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Retaking MCAT in August of application cycle?

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by dancerdoc89, Apr 28, 2012.

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  1. dancerdoc89

    dancerdoc89 Knowledge is Power

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    I've taken the MCAT twice before, and applied this past cycle but didn't get in :(

    I am going for a third try on the MCAT, but I haven't even started studying for it yet...I want to spend the entire summer studying (this way college isn't in the way) then take the test in August. Do you think that's ok, considering I'll be applying for medical school starting in June? I took my second MCAT in August and scored 28N, btw. I know applying early (and being complete early) is a big deal, and I'm wondering if taking an August MCAT as a re-applicant will lead me to the same result as this cycle :scared:

    Thank you :thumbup:
  2. DrHoffy

    DrHoffy Member

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    there are many factors to getting into a medical school. The MCAT, your grades in UG and in the sciences, your Personal statement, reccs, shadowing/volunteer experiences, and your interview.

    Your MCAT is not horrible. The national avg. is kept around 24.

    SO break this down for us...How many schools did you apply to? Did you get any interviews? If you applied to alot and got interviews...can you call those places and see if there is something specific about your app that held you back?

    Did you do well in your Undergrad work? any F/WD that are holding you up?

    What kind of volunteer exp. research, clinical have you gotten?

    If you interviewed...did you feel it went well or did you leave with a sinking feeling?

    What I am trying to get at is that the application process is multifactorial and largely dependant on the applicants you are "competing" against each year. With a 28 N, I don't think that would necc. hold you back unless you were counting on a 30+ MCAT to even up other blights on your application (like bad gpa, or medicore recomendations).

    How did you do on your first MCAT?

    My only concern is that you absolutly have to better on the third attempt...and while it is possible it certainly adds a lot of stress to an already stressful exam. If you go and take it and get a 26 or 27 you have just made yourself less competitive. So maybe there is a better way to make your overall application more competitive other than the MCAT. The adcoms already can see that you can score decently on it.

    Just my thoughts,
    Marcia
  3. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus

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    Applying late is the kiss of death for every applicant. I took an August MCAT (for the first time), scored a 37T and only received two interview invites late in the season (March/April).

    Have you thought about DO schools? A 28 is fairly competitive at the top DO schools.

    Matriculant average is around 30-31. The 10th percentile of all matriculants is a 27. The national average may be 24, but the number that matters is the matriculant average.
  4. DrHoffy

    DrHoffy Member

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    True, the MCAT average has been steadily climbing irregardless of MD or DO.

    And also, to the poster....August is late for the current cycle..meaning if you were to put in your application this June/July (in the next two-three months). However if you retook in August '12 with the intent of applying in 2013 June/July than of course it is fine.

    Based on what you wrote above...if you are putting your app in June, and hoping to start in august '13, just remember that the adcoms will see your first two scores anyways because you have to put your app in early...so by the time the third take gets scored and uploaded they may have already seen your application and other scores. this may or may not matter but it is something to think about. If I remember correctly you can put in the application the date of your pending test...so they might notice that and wait to see how you do. I would hope that you would have interviews by that time though.

    so , in my opinion... a 28N with a overall solid application In EARLY is more promising than holding up an application just to take the MCAT for a third time.
    Hopefully some others will chime in here as well. :)
    Marcia
    M
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  5. cabinbuilder

    cabinbuilder

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    I wouldn't waste your time on another MCAT. Your score is good. Look at that rest of your application and see what may have been a red flag? Maybe your personal statement? Apply on the first day, you should see better results.
  6. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus

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    I respectfully disagree. His score is in the 10th percentile or lower at most schools for accepted students. Also, one or more of his subscores may automatically disqualify his entire application. Most schools that I want to apply to have a hard cutoff at 8 in any section.

    We don't know anything about his GPA either, but even at a 4.0, he only has a 60ish% chance to be accepted. If he was were to bump that score to a 30, his chances would jump to the mid 70s.

    This is assuming he wants to go for an MD. If he's going for a DO, his MCAT is competitive.
  7. dancerdoc89

    dancerdoc89 Knowledge is Power

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    Thanks for everyone's input.

    Wow, and I thought my MCAT was horrible?!

    Ok, here's the lo-down:

    I applied to about 12 schools, no interviews. I got my secondaries in about October-ish...I got some late ones in by December. That could have been my downfall.

    I have called every school requesting feedback, and they either tell me the same-old same-old (you just don't fit our mission) or simply that they can't address applicants individually b/c of the large volume applicants.

    My undergrad work is alright, cGPA 3.6, very rigorous curriculum in the sciences; no F/WD....I plan on doing an SMP this coming year.

    I've done a few months of shadowing and a couple summers of clinical volunteering. I need to get more clinical exposure, which I'll be doing this summer and focusing on more given that I don't retake the MCAT, but I'm still leaning towards retaking it.

    Finally, I want to mention (respectfully) that I see that at least two posters on here are an attending or resident...are you basing your opinions on what is true about applicants today or from when you applied to med school? Please don't be offended, I'm not trying to call you old or anything :D
  8. cabinbuilder

    cabinbuilder

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    It's ok to disagree. However, to take the MCAT in August for the third time thinking you will get a significantly higher score in my opinion is more of a longshot than just applying super early and accepting the score that you have. 60% chance of being accepted are good odds in my book when getting into medical school is a lottery anyway. To go through at this point will rose colored glassed thinking you can take the MCAT 3 times and still get into a super competitive MD program is not logical.

    And for the record, all my comments are in reference to DO because that is the road that I took to be the doctor I am today. So when I say a 28 MCAT is good, that is true on my side of the fence. Applying early and having a great personal statement and an overall good application is what the DO side looks at.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  9. cabinbuilder

    cabinbuilder

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    Wow, and I thought my MCAT was horrible?!

    Ok, here's the lo-down:

    I applied to about 12 schools, no interviews. I got my secondaries in about October-ish...I got some late ones in by December. That could have been my downfall. Way too late

    I have called every school requesting feedback, and they either tell me the same-old same-old (you just don't fit our mission) or simply that they can't address applicants individually b/c of the large volume applicants. Need to apply to at least 20 schools, a good mix, and early

    My undergrad work is alright, cGPA 3.6, very rigorous curriculum in the sciences; no F/WD....I plan on doing an SMP this coming year. Why?

    I've done a few months of shadowing and a couple summers of clinical volunteering. I need to get more clinical exposure, which I'll be doing this summer and focusing on more given that I don't retake the MCAT, but I'm still leaning towards retaking it. I guess it depends on how bad you really want MD behind your name.

    Finally, I want to mention (respectfully) that I see that at least two posters on here are an attending or resident...are you basing your opinions on what is true about applicants today or from when you applied to med school? Please don't be offended, I'm not trying to call you old or anything Yes, I'm old but I am very active mentoring in person and helping students get into medical school so I know what my students have gotten accepted with. But, I don't deal with the MD side ever because I deal more with mothers, underserved, struggling students and am realistic about where they need to apply. However, I was accepted 10 years ago, not 30 and when I started the MCAT scores were 17-28. Mine was 24 (on the third try) so I don't think your 28 is really that bad, it's not the greatest but are you really goning to improve that score on the third try? That's my point. Why go through the agony again when there are other ways to boost your chances, i.e. apply on the first day?.
  10. Americano12

    Americano12

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  11. aerodoc

    aerodoc

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    I got accepted to several places last year (MD class of 2015) so maybe I can help you here, at least with my own personal experience. I agree with cabinbuilder in that your MCAT, while not the greatest, isn't necessarily precluding you from getting interviews. I know plenty of people at my school who have MCATs around that score. Also, as you mentioned, nobody cited your MCAT score as being the problem.

    With that said, I took an August MCAT in 2010 and applied that year. Two things I noticed, first was that you're taking an enormous risk given that you've paid all the money for applications and sent them out and you don't even know what one of the most critical parts of your application is going to be. Second, while I did get interviews obviously, many of them came later in the year (all of them after January) and that was with me filling out secondaries mostly all in October. All my interviews were at schools with lower numbers of applicants (i.e. 3-4000 generally) which made me wonder if the other schools that get 10000 applicants even had a chance to look at my app...

    With all that said, I don't think it's a death sentence to take an August MCAT, obviously it worked out for me. However, I would also caution people to avoid it if possible for the reasons I cited above. In your case I probably wouldn't do it this year. What I would do is go over your personal statement with other people, make sure to turn your secondaries in early, make sure you write good essays for them, etc. Also apply broadly, make sure you apply to your state schools and any other schools you feel you could have ANY connection with whatsoever, which includes state schools in the same region.

    I know it sucks to wait, but last year it didn't sound like you got a fair shake either given how late you turned your secondaries in, and in my opinion it's best to do it right this year, and take the MCAT for the next cycle (if necessary) then just try to throw something together again at the last minute.

    Good Luck!

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