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Botched the MCAT....April 16

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Swatch_VR, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. Swatch_VR

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    The following experience sucks.

    I registered for the MCAT using both my Chinese and English first names thinking that this would be safe for me because some of my IDs have my Chinese first names on them, while others have my English first name on them.

    To my dismay, I received the lamest excuse ever in my life. I wasn't allowed to take the MCAT today and no refunds will be made. Well, given their notorious primary goal of maximizing profit, I wasn't suprised at the latter. According to their strict little baby unreasonable rule/policy, because the government issued IDs (passport and driver's license) that I presented at the test center only have my English first names on them, they do not match "exactly" as my registered first name. Even though my University student card has my picture on it and has my Chinese first name on it, they wouldn't take it.

    Who would ever have anticipated the extraneous information of my Chinese first name that I provided during registration got me into trouble? Obviously, they were perfectly able to positively identify me at the test center, but then understandably, nobody working at the test center gives a damn about it and they only care about their jobs and salaries, and then the bigger organization behind it just wants to rob me of another USD210. It was so unreasonable and I was so angry, given many months of efforts and preparation for this exam.

    Should I attempt to ask for a refund or something?

    I F E E L L I K E C R A P.
     
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  3. alok

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    That sucks. Which test center were you at?
     
  4. MasonPrehealth

    MasonPrehealth Director of Admissions

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    MCAT Essentials 2007, page 11.

    The Test Center Administrator will admit only those examinees who can be positively identified through qualifying forms of identification. Please be prepared to provide personal identification in the form of a current, valid government-issued ID containing both your photo and signature (e.g., a driver's license or passport) in which the name matches that of your registration exactly.​

    It's policy. Therefore, the responsibility is yours.
     
  5. Symphony101

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    That's really terrible. I'm sorry. if you want to hear another truly horrendous mcat story, pm me. :)

    *hugs* you'll be okay. just re-register, and kick ass!
     
  6. Swatch_VR

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    You do realize that Chinese and English first names are codominant (ie.distinct) and not a blend of the two right?
     
  7. Swatch_VR

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    Yea, they told me on the phone to re-register for May test dates two days after the exam, which I suspect are probably all full already. They made it sound like it wasn't a big deal at all, which in fact for me was super-frustrating.

    What? just shrug it off and pretend that nothing happened? This is the most important exam in my life man. Easy for them to say.
     
  8. MasonPrehealth

    MasonPrehealth Director of Admissions

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    I realize it, but you cannot assume the proctors realize it (or could accept it). As I highlighted it, the MCAT Essentials advise you not to take that chance.
     
  9. MDshmemD

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    Yeah man, I feel ya. That is bull crap. Every organization in this country nowadays is out to take your money. If I were you, I wouldn't give up on your "USD210" so easily. You may be able to get the next MCAT for half the price if you just make a simple phone call or even use that money for a test on a later date. I would ATLEAST call them! If that doesn't workout call them again. Sometimes its a matter of who you speak with on the phone that makes a big difference. Explain/embellish your financial situation. But thats just me, you paid for an exam. Play the game.
     
  10. Kraazy

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    What are codominant first names??? Just curious.
     
  11. CarolinaGirl

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    I almost had this problem and I was scared. When I registered it did not say that I needed to put my name as it was listed on my ID nor did it require my middle name. So of course I did not list my middle name. Well at the test center I presented my passport which lists my middle name. They said it did not match. I explained but they then asked for another ID. My drivers license was the same problem but then I had a visa card with picture that I was going to use. The guy flipped it over to check the signature and b/c it was new and had not been used yet I had not signed it. He then said he could not use it. I was dying at this time and he then called his supervisor. Whatever was said on the phone (I was in India, it was Hindi) was good and they let me test.

    This was my biggest complaint on the whole test that this problem could happen so easily.

    I feel for you. I would try to fight it to at least get your money back. If I remember correctly you did not have to have read the mcat essentials until after you registered.
     
  12. Swatch_VR

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    The AAMC registration page definitely did not say anywhere that your registered name and the name that appears on your government issued ID has to "match exactly", only that they can positively identify you with your ID. In fact, they ask specficially for "Name / Given name" so I was misled into provding both my English and Chinese first names. Further, in the MCAT essentials, the whole "name has to match exactly" sentence is embedded somwhere and the word "exactly" was not even italicized or highlighted or stressed.

    I hope future test takers don't get tripped up on such ridiculous issue that CAN SO EASILY HAPPEN (I totally agree). This is one of the loopholes, and it is driving me nuts and I just couldn't stop thinking about it, so just do yourself a favor and avoid this MCAT trap. Coming out of the test center at 12:05 pm staring at the sun on the street is not fun when everyone else was taking the damn exam. It wasn't like they were suspecting that I was a "fake" taking the exam for someone else. They KNEW it was me because I showed them my student card with my picture on it and with my Chinese first name on it!

    So CarolinaGirl, correct me if I am wrong, your credit card does NOT have your middle name but only that it wasn't signed, and so they took it as legitimate anyway.
     
  13. Swatch_VR

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    Just as laymen talk of "human beings" and taxonomists talk of "Homo sapines".

    Just as the Americans call a trailer "the thing" what the British call "a caravan".



    They are different words that mean the same thing, get the metaphor now?
     
  14. Swatch_VR

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    Nope. I just realize that back in January when I registered for the April 16 MCAT, the "2007 MCAT essentials" that they made us read was actually DIFFERENT from the current one they have on the website. I know this because I am looking at the copy that I printed off their website at that time.

    Yes, the front page of the printed copy says "2007 MCAT essentials", but on
    the bottom of every single page of the printed document, it still says "2006 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission" and it is obvious that this was still the 2006 one.

    And under that same section "Taking the MCAT: Test day procedures and rules", NOWHERE does it say that the ID has to match EXACTLY. This is SOMETHING NEW that they added to the 2007 MCAT essentials.

    On the phone they told me that I should have been more careful because the MCAT essentials says that registered name and ID name has to be "exactly identical". WHAT???

    Admission and Ientification

    The Test Center Administrator must positively identify you before allowing you to enter the testing room. You must provide personal identification in the form of a current, government-issued ID containing both your photo an signature (eg. a driver's license of passport). If you o not have government-issued identification, you must contact the MCAT Program Office prior to registering for the exam. If your photo ID does not have your signature on it, you must bring a second form of ID that does have your signature. IF the name on your identification does not match yoru registration (for example, you were recently married), you must bring official proof of your name change. Test center staff will inspect your personal ID to make certain that it has not been altered and that it belongs to you. You are responsible for brining current ID in the name in whch you registered for the MCAT exam. The Test Center Administrator will admit to the testing room only those examinees they can positively identify. Your ID must be valid and current or you will not be admitted to the exam. This is absolutely required for admission to the MCAT.

    So they made me read their policy when I register for the exam (January), changed the details later (probably sometime in March), and then expect to apply them to me on test day (April)?
     
  15. estairella

    estairella Senior Member

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    Enough said, don't you think?

    No, it didn't say "exactly identical." It only says it has to match. FUNNILY ENOUGH, the registration only MATCHES your name if they are exactly identical.

    Name: Jack Bauer
    Registration: Joe Smith

    Name: Jack Bauer
    Registration: Jack Green Bauer the Third

    Name: Jack Bauer
    Registration: Jack Bauer

    Only one of these matches.
     
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  17. estairella

    estairella Senior Member

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    That would be true if you used Chinese characters, but I'm guessing you just romancized your name. When you do that, you are implicitly making the case that your name is "a blend of the two".

    I had the same problem growing up. So I did what must be shocking to you - I changed all my IDs (except for my Chinese passport) to one name. The one that matched my name on government documents. It's not that hard or expensive, and it saves you from trouble like this.
     
  18. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
    Physician

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    The fault is yours. You should have picked 1 name and stuck with the ID that you have. Would you people stop blaming everyone else for your mistakes.

    Be an adult, own up to it and move on. This will not affect your score because there is no score. Sign up for the next test, learn from the error and deal with it.

    Grow up.

    'nuff sed.
     
  19. Swatch_VR

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    If the old MCAT essentials (the one they made me read back in Janauary when I registered) were clear to begin with, then why would they need to bother revising/updating it in early April to include the word "exactly" in the current one?
     
  20. GophurIt

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    My registration name had three names
    my ID has four

    and they didn't even notice, or if they did they did not say anything
     
  21. akinf

    akinf Senior Member

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    It is so funny how very few people are sympathetic on these forums.

    Sorry guy, it is pretty clear in the policy. However, I would still try to get a deal or something on the next one. The worst that can happen is a no...I mean, after not being allowed to write the test, I'm sure that won't phase you that much.
     
  22. estairella

    estairella Senior Member

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    My guess is - too many people didn't get it. That doesn't mean it wasn't clear. When I write up a will (hopefully many years later), I will be using the services of a lawyer. The laws are clear, but I'll still need help.

    It was unfortunate that you didn't get the new version in time, but the old version said what needed to be said. It's also unfortunate that your proctor wasn't more forgiving, but common sense will tell you to always prepare for the worst possible situation. AAMC is not legally obligated to cater to the lowest common denominator. If the thousands of non-native English speakers are able to get it right, then please spare me your diatribe on the injustice of it all.

    /before you claim I'm a troll for AAMC, go to the January threads where I supported launching a class action against them for their mess-up of the verbal passage - I just think those who screw up should get their just desserts
     
  23. killinsound

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    i was thinking the exact same thing...

    i mean sure it might have been the guy's fault, but it still sucks and i feel for him. you guys dont have to kick him while he's down.
     
  24. WonderBoy

    Physician

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    thats what you get when you get a bunch of premeds together, not very different from most, not all, of fellow premeds i had the unfortunate pleasure of running into during undergrad.

    OP, sucks what happened to you. Don't let it freak you out, use it in a positive way take the extra time to prepare more and stay sharp. good luck.
     
  25. Swatch_VR

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    Thanks all for the words =) I am now registered for May's exam.

    I am already feeling much better. Well at least I learned how to write a complaint letter.
     

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