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  • NC Applicant

  • Application cycles: 06/04/2012
  • Demographics: Male, 29
  • Home state: North Carolina
  • Last Active: 11/26/2013
  • Brief Profile:
    I will try to make this profile as detailed as possible to help anyone out that is applying or will be applying in the near future. Hopefully someone will find this profile useful.

    I am a traditional student attending a large public university in North Carolina. I will be graduating in May 2013 with double majors in Biology/Philosophy. I am also the father of an amazing little boy! Best of luck to everyone else that is applying in the 2012-2013 application cycle!

    Letter of Recommendations (LORs)
    - Organic chemistry professor that I TA'ed for (also my instructor in organic chemistry I)
    - Tutor organization supervisor that I've worked under for 2 years
    - Organic chemistry professor that I TA'ed for (also my instructor in an advanced organic chemistry course)
    - Statistics professor who I got to know very well
    - Pre-professional Committee Letter from the university

    MCAT Preparation and Performance

    Kaplan Diagnostic: September 17, 2011
    Score: PS 06 | VR 07 | BS 08
    Composite Score: 21

    Actual Exam: January 28, 2012
    Score: PS 14 | VR 07 | BS 12 | Writing: P
    Composite Score: 33P

    I studied for approximately a month and a half and took the exam in January of my junior year. I wanted to take it early enough so that I had time to retake if I wasn't satisfied with my score. I did not purchase a prep course because I thought they were unnecessary and costly. I was low on cash, but if you have $2,000 to blow on a prep course then you may want to purchase it as the resources that are provided can be helpful. However, take that with a grain of salt as I don't believe you NEED to take one to score well. I know plenty of people who didn't take a prep course and scored well into the 90th percentile. Instead, I used different review books for each section of the exam and will outline them below.

    Physical Sciences (General Chemistry/Physics)
    I used books from a company called The Berkeley Review. These books are ABSOLUTELY gold for the physical sciences section. They explain everything that you need to know and provide tons of practice passages throughout the book which I believe is extremely critical to success on the MCAT. As you can see from my Kaplan diagnostic score, I had a weak background in these subjects and The Berkeley Review brought my score up by 8 points in that one section alone. You can purchase them from The Berkeley Review website at ~$130+shipping for both books. You can purchase the books HERE.

    Another resource that I used for this section were videos from a guy named Chad. I'm an extremely auditory learner so these videos were incredibly helpful in reinforcing material as well as teaching me topics because I hadn't taken physics II yet. In regards to taking the MCAT before you finish your prerequisites, I DO NOT recommend it. It was horrible trying to teach myself an entire semester of physics in a month's time. The videos can be purchased for ~$45 a month and can be found HERE.

    Verbal Reasoning
    This section was definitely my arch nemesis! I started to take practice test around a month into my studying and realized that my verbal score was really inconsistent. I scored a low of 6 to a high of 12 throughout all of my practice test and by this time it was too late to put any hard effort into this section as it is one of the hardest sections to raise. I really do not have any solid advice for this part of the exam but to practice, practice, practice! In retrospect, I should've been studying/practicing for this section two-three months in advance. I recommend getting your hands on an ExamKrackers 101 Passages book and do it from cover to cover. This will allow you to get used to the testing style of the verbal reasoning section and what questions are usually asked. The book is only ~$25 and can be found HERE.

    Biological Sciences (Biology/Organic Chemistry)
    For the biology section I used the ExamKrackers MCAT Biology book. I liked this book because it was concise which allowed me to read through it twice. The book gives you everything that you need to know and doesn't add any superfluous information. I've also looked through the biology books from The Berkeley Review and I felt like they were filled with a massive amount of stuff that you DID NOT need to know for the MCAT. Therefore, I decided to just stick with the ExamKrackers MCAT Biology book which can be purchased for ~$30 HERE.

    Given the fact that I served as a TA in organic for two semesters, I didn't really study that much for the organic portion. The section only composes a relatively small percentage of the MCAT compared to the other topics, so I recommend grabbing a copy of the ExamKrackers MCAT Organic Chemistry and just reading/learning everything in that book. However, don't think that you can slack off on studying organic chemistry because it DOES show up; albeit, more on certain test than others. Having a good background in organic can be the difference of 1-3 points in the biological sciences section depending on how much organic actually shows up. The book can be purchased for ~$20 and can be found HERE. Chad's playlist also has videos on the organic chemistry topics that will be on the MCAT (refer to physical sciences section for Chad's Videos link).

    General Information
    Each of the books that I have provided links to all have practice passages/problems within them. I recommend doing ALL of the practice and reviewing why you got each question right/wrong. Towards the last few weeks of my studying, I started taking full-length practice exams. You can purchase them HERE for $35 a piece. These exams are from the makers of the actual MCAT so they are VERY representative of what you will see on test day. I averaged approximately a 34 on all of these exams combined (there are 8 total) and got a 33 on the real thing. After taking each practice test, you also want to thoroughly review every question and why you got it right/wrong. In my opinion, reviewing the practice test/problems was one of the key components during my studying. It allowed me to assess my mistakes and see which topics I needed to study more.

    Overall, I spent about $500 total on all of my review materials which is a fraction of what a prep course from Kaplan or Princeton would cost. My last piece of advice is to study diligently because what you put into the test is what you will get out. As you can see, through hard work I was able to raise my score from a 21 on my Kaplan diagnostic exam to a 33 on the actual test day.

    Extracurriculars and Activities

    Below is a brief overview of the activities that I included in my AMCAS application.


    Volunteering

    Muscular Dystrophy Association Camp Counselor
    Medical Clinic Assistant Volunteer
    Hospital Patient Escort Volunteer
    Power of One Mentoring Program

    Teaching and Research

    Organic Chemistry Lecture Teaching Assistant
    Academic Peer Tutor
    Physiology Research Assistant

    Honors and Awards

    University Honors Program
    Awards and Scholarships

    Miscellaneous

    Physician Shadowing Experiences
    Student and Honor Societies
    Hip-Hop Dance Team
    The East Carolinian Photographer
    Alternative Spring Break Trip

    Application Timeline

    January 28 - Took MCAT
    February 28 - Received MCAT scores - I'll take it as I don't want to put myself through the brutal studying again

    MAY
    08 - AMCAS receives first transcript
    10 - AMCAS receives second transcript and FAP gets approved
    11 - AMCAS receives individual letter of recommendations from Interfolio
    17 - Submitted material to university's pre-professional committee for committee letter interview

    JUNE
    01 - Committee letter interview
    05 - Submitted primary AMCAS application (09:30 EST)
    07 - AMCAS verified
    29 - Einstein secondary received/submitted

    JULY
    01 - Cornell secondary received
    02 - Mayo fee waiver granted; Cornell secondary submitted; Brody secondary received; Committee letter uploaded to AMCAS
    03 - Mayo LOR request received; Complete at Cornell; Hopkins secondary received
    04 - Miami secondary received
    05 - Hopkins secondary submitted
    06 - Florida Atlantic secondary received; Complete at Mayo
    09 - Cincinnati secondary received/submitted; SUNY Downstate secondary received
    10 - NYU secondary received/submitted; Keck (USC) secondary received/submitted
    11 - Complete at Keck
    12 - Columbia secondary received
    17 - Complete at Einstein
    19 - UCSF secondary received
    22 - Interview invite at Mayo
    23 - UCSF secondary submitted
    24 - Columbia secondary submitted
    26 - University of Rochester secondary received/submitted
    27 - UCLA secondary received
    28 - Mt. Sinai secondary received/submitted
    29 - UCLA secondary submitted
    31 - Complete at Hopkins; Received/submitted UNC secondary; Received/submitted Albany Medical secondary

    AUGUST
    06 - NYMC secondary received/submitted; Complete at Sinai
    08 - Drexel secondary received/submitted
    15 - Complete at Drexel and NYU
    23 - Interview invite at Einstein
    24 - Interview invite at UNC Chapel Hill
    27 - Submitted Brody secondary (FINALLY! -_-)
    28 - Complete/Interview invite at Brody

    SEPTEMBER
    01 - Secondary received from Vanderbilt
    03 - Decided to apply to Wake Forest as well
    11 - UNC Chapel Hill Interview
    18 - Secondary received from Wake
    20 - Mayo Medical School Interview
    27 - Brody School of Medicine Interview

    OCTOBER
    5 - Complete at Wake Forest
    6 - Rejected from UCSF
    15 - Withdrew from Albert Einstein
    19 - Waitlisted at Mayo
    24 - Rejected at Rochester

    APRIL
    2 - Waitlisted at Chapel Hill

    MAY
    --------
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/04/2012

    • Undergraduate college: East Carolina University
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 514
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 130, C/P 132, CARS 123  
    • Overall GPA: 3.95
    • Science GPA: 4.00

    Summary of Application Experience

    Hoping for the best!

    ================================================

    Application Costs
    MCAT review materials: ~$500
    MCAT registration: $245
    Primary AMCAS fee: $238 (21 schools w/ the FAP)

    Applied, Withdrew

    University of Miami
    Vanderbilt University

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Cornell University
    University of California, San Francisco
    Columbia University
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine

    Invited for Interview, Withdrew

    Albert Einstein of Yeshiva University
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Albany Medical College
    Wake Forest University

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    Mayo Medical School
    University of North Carolina

    Accepted

    East Carolina University

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