2K17MD2BE

2+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2017
6
3
Hi all,
Please bear with the length of this I am new to SDN. I am a non-traditional 2018 med school hopeful with 17 days left to my MCAT exam. I am scoring the same consistent low score I have been on my practice tests and on my previous MCAT (took it in 2015, new mcat, score to the left of 500). I would like to think I am pretty set on the rest of the application (Med technologist for 4 years, taught adult med tech classes, shadowed a few docs, currently volunteering at military facility, former athlete, etc). My only hiccup is the MCAT. I have a few questions if anyone would be so kind as to assist me:

1. Is it worth retaking the test with a 495 on the FLs (bear in mind I have only taken 2-I have 9 kaplan and 2 AAMCs left); also will taking all the others practice exams help me in any way if all I have is 17 days?
2. I checked my LizzyM score today (not sure how useful it is), and while I got a few schools on the list i could potentially apply to, is it worth it, applying to med school with that mcat score (in case my second is not too far from my first)?
3. I just read somewhere that the Kaplan FLs are a lot more difficult than the AAMC and MCAT itself and to add 15 points to kaplan's score when gauging one's potential score. How true is that and should I be consoled by that?
4. Does anyone have any tips on what I can do to strengthen my score/studying abilities these last few days?
5. I also wish to find out if anyone knows where I can find out the cutoff mcat date accepted for specific med schools.
6. Would it be detrimental to send in my application and then hope for the best with my next test?

Note: I am a very hardworking student. My low score is (in my opinion) largely based on the fact that i have held one full and one part-time job (both very strenuous and time-consuming) the past 2 years, and am a full time grad student (have been for about 3 semesters now). I quit both jobs last week (financial difficulties made leaving before near impossible), but I am worried 3 weeks will not be enough to raise my score to a desirable number (at this point I am being realistic and aiming for the low 500s). I am determined to become a physician and would consider postponing the test if that is my only option. To this effect I am worried my chances of finding instructors and physicians to write my recommendations are slimming out (graduated from undergrad 4 years ago, community college 7 years ago, and this is my second attempt at med school application). Where do you all think I stand? Any constructive comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!
 

Akela98

2+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2016
173
124
Status
Pre-Medical
You didnt say your GPA so we will just assume it is good.

1. First take a AAMC FL. FL1 is especially accurate in gauging one's score on the real day. You are going to need a score near a 505 to be competitive for DO programs. If you score less than this then postpone. You've already taken the MCAT once, and you really need a retake to be an improvement.
2. I wouldn't bother applying with a <500 score. Doesn't matter if you have a high GPA imo
3. Never heard of this, but usually third party testing materials are tailored for their books/classes. AAMC FL's are the most accurate in determining where you stand.
4. Take AAMC FL, determine what sections you are weak in. Target those by studying high yield material
5. School websites
6. Submitting AMCAS now would leave you with a long verification time and if by chance you receive secondaries, you would be wasting money imo. Take the next year to study intensively and retake the test

I am a very hardworking student. My low score is (in my opinion) largely based on the fact that i have held one full and one part-time job (both very strenuous and time-consuming) the past 2 years, and am a full time grad student (have been for about 3 semesters now). I quit both jobs last week (financial difficulties made leaving before near impossible), but I am worried 3 weeks will not be enough to raise my score to a desirable number (at this point I am being realistic and aiming for the low 500s).
^ Having read this, your mind already seems made up. You should postpone, finish some commitments that you may have. When you have a schedule (such as a solid 2-3 months) that is more time permitting, hit the books. I treated preparing for the MCAT almost like a job.

Since you are a grad student and have held a job, you can always get recommendations from professors or supervisors. If you have been out of undergrad for a while, schools will allow this. Just be sure to check their websites individually to see their LOR requirements
 
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2K17MD2BE

2+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2017
6
3
You didnt say your GPA so we will just assume it is good.

1. First take a AAMC FL. FL1 is especially accurate in gauging one's score on the real day. You are going to need a score near a 505 to be competitive for DO programs. If you score less than this then postpone. You've already taken the MCAT once, and you really need a retake to be an improvement.
2. I wouldn't bother applying with a <500 score. Doesn't matter if you have a high GPA imo
3. Never heard of this, but usually third party testing materials are tailored for their books/classes. AAMC FL's are the most accurate in determining where you stand.
4. Take AAMC FL, determine what sections you are weak in. Target those by studying high yield material
5. School websites
6. Submitting AMCAS now would leave you with a long verification time and if by chance you receive secondaries, you would be wasting money imo. Take the next year to study intensively and retake the test



^ Having read this, your mind already seems made up. You should postpone, finish some commitments that you may have. When you have a schedule (such as a solid 2-3 months) that is more time permitting, hit the books. I treated preparing for the MCAT almost like a job.

Since you are a grad student and have held a job, you can always get recommendations from professors or supervisors. If you have been out of undergrad for a while, schools will allow this. Just be sure to check their websites individually to see their LOR requirements
Thank you for the advice. I will definitely start with the AAMC FL and see how that goes.