Getting the timing right for MCAT
June 20, 2008 11:43 AM   Subscribe

MCAT filter: Is timing everything?

My friend is going to retake the MCAT in August before applying to med school(wasn't happy with her score from May.) She's got a choice of two dates, one in the first week of August and one in the second week. She knows that its better to apply as early as possible, but feels like she'll need that extra week to study. She's worried, however, that she's missing some sort of critical period for first round AMCAS applications by waiting till mid August vs. early August. Any thoughts on what she should do?
posted by Eudaimonia to Education (5 answers total)
I would suggest applying as early as possible. She still has a month and a half to study. That should be enough time if she is focused. If she is not focused then what difference will a week make?
posted by ouchitburns at 12:08 PM on June 20, 2008

A week's not going to make a difference either for her studying or for her admissions chances. Tell her to stop fretting over the minutiae of the process -- she'll have plenty of time for that while in med school.
posted by decoherence at 1:17 PM on June 20, 2008

Apply as early as possible. Without a shadow of a doubt, apply early!
posted by ruwan at 1:25 PM on June 20, 2008

I just went through the whole med school admissions process this past year. Unfortunately, in the current hyper-competitive climate I don't think it will matter when in August your friend retakes the MCAT. If she takes the exam in August, your friend will not be able to submit her AMCAS application until September, and it will not finish processing for a further month. So at the earliest, med schools will see her primary app in October.

That's way, way, way too late. Your friend should instead go ahead and retake the MCAT at her convenience, and then plan to submit on June 4th next year (the earliest possible date). Because med school admissions offices tend to be small, understaffed and unprofessionally run, applying early makes all the difference. Waiting until the start of the next cycle is far and away your friend's best bet.
posted by killdevil at 3:24 PM on June 20, 2008

You can submit your AMCAS before you complete your mcat. Make sure to mark that you are retaking it. It will be processed, but not complete until the final score comes back. It will be later than most, but if she does well, things may work out.
posted by senseigmg at 6:38 PM on June 20, 2008

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