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I think your EC's are on the weak side but you have lots of time to improve. It's great that you are thinking about this early. You are right about quality over quantity so don't worry too much about doing stuff just to fill more entries. You can show quality but showing progression in the EC's that you are currently doing. For example, the research assistant activity may lead to abstracts/presentation/publications. You can even take on more leadership roles in your current activities (i.e. leadership position in the student groups that organize open house events or a more senior volunteer role at the hospital/retirement home). Being a general volunteer is great but so many premeds tend to do the same things (i.e. being a hospital volunteer - showing up for a 3 hour shift once a week won't make/break your application). You need to find ways to differentiate yourself through unique activities that interest you or by showing true commitment/involvement in the ones you are currently involved with. With all this being said, GPA is king. So don't take on too much at the expense of your grades. 

In terms of the MCAT, take it when you feel comfortable and in the year you plan on applying. Many take it after 2nd year so they can apply while in 3rd year. I would also recommend that you don't take both orgo and physics while doing full-time research in the summer. Like i said, you need to be more committed in your activities and for research that often requires a lot of work/time commitment. I would suggest you take one course if you must. 

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On August 15, 2017 at 11:22 AM, itsmemario said:

I think your EC's are on the weak side but you have lots of time to improve. It's great that you are thinking about this early. You are right about quality over quantity so don't worry too much about doing stuff just to fill more entries. You can show quality but showing progression in the EC's that you are currently doing. For example, the research assistant activity may lead to abstracts/presentation/publications. You can even take on more leadership roles in your current activities (i.e. leadership position in the student groups that organize open house events or a more senior volunteer role at the hospital/retirement home). Being a general volunteer is great but so many premeds tend to do the same things (i.e. being a hospital volunteer - showing up for a 3 hour shift once a week won't make/break your application). You need to find ways to differentiate yourself through unique activities that interest you or by showing true commitment/involvement in the ones you are currently involved with. With all this being said, GPA is king. So don't take on too much at the expense of your grades. 

In terms of the MCAT, take it when you feel comfortable and in the year you plan on applying. Many take it after 2nd year so they can apply while in 3rd year. I would also recommend that you don't take both orgo and physics while doing full-time research in the summer. Like i said, you need to be more committed in your activities and for research that often requires a lot of work/time commitment. I would suggest you take one course if you must. 

Thanks for your reply! You mentioned that my EC's are on the weak side and I appreciate the honest feedback. I was just wondering what ECs would be considered strong or impressive as a first year student?

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