Zero credits in spring semester to study for mcat?

Max98

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Hi,
Do you think it would be ok if I took off the spring semester during my junior year to study for the mcat or would it be looked down on? If it is, would being a part time student for one semester also be looked down on?

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ChymeofPassion

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Max98

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I mean, it's unnecessary. You should be able to handle school + MCAT studying.
Oh I thought im supposed to study 6 hours a day for the mcat. That's why I thought i should do that. How many classes would you recommend?

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Lawper

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There is no requirement on how long you need to study for the MCAT. Some study for an hour per day and score 520+, while others study for 8+ hours per day and fail to crack 500. There are a lot of factors involved in getting a high score.

Taking the semester off is not needed, although i recommend studying for the MCAT without distractions. Studying and taking in the summer is better.
 
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I mean, it's unnecessary. You should be able to handle school + MCAT studying.
The spring of my MCAT (March date) I was enrolled full time (9 credits) as a grad student with an additional undergrad class (3 credits) and ~20-30 hrs/week of clinical rotations. I definitely benefited from staying busy and having multiple things to focus on - helped me avoid burning out. I would say the key is to start early (i.e. here and there during the fall, hit it hard over Winter Break), be very intentional with your studying and stick to deadlines/goals, and plan out a practice exam schedule.
 
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Lannister

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Oh I thought im supposed to study 6 hours a day for the mcat. That's why I thought i should do that. How many classes would you recommend?

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I took a light load, 12 credits, and studied about four hours a day. You should take as many classes as you feel capable of taking while still having enough time to study. That's something you need to figure out on your own.
 

21Rush12

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I agree with @Lawper here, you can easily take it in the summer after studying. No need to take a whole semester off, just use your time efficiently.


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Kpw101

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I recommend studying during the summer. It's relieving to have nothing else on your mind.
 
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Max98

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I recommend studying during the summer. It's relieving to have nothing else on your mind.
I can't study for it in the summer because I'm going to be taking physics then. But I'm gonna start during midwinter break.

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Kingsmen2018

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I thought about this. I ended up going part time and studying for the mcat. In hindsight, I should have went full time minimum with just easy classes
 
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Sephirakra

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I can't study for it in the summer because I'm going to be taking physics then. But I'm gonna start during midwinter break.

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You're planning to take the MCAT before completing physics? I know it's not required to take all the prereqs before the exam, but the CPBS section was one of the most difficult for me...

EDIT: I misread the post. Please ignore this comment.
 
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Max98

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Thanks for all the responses!

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WGSgrad

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This is a more practical consideration, and may not apply to you but it might be a concern for other folks who eventually read this thread...do you have any student loans? If so, be aware that the months during the semester you take off will count towards your six months of forbearance before your loans go into repayment. The six month forbearance is marketed as a financial reprieve for students who have just graduated but the terms of most loans state that the calculation of time in forbearance happens as soon as you are no longer enrolled full time.

Again, this may not be an issue for you, especially if you don't have a gap year and go directly from college to medical school (which means your loans will continue to be deferred as a result of full time in-school status), however, it is something to be aware of if your path changes.
 
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Max98

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This is a more practical consideration, and may not apply to you but it might be a concern for other folks who eventually read this thread...do you have any student loans? If so, be aware that the months during the semester you take off will count towards your six months of forbearance before your loans go into repayment. The six month forbearance is marketed as a financial reprieve for students who have just graduated but the terms of most loans state that the calculation of time in forbearance happens as soon as you are no longer enrolled full time.

Again, this may not be an issue for you, especially if you don't have a gap year and go directly from college to medical school (which means your loans will continue to be deferred as a result of full time in-school status), however, it is something to be aware of if your path changes.
For undergrad im very fortunate that my parents are paying for it so this doesn't apply and my college is very cheap (around 2k a semester for part time) so im not so concerned of the financial aspect. Thanks for the heads up though

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mellie0

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I'm going to partially disagree with some of the advice on here. I worked part-time while studying for the MCAT but I could have never taken classes at the same time. I feel like there would always be something else taking precedence over the MCAT -- that lab report, that orgo midterm, that English paper. With work, at least you're done once you go home. So that's why I decided to do it like that. I don't think adcoms care or have the time to check what you were doing while studying for the MCAT, and I worried about that for a bit not knowing it doesn't matter at all. I soon came to realize that all they want to see is a high score. That trumps everything else.
 

Turkishking

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I'm going to partially disagree with some of the advice on here. I worked part-time while studying for the MCAT but I could have never taken classes at the same time. I feel like there would always be something else taking precedence over the MCAT -- that lab report, that orgo midterm, that English paper. With work, at least you're done once you go home. So that's why I decided to do it like that. I don't think adcoms care or have the time to check what you were doing while studying for the MCAT, and I worried about that for a bit not knowing it doesn't matter at all. I soon came to realize that all they want to see is a high score. That trumps everything else.
Indeed. A high score is what really matters the most
 

calivianya

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Only you know yourself best. I took a full time course load with only sciences, no gen ed fluff (orgo 2 with lab, physics 1 with lab, biochem, metabolic disorders seminar, environmental chem), worked full time (up to 50 hours/week some weeks) and volunteered every week. I took the MCAT three days after my last final exam for the spring and got a 515. I hadn't even taken physics 2 yet, nor did I have time to learn any of that material, so C/P was my worst section by a mile.

Essentially, I didn't even study an hour a day for the MCAT in particular, probably didn't even study four hours a week... but I think taking orgo, physics, and biochem right before the MCAT helped. I'd actually recommend taking a wildly difficult semester full of the hard sciences that are going to be on the MCAT, and taking the MCAT while that material is still fresh in your head. Studying for your classes = studying for your MCAT when you do that.
 

IslandStyle808

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good MCAT score + 12 credits > good MCAT score w/o classes >>>>>>> bad MCAT score + 12 credits

If you feel you need to take a semester off then do it. I can never wrap my head around why adcoms would question taking a semester off, when taking a summer off for the MCAT is the same thing.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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I mean, it's unnecessary. You should be able to handle school + MCAT studying.
This. There are a lot of people who do fill-time school, have a small job, and still do well on the MCAT (90%+).

Oh I thought im supposed to study 6 hours a day for the mcat. That's why I thought i should do that. How many classes would you recommend?

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If you are going to do this you had better kill it. It would be embarrassing to only be focusing on the MCAT and then get a 503. They will definitely ask you about the gap
 
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