Bad MCAT, retake & apply in Sep? lose out rolling admiss

usermike8500

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Hello everyone,

Which do you think is the better option?

1. Apply in June with a 29R MCAT. (Bad MCAT but good position for rolling admissions)

2. Retake MCAT in August and apply in September. (probably better MCAT but bad position for rolling admissions)

My GPA is 3.8 and I have mediocre at best E.Cs (6 months of volunteering and a year of lab research).

Thanks so much for your input. I really appreciate it. I'm in a tough situation and I don't know what to do. :)
 

chad5871

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What is the score breakdown? A balanced 29R is perfectly acceptable for gaining an acceptance at lower-tier and mid-tier MD programs.

Are those the only two ECs you have - no additional leadership, volunteer, or clinical work?
 

supertrooper66

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why don't you retake it in July instead? i'm retaking mine july 10th. you just indicate on your amcas that you are retaking it so schools will be expecting it. you can still apply in june since you HAVE a score to apply with. most schools don't screen so you'll be fine. waiting till september to retake it will screw you over tho.

i also got a 26R (8, 10, 8), tho, so i have to retake it. 29 is a lil different...i want a 31 tho for sure to be competitive.
 
OP
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usermike8500

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What is the score breakdown? A balanced 29R is perfectly acceptable for gaining an acceptance at lower-tier and mid-tier MD programs.

Are those the only two ECs you have - no additional leadership, volunteer, or clinical work?
Breakdown is 10 Writing, 9 Physical Science, 10 Biological Science

I've also done work as a T.A. for one quarter. (i'm pretty light on E.C.'s)

Thanks for your responses... I'll see if I can take the test in July.
 

zpiff

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That is well balanced at least. If you think you can really do better retake it. However, remember that most people do the same or worse on their retakes.
 

sentrosi

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As mentioned, you should apply in June anyway. If you are sure that you want to apply this cycle that is.

The application process has some built in delays. And realistically, many schools will hardly look at your application for a while, so apply early. And your new scores will come in around the time they start really looking at apps (like after secondaries are in).

Make sure your score improves though.
 

shiftingmirage

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Depends where you want to go. If you want to get into a top teir school, you'll have to retake but if you're just hoping to get in, then apply early. I had a friend apply with a 29R 3.8 GPA and got into Loyola, Rush, R&F. After Loyola he withdrew from his out of state schools, so you can get in with your current stats.
 

da me ka don

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I think you should apply first, and retake it in August or so for schools that will consider you late. Apply. Early application is the key. Many people have gotten in with 29s. I did. Just apply early.
 

chad5871

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Yeah, I don't think you should retake. Don't forget the average matriculant's MCAT is 30-31, and the people who get 35+ skew the average... so there are plenty of people who get in with sub-30 scores (and a 29 is close enough). As long as your GPA is good (which it is) and you have solid extracurriculars, I say go for it this cycle! Good luck with whatever you decide!
 

spospo

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i say apply now and don't worry about retaking. i was in this same position a little less than 2 years ago. i got my scores back and was super upset with the 28S I pulled. i emailed an M1 i knew through family to ask her. she told me just to apply and don't retake. best advice i ever got. i applied with a 3.9 or there about with even fewer ECs than you: no clinical, no research. I did play basketball in undergrad, but that is only 1 EC (it doesn't negate having nothing medical on there). i ended up with 5 interviews and 2 acceptances. i am now enjoying the last summer of my life before M2 year starts in august.

apply with what you have. go out there, be confident. keep the school list broad. don't let it bog you down if you get some rejections. best of luck!
 

nash103

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Go ahead and apply with that score and retake. Notify all your schools that you will be retaking the MCAT. That is exactly what I did. Some went ahead and gave me secondaries and some put me on hold pending the release of my new scores.......but the response after my new scores were released was very quick (and my new scores were NOT anything spectacular (32S)).....

I was invited for 9+ interviews. Just be proactive. It will work in your favor.
 

Tofutti27

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Just be aware that if you indicate you are registered to take a future MCAT (which many applications ask), most schools will not look at your application until the new scores come in. I feel like I shot myself in the foot by retaking the test in August b/c September is LATE in the cycle for your applications to go through the initial review. I turned in all my secondaries in June and July, but almost no one looked at my application before September. Your score is respectable enough to go ahead and apply - applying early will probably help you more than hoping to gain a few extra points on the MCAT (what happens if you dont?) Just my 2 cents.
 

Jolie South

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go ahead and apply with the 29, but get everything in super duper early (primary in june, all secondaries by july).

you could always retake without putting it down on your amcas. then, it could be an update to schools when the score comes out.

make sure you are absolutely ready and scoring high on practice tests before retaking, should you decide to do so.
 

axekilo111

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you could always retake without putting it down on your amcas. then, it could be an update to schools when the score comes out.
I was thinking about doing this... anyone know for a fact(personal experience) that schools will accept the new mcat score, even though you did not indicate on AMCAS that you were taking a later MCAT? Would you update them through AMCAS? Will all schools accept the new MCAT score or will it be on a school by school basis?
 

mdgator

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It depends on what schools you are shooting for. With your GPA, you are in the acceptable range at most schools. There are definitely some schools that are, in general, out of range with a 29. But if you don't have your heart set on these schools, you should be relatively competitive. Many people get in with 29s.
 

Tofutti27

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If I do recall, several schools specifically stated they would NOT consider any future MCAT scores if you do not indicate your intent to take a future MCAT on the application. Some let you specify if you would like them to consider your new score (aka put your application on hold until it comes in or not). Others tell you outright that your application will be held for all future scores, regardless of your preference.
 

Myuu

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Do not apply late!!! Apply now and retake if you must. Again, apply now.

Also, depending on your study habits, time constraints, and relative aggressiveness, you can improve your score. It's not impossible, just unlikely.