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Hey everyone! I’ve been lurking for years and waffling over taking the MCAT for a looong time. I think I’m ready to take the plunge. When I think about what I really want to do with my life, I always come back to medicine.

The catch is: I have a bachelor or arts degree and a master of fine arts. The only science courses I took during my degrees were psychology. Basically, I loved high school bio, chem and physics and did very well, but sunk all my attention into the social sciences and fine arts in uni. I don’t have thousands of dollars kicking around to take prep courses and am worried that self-teaching myself foundational science in order to even study for the MCAT will be a waste of time if I’m going to fail anyway.

I have a strong GPA and strong, relevant ECs and have confidence that I could kill an interview. Basically the only thing standing in my way is the MCAT—go figure! :P

I realize this probably sounds silly. Anyway, I know that if medicine is what I want to do,   I absolutely have to suck it up and do whatever it takes to nail the MCAT. 

I guess I’m trying to put out feelers to see if anyone’s been in the same boat. Do you have any advice for someone starting from ground-zero science-wise? What are the best study materials to spend my money on? I appreciate any advice or good vibes! :)

 

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16 hours ago, feelingjovani said:

Hey everyone! I’ve been lurking for years and waffling over taking the MCAT for a looong time. I think I’m ready to take the plunge. When I think about what I really want to do with my life, I always come back to medicine.

The catch is: I have a bachelor or arts degree and a master of fine arts. The only science courses I took during my degrees were psychology. Basically, I loved high school bio, chem and physics and did very well, but sunk all my attention into the social sciences and fine arts in uni. I don’t have thousands of dollars kicking around to take prep courses and am worried that self-teaching myself foundational science in order to even study for the MCAT will be a waste of time if I’m going to fail anyway.

I have a strong GPA and strong, relevant ECs and have confidence that I could kill an interview. Basically the only thing standing in my way is the MCAT—go figure! :P

I realize this probably sounds silly. Anyway, I know that if medicine is what I want to do,   I absolutely have to suck it up and do whatever it takes to nail the MCAT. 

I guess I’m trying to put out feelers to see if anyone’s been in the same boat. Do you have any advice for someone starting from ground-zero science-wise? What are the best study materials to spend my money on? I appreciate any advice or good vibes! :)

 

I have a BA, did a minor in visual arts. MSc in behavioural sciences/tech. Now in my 3rd year of Med.

I pretty much started from scratch. It took a few years to get to a point from deciding to apply, to actually being able to apply. Back then Science pre-reqs were required at all the schools I was interested in, so I started by taking some courses part-time/distance ed over a couple of years (bio, ochem, bio chem). But then they dropped the prereqs, and I stopped taking courses. I studied for the MCAT in about 10 weeks - the courses I had taken definitely helped, but I still had to self-teach myself more than 50% of the content. 

How realistic it is for you to self-teach yourself and succeed on writing the MCAT depends on you. Keep in mind that two sections of the MCAT tend to favour those with a social science background (CARS and Psych/Social foundations of behaviour) - my background made prepping for these sections a breeze. For the other two sections, it depends on your aptitude for science, your ability to self study, etc. - this is where I spent almost all of my time. But it’s definitely doable. You don’t necessarily need a prep course - I did just fine without one.

Happy to chat more if you want to PM me.

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Do it!

I have a BFA from NSCAD, and I have been accepted into Dal Med class of 2024. I had zero science exposure, but I booked an MCAT, bought the box of Kaplan books, set a schedule, and made it happen.

Anki was a big help, UWorld is amazing, and Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and YouTube filled in the gaps. Buy the AAMC practice tests and do them in the weeks leading up to the exam, then after each practice review every question (look for MCAT review spreadsheet templates) to pinpoint where you need to focus.

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On 5/13/2020 at 12:47 AM, feelingjovani said:

Hey everyone! I’ve been lurking for years and waffling over taking the MCAT for a looong time. I think I’m ready to take the plunge. When I think about what I really want to do with my life, I always come back to medicine.

The catch is: I have a bachelor or arts degree and a master of fine arts. The only science courses I took during my degrees were psychology. Basically, I loved high school bio, chem and physics and did very well, but sunk all my attention into the social sciences and fine arts in uni. I don’t have thousands of dollars kicking around to take prep courses and am worried that self-teaching myself foundational science in order to even study for the MCAT will be a waste of time if I’m going to fail anyway.

I have a strong GPA and strong, relevant ECs and have confidence that I could kill an interview. Basically the only thing standing in my way is the MCAT—go figure! :P

I realize this probably sounds silly. Anyway, I know that if medicine is what I want to do,   I absolutely have to suck it up and do whatever it takes to nail the MCAT. 

I guess I’m trying to put out feelers to see if anyone’s been in the same boat. Do you have any advice for someone starting from ground-zero science-wise? What are the best study materials to spend my money on? I appreciate any advice or good vibes! :)

 

Hey FeelingJovani! 

I don't have advice for you but I am in the same boat as you! I did my undergrad in Psych and HealthSci and my Msc in Global Health. The only science courses I have are intro bio and chem from over 5 years ago now. I'm planning on taking the MCAT this September and have been self-studying.  If you want a study partner or accountability buddy hit me up! 

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On 5/13/2020 at 4:48 PM, frenchpress said:

I have a BA, did a minor in visual arts. MSc in behavioural sciences/tech. Now in my 3rd year of Med.

I pretty much started from scratch. It took a few years to get to a point from deciding to apply, to actually being able to apply. Back then Science pre-reqs were required at all the schools I was interested in, so I started by taking some courses part-time/distance ed over a couple of years (bio, ochem, bio chem). But then they dropped the prereqs, and I stopped taking courses. I studied for the MCAT in about 10 weeks - the courses I had taken definitely helped, but I still had to self-teach myself more than 50% of the content. 

How realistic it is for you to self-teach yourself and succeed on writing the MCAT depends on you. Keep in mind that two sections of the MCAT tend to favour those with a social science background (CARS and Psych/Social foundations of behaviour) - my background made prepping for these sections a breeze. For the other two sections, it depends on your aptitude for science, your ability to self study, etc. - this is where I spent almost all of my time. But it’s definitely doable. You don’t necessarily need a prep course - I did just fine without one.

Happy to chat more if you want to PM me.

I'm a non-trad applying as well, with very little science exposure. Would love to know more about the approach you took and the tools you used. Pm'ing you if that's okay!

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On 5/15/2020 at 9:45 PM, dh. said:

Do it!

I have a BFA from NSCAD, and I have been accepted into Dal Med class of 2024. I had zero science exposure, but I booked an MCAT, bought the box of Kaplan books, set a schedule, and made it happen.

Anki was a big help, UWorld is amazing, and Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and YouTube filled in the gaps. Buy the AAMC practice tests and do them in the weeks leading up to the exam, then after each practice review every question (look for MCAT review spreadsheet templates) to pinpoint where you need to focus.

Hey there! I have a BFA, and im interested in applying to med school. how competitive was your GPA? what made you decide not to take a post bacc or second undergrad to familiarize yourself with science? 

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On 5/30/2020 at 1:26 PM, Meg said:

Hey there! I have a BFA, and im interested in applying to med school. how competitive was your GPA? what made you decide not to take a post bacc or second undergrad to familiarize yourself with science? 

My GPA was 3.9.

As for deciding against a second undergrad, I wanted to see if I could teach myself the MCAT material. Seems to have worked out.

Practically speaking though, I’m currently working full time, and I’m in my 30’s, so adding an extra 4 years to this journey wasn’t very appealing.

I know that I’ll find pre-clerkship more challenging than those with premed backgrounds, but I’m committed.

I strongly encourage my fellow BFA/arts people to apply if they feel compelled to do so. I think we bring a lot to the table.

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On 5/30/2020 at 12:26 PM, Meg said:

Hey there! I have a BFA, and im interested in applying to med school. how competitive was your GPA? what made you decide not to take a post bacc or second undergrad to familiarize yourself with science? 

I will say (and also hav an arts degree here although it is more complex for me) - doing entire degree to learn the science part of the test seems extreme. It would be like all the science people all taking art degrees for the other half of the test (and the arts part of the test is actually the more important arguably with the general cut offs and CAR). 

Arts people being a ton to the table - I used my skills from my economics and psychology training more than may science side I think overall. Premed science doesn't well line up with med school material when you look at the programs, but core skills in the humanities is useful in lots of places. 

Learning the science may take some effort but don't let that hold you back really - there are a lot of ways to learn it without entire new degrees.

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Hey! One thing I wanted to add that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the MCAT is actually becoming less and less important for medical schools in Canada. So while doing well will increase your chances for sure, you can still get into many Canadian schools without it. uOttawa doesn't look at the MCAT at all, u of T only requires a low cut off (the cut off is 125 in each section with an allowance of 124 in one, which is slightly less than the 50th percentile), Western also uses cut offs although theirs are a bit higher than u of T, and Mac only looks at CARS which is a section I'm sure you'll do well in as an arts student! OOP schools likely have similar requirements, although I can't speak as much to these.

Overall, the MCAT is important but it's really not the be all-end all so I honestly wouldn't worry too much about it if the rest of your application is strong

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