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When To Take, Prep Courses, Adhd Advice


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Hello! I'm new here so be gentle with me. I don't have many friends to talk to so I thought I could ask you guys. 

 

 

1. I was wondering when I should take the MCATs. I heard from a friend that she's taking it in July because everybody will take it in August and that will result in more competition. I'm a second year student who wants to apply to Canadian schools like UofT, so I'm hoping to take it once this summer and be able to have the option of retaking it next summer in case I don't do as well as I could've. Is this a common choice? Would it look bad? 

 

2. There is a Prep course I was looking at that is about $2300 for 3 months. It is PREP101. Has anybody taken this before and would you recommend it? Would you recommend other prepcourses besides this. I would like to note that I would like to take a prepcourse, and would prefer not to study the MCATS by myself. 

 

3. I've been diagnosed with ADHD and been on vyvanse. It has work wonders for me, and I don't think I need accommodations - but I just wanted to hear overall thoughts of what people with ADHD recommend. Just the intense length of the MCATS might be stressful, but hey, that's everybody! Would med schools be biased (negatively) towards people who have untimed exams? 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this :) 

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Hi potatopeel,

 

The way I understand it is that the MCAT gives you a comparative grade based on other test takers. Whether you take it in June or August technically should not matter too much because of a couple things: there may be reused questions (probably why there's a confidentiality agreement) and the pools are huge and so applicant differences ideally get normalized. The amount of people doesn't make it more competitive. You could easily apply this alternative logic to the system otherwise: "I want to take it in August because June test takers are keeners who don't need to study throughout the whole Summer to do well."

The only difference is how difficult each exam is. If yours is harder than mine was, your grading curve will be different from mine. Notice that they do their absolute best to normalize differences across tests so that everyone is evaluated equally.

About prep companies: I teach for one, doesn't matter which, and I'll give you my honest opinion about the experience:

If you need the motivation to study every day during Summer, this is a good way to keep you motivated and in check. If you're really disciplined and self-reliance, you can do just as well without.

Can't comment on ADHD but I hope I helped with the other two!

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1) I don't think the timing of when you take the MCAT ( July vs. August)  has an impact on a person's score. However, I think taking the MCAT in second year is a good idea. 

 

2)  I did not take a prep course. However, I watched every Khan academy video twice and wrote extensive notes. My  friend took a Princeton review course, and she found it very helpful. I don't know much about prep101, but I know that the quality of instruction is highly depend on the location/city. 

 

3) I don't have ADHD, but the MCAT exam was a long and stressful exam for me. I am not sure how med school looks at applicants who take the exam untimed ( Is that a possibility?)

 

Best of Luck :)

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Hi potatopeel,

 

The way I understand it is that the MCAT gives you a comparative grade based on other test takers. Whether you take it in June or August technically should not matter too much because of a couple things: there may be reused questions (probably why there's a confidentiality agreement) and the pools are huge and so applicant differences ideally get normalized. The amount of people doesn't make it more competitive. You could easily apply this alternative logic to the system otherwise: "I want to take it in August because June test takers are keeners who don't need to study throughout the whole Summer to do well."

The only difference is how difficult each exam is. If yours is harder than mine was, your grading curve will be different from mine. Notice that they do their absolute best to normalize differences across tests so that everyone is evaluated equally.

About prep companies: I teach for one, doesn't matter which, and I'll give you my honest opinion about the experience:

If you need the motivation to study every day during Summer, this is a good way to keep you motivated and in check. If you're really disciplined and self-reliance, you can do just as well without.

Can't comment on ADHD but I hope I helped with the other two!

Thank you for replying! I'm not sure how to reply to your message as I haven't used a forum before, but hope this is alright.. 

You're definitely right about the normalization part. I guess I was worried for nothing! 

 

I have bad discipline as a result of my ADHD. Although I'm on meds, it's sometimes a trainwreck if I focus on the wrong thing. I think I'm going to go with that :))! 

 

Appreciate the response :) 

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1) I don't think the timing of when you take the MCAT ( July vs. August)  has an impact on a person's score. However, I think taking the MCAT in second year is a good idea. 

 

2)  I did not take a prep course. However, I watched every Khan academy video twice and wrote extensive notes. My  friend took a Princeton review course, and she found it very helpful. I don't know much about prep101, but I know that the quality of instruction is highly depend on the location/city. 

 

3) I don't have ADHD, but the MCAT exam was a long and stressful exam for me. I am not sure how med school looks at applicants who take the exam untimed ( Is that a possibility?)

 

Best of Luck :)

Thanks for the reply :)

1. Okay, that's great then because it wouldn't hurt to have a backup plan for next year.

2. I guess it's subjective based on each person's habits. Hopefully the one in toronto will be good :( 

3. I think that it will be marked somewhere so that medschool sees it (depending on the school i guess?) Hoping for someone to be able to answer this question though :) 

 

Thank you so much!! 

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I could be wrong but I highly doubt you will be able to take an untimed exam. Extended time maybe, but untimed?

I second this. Untimed is impossible. You will likely have a little bit of extra time, and MAYBE opportunity for more breaks!

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  • 1 month later...

somewhat related, 

 

If you have an IEP (from the special need department back in high school) for giftedness, do you get extended time for the MCAT if we show them. 

 

*Long stretch but I "think differently", or so the gifted school told me

You would likely need to provide supporting documentation to AAMC for an accommodated MCAT. You need to demonstrate to AAMC that you were able to succeed with accommodations and that they would be necessary for your success when writing the MCAT. If you're in high school, what kind of IEP accommodations did you have for tests/exams? Also, Gifted students arent special need, I have an IEP for giftedness as well but I was never accommodated and quite frankly, it's an advantage. If you have a specific learning disability or related disability, only then can you receive accommodations within accessibility office at your university, this type of accommodation isnt an advantage. Based on your response, it sounds like you arent in university as of yet? Also, I never heard of giftedness being accommodated of additional time because they think differently, this isnt ADHD/LD unless you also have that condition then I would suggest talking to your schools accessibility office. 

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Hello! I'm new here so be gentle with me. I don't have many friends to talk to so I thought I could ask you guys. 

 

 

1. I was wondering when I should take the MCATs. I heard from a friend that she's taking it in July because everybody will take it in August and that will result in more competition. I'm a second year student who wants to apply to Canadian schools like UofT, so I'm hoping to take it once this summer and be able to have the option of retaking it next summer in case I don't do as well as I could've. Is this a common choice? Would it look bad? 

 

2. There is a Prep course I was looking at that is about $2300 for 3 months. It is PREP101. Has anybody taken this before and would you recommend it? Would you recommend other prepcourses besides this. I would like to note that I would like to take a prepcourse, and would prefer not to study the MCATS by myself. 

 

3. I've been diagnosed with ADHD and been on vyvanse. It has work wonders for me, and I don't think I need accommodations - but I just wanted to hear overall thoughts of what people with ADHD recommend. Just the intense length of the MCATS might be stressful, but hey, that's everybody! Would med schools be biased (negatively) towards people who have untimed exams? 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this :)

Great to hear things are working well on vyvanse, My tolerance to medications has really killed the effectiveness of the medication. If you have an ADHD, you would need to apply to aamc with your psychoeducational assessment. Usually, ADHD kids have additional time on tests because of poor working memory, does this accommodation apply to you? If so, I would contact your schools accessibility department to help you in submiting documentation to aamc for an accommodated mcat. untimed exams? I dont think ive heard of this, but perhap some additional time would be possible. I hear the proccess is quite long but seeing as youre serious of medical school, apply, and write the mcat whenever you can. you dont necessarily have to apply to med during your 4th year of undergrad either so there's no rush when you take the mcat, right? 

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