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Two days to make a decision!!! HELP

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Gladiolus23, 05.12.14.

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  1. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: 08.23.15
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  3. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Even if it costs you time, take the MCAT ONLY when you are ready. If it means delaying the Micro course, so be it.



     
  4. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    So are you suggesting not to take micro during the summer?
     
  5. Narmerguy

    Narmerguy SDN Senior Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    First of all, only plan to take this test once. It is a monstrous beast and it's just not worth it to devote multiple years of study to something like this (not to mention it looks better on admissions if you do well on it the first time).

    I don't know your situation, your study style, your micro professor, etc etc. However, I will say a few things:
    1. I doubt the micro course will be that helpful. More likely it will require you to know far more than you need for the MCAT, and will become just another thing to take away your study/free time.
    2. How intense is your study plan? I tried to do research and study a crap ton one year and ended up just doing poorly at both. However, I was also doing the SN2ed study plan, which is pretty time consuming. It paid off when I finally committed to it the next year, but I definitely needed all the free time I could find. Having to attend and study for another class would make the summer more of a struggle than it needed to be.
    3. I can understand why being "behind" in your major feels crummy, but keep in mind that the MCAT is one of the two most important factors in your application. Some think it's the most important. It's worth it to nail this and not do less than you could because you were trying to squeeze in a couple of summer classes that can likely be squeezed in elsewhere into your graduation schedule.
    In your situation, I would probably not take the class and find something else to do over the summer (shadowing, volunteering, etc). However, take this with a grain of salt because I don't know you or what your school situation is like so only you can decide what's the best plan.
     
  6. Frostbite22

    Frostbite22 Iraq Lobster

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    It's hard for any of us to answer this question without personally knowing you and your study habits. Plus I don't know if you have any other obligations as well. I took the MCAT in January while working a full time job and a part time job, but I also spread out studying for about 8 months. I personally didn't think Micro was that challenging and could easily study for it while studying for the MCAT but it all depends on you. I agree with Goro, take it when you are ready. If you know your study habits and are worried about it then don't take micro.
     
  7. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Three months of dedicated study time for the MCAT should be enough. If you distract yourself with coursework and get a lesser score than you'd hoped, you'll have an excuse for your performance end up studying all over again. Don't take the class. Don't hold a job. Have very little fun. Volunteer a few hours a week for a break. Be confident that you prepared the best you could. Win.
     
  8. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    That's what I said.

     
  9. unexpected_medicine

    unexpected_medicine

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    why 2 days?
     
  10. youmed

    youmed 5+ Year Member

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    Only focus on MCAT if you want to score high. Having a class will make you prioritize the class instead of MCAT and you may fall behind on MCAT studying.
     
  11. unexpected_medicine

    unexpected_medicine

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    or it could keep you away from side distractions. just depends on the person.
     
  12. youmed

    youmed 5+ Year Member

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    True. Totally depends on the person. OP, it's your call.
     
  13. Narmerguy

    Narmerguy SDN Senior Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    I would think that adding more work isn't going to make it easier to focus on the work one already has for most people. Sure it depends on the person, but let's be realistic.
     
  14. unexpected_medicine

    unexpected_medicine

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    You'd be surprised. The brain is weird that way.
     
  15. ttt92

    ttt92 2+ Year Member

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    I attempted this last summer and it didn't work - mainly because I didn't have a strong science background going in (few upper level bio courses). Pull out a review book and flip through the sections - how comfortable are you with each of the sections and the material? if you end up doing it in 3 months - no course. microbio won't help and will add to your stress. trust me on this.
     
  16. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for your input. I heard microbiology at my university is not too bad, but it is still difficult to get an A if you don't put in the needed effort. It's not an easy class. Knowing myself, I am a little bit of a perfectionist...I tend to want to do everything to the best of my ability and I'm actually starting to think it might be a nightmare to take classes during the summer and study for the MCAT with this kind of attitude. Also, my GPA is suffering a bit (sGPA is only at 3.45 and it needs to improve!) so I wouldn't want to risk that...

    My study plan is pretty intense. I am planning on studying 6-7 hours per day (except maybe only two hours on Sunday with volunteering?) while taking a Princeton review course on the side.
     
  17. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    Because my summer registration closes in the next two days.
     
  18. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    This sounds more like me.

    I doubt it will keep me away from side distractions...In fact, realistically thinking, this might make me more stressed out, and I'm still trying to learn how to deal with stress. Less is better for me =/
     
  19. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    This. I am in a similar situation...my science background is not that great (the only upper level biology course I have taken so far is Genetics) and I have pulled out the MCAT EK and Princeton review books to look over the sections...there is A LOT I need to review and believe it or not LEARN. And this scares me...can I do it in three months?
     
  20. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    Based on my above post about me not being so strong with the sciences and having to re-learn some material, do you still feel 3 months of dedicated (6-8 hours per day with prep course) would be sufficient? I wouldn't be doing anything else except eat, breathe and sleep MCAT.
     
  21. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    By leaning closer to 8-10 hours a day, like it's a full-time job, most can do it. If practice tests taken toward the end of a three-month range show that one is not close to score goals, then there is always the option of readjusting and adding more time onto the plan.
     
  22. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    This gives me some hope. I am an average, but determined, student and I really feel I can do well on this exam if I just sat and studied for it in a calm manner (with no other obligations). However, my expectations for myself are pretty high and I want to score a 36 on the MCAT. Maybe I shouldn't be thinking about the result right now... but it's just stressful because there is so much depending on this exam :(

    Do those 8-10 hours include the class time spent in a prep course? If not, I guess I would divide the hours into three hour-intervals in the morning, afternoon and two hours in the evening. By 9 pm, I would be relaxing, because my mind doesn't function at all in the night.
     
  23. mizzu

    mizzu Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    Take the micro... That's what? 3 hours of lecture 3 times a week and maybe 3-6 hours of studying? You have time. It's summer.

    8 hour sleep
    3 hour micro class
    3 hour study MCAT
    3 hour free time (eat/work out)
    3 hours of studying for micro
    4 hour left to do whatever (more MCAT/bio labs/more sleep)
     
    orthogenes likes this.
  24. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    How many hours a day is the prep class?

    And, taking regular scheduled breaks is important throughout the scheduled study time. And so is eating right and getting in some exercise and regular sleep.
     
  25. Perseverance06

    Perseverance06 2+ Year Member

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    You are so helpful @Narmerguy ! Which school did you choose?
     
  26. Narmerguy

    Narmerguy SDN Senior Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Definitely do not take the Microbiology course. If you are a perfectionist, that means you will be siphoning off a lot of time from the MCAT to hone your microbiology performance. Even if you didn't, it sounds like you should because your sGPA could use a boost, so don't go for both and end up doing poorly on the micro course and the MCAT.

    3 months is a lot of time, but then it isn't. It goes fast because there is a lot of material to cover. You said you're shooting for an August test, be prepared to push back for a later date (is September the latest for 2014?), but do not take the test until you are ready. There's nothing wrong with shooting for a 36, but understand that this is a difficult score and it will take a lot of work. It sounds like you've got a rigorous plan to work 6-7 hours per day. I similarly spent about 8-10 hours a day over an 8-week period for my studying and it's quite the grind. Make sure you give yourself true breaks in your schedule (not more work, legit breaks) to keep yourself sane, and don't be too hard on yourself if your early results aren't where you want them.

    The MCAT forum is a better place to find advice specific for MCAT studying: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forums/mcat-discussions.31/

    :thumbup: (I also haven't chosen quite yet, going down to the wire eh?)
     
  27. optimistic3

    optimistic3 2+ Year Member

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    I certainly would NOT take the microbio course. I didn't think it was a difficult course but it did require lots of effort and time! I, too, plan to take the MCAT in August and I'm dedicating my entire summer to studying for it. I might add in some volunteering as well but studying is my #1 goal. Remember how important this test is and focus on doing well.
     
  28. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    The prep course is 2 and 1/2 hours (7-9:30 pm) on Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed and Thurs.
     
  29. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    Yeah, I don't think I am going to take the microbio. course. My gut feeling says that it will be too stressful for me. Have you started studying yet and are you taking a prep course? How are you planning to start studying? Like are you just reading all the content chapters one by one as per SN2ed schedule?
     
  30. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    I just finished sophomore year and am planning to matriculate in 2016 or at most 2017 if I don't get in. Just curious, do you think the August 2014 MCAT will expire by 2017 even if I apply in June 2016? Does the three years expiration date for the mcat refer to when you apply or when you matriculate?

    The reason I am taking the mcat now instead of next spring is because I really don't want to take the 2015 MCAT especially when I have to study for it with a full course load! I'm done with my pre-reqs and as of now, I can't think of a better time to diligently study for this exam than during this summer.

    Did you manage to score well on the MCAT even when the sciences were not so fresh in your mind? That is my biggest concern, because I don't feel like I really understood my pre-req topics properly :( may have to re-learn some things, which makes "reviewing" harder.
     
  31. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Yes.
     
  32. Gladiolus23

    Gladiolus23 2+ Year Member

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    Okay that makes things a bit easier. I was thinking of dividing my study time into different 2-3 hour intervals with breaks in between. I usually concentrate very well in the early morning, so that is why I started at 5 am. I should have no problem getting up and I think 7 hrs. of sleep should be good!

    Do you think this sounds like a successful, workable plan per day? On Saturdays, I plan to volunteer for four hours, so I would have to cut back on studying then, but I should be able to follow through the rest of the week.

    5:00-8:00 am (study)
    10:00-1:00 pm (study)
    3:00-5:00 pm (study)
    7:00-9:30 pm (MCAT prep course)
    Sleep by 10 pm
     
  33. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Looks good. You might set yourself certain study goals, which, when achieved earn you a day off.
     
  34. optimistic3

    optimistic3 2+ Year Member

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    I haven't started studying yet (I might start on my own a bit next week) but I'm going to take a Kaplan class this summer. I'm well aware of my study habits and I know that I need a set schedule and program rather than just doing it on my own. I've read about other people on here having lots of success with SN2ed's schedule so if you are good at self-studying, then it should be a good program.
     

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