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Decent GPA but low MCAT = What Are My Chances?

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BlakeDrake

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I'll just be quick. I took the MCAT twice and my highest score has been a 19. My GPA is a 3.4 and I have solid EC's plus shadowing exp and all that. Anyways, my plan was to always apply this cycle even though my MCAT is low.

Do I have shot at getting into any of the low tier DO schools (Assuming MD is out of the question) like VCOM, ACOM? etc. or am I just going to be wasting my money applying this cycle unless I retake the MCAT once again?

By the way if I take the MCAT again, I'm going to need time to study which would probably put me late in the cycle. Idk just saying
 

el_duderino

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I haven't, especially when the 19 was a retake following a 15.

Don't apply this year. Figure out why you're bombing the MCAT and retake later this year or next year.
 
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DoctorKrieger

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With a 19 as your high score, you really need to rethink how you approach studying for the MCAT. How long did you study for those two attempts? What exam prep did you use? Did you put in your full effort or have other issues distracting you from concentrating? Unless you just rolled out of bed and took the test with little or no preparation, you're going to need to work really hard to get a decent score.

Since you have already taken it twice, you need to think of the third time as your last chance and go all-out studying for it. Take every practice exam you can find, set your homepage to the MCAT subforum, spend every possible moment with your nose in a study guide (while still making time to do things to keep your sanity--like exercise).

IMO, don't apply this year. You effectively have zero chance with a 19 and need to give yourself a lot of time to improve your MCAT. Your gpa, while not great, shows you are capable of much better than a 19.
 

BlakeDrake

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With a 19 as your high score, you really need to rethink how you approach studying for the MCAT. How long did you study for those two attempts? What exam prep did you use? Did you put in your full effort or have other issues distracting you from concentrating? Unless you just rolled out of bed and took the test with little or no preparation, you're going to need to work really hard to get a decent score.

Since you have already taken it twice, you need to think of the third time as your last chance and go all-out studying for it. Take every practice exam you can find, set your homepage to the MCAT subforum, spend every possible moment with your nose in a study guide (while still making time to do things to keep your sanity--like exercise).

IMO, don't apply this year. You effectively have zero chance with a 19 and need to give yourself a lot of time to improve your MCAT. Your gpa, while not great, shows you are capable of much better than a 19.

Thanks for that advice. The first time was a complete fish out of water attempt. I studied for maybe a month of two with books and just took it. However, the second time I took a prep course and studied during school. I was getting mid 20s on my practice tests (24-25s) so I really don't know how my MCAT score was so low (I did a lot better on BS in practice tests than the real thing). The only thing is that if I do take it a third time around, it'll effectively take me out of this years cycle because I'm tired of rushing like I did for my past two scores. But part of my doesn't want to skip this cycle and wait again.
 

FutureDrB

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Echoing the above comments, 19 = no way. Some schools have automatic cutoffs now anyway, so that 6PS and/or 5BS would eliminate you to begin with. MAYBE with a 21 or 22 if the rest of your application was stellar. Take the year off and figure out your weaknesses. Take it next cycle and rock it.
 

AlbinoHawk DO

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How can anyone score a 5 in bio? You don't have a chance at any COM unless your parents can give some heavy "donations."
 

DoctorKrieger

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Thanks for that advice. The first time was a complete fish out of water attempt. I studied for maybe a month of two with books and just took it. However, the second time I took a prep course and studied during school. I was getting mid 20s on my practice tests (24-25s) so I really don't know how my MCAT score was so low (I did a lot better on BS in practice tests than the real thing). The only thing is that if I do take it a third time around, it'll effectively take me out of this years cycle because I'm tired of rushing like I did for my past two scores. But part of my doesn't want to skip this cycle and wait again.
A month or two should yield a much higher score with even a little effort. Forget applying this year, you need much more time to prepare than this cycle will allow. You need to completely revamp your strategy. Prepare to spend a lot on study guides from several companies, use all of them, and see which ones you learn better from. Work every practice problem you see and take every mock MCAT you can. Taking it more than 3 times is a big red flag to a lot of adcoms, so try your best on the third attempt.

Also, you may consider getting tested for a learning disability. Something as seemingly benign as ADD can really take a toll on exam prep.

Waiting a year is far from terrible, especially if you're fresh out of undergrad. You cannot afford to rush things, it will only hurt you. If you want to try to apply with a 19 to every single DO school and see what happens (and have money to lose), go for it --maybe you're the 1-in-20,000 exception. But don't retake the MCAT trying to get results back in time for this cycle.
 
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DoctorSynthesis

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I'll just be quick. I took the MCAT twice and my highest score has been a 19. My GPA is a 3.4 and I have solid EC's plus shadowing exp and all that. Anyways, my plan was to always apply this cycle even though my MCAT is low.

Do I have shot at getting into any of the low tier DO schools (Assuming MD is out of the question) like VCOM, ACOM? etc. or am I just going to be wasting my money applying this cycle unless I retake the MCAT once again?

By the way if I take the MCAT again, I'm going to need time to study which would probably put me late in the cycle. Idk just saying

Another 19... I will echo what others have said. You have zero chance. Consider podiatry but that's not a shoe in either. Honestly you need to retake if you want DO.
 

FutureDrB

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Another 19... I will echo what others have said. You have zero chance. Consider podiatry but that's not a shoe in either. Honestly you need to retake if you want DO.

:claps: I see what you did there.

(OP, I am not applauding the suggestion that pursue another career, simply laughing at @DoctorSynthesis and his intented/unintended pun.)
 
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SpartanWolverine

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I'll just be quick. I took the MCAT twice and my highest score has been a 19. My GPA is a 3.4 and I have solid EC's plus shadowing exp and all that. Anyways, my plan was to always apply this cycle even though my MCAT is low.

Do I have shot at getting into any of the low tier DO schools (Assuming MD is out of the question) like VCOM, ACOM? etc. or am I just going to be wasting my money applying this cycle unless I retake the MCAT once again?

By the way if I take the MCAT again, I'm going to need time to study which would probably put me late in the cycle. Idk just saying
No, sorry. Your scores are just not enough to demonstrate readiness for medical school. What they do demonstrate is that you need to take a hard look at your preparation for standardized tests.

If you were around a 30 I would tell you that your core numbers were fine for quite a few schools... but a 19 won't pass at any school I am familiar with (though I don't know much about the schools you explicitly ask about).
 
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BestDoctorEver

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Try again OP and aim for 24+... Like an above poster said, your GPA shows you can do better than a 19... Take TPR prep class.
 

BestDoctorEver

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I have seen many SDNers got in with 22, but 19 is too low.
 

DoctorSynthesis

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I have seen many SDNers got in with 22, but 19 is too low.


Yea a 22 could get you in but you're gonna need something else. Urm/great ecs/great fit to mission and apply to the lesser programs (lucom).

A 22 is still a diaster.
 

darklordzzz

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Yea a 22 could get you in but you're gonna need something else. Urm/great ecs/great fit to mission and apply to the lesser programs (lucom).

A 22 is still a diaster.

LOL why LUCOM is always shown up as the least preferable DO school? I heard about religious problems but idk how serious that were.

btw this year is its first incoming class right?
 

BestDoctorEver

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Yea a 22 could get you in but you're gonna need something else. Urm/great ecs/great fit to mission and apply to the lesser programs (lucom).

A 22 is still a diaster.
There are non URMs who got in with 22, but their applications were stellar.
 

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6PS,8VS,5BS. I've heard of lower scores getting in to DO schools.

You're trying to force fit a square box into a triangle hole.

Schools will be more than happy to tell you that you don't meet their cut offs. The honest ones will decline to send you a secondary.

Build a foundation in your knowledge base using textbooks and Kaplan or TPR. If you had 22+ then I would recommended the SN2 schedule.
 

DoctorSynthesis

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LOL why LUCOM is always shown up as the least preferable DO school? I heard about religious problems but idk how serious that were.

btw this year is its first incoming class right?

Yes it is and it was just an example. Also there was that whole admission flub too. There are lots of reasons why lucom is bad.
 

BestDoctorEver

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Another 19... I will echo what others have said. You have zero chance. Consider podiatry but that's not a shoe in either. Honestly you need to retake if you want DO.
OP will have good shot at pod school, but suggesting pod school is kind of a moot point if OP has no interest in podiatry.
 

DoctorSynthesis

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OP will have good shot at pod school, but suggesting pod school is kind of a moot point if OP has no interest in podiatry.

Well it's similar to medicine so maybe op has some interest. It's just an option.
 
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BestDoctorEver

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Well it's similar to medicine so maybe op has some interest. It's just an option.
I think pod is a great career. I used to work in the OR and these guys/gals were great. The ones that did not mind to share their compensations told me that the were making in the high 1ook to the 200k+ per year. But it appears that many premeds do not want to do it because they perceive it is less prestigious than MD/DO and even PA and PharmD.
 
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user3

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The lowest MCAT I saw accepted this year was 21. One person that got into WVSOM and another that got into MSU. but as optimistic as I am, with a 19 combined with a 5 in bio, I really think you will have to retake.

However, if you are from appalachia I see you maybe having a small chance at schools like KYCOM, WVSOM, VCOM, or LMU.
 

dutchie000

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Hey OP,

I know how you feel about wanting to apply this year. Wanting so badly to make it in this cycle so you can stop putting off the rest of your life, at least if that's how you feel. It would be so nice to figure out what the next 4 years of life will be like, where you'll be, etc.

However with a 19 you have a low shot as it is at getting in. Most likely you will endure the same thing you would if you waited to apply or took the MCAT later this year: not going to med school. However, waiting will allow you to work on getting that good MCAT score so you will actually have a choice at which school you can get into. Who wants to settle for anything less than what they really want? Also, waiting will avoid you wasting tons of money on application fees that you can use next cycle.

Not waiting you will most likely face rejection which is painful and takes an emotional toll. I do know some friends who got into VCOM with low low scores, but they were locals, URM, and military so those factors are taken into consideration as well. Just play the MCAT game one last time and make sure you are kicking some serious butt on the practice tests before applying again.0
 

AlbinoHawk DO

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Yes it is and it was just an example. Also there was that whole admission flub too. There are lots of reasons why lucom is bad.
You'd be surprised. For DO, anything outside of African-American doesn't have a real URM advantage unlike MD schools.
 

AlbinoHawk DO

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AlbinoHawk DO

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Really I didn't know that. But that has to depend on each school/mission also?
That is a good point. There may be schools more receptive to URM than others. When looking at the data, the average for Native Americans went down from 3.44 in 2012 to 3.26 in 2013. For AA, it went up from 3.23 to 3.30. The standard deviation is huge too, so maybe it changes a lot from one cycle to another.
 

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6PS,8VS,5BS. I've heard of lower scores getting in to DO schools.

With many wanting a 7+ (some are 6+) for each sub section it will be extremely difficult to get past the screening process for most of these schools.

In an effort to not waste money, study hard for a retake because in many ways, this is your last chance to prove yourself.

So that we can perhaps assist you more, what was your study plan for both the first and second MCAT?
 
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darklordzzz

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With many wanting a 7+ (some are 6+) for each sub section it will be extremely difficult to get past the screening process for most of these schools.

In an effort to not waste money, study hard for a retake because in many ways, this is your last chance to prove yourself.

So that we can perhaps assist you more, what was your study plan for both the first and second MCAT?

from what i observe, u can have 1 subsection being a 6 or 7 while the other 2 sections have 10 or 11 or higher is good? no?
 

BlakeDrake

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Hey OP,

I know how you feel about wanting to apply this year. Wanting so badly to make it in this cycle so you can stop putting off the rest of your life, at least if that's how you feel. It would be so nice to figure out what the next 4 years of life will be like, where you'll be, etc.

However with a 19 you have a low shot as it is at getting in. Most likely you will endure the same thing you would if you waited to apply or took the MCAT later this year: not going to med school. However, waiting will allow you to work on getting that good MCAT score so you will actually have a choice at which school you can get into. Who wants to settle for anything less than what they really want? Also, waiting will avoid you wasting tons of money on application fees that you can use next cycle.

Not waiting you will most likely face rejection which is painful and takes an emotional toll. I do know some friends who got into VCOM with low low scores, but they were locals, URM, and military so those factors are taken into consideration as well. Just play the MCAT game one last time and make sure you are kicking some serious butt on the practice tests before applying again.0

Great advice. Thanks alot. I feel like I rushed the first two times, I don't want to rush again.
 

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6PS,8VS,5BS. I've heard of lower scores getting in to DO schools.

Most people who get in with a 19 have an OK score on PS & BS and bomb the VS section. Like say a 7,5,7, etc. You kind of have the inverse of that. You're BS score is >3 standard deviations below the mean for matriculants. In other words, you getting in with that score would essentially be an anomaly. You would be an outlier.

Don't apply yet. Study hard. Fix your mistakes. Retake the MCAT and get >23, and apply to every new DO school and school with low MCAT stats that you can.

LOL why LUCOM is always shown up as the least preferable DO school? I heard about religious problems but idk how serious that were.

btw this year is its first incoming class right?

You just answered your own question. The newest schools are usually the most likely to accept students with uneven/low stats. That's just the way it is. Fewer high stat people are willing to apply, much less attend a school with no track record that's not fully accredited.
 

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Auto reject at my school. A low MCAT like yours is a flag for not finishing med school and/or failing Boards. And a 5 in Bio?

Suggest that you think about other careers, unless you substantially fix those deficits and retake the MCAT.

6PS,8VS,5BS. I've heard of lower scores getting in to DO schools.
 

AlbinoHawk DO

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from what i observe, u can have 1 subsection being a 6 or 7 while the other 2 sections have 10 or 11 or higher is good? no?
Depends on the section. 6 or 7 on bio is applying in really bad shape. In PS, 7 is passable but 6 is iffy. 6 or 7 in VR is passable.
 
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CluvK

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Hello OP. I have a bad MCAT score too. My MCAT is 11/5/8 with a cGPA 3.77 and sGPA3.74. I know the verbal score really hurts my chance, and English as my second language may even make things worse (not URM).... I have been thinking about a retake to improve my MCAT verbal score but I still decide to apply this cycle. I am not an expert about the whole application process, but I would say that if you show the ADCOMs who you are, you may have some loves! Best wishes to you.
 

darklordzzz

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Hello OP. I have a bad MCAT score too. My MCAT is 11/5/8 with a cGPA 3.77 and sGPA3.74. I know the verbal score really hurts my chance, and English as my second language may even make things worse (not URM).... I have been thinking about a retake to improve my MCAT verbal score but I still decide to apply this cycle. I am not an expert about the whole application process, but I would say that if you show the ADCOMs who you are, you may have some loves! Best wishes to you.

this does not make sense....you mean English being NOT your second language may make things worse?
 

CluvK

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this does not make sense....you mean English being NOT your second language may make things worse?
Yes like what I said I am not an expert of the whole application process, so I guessed medical schools don't like people who speak english with accent or are not proficient in using English (Ex. my verbal score). Maybe I'm wrong, just my 2 cents.
 

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Hello OP. I have a bad MCAT score too. My MCAT is 11/5/8 with a cGPA 3.77 and sGPA3.74. I know the verbal score really hurts my chance, and English as my second language may even make things worse (not URM).... I have been thinking about a retake to improve my MCAT verbal score but I still decide to apply this cycle. I am not an expert about the whole application process, but I would say that if you show the ADCOMs who you are, you may have some loves! Best wishes to you.

Yes like what I said I am not an expert of the whole application process, so I guessed medical schools don't like people who speak english with accent or are not proficient in using English (Ex. my verbal score). Maybe I'm wrong, just my 2 cents.


Please tell me you had someone else proofread your PS...
 
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