Oct 2, 2014
8
1
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Pre-Medical
Hey guys! I'm new to SDN, I appreciate any and all constructive advice! Thanks in advance!

I am a senior attending a top 30 undergrad school, attempting to apply for the 2016 cycle. I just got my MCAT scores this week: 33 Total (12PS, 10V, 11BS) and I am wondering if I need to retake. My science GPA is low because of family issues and my distraction with everything going on at home while I am away at school. I think I have pretty strong reasons that can explain why my GPA has dropped (I had all As freshman year in G. Chem I&II, Calc I&II, Introductory Biology courses). My lowest grade is a C+ in Physics that I got last semester. Like I said, things have been rough personally, I think I show that I am decently capable in the sciences since my two highest MCAT subscores are in the sciences. However, I'd like your opinions on this. At this point, the highest I can boost my science GPA by the end of this year is 3.5, which I think is possible to do. Bottom line: should I retake MCAT? (I've heard that improving a score from 30 or higher is an uphill battle, plus I really don't want to take the new MCAT - it looked disastrous from the trial section sneak peek).

ECs:
1) ~200 hours volunteering in a general hospital + long term care center for children with special needs over my past 3 years in college
2) summer after freshman yr: office assistant/shadowing at pediatrician office summer after freshman year
3) summer after sophomore yr: collected data and wrote clinical research paper (not yet published). I wrote the whole paper without help, but I don't know if I will be first author yet (doctor who performed procedures might)
4) summer after junior yr: worked at a doctor's office as a technician. Observed procedures, performed tests on patients, took patient histories, interacted with patients and families, reassured patients, explained procedures. Overall a wonderful experience that further confirmed my passion to be a doctor.
5) work on my school's literary/arts magazine for past 3 years. I have a leadership role that involves a lot of responsibility

I am a NJ resident and would be SO SO SO happy to go to NJMS or RWJMS!!

Thanks again for taking the time to look at this - I appreciate any and all help!
 
Mar 26, 2013
18
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I'd also agree not to retake your MCAT unless you can think you can do at least three points better. But its also importnat to consider your score can go down as well. A 33 is a competitive score for most middle tier schools and rather than focusing on your MCAT, you can put all that energy into getting that 4.0 both semesters and into ECs.
 
OP
P
Oct 2, 2014
8
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you @bumpbumped and @Sir T ! I appreciate the feedback. @gyngyn b/c I am just starting this process, I am unsure as to where I should apply. Like I said above, I do want to apply to NJMS and RWJMS. I'm also looking at Wake Forest and the Jesuit medical schools (Creighton, Georgetown, SLU, and Loyola). Beyond this, I am at a loss. I plan on buying access to the MSAR soon to get a better idea. Do you have any suggestions off the top of your head?
 
Mar 18, 2013
85
94
Status
Pre-Medical
My stats are similar to yours and I'm also from NJ. I'm applying this cycle. I think for people with our stats, it's especially important to find schools whose missions parallel our experiences. Ex: You might try Rochester because they're liberal artsy and you are doing the literary/art thing.

If you have experience with the underserved or are from the south Jersey area, definitely apply to Cooper.
 

Faha

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Do not retake the MCAT and instead focus on increasing your GPA. In addition to the 3 New Jersey schools the 4 Jesuit schools and Wake Forest are good choices. Other schools that would be good with your stats include Quinnipiac, Hofstra, New York Medical College, Albany, Commonwealth (PA), Penn State, Drexel, Temple, Jefferson, GW, Oakland Beaumont, Western Michigan and Rosalind Franklin.
 

elgauchotejano

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DON'T RETAKE; that's an amazing score!

I'm sure that you can find somewhere decent for a school; try the MSAR to compare your stats. As for schools I can suggest at the top of my head and basing off your cGPA/MCAT, I would say that your slightly competitive for Tulane and NYMC might be a reach, and Loma Linda (note religious background is preferred) is between a match and reach.

Have you contemplated DO?
 
OP
P
Oct 2, 2014
8
1
Status
Pre-Medical
My stats are similar to yours and I'm also from NJ. I'm applying this cycle. I think for people with our stats, it's especially important to find schools whose missions parallel our experiences. Ex: You might try Rochester because they're liberal artsy and you are doing the literary/art thing.

If you have experience with the underserved or are from the south Jersey area, definitely apply to Cooper.
Nice to hear from a fellow NJ resident! Thanks for your advice on Rochester. They weren't even on my radar to be honest - so thank you very much for that suggestion!
 
OP
P
Oct 2, 2014
8
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Do not retake the MCAT and instead focus on increasing your GPA. In addition to the 3 New Jersey schools the 4 Jesuit schools and Wake Forest are good choices. Other schools that would be good with your stats include Quinnipiac, Hofstra, New York Medical College, Albany, Commonwealth (PA), Penn State, Drexel, Temple, Jefferson, GW, Oakland Beaumont, Western Michigan and Rosalind Franklin.
Wow! That's a very comprehensive list, thank you very much for your suggestions. These all look great. I'm getting excited to apply now (rather than my previous extreme anxiety). It seems like I have more options than I previously thought!
 
OP
P
Oct 2, 2014
8
1
Status
Pre-Medical
DON'T RETAKE; that's an amazing score!

I'm sure that you can find somewhere decent for a school; try the MSAR to compare your stats. As for schools I can suggest at the top of my head and basing off your cGPA/MCAT, I would say that your slightly competitive for Tulane and NYMC might be a reach, and Loma Linda (note religious background is preferred) is between a match and reach.

Have you contemplated DO?
Thank you! So excited now that you're all saying to move on from MCAT. That's truly a beast of a test. I'm definitely going to purchase access to the MSAR. I will add those to my list, thanks! Loma Linda is a bit far for my interests. I'm trying to say near home to save as much as I can on money (cut down on travel expenses and possibly live at home if I can) but I appreciate the suggestion!
 
OP
P
Oct 2, 2014
8
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Does anyone think it is worth it to add a reach school like Brown to my list? I know they have a heavy bias toward their PLME undergrads. However, I've been really attracted to some of things mentioned in their mission statements and blurbs I've read online. I feel like I could really fit in there with the patient population and the class as a whole. I guess what I'm asking is, do you think its worth it to spend the money with my stats? Also, is there a guideline/breakdown for how many reach/match/safety schools one should apply to? Thanks!
 
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@parisg If you have enough safeties in your list, you can definitely add Brown. However, the chance of you getting an acceptance to Brown with your stats is very slim.
 

elgauchotejano

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Thank you! So excited now that you're all saying to move on from MCAT. That's truly a beast of a test. I'm definitely going to purchase access to the MSAR. I will add those to my list, thanks! Loma Linda is a bit far for my interests. I'm trying to say near home to save as much as I can on money (cut down on travel expenses and possibly live at home if I can) but I appreciate the suggestion!
The MSAR is the most accurate data base you can have unless individual schools state their stats. Brown is almost impossible for you because you might get screened out with your Science grade. but it doesn't hurt to try if $100 isn't a big deal to you. apply broadly OP and hope for the best
 

user3

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Thank you! So excited now that you're all saying to move on from MCAT. That's truly a beast of a test. I'm definitely going to purchase access to the MSAR. I will add those to my list, thanks! Loma Linda is a bit far for my interests. I'm trying to say near home to save as much as I can on money (cut down on travel expenses and possibly live at home if I can) but I appreciate the suggestion!
Consider RowanSOM (DO) as a backup.
 
OP
P
Oct 2, 2014
8
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi guys, update: So, in conjunction with my pre med advisers, I've decided to apply for a SMP for the upcoming September. My current science GPA is 3.4 and will hopefully rise as I complete my last undergrad semester. Just wondering if anyone knows how the SMP grades are evaluated when applying to med school. Does that GPA get thrown in with undergrad in some mathematical calculation? Or are they evaluated separately. Does doing really really well in an SMP boost me up considerably? Or just enough to get into a low to mid range medical school?
 

Goro

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They get calculated together for your cGPA, but a gGPA or pbGPA will be visible as well.
Just wondering if anyone knows how the SMP grades are evaluated when applying to med school. Does that GPA get thrown in with undergrad in some mathematical calculation? Or are they evaluated separately.

Yes. There are a number of MD schools that reward reinvention, as long as you ace the SMP and MCAT (like, 33+). Based upon posts here, these include state schools, Duke, Vanderbilt, U Miami, Case, BU, Tufts, Albany, and Drexel.

But you're competitive now for any DO program.
Does doing really really well in an SMP boost me up considerably? Or just enough to get into a low to mid range medical school?