When to take the MCAT?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by swoop, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. swoop

    swoop Member

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    If I can manage to get the pre-reqs done by the end of my sophomore year and take the MCAT in August instead of in April would that be a good idea? I can't really think of any advantages it would have other than being able to take the MCAT again in April if the score on the first one was not so good, but med schools don't really like you to take the MCAT more than once?
     
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  3. premedmijo

    premedmijo Senior Member

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    If you will be done with the prereqs it may be a good idea. You could take a review course/start studying all summer long without interefences of work and classes that you might have to deal with during your junior year. Definitely an advantage. Then you won't be stressed out during spring semester.
     
  4. DoubleDoctor

    DoubleDoctor Ceder Dog's Daddy

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    The only reason that I can see to wait is that you will have more course work under your belt esp if you are a science major. I knew that I would have to go a fifth year because of my triple major so I didn't take it until April of my fourth year and by that time I had all my upper level science course work done so I had had immunology, biochem, phys chem, epidemiology, molecular genetics, molecular physio, cell bio, analytical chem, etc and this made the MCAT so much easier because my science base of knowledge was very extensive.

    If you aren't a science major, or really don't think that any of the classes that you would take between Aug and April would be that beneficial then I would probably go ahead and take it because it will give you time to retake if you need to improve your score.

    Good luck!!!!
     
  5. UCLA2000

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    No. Take it in April. you'll be more prepared, plus it won't help you to take it early.
     
  6. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member

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    I took it early the Aug b4 my jr year and I was very happy with my results. I devoted a whole summer to research and the MCAT, and now I am much more relaxed. I was able to study more and I can concentrate on my schoolwork in the spring. In the summer, you only have to worry about the MCAT, as opposed to other classes. That is why I highly recommend taking it the summer before your junior year.
     
  7. nezlab99

    nezlab99 Senior Member

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    I took the MCAT as soon as I finished my prereqs, and I kind of regret it. After I took it, I went on to take biochem and genetics, which you don't have to take before the MCAT, but in my experience, would have helped a lot. I figured I'd take it as soon as I finished my prereqs so that they'd still be fresh in my mind, but I should have waited until I had taken at least those two classes. I think it would have made about a 2-3 point difference. I had made A's in all my prereqs, but hadn't really mastered the material (stuff like gluconeogenisis, calvin cycle, various biochem mechanisms, hormone stuff, etc...
     
  8. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member

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    I cant really speak for biochem and genetics since I took those my soph year before the MCAT, but I dont think it will make a 2-3 point difference in taking those courses. More likely, it is a 1 point difference at most. The fact is, the MCAT can be taken with the pre-reqs and more importantly, with reading ability and speed. Any of the biochemish questions on the MCAT can be answered by reading the passage well.

    So if you have taken all your prereqs, why not? If your spring looks so hectic that you might not have time to study, then take it in the summer when you can devote all your time to the MCAT. Heck, you can even pull out a Lippincott's Biochem if you REALLY feel like you need a fundamental biochem background (though I think at MOST you might have 1 passage on it).

    Just my .02
     
  9. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    if i were you i'd take it in august. as someone who took it way after completing her prerequisites, believe me when i say you will forget the stuff. in my opinion, the only reasons to wait would be:

    1. your practice scores are bad, and you need some time to improve
    2. your biology classes did not cover basic cell bio, physiology, molecular bio, or genetics. you don't need an in depth understanding of these topics, but if you haven't been exposed to them you might have trouble with them on the mcat.
    3. you want to take some time off after graduation. (your mcat scores will expire in 2-4 years?? depending on the school.)

    remember: all your physics, chemistry, and organic chemistry are going to be forgotten b/c you probably won't be taking courses that reinforce the basic concepts (unless you are majoring in physics/chemistry -- even then your advanced classes might not help too much on the mcat). good luck :)
     
  10. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    i vote take in august. better to pass on the small advantage of taking biochem or whatever might give you as opposed to potentially forgetting physics and orgo and having to relearn it for the mcat.
     
  11. chopsuey

    chopsuey miss independent

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    i vote august for all of the reasons listed above. i'm in biochem now and i can definitely see how it would have helped, but i wouldn't give up being less stressed since i took in the summer with no other classes (just research)... i feel like trying to take it concurrently with other classes would balance out if not hurt you more than not having biochem.

    the other thing is that it is fabulous having a year to think about other things besides medicine...for me, having this time to explore my other interests was what made me so certain that i want to be a doctor.

    good luck!
     
  12. chopsuey

    chopsuey miss independent

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    ooh...and dont' forget that if you screw up (not to be pessimistic) in August, you can retake it in April and still not end up delayed by August MCAT scores.
     
  13. Street Philosopher

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    prepare to take it in august. when it's the night before the test and you feel completely unprepared, you will have something to fall back on. :)
     
  14. jot

    jot

    also beware that starting in April 2003 there will be no 'hold score' option. medschools will be able to see every mcat you took, with all the scores - so you won't have a chance to see if your score is good - or take it just to see how you would do. they want to cut down on the latter practice and have people just take it when they are fully prepared. cheers

    -jot
     

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