Timing for MCAT

I’m currently a sophomore at a small LAC on the pre-med track. So far gpa is 3.97, and I have all but two pre-med courses complete. I’m not too worried about physics (I’m a math minor). My advisor said I was a good candidate to apply without taking a gap year but if I did I could just strengthen my application. I haven’t had a ton of volunteering but will begin this year. I have shadowed a little and will work in the ER at a trauma center this summer. I also have first authorship in a textbook, and second and third on other papers. Looking for direction on the best timing to take the MCAT. I had planned to go abroad second semester Jr year but that can be adjusted. Thanks in advance to anyone who offers help.

Your research experience is fine, but you’re very light on shadowing and volunteering and other expected ECs. Do your have any non-medical volunteering/community service? What about leadership? One summer of clinical volunteering looks like box- checking. Clinical volunteering, shadowing, community service and leadership are all valued more highly than research when it comes to med school admissions.

Have you taken biochem? Biochem is heavily tested on the MCAT and it’s very inadvisable to take the MCAT without having completed it.

RE: timing. When do you plan to the your MCAT? After you return or while you’re outside the US? Both plans have problems.

It takes 4-6 weeks after your test date to get scores back. AMCAS will not transmit you app to schools without a score. Then once your app is transmitted you have secondaries to write & return. Depending on your test date, this may delay your application until later in the cycle and make you a less attractive candidate. Med schools start sending interview invitations in mid-August.

There’s also the question of how effectively you will prepare for the MCAT while being abroad.

Does your college use a committee letter? If so, will be able to meet the deadlines for submitting materials and having a committee interview?

If you plans to take the MCAT while abroad, please check the availability of test dates and locations. The MCAT has limited non-US test dates and sites.