Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2002
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Hi Everyone I'm new to this forum. I want to seek opinions. I want to take the April MCAT but I have not finished my prereqs. I probablywill not finish them until Spring '04. I had one semester of BY and 2 of Gen. Chem. I'm going to start reading By, Chem, and Physics books and study guides on my own and get help from some of my friends who are in med school now. I'm also going to take the Princeton Review Course. I will graduate in May with an MPH and I'll have a very light course load next semester.

I know that you're probably going to ask what's the rush and why don't I just wait and apply after I finish my prereqs. Well I'm 26yrs old and I have a child and I would like to begin (or at least try to get in) med school as soon as possible.

My undergrad GPA is low due to some bad decisions and personal problems which led to me not going to class instead of dropping them. I began undergrad as a By major Chem minor. After I returned to finish my BS I changed my major to Psychology and Sociology. I left school with a depressing 1.2 GPA and graduated with a 2.58 (while working full time, taking care of my child, and volunteering). Right now my grad GPA is a 3.5 and is steadily increasing and I know that I will have close to a 4.0 post-bacc. I have some consistent EC's, I'm about to begin shadowing a Dr., and I'm going to have great LOR's (some from Dr.'s and professors from my #1 pick school UAB).

Am I going to commit suicide by taking this route. I honestly believe that I can get a decent MCAT score. Opinions please.........


10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2001
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  1. Attending Physician
I did something fairly similar to what you have in mind, but I haven't received my August scores yet so I can't really say if it worked for me. I returned to school as a graduate student and hadn't taken O-chem, physics, or general chem in yearrrs. I couldn't sign up for refresher courses due to my course and research load so I was left brushing (actually totally relearning) up on those subjects. Yes it is doable if you are able to pick up on things fairly quickly. In your case I would absolutly recommend that you start now. Begin kinda slow at first so you don't get burned out then put in full time hours two months prior. Also take ALL the AMCAS practice tests (spaced out) to gauge your progress. Worst case is you won't fell ready for the April test and can take it in August and still apply during next years cycle. That's pretty much what I've done.


New Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2002
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I had basically the same problem back when I began studying for the august mcat. I hadn't taken physics or chemistry since high school (1992) so I had to start from scratch. Either way, I ended up getting an 11 in the physical sciences section, so I know it is possible.
If I had advice to give, it would be to buy one of the review books out there. (I used the Kaplan book, but I didn't take the course) Anything that I didn't fully understand, I would seek textbooks from the library for clarification. Try not to get to caught up in memorizing the formulas right off the bat, because I have found that a lot of the time, the more complex formulas will be given in the passages. You will just need to know the basic ones. Remember one thing though, don't get caught up on the Kaplan problems in the beginning, because I feel they are more in-depth then the real mcat tests and will end up frustrating you--because they sure frustrated me.
It can be a slow process in the beginning, but you'd be surprised how easy it appears once you understand a few of the sections. Just stick with it, and I'm sure you'll do fine.


15+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2002
You should take a practice test, and gauge your ability to do well on the MCAT without the prereqs based on the scores you get. And don't fool yourself into thinking that your results on MCAT day will be better than your practice tests (mine were worse).

If you're not getting scores like you usually get on standardized tests, DO NOT take the MCAT until you've taken prereqs. You'll only raise questions where there wouldn't have been any had you waited to take it.

You get no extra points from the adcoms for doing well without the prereqs, and you are severely penalized for doing poorly. They don't care why. So be VERY sure that you will do well before you try it.
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