Are old (but valid) MCAT scores frowned upon?

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Aug 2, 2020
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I am taking the MCAT early September 2020.
If I apply in the 2022-2023 application cycle, I know that the score will still be valid (within the 3-year lifetime of the score), but will the score's age still be a negative in the eyes of med school adcoms? My GPA isn't so great so I don't want them to think that I just crammed for that one exam and forgot everything by the time I applied.

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If it's within the required window, a school won't hold it against you.

That being said, I'd advise advise against applying so far removed from your MCAT test date. If you don't get in the EY23 cycle and re-apply, your score may be too old for many schools that require a score within 3 years of matriculation, which could result in the waste of a good score, or force you to retake an average score (which would hurt your chances for EY23 anyway, and then could be viewed negatively in EY24 and beyond).

I don't know if you're in UG or are going to apply as a non-trad, but what I'd recommend to you is to either apply earlier, or take your MCAT later. I'm not sure why you'd purposely take your MCAT if you know you aren't going to matriculate for another 3 years.

Regardless, you should really focus on getting your GPA up if that's an area of concern.
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Take the MCAT the cycle you are applying (ie May or June of the year you are sending in your application) so that it's as new as possible and schools won't dismiss it as irrelevant for being too old.
It shouldn't be a problem, but you are adding a stressor on you.

What if you don't make it the first cycle? Then you would have to take the test again. I know some friends who were worried about this, and that made them anxious throughout their whole cycle.
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Med schools won't care unless it's 'expired' for them. Generally that'll never be less than two years from the time you apply, based on year. For example, if you're applying in the 2020-2021 cycle, then MCATs from January 2018 will be accepted. Some schools will accept and MCAT from any time as long as it's post 2015 but no school will be shorter than 2 years.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
Current applicant with a Jan 2018 MCAT. Only had an issue with 1 school who didn't send me a 2° because it was too old. I wouldn't sweat it...but if you can put it off and have a fresh score I would pick that option