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3.49GPA 33MCAT...Should I retake the MCAT?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by HelpingHand, May 28, 2008.

  1. HelpingHand

    HelpingHand Where's my white coat? 5+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2006
    Bellevue, Washington
    Here's my dilemma...I applied to about 8 schools for the entering class of 2008 and I got shut down by all of them. One of the reasons (I believe) is because I submitted all of my secondary applications right at the deadline.

    This year, I hope to apply sooner, but I've registered to take the MCAT on August 15th (only available date close to where I live).

    What do you guys think? I know I can submit the primaries and secondaries before my new MCAT score is published, but I think I read somewhere that the admissions officers don't review your application package until they receive your scores.

    Is it worth waiting for the new MCAT scores to be published around mid-September? I'm confident my new scores will be higher but I can't say by how much...
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  3. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna 7+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    you should be applying as soon as possible and not worried about raising your MCAT...its already a great score. i would submit ASAP. september is waaaay to late, espcially if you are borderline.
  4. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous 7+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2003
    San Diego
    I wouldn't bother retaking the MCAT--your score is high enough. With a ~3.5gpa and 33 MCAT, it should be good enough for you to get into a med school somewhere given you apply to enough places and apply early enough. Retaking the MCAT would only make sense if you were almost certain you could get a 37-38+ and increasing your score that much is pretty difficult when you already have a relatively good score.

    Just apply to several programs (30+) and apply early and you should be fine.

  5. chiloxy

    chiloxy 7+ Year Member

    May 5, 2007
    i really don't understand.... why would you want to rewrite the MCAT if you truly had a 33 ?...r u kidding ? it seems like u have the answer to your problem apply earlier in the coming cycle.
  6. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom Banned Physician 10+ Year Member

    i think 30+ programs is overkill. just apply to programs that you are competitive at (not harvard or johns hopkins, etc)

    is your MCAT somewhat balanced? if you have a 5 in VR i would recommend retaking, but if the scores are somewhat together you should leave it be
  7. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom Banned Physician 10+ Year Member

    also it doesnt hurt to contact the schools that rejected you and ask for advice
  8. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous 7+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2003
    San Diego
    I only suggested 30+ because this is his second time applying and I'm pretty sure not having to apply a third time is pretty high on his priority list. If he was a first time applicant and didn't mind reapplying, I'd probably say 20-25 programs would be sufficient. I think with 30+, his chances of getting in somewhere would be very good.

  9. FullTiltMD

    FullTiltMD Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    you can go ahead and take the mcat if you think you'll do better. but on the amcas, from what i remember it asks whether or not you plan on taking it again. don't say that you are because schools might wait til the score comes in before they begin reviewing your application. if the rest of your application is good and you get the applications in by june or july, you'll definitely get interviews with your current stats. good luck.
  10. tncekm

    tncekm MS-1 2+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    Yeah, I think overkill is a good strategy, personally. Its not THAT much more expensive to do.

    Having said that, to the OP: only applying to 8 schools is very few schools, even if you had a 3.8 with a 35+! Medical schools is very competitive, so you need to apply very broadly.
  11. CmpE

    CmpE 2+ Year Member

    May 8, 2007
    I would suggest only retaking it if you are absolutely certain you can raise your score one point in each section to perhaps a 36. Even then, that score compared to a 33 only marginally improves your application.

    I have the same MCAT score as you, but my scores are well balanced (11-11-11). I do believe that med school adcoms do place more importance on the VR section more than any other.

    If you're just starting to re-study for the August MCAT, raising your score to a 36 is a fairly difficult challenge in a two-month window, but it's completely possible.

    Going through this app process, I have learned that it really is in your best interest to apply early. Medical schools seem very happy to give acceptances early on, while near the end, they get super-conservative on their acceptances as available positions diminish. Also, it seems near the end, you're competing more for ranking on the waiting list more than an actual acceptance.

    I also applied to many many many schools, with my secondaries submitted right at the deadlines. However, I did take extra time editing my personal statement and had fairly good interviews at two schools, at one of which I was fortunate enough to be pulled off the waiting list.

    Did you receive any interviews?
  12. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . . Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    This thread falls under the "what are my chances?" category and is thus being moved to the WAMC subforum. All personal questions about one's chances or school choices should be posted there. Thanks for your understanding. Moving.
  13. thoffen

    thoffen Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    Look at my profile. I had a lower GPA and lower MCAT. Make sure you have long term clinical experience, great LORs, great PS and apply as early as possible. Retaking the MCAT does nothing for you.
  14. abcabc1

    abcabc1 2+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    Please provide the breakdown of your MCAT score by section and we may be able to provide better advice. Same with your overall vs Science GPA.

    From the information provided, you should be able to get into at least one school. Assuming you're a WA resident, apply to UW and a range of private schools. It's hard to provide the 'best' number to apply to, but I'd agree that 8 is not enough.

    Consider applying to: MCW, Drexel, Jefferson, NYMC, GWU, RFUMS, SLU, Loyola, BU, Tufts, Tulane, Albany, Rochester and Georgetown, amongst others.

    There aren't that many private schools that are not super competitive, so it can be a bit of a challenge. This fact tends to make the moderately competitive private schools even more competitive, which doesn't help.
  15. SketchLazy

    SketchLazy 5+ Year Member

    May 16, 2007
    Applying to more than 30 might not do any good. It gets to be too much once you factor in the time it takes to write secondary essays and organize interviews. You'll be lucky if 5 of the schools on your list don't require secondary essays, because most will. They get tiring and repetitive after a certain point too. Taking that into account, fifteen well written secondary essays would be a lot more beneficial than 25 average ones. I think what's most important here is choosing the right schools for you, especially since you are a re-applicant.

    Your MCAT doesn't seem like the problem if you got 9 and above in all sections. Applying on the deadlines and to only 8 schools was probably the kiss of death for you. You should do much better this year with a broader list of schools and applying early.

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