NEEDING advice! when should I take the MCAT?

6 years 1 week ago #82047 by cnatodoc
A little bit of background:
I am a Spanish major, working on fulfilling my science requirements. I am done with biology requirements, and I have done pretty well in that section and Verbal reasoning in practice tests (around 10 in each almost every time). So I feel fairly comfortable with those sections (still planning on continuing to study Biology and keep up on VR practice). I have not taken Organic Chemistry yet though, and I won't be able to take it until this summer. I will take the first term this summer, the second in the fall, and the third in the winter quarter.

I would like to take the MCAT in the spring, and apply to schools in June to give myself an advantage by getting my app in right away, but I am nervous about taking the MCAT in the spring before having taken Organic Chemistry. I will be in my third term of General Chem at that time, so i will have a pretty solid foundation of general chem concepts (which, from looking at practice material is a sizeable amount of the chemistry content?) Am I crazy to think I can get a good/competitive score in the spring before having taken Ochem? Should I wait until August to do the MCAT after having taken at least one term of OChem and apply right after getting my MCAT scores in late August early September, and put myself at the disadvantage of applying "late"?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone.

most things in life worth doing or having require sacrifice.

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6 years 1 week ago #82069 by Melbelle
I would definitely not try the MCAT without o-chem. It is very different from general chemistry. I did well in o-chem in undergrad and was still surprised how much I needed to review.

You also haven't mentioned physics. Have you taken it? Did you do well?

It seems like just shooting yourself in the foot to take the major entrance exam without the classes it covers. Yes, you could apply earlier, but the application year is awful. Stress, secondaries, expense of flying around for interviews... what if you don't get in at all? I waited another year past when I wanted to apply - I was going to graduate sooner but my husband went back to school when I did and couldn't accelerate his program. So I slowed my schedule down. In the extra time I got some excellent experiences that added to my application. I was accepted at my first-choice school, which likely had a lot to do with the time I had to really make my application stand out. I would not rush the process.

I understand if you are impatient - I was an older-than-average applicant and was sometimes uncomfortable with the delay. I think it will pay off to slow down, though. Do something valuable with the extra year so you know your application cycle will be successful. You can always reapply, but again, I wouldn't want to go through that stress twice.

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6 years 1 week ago #82071 by SW to MD
I agree with Melbelle- do NOT take the MCAT without completing OChem, it would be like shooting yourself in the foot.

Physics also- make sure you have had it, as an entire section of the MCAT is very physics/gen chem based.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy - MLKJ

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6 years 6 days ago #82169 by cnatodoc
I haven't taken Physics yet either, I am taking it Winter quater and Spring quarter. I will be into my third term of general chemistry by that time.

Thank you for your honesty. After reading my own posting and your responses I realize how silly it is to think I might be able to pull off taking the exam without having taken organic chemistry, but I have this weird over-zealous complex that makes me think I am superwoman and I can do anything ! Before deciding to pursue medicine I was pursuing nursing school (and I got in) but before getting in I took some nursing school entrance exams like the HESI, which I scored very well on... and I hadn't taken anatomy and physiology or chemistry yet (which were large portions of the exam) but I read A & P texts and studied really hard before those tests...that being said I totally get that the HESI exam and the MCAT are totally and completely different.

I really appreciated your input. You are both right, I know. I am just so anixious, you nailed it with, "impatient," because I am! I am ready to be applying to schools, getting the ball rolling, and getting into med school. I have worked in a hospital for the last three years, and while yes, I really enjoy my work...it's not what I want to do for the rest of my life. Being a physician is.

Another year will give me time to do more practice MCATs, get more volunteer hours and EC involvement, and even more healthcare experience to boost my app that much more. you're so right. :) thank you for responding and being honest!

most things in life worth doing or having require sacrifice.

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6 years 13 hours ago #82371 by efex101
The MCAT is HARD. Do not even think about taking it until you have your pre-reqs done.

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