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Can I get in? Need fresh advice please...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Osteopathic [ DO ]' started by DamanTHFC, 05.19.14.

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  1. DamanTHFC

    DamanTHFC 2+ Year Member

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    Hey there....
    I am hoping I can get some opinions and suggestions.

    Originally I only looked into MD schools, but after a bit of good/honest views and some research I realize that DO is just as fine and respectable for me. And it also seems (with my MCAT troubles) that DO school is probably the best bet for me too.

    So I graduated last year (from Pitt) and I'm in my gap year.
    I got a 3.75 gpa, and have pretty good hours for volunteering, research, extracurricular activity, etc.

    But it's my MCAT that is holding me back. On my first try, I got a 21. And then I took it again (about a month ago) and while I did improve, I believe it is not enough. I got a 24 (PS 8, VR 6, BS 10) this time around, with a 1 point increase in each section compared to my first exam.

    I think the general consensus would be to retake it again (for a third time).
    But it would be my last try for this year (given I had to void once already this year).

    So what should I do?
    Can I go ahead and apply for DO schools with this 24?
    Should I retake the test one more time? And what would be the best approach (since I have only one more try this year).
    Should I try both options at the same time?
    Or is there an option D?

    Please help me!
    This MCAT frustration is killing me.
     
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  3. bionerd89

    bionerd89 2+ Year Member

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    1) Do you have a preference on which DO school you want to attend?
    2) Did you study a lot harder for your second MCAT?
    3) Are you URM?
    4) Is there a DO school in your state and do they have IS bias?
     
  4. DoctorKrieger

    DoctorKrieger Exit Van Left 2+ Year Member

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    Are you picky on where you may end up? If not, apply to every DO school you can imagine yourself at and you likely will get some offers without retaking the MCAT.

    You also need to reflect on how much you studied for the MCAT this past time. Do you realistically think you can improve your score with a retake or did you prepare with your best effort? Improving five points on MCAT would make you competitive for some MD schools, if you care about that.
     
  5. Shen924

    Shen924 2+ Year Member

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    I'm almost in the same situation as you. I say go ahead and apply with what you got and at the same time study for your retake and take some tests to see if you improved and go on from there. Thats my opinion.
     
  6. DamanTHFC

    DamanTHFC 2+ Year Member

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    1. Not really. I'm from PA, and ideally LECOM or PCOM would be great to get in. Though the only other DO school I looked into beside those 2, is CUSOM, which looks pretty decent.
    But I just want to get into any med school, where I will get decent education to become a pretty good doctor (and be able to get into a good residency).

    2. I believe so. Much harder than my first? --- Yes.
    But to my max (that I know I'm capable of)? --- honestly, probably no.
    It's the verbal section that kills me.

    3. I don't think so. I'm from India (and English is my second), but I probably don't fall into the urm category.
    However, I am a Sikh. And I have heard mixed opinions on that. So I', not quite sure.

    4. Yes in PA we have LECOM and PCOM.
    What's IS bias? Is that in-state bias? If so, I'm not sure.

    Kind of mentioned a bit above. I definitely studied harder than my first try, but I probably could have done better.

    I thing is that if I do retake, I don't want to waste that opportunity because it's my last try for this year.
    I really want to be able to apply for this coming term, so I just want to know what will be the best approach with the MCAT, as in when to take it, and when (test date) will be too long to apply for this coming term.

    In a good way, it's a bit comforting to hear that someone else is in a same boat.
    Could you please tell me what's going on with you, and what you plan to do next?
    Thanks.
     
  7. Shen924

    Shen924 2+ Year Member

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    Haha, I acutally had the same score as you too. 8 PS 6 V 10 BS. I struggled with verbal as well, english being my second language. I'm currently waitlisted at a school but at the moment i'm just starting up applications again and studying for the MCAT seeing if I can improve based on practice tests.
     
  8. bionerd89

    bionerd89 2+ Year Member

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    If you apply broadly and to all the new schools then I'm pretty sure you have a chance.

    IMO its pretty hard to study for verbal.

    You are definitely not URM. If anything you are considered ORM.

    IS is in-state bias. I don't think LECOM and PCOM have too much IS bias.

    With your gpa, I think you definitely can score above a 24 but it depend if you want to put in the time to take the test again and possibly delay applying.
     
    DocWinter likes this.
  9. DamanTHFC

    DamanTHFC 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    Regarding the scores and stuff, yeah others too have told me that with my gpa and stuff, I should be able to do better on the mcat.
    Again, it's the verbal that kills me (even in practice tests, where I manage to get 27s, etc).

    But as for retaking it again, I just want to make the correct move.
    So what do you mean by delaying? Delay as in a couple of months? Or delay as in next year?

    I definitely do not want to push it to next year.
    Originally I wanted to use my gap year to do stuff that I really want to do, like americorps and volunteering in Haiti, but my mcat screwed all those plans.

    BTW, are you in DO school?
    And if you do suggest delaying (for a couple of months to retake), how much will it hurt me? Would it be considered late?

    Oh and can you be more specific with what you mean by applying broadly?
    Can you give examples?

    Yeah, verbal is a pain. What are you doing this time around with prepping again for the test? And when do you take it again?

    Plus is it even safe/smart to apply to DO and send applications ... and then send a new score?

    If you dont mind me asking, where are yo wait listed?
     
  10. Shen924

    Shen924 2+ Year Member

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    I got my hands on some more practice tests, I plan on taking it in August if I do proceed with it. Is it smart to apply and then send in a new score? Probably not if the test punches me in the face and I ended up doing worst. I got wait listed at KCUMB.

    I believe what Bionerd is trying say is you may have to delay your applications a few months since you're retaking your MCAT which won't hurt as the DO cycle is much longer. Applying broadly means applying to multiple schools.
     
  11. medickdb

    medickdb 5+ Year Member

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    I don't remember for certain, but I think CUSOM has an MCAT subsection cutoff. I'm not sure if you meet it with your VR score.
     
  12. bionerd89

    bionerd89 2+ Year Member

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    Do you think you can score higher on the Physical sciences? Then a least your total score would be higher.

    If you retake the MCAT and score 26+ then I think applying late would be fine but with your current score, applying late will hurt you a lot.

    I will be starting DO school next month.

    Applying broadly means to apply to a lot of schools especially the newer schools. I don't know too much about the newer schools so your best bet is to post in the under-dawg thread.
     
  13. DamanTHFC

    DamanTHFC 2+ Year Member

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    How many schools are you (going to) apply to? Examples, please.

    For the schools that have cut-offs, can I just find that out from their website? Or is there another way to find this out?

    Can I score higher on PS? Possibly, I'd like to think so that I can, but then again the mcat is hit and miss, and I may get something I don't like.

    In addition to applying to new schools, I also read to apply to mid-low teir schools?
    Now what exactly does that mean? Are these schools weak/ not good enough? How's their education? And what's the difference between them and high tier schools?
    Also with applying broadly, what's a good number of schools to apply to?

    Oh and what exactly is that underdawg thread for?
    I looked a bit in it and saw people post their stats.
    But can I also ask for opinions, advice, etc there?
     
    Last edited: 05.19.14
  14. apr27

    apr27 OMS-III 5+ Year Member

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    You can score higher on everything. Sit down and make a schedule. Approach MCAT studying like a 9-5. I'm sure you have a decent amount of knowledge from your past studying, so I think you can take a late July MCAT and possibly be fine. Regardless, you'll have a better MCAT to apply the following cycle with and you won't have to take the new one. I would maybe focus more on problems than comprehension this time around if you choose to do that. Ideally, focusing on what you are weak in.

    If you have the money, 20-30 is a good number. There are advantages in going to first tier schools, but I'm guessing medical school is really what you make of it. Just get in and murk it.
     
  15. bionerd89

    bionerd89 2+ Year Member

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    Mid-low tier DO schools is a term people use on SDN to refer to schools that are usually easier to get in or less reputable. These schools typically have more problems such as bad rotations or bad administration. You should go through this thread and read more about each school:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/pros-and-cons-of-your-do-school.407104/

    If you have the funds, I would suggest applying to a least 15- 20 schools. You should research the schools to make sure that their MCAT avg isn't very high (ex: Touro-CA) and make sure they don't have high regional bias (ex: UNT, Rowan)

    You can ask for advice in the underdawg thread. Its probably better to post questions in the 2013-2014 underdawg thread since most of them have already finished their cycle.
     
  16. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Apply broadly and you'll be OK. Skip Western, CCOM and the Touros. They like high MCATs.


     
  17. m1021

    m1021 2+ Year Member

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    I would suggest to apply and retake. I took the MCAT three times, and I only improved a few points each time. I didn't hear too many bad comments in interviews about taking it three times besides, why did you get a 20 the first time? My advice, although different than others, is to retake and try to get your verbal up. If you can improve your verbal to an 8, while keeping your sciences AT LEAST at what they are, you should have no problem getting in. You may even improve a point or two on sciences. You have a higher GPA than me, and I am sitting on a few acceptances with a similar MCAT. Many schools won't accept that verbal 6 for secondary screening, and I also think, personally, verbal is the easiest to improve upon in such short notice.
     
  18. DamanTHFC

    DamanTHFC 2+ Year Member

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    Sorry I couldn't reply back sooner ... was caught up tediously in some stuff.

    Anyway...

    Yeah, I think I am just going to retake for a mid-late July test.
    But I'm still unsure on what to do in the meantime ... i.e. should I start the application and get it verfied or something, or do I wait until I get my new MCAT scores?

    Also, I do think I'll apply to alot of schools.
    The money is going to be really really hard on us, but I guess once I get that acceptance, it all will be forgotten.

    Thanks again.
    I'll post my situation in the underdawg thread to see if I can get more help there too.
    Oh and is there any chance you might have a link bookmarked (or know of) that mentions which DO schools are low, mid, or high tier?

    This is quite overwhelming tbh. So many different opinions ... apply as is or wait and retake???
    But I appreciate your view.

    First of all (I know I should take it with a pinch of salt, etc), but how certain are you of that?
    I mean, do you know or people that got into DO schools with a 24, but with a pretty decent gpa?

    The thing is that, there's still a chance that I could unfortunately not improve on my score if I retake my MCAT (like in mid July). And also, if that's the case, a low score when applying late seems to be pretty bad.

    But if I do apply as is, I'll definitely apply to atleast 15 schools, or so.
    I haven't looked a lot into schools, but as a start, how would schools like LECOM, PCOM, MUCOM, CUSOM, ACOM, etc be with my current stats?

    Do you have any suggestions for schools?

    Do you mind telling me what mcat scores and gpa you got?
    Plus where are you sitting with acceptances, atm?

    I guess, retaking would be a decent option, but as I mentioned above, there's always the risk of not doing so well, which would suck if I apply late with such scores.

    Also, I really wouldn't like to waste another year, and wait for the next cycle.

    Anyway, you mentioned verbal is easy to improve on short notice?
    Could you tell me what you did for verbal and even for PS and BS?

    .......................

    Btw, to everyone else:
    Are there any other suggestions, opinions, or advises on what I should do ... as in, if I should apply as is, or wait and retake, or something like that?

    Thanks again everybody!!
     
  19. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    I beleive in applying in the best possible app, so if you were my kid, I'd say, retake and apply ASAP if you can retaske this year. The cycle goes until Dec (Jan is getting late). But do NOT retake until you're fully ready to. With a VR6, are you ESL? If so, you know wwhat to work on. If not, well, that's not a good sign.
    I see the numbers for the other schools and take input from other SDNers.

    PCOM might be harder; their avg score is 28. But you're in strking distance. The others I think you're OK on. I'd also recommend VCOM-SC, ACOM, AT-Still-AZ, VCOM, PCOM-GA, LMU, WmCarey, KYCOM, WVCOM, VCOM and CampbellCOM as where you'll have your best shot.



    This is quite overwhelming tbh. So many different opinions ... apply as is or wait and retake???
    But I appreciate your view.
    First of all (I know I should take it with a pinch of salt, etc), but how certain are you of that?
    I mean, do you know or people that got into DO schools with a 24, but with a pretty decent gpa?
    The thing is that, there's still a chance that I could unfortunately not improve on my score if I retake my MCAT (like in mid July). And also, if that's the case, a low score when applying late seems to be pretty bad.
    But if I do apply as is, I'll definitely apply to atleast 15 schools, or so.
    I haven't looked a lot into schools, but as a start, how would schools like LECOM, PCOM, MUCOM, CUSOM, ACOM, etc be with my current stats?
    Do you have any suggestions for schools?
     
  20. AlbinoHawk DO

    AlbinoHawk DO Student Osteopath 2+ Year Member

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    I wouldn't retake. The top schools are probably out of the running, but you can get in somewhere with your current stats.
     
  21. DamanTHFC

    DamanTHFC 2+ Year Member

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    Yeah, English is my second language.
    And thanks for the list of schools. Btw, do you know what tier these schools are, as in low or mid?

    And about the retake, I'm still banging my head around that.
    I posted in the underdawg thread too, and some there said that I should get in with that gpa, despite that low MCAT .... ughhh. It's such a gamble!

    I understand that I should retake when absolutely ready, but I believe the latest and safest day I can take it is in mid-late July, so I could get my scores in my late-August.

    It's either RIGHT apply now (as is), or reatke/apply in August.

    :bang:


    If this from experience, or a sincere guess?
    If you don't mind me asking, where were your stats like and where did you get in?
    And...
    Do you have any schools to add to Goro's list (in 2 posts above)?
    Also, can you please name a few top schools that you are referring about?

    Thanks!
     
  22. AlbinoHawk DO

    AlbinoHawk DO Student Osteopath 2+ Year Member

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    From the experience of seeing others, and no, my stats were not like yours. Goro's list looks fine. Maybe add PNWU if you're from the area. Places like Touro-NY/CA, WesternU-Pomona, DMU, NYIT, Rowan, MSUCOM, OSUCOM, TCOM and PCOM are probably out of the running.
     
    Goro likes this.

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