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A Little Advice Would Be Great

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by karma girl, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. karma girl

    karma girl New Member

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    I just got my August MCAT scores back... the most that I can say is that I'm not thrilled. I was really counting on my MCAT scores to compensate for my lower GPA (3.4) but I ended up getting: V9, P9, B12, Q. I was really shooting for something above 30, and I feel that the scores are too uneven. Does anyone have any great advice? I'm planning on applying next summer, and I would like to have a shot at top tier schoools. To take, or not to take again?
     
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  3. lilninja

    lilninja Senior Member
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    You said you're applying next summer right? So, it wouldn't hurt to take them again - though a 30 is a nice round number (and usually the unofficial cutoff for many schools - at least of the ones I have gotten info for). If you're aiming for top tier, I say you should go for it (that's what I would do anyway). Your Bio score is great, if you could pull that off for the PS section, that would be super.
     
  4. mj

    mj Senior Member
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    With respect,lilninja is nuts. A 30 is fine, even for many top tiers,and your score is not that uneven. If the rest of your app is solid, I think you would be insane to retake, but to each his own.

    mj
     
  5. audeo

    audeo Senior Member
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    It is mentioned that the other part, GPA specifically, is not solid. Would be worthwhile to retake.
     
  6. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    Karma: I think mj is nuts. I'm retaking with a 10V 12P 9B R. People with scores like ours are so so close to have scores that could really work for us at some really good medical schools. It depends where you want to go. If you're happy going to any MD school, then don't retake... but if you have your heart set on a few good schools or if you want to have some control over what qeographical area you'll be going to medical school in... retake (but only if you think you'll have time to study in the spring).
     
  7. Joon Lee

    Joon Lee Junior Member
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    With due respect to those who previously posted, mj is correct and the rest are incorrect. The MCAT is a qualifier exam. Due to the 60,000 plus applicants per year, and the fewer than twenty that are accepted and matriculated per year, medical schools go through quite a bit of difficulty to make sure that the spots are filled by people who would make fine doctors, those who have the fortitude to put up with this grueling stamina test of 6+ years, and those that make the most interesting and profound candidates. It appears that you fit the bill for all of these. I'd wager that most of the posters are those that are attempting to get INTO medical school and are overly anxious to fortify their apps. I reiterate, the MCAT is a qualifier examination, such that a 30 qualifies the GPA that you have received from your school. They take ALL THINGS into consideration, and the MCAT is just one of the many factors. Your scores look very good, and despite the fact that you missed the elusive 10 on the VR section, it's a score based on percentiles, and the same number of people miss it every year. The meaning of this is that roughly a quarter of applicants get in. A quarter, however, do not get 10, nor 30 on the MCAT. Try to consider the wages of applying through another cycle, and the fact that medical schools will have seen you before. That means that without some significant factor to boost your qualifications, they would hardly give you app a second look.
     
  8. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member
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    Not to be picky, but there are usually about 38,000 applicants (not 60,000). It almost wouldn't be worth applying if there were 60,000 applicants.

    I'm not sure that I'd retake. You don't want to risk dropping that 12, and a 3.4 GPA is only a tenth of a point away from the average (3.5) for matriculants.

    csgirl, unless you're shooting for a top ten med school, I would say that a retake is pretty risky with your scores. If you have a decent GPA, those scores will get you into nearly any school in the country. Look through the MSAR - only a handful (literally, about 5-6) of schools have average MCAT composites that are really really high. The only people I know of who retake with scores like that are MSTP applicants.
     
  9. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    It's the 9 in bio that's bugging me. If it weren't for the 9 in bio there's no way I'd retake. I'd like to get into a bottom 50 school (like Georgetown or U. of MAryland). At the bottom 50 schools the average bio is a 10.4-10.6. That's way above my score. My gpa is a 3.84, but I go to a no-name state school.
     
  10. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member
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    Hmmm...don't put so much stock into the MSRP averages. Think about it like this - if the average is 10.5, that means most people who got in had a 10 or 11 - maybe 50%. At least 30% will be people who had a 9 or a 12 and the other 20% will be people at the extremes. You have a great GPA, and it doesn't matter that it's from a no-name school. Most med schools would rather take someone from a school they haven't heard of who has a 3.8 than someone from a school they have heard of with a 3.5. Again, I would seriously consider whether you are highly confident that you can considerably increase your score - the last thing you want to do is drop in one of the other sections.

    And with a 31 MCAT and a 3.84 GPA, I would be very surprised if you couldn't get in to a top 50 school, especially if you've been doing research, volunteer-work, etc. What you are almost saying is that you feel that 1 or 2 MCAT points will make you or break you. I'm not sure I agree, especially when you're talking the difference between a 31 and a 32 or 33.

    Do think about it. It's something to consider...
     
  11. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    Alright, look, you want the whole story? My fiance goes to JHU. We can't stand to be away from each other for another 4 years. So I need to get into Georgetwon or some other school with in a 30 minute drive of JHU. University of Maryland doesn't like out-of-staters very much. So I'm looking at about 3 schools here. The chances of me getting into one of those three schools is like 10%. If I had a 34+ I think I'd have about a 70% chance... which is what I want. I know it's not 100% practical... but I have to take the chance. The truth is, if I didn't want so much to be in or near Baltimore... there's no way I'd retake.
     
  12. elle

    elle Senior Member
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    Hey csgirl,
    I don't know if this will help at all, but I had a 9 in the bio section, and my GPA is not nearly as high as yours, and I got interview offers at Georgetown, GW, and Maryland (though I am in-state) -- so I don't think a 9 would be that big a problem... of course, interviews aren't acceptances, but I thought that might help. Sorry if it doesn't... You didn't mention GW and Howard, but those are two other schools that wouldn't be too far from Baltimore.

    good luck! I hope things work out well for you.
     
  13. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    elle: Thanks! That helps a lot. I was under the impression that out-of-state white students have a really hard time getting into Howard... that's why I didn't mention it. I just forgot about GW.
     
  14. elle

    elle Senior Member
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    Hey csgirl,
    I'm just curious, are you applying this year or next year? If you're applying next year, maybe you could visit some of the schools in the Baltimore/DC area and learn more about them and see what they have to offer. When I interviewed at Maryland, there were out of state folks interviewing... at least a couple in that day's group. And Penn State isn't that far from Baltimore either...definitely more than half an hour, but not too far away.

    Good luck!
     
  15. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    I plan to apply the summer of 2002... so next year. I plan on visiting all those schools. I'm just wondering if I should apply to one early. I know in order to apply early my MCAT scores would have to be higher (it's suggested that you have above the schools accepted average if you're going to apply early... and I have exactly the average for Georgetown).
     
  16. elle

    elle Senior Member
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    Also, your MCAT is a point or two above the average for GW, I think... if you could meet with someone at a school before deciding to apply early, that might help... just my opinion, but I'd want to know all the facts before committing to early application... like what percentage of early appliers are accepted and stuff like that.
    it sounds like you're really thinking about all this, and you definitely have an early start to investigating schools!
     
  17. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    I'm not doing nearly as much research as I should be doing. Where are you trying to get in? Are you trying for the Baltimore/D.C. area too?

    I'm really dreading this whole application process. I hate interviews and I dread writing essays (despite my writing score... I don't know where that came from?!). I just want to get into a med school and be done with it. I know... that's what everyone wants, right? I just feel like I've spent my entire college career applying to medical school. And I haven't even started with the AMCAS!!

    And I miss my sweetie! (I know... I'm whining way too much. Please forgive me.)
     
  18. elle

    elle Senior Member
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    Hey,
    well, I applied to schools all over the place, so who knows if I'll end up staying in the area...but I know some about the area schools since I'm from around here. Have you thought about maybe spending a summer out here working? That would be a good way to get to know the area a little better, and gain experience within a local community. I have volunteered at a DC clinic for several years, and having the chance to continue volunteering there is definitely a reason I'd consider staying here for med school. :)

    And if you're not applying until this summer, please don't start worrying yet! It's good to investigate programs and stuff like that, but you don't want to go overboard and worry too much about this stuff before you're even in the application process. You'll have plenty of time to write essays and have fun with AMCAS. :) My opinion is, take it one step at a time and before you know it, you'll be accepted somewhere...
     
  19. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    Yeah, you're right. Thanks. And good luck! I bet you'll be a great doctor.
     
  20. Mage

    Mage Member
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    karma girl: if you're applying to an instate med school, those scores are pretty good.

    Err, sort of off topic, but I'm wondering about the 'rankings' of the sections...I always knew verbal was the most important, but is biological more important than physical, or vice versa? Also, an 11, 10, 9 would seem pretty balanced, wouldn't it? (I mentioned in another topic, my biology score was pretty low because I was so out of it when that section began, felt as if I had gone 24 hrs without sleep.)
     
  21. Your stats are a little below what the average numbers of accepted students. Do you have any compelling experiences or qualities that could offset your scores?
     

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