Happyface025

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Aug 22, 2016
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I chose my MCAT date this past summer based on the cutoffs listed in the MSAR, however I have since observed that for some schools (mostly my reaches) an MCAT from May 2016 will be expired for matriculation in 2019.

I have been told that retaking a good, "unexpired" MCAT can give a negative impression (hubris, mainly), but I don't want to retake to improve my score, and my current score would be expired for some schools and almost-expired for all the rest.

Would retaking be looked upon negatively by the the schools for which my current MCAT is merely almost-expired? Is there a place I can explain that the retake was not because I scoffed at a 515+, but because I didn't want an expired MCAT to take me out of the running for those reaches altogether?

Thank you for any insight into how to handle this, because I really don't want to apply next cycle, but also don't want to look full of myself if I were to retake next year.
 

lpp06

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Sep 17, 2012
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An MCAT from May 2016 will be valid at the majority of schools for 2019 matriculation.

Most schools allow scores within 3 calendar years of matriculation, rather than exact day and I would doubt they'd look down upon a 90+ percentile just because it's almost expired.
 

BKNbkn

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Apr 9, 2016
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Check each school's "Last Accepted MCAT" for that cycle and adjust for the year, as schools can have specific month/year cutoffs.

If it isn't on their website, ask your friendly neighborhood admissions representative.

Don't want to get disqualified on technicalities!
 
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Happyface025

2+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2016
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Check each school's "Last Accepted MCAT" for that cycle and adjust for the year, as schools can have specific month/year cutoffs.

If it isn't on their website, ask your friendly neighborhood admissions representative.

Don't want to get disqualified on technicalities!

I did exactly this recently. My top choice has a cutoff of July 2016 for 2019 matriculation listed on their website. Are schools known to be flexibilit about this, even if they have a month/date officially?
 

libertyyne

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Check the last accepted MCAT, If need be cater your school list to schools that would accept your mcat during that cycle. Better then the risk of scoring lower on a retake and completely being F--ked.
 

Happyface025

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Aug 22, 2016
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Why did you take it so early?

I was just finishing the coursework that would be on the exam (biochem, mostly) and had month between my finals and the exam date with no other obligations. It seemed like the best time to do it because it was okay for all of my schools according to the MSAR (which was wrong, apparently).

Check the last accepted MCAT, If need be cater your school list to schools that would accept your mcat during that cycle. Better then the risk of scoring lower on a retake and completely being F--ked.

So the suggestion here is to essentially remove all my reach schools? My question is not about whether I can do well on the retake. I understand that is a valid risk. I am very good at gauging how I performed on a test, and if I felt it necessary, I would void and just drop the issue.

My concern is with the schools for which my current test is acceptable, and a retake would make me look like a #gunner in their eyes, though the retake was tailored toward the cutoffs for other schools, where my current exam date is 2-3 months before their cutoff. I want to know if they would understand that maybe my older test was expired for other schools, or would simply see me as someone who was not happy with an excellent score the first go around.
 

libertyyne

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I was just finishing the coursework that would be on the exam (biochem, mostly) and had month between my finals and the exam date with no other obligations. It seemed like the best time to do it because it was okay for all of my schools according to the MSAR (which was wrong, apparently).



So the suggestion here is to essentially remove all my reach schools? My question is not about whether I can do well on the retake. I understand that is a valid risk. I am very good at gauging how I performed on a test, and if I felt it necessary, I would void and just drop the issue.

My concern is with the schools for which my current test is acceptable, and a retake would make me look like a #gunner in their eyes, though the retake was tailored toward the cutoffs for other schools, where my current exam date is 2-3 months before their cutoff. I want to know if they would understand that maybe my older test was expired for other schools, or would simply see me as someone who was not happy with an excellent score the first go around.

My advice was regardless of what you perceive the risk is or ability to perceive test performance. Why take an unnecessary risk to a perfectly good score? There is limited upside with a large potential downside. It is an asymetrical bet. And you get pummeled with one misstep in this process when it comes to the mcat. It will be left to the individual schools to decide whether they think you are being a perfectionist or being prudent. Why allow that to occur. Now if you have a school in mind that you absolutely want to attend and it doesnt accept your score, then you have to if you want to be considered for that school.
 
Jun 21, 2016
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I was just finishing the coursework that would be on the exam (biochem, mostly) and had month between my finals and the exam date with no other obligations. It seemed like the best time to do it because it was okay for all of my schools according to the MSAR (which was wrong, apparently).



So the suggestion here is to essentially remove all my reach schools? My question is not about whether I can do well on the retake. I understand that is a valid risk. I am very good at gauging how I performed on a test, and if I felt it necessary, I would void and just drop the issue.

My concern is with the schools for which my current test is acceptable, and a retake would make me look like a #gunner in their eyes, though the retake was tailored toward the cutoffs for other schools, where my current exam date is 2-3 months before their cutoff. I want to know if they would understand that maybe my older test was expired for other schools, or would simply see me as someone who was not happy with an excellent score the first go around.

I was in a pretty similar situation for this cycle, it was only one of my schools that required me to retake the new MCAT. It was expired at 3-4 other schools, but the others said they would accept mine as it was on the border of the time limit. I ended up retaking it because I didn't want to take myself out of the running for that one school. It doesn't appear that any of the schools cared that I had two good scores, and I was never asked about it in interviews.
 

Happyface025

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Aug 22, 2016
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I was in a pretty similar situation for this cycle, it was only one of my schools that required me to retake the new MCAT. It was expired at 3-4 other schools, but the others said they would accept mine as it was on the border of the time limit. I ended up retaking it because I didn't want to take myself out of the running for that one school. It doesn't appear that any of the schools cared that I had two good scores, and I was never asked about it in interviews.

This is exactly what I was hoping to hear! I am pretty dead set on being able to apply to those schools where it will be expired, so it's good to know it hasn't hurt you or come up in interviews. Thanks!
 
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