Challenge

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Hello I've been around in this forum for several years. I finally had a chance to apply osteopathic school last year but it was before the MCAT score was released. I applied med school in June of last year before I even took the MCAT. I took the Aug MCAT of last year but something went horribly wrong that I ended up getting a really bad score. REALLY BAD. I got 8 on PS but 3 on verbal.. and don't want to even talk about Bio section.
There was no way for me to get an acceptance to medical school for the entering year 2005. Everything was ready but the MCAT score. Med schools only needed my MCAT score. I got so frustruated with the result even though I put my best effort.
Anyhow I tried to forget about everything and did not send the score.

A couple of month later after the MCAT result, I went overseas and taught SAT II chemistry at the Princeton Review in Korea for a month and then I spent another month there working as a private tutor.
Basically I went to my country to enjoy, meet my old friends and to relieve all the stress from graduate school and med school preparation .
I really needed some break. Now I'm back here in the U.S. trying to make a decision as to whether I should re-apply med school or just give up and go to PA school. I'm 29 and got a master's degree in biotech 2 years ago. I don't like basic laboratory research so I don't want to go to PhD program.
I've never had a real job and back of my mind is telling me that I should get a job and settle down asap. But I don't know.. I only took MCAT once.
On a second thought, I just can't simply give up on it.

If I take the MCAT for the second time and re-apply med school again next year, would that raise a red-flag on my application based on what I've done last year not being able complete my application by failing to send the MCAT score? Please help.
I would really appreciate it.
 

fpr85

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I'm not sure whether you're a native english speaker or not (are you Korean?), based on your post your english seems to be pretty good. Is there a possibility that it's a language barrier that's holding you back from performing better on the MCAT?
 
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Yes I'm Korean and I came to America after graduating from high school in Korea. Surely enough English is not my native language.
However I did suffer a panic attack while taking MCAT verbal section on the real deal last year.
I would get average verbal score of 7 or 8 on practice exams though . (Kaplan, TPR.. you name it..)
Without timing, I would get 10 VR. I have significant problem with finishing up the verbal section in time. Maybe because I have ADD and English is not my first language. I may never overcome this. Maybe in 10 years???

Right now I'm thinking about going to PA program after the devastating personal experience with MCAT. Nothing wrong with going to PA program but sometimes I don't feel right about giving up so easily after taking the MCAT only once. Cause I'm usually persistent. But well..I did HORRIBLE on MCAT though.

My parents are discouraging me that I may never make it. They said I shouldn't try again. They are driving me nuts too. They are like "you're almost 30 and you should start making money right now and settle down."
I'm currently unemployed.. in debt (30K) from graduate school, not married...
:::sigh::::
 

JohnBasedow

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I think there would be 2 red flags--one being the non-completion of the process the first time, and second, the 3 on VR on the first test. Of course, if you retake the mcat and get something like 9-9-9, you could explain away all that stuff pretty easily. It sounds like you had a freak-out on your actual mcat, so I bet if you prepped again and didn't treat the test like a life-or-death event, you'd be fine.
 
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hmm red-flag for being the non-completion of the appl. process the first time.... How much would it hurt my application? I was overseas but I guess that can't be a reasonable excuse..
 

JohnBasedow

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Challenge said:
hmm red-flag for being the non-completion of the appl. process the first time.... How much would it hurt my application? I was overseas but I guess that can't be a reasonable excuse..
Nobody can tell you that definitively, but I suspect if you can shore up that MCAT score and your GPA is decent, you can cook up a nice explanation for your interviews.
 

fpr85

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Have you tried D.O. schools or even the Carribean?
 

smc927

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Careful with assumptions! Who knows, maybe there will be flags raised and maybe not. Imagine the following scenario:

You apply. You take the MCAT. You submit the score. You get accepted.

Now imagine this one:

You never complete the application process. You never know.

Sounds like you have MCAT potential if you've scored higher untimed. Maybe you just need to make the MCAT second nature. Buy a bunch of practice exams and do them. You'll become more proficient and comfortable. Then maybe when it comes down to the real thing it won't be a big deal.

Good luck!
 

fpr85

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That's great advice, you never know till you try... the worst possible scenario is "no".

smc927 said:
Careful with assumptions! Who knows, maybe there will be flags raised and maybe not. Imagine the following scenario:

You apply. You take the MCAT. You submit the score. You get accepted.

Now imagine this one:

You never complete the application process. You never know.

Sounds like you have MCAT potential if you've scored higher untimed. Maybe you just need to make the MCAT second nature. Buy a bunch of practice exams and do them. You'll become more proficient and comfortable. Then maybe when it comes down to the real thing it won't be a big deal.

Good luck!
 

LVDoc

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To the OP, you're obviously smart; I mean, c'mon, you got a Masters in Biotechnology. Anyway, don't let your parents discourage you. Besides, you shouldn't give up this easily. Definitely spend the extra time and effort to retake the MCAT again and do well on it. It does sound as though you panicked on it, and that's probably why. Anyway, you should retake it again just to prove to yourself that you can do it, without "giving up so easily." Definitely take a go at it one more time. I have my bets that your score was a fluke, and you can tell them that same thing at your interviews.
 

2tall

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First things first. Believe in yourself. Realize...Understand...Accept that others don't have to believe in your dreams. Some people discourage you (unfortunately it's your parents in this situation). Some people sympathize with you. Some people empathize with you, but you're the only one who has to do it/live it/dream it/realize it.

Stay focused. I know a lot of people who aren't focused on one thing. I was one of those people. After college...it was maybe I can go to grad school...or law school...maybe business. When your vision is divided...you don't go anyhere. Once I stuck to one thing...everything fell into place.

Everyone wants to find the thing they're good at doing...the career they were born to do...where they are meant to be. If it's medicine...look at it as though TODAY is the start of your career.

Be relentless. As you well know, this process can be mentally draining. Keep your eyes on the prize. Tenacity is the key.

Your strengths will remain with you. Now is the time to exercise the weak areas. Find out how you can overcome your test anxiety. What are the other weak areas of your application?

You seem to be concerned with how schools will view this first MCAT score. I don't have an answer for you, but you should definitely forget about it. Let it go. You can't go back in time. Move on! You'll do better next time.

People change. The road ahead will definitely be a _________ (I can't think of one word that will sum it up) one. Not impossible. It can happen. You can do it.

fpr85 has already listed other paths beside allopathic schools that will lead you into your medical career.

I'll end with something my mama always told me. If you start something, FINISH it! Don't let fear get in the way of your desire to become a doctor.
 

asimpleday

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Hey, buddy: Don't give up. Pick up a good strategy. Concentrate on boosting your physical science and bio parts. Cuz raising your verbal score in a short time is not as easy. I have similar background as yours and I finished my college degree long before I came here. Not a native speaker. I am in med school now. Verbal is tough for me too. Reasons: 1. No background knowledge. Solution: Read voraciously. Especially tough topics like philosophy, politics, art and economy. Get used to those craps. I picked up those abbreviated courses and read everyday. 2. Slow reading speed. Solution: Find your own strategy of test taking. Do not follow the strategies that would not work for you. For example: I found summing up the gist of the whole article takes my precious time. Therefore, I developed my own speeding tactics. Just read one paragrahp and dive right into the questions and then jump back and forth. It works for me. Anyway, try different strategies and pick up the most efficient one for yourself. Finally, you need an overall good looking MCAT. So boosting whatever you are good at may benefit you more than spending too much time on your worst. Hope you success my friend and let me know. By the way, I am older than you. Does that give you some confidence?
 

skicu

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Definetly take the test again. If you don't, you will never know. At least if you take it and bomb it you will know you gave it your best shot.
 

beanbean

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If you had been doing fine on practice tests before the real MCAT you should be fine. A decent score the second time will make the first score virtually disappear. A score as low as a three in a section makes people think there must have been some extraordinary circumstances (illness, mis-bubble, etc.) when you took the first test.

First, decide if medicine is what you really want to do.

Second, decide which path to take. MD, DO, PA, etc - there are lots of options each with advantages and disadvantages.

Third, if you decide on the MD or DO route.. .take the MCAT again. Make sure you are well prepared with a bunch of full-length practice tests.

I would also advise seeing a physician or therapist re: your past panic attack while taking the test. Work towards finding some good coping mechanisms in case the same thing happens. Medication may be an option if this is a recurrent problem.