Chemistry Cat 3.0

Cylon Model 21
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2011
269
20
Status
Pre-Medical
I finally created a list for the MD schools I'm applying to for the 2015-2016 cycle. I noticed a lot of schools only interviewed less than 5% of OOS applicants. I was just curious why would anyone apply to over 20+ MD schools knowing that the chance is very low :eek:.
 

TheWeeIceMan

And like that... *poof*... he's gone.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2009
3,500
2,372
Well, just because some states schools have low OOS interview rates doesn't mean that you can't find 20+ schools that have little, if any, in-state bias. Lots of medical schools out there.
 
Dec 3, 2011
1,071
93
"The Library"
Status
Pre-Medical
Well you have a lot of private schools that are more favorable to OOS applicants. The in-state bias mostly applies to state schools
 

Bovary

5+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2013
417
636
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Well you have a lot of private schools that are more favorable to OOS applicants. The in-state bias mostly applies to state schools
Are there some schools in particular that favor OOS applicants (in the name of geographic diversity, I imagine)?
 
Dec 21, 2013
8
16
Status
Medical Student
If your stats are borderline, it actually makes a lot of sense to apply to 20+ schools.

I would just warn you to set aside enough time to get the secondaries done in a timely fashion. I got hit with all of them at once, while I was working, and in grad school. Not fun, I didn't even finish all of the secondaries and others were more delayed than I would have liked.
 

ninjaman22

5+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2013
407
348
Status
Resident [Any Field]
There are also certain state medical schools that don't put emphasis on IS. For example, the 3 public schools in Virginia have a 50/50 IS/OOS ratio.
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
I finally created a list for the MD schools I'm applying to for the 2015-2016 cycle. I noticed a lot of schools only interviewed less than 5% of OOS applicants. I was just curious why would anyone apply to over 20+ MD schools knowing that the chance is very low :eek:.
It can be worth it. I applied to:

1. A state school that a friend attends. I mentioned in my secondaries that I knew him and his positive experience at the school was one reason I was interested in going there. Result: interview invite and acceptance.

2. A state school in a state where I have extremely strong family ties including to the school itself (but I am not a resident). Mentioned this in my secondary. Result: interview and acceptance.

3. A state school with a particular mission emphasis that I am interested in and an exceptionally strong program in my research field of interest. Result: interview, final decision pending.

At all of these schools my stats are above average. All these schools interview very low percentages of out of state applicants. The key is to not throw out applications at random but to carefully select and target schools. In retrospect applying to two dozen schools was probably overkill, but I don't really regret it either. Options are nice.
 
OP
Chemistry Cat 3.0

Chemistry Cat 3.0

Cylon Model 21
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2011
269
20
Status
Pre-Medical
It can be worth it. I applied to:

1. A state school that a friend attends. I mentioned in my secondaries that I knew him and his positive experience at the school was one reason I was interested in going there. Result: interview invite and acceptance.

2. A state school in a state where I have extremely strong family ties including to the school itself (but I am not a resident). Mentioned this in my secondary. Result: interview and acceptance.

3. A state school with a particular mission emphasis that I am interested in and an exceptionally strong program in my research field of interest. Result: interview, final decision pending.

At all of these schools my stats are above average. All these schools interview very low percentages of out of state applicants. The key is to not throw out applications at random but to carefully select and target schools. In retrospect applying to two dozen schools was probably overkill, but I don't really regret it either. Options are nice.
Congrats on your acceptance letters! :clap: I was thinking maybe 8 MDs and 2 DOs ?
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
Congrats on your acceptance letters! :clap: I was thinking maybe 8 MDs and 2 DOs ?
You mean for the number of schools to apply to? I would only advise that few schools if you live in Texas and maybe Florida since both those states have many MD programs that favor residents. If you're in other states I'd say bump your list up to 14-18 depending on how many state schools you have.

Admittedly this is for MD; I don't really know much about DO admissions.
 

solitarius

7+ Year Member
May 20, 2010
1,345
927
Status
Medical Student
People apply to 20+ schools precisely because the chances are low. If everyone could reduce the number of applications and interviews, a lot of people would do it.

Btw, don't fall into the trap of thinking you're a shoo-in at schools where you're well above their acceptance averages. It just doesn't work that way.
 
Last edited:
OP
Chemistry Cat 3.0

Chemistry Cat 3.0

Cylon Model 21
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2011
269
20
Status
Pre-Medical
People apply to 20+ schools precisely because the chances are low. If everyone could reduce the number of applications and interviews, a lot of people would do it.

Btw, don't fall into the trap of thinking you're a shoo-in at schools where you're well above their acceptance averages. It just doesn't work that way.
Are there any ways to know the auto cut-off filter for each school?
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
Are there any ways to know the auto cut-off filter for each school?
He's saying don't think you'll get in if your stats are way above the average. At that point they're not going to screen you out; a human being will look at your application. But that does not mean you're a shoo-in at all. They will try and assess fit and likelihood of attendance in the context of your ECs and overall academic history. It is relatively common for strong applicants to get invites to top schools but ignored at 'safeties'. Basically there are no safeties. 'Apply broadly' applies to applicants of every type.
 

solitarius

7+ Year Member
May 20, 2010
1,345
927
Status
Medical Student
Are there any ways to know the auto cut-off filter for each school?
For secondaries? Most schools will give you a secondary if you pay their fee. For those who do have auto cut-off's, those numbers are much lower than for who they admit. So it's not really helpful.

Ironically, I think a person stands to get into those schools where they are neither far above nor far below a school's stats for accepted applicants. But again, this statement oversimplifies how really complicated this process is. Do your research well on your school list. Most of us had to go through rounds & rounds & rounds & rounds of filtering our school lists.
 

CarlosDanger

5+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2013
624
310
Status
Medical Student
You shouldn't have to apply to more than 20 schools (unless there are at least 4-5 schools in your home state), just pick schools based on your numbers, where you think your experiences will fit the best, and what proportion of the students come from OOS. I made a rule to avoid any school with less than 30% OOS.

Most schools have an IS bias, some are just bigger than others. A 50/50 ratio is still an IS bias.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kittykattat

rfvbnmju

5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2012
308
34
Status
Pre-Medical
If you're Californian, you'd need around 20 to ensure you'd have a chance of an acceptance.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
apply to as many schools as you possibly can. my tentative goal is 40 MD and 10 DO.

i would apply to every single school (minus top tiers and a few select others) if it were feasible.
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
apply to as many schools as you possibly can. my tentative goal is 40 MD and 10 DO.

i would apply to every single school (minus top tiers and a few select others) if it were feasible.
This is terrible advice that will lead to turning in subpar applications to schools you shouldn't apply to in the first place. Also wasting thousands of dollars.
 
Jun 11, 2013
65
21
Status
Medical Student
Come back after secondary #25 to tell us how that's going. I was about ready to throw my laptop off the bridge after ~15.
In the current cycle I applied to 30, ended up completing closer to 25 secondaries. The other 5 were schools that didn't offer them or were OOS state schools that I shouldn't have applied to and wouldn't have if I had known better. You can find 30+ schools that are worth applying to, but only if you are on the lower end of the spectrum with respect to GPA and mcat. That is my experience.
 
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
In the current cycle I applied to 30, ended up completing closer to 25 secondaries. The other 5 were schools that didn't offer them or were OOS state schools that I shouldn't have applied to and wouldn't have if I had known better. You can find 30+ schools that are worth applying to, but only if you are on the lower end of the spectrum with respect to GPA and mcat. That is my experience.
i have a 3.6/3.3 c/s GPA and a 35 MCAT, so i probably need to apply to 50 schools or so. good news is that $$$ is not a problem, and that i'll have no obligations during application season. i only have one shot at this folks, and i have to get in.
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
i have a 3.6/3.3 c/s GPA and a 35 MCAT, so i probably need to apply to 50 schools or so. good news is that $$$ is not a problem, and that i'll have no obligations during application season. i only have one shot at this folks, and i have to get in.
You are completely delusional about this. Think smart about your schools list and you should apply to 20-25 schools at max.

You think quantity is going to beat out quality? No way. When I see people with reasonable stats and ECs who don't get in the first thing I think is that their application essays are probably poorly representing their accomplishments. That's far more likely to happen if you burn yourself out on secondary after secondary on schools where you don't take the time to think about why you want to go there and why they should want you there.

But whatever, try it. By far the most likely outcome is you'll get to secondary #20 or 21, realize what a terrible mistake it was, and have lost your primary fees for the remaining schools when you don't finish the applications.

Don't offer bad advice as absolute truth to other people on the board.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Amygdarya
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
You are completely delusional about this. Think smart about your schools list and you should apply to 20-25 schools at max.

You think quantity is going to beat out quality? No way. When I see people with reasonable stats and ECs who don't get in the first thing I think is that their application essays are probably poorly representing their accomplishments. That's far more likely to happen if you burn yourself out on secondary after secondary on schools where you don't take the time to think about why you want to go there and why they should want you there.

But whatever, try it. By far the most likely outcome is you'll get to secondary #20 or 21, realize what a terrible mistake it was, and have lost your primary fees for the remaining schools when you don't finish the applications.

Don't offer bad advice as absolute truth to other people on the board.
i think i am going to heed your advice and limit myself to 30 schools. but you think my stats are reasonable?
 

darklabel

PGWhy
7+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2012
2,393
917
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You are completely delusional about this. Think smart about your schools list and you should apply to 20-25 schools at max.

You think quantity is going to beat out quality? No way. When I see people with reasonable stats and ECs who don't get in the first thing I think is that their application essays are probably poorly representing their accomplishments. That's far more likely to happen if you burn yourself out on secondary after secondary on schools where you don't take the time to think about why you want to go there and why they should want you there.

But whatever, try it. By far the most likely outcome is you'll get to secondary #20 or 21, realize what a terrible mistake it was, and have lost your primary fees for the remaining schools when you don't finish the applications.

Don't offer bad advice as absolute truth to other people on the board.
+1, try limiting it to around 25 or so, you'll be applying to OOS (for you) state schools that with your stats will never give you the time of day. You can easily limit it to ~25 and even ~20 if you're realistic enough.

If you get in your cycle, then it wouldn't be by any of the schools that were complete long shots.

Source: Also an underdog and got in by applying to only around ~22 schools.
 
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
+1, try limiting it to around 25 or so, you'll be applying to OOS (for you) state schools that with your stats will never give you the time of day. You can easily limit it to ~25 and even ~20 if you're realistic enough.

If you get in your cycle, then it wouldn't be by any of the schools that were complete long shots.

Source: Also an underdog and got in by applying to only around ~22 schools.
so a 3.6/3.3 and 35 is probably not good enough for many OOS schools?

my main battle plan is to focus on low/mid tier private schools, that's probably a good idea, right?
 

darklabel

PGWhy
7+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2012
2,393
917
Status
Resident [Any Field]
so a 3.6/3.3 and 35 is probably not good enough for many OOS schools?

my main battle plan is to focus on low/mid tier private schools, that's probably a good idea, right?
Yeah, but I don't think theres ~50 that fit your bill.

Limiting it to 30 is a better idea, but I think ~25 is that ideal sweet point. I think you have a shot (especially if you're not from Cali), but you also want to spend some time with your secondaries to make sure they're perfect.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SN12357
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
so a 3.6/3.3 and 35 is probably not good enough for many OOS schools?

my main battle plan is to focus on low/mid tier private schools, that's probably a good idea, right?
Obviously your GPA is not ideal, but you shouldn't be autoscreened out and your MCAT is excellent; that means a human being looking at your application. At that point it's your job to make your case convincingly in your essays and activities.

If I were you I'd do approx. 25 MD schools chosen well; private schools, your own state schools, and maybe a few more state schools where you can articulate a clear reason for why you'd want to go there specifically.

I know much less about DO admissions but if you're willing to go DO maybe 5-6 DO schools on top of the MD schools? I've seen people successfully finish 30 applications around here. Never seen convincing evidence that more than that was worth it.
 

TheLadyVanishes

7+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2011
133
14
Status
I applied to 24 schools, which I feel was the right number for me (3.75 GPA, 37 MCAT, CA resident) - 11 IIs, 2 acceptances (0 acceptances at state schools).
I think this depends on 1.) where you are in terms of MCAT/GPA/ECs and overall competitiveness, 2.) state residency.
There are 141 allopathic schools in the US.
For those of us who are not competitive, you can just ignore the Ivies/top 20-30 schools (Harvard, Yale, NYU, Penn, UCSF, Wash U, Columbia). Conversely, if you are very competitive it's probably not worth your while to apply to lower stat schools that get tons of applications (RFU, GWU, NYMC, nothing against these schools), which might be about 10-15.
Since you can only have residency in one state, if you are OOS, you can also ignore the schools that are extremely state specific (state schools in CA, TX, NJ, FL, WA) - I counted about 50, counting public schools with <20% OOS from this table. With a few exceptions, even the schools that have >20% OOS are still a gamble and may demand stats far higher than those of IS. I would add about 10 where this appears to be the case (OHSU, UH, UNC).
Unless you are URM or have ties to Puerto Rico, there are about 6 historically black/Puerto Rican schools you can cross off your list.
You can probably apply to fewer if you are from TX or FL, which have a lot of medical schools and restrictions on the number of OOS students who can be admitted.
141-30-60-6 = 45 schools.
(There are, of course, others such as schools in areas where you really don't want to live or state schools that give you sticker shock at their high tuition, if they even give you an interview as an OOSer.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chemistry Cat 3.0
OP
Chemistry Cat 3.0

Chemistry Cat 3.0

Cylon Model 21
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2011
269
20
Status
Pre-Medical
I applied to 24 schools, which I feel was the right number for me (3.75 GPA, 37 MCAT, CA resident) - 11 IIs, 2 acceptances (0 acceptances at state schools).
I think this depends on 1.) where you are in terms of MCAT/GPA/ECs and overall competitiveness, 2.) state residency.
There are 141 allopathic schools in the US.
For those of us who are not competitive, you can just ignore the Ivies/top 20-30 schools (Harvard, Yale, NYU, Penn, UCSF, Wash U, Columbia). Conversely, if you are very competitive it's probably not worth your while to apply to lower stat schools that get tons of applications (RFU, GWU, NYMC, nothing against these schools), which might be about 10-15.
Since you can only have residency in one state, if you are OOS, you can also ignore the schools that are extremely state specific (state schools in CA, TX, NJ, FL, WA) - I counted about 50, counting public schools with <20% OOS from this table. With a few exceptions, even the schools that have >20% OOS are still a gamble and may demand stats far higher than those of IS. I would add about 10 where this appears to be the case (OHSU, UH, UNC).
Unless you are URM or have ties to Puerto Rico, there are about 6 historically black/Puerto Rican schools you can cross off your list.
You can probably apply to fewer if you are from TX or FL, which have a lot of medical schools and restrictions on the number of OOS students who can be admitted.
141-30-60-6 = 45 schools.
(There are, of course, others such as schools in areas where you really don't want to live or state schools that give you sticker shock at their high tuition, if they even give you an interview as an OOSer.)
Thank you for this very informative feedback.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,219
77,697
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Wishful thinking is one reason, ignorance a second, and outright stupidity is another. I say the latter because my school (and my learned colleague gyngyns's) get apps from people who score single digits on the MCAT. Not in individual categories..the total score! I am not making this up.

I see tons of posts in these forums from people who are not competitive for, say, the UC system, U MI or U NC, but have the have these schools on their lists.

I finally created a list for the MD chools I'm applying to for the 2015-2016 cycle. I noticed a lot of schools only interviewed less than 5% of OOS applicants. I was just curious why would anyone apply to over 20+ MD schools knowing that the chance is very low :eek:.


Correct. State schools favor the home team because the taxpayers subsidize the students' tuition, in the form of lower tuition. Thus, in return for their investment, they want to know that you're likely to stay in the state and practice medicine. Someone from CA is not likely to stay in MI, y'think?

However, some schools are OK with people from neighboring states. For example, if you're from rural VA, U WVA might like you. Ditto people in the Plains states. But overall, I advise people to apply to OOS public schools only if their numbers are above avg.

so a 3.6/3.3 and 35 is probably not good enough for many OOS schools?
 
Last edited:

karayaa

5+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2012
722
306
Status
Medical Student
I applied to 24 schools, which I feel was the right number for me (3.75 GPA, 37 MCAT, CA resident) - 11 IIs, 2 acceptances (0 acceptances at state schools).
I think this depends on 1.) where you are in terms of MCAT/GPA/ECs and overall competitiveness, 2.) state residency.
There are 141 allopathic schools in the US.
For those of us who are not competitive, you can just ignore the Ivies/top 20-30 schools (Harvard, Yale, NYU, Penn, UCSF, Wash U, Columbia). Conversely, if you are very competitive it's probably not worth your while to apply to lower stat schools that get tons of applications (RFU, GWU, NYMC, nothing against these schools), which might be about 10-15.
Since you can only have residency in one state, if you are OOS, you can also ignore the schools that are extremely state specific (state schools in CA, TX, NJ, FL, WA) - I counted about 50, counting public schools with <20% OOS from this table. With a few exceptions, even the schools that have >20% OOS are still a gamble and may demand stats far higher than those of IS. I would add about 10 where this appears to be the case (OHSU, UH, UNC).
Unless you are URM or have ties to Puerto Rico, there are about 6 historically black/Puerto Rican schools you can cross off your list.
You can probably apply to fewer if you are from TX or FL, which have a lot of medical schools and restrictions on the number of OOS students who can be admitted.
141-30-60-6 = 45 schools.
(There are, of course, others such as schools in areas where you really don't want to live or state schools that give you sticker shock at their high tuition, if they even give you an interview as an OOSer.)
- That Amherst data is from the 06-07 msar. Does the current msar still have that info?
- Your stats seem pretty high - why did you avoid the top-20/30 schools? For the schools that gave you 2ºs, and acceptances, where did you stats fall in comparison to their averages?
 

TheLadyVanishes

7+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2011
133
14
Status
- That Amherst data is from the 06-07 msar. Does the current msar still have that info?
- Your stats seem pretty high - why did you avoid the top-20/30 schools? For the schools that gave you 2ºs, and acceptances, where did you stats fall in comparison to their averages?
I agree that it is worth checking the current MSAR and doing your own legwork, for example, UVA had >50% OOS students last cycle and may be more OOS friendly than before.

Regarding my school choices, my numbers may look good on paper, but I am an old nontrad with a resume weighted more heavily towards community service than research and a long and weird educational history that I guessed wouldn't fly well at top 20 schools. I just do not feel like I am the kind of student they are looking for :) I did apply to 3 schools that I consider top 30-40-ish, and within reasonable striking distance, and received IIs from 2, pre-interview hold from 1.

However, I decided not to apply to too many reach schools because I'm paying for all the secondaries and because, given my age, I only wanted to go through one (max, two) cycles, so I only applied to schools with stats equal to or lower than mine. I feel like my strategy paid off, I have 11 interview invites out of 24 schools applied to, with 2 acceptances on Oct 15th. Most of these schools had GPAs and/or MCATs (usually both) quite a bit lower than mine.

If I had concentrated on schools that were marginally within my reach, I don't think my cycle would have been as good. Next summer when this cycle finishes, I plan on writing a summary post here about my strategy of applying lower than my Lizzy M score.

To answer your other question, I am pretty sure I filled out all the secondaries and was not screened out, although I've had pre-interview rejections, silent rejections and hold status at the other 13 schools.
 
Aug 8, 2013
1,395
903
Michigan
Status
Medical Student
Even with good stats you can't count on OOS. Minnesota rejected me after less than a week of having my application, an d I'm pretty sure my lackluster answer to what ties I have to the state was a major strike against me. Fastest turnaround time of the cycle :p
 
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
thanks for all the info. it seems that with my stats, i have to be open to the possibility of a DO school, which is fine at this point.
 

lovesfall

5+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2012
225
3
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
I finally created a list for the MD schools I'm applying to for the 2015-2016 cycle. I noticed a lot of schools only interviewed less than 5% of OOS applicants. I was just curious why would anyone apply to over 20+ MD schools knowing that the chance is very low :eek:.
I think people spread their applications out over a lot of schools in hopes that even if the chance is 1 in 100 (or less) that if they apply to 100 schools they'll get one interview.
I thought that was pretty dumb and expensive so I only applied in state. If I'd have had dreams of going out of state I probably would have applied to those schools on the off chance that they would have me, but they probably would have been private schools that are more receptive to OOS applicants anyway.
Sometimes it is worth looking a little deeper at which OOS people are interviewed. Some schools favor applicants from certain other states more than others and so the percentage of OOS II can be misleading.
 

CyberMaxx

Doing math in pen
10+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2008
1,029
534
Carrel 118
Status
Medical Student
For what it's worth OP, I have very similar stats and have been successful this cycle by applying to 25 schools. If you have a well rounded application I think you can include a healthy number of mid-tiers and upper mid-tiers/lower top-tiers. I may be misinterpreting you application but I don't think you need to consider DO.
 
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
For what it's worth OP, I have very similar stats and have been successful this cycle by applying to 25 schools. If you have a well rounded application I think you can include a healthy number of mid-tiers and upper mid-tiers/lower top-tiers. I may be misinterpreting you application but I don't think you need to consider DO.
did the OP ever reveal his/her stats?
 
OP
Chemistry Cat 3.0

Chemistry Cat 3.0

Cylon Model 21
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2011
269
20
Status
Pre-Medical
For what it's worth OP, I have very similar stats and have been successful this cycle by applying to 25 schools. If you have a well rounded application I think you can include a healthy number of mid-tiers and upper mid-tiers/lower top-tiers. I may be misinterpreting you application but I don't think you need to consider DO.
I have no yet taken the MCAT but I have registered to take it on May 31st 2014. My goal is to score a 35 and above, dream away :rofl:
 
Jun 7, 2012
750
302
I have no yet taken the MCAT but I have registered to take it on May 31st 2014. My goal is to score a 35 and above, dream away :rofl:
You can absolutely score a 35 if you study. This is not some pipe dream, tons of students do it when working hard. Study until you're consistently scoring a 35 and up and practice exams and doing the same on the real thing will not be a problem.
 

Amygdarya

10+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2009
2,135
1,682
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I finally created a list for the MD schools I'm applying to for the 2015-2016 cycle. I noticed a lot of schools only interviewed less than 5% of OOS applicants. I was just curious why would anyone apply to over 20+ MD schools knowing that the chance is very low :eek:.
At the risk of sounding harsh... again, you should know your MCAT score before selecting schools.
My algorithm for selecting schools goes something like this:
1. Get MSAR (online).
2. Select all schools in whose 10-90 stats percentiles your stats fall.
3. Of those, select your IS schools and OOS private schools. For OOS state schools, check how OOS friendly they are; personally, I wouldn't bother with a school that admits more than 75% IS unless there is a very strong reason to attend it.
4. Take a closer look at the remaining schools, visit their web sites, look to see if you fit their mission (this may be *very* important at some schools), whether you see yourself at that school/geographic location and whether you have all the prereqs for that school (though you can always take prereqs during the application cycle).

A word of advice from someone who wasted money on sending too many primary applications: take a close look at each school *before* you submit a primary, not after. In fact, research schools well and make up your list before you apply - which is what you're trying to do now, except MCAT score is quite critical in selecting which schools to apply to ;)

And I most enthusiasticaly agree with those who say that a smart school selection and high quality applications beat quantity.

(I submitted close to 30 primaries but only completed 20 applications, which was more than enough in my case.)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AkGrown84
OP
Chemistry Cat 3.0

Chemistry Cat 3.0

Cylon Model 21
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2011
269
20
Status
Pre-Medical
You can absolutely score a 35 if you study. This is not some pipe dream, tons of students do it when working hard. Study until you're consistently scoring a 35 and up and practice exams and doing the same on the real thing will not be a problem.
Thank you! I plan to use the EK 10 weeks study schedule. I also noticed that there is a 3 months study schedule on SDN, but I thought that one was a bit too much, especially they use study materials from multiple vendors, and study 5+ hrs/day, I just don't think it was realistic for a working adult. I think 1~3 hrs/day is possible, but definitely not 5.
 
OP
Chemistry Cat 3.0

Chemistry Cat 3.0

Cylon Model 21
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2011
269
20
Status
Pre-Medical
At the risk of sounding harsh... again, you should know your MCAT score before selecting schools.
My algorithm of selecting schools goes something like this:
1. Get MSAR (online).
2. Select all schools in whose 10-90 stats percentiles your stats fall.
3. Of those, select your IS state schools and OOS private schools. For OOS state schools, check how OOS friendly they are; personally, I wouldn't bother with a school that admits more than 75% IS.
4. Take a closer look at the remaining schools, visit their web site, look to see if you fit their mission (this may be *very* important at some schools), whether you see yourself in that school/geographic location and whether you have all the prereqs for that school.

A word of advice from someone who wasted money on sending too many primary applications: take a close look at each school *before* you submit a primary, not after.
(I submitted close to 30 primaries but only completed 20 applications, which was more than enough in my case.)
That makes sense, at this point of my life I can only improve my MCAT and really nail it. It's impossible to improve GPA (from 3.5 to 3.8) with 200+ credit hrs.
 

Amygdarya

10+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2009
2,135
1,682
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I have no yet taken the MCAT but I have registered to take it on May 31st 2014. My goal is to score a 35 and above, dream away :rofl:
I second rfenzo here: getting a 35+ MCAT score is quite doable with some hard work. I myself went from a 30 (barely studying) to a 38 (studying my tail off for 3 months) - I feel like I write about this a lot, but I do this not to boast but to encourage people to do their best.
There is a lot of good advice about MCAT on SDN. (+ feel free to PM me if you like)

I've told this to you before, but it bears repeating: in many cases - and in your low-ish GPA + a PhD situation in particular - MCAT will determine whether and which medical school you will go to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chemistry Cat 3.0

Amygdarya

10+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2009
2,135
1,682
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thank you! I plan to use the EK 10 weeks study schedule. I also noticed that there is a 3 months study schedule on SDN, but I thought that one was a bit too much, especially they use study materials from multiple vendors, and study 5+ hrs/day, I just don't think it was realistic for a working adult. I think 1~3 hrs/day is possible, but definitely not 5.
That 3 months SDN study schedule you're talking about is golden, and EK is hardly adequate. Seriously. You may not like my answer, but I studied for 3-4 hours almost every night and longer on weekends for 3 months straight to get that 38 (all while working full time in research, which, as you well know, is not a 9-to-5 job, and taking some night/weekend/online classes, plus weekly hospital volunteering and other stuff).
I do believe there are very sharp people/awesome test takers who got high scores without studying as much as I did; but I think it's safer to prepare for more rather than less work. You can gauge your progress/effectiveness of your study methods by taking full time AAMC tests.

TBR and TPRH are the best for serious DIY MCAT preparation. I prefer TPRH because I think it represents what MCAT tests the best and is strong in all subjects; TBR may be an overkill, and while its physical sciences are great, I have issues with its biological sciences and verbal.
I did use EK - EK verbal 101, which is great, and the 5-book EK package which is *only good for a quick review when you know the material inside out*. As a graduate student, do not assume that you remember all the MCAT material well enough to limit your preparation to EK - this is exactly the mistake I did the first time I took MCAT. Most importantly, except for the Verbal 101 Passages, EK doesn't offer good practice materials, and you must *practice* to do well on MCAT. Speaking of practice materials, again, in my opinion, TPRH is the most representative of the actual MCAT; TBR sciences are good, but an overkill and occasionally demoralizing.
 
Last edited:
OP
Chemistry Cat 3.0

Chemistry Cat 3.0

Cylon Model 21
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2011
269
20
Status
Pre-Medical
That 3 months SDN study schedule you're talking about is golden, and EK is hardly adequate. Seriously. You may not like my answer, but I studied for 3-4 hours almost every night and longer on weekends for 3 months straight to get that 38 (all while working full time in research, which, as you well know, is not a 9-to-5 job, and taking some night/weekend/online classes, plus weekly hospital volunteering and other stuff).
I do believe there are very sharp people/awesome test takers who got high scores without studying as much as I did; but I think it's safer to prepare for more rather than less work. You can gauge your progress/effectiveness of your study methods by taking full time AAMC tests.

TBR and TPRH are the best for serious DIY MCAT preparation. I prefer TPRH because I think it represents what MCAT tests the best and is strong in all subjects; TBR may be an overkill, and while its physical sciences are great, I have issues with its biological sciences and verbal.
I did use EK - EK verbal 101, which is great, and the 5-book EK package which is *only good for a quick review when you know the material inside out*. As a graduate student, do not assume that you remember all the MCAT material well enough to limit your preparation to EK - this is exactly the mistake I did the first time I took MCAT. Most importantly, except for the Verbal 101 Passages, EK doesn't offer good practice materials, and you must *practice* to do well on MCAT. Speaking of practice materials, again, in my opinion, TPRH is the most representative of the actual MCAT; TBR sciences are good, but an overkill and occasionally demoralizing.
Thank you for the pointer. I decided to get the EK package as a Christmas gift to myself because it was recommended by several friends of mine, and they just recently completed some prerequisites. I have never heard of TPRH though, but I will go ahead and order it as well, it'll be the 2014 New Year gift to myself :clap:.