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84lep48

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So with the holidays coming around, so does registering for spring classes.

I'm in my junior year and plan on taking the MCAT this spring. I'm a little unsure as to what to do right now. my planned schedule for next semester is not extremely tough but I wouldn't say they are going to be a walk in the park either. When winter break comes around, I'll also be starting to my volunteering at a local hospital. But for the last year and a half I've been working in a recreation department for a long term care hospital and enjoy it very much. The bare minimum i can put in and be employed is 14 hours, and from the way things are looking, it doesn't seem like i can even muster up those hours into my week with the kaplan course, (the class for kaplan im going to enroll in conflicts with the nights i would need to work for my job)volunteering and classes.

So I was just wondering, did any of you put your job on hold for several months in preparation for the MCAT. I was contemplating about quitting my RT job, and volunteering at that hospital ( just so i can keep in touch with the residents and co-workers) i think the minimum for volunteers is 4 hours a week so it should be more manageable. But i guess that mean ill be volunteering for two hospitals. But anyway if you guys could offer advice, I would really appreciate it. Thanks a lot.:thumbup:
 

Michael845

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i got a sweet research opportunity offered to me this summer but i was worried about balancing everything with the MCAT. i delayed starting work until after the MCAT was over and i think it was one of the best decisions i made.

you want to take the MCAT once, and only once, so definitely give yourself enough time to get it done right.
 

BlueElmo

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Have to agree with Dale. When you study for MCAT, do nothing but MCAT. Give everything when you prepare for MCAT and be done with it forever.

Like Dale, I put off everything, and I mean everything, this past summer and just focused on preparation and nothing else. It worked out great.
You can always assume your other acitivties after the test.
 

SN2ed

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I also suggest devoting all of your time to the MCAT if at all possible. If you have to work, then work. Without knowing more about you personally and whether or not you could handle the MCAT and other things, I'm going with the safe bet.
 
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Katatonic

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I'm not sure...I'll be taking classes, doing work/research around 20 hours a week, plus studying for the MCAT. If you can take something off your plate you might as well, all the extra study time you get will be worth it.
 

84lep48

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Ah, thanks everyone for the replies, I think I'm going to go ahead and put my work on hold for now and invest that time towards the MCAT.
 

dragonfly99

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Yes would put work on hold.
You are an undergrad...make your classes and MCAT the priority this semester. Keep the one volunteer job...I don't know that you need 2 separate ones. Keep your eyes on the prize!
Need personal time too...don't want to burn out before you even get to med school.
 

goldenwest

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Okay, I hear all these replies saying put everything off and solely devote your time to MCAT, but my situation is a little tricky. I was a music major then I decided I wanted to be a doctor and switched to Biology(Chem minor) as a junior so many of my hours did not transfer over. I'm attending a private univ so I can't afford to tack on extra semesters at a whim, so right now I'm playing catch up. Almost all of my semesters are 17 hours with at least 2 heavy sciences. I'm taking both my Ochems over the summer which is basically non-stop every weekday - and the next summer I'll be over seas doing medical mission work all summer just before I apply.

So my schedule looks something like this:

Spring 09 - Physics II + Chem II + Lit + Hist + Volunteering + part-time job
Summer 09 - Ochem I + II + volunteering + part-time job
August - Take MCAT here?
Fall 09 - Biochem + Cell Bio + Ecology + Blow off class + TAing
Spring 10 - Anatomy + (Immunology/Cancer/Genetics/Histology?) + Micro + Lit
April - Take MCAT here?
Summer 10 - Gone all summer overseas
Fall 10 - Apply
Fall 11 - Attend

As you can see I'm pretty booked... Is it worth it to push things back another semester to focus solely on the MCAT? Should I take it earlier when Ochem is fresh on my mind or wait til the Spring(Note I have all those intensive sciences)? Help appreciated and thread hijacked. :hijacked:
 

dragonfly99

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r.e. the last/hijack post
The biggest problem I see with your plan is the trying to take organic chem 1 and 2 all during one single summer. I don't know...that sounds like a bad plan. If you must take 2 sciences during the summer, then how about 2 biology classes (like micro plus ecology or something). My experience was that it just takes some time for organic to "click" in terms of learning the thought processes and how the reactions work. If I were you I'd take organic 1 and 2 next fall/spring and really learn the stuff...but that is just me. At most I would take organic 1 during the summer, and organic 2 during the fall (if even possible at your school). I just don't like to see people take organic chem in the summer, for the reason I specified above. Also I think sometimes summer school courses aren't the same depth/quality and sometimes aren't taught by the same profs. But that may depend on your school.

I wouldn't rush on taking the MCAT. April of next year would be fine...the main thing would be to be ready.

I admire your work ethic, but remember that getting in to medical school is a marathon and not a spring. I understand about the financial difficulties, but slow and steady wins the race. Maybe you could take your "blowoff" class next summer, plus organic I at the same time (or the blowoff + 2 other science/bio classes). I realize this is difficult with changing your major and all, but you need to be careful r.e. organic chem.
 

goldenwest

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I would like to space the Ochems out some more, but the problem is that they are pre-reqs for some of those other courses I want to take and I can't take the MCAT without them (at least without the success I desire). I think I can handle them both over the summer; however, that's coming from someone who's never taken them. I asked a professor that normally teaches Ochem (He won't be teaching me) and he said that he's had several students take them both over the summer. Last summer I took Gen Bio I and Gen Bio II at the same time (not even sequentially - i got a waiver) and made As in both coming from a music background. I think the work load is really helping me hone my study skills and prepare me for the med school ethic.

Am I naive in going through with the dual Ochem summer after your warning against it?
 
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halekulani

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i took the mcat twice
worked while studying - 27

just studied - 32

i know people who did both, but they were getting high 20s from the beginning anyways.

be honest with yourself. if you can nail 30+ consistently on practice tests while working, then you can keep working (although you could probably hit high 30's with the extra time)

if you're not getting the scores you want, then you should stop working
 
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