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Taking the MCAT early

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Thundrstorm, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. Thundrstorm

    10+ Year Member

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    First, I apologize if this issue has been addressed before and if it has, feel free to post links to a relevant thread.

    I'm currently a sophomore undergrad and I recently decided that it would make more sense for me to take the August 2003 MCAT (instead of April 2004). The reason for this is that the BioChem major at my school is very rigorous and I don't think I will have the kind of time that I need to dedicate to MCAT studying during the spring semester. Also, I don't want to wait until the August before I apply b/c I want to get things done early and I want the opportunity for a retake if necessary. I spoke to my pre-med advisor and she asked me to take a practice test and show it to her before deciding b/c she advises a year of studying.

    So, I guess my question is this: do you guys think that I will be adequately prepared if I study as much as I can between now and May and then spend the summer studying like crazy? I will have completed bio, microbio, cell bio, gen chem, orgo 1, orgo 2, q&a, physics 1, and physics 2 by then, so I've learned all of the material that I need.

    During the summer, I usually work full time (40 hrs/week), but I'm considering only working 4 days a week and then dedicating 1 day a week to MCAT studying. I can't afford a class for $1000 or anything, so can you guys also suggest some good books or other methods of preparation? Thanks!
     
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  3. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member
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    I did the same thing you're considering doing (against the advice of my advisor :mad: ) and it worked great for me. The only thing is you're going to need to study more than one day a week over summer. Studying eight hours in one day is not the same as studying four days a week, two hours a day. But you're defnitely giong to be fine taking it early.
     
  4. bad_hombre

    bad_hombre Member
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    I personally feel taking the mcat after my 2nd year (what you americans call sophomore year) was the best decision I've made as a premed. All the material you learned in class is still fresh in your head, which means you actually have to study less. I still killed myself studying over the summer though for the August 2002 MCAT. I did atleast 6 hours a day, six days a week for 5 weeks and i ended up with a 37R.

    Studying for atleast a year? I think that is REALLY bad advice. How much detail do you remember from courses you took a year ago? Personally I think your advisor doesn't know what the heck he/she is talking about.

    Peace
     
  5. Thundrstorm

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    I'm not just going to study that one day, but I thought it would be good to have a free day just for extra studying. I'm glad to hear it was a good choice b/c I've already decided that I'm taking it in August regardless of what my advisor says. :)
     
  6. Thundrstorm

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    Thanks everyone for replying. :)
     
  7. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    Yeah its definitely worth it. Yall be happy with the amount of time you can devote to the MCAT, and the great feeling when you get your score back in oct =)
     
  8. katemonster

    katemonster Junior Member
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    I'm also a sophomore and my pre-med advisor actually suggested that I take the MCAT in August 2003, since I'd have all the prerequisites completed and fresh in my mind at that point. I'll probably have less preparation than you, too--no gen chem (placed out by AP test which I took senior year of hs), two quarters of orgo last year and one this year, three quarters of physics last year, two quarters of bio this year. And I'm sure I'll never manage to set aside a whole day every week to study all summer. So I'm going to do badly, and you'll get in instead of me. So don't worry.
     
  9. Thundrstorm

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    Hey, we're both gonna rock the MCAT! :clap:
     
  10. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    I'm taking it early too this August but I'm a little afraid of verbal. good luck everyone taking it early!
     
  11. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    Verbal wont really improve with time anyway for most people. It is by far the hardest subsection to improve on, so if worrying about it now is the same as worrying about it later.
     
  12. CaNEM

    CaNEM Senior Member
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    No disadvantages to taking it early in your case, only advantages. Good luck!
     
  13. calaxer19

    calaxer19 Senior Member
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    The only disadvantage I've heard is that your MCAT scores may expire if you plan on doing a 5th year or taking a year off - but I don't think this is a problem.

    I'm a 2nd year and taking the August MCAT as well.

    Good luck with your studying!
     
  14. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    Anyone know of good verbal books with a lot of passages to practice on in the meantime? I wanna get a head start on my verbal and I dont want to use any EK materials since I will be taking the class in May. I'm thinking PR or Kaplan books, but I'm really looking for tons of practice verbal passages with answers.
     
  15. florence02

    florence02 Member
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    I, too, took the MCAT after my sophomore year and like everyone says, it was a wise decision. I didn't have to stress over it during the spring, when finals and other big papers were also due. I worked full time during the summer but took classes in the evening (TPR) and also took many mock exams. I would say that much of the MCAT is about building up the endurance to go through it, so practicing taking full-length exams is really important. As long as you've taken the pre-req classes, you should be fine. As for studying for the verbal section, do lots of practice passages and READ-- the NYtimes, or the Wall Street Journal (I personally like the Economist). It'll help with your reading comprehension skills plus you'll learn about current events that might come in useful with the essay section of the exam.
    Best of luck!! I'm sure you'll do great-- I only started studying at the beginning of the summer, so if you're starting this early in the process, you're already WAY ahead of the game. :)
     
  16. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    good point. make sure you're not going to take some time off between college and medschool or something if you take it early. This happened to some girl in my Emory interview, she got like a 35 in 98 but had to retake them in april :oops:
     
  17. *sunny*

    *sunny* ...
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    I'm going to take MCATs after soph year also- i figure that all the material will be fresh, and hopefully i'll get a good score so that i can go abroad my jr year instead of studying for an april MCAT.
     

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