How do you study for your prereqs in a postbac, do well in them, and prepare to be successful on the MCAT? That’s what we’ll talk about today!
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[01:20] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:
“I’m a 26-year-old, former athlete with a stereotypical athlete GPA that needs repairing but little to no science courses. Just trying to get ahead of the curve with a little advice from the OPM seasoned vets. I will be applying to a postbac this semester and I’m wanting to know how I should approach my soon-to-be taken prereqs while still keeping the MCAT in mind. Any study tips or advice would be appreciated more than you know. ”
[01:55] Career Changer Postbac
So this person is looking for a career changer postbac. It’s different than an academic enhancer postbac.
Considering there’s “little to no science” courses, I’m assuming you’re going to take a career changer postbac. This is a postbac for students who haven’t taken the science prereqs. These courses are geared towards preparing you, not only for medical school, but for the MCAT. They start around the summer and fall. They typically run for one to two years.
[02:43] Taking a Glide Year
Most postbac students are going to go into a postbac and take a glide year between their application and when they start medical school. It’s not a gap year, but a glide year. It’s the same thing as a gap year but not really a gap year.
You apply in June of the year before you want to start medical school. For example, you’re starting postbac in August of 2020. You’re going to apply to medical school in June of 2021 and start medical school in August of 2022. So there’s that gap year in there of when you’re applying and when you start medical school. In the postbac world, they call this the glide year.
[03:50] Taking the MCAT
So you’re going to need to take the MCAT in March or April of the year you’re applying. So if you’re starting in 2020 and apply in June of 2021, you’re going to need to take the MCAT in March or April of 2021.
They will specifically say that you have to take the MCAT in April and that’s it. You start in July or August or September. And you’re going to take the MCAT in less than a year. This could be six or seven months depending on when you start.
[04:38] Doable But a Lot of Work
And three or four of those months are very much MCAT prep but you’re also still taking the prereqs for the classes. It is a lot of work.
Postbacs are not easy. So while it’s doable, know that it’s going to be a lot of work. That’s how these postbacs are built. They’re built to give you all of those science courses in one lump sum. And you just crank them out. You also prep for the MCAT. And you also start to get your applications in order.
Don’t expect to have a lot of free time. You have to tell your friends you’re not going to be around. Tell your spouse that they may not be the priority at that moment. The priority is doing well on your postbac and on the MCAT.
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