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Taking a year off

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DimatM, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. DimatM

    DimatM Junior Member

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    I am taking a year off after I finish undergrad to work (I hope to do research, or something med/bio related) and study for the MCATS.

    2 questions:

    Will taking off a year prevent me from getting into schools?

    -and

    Will taking the MCATS in August be too late to get in for the following fall (as in one year after I take them)?
     
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  3. esean413

    esean413 Member
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    you'll be fine, I had a friend who recently did the same thing and is now at GW
     
  4. swtiepie711

    swtiepie711 Senior Member
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    Q1: Not if you use that year wisely (and maybe even if you don't). I will have had 2 years off if I have a successful round of apps this year. In my time off, I worked a med-related job, shadowed, and participated in research. I feel my interest in medicine is all the stronger because of this hiatus, and I feel this will reflect well during the application process.

    Q2: I wouldn't recommend taking the Aug MCAT over the April. April allows you to be early in the applicant pool, which is supposedly a large advantage. But then again, what do I know? I'm just a lowly pre-med ;)
     
  5. DimatM

    DimatM Junior Member

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    The reason I was planning on taking them in August was so I could study/take a course first. Do you think I should take them in April anyway? If I do poorly, can I take them again in August?
     
  6. LarissaC

    LarissaC Junior Member
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    i'm not sure if i've got your timing right here, but don't sweat it. the mcat is switiching to computer-based for all 2007 test dates, and they are offering them way more than 2 times a year (and i believe results will come back wayyyy faster)

    here's the link to the test dates:

    http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/2007calendar.pdf

    good luck and enjoy you're year
     
  7. Richspiders07

    Richspiders07 User - peruser
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    You're forgetting that the MCAT switches to computer based in 2007. Therefore, you wont have to pick between April/August anymore... but I believe it is offered almost every month. So if possible, I'd try to take it before August and thereby get your completed apps in earlier!
     
  8. nager105

    nager105 So it goes.
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    I'm taking two years off (applying now for the 2007 cycle) and it is the best thing I could have done. It had really solidified my decision to go into medicine. As far as the MCAT goes, I took it the August after graduating (Aug '05) so that I could see whether or not I had a shot for the next cycle, and so that if I had to retake, I would retake in April '06 and not be at a disadvantage for the 2007 cycle.

    I think taking time off is awesome.
     
  9. swtiepie711

    swtiepie711 Senior Member
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    Ah, yes, yes - I forgot we are of the "old generation" of paper MCAT-ers. The last paper MCAT is this Aug 19th. From then on out it's computer based, shorter & offered multiple times per year. My advice is still the same... take it early. Then again, don't take it without being prepared. I took it uber early the first time (before I finished all required coursework) after some bad advice from grumbly older pre-meds who took the April MCAT and bombed and then had to take the August, thus delaying their apps. So I took it Aug after my sophomore year of college. For whatever reason, I just did "ok" (lack of maturity? critical thinking skills? course preparation? who knows). I took it again this past April, with all completed coursework and tons of prep, and I feel really good about my score. So, take it early if you can to avoid application delays, but not early enough to cause you to take it underprepared :) Wow... long answer... sorry....
     
  10. Falco2525

    5+ Year Member

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    Actually from what I understand...medical schools like if you take a year off ... of course that assumes you do something worthwhile during the year (they especially like if you have "traveled the world")...if you are able to display an increased maturity level from taking the year off they will like it...they like slightly older students usually because they are "more mature"
     
  11. Gabujabu

    Gabujabu Senior Member
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    I read on a site related to UMich that 90% of the ppl who got in there took the August MCAT. It probably matters more at rolling schools, though, than non-rolling. I would recommend that you start studying early, if you are concerned about being prepared. You can take them again too, if necessary, though it's best to do as well as possible in the spring. I also think that it's being offered multiple times next year, though.
     
  12. CCLCMer

    CCLCMer CCLCM Alum c/o 2011
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    I think the answer to the first question depends on what you do with your year off. A lot of people in my class took a year or even a couple of years off to do research, and since this school is so research-oriented, that really strengthened their applications. There are a lot of other really neat things you could do with a year off, like study or work abroad, work for an organization like Teach for America, join the Peace Corps (you'd have to take a couple of years off to do that), and more. Whatever you decide to do with your year off, make sure it is something that contributes to society and helps your own personal growth too.

    For the second question, no, you usually have a couple of years before your scores expire. So if you took the MCAT in 2006, you could apply in 2007, or even 2008, at most schools. But after that, you would probably have to retake it. The other option you might consider is to apply now and defer your admission. Many schools will let you do this if you have a good reason, but they won't all let you, so make sure to check with your schools before counting on this option.

    Good luck!

    -CCLCMer
     
  13. novawildcat

    novawildcat Senior Member
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    take the year off and trying living in the real world for a little while. i find it laughable that a ton of med students, who went directly from college to medschool, won't even have paid a single bill until they are probably 28 years old.
     

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