May 8, 2014
59
37
Status
Pre-Medical
The current situation:

I got my MCAT scores back and I'm sitting at 10P, 12V, and 11B.

I know that's a decent score for many, but compared to my practice scores (30-diag, 32, 31, 35, 39, 36, 39, 36, 36, 36, 34), it was quite a disappointment for me. The main reason why I didn't do so well was because I wasn't used to the way the questions were numbered on the actual exam so thought I had fewer passages remaining than I did!

SO, here is my dilemma:

I'm in second year right now. Part of my original plan was to apply to top tier American schools since my GPA (3.9) and extracurriculars are quite competitive, but with this MCAT score, I'm not so sure that's possible anymore! FYI I'm actually a Canadian student hoping to study and practice in the States, but med school tuition in the US is just so high, the only way I could rationalize it was by going to a top tier school in a good location (i.e. warm weather!).

My backup plan was to retake the current exam in January, but I just checked, and all the spots are now filled (Shame I didn't sign up earlier - this whole MCAT thing was just getting too costly!). :(

So I guess my question is, is it worth it to take the new MCAT in June 2015 or should I just suck it up and apply to lower tier schools and consider staying in Canada for med school?

ALSO, which American schools am I still competitive for? I'm mainly looking at New England and Californian schools!

Sorry this was so long, but there are just so many factors in play! Hopefully one of you intelligent people can help me out with this dilemma. :)
 
Sep 2, 2014
168
167
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
A very close friend of mine was in your exact position. Same mcat, and she was having the same reaction you are. She ended up retaking and got a 35 (her score increased by one point on BS and one on PS) and verbal didn't change. She now goes to a top 40. The reality is she probably didn't need to retake, but she's one of those weird mensa hyper geniuses, so YMMV.
 
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OP
redsorghum
May 8, 2014
59
37
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks John for the insight and grats to your genius friend! lol

How important is the MCAT vs.GPA for US Schools? In Canada it pretty much counts for 0-30% depending on the school, but I know it's different in the states!
 

efle

not an elf
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Apr 6, 2014
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Your GPAs (science and cumuluative) and MCAT are the top 3 factors for inviting to interviews. I've never heard anyone place a % weighting on it, but both are equally front and center as far as academic metrics. The MCAT is considered the "Great Equalizer" because very high GPAs can be dime a dozen at grade-inflating or low-rigor universities, and so really you need both to have a shot at the best medical schools.

As a Canadian (or even just as an out of state applicant) your odds at the University of California system are slim to none even if you add a few more points on your MCAT. Similarly a 33 MCAT is several points below the median for top tier schools like Stanford or even at University of SoCal.

You'd either have to take the new exam and perform a lot better (by no means guaranteed since your average practice exam score was only ~4 percentile points away from your actual score) or apply more broadly and reasonably than just to Cali and top-tier schools. A 33/3.9 is solidly competitive at most mid-tier schools.
 
OP
redsorghum
May 8, 2014
59
37
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks Efle for the advice and info! I will be applying to mid tier schools as well. I just didn't want to rule out the top tier ones based on my MCAT. I agree, it is an "equalizer" in a sense, but it is also based on a one-time performance, whereas GPA is something you work on for four years. Also I definitely do not attend a grade-inflating university haha.

One more question - is it possible to submit my AMCAS application in June, take the MCAT around the same time, and then have the MCAT results sent out around July? Will they be able to look at those results or will they look at my old results?
 

efle

not an elf
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Sep 2, 2014
168
167
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Your GPAs (science and cumuluative) and MCAT are the top 3 factors for inviting to interviews. I've never heard anyone place a % weighting on it, but both are equally front and center as far as academic metrics. The MCAT is considered the "Great Equalizer" because very high GPAs can be dime a dozen at grade-inflating or low-rigor universities, and so really you need both to have a shot at the best medical schools.

As a Canadian (or even just as an out of state applicant) your odds at the University of California system are slim to none even if you add a few more points on your MCAT. Similarly a 33 MCAT is several points below the median for top tier schools like Stanford or even at University of SoCal.

You'd either have to take the new exam and perform a lot better (by no means guaranteed since your average practice exam score was only ~4 percentile points away from your actual score) or apply more broadly and reasonably than just to Cali and top-tier schools. A 33/3.9 is solidly competitive at most mid-tier schools.
Is the reason she is not competitive in California because she's out of state? Or is cali just that competitive? It can't be that all cali schools are that demanding on the mcat, can it?
 

efle

not an elf
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efle

not an elf
5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2014
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Got home so I can add some numbers

School - OOS % Interviewed - International % Interviewed - Median MCAT

Uni SoCal - 7% - 0% (yeah really not even one) - 35

Loma Linda - 6% - 5% - 31 (also they are jesus freaks with "To continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ" as their mission statement)

Stanford - 7% - 11% - 37 (and a 33 is at their 10th percentile)

UC Davis - 1% - 0% - 32

UC Irvine - 5% - 0% - 34

UC Los Ang - 4% - 0% - 35

UC San Diego - 7% - 0% - 35

UC Riverside - 1% - 0% - 31 (school is brand new)

UC San Fran - 4% - 0.5% (one interview out of 202 apps) - 36

So yeah with a 33 and a desire to get in during the first app cycle, OP needs to realize CA and top-tier schools would be a major reach
 
Sep 2, 2014
168
167
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Combination of both, they're extremely in state favoring and all except the one that is only a couple years old (UC riverside think?) are above average among medical schools , especially among state schools, by GPA and MCAT measures
I didn't know cali was in state favoring! I've heard the opposite.

Rumors suck
 

efle

not an elf
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stickshifthonda

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Mar 22, 2014
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Your average is a 34.9, which is excellent. But you scored -/+ 2 points from your average. That'll most likely happen again if you choose to retake statistically speaking.

Basically, I wouldn't retake unless 2 points really is a huge thing for you. A 33 will get you interviews!