June 16, 2002 at 2:21 am #46872
Has anyone attempted the MCAT without taking orgo first? That is the only course I have left to take…thinking of trying the August MCAT and saving myself a year of twiddling my thumbs…any thoughts?June 16, 2002 at 3:29 am #46873efex101Participant
Angie I would not attempt the MCAT without taking Organic Chemistry. There is a large component of organic in the mcat (as I am sure you are aware of) and it will put you at a huge disadvantage. Because med school is so competitive to get into why put yourself in this dilemma knowing that if you take it you will be better off. I have heard people of learning Physics on their own but not Organic. I am sure that someone out there has done it and probably got a good mcat score for it but IMHO it is just asking for trouble. Good luck and let us know what you decide!June 16, 2002 at 7:27 pm #46874
Thank you for your input. I still haven’t decided what to do. It is tempting to give it a try, but I know I would do much better if I wait until April. I’m just at one of my inpatient moments of this incredibly long process and I was wondering if it would be possible for me to cut a year off of the whole thing. I’ll keep looking through the MCAT material and let you know what I decide.June 16, 2002 at 10:09 pm #46875Med4MomParticipant
I took the MCAT 2 years ago with none of the science prereqs. I was in a similar situation in terms of feeling really anxious to get things going, so I know how you feel. I worked at teaching myself general chem, biology and physics, but didn’t put any effort into organic chem at all because I just didn’t have the time.
I found that the biol section of the MCAT I took consisted of about 65-70% organic chem. I don’t know if that is standard, but it certainly seemed like a lot to me 😮 . Anyway, the point is, if you feel really prepared for the other disciplines, and think you can teach yourself enough organic to do as well as you think you need to, then go for it. Have you taken any of the practice MCATs yet? If you are prepared to retake the exam if you don’t do well enough, then I would say maybe you should just go for it this time and see how you do. I know a lot of people might disagree with me, but calculated risk-taking is sometimes a good skill to cultivate. If you do well enough to use the grade, then great, and if not, you’ve lost your $$ and maybe have to explain one “less than stellar” MCAT grade at some point. Big deal. You wouldn’t be the first applicant to have taken the MCAT more than once.
As for me, hehe, I am retaking the MCAT this August. This time I have general chem, genetics, microbiology, anatomy & physiology, organic chem and biochem under my belt, so am feeling a bit more prepared 😉 . But I don’t regret taking it the first time. Practice exams aside, there is nothing like taking the real thing in terms of banishing the fear of the unknown.
Good luck in your decision.June 17, 2002 at 5:42 am #46876
Thank you so much! I’ve been sitting here all afternoon mulling this over and trying to decide what to do. You’re words are encouraging. My thought was that I can take the test in August and only apply to my top two choice schools. If I don’t get in, I’ll do the MCAT again in April and apply to all of my schools next summer. If by some chance I could get in this cycle, it would save a whole year of waiting, since I’ll be done with my prereqs when I finish organic this year. My husband is all for it. My only hesitation is that I KNOW I would do better in April. I appreciate your thoughts and your honesty. I’ll continue to think about it and let you know what I decide.June 17, 2002 at 5:32 pm #46877spacecadetParticipant
I don’t think I would attempt the MCAT without Organic. If it were January, I’d give you a different answer, but the fact is that you would have less than two months to study for the exam AND teach yourself organic. Not easy to do. Oh, and applying at the same time?
Kaplan has a free half-length MCAT on their website (or you can go to any Kaplan center and take a free diagnostic). I’d do that before you make any decision about taking the test in August. Or see if you can get a copy of AAMC V or VI practice test.
When it comes down to it, you will be putting yourself at a disadvantage by applying late anyway. If your MCAT isn’t at least average for the school, you’re going to have a rough time. The average MCAT for all matriculants at all med schools is 9’s.
Again, it depends on the schools, but at most schools you have your best chance of being accepted on the first round. If you re-apply, they want to see a major change in your application. That means probably re-writing your essay for next year too.
I remember being in your shoes too. I was very anxious to get things moving and get on with my new chosen career. However, this process is a marathon, not a sprint, and a year isn’t really going to make that much difference in the long run. I know you’re rolling your eyes right now (I did when people told me the same thing), but I’ve ended up delaying two years and it has really worked out well for me.
Best of luck,
PamJune 19, 2002 at 3:39 am #46878
Thank you all again for your replies. I have decided not to do the MCAT this August. After looking at the material and really focusing on my goals, I have realized that taking the test on this short of notice and without organic, I would be cutting myself short. I really want to do the best I can do and shine as much as possible when it comes time to finally apply. I am already a year behind where I thought I would be when starting this process and so I get a little anxious at times (I know you know the feeling). I’ll be finishing up physics at the end of July and I’ll start organic this fall. MCAT in April, hopefully well prepared and confident. Thanks for the advice and letting me “talk this through” with all of you.
AngieJune 19, 2002 at 4:29 pm #46879efex101Participant
Angie you did the right thing. You do want to present yourself in the *best* possible way the first time you apply. Many schools average all your MCAT scores together (some do not) and no matter what your last score was, if your first one was really low your overall will not be spectacular. You will not regret this come MCAT time next year, and I will there along with you. Good luck!
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