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What's the consensus on August MCAT takers?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kutastha, Jul 22, 2001.

  1. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Hey everyone. I actually took the April MCAT after not getting in with two August tests. Yet this time around, there's been some debate about if 'this is the year'' to take the August MCAT due to the bonehead moves of AMCAS. What does everyone think?

    Andrew
     
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  3. jordews

    jordews Senior Member
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    Yah, Im interested in this as well, and does anyone have any substantial info to back up one view or the other. I'm thinking its going to help out the august mcat'ers, mainly because i used to work in an admissions office and i've seen the way they do things (and partially because im taking the august mcat :D ) so does anyone else have thoughts or opinions on this? thanks
     
  4. Hopkins2010

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    Here's my reasoning.

    In previous years, some of the med school spots had been given away already (due to rolling admissions) by the time the August MCAT takers had their files complete. Thus, they were placed at a somewhat of a disadvantage, depending on how many med school seats are usually given away before mid October.

    Now, this year things are getting pushed back so when the August MCAT scores arrive, less med school seats will have been given away by that time. Thus, August MCAT takers still might be at a disadvantage, but compared to previous years it will be less of a disadvantage.

    For this year's application cycle, A LOT depends on if med schools start resorting to alternate procedures like Yale, Washington Univ., and others have done so far.

    If every med school starts doing alternate procedures, thus speeding up the process relative to where it would be at the rate AMCAS is going, then August MCAT takers will once again suffer somewhat.
     
  5. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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    while i do not have substantial proof to back-up my post, i had always been advised to avoid the august MCAT if at all possible simply because adcoms won't review your file until it is complete. that means that august MCATers will not have a complete file until october or so, regardless of how quickly they get their secondaries, letters of rec, etc, in. those who did NOT take the august MCAT could theoretically complete their file in late july/early august, and would thus be the ones to get the initial reviews, the first rounds of interviews, etc. in other words, non-august MCATers can feasibly obtain an edge of up to three months.

    this year, NO ONE'S file is complete as of now, late july. this is due to something that is completely out of our hands--AMCAS's inability to transmit to schools our very basic, most essential information. however, even if we are taking the august MCAT, we are all getting the opportunity to begin filling out secondary apps and to mail them in. since the date of the MCAT isn't getting pushed back along with the date of AMCAS transmission to schools, the longer it takes for AMCAS to get its act together, the shorter the time advantage non-august MCATers get. should AMCAS not be able to submit apps until october, then everyone will be in the same boat because no one will have a complete file until october (this is assuming no school decides to bypass AMCAS by then).

    to make a long story short, august MCATers are very fortunate this application cycle as there is much less of an advantage for non-august MCATers to get their apps in early.
     
  6. Hopkins2010

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    I agree with you sandflea. Just like you my argument is hinged on key comment you made in your analysis of the situation:

    "then everyone will be in the same boat because no one will have a complete file until october (this is assuming no school decides to bypass AMCAS by then)."

    Your parenthetical caveat is a key issue with this debate. I'm not so sure that many schools (in addition to the few that have chosen to do so already) won't just give up on AMCAS and institute their own procedures.

    Of course, this would work against August MCAT takers.
     
  7. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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    i hear you, baylor21. i'm thinking that a lot more schools are going to begin to bypass AMCAS in the next month or so. how this might confer an advantage, i'm not sure, since the burden of verifying grades will now fall on the schools themselves. that, or they will simply take everyone's AMCAS app grades as the real deal and not bother with verifying, although i really can't see this happening. not to mention the fact that my $800+ would now be going to waste.

    someone mentioned in another thread that they were told by one admissions office (SLU, i think) that AMCAS's goal is to only transmit GPAs and MCATs by mid-august, and that they won't be able to submit the full app (with essays, ECs, etc) until september. as a side note, how do you think this might affect admissions? do you think it may skew a school's review towards just the numbers at the expense of all of the subjective qualities? i realize that the numbers are arguably the most important part of the app, but it would appear that this might bias the way a school may review its applicants if they are only initially receiving one part of the picture. what exactly is AMCAS trying to accomplish by only sending *some* info at first but not all??
     
  8. jordews

    jordews Senior Member
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    I agree with both of you here, but there is one point I'd like to bring up. Even though the schools have begun to initiate these alternate pathways for application, all of them still say that your file won't be complete until they receive your application transmitted from AMCAS. So still a complete file hinges on a successful transmittal from AMCAS. And if AMCAS doesnt start transmitting to schools until august or september, then the august mcat'ers are still at an advantage from previous years regardless of the alternate admissions pathways. Also, I don't know of many people that are pursuing these paths. There are a few, but most of the people I know are sitting it out and waiting for AMCAS to transmit on its own.
     
  9. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes!
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    jordews, I was under the impression (particularly for Washington University) that interview decisions would be made without waiting for AMCAS as long as the student in question mails in a printed AMCAS, MCATs, transcript, etc. I thought that AMCAS would have merely a symbolic role in the process (e.g. "All students must eventually complete an AMCAS application, blablabla, BUT...") Thoughts?
     
  10. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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    Smoke This, that's an interesting point you bring up about Washinton University. If they are going to be granting interviews prior to receiving processed materials from AMCAS, then that certainly puts August MCAT'ers at a disadvantage. I'm not applying there, so I didn't know they were doing this. Did they say this on their website or did you hear it from someone in the admission's office? Do you know if any other schools that have set up the alternative pathways will be following suit as well?
     
  11. Hopkins2010

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    Well I guess my point was that unless a majority of med schools start doing what Washington Univ. does then their relative disadvantage across all schools this year won't increase. Of course at this specific institution they may be facing the same disadvantage they did in previous years.

    Of the other schools with alternate procedures, I wasnt reading their wording real carefully so I'm not sure exactly what the process is going to be. From what I remember however, they were going to wait for the AMCAS electronic submission before giving interview slots. However, this may change as the AMCAS process drags on further and further.

    I have not gone thru the alternate procedures yet. My app has been processed but i'm going to wait for a couple of weeks and see if it gets transmitted. If it doesnt happen in the next 2 weeks, I will assume that AMCAS is having major transmittal problems and just start working independently of what they are doing.
     
  12. jordews

    jordews Senior Member
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    Hey I copied this from Wash U's website
    "Washington University intends to remain an AMCAS school and eventually will require you to complete an AMCAS 2002 application, once that system is working more reliably." I've seen statements like this on other websites as well like Yale where they are doing the indirect application thing
     
  13. Hopkins2010

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    Yeah that sounds familiar to the tone at the alternate-procedure schools that I'm aware of anyways.

    Lets assume for a moment that August MCATers will have their applications complete at roughly the same time as the other people (on average).

    Does this mean that the med schools will be forced to use higher MCAT/GPA screens and cutoffs due to the increased competition?

    I'm wondering if the med schools will not have enough time to evaluate applicants as much on other areas this year.

    After all, its late July and there are still some people coming off the waitlists for last year's cycle, so its not like theres a big block of unused time that the med schools have for delayed proceedings like this year.
     
  14. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes!
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    One would think so, given the time constraints due to AMCAS's bungling.

    I am not an August MCATer myslef, but I agree with baylor21 that the disadvantage to taking the August MCAT will be minimized by the AMCAS snafu this year.

    md2be06: What I posted above was based on the quote jordews gave and an email I received from WU in answer to a question I posed regarding the decision timeline. Their answer was that decisions will be made once a file is complete, and while I don't remember the exact wording, WU indicated that the alternate procedure is in place so that interview decisions can be made before AMCAS gets around to transmission.
     

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