Sep 12, 2015
5
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello,

I've been lurking on SDN for a while now, but this is my first post! :)
(apologies in advance for wall o' text to follow)

I sat in 8/6 MCAT and thankfully did better than I thought (compared to how I felt during/after the exam lol).
Phys/Chem : 132 (100%)
CARS : 129 (93%)
Bio/Biochem : 127 (77%)
Psych/Soc: 128 (86%)

1. I dind't expect my Bio/Biochem score to be much lower than other sections. On the AAMC practice test, all sections were 80/81% (89% for CARS).
I would think Bio/Biochem would be one of the most important sections since it is most applicable to medicine after all (although I've gotten conflicting information about which sections are most important).
Is my relatively low Bio/Biochem score a legitimate concern? Does it weaken my application or how my overall MCAT score is seen?

2. I know 95th percentile is only average at schools like U of M (Michigan resident here), and not competitive at other top schools.
I could retake in January, so I will have 4 months to prepare. I do have a full course load this semester, however, so I can't study as intensely as during summer.

On one hand, I've read pretty much every thread here asking similar questions and I get the feeling that I probably shouldn't worry about my bio/biochem section and just apply with what I got.
On the other hand, I think I may have a shot at improving my score significantly (5+ points) because I didn't study much the first time (studied for 2 months, 1 month of that actually serious: only read Kaplan CARS and Psych/Soc books in their entirety + a few chapters of other sections, 3 full-length practice tests (2 Kaplan, 1 AAMC) the week before the actual test).
I'm really conflicted about what to do, so I'm hoping to get some good advice from the SDN community.

Should I retake or is it a waste of time? Why or why not?
Would adcoms think favorably if I got 99th percentile the second time or would not care enough to justify the effort?
 

WedgeDawg

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Don't retake it. A 516 is like a 35 and your spread is fine. It's competitive for every school and if the rest of the package is solid, it's not going to be what keeps you out anywhere.
 
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OP
statgear
Sep 12, 2015
5
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the encouraging words! I guess it's not unbalanced after all.

Still, I feel my overall score isn't competitive when I see MCAT averages of 98/99th percentiles at many top schools.. :(

My GPA is 3.83 (so far; I'm a senior, so it could go up to 3.87) with a slight upward trend. BCPM is 3.84 (without Calc II which is required for my CS major, it'd be 3.96 :laugh:). As for EC's, I think they're average or below average (working on it).. I don't have special talents or amazing life experiences..

Basically everything seems average, so I'm trying to find ways to stand out a little more whether that be with MCAT, with EC's, etc.
 
Feb 28, 2015
201
140
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
As other posters have said, DO NOT RETAKE. You're golden, pony boy. Work on your EC's and clinical experience and come back later to tell us all about the amazing cycle you had!
 
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gyngyn

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There is so little room for improvement that a re-take can only hurt you. There is no improvement that will make you look like anything but an obsessive/narcissistic perfectionist.
Not what we are looking for.