SarahBellum1

5+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2010
174
22
Status
Medical Student
When is the "best" time to take an MCAT prep course? I feel like it would be during the spring semester of junior year (I am currently a junior), but I just don't see myself having any time to take one while I have classes. I am actually planning on applying to med school a year later than "normal" (right after I graduate in 2012, so as to enter med school in 2013). If I took an MCAT prep course this coming summer 2011, when would be the best time to actually take the MCAT, considering that I'm not applying until 2012? Or would it be better to take the prep course summer 2012?

Thanks!
 

swineflu

ima own ma mdog
Apr 30, 2009
92
0
New Jersey
Status
Pre-Medical
The best time to take the prep course is right before your actual MCAT, so stuff is still fresh in your memory. All prep courses give you a "homework" schedule to follow. It's mostly designed for students who are taking the actual MCAT towards the end of the course. I wouldn't take an MCAT course during the spring semester.... I would take the course when I can fully focus on MCAT.

That being said, if you are taking a course during the summer, take the actual mcat in that summer. And, give yourself FULLY to MCAT prep and treat it as a full-time job.

I say this because I learned it the hard way. Just like you, I took a prep course in the summer of 2010, hoping to take the mcat in the end of August. But I had a full-time research job and I couldn't give my 100% to mcat prep and I knew I wasn't ready for the real deal. If I had had more time for MCAT and followed the homework schedule, I would have been able to take the MCAT in august...

Oh, also take your mcat as soon as you are done with the prereq. Trust me, you don't want to review orgo all over again two years after taking the orgo class. I am learning it the hard way.....
 
OP
S

SarahBellum1

5+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2010
174
22
Status
Medical Student
Unless I take the prep-course this coming summer...which now that I really think about it I probably won't because I will be taking a summer school class...I will be in the same boat as you, with reviewing organic 2 years after I took the class...lame. :-/ But also if I wait until summer 2012, I will be able to take the longer summer version of the prep course (bc I would have graduated and not have to worry about the course overlapping with the beginning of my fall semester), which would be better, I believe, than a shorter version.

Though, would taking the MCAT in say, late August, put me at a disadvantage since it's a bit late in the application cycle?

Also, an MCAT score is good for like 3 years, right?
 

swineflu

ima own ma mdog
Apr 30, 2009
92
0
New Jersey
Status
Pre-Medical
Unless I take the prep-course this coming summer...which now that I really think about it I probably won't because I will be taking a summer school class...I will be in the same boat as you, with reviewing organic 2 years after I took the class...lame. :-/ But also if I wait until summer 2012, I will be able to take the longer summer version of the prep course (bc I would have graduated and not have to worry about the course overlapping with the beginning of my fall semester), which would be better, I believe, than a shorter version.

Though, would taking the MCAT in say, late August, put me at a disadvantage since it's a bit late in the application cycle?


Also, an MCAT score is good for like 3 years, right?
yes. are you saying you are going to take the summer course in 2012 to apply that summer? that's not a good idea.

you have a lot of time. what are you planning to do from 2011-2012? You can study during that time and take the mcat by may and apply as soon as the primary app comes out.
 

swineflu

ima own ma mdog
Apr 30, 2009
92
0
New Jersey
Status
Pre-Medical
we all know that we don't need these prep courses to do well on the mcat. you really have a plenty of time to prepare...
 
OP
S

SarahBellum1

5+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2010
174
22
Status
Medical Student
yes. are you saying you are going to take the summer course in 2012 to apply that summer? that's not a good idea.

you have a lot of time. what are you planning to do from 2011-2012? You can study during that time and take the mcat by may and apply as soon as the primary app comes out.

Yeah, I thought that would be a bad idea.

I will be in in summer school/volunteering/shadowing during the summer 2011 and then school for the rest of the year-- I graduate undergrad May 2012.

I realize that I technically have a lot of time to prepare if I want to apply for EY2013, but I would not be able to completely focus on MCAT studies while I'm attending classes. So, I guess the best time to study/take a prep-course (I know I don't have to take a course to do well, I just think it would really help me focus) would be this summer 2011, afterall. Then take the MCAT at the end of the summer or early fall and just use that score to apply in 2012. That would also give me time to retake it if necessary.


Thanks.