I’m taking my prerequisites over the course of 3 years at a community college rather than two years, after which I will transfer to finish my bachelors at a 4 year university. I know most schools have a 3 year eligibility for the MCAT score which is where some of the worry comes from in terms of my situation.
By spring 2020 I will have finished my 3rd year at community college and will have all prerequisites completed (including biochemistry which I’m taking online). Ideally I’ll apply in 2021 for medical school. My spring 2020 schedule look relatively light in terms of course load and am wondering if I should take the MCAT spring of 2020, a year before applying, while the prerequisites are more fresh in my mind, I have more time to study, not rushed by applying to school, but this will only allow me to use that MCAT score for two cycles.
Whereas if I took it my junior year at a 4 year I would have a harder load of upper division coursework, not as much time to study, but I would be able to use the MCAT for 3 cycles?
Hey there, RagingBull! I can certainly understand your reasoning here. Both seem like good options with pros/cons for each.
Are you leaning any one way?
I’d ask, too, how are you on all your extracurriculars? (e.g., volunteering, clinical, shadowing, and/or research)? If you’re in a scenario where you still perceive you need more robust extracurricular experiences, then I’d opt for waiting until 2021 to take your MCAT and fulfilling those requirements first while your schedule is lighter and potentially allows for the time commitments needed.
Moreover, if your pre-requisites are already done by the end of your third year, it would seem you have more options going forward to adjust the course load to fit your life later on. For example, do you have to complete everything in the fourth year, or could you delay one or two courses to the summer of 2021 while you apply and wait?
However, if you’re good on all your extracurriculars then I see a strong case for using your Spring 2020 to study and take the exam in 2020 since you potentially have the time on hand to devote to studying thoroughly.