Techmed07

10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2007
1,189
11
Status
Pre-Medical
12VR 10PS 11BS vs. 9VR 13PS 12BS

Which is better?


I think the 34 is because shows ample mastery of the sciences..which is amazing!
Verbal is indicative of step scores but eh.. It is that accurate? Especially when this section is most apt to change?

Opinions?
 
Jun 8, 2010
1,478
1
Status
Agreed - I really don't think it would matter, but I would rather have the lower, more balanced score.
I agree. I would take the more balanced.

But seriously dude... Do you really think it will matter? Both will be good enough for admission and are excellent scores.
 

BerkReviewTeach

Company Rep & Bad Singer
Vendor
10+ Year Member
May 25, 2007
3,903
687
Verbal is indicative of step scores but eh.. It is that accurate? Especially when this section is most apt to change?
Exactly!

Where is the study or article that says verbal is a good indicator of anything? I hear these rumors, but no one ever has any proof.

And when you think about it, most of the AAMC studies only prove that a standardized exam (like the MCAT) is a reasonable predictor of how you'll do on a future standardized exam. Not really that astounding of a discovery.
 

ACSurgeon

Acute Care Surgeon
10+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2008
1,909
1,994
Status
Attending Physician
12VR 10PS 11BS vs. 9VR 13PS 12BS

Which is better?


I think the 34 is because shows ample mastery of the sciences..which is amazing!
Verbal is indicative of step scores but eh.. It is that accurate? Especially when this section is most apt to change?

Opinions?
I strongly disagree with that... My verbal score was in the bottom 15% percentile yet I had a step score that was well above average...
 

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
12VR 10PS 11BS vs. 9VR 13PS 12BS

Which is better?


I think the 34 is because shows ample mastery of the sciences..which is amazing!
Verbal is indicative of step scores but eh.. It is that accurate? Especially when this section is most apt to change?

Opinions?
I would, without any hesitation, take the latter score. We're talking about a 25 vs. a 21 in the combined sciences, which represents a pretty significant knowledge gap at those score levels (i.e. 12.5 avg. vs. 10.5 avg. equates to getting MANY more questions correct per section; in comparison, something like a 13 avg. (26 total) vs. 15 avg. (30 total) on combined sciences might only be the difference of 4-6 questions correct on the whole test).

Make no mistake, medicine is science. Scientific minds with even average social skills can be great doctors, but no amount of personality can make up for a lack of scientific understanding.

Now, the 33 is still a commendable score. I would just choose the higher, science-heavy score if I could...
 
OP
T

Techmed07

10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2007
1,189
11
Status
Pre-Medical
I would, without any hesitation, take the latter score. We're talking about a 25 vs. a 21 in the combined sciences, which represents a pretty significant knowledge gap at those score levels (i.e. 12.5 avg. vs. 10.5 avg. equates to getting MANY more questions correct per section; in comparison, something like a 13 avg. (26 total) vs. 15 avg. (30 total) on combined sciences might only be the difference of 4-6 questions correct on the whole test).

Make no mistake, medicine is science. Scientific minds with even average social skills can be great doctors, but no amount of personality can make up for a lack of scientific understanding.

Now, the 33 is still a commendable score. I would just choose the higher, science-heavy score if I could...

I agree... Verbal is pretty much reading comprehension. A command of science is where the focus should be for ADCOMS.
 

NickNaylor

Thank You for Smoking
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
May 22, 2008
16,885
7,782
Deep in the heart of Texas
Status
Attending Physician
I agree... Verbal is pretty much reading comprehension. A command of science is where the focus should be for ADCOMS.
VR isn't simply reading comprehension - if that was the case, I'm sure everyone would crush it. IMO, it has more to do with reasoning than anything else, which IS medically relevant. The people who write the MCAT aren't stupid - they're not going to keep sections on the exam that aren't actually helpful in some way.
 

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
VR isn't simply reading comprehension - if that was the case, I'm sure everyone would crush it. IMO, it has more to do with reasoning than anything else, which IS medically relevant. The people who write the MCAT aren't stupid - they're not going to keep sections on the exam that aren't actually helpful in some way.
If that "were" the case, Mr. "I crushed verbal" :laugh:

Besides, the real issue with verbal is this: what are you discriminating when you look at a 15 vs. a 13 vs. an 11, when there are only 40 questions? If you miss zero, you get a 15. You miss 2-3, you get a 13. Does that really mean anything? Missing two questions could just be a matter of bad luck, momentary lapse in judgment, etc. Even missing enough questions to score an 11, is what, like 8-10 wrong? It seems like it isn't clear what cognitive attribute the verbal section aims to assess, and I don't imagine it does a good job differentiating people in a real way between scores of, say, 11 and 15.
 
Jun 8, 2010
1,478
1
Status
Exactly!

Where is the study or article that says verbal is a good indicator of anything? I hear these rumors, but no one ever has any proof.

And when you think about it, most of the AAMC studies only prove that a standardized exam (like the MCAT) is a reasonable predictor of how you'll do on a future standardized exam. Not really that astounding of a discovery.


Impact of preadmission variables on USMLE step 1
and step 2 performance
James Kleshinski Æ Sadik A. Khuder Æ Joseph I. Shapiro Æ Jeffrey P. Gold

This article says:

Step 1 scores were significantly improved over the time period of our study. Having
a higher SGPA translated into higher step 1 scores. When taking the MCAT score into
consideration, a higher BS or PS score was associated a higher step 1 score. The BS
subsection was the strongest predictor of the step 1 score
So much for all this "Verbal is the key to Step 1" nonsense.
 
OP
T

Techmed07

10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2007
1,189
11
Status
Pre-Medical
http://www.usmleworld.com/Step1/step1_facts.aspx


Are my MCAT scores predictive of my USMLE and medical school performance?


Much as the USMLE Step 1 score is an important variable in the residency application process, the MCAT score is given important weight in the medical school application process. Medical school admissions officers are faced with the daunting task of determining which students are the most qualified, comparing applicants from different institutions of different quality and grading schemes. The MCAT is meant as an objective and consistent means of comparison, though other factors are certainly considered in the medical school application process.
A 2007 meta-analysis evaluated the relationship between the MCAT and medical school performance. There was a small to moderate correlation of MCAT performance with performance during the preclinical years, with the r value equal to roughly 0.39. There was also a correlation of certain subtests with preclinical performance, particularly the biological sciences subtest. The correlation was less strong between MCAT performance and performance during the clinical years. The writing subtest of the MCAT was shown to have no correlation with either performance during the preclinical years or the clinical clerkships.
A small to moderate correlation was also found between MCAT and USMLE scores, with r values ranging from 0.38 to 0.60. This correlation was highest for USMLE Step 1. Among the different MCAT subsets, the highest correlation was found for the biological sciences and verbal sections. There was near zero correlation between the writing subtest and USMLE scores.
Reference

Donnon T, Paolucci EO, Violato C. The Predictive Validity of the MCAT for Medical School Performance and Medical Board Licensing Examinations: A Meta-Analysis of the Published Research. Academic Medicine 82(1), January 2007, 100-106.
 

tartrate

10+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2007
401
21
Status
And taken verbatim from the study quoted above:

Results Medical school performance measures from 11 studies and medical board licensing examinations from 18 studies, for a total of 23 studies, were selected. A random-effects model meta-analysis of weighted effects sizes (r) resulted in (1) a predictive validity coefficient for the MCAT in the preclinical years of r = 0.39 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-0.54) and on the USMLE Step 1 of r = 0.60 (95% CI, 0.50-0.67); and (2) the biological sciences subtest as the best predictor of medical school performance in the preclinical years (r = 0.32 95% CI, 0.21-0.42) and on the USMLE Step 1 (r = 0.48 95% CI, 0.41-0.54).

Just a precaution, a lot of "common" knowledge on SDN is closer to myth than truth.
 
Oct 20, 2010
96
0
Status
Pre-Medical
If BS is a better indicator of Step 1 scores, that's good news for me. My VR sucks. :p
Even though that's the case, it doesn't stop adcoms from weighting the verbal section the most. My VR sucks too, so...fml.
 

tartrate

10+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2007
401
21
Status
Even though that's the case, it doesn't stop adcoms from weighting the verbal section the most. My VR sucks too, so...fml.
That's the whole point of the thread. They don't. It is a myth.
 

hiyaman

7+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2010
1,258
8
Status
Resident [Any Field]
12VR 10PS 11BS vs. 9VR 13PS 12BS

Which is better?


I think the 34 is because shows ample mastery of the sciences..which is amazing!
Verbal is indicative of step scores but eh.. It is that accurate? Especially when this section is most apt to change?

Opinions?
33 from a 34 is only a 1 pt difference. Idk how big that is to the adcom but I'd go with the balanced score .

That's the whole point of the thread. They don't. It is a myth.
Regardless verbal is still an important part of the mcat that needs to be overcome.
 

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
33 from a 34 is only a 1 pt difference. Idk how big that is to the adcom but I'd go with the balanced score .


Regardless verbal is still an important part of the mcat that needs to be overcome.

I think you're missing the key issue; it IS only a 1 point difference, but it's really not about that point. Let's consider an example of 2 identical scores of 34. Would you be more impressed by 13/7/14 or 10/13/11? People will obviously differ in their opinions, but I'd be more impressed by the former score that shows an excellent mastery of the testable science material. For that matter, I'd be super impressed to see 15/4/15, still for a 34. I don't care if it's unbalanced, you're going places with that score.
 

TheGloaming

5+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2010
469
6
New England
Status
Medical Student
I think you're missing the key issue; it IS only a 1 point difference, but it's really not about that point. Let's consider an example of 2 identical scores of 34. Would you be more impressed by 13/7/14 or 10/13/11? People will obviously differ in their opinions, but I'd be more impressed by the former score that shows an excellent mastery of the testable science material. For that matter, I'd be super impressed to see 15/4/15, still for a 34. I don't care if it's unbalanced, you're going places with that score.
While two 15s in the sciences would be very impressive a 4 is very unimpressive. Adcoms want well rounded applicants not someone who has read every mcat prep book, physics, chem, and biology textbook a hundred times but can't answer more than a few questions right in verbal.
 

NickNaylor

Thank You for Smoking
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
May 22, 2008
16,885
7,782
Deep in the heart of Texas
Status
Attending Physician
I think you're missing the key issue; it IS only a 1 point difference, but it's really not about that point. Let's consider an example of 2 identical scores of 34. Would you be more impressed by 13/7/14 or 10/13/11? People will obviously differ in their opinions, but I'd be more impressed by the former score that shows an excellent mastery of the testable science material. For that matter, I'd be super impressed to see 15/4/15, still for a 34. I don't care if it's unbalanced, you're going places with that score.
You're "going places" with a 15/4/15? Srsly?

Maybe the Caribbean.
 

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
While two 15s in the sciences would be very impressive a 4 is very unimpressive. Adcoms want well rounded applicants not someone who has read every mcat prep book, physics, chem, and biology textbook a hundred times but can't answer more than a few questions right in verbal.
You're "going places" with a 15/4/15? Srsly?

Maybe the Caribbean.
Did you guys know that in medical school, you just take a bunch of exams for which you can't really study? Yep, the tests cover stuff you can't possibly have studied and it sort of just depends on if you're in the same state of mind that the test-writer was in when the question was penned.

Oh, wait.

It's just like the biological sciences section on steroids, over and over again.
 

fahimaz7

15+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2004
3,286
216
Colorado
Status
Attending Physician
I think you're missing the key issue; it IS only a 1 point difference, but it's really not about that point. Let's consider an example of 2 identical scores of 34. Would you be more impressed by 13/7/14 or 10/13/11? People will obviously differ in their opinions, but I'd be more impressed by the former score that shows an excellent mastery of the testable science material. For that matter, I'd be super impressed to see 15/4/15, still for a 34. I don't care if it's unbalanced, you're going places with that score.
Tell that to the medical student that can't keep up in class b/c he sucks at reading and comprehension. Medical school moves so fast, that it won't matter how good you are at figuring out physics problems and inorganic chemistry, since non of that is used here anyway.

lol @ a 4 on VR. What a joke of a comment.
 
Last edited:

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
Tell that to the medical student that can't keep up in class b/c he sucks at reading and comprehension. Medical school moves so fast, that it won't matter how good you are at figuring out physics problems and inorganic chemistry, since non of that is used here anyway.

lol @ a 4 on VR. What a joke of a comment.
Since when do you have to read in medical school? Pretty sure you can go to lecture and they'll tell you everything you need to know for the tests. If not, ask for your money back because you're getting ripped off. The 15/4/15 person will understand, integrate, and apply everything he/she hears in class after 1 or maybe 2 passes of the material. On the other hand, the 11/15/8 person will read the material more quickly but remember/integrate less information, assuming that their science reasoning skills and memorizing capacity haven't changed much since the time they took the MCAT.
 

TheGloaming

5+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2010
469
6
New England
Status
Medical Student
Since when do you have to read in medical school? Pretty sure you can go to lecture and they'll tell you everything you need to know for the tests. If not, ask for your money back because you're getting ripped off. The 15/4/15 person will understand, integrate, and apply everything he/she hears in class after 1 or maybe 2 passes of the material. On the other hand, the 11/15/8 person will read the material more quickly but remember/integrate less information, assuming that their science reasoning skills and memorizing capacity haven't changed much since the time they took the MCAT.
Hold on there, your telling me that the verbal reasoning was just about how fast we could read the passages? O man I spent all that time answering the questions for nothing.
 

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
Hold on there, your telling me that the verbal reasoning was just about how fast we could read the passages? O man I spent all that time answering the questions for nothing.
Yep, you should've spend more time studying for the PS and BS. Do you remember the content of all your verbal passages well enough to answer the questions again right now? If not, then what does it matter how well you answered those questions, as they have proven to be irrelevant in the long run? Science knowledge/skills will serve you better in the future, and they are a measure of information accumulation skills. Reasoning ability is useless without the facts, and there are a lot of facts in medicine that aren't logical. That's why I stress BS and PS. Gotta be able to memorize.
 

NickNaylor

Thank You for Smoking
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
May 22, 2008
16,885
7,782
Deep in the heart of Texas
Status
Attending Physician
Yep, you should've spend more time studying for the PS and BS. Do you remember the content of all your verbal passages well enough to answer the questions again right now? If not, then what does it matter how well you answered those questions, as they have proven to be irrelevant in the long run? Science knowledge/skills will serve you better in the future, and they are a measure of information accumulation skills. Reasoning ability is useless without the facts, and there are a lot of facts in medicine that aren't logical. That's why I stress BS and PS. Gotta be able to memorize.
You completely miss the point bro. VR is all about analysis and synthesis, which are skills used in medicine quite regularly. Memorization is an important skill, but you can't memorize your way to being a good diagnostician.
 

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
You completely miss the point bro. VR is all about analysis and synthesis, which are skills used in medicine quite regularly. Memorization is an important skill, but you can't memorize your way to being a good diagnostician.
You're right Cole, as always. Which medical school have you been attending, by the way? I'm guessing you must be at least a 3rd year student, since you know all about which skills are used in medicine "quite regularly". Since most of medicine is pattern recognition, and patterns can be memorized, then I'd say you CAN memorize your way to being a good diagnostician when it comes to most diseases.
 

NickNaylor

Thank You for Smoking
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
May 22, 2008
16,885
7,782
Deep in the heart of Texas
Status
Attending Physician
You're right Cole, as always. Which medical school have you been attending, by the way? I'm guessing you must be at least a 3rd year student, since you know all about which skills are used in medicine "quite regularly". Since most of medicine is pattern recognition, and patterns can be memorized, then I'd say you CAN memorize your way to being a good diagnostician when it comes to most diseases.
I like that you question my credentials when yours are no different. Cool story bro.

Anyways, this is no longer relevant to the OP, so you can keep talking about how VR is useless to someone else.
 

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
I like that you question my credentials when yours are no different. Cool story bro.

Anyways, this is no longer relevant to the OP, so you can keep talking about how VR is useless to someone else.
Pretty sure my status doesn't say "pre-medical" bro. Talk to me in a few years.
 

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
I like that you question my credentials when yours are no different. Cool story bro.

Anyways, this is no longer relevant to the OP, so you can keep talking about how VR is useless to someone else.
Pretty sure my status doesn't say "pre-medical" bro. Talk to me in a few years.
Ooooh, going for the ad hominem. A sure sign that you're losing the argument.
If you'll notice, kind sir, it is Cole who brought up the issue of credentials. I had to correct his assumption, thus necessitating a comparison between the gentleman and myself. 'Twas an elicited rebuttal, not an unwarranted attempt at posturing.
 

fahimaz7

15+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2004
3,286
216
Colorado
Status
Attending Physician
You're right Cole, as always. Which medical school have you been attending, by the way? I'm guessing you must be at least a 3rd year student, since you know all about which skills are used in medicine "quite regularly". Since most of medicine is pattern recognition, and patterns can be memorized, then I'd say you CAN memorize your way to being a good diagnostician when it comes to most diseases.
I'll bite. Let me riddle you this... Why is it that no American-born applicant will get into medical school with a 4 in VR? You say that it doesn't matter, but last time I checked we cover 2000 slides in two weeks, all of which has to be combed through by the student and learned in time for the next test. This isn't an easy feat, even though you attempt to belittle it for some reason. Medical school requires the ability to read (quickly) and to understand the material that you're reading... both of which are required to do well on the VR section of the MCAT. If you are a slow ass reader or struggle to comprehend the passages on the MCAT, you will struggle in medical school.

I'm a 2nd year medical student and I'm in the top 20% of my class.

PS. You can't memorize what you haven't been able to read through (numerous times).
 

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
I'll bite. Let me riddle you this... Why is it that no American-born applicant will get into medical school with a 4 in VR? You say that it doesn't matter, but last time I checked we cover 2000 slides in two weeks, all of which has to be combed through by the student and learned in time for the next test. This isn't an easy feat, even though you attempt to belittle it for some reason. Medical school requires the ability to read (quickly) and to understand the material that you're reading... both of which are required to do well on the VR section of the MCAT. If you are a slow ass reader or struggle to comprehend the passages on the MCAT, you will struggle in medical school.

I'm a 2nd year medical student and I'm in the top 20% of my class.

PS. You can't memorize what you haven't been able to read through (numerous times).
I can't argue with your success. All I know is that I barely get through the information once before exams roll around, and I still do very well. I scored well on VR, so maybe that's a factor. I also scored very well on PS and BS though, and I feel like they are much more contributory and predictive of my success in medical school.

To address your riddle, I think nobody gets in with 4 VR because nobody with a 4 VR seems to get 15/15 on the sciences. It wouldn't be impossible though, and there are tales told around SDN of a guy who got into Yale with 15/6/15...
 

BerkReviewTeach

Company Rep & Bad Singer
Vendor
10+ Year Member
May 25, 2007
3,903
687
I'll bite. Let me riddle you this... Why is it that no American-born applicant will get into medical school with a 4 in VR?
Wrong riddle--your scope is too narrow. A subscore of 4 in any section, VR, PS, or BS, wouldn't get you into medical school.

The statistical reality is that the highest average subscore for matriculants is BS and lowest is VR. If the adcom people who choose the students thought VR was more important than BS, wouldn't that stat be different?

  • When it comes to admissions,

    12PS/8VR/12BS has a good chance

    8PS/12VR/12BS has an okay chance

    12PS/12VR/8BS has a small chance

The fact that BS correlates best to step 1 of the USMLE shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. They are both standardized exams on material that must be read, memorized, integrated, processed, applied to new situations, and ultimately understood on multiple levels.
 
OP
T

Techmed07

10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2007
1,189
11
Status
Pre-Medical
Wrong riddle--your scope is too narrow. A subscore of 4 in any section, VR, PS, or BS, wouldn't get you into medical school.

The statistical reality is that the highest average subscore for matriculants is BS and lowest is VR. If the adcom people who choose the students thought VR was more important than BS, wouldn't that stat be different?

  • When it comes to admissions,

    12PS/8VR/12BS has a good chance

    8PS/12VR/12BS has an okay chance

    12PS/12VR/8BS has a small chance
The fact that BS correlates best to step 1 of the USMLE shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. They are both standardized exams on material that must be read, memorized, integrated, processed, applied to new situations, and ultimately understood on multiple levels.

This assumes that a 12 on Verbal equals a 12 on Biological Sciences. This is not true..the percentages are different on who achieves these scores repectively.
 
Last edited:

fahimaz7

15+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2004
3,286
216
Colorado
Status
Attending Physician
I think you're missing the key issue; it IS only a 1 point difference, but it's really not about that point. Let's consider an example of 2 identical scores of 34. Would you be more impressed by 13/7/14 or 10/13/11? People will obviously differ in their opinions, but I'd be more impressed by the former score that shows an excellent mastery of the testable science material. For that matter, I'd be super impressed to see 15/4/15, still for a 34. I don't care if it's unbalanced, you're going places with that score.
Wrong riddle--your scope is too narrow. A subscore of 4 in any section, VR, PS, or BS, wouldn't get you into medical school.

The statistical reality is that the highest average subscore for matriculants is BS and lowest is VR. If the adcom people who choose the students thought VR was more important than BS, wouldn't that stat be different?

  • When it comes to admissions,

    12PS/8VR/12BS has a good chance

    8PS/12VR/12BS has an okay chance

    12PS/12VR/8BS has a small chance

The fact that BS correlates best to step 1 of the USMLE shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. They are both standardized exams on material that must be read, memorized, integrated, processed, applied to new situations, and ultimately understood on multiple levels.
Pay attention here.
 

BerkReviewTeach

Company Rep & Bad Singer
Vendor
10+ Year Member
May 25, 2007
3,903
687
This assumes that a 12 on Verbal equals a 12 on Biological Sciences.
No, this points out that a 12 in BS is more respectable to an adcom member than a 12 in VR. If you have doubts, look at the admissions numbers.
 

ElChamaco

5+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2010
383
1
Status
Pre-Medical
No, this points out that a 12 in BS is more respectable to an adcom member than a 12 in VR. If you have doubts, look at the admissions numbers.
A 12 in VR starts at a 95 percentile while it starts only at 88.9 percentile for PS and 88.9 for BS. The fact that BS is the highest subscore for acceptees reflects the fact that it is the highest subscore for all applicants. Likewise, VR is the lowest subscore for all test takers as well as for accepted applicants. I don't think your conclusion of an adcom bias for the BS score necessarily follows from the data you reference.
 

BerkReviewTeach

Company Rep & Bad Singer
Vendor
10+ Year Member
May 25, 2007
3,903
687
A 12 in VR starts at a 95 percentile while it starts only at 88.9 percentile for PS and 88.9 for BS. The fact that BS is the highest subscore for acceptees reflects the fact that it is the highest subscore for all applicants. Likewise, VR is the lowest subscore for all test takers as well as for accepted applicants. I don't think your conclusion of an adcom bias for the BS score necessarily follows from the data you reference.
If you look at the BS subscore for the average matriculant versus the average MCAT BS subscore (a year earlier) and compare this to the same thing for verbal reasoning, you will see that you must be more above the average in BS than VR to be the average matriculant. That supports the idea that BS is more important to adcom people.

And where the percentages start for each score varies from year-to-year, so the gap you state might be an anomoly of a year. Granted, VR does have a harsher scale at the top end than BS and PS, but that has more to do with the lower number of questions being fit to the same normalized scale. On an exam with four choices, random guessing should land you 10/40 on VR and 13/52 on the sciences. This means that the VR scale of raw scores 10-40 have to overlap with 1-15 on the scaled score while 13-52 on the sciences correlates with 1-15 on the normalized scale. The discrepency you mention in the percentage correlation to a normalized score is fallout from the range of normalized scores (1-15) being too wide to accurately spread the raw scores (10-40), and this is assuming no questions are thrown out.

In the end, we can view the statistics a million and one different ways, but the end result is that a 12-8-12 will be accepted more readily than a 12-12-8.
 

ElChamaco

5+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2010
383
1
Status
Pre-Medical
If you look at the BS subscore for the average matriculant versus the average MCAT BS subscore (a year earlier) and compare this to the same thing for verbal reasoning, you will see that you must be more above the average in BS than VR to be the average matriculant. That supports the idea that BS is more important to adcom people.

And where the percentages start for each score varies from year-to-year, so the gap you state might be an anomoly of a year. Granted, VR does have a harsher scale at the top end than BS and PS, but that has more to do with the lower number of questions being fit to the same normalized scale. On an exam with four choices, random guessing should land you 10/40 on VR and 13/52 on the sciences. This means that the VR scale of raw scores 10-40 have to overlap with 1-15 on the scaled score while 13-52 on the sciences correlates with 1-15 on the normalized scale. The discrepency you mention in the percentage correlation to a normalized score is fallout from the range of normalized scores (1-15) being too wide to accurately spread the raw scores (10-40), and this is assuming no questions are thrown out.

In the end, we can view the statistics a million and one different ways, but the end result is that a 12-8-12 will be accepted more readily than a 12-12-8.
On your final point there is no disagreement.
 
OP
T

Techmed07

10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2007
1,189
11
Status
Pre-Medical
On your final point there is no disagreement.

However you must realize...

a 8 in verbal is the 37th percentile ..while in BS it is the 23rd percentile. Adcoms do not look favorablely on BS per say... students just tend to do better thus they can take higher scores. I have come to this conclusion..

Because majority of individuals taking are biology majors they tend to do better on the BS section thus resulting in a lower percentile for higher scores. In contrast to the verbal section and physical science section, where a lower score can equate to a higher percentile.

The BS section is not more important. It is just there is a expectation that most individuals will do well. If you want to stand out VR is your best best. I think it is best to score higher in verbal because it equates to a higher percentile

VR 12- (95%) Vs BS 12 (88%)

After looking at the data.. It is obvious that there are a higher amount of individals scoring in 12s in BS than 12s in VR.



But, in the end it really depends on the school.
 
Last edited:

WashMe

10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2008
1,812
46
Status
Attending Physician
However you must realize...

a 8 in verbal is the 37th percentile ..while in BS it is the 23rd percentile. Adcoms do not look favorablely on BS per say... students just tend to do better thus they can take higher scores. I have come to this conclusion..

Because majority of individuals taking are biology majors they tend to do better on the BS section thus resulting in a lower percentile for higher scores. In contrast to the verbal section and physical science section, where a lower score can equate to a higher percentile.

The BS section is not more important. It is just there is a expectation that most individuals will do well. If you want to stand out VR is your best best. I think it is best to score higher in verbal because it equates to a higher percentile

VR 12- (95%) Vs BS 12 (88%)

After looking at the data.. It is obvious that there are a higher amount of individals scoring in 12s in BS than 12s in VR.



But, in the end it really depends on the school.
This is a great argument, but think about this... What exactly does VR measure? If it measures something super important, why did they only make it 40 questions? I agree that the same number score represents different percentiles depending on the subtest. However, do you think it's more important to score "X" on BS, or score the same "X" on VR just because the percentile is higher? To me, you have to knock out the sciences first to distinguish yourself, then the VR is icing on the cake but won't break you if you do poorly. In general, though, the inclusion of VR is a mystery to me. They should make students take a geology exam or a European history exam to get into medical school; those tests would be just as relevant.
 
OP
T

Techmed07

10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2007
1,189
11
Status
Pre-Medical
This is a great argument, but think about this... What exactly does VR measure? If it measures something super important, why did they only make it 40 questions? I agree that the same number score represents different percentiles depending on the subtest. However, do you think it's more important to score "X" on BS, or score the same "X" on VR just because the percentile is higher? To me, you have to knock out the sciences first to distinguish yourself, then the VR is icing on the cake but won't break you if you do poorly. In general, though, the inclusion of VR is a mystery to me. They should make students take a geology exam or a European history exam to get into medical school; those tests would be just as relevant.

Well I have researched the evolution of the MCAT and I one point they did have general knowledge section. It was not really looked at by ADCOMS.
The kind of thinking you exemplified here is the reason why individuals continue to do poorly on the Verbal section. It is actually the section that takes the longest to improve. I can say with confidence with enough time I could get 13-14 on the sciences. I think the majority of individuals could... Verbal not soo much. Verbal's premise sounds simple enough.. ascertaining information from a text with no use of prior knowledge and coming up with sound conclusions. Pure reading comprehension and critical thinking...I am not in medical school so I do know if it is even relevant to medical school academics.. The MCAT has changed before perhaps it will change again and this section will be removed... I have a feeling that this will not be the case.
 

fahimaz7

15+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2004
3,286
216
Colorado
Status
Attending Physician
What's funny is that neither section really matters. It's not like you use much of that crap in medical school. It's just a tool used to compare people's ability to retain information and apply their knowledge to a problem.