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Correlation between MCAT and Med School?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by TxRunner, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. TxRunner

    TxRunner 2+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    What is your opinion on the correlation between the actual MCAT and Medical School. Is this test indicative how how one will perfrom in Medical School or is it just a diagnostic "weed out" tool?
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  3. werd

    werd Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2004
    i think the basic philosophy is if you can't do well on the mcat, you won't do well in medical school. i'm not sure how far the correlation goes in the other direction, but it probably does weed out people who would flop.
  4. gotmeds?

    gotmeds? 5+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    I think a high MCAT score correlates well with getting into medical school.:rolleyes:
  5. xucardsfan08

    xucardsfan08 2+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2006
    Use the search function and you can find the links to the studies, but in a nutshell, the studies have shown a strong correlation of MCAT scores to performance on the USMLE's. There was, however, no statistical correlation between GPA and performance on the USMLE step exams.
  6. spicedmanna

    spicedmanna Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Here's what I found:

  7. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    So basically that research is saying the MCAT is decent at predicting preclinical grades but not clinical rotation grades, which makes sense when you think about it.

    And to answer to the OP's question: I don't think the MCAT is a particularly good tool but I think it's the best tool we have at the moment and it does what it's supposed to do: be decently effective at prediciting preclinical success. Clinical experiences/PS/LOR are needed to give a fuller view of the applicant and how they'll do in med school as a whole.
  8. akinf

    akinf Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    Can you provide a link where it says that is what the MCAT is supposed to do. I'm not trying to be hostile or anything...I'm just curious.
  9. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Just a word to the wise: don't count on a high MCAT giving you amazing grades. Doing well in basic science courses is a very different type of beast than the MCAT.
  10. Dr.Inviz

    Dr.Inviz Banned Banned

    Oct 1, 2006
    MCAT has more to do with keeping the chumps out of med school.
  11. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    If only. Maybe it helps to keep the more intellectually challenged chumps out, but med school is in no way chump-free.:mad:
  12. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast 5+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    that's a shame.
  13. Scottish Chap

    Scottish Chap Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2003
    It's critical for admission, but means absolutely nothing once you are in medical school. Here are some examples: The person in the year above me with the lowest incoming MCAT score was top of his class after MSI, I have a friend with a 36 on the MCAT who did not do well in medical school and he almost failed the boards, I have another friend who took the MCAT several times and was admitted to a private medical school on his 2nd or 3rd attempt from a waitlist who scored in the 95th percentile on Step 1. He had similar success on Step 2 and Step 3.

    I think the bottom line is that good test takers tend to stay good test takers (hence the marginal, though stastically-significant, correlation between MCAT and Step 1 score in published data...keep in mind 99% of those studies were also written by the people that write the MCAT). That is the only reason why medical schools use it as a selection tool.

    Medical school and step 1 cannot be 'gamed' like the MCAT. The MCAT rewards people who are very fast readers and can extrapolate quickly. Medical school and Step 1 reward people who work very hard and have a massive fund of detailed knowledge to draw from. From my friend with the 253 on Step 1: "The MCAT is type of test that you are either good at or you are has no bearing on your performance in medical school or Step 1 if you work hard."
  14. foofish

    foofish 7+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Exactly, and while that doesn't exactly predict success in med school, you could say that the whole point of going to med school is to be able to pass the USMLE.
  15. jaydoc07

    jaydoc07 Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2006
    pretty sure that's not why I went to med school.
  16. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Well, what else would it be supposed to do?

    I haven't been made so cynical by the whole process that I think they force us to take a horribly long test just for laughs.

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