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august 2008 retake or just submit

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ycheung8, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. ycheung8

    ycheung8 5+ Year Member

    May 22, 2007
    I did a search, but the answers that I found was more or less relevant to admissions before 2007. Plus there's such a varied response, several have said August MCAT is too late and that the applicant should wait one more year, and others have said that August MCAT is doable but disadvantageous nonetheless.

    Question: Should I just submit the app as early as I can so that I can be complete by August (at latest) or should I retake the MCAT in August?


    Should I use some strategy and ask SELECT schools to process my app without waiting for my 2008 MCAT score?

    My stats:
    July 2007 MCAT: 26 R
    August 2007 MCAT: 31 R
    (currently registered for August 7th 2008 MCAT)

    overall GPA: 3.5
    science GPA: not sure yet, probably 3.3

    - volunteering at hospital
    - involved in student government for two years
    - editor-in-chief for one year
    - teacher's assistant for intro bio
    - secretary for one year
    - social chair for one year

    I really feel that I can score significantly higher on the MCAT this year because I've taken more science courses inbetween that have helped me understand intro bio, intro chem and intro physics more. I'm also practicing my reading skills everyday.
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  3. foster033

    foster033 7+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    I wouldn't take it've already repeated it and there's no guarantee you'll do better this time.

    A 31 is a good score, so stop being neurotic and just apply with what you have.
  4. ycheung8

    ycheung8 5+ Year Member

    May 22, 2007
    bump, more advice?
  5. Mobius1985

    Mobius1985 7+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    I agree with foster. I would not take the MCAT again. DO take more classes and get straight As to get your GPA as high as possible (and inform schools you applied to via update letters at the end of the semester).
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    If it's a balanced 31 run with it. If we are talking something like 14, 14, 3, then yeah, retake it.
  7. GuardianAngel

    GuardianAngel 2+ Year Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    I applied two years ago, back when they only offered the MCAT twice each year. I couldn't take it in April so I turned in my AMCAS in July and took the MCAT in August. I had a 3.9 GPA and scored a 39 on the MCAT with a publication in a good journal and good extracurriculars, but I didn't even get interviews at some places that I really thought I should have and I got wait-listed at a lot of places too. I was fortunate and ended up at Duke, but it was one of only two schools that accepted me. Taking the MCAT late is definitely a disadvantage. I would consider applying with what you have, and taking the MCAT in August anyway without mentioning it to any schools until you get your score back. If you do significantly better, call and update your application. I've never heard of anyone doing this, but it sounds like a good idea to me.
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    The downside to this is if the OP pulls another 26, any school that might have considered him at a 31 will probably pull their acceptance/interview. And the schools do hear you've taken the test whether you mention it or not -- AMCAS reports to the schools you submitted primaries to automatically. I see this as more likely to burn you than help you since the odds of someone having taken it twice already doing dramatically better than a 31 simply isn't as likely as the odds of someone doing worse.
  9. Ginzo

    Ginzo 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2006
    Retaking the MCAT is almost pointless for you at this point because that 3.3 BCMP is going to hold you back a lot more than a 31 ever will. I suggest looking into raising that a bit.
  10. I wouldn't retake it - a 31 is a good score. I think anyone should be darn sure you're going to score significantly higher if you're going to retake the test...otherwise you're doing yourself a disservice.
  11. admitER

    admitER 2+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    No MCAT score will "make up" for a low BCPM. I definately say submit ASAP.... In addition, taking more upper-level science does not necessarily increase your MCAT score. Assuming you have a well-balanced score, you probably have a decent grasp of the concepts tested on the MCAT. You also have to think about the possibility of statistical regression towards the mean - you're likely to score lower. And even if you do increase, I would say that submitting late would still put you at a worse disadvantage than you would applying now with your (good) score. Just my $0.02
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Agree. A stronger argument could be made that you will never know as much of the core sciences tested on the MCAT as you do immediately after finishing those courses, while it is fresh in your mind. Upper levels may help hammer in some specifics, but you likely forget more of the basics.
  13. ycheung8

    ycheung8 5+ Year Member

    May 22, 2007
    Thank everyone.

    Just to clarify, it was pretty balanced 10 PS, 10 V, 11 BS.

    I think I'll look into the partial MCAT refund option.
  14. disqfish

    disqfish 2+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2008
    i'm in the same position, i signed up for the august 22 mcat and my last score was a 29, which i know i can bring up.. 3.3 undergrad, 3.7 gpa masters, decent EC

    i have the option to push my test forward to august 5 (i don't think i'll be ready for the july mcat), should i?
  15. Dr. Toaster

    Dr. Toaster There and back again 5+ Year Member

    Jun 30, 2008
    I have a similar situation. I'm registered for the Aug 22 MCAT. Mt first MCAT was PS 6, BS 10, VR 11, T. My undergrad GPA is 3.9, BCPM is 3.7.

    Should I retake? Should I cancel?

    Will retaking mean that schools won't process my application until the 2nd set of scores comes in?
  16. JDOC13

    JDOC13 Member 5+ Year Member

    May 17, 2008

    Probably (that 6 will hurt you). Probably not. Yes.
  17. Zanzobar

    Zanzobar 5+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    That 6 will really hurt, especially since it's in a science section. I'd retake it and shoot for a more balanced score. A balanced 27 looks much better than an unbalanced one.
  18. Dedikated2liftn

    Dedikated2liftn Bodybuilder 5+ Year Member

    Nov 16, 2006
    While true, I think a 27 is going to hurt you pretty significantly (regardless of distribution) in this process. Despite your high GPA, which adcoms will view this as a consequence of grade inflation, I think you're better off shooting for a better score. Granted you may get some love from your state school (or DO schools), but unless you're bringing something else extraordiniary to the table (or you're an URM), I'd get your score up into the 30s.
  19. URHere

    URHere Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    I second what everyone else has been saying. A 5 point increase is already pretty substantial, and the last thing you need is to retake and get another 26 (there are MANY threads of people who did a 3rd retake to improve an already adequate score and dropped significantly). You want ADCOMs to know that your jump to a 31 was because of your knowledge, not a fluke...and if your score dropped for any reason all signs would definitely point to fluke.

    To those of you with less than a 29 who have not done a retake and improved, study hard and go for it. At that point, your chances are better of increasing your score than lowering it.
  20. UVAbme2009

    UVAbme2009 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    From looking at the 27-29 MCAT interview thread, the common theme is that those with low MCAT scores applied EARLY! You have a 31. Run with it and get everything in right away.
  21. Zanzobar

    Zanzobar 5+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    Agreed, I was merely trying to say that we've all heard of people getting in with a 27, but it's still a good idea to retake

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