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Official "Should I Retake?" Thread

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by QofQuimica, 06.14.07.

  1. Terna

    Terna

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    Hello!
    I am fairly certain that I need to retake, but my main question for SDN is: when? (January, or in April-June?)

    I took the MCAT for the first time on July 24th, and my score was:
    27 P

    10 BS
    10 VR
    7 PS :(

    I have been getting 30s over and over on my practice tests (with a very even distribution) , so I know I can do better.

    Delaware resident (DE has _no_ state schools, but an agreement with Jefferson to save 20 seats for DE residents)
    not a URM
    female

    Some other stats:
    3.6 GPA at a top-20 LAC, 3.45 science GPA
    One more year to go, which could further help my GPA.
    Also I am a double major, English and Biology.


    lots of extracurriculars:
    3 season/year athlete (cross country and track)
    hospice volunteering
    hospital volunteering (3 diff. hospitals, 2 veterinary hospitals)
    orthopedic internship
    Wilderness EMT certified, trying to get an EMT job (?)
    research for 2 summers, and will be 2 years of research in school with a biology honors project

    So, SDN, what are your thoughts? January or spring/summer? My advisor said I shouldn't take it again until I can take 4 straight practice tests getting 34s, 11+ in PS. This seems a little high, but hopefully I can pull it off...

    Thanks for any advice. :D
  2. penguinMD

    penguinMD

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    I too am looking for some advice, if any is available.

    I scored a 34R on the July 24th administration (12 PS 12 BS 10 VR R WR), which I realize is a competitive score. However, I was hoping to apply to mid level schools (USC, NYU, BU, etc). Would this score be insufficient? I have heard that the VR score might be a problem.

    Some background info:
    GPA : 3.61
    Science GPA: 3.75

    I go to a university with an extremely competitive pre-med program (Tufts).

    I would very much appreciate any input, particularly regarding whether my MCAT score is sufficient or not, as I am prepared to retake if necessary. I know I have the capability to score at least a few points higher by raising my VR.

    Thanks!
  3. annawhisky

    annawhisky

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    Hi GujuDoc,

    Thanks for your advice. I was thinking of applying those schools you suggested. I thought about SMP program as well; however, I am not so sure if I can afford (in terms of time) to spend another year "preparing" to get in med school. I am asking myself if I can give up my dream or not. Being an old applicant is difficult :(
  4. Terna

    Terna

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    *bump*
  5. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II

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    A 34 MCAT and a 3.75 GPA. You must be incredibly bright and hard-working, and surely good-looking as well!

    Ego sufficiently stroked?


    Seriously, are you kidding?


  6. envirodoc

    envirodoc

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    27P: 10V, 8PS, 9BS

    AMCAS GPA is 3.4culm, 3.11 bcmp, 3.74 other (note: GPA is low due to 3 failed classes at first school, transfered and graduated with 3.7) Extra currics excellent, lots of leadership, working toward publications...

    Ready to submit (finishing PS) but should I retake in September?
  7. Phosphorus

    Phosphorus MS IV

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    get bent
  8. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. In memory of Riley Jane. Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    Well, I don't know about not taking it until you get four tests over 34, but hitting in the 30s (like you were before the June test) is always a good idea. It sounds like you either tested poorly/got nervous, or just hit a rough patch on that MCAT if your PS was a lot lower than on your practice tests. Just practice more and do your best and take it again. I'd suggest either January or April if you're applying to med school next summer. Take it in whichever month would be better for you (i.e., you would have the most time to study for it). Personally, I think that if you have the option of taking it in April, I think that is a better option than May or June. If you take it in April, you'll have your score back before you submit your primary, and will know exactly where to apply and NOTHING will hold your app up. If you take it in May, you'll probably hold off on submitting your AMCAS until you get your score back, which is ok, but still, April would be better. If you take it in June (like I did), I'd recommend submitting your primary in June (either with just one school selected, or all of them), and not waiting for your score to come out in July before submitting. I can tell you that it was nerve-wracking submitting secondaries while still not knowing how I did on the MCAT, and some schools that screen will put you on hold and not send the secondary out until your scores are in (Loyola, UIC, etc.). Speaking of which, if you take the January MCAT, and the unthinkable happens (i.e., you score lower, or don't manage to bring the PS section up), you could always retake it. If you leave it for the summer when you're applying, you won't have that buffer. Anyway, it sounds like the rest of your app is in order, and you're working on that gpa (which is already pretty solid). I think you'll be successful next cycle (especially if you bring that PS score up a point or two). Good luck!
  9. PreMD86

    PreMD86 'Pre' free!

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    Did you realize that tufts offers early admission to tufts med school?
    I know undergrads at BC, tufts, and BU are able to apply their soph year to tufts med and get accepted as long as they maintain their grades and take the mcat (I believe they have to score over a certain symbolic, rather low score).
  10. chad5871

    chad5871 Moderator Emeritus

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    Seriously, why is this thread no longer a sticky?
  11. Terna

    Terna

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    Thank you so much for this advice! I just wanted to make it clear that, yes, I'm already applying right now. So I too had the unpleasant experience of applying before I really knew exactly where I should be applying. If what you mean is that I should assume I'm not gonna get in this time around, I kinda agree with you.
    I figure that might not be all bad, because if I had to reapply I honestly believe I will have a (semi) killer app, with 3.7+ GPA, 30+ MCAT, maybe a publication, and some EMT experience!

    Thanks again!! :D
  12. penguinMD

    penguinMD

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    Yes, thanks for the heads up though. I'm a senior so it's too late to apply for early decision. On top of that, my grades weren't that fantastic freshman year, and it's taken 2 long years to pull it up.

    To the others: no I'm not joking, I'm just trying to gauge if my score would be competitive enough, I'm not trying to boast or have my ego 'fulfilled' or anything of that sort. I'm sorry if it was interpreted in a different way.
  13. islandgrl

    islandgrl

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    Hi all,

    So I'm thinking about retaking for January in hopes of bringing up my verbal score at least 3 points. I was wondering if anyone out there that retook the MCAT and improved on their score could enlighten me on how to do the same. Did you change the way you studied? Also if anyone has any tips on how to improve my verbal that would be great because I'm at a loss.

    Also how much does being a URM really help in applying to medical school? Does anyone know the typical stats (scores, GPA, etc) for acceptances to the allopathics if you are a URM?

    Thanks!
  14. Decicco

    Decicco

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    Should I retake?

    4.00 GPA (although I see it dropping to about a 3.94 or so by the time I apply).
    26 MCAT (9P 9V 8B).
    Instate with Iowa
    Am a junior and am now taking Physiology, Cellular biology, and genetics
  15. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy

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    Retake if you are set on an allopathic, unless you have extracurrics out the wazoo, try to get atleast a 29
  16. axp107

    axp107 UCLA 09': Italian Pryde

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    retake man.. you're only a junior
    MCAT will definitely hurt you.. you have time to retake and get 30+
    Even a 30-31 with a 4.0 is killer... good luck
  17. InternationaLNK

    InternationaLNK

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    First time: 10 PS, 09 VR, 11 BS (30Q)

    Second time: 13 PS, 08 VR, 10 BS (31 Q)

    Third time: 10 PS, 07 VR, 14 BS (31 O)

    I'm tired of MCAts.. sigh
  18. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    Why did you retake after the second time? Your avatar says internationalLNK so does that mean you are an Int'l student??
  19. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    Retake and if you can maintain that 9 in Verbal that's good but try to focus on bringing the sciences up as they are easier to increase. The extra bio courses will help you there but work on physics/gchm too separately and retake.
  20. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    No offense, but please shut up and get off of here. Really no offense but you have both a great GPA and great MCAT score.
  21. blutie202

    blutie202

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    Hello Everyone!

    Wow..this forum is wonderful. I received a 27R on my July 13th MCAT exam, and am planning on retaking it in January. My breakdown was as follows:
    VR: 8
    PS: 10
    BS: 9

    I desperately need help with verbal. Any books in particular you would suggest I purchase? I am already using a refresher Kaplan course (with all of their materials).

    ALSO: Do you suggest I take Human physiology this semester? I have heard that it really helps Biology, but it is being taught VERY early in the morning, with a horrendous professor. IS it worth the pain and agony to take physiology to prepare for the january exam, or not worth it at all?
    Many thanks!!
  22. J DUB

    J DUB Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor

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    Probably can just read physio. I would take Biochem.
  23. blutie202

    blutie202

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    Can someone please tell me if Physiology is worth taking for RETAKING the MCAT itself? I have a semester to restudy for the exam, and after getting a 9 in the BS, I feel as though Physio. would help me.

    the only thing is..I have a lot of stuff on my plate for this semester as well. Would it be wisest to study for only the MCAT itself or is it best to take a science course during the semester leading up to the MCAT (just so nothing gets lost)??
  24. aaj117

    aaj117

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    I would strongly suggest the exam crackers books/audio cds as review overall, and especially review for VR. I am a very slow reader (dyslexic), and was afraid this would hurt me since the section is so strictly timed. They're method made me realize how much time i really had and finish early on almost every practice test. Although I got an 11 VR on my actual test, I had been getting 13s and 14s while practicing on the AAMC released tests, and think i just got overly-confident. But I only reviewed for about three weeks, while working full time, with exam crackers and it worked well for me.
  25. mmcnam

    mmcnam

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    Need solid advice on this... if I do retake, it won't be for this application cycle and I will probably have to do so without having heard from all of my schools...

    I got a 13 PS, 8 VR, 12 BS and a T in writing. I know this is one of those "definitely don't retake" kinds of things, but my average over 17 seriously-taken practice tests was a 37. In the beginning, I had 33's, 34's etc, but I had hit a running streak where I was getting 38's regularly. The sciences are solid, and with a little practice they can be solid again. But the verbal is abysmal. An 8 was my diagnostic score and I did worse than a 10 in my three months of studying. Moreover, I did not lose my head while taking the real thing. I felt fine - a little hungry/tired - but absolutely fine. So now, I'm wondering, is it worth retaking for at least a 2 pt increase? I have a very high GPA and was told to apply top tier by my pre-med adviser (which I did after my scores peaked out in the high 30's).
  26. mmcnam

    mmcnam

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    I had a very solid understanding of physiology when I took the MCAT. Within a week of studying, I was getting 12+ on every single practice test and never went below that. Any time a physio passage came up, I was solid on it. I got a 12 on the real thing.
  27. vkhullar

    vkhullar

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    Hey guys,

    So I just submitted my primary and doing letters of recommendation now. But I wanted to throw this out there to ask you how good you think my chances are.

    I have a 30 S on the MCAT - 11 9 10 S
    And I have a 3.66 GPA.

    Do you guys think I am good if my apps are completed by the end of September?Please advice?
  28. mmcnam

    mmcnam

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    it's hard to say. your mcat is good for most schools but you should apply widely if you can afford it. i think the 3.66 is a little lower than the average matriculant, but you're also a human being and have other things going on i'm sure so just make yourself unique. by apps, secondaries are the best bet for you. if you mean your amcas, you probably won't be verified by the end of september and if you are, you'll still need another two weeks at least to get your secondaries done and out. are your letters of rec complete? that's what help up my application... good luck.
  29. devang1987

    devang1987

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    these 8s always hurt....

    bs: 11
    ps: 13
    vr: 8
    ws: q

    not looking at good schools here....low-tier are okay...

    we had an info session yesterday and the guy was saying US schools consider MCAT a LOT...even after the interview... i think if i retake i can improve...
  30. cubicu

    cubicu

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    Hi! I took the MCAT on August 9th.

    PS: 9
    VR: 11
    BS: 13
    Q

    It's an okay score but I'm graduating in 2010 so I'm wondering if it'd be worth it to take again since I might take more advanced classes and improve my knowledge and test-taking skills? I seriously don't know. I'd love to stop here but I'd hate to have missed an opportunity to be more competitive.
  31. Quix

    Quix Herr Professor Moderator Emeritus

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    I'll repost this for the "I know I can score higher because I scored higher on practice tests" crowd:

    It's just my $.02, but it *is* a relatively scored exam, and you really *aren't* competing in the same pool in practice exams. Scoring 30+ on the real Beast means that you are in the pool of folks who matriculated to medical school; unless you really tanked a section (most any number I post would be arbitrary, but 9+ isn't "tanking" a section), it's not worth a retake, especially if you have a competitive QPA.
  32. Bonesaw45

    Bonesaw45

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    Hello guys and gals lets do this again,

    Just got my scores back and man o man am I pisssseeeeddd..
    Not really a retake issue but a do you think I'll get in issue, since the last administration I can take is september and some schools aren't taking those scores. SO:

    GPA: 3.88
    MCAT 1 June 15: VR 7 PS 8 WS Q BS 14 29Q
    MCAT 2 August 14: VR 7 PS 10 WS S BS 12 29S

    EC: 1 Year Clinical in Nusing Home Physical Therapy
    1 Year Supplemental Instructor for Physics (Group Paid Tutoring)
    1 Year clinical research 7hr/week (drug use and multi resistance staph infections)
    1 Year Physics Research (Fluid Dynamics and Ecology...kinda wierd combo)
    2 Honors Societys (no point in naming them)
    1 Year Treasurer of AIBS
    1 Week in Dominican Republic doing Clinical treatments for Dermatology


    I've applied to Drexel UMDNJ (Both Regular and Robert Wood Johnson) Tufts Wake Forest Georgetown Boston U University of Maryland and Jefferson. I know G Town and BU are kinda a reach at this point I'm just really concerned with the Jersey School because Im from NJ and the state discount is outstanding. So the question is not should I retake but am I going to have to retake next year? And if someone tells me to keep retaking and they are one of those people who gets a 34 Q and then wants a 44 and asks if they should retake I will strangle them through the internet....that is all.
  33. Pleaseletmein

    Pleaseletmein Hopeful

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    I am applying to LSU and I am wondering if i should retake.

    GPA 3.9
    SGPA 4.0

    MCAT
    VR 7 did not finish reading last passage
    ps 10
    BS 8
    25P

    LSU avg is 8.6 MCAT and 3.6 GPA

    What should I do? Please help!
  34. Aladin

    Aladin

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    MCAT:
    PS= 11
    VR= 8
    BS= 11
    WR= N

    Overall 30N

    GPA: 2.7

    I am a senior planning on graduating in May of 08, my last semester I received a 3.2, and this semester I am soo pumped up to get awesome grades, i am currently enrolled in 20 hours, and during the spring semester I am planning on the same, My goal is to get 3.8 gpa for the next two semesters to end my undergrad career. I really want to apply to an SMP, my dream is going to medschool, and I am real confident I can do real well if i take the MCAT again. I know how to study for it, i know what i did wrong and I am willing to adjust my mistakes, I would like to take the exam on Jan 25th. Should I retake it, or should I not?
  35. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. In memory of Riley Jane. Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    I think you've got a great plan. Keep that upward trend going, get into an SMP, and get good clinical/volunteer experience in the interim. If you're really confident you can do significantly better on the MCAT, I think that you should study for it, but only take it if your practice scores are clearly above a 30 before you take it again. Otherwise, I think your current MCAT score is fine as is, and you shouldn't risk it going down on a retake.
  36. chad5871

    chad5871 Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm not retaking, but I wanted your opinion on my score:

    August 14th
    PS: 9
    VR: 10
    BS: 12
    WS: R
    Total: 31R

    I'm very happy with the composite score, but I'm frankly a little puzzled by the breakdown. How the hell I got a 12 in BS I have no idea. I barely broke a 10 in practice, and my AAMC average was a 9. I was shocked by this huge jump in score! Also, I got a 9 on PS for my diagnostic in June, and I'm surprised to have gotten it on the real deal. The percentile range is about 55-67 for the 9, which is okay. Do you think that the 9 is going to hurt my chances at schools like NYU? My GPA is 3.81 overall (3.72 BCPM).
  37. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. In memory of Riley Jane. Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    Whose opinion? Anyway, I'll bite. I'm not as up on the specific preferences of NYU, but I think that you're definitely not out of the running. Especially if you've got very good ECs and LORS and a great personal statement to match. Just give it your best shot, and if it's really your top choice, send update letters and perhaps even a letter of interest/intent to let them know how much you love them. I've heard of that helping before at some schools (both to get an interview and to get an acceptance). Good luck!
  38. artaxerxes

    artaxerxes Leg Kicker

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    its lower than their average, but I don't know if that constitutes hurt. GPA and EC looks good, so the weak part of your app is is your MCAT, but its not so bad, just a few points below average.
  39. chad5871

    chad5871 Moderator Emeritus

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    Thanks, guys! It's probably my top choice as of right now, so I'm going to give it my best shot. There's no way I wouldn't apply, and hopefully that 12 in BS will help! Thanks again for the responses.
  40. mmcnam

    mmcnam

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    sorry about this, but i'm reposting my thing from before - would really like some thoughts on this!

    I got a 13 PS, 8 VR, 12 BS and a T in writing. I know this is one of those "definitely don't retake" kinds of things, but my average over 17 seriously-taken practice tests was a 37. In the beginning, I had 33's, 34's etc, but I had hit a running streak where I was getting 38's regularly. The sciences are solid, and with a little practice they can be solid again. But the verbal is abysmal. An 8 was my diagnostic score and I did worse than a 10 in my three months of studying. Moreover, I did not lose my head while taking the real thing. I felt fine - a little hungry/tired - but absolutely fine. So now, I'm wondering, is it worth retaking for at least a 2 pt increase? I have a very high GPA and was told to apply top tier by my pre-med adviser (which I did after my scores peaked out in the high 30's). He literally said "Apply to as many of the top 30 schools you can afford and you'll be very pleased about where you are next year." I just didn't think about completely bombing a section.
  41. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Junior Member

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    I can't really tell you what to do, but I can tell you about my very similar experiences. I had a 3.86 cGPA/3.95 BCPM by this summer. I took the MCATs in May and got a 32Q, 7 in verbal, 12 in PS, 13 in BS. My range was usually in 34-37 on AAMC practice tests. I decided to retake solely based on my verbal score and because I still wanted to apply to top tier schools, since I worked so hard on my GPA all these years.. Typically I have scored between 8-10 on verbal, averaged around 9. I never scored below an 8 on practice, so getting a 7 really surprised me. I did rush a lot on the last passage though, so I know where I made a mistake. I took the test again in august and got a 10 in verbal, 13 in PS and BS for a total of 36Q, which is within my normal scoring range. I am really glad I retook, despite having a MCAT above 30 already and can continue my goal of entering a top tier school.

    You said you took 17 practice tests and I am wondering if those included Kaplan practice tests? Because I feel those are greatly inflated and I did not consider them real scores. A score of 90% on a Kaplan BS would probably get you a 15, while that will get you a 12 or 13 on an AAMC test. My Kaplan scores ranged from 36-41, averaging around 38. I think Kaplan's scales are flawed, so if you are retaking, base your decision only on the AAMC cbts (I'm not familiar with the reliability of Princeton or other groups). Also think about how reproducible your results are. For me, my PS range was 12-13 and my BS range was 13-14, so it was unlikely that these scores would drop for me when I retook them. I only had room to improve, and I did by 4 points. Also most schools weigh the most recent scores more heavily too. So keep all these facts in mind when making your decision.

    So I hope you have learned something from my experience. My first score was slightly worse than you scores since I got a 7, which is below the average for verbal. I really felt compelled to retake because I knew this was not representative of what I could do. Many people will say anything above 30 is good, but if you KNOW for sure that you can do better, then by all means retake. But don't delude yourself either. Be honest, analyze your practice results, and see whether you truly have room to improve. Also remember that my experience is just one case. I'm sure others with 30+ scores have gambled, retook, and ended up with lower scores. My experience could just be an exception.
  42. mmcnam

    mmcnam

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    thanks - that's definitely the way i'd like things to go. my only trouble is, i'm applying for 2008 so if i retake it will most definitely count for another cycle. i know i can do better though... you're right about kaplan being screwed up, but i was peaking in that range on the AAMC tests too... when you retook, did it affect your applications or were you testing before the year you applied?
  43. Jess8000

    Jess8000

    Joined:
    06.21.07
    Messages:
    134
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    hey everyone,

    I posted the quote below a while back... I re-took the MCAT august 14th, here's my new score...

    August 2007
    PS:12
    VR:8
    BS: 11
    WS: S
    Total: 31S

    I'm not really happy bcause of that sh*tty VR score, again.

    AMCAS sent my scores out to all the schools I've applied to. Like I said before, I've applied to about 40 schools, all East side, none of them top tier (but all good schools).

    I've also sent out my secondaries and everything, with letters about a couple of days ago. Do you think my chances are ok? Any advice please?

    Thanks!

    (any other info please see below)
  44. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Junior Member

    Joined:
    03.28.05
    Messages:
    288
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I'm applying for 2008 as well and took the MCAT this year, so I don't think it will affect my application. I noted on my primary AMCAS that I would be taking a second MCAT in august and I have received a secondary from practically every school I applied (with my old MCAT). Only Wake Forest so far is witholding my secondary pending my new MCAT.

    The only next test is in January, so those scores won't help with this cycle. If you have your heart set on a top tier school, then you should wait and do something with the extra year. But really, if you want to get into any medical school, then I say just go with what you got. I applied broadly (30 schools) because of my 7 in verbal, got lots of secondaries. I'm sure you will get offers of admissions with your scores easily, just maybe not where you originally wanted to go.
  45. devang1987

    devang1987

    Joined:
    02.14.07
    Messages:
    37
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Sorry I have to post this again.....

    Aug 9th

    VR: 8
    PS: 13
    BS: 11
    WS: Q

    32Q

    Engineering Science (Biomedical Engineering), U of Toronto, CGPA: 3.53

    Those are the numbers.....If VR was a 9 I would never think about retaking. My practice VR score was 6-8 and I got an 8 which is good that way. But if I spend more time in prepping and if I can make my practice scores 10s.....I think I can improve.

    Since the day I wrote, I had been scared about an 8....if 7 retake, if 9 don't retake...but 8!
  46. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Junior Member

    Joined:
    03.28.05
    Messages:
    288
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Improving your verbal by 1 point won't be a big difference, and considering that you scored at the top of your range suggests to me that you should keep your scores.

    Do you plan on applying to western ontario or queens? Because you then need a 10 to make their cutoffs, unless they lower them by the time they apply. Improving by 2 points on verbal is fairly hard.
  47. utahjazz

    utahjazz

    Joined:
    06.08.06
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    CA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member

    Great job Chad! I was wondering what you got... I had my fingers crossed that you would do well.
  48. Jess8000

    Jess8000

    Joined:
    06.21.07
    Messages:
    134
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    SDN 2+ Year Member
  49. axp107

    axp107 UCLA 09': Italian Pryde

    Joined:
    12.25.06
    Messages:
    951
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    PS: 10
    VR: 9
    BS: 10

    29Q

    GPA: 3.6
    Science GPA: 3.7

    Currently a junior... I'm planning to retake in January... simply b/c my practices ranged anywhere between 31 - 37 ... more on the lower side... but I still need a 30+

    When would you suggest I retake? I'm thinking January
  50. ttipton7

    ttipton7

    Joined:
    09.19.07
    Messages:
    5
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    8VR
    8PS
    10BS
    Total: 26M, GPA=4.00, volunteer and hospital work experience...took exam August 20, 2007 and was taking 11 hours of classes over the summer semester while studying for the MCAT, so I know i could have done better but I REALLY want to be in the Fall Medical School class of 2008!!!!! WHAT DO I DO???PLEASE HELP!!!

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