baseball37

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Hello. You will hear much from me in this forum from now on. With no acceptances and a post interview rejection from my state school, I am almost certain that I will need to reapply next cycle. I am unsure if I should retake the MCAT in August or keep my current score (V:10 B:10 :p:9 WS:M) from August 2004. My app was largely killed this cycle because I applied late (not complete until late Dec/early Jan) and only became complete at 5 schools (I discovered SDN after applying. I know now this was stupid). I have a 3.5 Cum and 3.3 Science GPA, but I have a maintained a 3.7/3.7 taking heavy science courses in my last two years of undergrad (I had a 3.0/2.8 Freshman year). I am certain that I can improve my MCAT if I retake it in August as I would spend an insane amount of time preparing for it. I would use a test prep company (I didin't the first time) so I had easy access to more materials. Nevertheless, I do not know if an improvement in my MCAT would outweigh the timing disadvantage that comes with the August MCAT. Since I have no section below a 9 and two 10s , I am not sure how much my app would be helped by a better score. Although most of the steps to improve my app seem clear to me (finishing this semester with all As, getting a job with loads of clinical experience, adding LORs, applying to more schools, filling AMCAS in June, changing PS) I do not know what I should do about the MCAT. If I didn't retake, I would become complete in July and dedicate my time this summer working in a job with lots of clinical experience. Since I know my original score is decent, I am leaning to not retake. However, this decision would be hard for me since I know I would improve it on the retake (especially the 9 in PS and WS). If you were in my shoes, what would you do?
 

2tall

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Apply early. Apply to more schools. Research schools' matriculant profiles. Apply to places you would really consider attending. I've heard schools really don't care about WS scores. Your verbal score seems fine to me. I've also heard that a score of a 9 or higher on VS indicates success on the USMLE. Definitely, finetune your personal statement. I'm sure others will have additional feedback for you. Have you looked at a copy of AMCAS's MSAR?
 
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baseball37

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2tall said:
Apply early. Apply to more schools. Research schools' matriculant profiles. Apply to places you would really consider attending. I've heard schools really don't care about WS scores. Your verbal score seems fine to me. I've also heard that a score of a 9 or higher on VS indicates success on the USMLE. Definitely, finetune your personal statement. I'm sure others will have additional feedback for you. Have you looked at a copy of AMCAS's MSAR?
I have checked the MSAR. I will likely apply again to around 20-25 schools that fit well with my profile. In the scheme of things, I would rather overshoot this then undershoot. Many thanks for the input.
 

crys20

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Yes, I agree with everyone else. Don't retake the MCAT. Submit your application in early June and apply WIDE. By this I mean to a lot of schools like you said and lower-tier ones especially. The only thing sub-par about your app is the science GPA, so you should have a good chance. There is still a chance the cycle might be rough for you, but I think you'll do ok. Your best chances will be at your state schools for sure. Good luck!
 

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crys20 said:
Yes, I agree with everyone else. Don't retake the MCAT. Submit your application in early June and apply WIDE. By this I mean to a lot of schools like you said and lower-tier ones especially. The only thing sub-par about your app is the science GPA, so you should have a good chance. There is still a chance the cycle might be rough for you, but I think you'll do ok. Your best chances will be at your state schools for sure. Good luck!
I would only consider retaking the MCAT with your score if you are taking full length practice tests and consistently scoring in the mid 30s. Otherwise there is too much risk of choking and taking your presently "adequate" score down a notch. I agree with the others -- pump up your ECs, LORs, apply to 20+ schools (a few longshots are fine but pick most which have stats similar to yours), and get your app in on the first day it is permitted to be submitted.
 

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How much do the WS not matter? I got a K. Is that bad enough to warrant retaking it?
 

crys20

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How much do the WS not matter? I got a K. Is that bad enough to warrant retaking it?
Nope, i really don't think it matters. What was your numerical score w/ breakdown?
 

crys20

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Yeah, I will second Law2doc...Only retake your MCAT if you score like, 33+ on AAMC 5,6 and 7.
 

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mdpdgirl said:
How much do the WS not matter? I got a K. Is that bad enough to warrant retaking it?
I was told by an adcom person that a low WS score is really only looked at if it's extremely low (I don't know what their cut off for this was), or if from the rest of the application they have some question as to your writing skills. Is english your first language? I might have a little concern with a K -- is your numerical score solid, or is it also low enough that you might consider retaking for that reason as well? I know Kaplan teaches an essay formula, that if you follow it blindly, should guarantee you a few letters better than that (and I suspect other prep courses do as well).
 

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spongebob_sq

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I got an N ot the WS section the first time I took the MCAT and actually went down to an M the second time. :( I was told it was probably b/c I didn't follow their directions exactly. One of my interviewers commented on it, asking why it was so low when my personal statement was so well written. I just said it was probably due to the time constraint, and he seemed satisfied with that answer. It didn't keep me from getting in. :) As long as everything else is solid, I would worry too much about it.
 

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i have a similar question! i asked this at the other forum but seems like noone wants to help except for one poster. i applied late this cycle with a low verbal mcat ..everything else seems ok....and until now, i only have 1 interview so far. I'm preparing to reapply and taking the april mcat. however, during the last few months...i didn't have enough time to practice for the mcat, especially verbal section ...and i know if i retake it this april...i might not improve much for verbal and i don't want to hurt my chance again. so...i'm thinking of taking more time to study and take the aug one but still apply earlier and indicating that i'm an aug mcater. it know that it will also be late but at least i could get my file complete in mid oct when the score comes in. However, i wonder if the adcom will wait for my score to make a decision or they will base on the old score and rejected me right away! Have anyone been in the same situation or have any experience in this...please help!
 

FloridaMadame

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waitingNwaiting said:
i have a similar question! i asked this at the other forum but seems like noone wants to help except for one poster. i applied late this cycle with a low verbal mcat ..everything else seems ok....and until now, i only have 1 interview so far. I'm preparing to reapply and taking the april mcat. however, during the last few months...i didn't have enough time to practice for the mcat, especially verbal section ...and i know if i retake it this april...i might not improve much for verbal and i don't want to hurt my chance again. so...i'm thinking of taking more time to study and take the aug one but still apply earlier and indicating that i'm an aug mcater. it know that it will also be late but at least i could get my file complete in mid oct when the score comes in. However, i wonder if the adcom will wait for my score to make a decision or they will base on the old score and rejected me right away! Have anyone been in the same situation or have any experience in this...please help!
Maybe this will help: I took the MCAT and was personally unhappy with my first score and although everyone told me not to retake and my score was fine (low 30's), I knew I could do better with more studying but I also knew it would have to be for the August MCAT. I studied incessently and went up 7 points overall-a huge increase. My AMCAS was complete in July and I made sure the box was checked saying I was taking the August MCAT. i started to receive secondaries during late August, and with each secondary I received, I also sent a letter back asking the school to please wait to review me until my August MCAT was scored. Everyone complied, but I must tell you that it did put me far behind in the interview process with the majority of my interviews in late Nov.,Dec, Jan, and Feb. While other pre-meds were jumping for joy with early acceptances, I was really worried. As it turned out, I don't think it hurt me greatly in the long run and due to my improved MCAT I received multiple acceptances, but I do believe that my late August MCAT hurt me at a few of the top-ten schools (US NEWS), but now I feel that this is their loss, not mine. :) In any event, the August MCAT does put you behind, but the improved score could really make a difference as to where you interview. You just really have to believe in yourself, be willing to study your a$$ off (think of it as a full-time job), and be willing to accept some minor disappointments. Also, don't be upset when everyone else is running off to Sept. and Oct. interviews and you are twiddling your thumbs, waiting for your scores to come in. It is a very difficult time, but the end result was worth it (even though a few tears were still shed). Good luck and I hope this helped :luck:
 

aye

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waitingNwaiting said:
i have a similar question! i asked this at the other forum but seems like noone wants to help except for one poster. i applied late this cycle with a low verbal mcat ..everything else seems ok....and until now, i only have 1 interview so far. I'm preparing to reapply and taking the april mcat. however, during the last few months...i didn't have enough time to practice for the mcat, especially verbal section ...and i know if i retake it this april...i might not improve much for verbal and i don't want to hurt my chance again. so...i'm thinking of taking more time to study and take the aug one but still apply earlier and indicating that i'm an aug mcater. it know that it will also be late but at least i could get my file complete in mid oct when the score comes in. However, i wonder if the adcom will wait for my score to make a decision or they will base on the old score and rejected me right away! Have anyone been in the same situation or have any experience in this...please help!
I'm not trying to take away anything from Floridamadame's post but you also have to keep in mind that she scored in the low 30's and decided to take it again in August. This score is considered good in most medical schools assuming that everything else about her credentials are fine. So retaking the test in August didn't really put her in a disadvantage since she got a good score anyway. I'm not sure about you tho. You said your other two sections were fine but what does that really mean? I think if your science sections were 11+ they'd be willing to wait... because if you have a low score AND you're application is late... that's already two strikes against you.
 

FloridaMadame

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aye said:
I'm not trying to take away anything from Floridamadame's post but you also have to keep in mind that she scored in the low 30's and decided to take it again in August. This score is considered good in most medical schools assuming that everything else about her credentials are fine. So retaking the test in August didn't really put her in a disadvantage since she got a good score anyway. I'm not sure about you tho. You said your other two sections were fine but what does that really mean? I think if your science sections were 11+ they'd be willing to wait... because if you have a low score AND you're application is late... that's already two strikes against you.
What Aye is saying could very well be true. i probably did get most of my secondaries based on my first score, but they just didn't review my entire file until my 2nd MCAT came in and were willing to wait because of my original score. The general consensus is to apply early and in the majority of cases, it is probably the best policy. I knew that for me, it was not the right decision and I had to go with my gut feeling that I would improve my score significantly, and I did. Would I have gotten in to the same schools anyway? I have no idea. This entire process stinks and is a very random crapshoot at best. I will NEVER understand how the adcoms pick and choose the "right" students for their class.
 

waitingNwaiting

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FloridaMadame said:
What Aye is saying could very well be true. i probably did get most of my secondaries based on my first score, but they just didn't review my entire file until my 2nd MCAT came in and were willing to wait because of my original score. The general consensus is to apply early and in the majority of cases, it is probably the best policy. I knew that for me, it was not the right decision and I had to go with my gut feeling that I would improve my score significantly, and I did. Would I have gotten in to the same schools anyway? I have no idea. This entire process stinks and is a very random crapshoot at best. I will NEVER understand how the adcoms pick and choose the "right" students for their class.
Thank you FloridaMadame and Aye so much for your response. That was one of my worry. I took it the first time, for science part, i scored 10+ but a much lower score for verbal. I then retook and unfortunately, i wasn't prepare enough as well as i was sick on the day of the test...that pulled my score down, even though the verbal score and WS improved the 2nd time. I also apply in Sept...and finish most of my 2nd around the deadline of most schools...which put me in a really disadvantage position. I've learned from that lesson and don't want to apply late this year but taking this April Mcat...i'm not quite sure if i could improve much. however...i believe i would do much better in agu.

There are pple who suggest me to wait till my agu score come out and apply. but that will be reallyyyyyyy late....and i don't want to take 2 years off neither. Is there any other option that I could do or I have to take the April MCAT in order to be early in the process? btw, i was thinking of apply early to schools that send out 2nd automatically and begg them to wait for my aug score. Do the school still send out 2nd automatically to reapllicant or they have to look at my file 1st ?

btw, congrat on your acceptance FloridaMadame! :love: