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THIRD MCAT?

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Hi everyone!

I was hoping to get some of thoughts on my situation. I am non-traditional student, finishing my second undergrad in Nursing in Toronto. My first undergrad is from my home country, in Journalism. I did not take any of the MCAT recommended courses (e.g. Biochem, Orgo, Physics). However, in Nursing I did get some Biology, lots of Psychology and a bit of Genetics in.  My overall cGPA is 3.84-3.87 (still waiting for this year's official OMSAS calculation).

I took the MCAT for the first time in 2017, focusing on CARS exclusively, as Mac is my top choice. My scores were: Phys/Chem 121, CARS 129, Bio 125, Psyc/Soc 128, Total: 503. I applied to Mac only, and did not get an interview last year.

Then, this year, I decided to apply broadly. I studied for the MCAT on my own, using Princeton Review and Next Step + AAMC official tests. Although I still didn't have a background in the hardcore sciences, I felt like I learned a lot in 3 months of studying. I was also doing research abroad at the same time as studying, which hindered my focus a bit. 

Anyway, in the end, my new MCAT scores are:  Phys/Chem 124, CARS 128, Bio 127, Psyc/Soc 130, Total: 509.

My thoughts are:

1) S***, my CARS score dropeed 1 point!

2) No school would ever invite someone with 124 on CHem/Phys for an interview.

Nonetheless, I ended up applying to Mac, Queens, Calgary, Alberta and MUN. Already got a rejection from MUN.

Finally, my questions:

1) Should I retake the MCAT for the third time, trying for at least a 125-126 on Chem/Phys and to bring my CARS back up?

2) If I did, how much of a difference would it actually make on my application?

3) And how do I go about actually learning more Chem/Phys without having taken the courses? Would a test company course help me?

For a fuller picture: I have extensive ECs, from work, research, volunteer, leadership and clinical experience as a nursing student. I'm also an Ontario resident.

I appreciate your thoughts on this pickle of a situation!

Thank you so much!

 

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1 minute ago, AVM said:

Hi everyone!

I was hoping to get some of thoughts on my situation. I am non-traditional student, finishing my second undergrad in Nursing in Toronto. My first undergrad is from my home country, in Journalism. I did not take any of the MCAT recommended courses (e.g. Biochem, Orgo, Physics). However, in Nursing I did get some Biology, lots of Psychology and a bit of Genetics in.  My overall cGPA is 3.84-3.87 (still waiting for this year's official OMSAS calculation).

I took the MCAT for the first time in 2017, focusing on CARS exclusively, as Mac is my top choice. My scores were: Phys/Chem 121, CARS 129, Bio 125, Psyc/Soc 128, Total: 503. I applied to Mac only, and did not get an interview last year.

Then, this year, I decided to apply broadly. I studied for the MCAT on my own, using Princeton Review and Next Step + AAMC official tests. Although I still didn't have a background in the hardcore sciences, I felt like I learned a lot in 3 months of studying. I was also doing research abroad at the same time as studying, which hindered my focus a bit. 

Anyway, in the end, my new MCAT scores are:  Phys/Chem 124, CARS 128, Bio 127, Psyc/Soc 130, Total: 509.

My thoughts are:

1) S***, my CARS score dropeed 1 point!

2) No school would ever invite someone with 124 on CHem/Phys for an interview.

Nonetheless, I ended up applying to Mac, Queens, Calgary, Alberta and MUN. Already got a rejection from MUN.

Finally, my questions:

1) Should I retake the MCAT for the third time, trying for at least a 125-126 on Chem/Phys and to bring my CARS back up?

2) If I did, how much of a difference would it actually make on my application?

3) And how do I go about actually learning more Chem/Phys without having taken the courses? Would a test company course help me?

For a fuller picture: I have extensive ECs, from work, research, volunteer, leadership and clinical experience as a nursing student. I'm also an Ontario resident.

I appreciate your thoughts on this pickle of a situation!

Thank you so much!

 

1. Yes. By retaking you can open doors to more schools. Not so worried about the CARS score but more so the Chem/Phys. A third re-write isn't going to hurt you in terms of Canadian schools. 

2. A big difference in terms of opportunities, by up-ing that CHEM/PHYS, you open doors to more schools. 

3. Use Khan academy or hiring a tutor. Likely, CHEM/PHYS can be easily brought up compared to CARS. Usually I tell people not to use test company textbooks since they are too dense for a science-background student. However, in your case, that 124 in CHEM/PHYS tells me that there is content gaps, so I would probably use one like TPR or Kaplan along with Khan academy/Tutoring. Make sure you're hammering home the concepts with practice questions as well. 

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1 hour ago, CardiacArrhythmia said:

1. Yes. By retaking you can open doors to more schools. Not so worried about the CARS score but more so the Chem/Phys. A third re-write isn't going to hurt you in terms of Canadian schools. 

2. A big difference in terms of opportunities, by up-ing that CHEM/PHYS, you open doors to more schools. 

3. Use Khan academy or hiring a tutor. Likely, CHEM/PHYS can be easily brought up compared to CARS. Usually I tell people not to use test company textbooks since they are too dense for a science-background student. However, in your case, that 124 in CHEM/PHYS tells me that there is content gaps, so I would probably use one like TPR or Kaplan along with Khan academy/Tutoring. Make sure you're hammering home the concepts with practice questions as well. 

Thank you so much for your insight!

So, would you say it is possible to raise my CHEM/PHYS with tutoring and self-study alone for 3 months?

I'm afraid I'm underestimating how difficult this can be, and should just bite the bullet and take the courses. However, I'm older in the game and don't want to be in school for 2 more years! 

What would you say?

Thanks again!

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31 minutes ago, AVM said:

Thank you so much for your insight!

So, would you say it is possible to raise my CHEM/PHYS with tutoring and self-study alone for 3 months?

I'm afraid I'm underestimating how difficult this can be, and should just bite the bullet and take the courses. However, I'm older in the game and don't want to be in school for 2 more years! 

What would you say?

Thanks again!

I say get a study partner (check the mcat thread on R E D D I T) and go through concepts together (FREE method). If you have money to use, get an (ADEQUATE) tutor to study for chem/phys on top of that - preferably someone with higher education (MSc/PhD). But simply studying content won't cut it on the MCAT, it'll probably get you around 125-126 only. Remember that you'll also need to practice questions for CHEM/PHYS. Popular chem/phys practice resources include: khan academy (FREE), UWorld (FREE), TPR science workbook (probably find it on torrent), AAMC Chem Q pack, AAMC Phys Q pack, AAMC CP Section bank, etc. Practice is also key to raise it 127+

3 months is definitely do able to raise that score, but you have to work hard and EFFICIENT on your studying. Stay efficient because you can easily be overwhelmed by the MCAT, especially if its material you have never covered in classes before. 

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23 minutes ago, CardiacArrhythmia said:

I say get a study partner (check the mcat thread on R E D D I T) and go through concepts together (FREE method). If you have money to use, get an (ADEQUATE) tutor to study for chem/phys on top of that - preferably someone with higher education (MSc/PhD). But simply studying content won't cut it on the MCAT, it'll probably get you around 125-126 only. Remember that you'll also need to practice questions for CHEM/PHYS. Popular chem/phys practice resources include: khan academy (FREE), UWorld (FREE), TPR science workbook (probably find it on torrent), AAMC Chem Q pack, AAMC Phys Q pack, AAMC CP Section bank, etc. Practice is also key to raise it 127+

3 months is definitely do able to raise that score, but you have to work hard and EFFICIENT on your studying. Stay efficient because you can easily be overwhelmed by the MCAT, especially if its material you have never covered in classes before. 

This is such great advice! Thank you so, so much!! Just the thought that it is doable gives me so much hope!

My plan is to study again once I'm done my undegrad, starting next May. Hopefully what I already learned last time will give me a better starting point this year.

Just because you seem so knowledgeable about all this, would you know where I can find a good tutor? As I mentioned, I'm in Ontario. Will be in Ottawa next Spring/Summer.

Also, thanks for the free material tips. I do not have lots of money to spend right now, so will probably focus the little I have on a tutor. I did use Khan Academy a lot last time. But will check out UWorld and TPR. 

Thanks again!!

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16 minutes ago, AVM said:

This is such great advice! Thank you so, so much!! Just the thought that it is doable gives me so much hope!

My plan is to study again once I'm done my undegrad, starting next May. Hopefully what I already learned last time will give me a better starting point this year.

Just because you seem so knowledgeable about all this, would you know where I can find a good tutor? As I mentioned, I'm in Ontario. Will be in Ottawa next Spring/Summer.

Also, thanks for the free material tips. I do not have lots of money to spend right now, so will probably focus the little I have on a tutor. I did use Khan Academy a lot last time. But will check out UWorld and TPR. 

Thanks again!!

1. Since you're low on finances, I would first try using a study buddy and the MCAT threads on R E D D I T and ask your content questions there , a lot of people there really help you out regarding content - you may not even need to hire a tutor at all. If it isn't work for you for the first 2 weeks (this will be evident on practice questions you do), then look into a tutor. The universitytutor.com provides private tutors and what they can teach.

2. If Khan Academy was too "simplified" in terms of content, try AK Lectures, AK goes into more depth but his videos are a bit more lengthy. 

Good luck and all the best!

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11 hours ago, CardiacArrhythmia said:

1. Since you're low on finances, I would first try using a study buddy and the MCAT threads on R E D D I T and ask your content questions there , a lot of people there really help you out regarding content - you may not even need to hire a tutor at all. If it isn't work for you for the first 2 weeks (this will be evident on practice questions you do), then look into a tutor. The universitytutor.com provides private tutors and what they can teach.

2. If Khan Academy was too "simplified" in terms of content, try AK Lectures, AK goes into more depth but his videos are a bit more lengthy. 

Good luck and all the best!

Thank you so much for your amazing help!!

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