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MSAR - MCAT statistics

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by fas376, Apr 3, 2012.

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  1. fas376

    fas376

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    I just bought the MSAR book and boy is it demoralizing. I'm confused about something, though. Let's take Texas A&M Health Science Center as an example.

    According to their website: For the entering class of 2011, "the class is distinguished by a mean GPA of 3.63 and average total MCAT score of 29." The MSAR states that the median GPA is 3.85! That's a huge difference! I know the medians are sometimes higher or lower than the means, but I thought it would be plus or minus 0.05, not something drastic like 0.22. What gives?

    This book is really helpful, but incredibly humbling. Some schools will list their mean MCAT on their sites as a 29, but the MSAR will list the median as a 33.

    Let me know if anyone has any idea as to how the statistics can be so skewed. Medians of 3.65 vs. 3.85, along with a 29 vs. 33 is a ridiculous difference.
  2. mcloaf

    mcloaf SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    You will probably get more responses if you cross post this in the pre-allo forum, which has many more readers. (You may have already done this, I haven't checked there yet)
  3. SoulinNeed

    SoulinNeed

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    A lot of schools' online data is really outdated, or it may be a matter of matriculants vs. accepted applicants.
  4. fas376

    fas376

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    For A&M, the stats are from the entering class of 2011. For San Antonio, the stats are from the entering class of 2012. There are crazy differences in regards to GPA/MCAT listed on their site vs. MSAR.
  5. fas376

    fas376

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    And even if it WAS a matter of matriculants vs. accepted, how is it possible to jump from 3.85 to 3.63?
  6. MedPR

    MedPR

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    3.85 and 29? Seems like an easy Allo program to get into tbh. It's much easier to get a 3.85 in undergrad than to get a ~33 on the MCAT.
  7. fas376

    fas376

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    The MCAT on the site lists a 29, while the MSAR lists a 31. That's what I was talking about.

    And you think a 3.85 is easy to get? This is why pre meds have such a bad rep.
  8. kryptonian

    kryptonian

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    It may be easy to get a GPA of 3.85 at a small and/or low-tier school but definitely not at large university where grades are based on a curve and more than 65% of life science majors are premeds, many of whom are serious gunners.
  9. MedPR

    MedPR

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    Where did I say "I think it's easy to get a 3.85"? I said I think it's easier to get a 3.85 in undergrad than to get a 33 on the MCAT. Based on the fact that I had a 3.80 through a couple of semesters of upper level bio by barely studying and only averaging a ~34 on the practice AAMCs after working my ass off, I found it easier to manage a good GPA than a good MCAT.

    There's no fluff or easy sections to help boost your score on the MCAT like there are easy classes all throughout undergrad to boost your GPA.

    Perhaps pre-meds have a bad rep because they have poorer reading comprehension than a 10 year old.
  10. misseskwee

    misseskwee OMS-1

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    :thumbup:
  11. fas376

    fas376

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    I was mainly targeting your "seems like a pretty easy program to get into" comment. What a humble thing to say.
  12. chemhead123

    chemhead123

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    "poorer reading comprehension that a 10 year old"

    Best laugh of the day!
  13. SoulinNeed

    SoulinNeed

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    Well, this thread has been completely derailed from an interesting topic.
  14. fas376

    fas376

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    I know. And I still don't know the answer to my question, haha.
  15. Tots

    Tots c/o 2017 Moderator

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    MSAR lists ACCEPTED student's averages. Their website lists matriculated student's averages.
  16. hkm

    hkm

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    If it helps your understanding, mean and median can in fact be very different. For example, if you have five students with these gpa's: 3.8, 3.8, 3.8, 3.7, 3.2 ... the median would be 3.8 but the mean is 3.6. It doesn't take very many students whose gpa was not as strong to bring down the mean.
  17. muhali3

    muhali3

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    There's two things going on here. First, the MSAR lists median MCAT/GPA. Second, it lists this for accepted applicants.

    The websites often list average MCAT/GPA for matriculants.

    This is why you are seeing such a difference.
  18. SoulinNeed

    SoulinNeed

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    Which do you guys think is better to go by? The matriculation data is much more encouraging. Maybe it means I may actually have a chance at some of these schools.
  19. fas376

    fas376

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    You see, I completely understand what you're saying. But here's my predicament. Every pre-med advisor will tell you to only apply to schools where you think you have a chance. I have a 3.65, and I have no idea where I have a chance since these averages are so high. So what do you recommend - basing my school selection based on MSAR Medians or what the schools websites say? Because I have yet to find a school with a median around 3.65. Closest I've seen is 3.75 :(
  20. muhali3

    muhali3

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    Are you sure you have the MSAR? Off the top of my head, there are quite a few schools that have a median GPAs close to or below your GPA. Tulane, Albany, Drexel, Temple, RFU, Jefferson, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Virginia Commonwealth. Even if the median is a bit above your GPA, as long as you are within the 10th to 90th percentile, you still have a shot. Remember that 50% of people who get accepted have GPAs below the median. This is why you need to look at the 10th - 90th percentile range for GPA and see if you fall within it.
  21. fas376

    fas376

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    Haha, yessir. Purchased it online from AAMC's site. I guess I didn't really look at those schools, I'm a Texas resident and would prefer to stay in state, so that's what I was talking about. I actually bought the book to see each individual school requirements to make the application process easier. I accidentally stumbled upon the stats, and that's when I noticed they were all roughly 0.2 higher than what's listed on each school's site. But I guess the matriculant GPA is a bit lower than the accepted median GPA. Didn't think it would be so huge though, you know
  22. muhali3

    muhali3

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    You are only 0.1 GPA point below most of the Texas medical schools. Really not a huge disadvantage. Mitigate that by applying early and hopefully getting a high MCAT score. No need to worry about it, especially as an in-state student. 3.65 is 30-40th percentile at most of the TX schools. So 30-40% of students get accepted with GPAs lower than that. And GPA is only one part of your application, do everything else right and you should get in.
  23. fas376

    fas376

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    Yeah, the median GPAs seem to be higher than the matriculated ones so I think I'm pretty close. Okay, that helps calm my nerves a little bit. Thanks for the encouraging words mate :)
  24. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios

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    The '13-'14 MSAR lists the "median composite MCAT for US accepted applicants" as 32...about 86th percentile according to the '11 MCAT data. https://www.aamc.org/students/download/264234/data/combined11.pdf

    Any ideas on how the 32 median is calculated i.e. is it an inflated figure because of geniuses with a 40 and multiple acceptances?

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