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30 MCAT, 3.8 GPA, hoping for MD (MA resident)

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SkipJunior

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As long as you apply early, broadly, and smartly...you have a good chance of being accepted to a MD school. That's more than can be said for a lot of applicants who come here looking for advice so be happy about that.

You should submit your AMCAS in early June 2015. Start pre-writing your secondaries in June and try to submit all your secondaries by July 31 2015. Apply to at least 12 schools though preferably you should apply to 15-18, just to be on the safe side. When I say apply I mean submitting both primary and secondary applications.

I think you do have a shot at UMass though I will let others on SDN answer how strong of a shot you have at that school. You should definitely apply to mostly new and low-tier MD schools since your MCAT is below average for MD matriculants. Here are some of those schools:

1. Hofstra- Northshore
2. Western Michigan
3. Drexel
4. Jefferson
5. Creighton
6. Albany
7. Virginia Commonwealth
8. Rosalind Franklin
9. Tulane
10. Loyola
11. Oakland University William Beaumont

I'm sure others in SDN will chime in with their suggestions too. Make sure your PS is polished and appealing. Make sure your LORs are strong.
 

Faha

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In addition to SkipJunior's schools you could apply to Quinnipiac, New York Medical College, Temple, Commonwealth (PA), St. Louis and Vermont. Tufts and BU are also worth applying to since MA residents are accepted at a significantly higher rate than non residents.
 

DeathandTaxes

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Thanks for the input. Does anyone have comments about retaking the MCAT?

I have scored 32-33 average on my FL's, with the range from 31-35 (I got a 31 on AAMC 11, and 35 on 10).
My Verbal scores have mostly been 10's with one 11, one 9 and one 8. I've used up all available resources however (such as Princeton Hyperlearning, and Examkrackers) the first time around. I could use LSAT or GRE material, however? Could that help me?

For an ORM, does anyone think scoring 2 or 3 points higher would significantly help me? I'm sure I can write a good Personal Statement (the interview on the other hand, I'm not sure about) Ideally, I'd like to go to UMass for financial reasons (as opposed to a low-tier private school). Or would it be better to focus on other areas?

If I retake it, I would really only have Winter Break to study for the January 16th MCAT. That said, I have already taken it once... so this will be review (for the second time I suppose?)

Any help appreciated.
 

gyngyn

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    I have already taken it once... so this will be review (for the second time I suppose?)
    .
    This is a point that re-takers seem to forget. We know this too! We know that you have seen a version of the test, become accustomed to the test site and had a chance to review for the next try. The advantages you have in the re-take means that you are expected to get a much higher score compared to those who lacked these advantages.

    Generally speaking, if you get a score that is consistent with success, develop a strategy that accommodates that score and apply.
     
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    DeathandTaxes

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    Thanks for replying. As a very liberal artsy student, I'm disappointed with my score in verbal. English is also a native language. But at the same time, I can't say I'm very confident I can raise it up significantly. I've gotten mostly 10's on my FL's, but the problem is that I can't see what I did wrong on test day so I feel as if I retook it, I'd be going in with the same conditions. Would retaking scoring 32 not make much of a difference then? Would I be better suited toward something else this semester outside of score improvements?


    On another note, does anyone have comments about my lack of research experience? Would this be okay if I apply to primary-care centered schools? I think my application is especially strong in volunteering experiences, and it plays a very strong part of my life and also my motivations for pursuing medicine. But do medical schools want students who are well rounded in both volunteering AND research experiences? Or could having this 'focus' help me stand out a little more?
     
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    DoctorSynthesis

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    As long as you apply early, broadly, and smartly...you have a good chance of being accepted to a MD school. That's more than can be said for a lot of applicants who come here looking for advice so be happy about that.

    You should submit your AMCAS in early June 2015. Start pre-writing your secondaries in June and try to submit all your secondaries by July 31 2015. Apply to at least 12 schools though preferably you should apply to 15-18, just to be on the safe side. When I say apply I mean submitting both primary and secondary applications.

    I think you do have a shot at UMass though I will let others on SDN answer how strong of a shot you have at that school. You should definitely apply to mostly new and low-tier MD schools since your MCAT is below average for MD matriculants. Here are some of those schools:

    1. Hofstra- Northshore
    2. Western Michigan
    3. Drexel
    4. Jefferson
    5. Creighton
    6. Albany
    7. Virginia Commonwealth
    8. Rosalind Franklin
    9. Tulane
    10. Loyola
    11. Oakland University William Beaumont

    I'm sure others in SDN will chime in with their suggestions too. Make sure your PS is polished and appealing. Make sure your LORs are strong.

    I don't think hofstra and Jefferson are low tier.
     

    DoctorSynthesis

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    I included hofstra-northshore because it's a new school. I have heard from several sources that jefferson is low tier.

    Hofstra is new but they are high stat still. Lots of people want to stay in this area. (33 average MCAT)

    Jefferson might be low tier "whatever that means" but its not easy to get into.
     
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    DeathandTaxes

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    Does anyone have input about getting into UMass Medical?
     

    DeathandTaxes

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    My reading of the MSAR indicates that about 40 of their matriculants had scores like yours (out of 1002 IS applicants).

    Very much appreciate the wisdom, gyngyn. But to clarify, you mean to say out of 125 matriculants instead of applicants, right?
    This would mean that my numbers would qualify me for a position, but it's up to more subjective things and the interview that mainly decides whether I get in, right?
     

    gyngyn

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    Very much appreciate the wisdom, gyngyn. But to clarify, you mean to say out of 125 matriculants instead of applicants, right?
    This would mean that my numbers would qualify me for a position, but it's up to more subjective things and the interview that mainly decides whether I get in, right?
    We don't know how many IS applicants with your scores were interviewed, only the number of matriculants (about 40).
    Generally speaking, lower stat applicants have a compelling reason to be considered, though. MA only matriculates 17.8% of its IS applicants (almost as bad as CA at 15.6%!).
     

    DeathandTaxes

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    We don't know how many IS applicants with your scores were interviewed, only the number of matriculants (about 40).
    Generally speaking, lower stat applicants have a compelling reason to be considered, though. MA only matriculates 17.8% of its IS applicants (almost as bad as CA at 15.6%!).

    That's unfortunate to hear. But changing the topics a little, one of my advisors told me that if I retook the MCAT and got a more balanced score (11,10,11) perhaps, then that could help me. Do you think that makes the benefit of retaking worth the investment?
     

    MrChance2

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    I just doubt a 2 pt verbal increase even if you get it will increase your % chance at one school very much. I would probably ask UMass directly (and try to talk to someone who actually knows). What I would guess is they accept something like 30% of people with your stats and 40% if you increase your verbal score 2 points. You should get in somewhere and I think will have a few good options. Your 12 on the bio section I think will outshine your OK scores in physics and verbal, I'm not sure an MCAT retake is the best use of your time necessarily and w/ 6 mo of verbal study before your test there is nothing that says it will definitely go up with a retake.
     
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    gyngyn

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    That's unfortunate to hear. But changing the topics a little, one of my advisors told me that if I retook the MCAT and got a more balanced score (11,10,11) perhaps, then that could help me. Do you think that's accurate, or would schools be willing to overlook an 8 in verbal for other things?
    I do not recommend re-taking an MCAT consistent with success. Most re-takers get scores that do not help them. Sometimes they are hurt, badly. There is a reporting bias on SDN for those who do score much better.
    As long as you were healthy and scored within your practice range, the odds that a re-take will outweigh the opportunity cost are small.

    What you lack in MCAT points can easily be accommodated by strategy as long as you are also a good interviewee.
     
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    Goro

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    I wish SDNers would pay heed to these very wise words.


    I do not recommend re-taking an MCAT consistent with success. Most re-takers get scores that do not help them. Sometimes they are hurt, badly. There is a reporting bias on SDN for those who do score much better.
    As long as you were healthy and scored within your practice range, the odds that a re-take will outweigh the opportunity cost are small.

    What you lack in MCAT points can easily be accommodated by strategy as long as you are also a good interviewee.
     
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    DeathandTaxes

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    Sorry to bring back what should be a case closed:

    I got an email ftom an adcom that told me that it'd be advisable to retake the MCAT with hopefully a higher score in verbal - she said it'd make me more competitive
    My practice test scores have been:

    4: 11/11/12 34

    5: 10/12/11 33

    11: 12/11/10 33

    7: 12/11/11 34

    8: 12/10/11 33

    9: 12/9/11 31

    10: 13/9/13 35

    Is it foolish to get hung over by one school if it's my preferred school? I honestly can't tell whether I'd be able to do as well as I did on the practice tests, because the real verbal seemed a lot harder than the practices in my opinion.
     
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    DeathandTaxes

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    I ended up not retaking the MCAT and so far have received 4 interviews, 3 acceptances, 1 pending.

    30 is good enough guys! SO GLAD I didn't retake it.

    My advice for anyone reading this and looking to get accepted:

    From what I've learned doing interviews, fit and how you present yourself is what gets you through the doors. As long as your stats are in the ballpark, it comes down to your personality, your motivations and drive for medicine, desire to help others, etc.

    Another piece of advice would be to make sure that whatever you do, it's genuine. Sure you can do things to "check off" the box. I started volunteering in a hospital because I felt I needed more clinical experience, but that didn't stop me from volunteering for other causes I believed in.

    If you do these things, interviews will be VERY easy. Most of them are super standard, and ask you to talk about your extracurriculars. If you do them for the right reasons, these are the easiest questions you can ask for.

    Next, creating a school list is VERY important. It's not just about getting numbers to match, but much more about how well you fit their mission. Dont be hesitant to apply to an OoS public school just because the probability is stacked against you. If you have a legitimate reason to see yourself as fitting their mission, it's worth a shot. You really need to research this yourself.
     
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