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CASPer, MCAT, FT Job, and Applications all at Once?


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The title of this thread basically gives away my question: would it be possible this summer for me to be working full time (non-negotiable), writing the CASPer and doing extremely well on it in time for Dal (non-negotiable), writing applications (non-negotiable), and redoing my MCAT to the point of scoring a 516ish? (Previous score: 512)

Or is that simply too ambitious? The first time I wrote the MCAT, I studied from 8am to 4pm every day for 4 months and still only got a 512...feels impossible to get 516 with all the other stuff going on

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I'll chime in as someone who was in your spot once... the FT job won't matter if you get into med school. I would take some time off (I quit, lol) and focus on the MCAT, and then CASPer. And when you get in, you can feel okay about quitting the job. That's how I feel, now anyways :)

Learn how to improve your studying, and study the parts of the MCAT you did poorly on (topics and sections) and it'll go better for you. Don't waste 4 months without re-evaluating your studying process, as that would be a waste of your time (and the lost salary!)

Let me know if I can help!

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I am in a similar position as you right now and I am leaning more towards working and studying at the same time.

One of the reasons for working and studying at the same time (at least for me) is so that I can continue to improve my ECs. I was very close to getting an interview invite at UBC as an OOP applicant so perhaps my ECs were somewhat decent, but not quite good ENOUGH. Hopefully, with the full-time job that I have right now, I can score a few more points compared to this cycle and get an interview invite when the next cycle opens up.

Another reason is because the job that I have is somewhat health-care related. If medicine does not work out again in the upcoming cycle, I wouldn't mind staying in this job a bit longer. The job itself is pretty chill, it's remote and not physically demanding. I am not exhausted at the end of the day before taking a quick break to study. If it was a job that I hated and physically exhausting, then my answer will probably change.

But this is for me. You know yourself the best! Perhaps give it a try for a few weeks to see if working full-time is affecting your study. You can always quit if that's the case.

 

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1 hour ago, Excel-erate Your Breath said:

The title of this thread basically gives away my question: would it be possible this summer for me to be working full time (non-negotiable), writing the CASPer and doing extremely well on it in time for Dal (non-negotiable), writing applications (non-negotiable), and redoing my MCAT to the point of scoring a 516ish? (Previous score: 512)

Or is that simply too ambitious? The first time I wrote the MCAT, I studied from 8am to 4pm every day for 4 months and still only got a 512...feels impossible to get 516 with all the other stuff going on

I did all this last summer and survived! It was a grind for sure but the job was too good to pass up for me and I don't regret the choice I made.

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1 hour ago, canada747 said:

I'll chime in as someone who was in your spot once... the FT job won't matter if you get into med school. I would take some time off (I quit, lol) and focus on the MCAT, and then CASPer. And when you get in, you can feel okay about quitting the job. That's how I feel, now anyways :)

Learn how to improve your studying, and study the parts of the MCAT you did poorly on (topics and sections) and it'll go better for you. Don't waste 4 months without re-evaluating your studying process, as that would be a waste of your time (and the lost salary!)

Let me know if I can help!

Hmmm...it is true that getting into medical school is of course the ultimate goal. I see value in keeping the job though (I already have it locked in, working it PT at the moment) because it's a Masters-level position that I was able to get into based off of connections (I am graduating from undergrad this April) - i.e. good pay, great experience (I'm working as a mental health counsellor). If I had never written the MCAT before then I would probably leave the position in order to study, but given that I am sitting on a 512 minimum regardless is making me prioritize the job. Thank you for that important point regarding the re-evaluation of the study process! That's so true. I'll need to plan early.

I will definitely feel okay about quitting the job 'when' I get in, but the job could also be instrumental in getting me in based off the number of hours and length of commitment to the role (should it take me 2, 3, 4, etc more cycles to get in). It's a tough balancing act for sure though. Having the job to sit on as I keep applying is important to me.

41 minutes ago, BonJovi said:

I am in a similar position as you right now and I am leaning more towards working and studying at the same time.

One of the reasons for working and studying at the same time (at least for me) is so that I can continue to improve my ECs. I was very close to getting an interview invite at UBC as an OOP applicant so perhaps my ECs were somewhat decent, but not quite good ENOUGH. Hopefully, with the full-time job that I have right now, I can score a few more points compared to this cycle and get an interview invite when the next cycle opens up.

Another reason is because the job that I have is somewhat health-care related. If medicine does not work out again in the upcoming cycle, I wouldn't mind staying in this job a bit longer. The job itself is pretty chill, it's remote and not physically demanding. I am not exhausted at the end of the day before taking a quick break to study. If it was a job that I hated and physically exhausting, then my answer will probably change.

But this is for me. You know yourself the best! Perhaps give it a try for a few weeks to see if working full-time is affecting your study. You can always quit if that's the case.

I'm leaning more towards this! i.e. Quitting only if I feel I need to. I suppose the "give it a try for a few weeks" is the only good way to go about it. I feel the same though, sitting on this current job is the ideal scenario, it's such a good opportunity that I know I am lucky to have.

31 minutes ago, Ss123toy said:

I did all this last summer and survived! It was a grind for sure but the job was too good to pass up for me and I don't regret the choice I made.

Sounds like it is indeed possible then! Onwards and upwards!

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516 seems like an arbitrary target and getting that score might not increase your chances of interview invites by much. Unless you are trying to meet specific cuts off or get 520+ for prairie OOP, the MCAT rewrite wont be all that useful.  

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44 minutes ago, DNM said:

516 seems like an arbitrary target and getting that score might not increase your chances of interview invites by much. Unless you are trying to meet specific cuts off or get 520+ for prairie OOP, the MCAT rewrite wont be all that useful.  

It's 100% arbitrary yes! To make sure I meet the ever-changing cutoffs at Western and Queens, and to increase my post interview chances at UBC. I do know it won't be *that* useful, but I don't know what else I can do to work on my app (already improved my GPA and ECs for the upcoming cycle). And it feels unproductive to just sit around and not be actively improving my candidacy idk

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1 hour ago, Excel-erate Your Breath said:

It's 100% arbitrary yes! To make sure I meet the ever-changing cutoffs at Western and Queens, and to increase my post interview chances at UBC. I do know it won't be *that* useful, but I don't know what else I can do to work on my app (already improved my GPA and ECs for the upcoming cycle). And it feels unproductive to just sit around and not be actively improving my candidacy idk

Rewriting the mcat is usually the most efficient way of boosting your app and I tend to encourage that (I retook a 515+ score myself), but i'd be hesitant to do that in your case. Unless you weren't meeting last years' uwo or queens cut offs, you have quite a bit to lose and little to gain by rewriting it. Not to mention having a bit of life in the summer is important too

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No one knows whether you can do it but you. In general, it’s not unrealistic. I studied for the MCAT in 10 weeks (had to learn about 50% of the material from scratch), while working full time and got a 514. Would not recommend that you quit your job. As others have said, it’s good for your apps, particularly schools like UBC where it may be worth several more points. And in general, more work experience and maturity is helpful for clinical work. Think of it as training for medical school - the workload will be similar at times, so you can start to figure out what works for you in crunch time now. 

Edit: if you studied for 4 months full time and still got a score you weren’t happy with, the issue likely isn’t how much time you spent studying, but HOW you studied. Doing the exact same thing again may not be that beneficial. You’d likely have to make some changes.

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You know yourself best but I personally studied for it while working full time and scored in your goal range. I spaced out my studying over many months though, and since it was my first time taking it, and I wasn't in a rush to apply I used this one as a "test run" and depending on how I did I told myself I'd study full time for a re-write if need be (luckily didn't have to rewrite). Since you are rewriting, and sounds like you want to apply this cycle your situation might be different. 

You'll hear different stories though for people who studied full time and those who did not, so it comes down to what you are comfortable with and what your personal timeline is. 

 

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On 3/27/2021 at 9:40 PM, DNM said:

Unless you weren't meeting last years' uwo or queens cut offs, you have quite a bit to lose and little to gain by rewriting it. Not to mention having a bit of life in the summer is important too

The thing I am most scared of is not meeting the future UWO or Queens cutoffs, I met it this year with a 127/128/126/131 but that Chem section and Bio section is cutting it close. And of course it doesn't hurt to increase post-interview chances at UBC should I get an interview

 

23 hours ago, frenchpress said:

Edit: if you studied for 4 months full time and still got a score you weren’t happy with, the issue likely isn’t how much time you spent studying, but HOW you studied. Doing the exact same thing again may not be that beneficial. You’d likely have to make some changes.

Very true! Although, to give myself credit, I scored a 516 on my final practice test before doing the real thing (4 days prior), but had a bad performance on test day for the 'meager' 512 (in comparison). But the study strategy will definitely need to be more efficient with less time on my hands



Haha, I love how this turned into a "should this person rewrite the MCAT?" thread! That's the very question I've asked myself for a little while now, I've swayed between thinking I 100% should not do it again to now being closer to a 50-50. We will see. Thanks all for the replies!

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