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I have no clue what to do for the rest of summer (school starts end of September).

I planned to study for the MCAT while taking a few science classes. I signed up for the MCAT September 12th and paid for the Kaplan course.

If anyone doesn't know, I did pretty bad in a lot of my core classes and a lot of my MCAT prep was learning, not reviewing. A month out I am not feeling confident so I cancelled my MCAT and now I don't know what I should do for the rest of summer. Volunteer? Continue studying/self-learning and take it in January? I'm so close to re-signing up just so this summer wasn't a waste.

I'm a rising senior taking one gap year.. maybe two now?

Thanks. :(
 

carpediem22

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I have no clue what to do for the rest of summer (school starts end of September).

I planned to study for the MCAT while taking a few science classes. I signed up for the MCAT September 12th and paid for the Kaplan course.

If anyone doesn't know, I did pretty bad in a lot of my core classes and a lot of my MCAT prep was learning, not reviewing. A month out I am not feeling confident so I cancelled my MCAT and now I don't know what I should do for the rest of summer. Volunteer? Continue studying/self-learning and take it in January? I'm so close to re-signing up just so this summer wasn't a waste.

I'm a rising senior taking one gap year.. maybe two now?

Thanks. :(
If you cancelled your MCAT because you don't feel prepared, I would keep studying and maybe volunteer on the side IF you plan to take it in January. However, are you feeling like you aren't getting the practice scores you want, or just in general are feeling apprehensive? My personal opinion is that you almost never feel totally prepared going in. There is too much content to feel like you've mastered EVERYTHING. If you really are struggling through practice exams/passages then I'd wait until January, but if you are scoring OK, I'd try to just concentrate 100% on studying the next month and take it in September. The more you drag it out the more you forget (e.g. if you take it in January and started studying in May, you probably won't remember much from May).

What were your practice scores if you don't mind my asking?
 
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If you cancelled your MCAT because you don't feel prepared, I would keep studying and maybe volunteer on the side IF you plan to take it in January. However, are you feeling like you aren't getting the practice scores you want, or just in general are feeling apprehensive? My personal opinion is that you almost never feel totally prepared going in. There is too much content to feel like you've mastered EVERYTHING. If you really are struggling through practice exams/passages then I'd wait until January, but if you are scoring OK, I'd try to just concentrate 100% on studying the next month and take it in September. The more you drag it out the more you forget (e.g. if you take it in January and started studying in May, you probably won't remember much from May).

What were your practice scores if you don't mind my asking?
I understand but I want to master everything haha. I am taking a practice tomorrow/Friday, but haven't done one except for my Kaplan 1/2 Length which was right below 500.

I will continue to study. I'll take lots of FLs along the way.
 
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Cyberdyne 101

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If your grades haven't been up to par then you should be focused on banging out a few semesters of As. That's priority #1 at this point. You have leeway with the MCAT. Don't just sign up for another date to get it out of the way.

How much more of the summer do you have left?
 
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If your grades haven't been up to par then you should be focused on banging out a few semesters of As. That's priority #1 at this point. You have leeway with the MCAT. Don't just sign up for another date to get it out of the way.

How much more of the summer do you have left?
About a month and a half. I am trying to bang out them As. I went from a 2.6-2.7 sGPA to 3.07, but I HATE the idea of taking 2 gap years. But I also hate the idea of not having any other time to study for the MCAT besides Christmas break if I only take one.
 

carpediem22

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If your grades haven't been up to par then you should be focused on banging out a few semesters of As. That's priority #1 at this point. You have leeway with the MCAT. Don't just sign up for another date to get it out of the way.

How much more of the summer do you have left?
This is a good point that I overlooked. I don't know what your grades are but if it's really bad, you should probably think more about your GPA at this point. I don't agree that there is leeway with the MCAT necessarily, as a killer MCAT score can make up for a mehh GPA. But it can't make up for a terrible one.

Edit: Just saw your update. 3.07 is maybe too low... your only shot would be DO and even there it's risky. You may want to think about post-bac?
 
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Ok
This is a good point that I overlooked. I don't know what your grades are but if it's really bad, you should probably think more about your GPA at this point. I don't agree that there is leeway with the MCAT necessarily, as a killer MCAT score can make up for a mehh GPA. But it can't make up for a terrible one.

Edit: Just saw your update. 3.07 is maybe too low... your only shot would be DO and even there it's risky. You may want to think about post-bac?
Yes for sure, senior year science courses get factored in. I am also planning on taking a year of DIY postbacc if I take 2 gap years. So I guess the question is now, should I take one or two? If two, I'll stop studying now.
 

Okazaki Frag Grenade

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Are you interested at all in DO ? Obviously DO usually has lower GPA and MCAT scores, and they have grade replacement if you were to re-take some of those core classes. I recognize that urge to not take two gap years, but coming from a non-trad applicant here, age is just a number :) Those extra years could allow for some great experiences that you could discuss in essays. If I had applied straight out of undergrad, and not done my current career, I would not have had the same perspective that I have now or the types of patient interactions I've been fortunate to get. All that to say, two gap years is nothing to be ashamed of. But I know you wanna get started on the doctor path, and I'm right there with you on that sentiment!

Edit: Didn't see your most recent post. You could possibly do a postbacc in one year, but DIY style MIGHT be tough, depending on how your school does scheduling. Just be sure to go in as a degree-seeking student, as my local state school puts non-degree students at the bottom of the registration "depth chart"
 
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Are you interested at all in DO ? Obviously DO usually has lower GPA and MCAT scores, and they have grade replacement if you were to re-take some of those core classes. I recognize that urge to not take two gap years, but coming from a non-trad applicant here, age is just a number :) Those extra years could allow for some great experiences that you could discuss in essays. If I had applied straight out of undergrad, and not done my current career, I would not have had the same perspective that I have now or the types of patient interactions I've been fortunate to get. All that to say, two gap years is nothing to be ashamed of. But I know you wanna get started on the doctor path, and I'm right there with you on that sentiment!

Edit: Didn't see your most recent post. You could possibly do a postbacc in one year, but DIY style MIGHT be tough, depending on how your school does scheduling. Just be sure to go in as a degree-seeking student, as my local state school puts non-degree students at the bottom of the registration "depth chart"
Yes, I am open to DO. I am very dead set on two years... My parents, not so much. I know they shouldn't matter.

Well if I take 2 gap years, only one year of post-bacc grades gets factored in right. :(
My school only does formal post-baccs that cost.. way too much. So I'll be doing an informal one at a public university in Chicago.
 

Okazaki Frag Grenade

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Well if I take 2 gap years, only one year of post-bacc grades gets factored in right. :(
Is that a thing? I've never heard that, but maybe someone more knowledgeable can chime in. I don't see why they wouldn't count both. Or do you mean for application purposes because of the cycle timing?

And yeah if you are deadset on two years, then by all means do that! No disrespect to your parents, but don't let them influence your choice. You may end up resenting and/or blaming them for that if you do just one year and it turns out bad, just because it wasn't your decision. Again, not trying to insult your parents, just my opinion :)
 
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Is that a thing? I've never heard that, but maybe someone more knowledgeable can chime in. I don't see why they wouldn't count both. Or do you mean for application purposes because of the cycle timing?
That's what I mean. I'd apply in June and my classes would start in August.
 

Cyberdyne 101

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Ok

Yes for sure, senior year science courses get factored in. I am also planning on taking a year of DIY postbacc if I take 2 gap years. So I guess the question is now, should I take one or two? If two, I'll stop studying now.
If you want an MD, you'll have better chances with a DIY postbacc. You can also use the extra time to beef up other parts of your app and master the MCAT material. Additionally, you can rest assured that the post-bacc coursework won't be on U Chicago's level in terms of rigor. :)
Yes, I am open to DO. I am very dead set on two years... My parents, not so much. I know they shouldn't matter.

Well if I take 2 gap years, only one year of post-bacc grades gets factored in right. :(
My school only does formal post-baccs that cost.. way too much. So I'll be doing an informal one at a public university in Chicago.
Just saw this new post. Again, if you want an MD you'll need to time your app so that your post-bacc grades are factored in.
 
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If you want an MD, you'll have better chances with a DIY postbacc. You can also use the extra time to beef up other parts of your app and master the MCAT material. Additionally, you can rest assured that the post-bacc coursework won't be on U Chicago's level in terms of rigor. :)

Just saw this new post. Again, if you want an MD you'll need to time your app so that your post-bacc grades are factored in.
:) Thanks for your reply, I think you guys helped me decide that two gap years is the way to go. Now to break the news to my mom.:sick:
 
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Cyberdyne 101

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:) Thanks for your reply, I think you guys helped me decide that two gap years is the way to go. Now to break the news to my mom.:sick:
Good luck!!
 
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hypericum

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I had something very similar happen to me the first time I was scheduled to take the MCAT. Just felt absolute terror and voided at the last minute, forcing me to add another gap year as well. It doesn't feel good, and your parents won't be happy, but don't do it if you're not ready. When you tell them, ask them not to interrupt, explain your reasons calmly and give them a plan for how you plan to improve your app. Hopefully they will be supportive. And honestly, in the long scheme of things (4 years of medical school, 3-7 of residency, maybe more of fellowship) a year or two is not a big deal!

I never managed to really feel confident about the MCAT, but the next time I forced myself to not click the void button and got a great score. Keep your head up :)
 
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I had something very similar happen to me the first time I was scheduled to take the MCAT. Just felt absolute terror and voided at the last minute, forcing me to add another gap year as well. It doesn't feel good, and your parents won't be happy, but don't do it if you're not ready. When you tell them, ask them not to interrupt, explain your reasons calmly and give them a plan for how you plan to improve your app. Hopefully they will be supportive. And honestly, in the long scheme of things (4 years of medical school, 3-7 of residency, maybe more of fellowship) a year or two is not a big deal!

I never managed to really feel confident about the MCAT, but the next time I forced myself to not click the void button and got a great score. Keep your head up :)
:) Thank you. I'm looking forward to the two years.
 
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Does anyone know if Kaplan lets you reschedule to take the course over a year from when you first signed up? I don't think they have schedules up that far in advance. :(
 

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Get your parents an account on SDN so they can see the damage they're doing to your medical career from all their pressure for you to do things that are actually hurting your chances.

Do NOT take the MCAT until you're 100% ready.

Your fastest path to being a doctor will be via grade replacement and going DO.

For MD, a post-bac/SMP is probably in order.


:) Thanks for your reply, I think you guys helped me decide that two gap years is the way to go. Now to break the news to my mom.:sick:
 

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I wouldn't cancel a MCAT. If you know 100% you're not going to want the score, take it anyway and select the "void" option at the end. The extra practice should be valuable since there's far fewer official AAMC tests for the 2015 MCAT.

However, you should not have your MCAT scored until you're 100% ready, as Goro stated.
 
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Get your parents an account on SDN so they can see the damage they're doing to your medical career from all their pressure for you to do things that are actually hurting your chances.

Do NOT take the MCAT until you're 100% ready.

Your fastest path to being a doctor will be via grade replacement and going DO.

For MD, a post-bac/SMP is probably in order.
Thank you Goro. It's so much easier said than done. They won't respect the choice and will make it very hard for me to live in their house after college, so I guess I won't.

So for a DIY post-bacc, should I only retake classes or throw in some upper levels too?
 

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Yes.

So for a DIY post-bacc, should I only retake classes or throw in some upper levels too?
 
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I wouldn't cancel a MCAT. If you know 100% you're not going to want the score, take it anyway and select the "void" option at the end. The extra practice should be valuable since there's far fewer official AAMC tests for the 2015 MCAT.

However, you should not have your MCAT scored until you're 100% ready, as Goro stated.
Too late. :( But since I have a month left with Kaplan resources, I will make the best out of them.
 

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Haven't people been finding their scores on the real deal to be quite a bit higher than on Kaplans? I think people getting high 490's ended up more like 510.

Take the official practice test and tell us your score! You may do a lot better than you expect and with a month more prep will be ready to take it for real.
 
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I wouldn't cancel a MCAT. If you know 100% you're not going to want the score, take it anyway and select the "void" option at the end. The extra practice should be valuable since there's far fewer official AAMC tests for the 2015 MCAT.

However, you should not have your MCAT scored until you're 100% ready, as Goro stated.
yeah, a $300 practice test sounds like a great idea.


OP, your only bet (and best one) will be focusing on grade replacement and applying DO. The benefit of doing this, is you will redo many of the classes required for the mcat that you did poorly in, thus helping review the material more. do NOT take the mcat until you are absolutely ready. also do not take the mcat now because you wont know for sure that your score will still be good by the time you end up applying.
 
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Cyberdyne 101

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@Kochanie, if you feel that you would benefit from a $300 practice exam, then go ahead and take it. And as I mentioned earlier, an MD acceptance is still within reach, but obviously you'll have to put together a strong app to get there.
 
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I had to do some grade repair before applying too. However, I chose to do the post-bacc before attempting to study for and take the MCAT. This not only allowed me to learn some of the material better in the relevant subjects (I hardly had to study for the Bio section as a result), but it also meant that if I had to reapply for whatever reason my MCAT would still be good for a few years.
 
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@Kochanie, if you feel that you would benefit from a $300 practice exam, then go ahead and take it. And as I mentioned earlier, an MD acceptance is still within reach, but obviously you'll have to put together a strong app to get there.
Yes, I know. I don't know what the big deal is. If I get 4.0s in my 3 Bio classes the first quarter of senior year (which I will), I will have a 3.20 science, higher DO science.
 
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I had to do some grade repair before applying too. However, I chose to do the post-bacc before attempting to study for and take the MCAT. This not only allowed me to learn some of the material better in the relevant subjects (I hardly had to study for the Bio section as a result), but it also meant that if I had to reapply for whatever reason my MCAT would still be good for a few years.
True but this is all freaking me out. Should I not take it the summer after I graduate when I won't have work/classes? I don't know if I'll be able to study for MCAT, work, volunteer, and study for classes during my gap year.
 

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Too late. :( But since I have a month left with Kaplan resources, I will make the best out of them.
Kaplan will probably extend your program, call and ask for it. I respect your willingness to do two gap years, most people are in such a hurry.
 
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Kaplan will probably extend your program, call and ask for it. I respect your willingness to do two gap years, most people are in such a hurry.
Yeah I've called them and I basically get the program when I want to take it for real.

I'm still torn. I'm scoring okay on practice exams but I could do better and make up for my ****ty GPA.
 

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You made the right choice by cancelling the MCAT - your prep should not consist of learning the material for the first time. Try to take the classes involved in the MCAT and do your best to learn the material well - this is crucial on an exam like this. As far as the rest of your summer goes, find something you're interested in taking up, or continue something else you've done. There are plenty of volunteering, shadowing, work opportunities to be had.
 
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