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Taking MCATs in June - can I still apply?

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by medmedman, May 31, 2011.

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  1. medmedman

    medmedman

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    I took my MCATs last year and didn't do as well as I wanted to. I am planning on taking the MCATs in a couple of weeks. Having said that, I won't get my scores back until mid-July. Would it be ok if I sent in my primary application on AMCAS without my MCAT scores or should I wait until I receive them and send it all in at once?

    Thanks!
  2. PharMed2016

    PharMed2016 Eternal Scholar

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    I would go ahead and send the application so that you can start filling out your secondaries.
  3. Mindscrew

    Mindscrew MS MHA-MPH

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    yes submit now and get verified.
  4. medmedman

    medmedman

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    Thank you so much :D
  5. SisterDisco08

    SisterDisco08

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    IDK...I'm in the same situation, but I'm going to talk to each school i'm applying to individually for their opinions tomorrow....

    The thing is, if you apply with your same old MCAT score, you could get dismissed before you have a chance to update them with your new one...
  6. aloejuice

    aloejuice

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    Hi, I am worrying about the same issue. I see that you got in, did the medical schools tell you that it is okay to submit your old mcat score if you indicate that you will be retaking the mcat after submitting your application?
    thanks so much.
  7. gonnif

    gonnif Director, OldPreMeds.org Lifetime Donor

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    If you apply with an existing MCAT score, even though a retake is planned, the schools can use your already released MCAT score as per 2012 AMCAS instructions

    "Once you release your scores, you cannot "unrelease" them; they will be included in all future AMCAS applications."

    One strategy some students use, though I do not recommend, is submit application to a single school so you get verified and then add other schools after you get score.

    My question for you is what will you do if you do not get an adequately improved score?
  8. augeremt

    augeremt

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    Why don't you recommend this approach?
  9. aspiringdoc09

    aspiringdoc09 M1...Prepared and Ready!

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    I'm interested in knowing why you don't recommend it too. That was my plan because I keep reading on here that they can still dismiss us based on our old score. I thought they were required to wait. I must have skipped that part. I will reread it.
  10. gonnif

    gonnif Director, OldPreMeds.org Lifetime Donor

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    My experience has been when students who come to with this idea often have other issues with their application. I often find one or more of the following situations:

    1) They have a weak overall academic application and are delaying the MCAT in hopes of making a great score with it.

    2) Application can also be in organization, writing, style, etc. In other words not as finely honed and polished as it should be. An application should be a concise, coherent, and compelling narrative showing a pattern of motivation, achievement, and commitment.

    3) For reapplicants who had what would be considered a good application previously have done nothing but wait for an MCAT retake. While there is nothing technically wrong with that, I think having something refreshed in the application showing continued action in motivation and commitment (more volunteering, took a class, etc) goes well with a retake on MCAT.

    4) Even though you have your application verified with a single school, waiting for the MCAT score, adding schools to your verified app, then application get transmitted to school, gets reviewed, etc, it does add delay. And I can't say it enough, apply early and often.

    5) Reapplicants should be aware that many schools have limit on number of times a completed application can be submitted (usually 2 or 3 times). So for some schools on your second application, it is your last chance. Your app should be a s strong as possible.

    6) Students often have not committed to a "rational" decision point on what new MCAT score is cut off. Then they make an "emotional" decision when they get the score. I wont go into the cascade affect this can have (rush to take MCAT again, apply even though weak, etc). I think all students who decide on this "1 school verify" tactical should have detailed plans and decisions on the score prior to getting it back.

    7) I have had a few students report to me that they were rejected on an application with earlier score even though retake date was planned and on app. Was it oversight by school?
    were they generally weak? I dont know but it seems an unnecessary risk

    I take a "risk-avoidance" approach with nontrads and the the younger you are as a reapplicant, the more time you can afford to re-prep and re-apply.

    As I said I often do not recommend this strategy. Also beware I advise primarily nontraditional students and I am a firm believer in making the strongest application possible. For reapplicants that means improving their application and reducing risk with late application or other seemingly administrative items.

    My two cents. You mileage may vary
  11. augeremt

    augeremt

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    Thanks for this reply. I was curious about your thought process.
  12. aspiringdoc09

    aspiringdoc09 M1...Prepared and Ready!

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    Thanks for the advice. I guess I would be considered nontrad reapplicant. I applied in 2009 but my 2nd take for my MCAT was still horrible. I had planned to retake MCAT before June, but I decided to postpone to have a better chance at hitting my target score. I have no intentions on retaking the MCAT anymore, so I need to make it count this time around. Since my initial application, I have done like you mentioned (additional clinical, classes w/ 2nd degree, working full-time at med school). I want to apply early, but at the same time, I don't want to be judged for prior failed MCAT attempts before they see my new package. That's why I am treading slowly and trying to decide what is the best tactic. People on here can be a bit insane about this stuff. I know that I am not the top "sought after" candidate, so I wanted to increase my chances to at least get interviews. I do appreciate what you are saying. That gives me more to think about.
  13. gonnif

    gonnif Director, OldPreMeds.org Lifetime Donor

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    Rule 1: Take a Breath.

    Let me add one more unpleasant fact to your stress. The general perception of adcoms and the rule of thumb for adcoms is that your third MCAT is last one they will consider. So you have to have both a strong MCAT and a strong application, include it being early. I will make the same suggestion I make to most people in your situation: consider NOT applying this cycle, figure out why your do poorly on the MCAT, spend the next year overcoming whatever issue that may b, prep your butt for te MCAT, add to your app in other ways (a class or tow, volunteering, etc) and have a strong, and early app for next season.

    I am guessing that you are still in your 20's and I will say that you spend the rest of life doing medicine another 30 years or more, so waiting another year will not make a difference. So is your goal to get into medical school or to get into medical school quickly?
  14. MedPR

    MedPR

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    There's only one MCAT, and you can take it in July and still submit AMCAS in June.
  15. MedPR

    MedPR

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    I inadvertantly ended up doing this. I graduated in May 2010 and spent the next year doing absolutely nothing because:

    1. I was in denial and thought I would get in somewhere with my horrible GPA/above-average MCAT (but below-average matriculant MCAT).
    2. I was lazy.

    Around December 2011 I stopped lying to myself and accepted that I had to do a ton of work to have a chance at matriculating. I started with doing some research at the med school near me, getting a job in a clinical lab in a top 15 hospital, and also started taking classes (some upper level Bio and some retakes) last summer. Since then I have replaced 16 credits of C-/Cs with As and have taken 11 credits of upper level Bio (As). I also just retook the MCAT on 4/5. Once this semester ends I will start shadowing and volunteering at an urgent care clinic.

    Taking some time off to make sure you really want to do this and to figure out exactly what you need to do is definitely beneficial. Sure it delays starting med school, but in the end it will probably save you time compared to doing random stuff and not really addressing the weak areas in your application.
  16. aspiringdoc09

    aspiringdoc09 M1...Prepared and Ready!

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    I understand what you are saying and will take it into consideration. And yes, I will be 27 this year. Thanks.
  17. DanGee777

    DanGee777

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    Gonnif, I see nothing about this in the 2013 AMCAS instructions. I'm looking on page 71 where they talk about MCAT scores:

    https://www.aamc.org/students/download/182162/data/amcas_instruction_manual.pdf

    I also found nothing similar to what you said in the 2012 AMCAS instructions, but please correct me if I'm wrong:

    https://www.aamc.org/students/download/131750/data/2012amcasinstructionmanual.pdf

    I'm going to be retaking the MCAT (one prior take). Every one of the schools I called (5 schools in total, two of my state schools and 3 private schools) said that if the application was marked with a future test date, then as long as that test date was before their deadline (no MD school accepts later than a September MCAT, and I'm obviously taking it before September), that they would wait on the future score, and not reject an applicant before seeing it. They did say the earlier the new score comes in the better the chances for the applicant, obviously, but I've gotta think that most of the rejections that people have gotten before their most recent score was submitted were probably mistakes.

    In addition, I have learned that the way each individual school examines your past MCAT results varies from school to school. A couple schools still average your MCAT scores (I believe Rush is one, although Loyola-Chicago may be one as well), which is obviously not beneficial for re-takers, with the rest of the schools largely split into four camps: those that look at all scores without qualifications, those that give the most weight to the recent score, those that give the most weight to your best score (good for those whose score decreased on a re-take) and those that claim to only take into account your most recent score. There are also a couple of schools (forgot which) that take the highest subscore from each of your prior exams and add them up to get the MCAT score on which they'll be evaluating you on (this is obviously the most ideal).

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