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Official "Should I Retake?" Thread

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by QofQuimica, Jun 14, 2007.

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  1. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    For those of you who are trying to figure out whether you should re-take, this is the thread for you. Post your dilemma here if you want advice from other SDN folks. Please note that you should take the opinions you get from SDN as one source of advice; you would be wise to also consult your premed advisor before making this decision. Here is my personal advice for those considering whether to re-take:

    Definitely DO retake:
    -if you scored below a 24. Some allopathic schools will screen out students with scores lower than 24, which is about the mean score for all test-takers.
    -if you had some kind of major problem during the test that affected your performance (ex. you started puking or running a 102 degree temperature)
    -if you took the test without completing the four pre-reqs (one year each of biology, chemistry, physics, and organic) and/or without studying for it
    -if you left large numbers of questions blank​

    Definitely do NOT retake:
    -if you scored a 30 or better, especially if all of your individual section scores were an 8 or better
    -if your section subscores (the numerical ones) are all good, but you didn't perform well on the writing section (the letter score)


    Gray area-it's not obvious what to do:
    -if you scored 30+ but with one section below an 8
    -if you had some minor nuisances (ex. a noisy test room) during the test and you're not sure if it affected your performance
    -if you studied thoroughly for the test and you scored within the range of your practice exams, but your score is in the middle range (24-29)​
    afnprincess likes this.
  2. memento2007

    memento2007

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    should I retake?
    27L
    VR: 4 :(:(
    PS: 12
    BS: 11
    I don't know what happened with my VR.
    English is my second language, so I don't expect too much for VR. But I think 4 is too low.
    I usually got between 6-8 in my practice tests. Any advice for retake or not??:confused::confused:
  3. korpifp2831

    korpifp2831

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    Ok so to retake or not to retake, I scored a 29M 10VR 9PS and 10BS, Its not a 30 so I'm worried and the M is horrible. My GPA is right on the borderline with a double major in biology and exercise physiology. My EC's are great and I am currently working as an ophthmalic assistant. That's my brief app, should I retake?
  4. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II

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    Absolutely retake.

  5. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II

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    Don't retake. The WS score is meaningless.

  6. igotodavis

    igotodavis moooo

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    5 VR
    14 PS
    11 BS
    --------

    30 Q

    sigh.........retake? probably get screened right out of most schools with that VR score huh?
  7. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    Yeah, the 4 and 5 in VR will have to retake....and you're not going to get much slack for being ESL, either, with scores that low. After all, many ESL's score well. If you look at AAMC data for foreign applicants (for whom it'd be safe to say that the majority probably won't have English as a first language), the average for VR is like a 9. I think the Hispanic average is like 8, and many of those applicants may not have English as their first language either.
  8. Irvin

    Irvin Junior Member

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    3.42 GPA

    First attempt: 29S
    PS 11, V 9, BS 9, S

    Second attempt: 26S
    PS 10, V 8, BS 8, S

    I dropped 1 point in each section. I have no idea why. I was scoring about 30-34 during diags. Recommendations? Don't know if a third time will help.
  9. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    Oh, bummer. Are you hoping for Allo? Because the first attempt and the GPA should give a decent chance at DO, and while the second attempt is not that great, it probably won't put you out of the running in DO either.

    For Allo, you'll probably have to try again....unless you have a state school that's not very selective. Though you might squeeze by Rosalind Franklin or some other schools that tend to be more friendly towards people with lower stats....it's hard to say, but even with the first score, the combo of a lower than average GPA and lower than average MCAT is not very promising, so it'll be a gamble. I'd still apply allo this year though, just apply to reasonable schools.

    Have you thought that test anxiety might be to blame?
  10. max_poWER

    max_poWER

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    I posted on another thread but maybe someone can tell me if this looks bad. The first time I took, I got V6 PS10 BS12 =28N, this round I got V8 PS12 BS10=30Q. Does the drop in bio look bad?
  11. tassadar723

    tassadar723

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    ok so mine is not so bad but I am still very worried.
    PS: 11
    VR: 10
    BS: 10
    WS: M
    I have a 3.62 GPA.
    I only have 6 months of clinical volunteering.
    Do you think I have a shot into getting into medschool with these stats or should I retake the MCAT?
  12. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    I think you'll be fine. That score is not going to send ivy-beleaguered doors flying open, but it won't keep you out of any non top-20 schools either. Your GPA and MCAT are average for a matriculant, so while it's impossible to say "wow, you'll definitely get 5+ interviews," based on these stats alone, you are a lot more likely to get in than not.
  13. badasshairday

    badasshairday Account on Hold

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    max_power. F' no. Keep that. No biggy.

    On the other hand... This is my score.

    PS 12 VR 8 BS 13 WR M Total= 33M

    Man, I am a native english speaker... Advice please. VR and WR are not so good. I mean I understand that it is a good score and at least I got an 8 on the VR. But the 8 VR coupled with the M on the WR makes me feel not too good. I wish i did better on either one of those.

    I can't see myself studying for this test again. Time to look up MDapps.

    jochi! WHY DO I SUCK AT WRITING?
  14. soccerpunk60

    soccerpunk60 Junior Member

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    11/6/10

    i have no shot at any american MD schools with that, right? so retake?
  15. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    Nah....the improvement to an acceptable score in VR is a lot more important. It's unlikely that you would've had much success with your old score, but your new one is a lot better.
  16. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    Yup! The 6 is no good. What was the 6 in?
  17. mttam

    mttam

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    how do schools evaluate retakes? is it the best combined per sitting? or the best from each section? or the most recent?
  18. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    I dunno why you suck, my friend...but you CAN improve on writing (MCAT or regular), it's just a matter of practice and taking lit classes so you see how OTHER people write - the good writers who actually get books published. I still remember when in grade 8 my lit teacher read some really good essay outloud and then said "And now I'm going to read the most horrible essay to have ever landed on my desk, just so you all know how NOT to write..." and proceeded to read mine and RIP it to shreds for 30 minutes....the entire time I had to sit there and act like it wasn't mine...it was horrible.:laugh: And now I've got multiple people telling me to write a book.

    In between, I've read about 100,000 pages and written some 100 essays.:laugh:


    The basic formula is pretty easy....intro, several paragraphs, conclusion. For the MCAT, the intro is explaining the statement (I basically just dumbed mine down by rephrasing it in several ways), the body is showing when the statement does not apply, with the several paragraphs each describing one particular example of this, and the conclusion sums up everything. You don't need to use historical examples or anything to get a high score - I had a T and I only used hypothetical examples in both essays. Length also doesn't matter, I had one short and one very long essay, and since I had a T, both of them must've been considered very good.
  19. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    This varies from school to school...I'd do a search to see how your schools of choice look at it, if nothing comes up, you can always take a close look at their websites or even e-mail the admissions office.
    Chimichica likes this.
  20. bostonhopeful

    bostonhopeful

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    So I originally took the MCAT 3 years ago and I just retook it. I've been doing significant clinical and research work since college. Before I got 11/8/11 (VR, PS, BS) and just found out I got an 11/7/11 on my new retake. My science GPA is a 3.53 and overall is 3.63. Anyone have any advice? The 8 wasn't great, but the 7 sucks. I'm clearly not looking for harvard or anything.
  21. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II

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    This is a toughie. The 8 would be okay, except that it's on the verge of expiring/possibly already expired. So essentially you're stuck with a 7.

    I'd retake, because otherwise you have a solid numbers.

  22. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II

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    I don't think you should retake, unless you're aiming for the elite schools.

    a 3.75 and a 29 should grant you a fat envelope somewhere.

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  23. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    I don't know if I agree here....s/he mentioned only studying for 2 weeks, so this score is obviously NOT a reflection of their true potential.
  24. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II

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    Again, it boils down to the applicant's aspirations. If they're gunning for the top, yes a retake is necessary. If any MD will do, no need to bother.

  25. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    Yes, you are right. But I gotta tell the original poster, you studied for 2 weeks once and should've learned your mistake...if you are going to retake, I'd give yourself more time than just 4 weeks. Most people here have studied for at least 2 months, and 3-4 months seems to be the average. Besides, if you DO have an interest in top schools and are retaking for that reason, it's important to note that many top schools don't have rolling admissions, so it's best to take your time and prepare to the best of your ability rather than rush into things - you are not going to gain anything there by applying early.
  26. tassadar723

    tassadar723

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    Thanks! Hopefully I will get in somewhere.
  27. soccerpunk60

    soccerpunk60 Junior Member

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    verbal

    i got a Q on the writing, but that won't compensate for the 6 in verbal will it?
  28. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    No...they screen for numbers.
  29. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    Stats look fine. What state are you from and what does the rest of your profile look like????? By profile I mean ECs and what not.
  30. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    Again, where are you from in the states? It depends on that and it depends on what tier schools you are trying to get into. Also what are your ECs like?

    Do you think you could do better if you study for a few months and take it in August?
  31. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    Hey I wrote 3 replies to you in the official score thread.

    Also, I want to say that you should stop worrying about it cuz your score is good.

    P.S. I wrote some replies to you about your personal statement.

    Don't retake it.
  32. pompompurin

    pompompurin Junior Member

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    Hi deciding if i should retake

    31Q
    P 10
    V 9
    B 12

    Overall GPA undergrad: 3.23
    Sci GPA: 3.0
    GPA postbacc: 3.87
    EC: research (honors thesis no papers), ER volunteer, volunteer tutor
    ???
    or just go ahead and apply?
    Chimichica likes this.
  33. mcloud0125

    mcloud0125

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    PS: 6 :(
    VR: 12
    BS: 8
    WS: O
    Overall: 26O :confused:

    I have never been any good at chemistry...any advice from those of you who did well on the PS section? I'll have to retake sometime I'm afraid. Not proud of myself at all right now. Any positive feedback would be great. Thanks.
  34. pompompurin

    pompompurin Junior Member

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    Hey sorry to hear about the PS

    When you studied for PS did you go through all the problems you got wrong?
    Were they mostly because of lack of understanding concepts? Calculation errors? The best way is to figure out what you are doing wrong or not fully understanding, go over the concept, do many many problems until you fully understand it, and if you still have a question ask a TA or someone good at chem.
  35. cdance12

    cdance12 a wool cap in the tropics

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    28S
    PS 8
    VR 10
    BS 10

    I have not taken physics in undergrad, only AP. Will this factor in at all?

    Lots of clinical experience (work at a hospital), good leadership and involvement in activities/community service
    GPA: 3.89 cum/3.86 science

    Should I retake? I have to say I didn't study too much for the mcat--probably 40 hrs total. I'm aiming for an MD program (not DO), but not too picky about where.
  36. walkoffhr

    walkoffhr

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    Hey I posted this earlier in the MD thread, figured I'd post it here too, where it belongs.

    I scored a 26 the first time, and I know that I need a higher score to get into an MD school. But here's my problem - My GPA is a 3.5 (3.7 over the last 75 credits), BCMP 3.3, with 3 C's (2 in chem, 1 phy). But I did get A's in genetics, biochem, neurobio, endo, and psychobio. I'm wondering, even if I get, say a 32 on a re-take, do I still even have a chance at MD schools? I'm hesitant to re-take it due to those 3 C's. FL resident, btw.

    Thanks everybody.
  37. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    go ahead and apply.
    Chimichica likes this.
  38. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Fellow Floridian here. :) I think if you can get a 30, you should be fine applying with a 3.5 cume to any of our state schools except maybe UF. I'm not sure how they'll feel with a 26; you should probably ask REL (admissions director from USF). Go to the pre-allo forum and post in the Florida applicants thread. He checks in there and answers questions every now and then. :luck: to you. :)
  39. tassadar723

    tassadar723

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    I'm from California. I'm not aiming for any great schools. I just want to get in somehwere in the US. Unfortunately my ECs aren't that great. I did research for only a quarter and I have only been volunteering at a clinic for about 6 months. My GPA minus freshman year is over a 3.9 though and someone told me they look for positive trends so hopefully that will help me out a bit. Do I have a shot?
  40. tripleg

    tripleg

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    I was bushwacked, bushwacked I say!

    I just took the MCAT on May 11. I got a 32R (12VR, 13BS, 7:(PS). I am just shocked. I was on a second round of antibiotics, and a little thrown off from dealing with my grandfather's death, but that score was so far below any practice scores I had gotten.

    I am looking to apply this year, and I think that I am going to retake the exam. My overall GPA is poor (3.40), but my post-bac GPA is great (3.91). I am from Cali, and plan to apply both to MD and DO schools all over the country. At this point, I think that I want to submit my application as is, but mention in my personal statement the conditions underlying my score and that I will be taking it again. Does anyone have an opinion on whether retaking the exam on August 6 would be too late? Should I try for July 26?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  41. nyct

    nyct

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    I'm trying to decide whether or not to retake...

    If I decide to retake, is it possible to submit the application and then update with newer scores later without having them hold the application until the newer scores arrive?

    I'd like to get the application in ASAP since my scores weren't horrible, but I'd also like to at least have a shot at some better schools by retaking. I really don't think my score would go down since I wasn't as prepared as I know I could be.
  42. harryhedonist

    harryhedonist

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    Stop crying over your fantastic scores everyone you should all be grateful you didn't get this:

    Series Test Date Verbal Reasoning (VR) Physical Sciences (PS) Writing Sample (WS) Biological Sciences (BS) Total * AMCAS Release 37 May 2007 06 08 J 08 22J Y
  43. aimster

    aimster

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    i got a 25 with 9VR 8BS and 8PS. was scoring higher on practice tests. but never broke a 30. i'm nervous if i decide to retake and go lower.

    how much time should i give myself before reraking?
  44. benzene21

    benzene21

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    My score was alright, but I'm not exactly happy with it:

    VS - 9
    PS - 10
    BS - 11

    Overall - 30Q

    the verbal section score is just odd because i usually rock the verbal sections, but for some reason on test day i barely finished the section. i know a 30 isn't horrible but its not great either. practice tests i did score around 30 but the verbal section was always the highest score. figures.

    my gpa is 3.78. i have only one semester of research. many semesters of volunteering and teaching. I am a PA citizen aiming for a PA school. Pitt was my ideal but i've pretty much thrown that out the window.

    what do you all think?
  45. redrabbit

    redrabbit Member

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    I took my MCAT in August was PS10 VR6 BS 9 WS: M 25M
    May 2007 PS11 VR7 BS10 WS: L (OMG) 28L
    Should I retake? I have a 3.4 Science and 3.45 overall (from Cali). I am afraid that my scores will drop of i take it again. I have no idea what happened on the WS. I thought that i had it down. SHould i apply thi year or wait till i finish my master?
  46. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    No on the retake. Apply to Pitt anyway. :luck: to you. :)
  47. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central

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    OK, I don't think you should retake...because VR is quite hard to improve on. You've already improved one point on every section. Also, you had quite a bit of time in between the two administrations, so I'm assuming you studied a lot, and would probably not benefit from retaking this. With VR, you are more likely to drop, which WOULD kill you at this point.

    Your stats right now aren't very seductive, but schools like Rosalind Franklin will not be turned off. Just accept that you won't be staying in Cali or going to any top schools, and I think you'll be fine. I'd also consider DO, because while I think you CAN get into an MD program, it's also quite possible that you won't.
  48. Doublecortin

    Doublecortin

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    OK, here's my deal

    I am not a native speaker, and have been in the country for 10 years. Despite that, I feel like I have mastered the English language (apparently MCAT thinks otherwise . . . :(). I have been reading a great variety of good English writing like crazy for years; I pretty much feel most of the time as though English has become my first language.

    Anyhow, took MCAT the 1st time last April, got a 28N: 10PS, 7VR, 11BS. Was absolutely horrified, petrified, humiliated, depressed. . . :eek:. I was a bio and chem double major in college so I expected above 12 on PS and BS. Yeah

    Studied a lot for the last 6 months. Got my May 16th score: 31M: 11PS, 9 VR, 11 BS.

    I am strongly leaning towards not retaking as the rest of my application is in pretty good shape, but would appreciate any thoughts, comments.

    Thanks, folks!
  49. drharps

    drharps

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    32Q
    14 11 and 7(verbal)
    apparently i write a decent essay but verbal reasoning isnt my thing

    aamc averages were 13/12/6 to 13/12/8
    im guessing getting that 7 will just add to the stereotypical assumptions that engineers cant communicate their ideas

    any thoughts?
  50. NickOICU812

    NickOICU812 Cleaning Cats Since 1983

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    28 M
    8-V 8-P 12-B
    I was wondering if I have a good chance with this score. I will probably re-take since I usually do better on the physics section.

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