Mar 10, 2010
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Hey guys. Hope everyone is doing well. I didn't feel like I needed to do
this, but I thought the time would be now haha. Anyways, I wanted to get a
gist of what other premeds think of my chances.

Graduated in June 2009

Cali resident
Bio Major

So:
Overall GPA: 3.84
BCPM Science GPA: 3.81
Deans List 10 quarters, Cum Laude

MCAT: 29O. 8VR 10PS 11BS Took the January MCAT and damn was the PS
pretty crazy.

ECs:
-Research for 1.5-2 yrs
UROP grants/summer fellowship with same lab
Published paper in undergrad school journal, poster/undergrad symposium
all under same lab
-Been volunteering at a clinic for I believe 2 yrs, 250 hrs. Great
experience
-Been shadowing a cardiologist for awhile, going to shadow more docs when I can
-Habitat for Humanity construction leader since January
-Been a lab worker at a medical laboratory that tests for AIDs, allergies, pathogens, glucose, cell counts, etc. since this past summer
-Club member of a club in which members go to Mexico to help run a once a
month clinic
-Going to do a medical mission trip this May
-Was part of a cancer awareness group that went to schools to teach about
skin cancer
-I've been a private tutor since senior year of high school.
-Several under the table paid jobs that are unrelated to medical work

I was hoping to get any suggestions on all this. I'm a Cali resident, but
I just want to get into any M.D. med school in the US. Should I retake the
MCAT? The problem is I don't want to go down and my verbal fluctuates from
a 7 to 10, however my sciences are strong at least that's what my practice
scores indicated.

When filling out the EC/awards boxes in the "15 box" section, do research
awards and honors that were received under the same research lab count as
separate boxes or are they all under the "research" description box?
Thanks guys. Hopefully this cycle will be good for all of us.
 
Last edited:

Anesthetic

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May 18, 2009
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Great GPA, decent MCAT. Apply broadly to lower/mid-tier schools OUTSIDE of california. You will have a good chance.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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When filling out the EC/awards boxes in the "15 box" section, do research
awards and honors that were received under the same research lab count as separate boxes or are they all under the "research" description box?
You have a choice: either list all honors and awards together in one box. Or put the research honors in the same box as the research it was for. If you have plenty of boxes and a number of research awards, then you could consider listing all of them in a box separate from your other honors.
 

ThaliaNox

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I see your application as having the possibility to go either way. Honestly, my stats were similar, but I wasn't applying from California. A higher MCAT really would help, but the part that really needs work is the verbal score. Many schools will probably overlook your application because of the 8. The Cali schools are likely a no-go for you, without a lot of luck, but you have a chance at lower level private schools like Rosalind Franklin or MCW. OOS public schools are another option, but they'll cost you a lot in OOS tuition, so be careful to look at schools and make sure you're willing to make that investment.

As far as filling out the research part of your application goes, I would put working in the research lab along with any awards as one activity, with the paper/symposium as another activity.
 
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As far as filling out the research part of your application goes, I would put working in the research lab along with any awards as one activity, with the paper/symposium as another activity.
I agree that publications/ presentations should get their own box.
 
Mar 10, 2010
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Thanks for the feedback guys. Yeah it seems like the 29 is a toss up. I'm actually retaking it this Saturday, but I'm not sure what's going to happen with that test. What do you guys think of a retake? Verbal for me varies I could end up w/ an 8 or possibly higher, for me it just depends on the test/material. I don't really have a strategy besides making sure I understand the main point and underlining key things.

As for those boxes that you fill with ECs, awards, etc., are you suppose to fill about all 15? I think I've heard that you should have all 15 filled out. Is this true?


I received 2 UROP grants/awards, I did a SURP fellowship (summer fellowship) - all with the same PI/Lab. So I should list this under the research box or perhaps another box where I have all my research awards? Thanks guys.
 
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Most people don't fill in all the boxes. It looks sorta desperate to put a minor accomplishment into each one. Adcomms have lots of these to read through and will appreciate the "group" approach.

Retaking is reasonable if you are getting at least three points higher, repeatedly, on practice exams. If you aren't going to do better on verbal, it's not worth the retake. See the MCAt Discussions Forum for some last minute tips on improving VS.
 

ThaliaNox

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I received 2 UROP grants/awards, I did a SURP fellowship (summer fellowship) - all with the same PI/Lab. So I should list this under the research box or perhaps another box where I have all my research awards? Thanks guys.
All of that should stay under research. Honestly, the people looking at your application could care less about awards. What they want to judge is your research, which supposedly got you the awards. Otherwise it is redundancy.

Don't worry about filling all the boxes. Filler is exactly that... Filler. It's better to have eight strong activities than 15 weak ones.
 
Mar 10, 2010
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Thanks for the responses guys. I appreciate it. Yeah I was thinking to, it would be better to have good ones instead of fillers.

Anyone else want to comment? I want to get a gist of what people think w/ my MCAT, GPA, and ECs.

I'll be retaking the MCAT this Saturday, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea as I could go down at least in verbal.
 
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I agree that publications/ presentations should get their own box.
Oops, I just reread the original post and noticed that your publication was in a campus journal, not a national publication. If the symposium was on campus also, I'd list all of these activities in the same slot as the research.

I think yourr ECs are solid, your cGPA is very good. These factors are good enough that even without retaking the MCAT you have a reasonable chance of an acceptance somewhere, but probably not in California, unless you plan to apply to the DO schools there.

Your clinical experience is terrific, the research above average, the shadowing needs work, by adding another 2ish docs, of which one is primary care. You also have nonmedical community service and teaching experience which is great.

Any leadership activity, sports, hobbies, or artistic endeavors?
 

J ROD

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Most people don't fill in all the boxes. It looks sorta desperate to put a minor accomplishment into each one. Adcomms have lots of these to read through and will appreciate the "group" approach.
I actually had to combine stuff to get it all on there.

I guess that is an advantage of being an older app.

several jobs, volunteering, tutoring, shadowing, counseling, leadership, sports, etc.

I know all of it helped me alot...

I cant say enough how ECs, PS, and interview can show your heart for medicine.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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I cant say enough how ECs, PS, and interview can show your heart for medicine.
Did you perceive any preferential bias medical schools had for research vs. volunteer vs. clinical? i.e., - Did they focus on one more than the other..
 

fitz0809

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Thanks for the feedback guys. Yeah it seems like the 29 is a toss up. I'm actually retaking it this Saturday, but I'm not sure what's going to happen with that test. What do you guys think of a retake? Verbal for me varies I could end up w/ an 8 or possibly higher, for me it just depends on the test/material. I don't really have a strategy besides making sure I understand the main point and underlining key things.
You probably have already heard this... but glance at the questions before reading the passage. That way you will know what to focus on/ underline.

This helps a lot.
 
Mar 10, 2010
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Oops, I just reread the original post and noticed that your publication was in a campus journal, not a national publication. If the symposium was on campus also, I'd list all of these activities in the same slot as the research.

I think yourr ECs are solid, your cGPA is very good. These factors are good enough that even without retaking the MCAT you have a reasonable chance of an acceptance somewhere, but probably not in California, unless you plan to apply to the DO schools there.

Your clinical experience is terrific, the research above average, the shadowing needs work, by adding another 2ish docs, of which one is primary care. You also have nonmedical community service and teaching experience which is great.

Any leadership activity, sports, hobbies, or artistic endeavors?
I have a bunch of hobbies and I love playing sports, but that's not in the form of being part of a club. I never did intramural sports either. The closest thing I have to leadership is being a leader/construction volunteer for Habitat for Humanity since January and I'm going to be part of one of their committees soon.

As for tutoring, I've done it, but it's not like "official" tutoring in the sense that I've been working under a company. Can I still put that down? I've had jobs where I've done office work and hardcore physical labor, but it's under the table payment. Could I still put these jobs down because I know the managers would vouch for me.

Hey thanks everyone for all the feedback. Anyone think my MCAT could hurt me? I feel like it's a toss up. Hopefully the retake won't be bad but if it is I may just void and apply w/ my 29.
 
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I'd list sports you mentioned as a hobby. Adcomms like to see that you have stress-relieving activities.

The H for H leadership is fine to list. Being on a committee, too, is great.

If you did tutoring on a regular basis (not just helping out a friend a few times) you can list it, using one of the tutees as your contact person. If it was very short-term, and you weren't paid, you could lump it together with other short-term volunteer activities. If paid, lump it with short-term (summer) paid postions.

It's fine to list any employment. They don't ask if you filed your taxes (I would not volunteer the information).