Status
Pre-Medical
Source for this statement? Just curious because I'm in this boat (2016 application cycle for 2017 matriculation).
Same as the with the reply on the other post, the owner of The Berkeley Review told me this. He attends all the big "premed" conferences and I would say it is pretty accurate. He wouldn't share this with his students if he wasn't 100% sure.
 
Aug 8, 2013
1,395
903
Michigan
Status
Medical Student
Do not be a guinea pig. Seriusly.
I don't know....I think that your decision to be a guinea pig depends heavily on your application. If a strong MCAT will seriously help you, then I would say take the old MCAT because schools have a better metric for what kind of score distribution is good. If your application is strong as is - and especially if you don't test well and are very worried about your score - you may want to take the new MCAT because your score will likely have less impact on your application given the relative lack of prep resources available.
 

Stormpelt

Account on Hold
Account on Hold
Nov 14, 2013
26
0
Status
Pre-Medical
It really all depends. I talked with a pre-med adviser about this, and she said that it depends on when you will be ready for the MCAT and the policy of some schools. If taking the 2015 MCAT means you will have more time to study for it therefor yielding a better score, then by all means, go for it. Some medical schools may or may not accept the "old" MCAT, because they will be comparing people who took the old and the new MCAT, so you better contact the medical schools that you want to apply to and ask them about it. If you feel like you will be ready for the old MCAT, then take that, but keep in mind, that if you score badly and want to retake, you might run into some problems having to study new information for the new MCAT if you retake too late.
 

youmed

7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2011
230
101
California
Status
Pre-Medical
It really all depends. I talked with a pre-med adviser about this, and she said that it depends on when you will be ready for the MCAT and the policy of some schools. If taking the 2015 MCAT means you will have more time to study for it therefor yielding a better score, then by all means, go for it. Some medical schools may or may not accept the "old" MCAT, because they will be comparing people who took the old and the new MCAT, so you better contact the medical schools that you want to apply to and ask them about it. If you feel like you will be ready for the old MCAT, then take that, but keep in mind, that if you score badly and want to retake, you might run into some problems having to study new information for the new MCAT if you retake too late.
+1 Great answer to this question. Stormpelt summarized just about everything you need you know.