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Does "MCAT blind" really mean MCAT blind?

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sasukeuchiha33

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Would love adcom insight on this @Goro @gyngyn @LizzyM @gonnif @Faha and others-

Do schools that claim they have an MCAT blind interview selection process really mean that? this is only anecdotal, but I'm a reapplicant and am applying with a substantially higher score this year than last year, and have been getting more love from the same schools that turned me down last year even though they were supposedly MCAT blind both years.

My GPA is the exact same, my extracurriculars haven't changed, no new LORs, no new anything except for a higher MCAT. I would obviously expect to see this at schools that did not claim they were MCAT blind, but I'm noticing the same trend even among schools who claimed an MCAT blind selection processes for this cycle and last cycle. Just was curious to see people's thoughts on this and whether the claim of an MCAT blind review process was actually true or just a feel-good empty promise so schools didn't receive backlash for not supporting applicants. Thoughts?
 

wysdoc

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I wonder if they actually mean that the person who is interviewing you is blinded to your MCAT/GPA. I think many schools do this, though when you were selected for an interview the reviewer could see it.
 
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yokiguz

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I wonder if they actually mean that the person who is interviewing you is blinded to your MCAT/GPA. I think many schools do this, though when you were selected for an interview the reviewer could see it.
Yes, this is what I assume MCAT blind means.
 
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deleted1080380

I wonder if they actually mean that the person who is interviewing you is blinded to your MCAT/GPA. I think many schools do this, though when you were selected for an interview the reviewer could see it.
I would think so. Some schools word it weirdly, but considering how much some schools care about their ranking I highly doubt they would sacrifice interview spots for someone who has literally no chance at admission and vice versa for high stats. Like there are probably a lot of people who look very average without a 520+ MCAT, there's no way schools are going to be completely blind to them. I heard UCSF was but I dunno I'll believe it when I see it.
 
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gonnif

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It isnt the interview selection process that is blind. Your application is reviewed in full with MCAT. It means the interviewer is blind to your application
 
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voxveritatisetlucis

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Unless it’s UCSF, then adcom is not MCAT blind.

To paraphrase an adcom from sdn (LizzyM if I recall correctly)
Every applicant enters the interview on a staircase. Some on higher steps, others on lower. Position depends upon MCAT, GPA, ECs etc. You can gain (or lose) a few steps based on interview performance. Usually a top notch interview will not be enough to boost an applicant to the top step. However, similar to the way one can fall down a flight of stairs, a terrible interview can move somebody from a top step to not even on the staircase.
 

LizzyM

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It could also mean that it is not blind when offering interviews but is not shared with the interviewer and not shared with those who review the application and interview notes prior to making a decision about where to rank you on the staircase that eventually determines who gets admitted.

Or it could mean that it is not viewed at all, by anyone, at any time. With the electronic application, it is possible to program what the readers/reviewers/interviewers can see.
 
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KnightDoc

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It's what everyone has been saying. It doesn't mean the MCAT isn't very important. It is, as you are seeing first hand. It's that the interview is supposed to be a totally separate element of your file, and a lot of schools do not want interviewers' impressions of you to be influenced by your stats, either for better or worse.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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It's what everyone has been saying. It doesn't mean the MCAT isn't very important. It is, as you are seeing first hand. It's that the interview is supposed to be a totally separate element of your file, and a lot of schools do not want interviewers' impressions of you to be influenced by your stats, either for better or worse.
It might be just that or it might be more. My school blinds mcat for the admissions committee decision. So when the committee members look at your file after your interview, the mcat score is blinded. It still plays a factor in interview decisions, but once you get the interview, the people who are deciding on your file for admission won’t know what you scored unless they happened to be someone who looked at it when determining if you get an interview and they remember your score months later.
 

voxveritatisetlucis

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Some even blind schools attended? How is this possible if school attended is clearly mentioned numerous times in personal statement, activities etc.

Also I would think that some answers would include school. Ex. When I was at xxxx university….
Would this answer now be frowned upon if interview is supposed to be blind to schools?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Some even blind schools attended? How is this possible if school attended is clearly mentioned numerous times in personal statement, activities etc.

Also I would think that some answers would include school. Ex. When I was at xxxx university….
Would this answer now be frowned upon if interview is supposed to be blind to schools?
No you’re fine unless the secondary explicitly tells you not to mention that, which I don’t think any of them do.
 
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deleted1080380

Some even blind schools attended? How is this possible if school attended is clearly mentioned numerous times in personal statement, activities etc.

Also I would think that some answers would include school. Ex. When I was at xxxx university….
Would this answer now be frowned upon if interview is supposed to be blind to schools?
There is no way this is real lol
 
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voxveritatisetlucis

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There is no way this is real lol
Interviews allow the Committee to develop a better understanding of the applicant’s interests, experiences, motivation and capacity to be a physician. Interviews also provide the opportunity to recruit desired students.
Applicants offered interviews are notified by email and given instructions for scheduling the interview. Interviews are conducted on select Thursdays, from the end of August through mid-March
Each applicant will have a Traditional Interview and a Multi Mini Interview.
o For the traditional interview, the applicant meets individually with one Admissions Committee
member for a twenty–five minute interview.
o The Multi Mini Interview consists of a series of 8 -10 stations each held in a different room.
Applicants will discuss or respond to a scenario that is different in each station.
Interviewers, both traditional and multi mini interviewers are blind to the applicants GPA and MCAT score. Traditional interviewers do have access to the applicant’s AMCAS and Secondary applications and letters, but do not have access to applicant’s coursework, grades or MCAT scores. Multi Mini interviewers do not have access to any applicant information other than name.
The interview day includes presentations on curriculum, admissions, student services and diversity and inclusion. Applicants also have lunch with current students and go on a tour of the hospital.

I read this on a UAB application overview file. I guess I was assuming coursework implies schools attended.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Interviews allow the Committee to develop a better understanding of the applicant’s interests, experiences, motivation and capacity to be a physician. Interviews also provide the opportunity to recruit desired students.
Applicants offered interviews are notified by email and given instructions for scheduling the interview. Interviews are conducted on select Thursdays, from the end of August through mid-March
Each applicant will have a Traditional Interview and a Multi Mini Interview.
o For the traditional interview, the applicant meets individually with one Admissions Committee
member for a twenty–five minute interview.
o The Multi Mini Interview consists of a series of 8 -10 stations each held in a different room.
Applicants will discuss or respond to a scenario that is different in each station.
Interviewers, both traditional and multi mini interviewers are blind to the applicants GPA and MCAT score. Traditional interviewers do have access to the applicant’s AMCAS and Secondary applications and letters, but do not have access to applicant’s coursework, grades or MCAT scores. Multi Mini interviewers do not have access to any applicant information other than name.
The interview day includes presentations on curriculum, admissions, student services and diversity and inclusion. Applicants also have lunch with current students and go on a tour of the hospital.

I read this on a UAB application overview file. I guess I was assuming coursework implies schools attended.
They just want the interviewers to not be swayed by your stats.
 
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deleted1080380

Interviews allow the Committee to develop a better understanding of the applicant’s interests, experiences, motivation and capacity to be a physician. Interviews also provide the opportunity to recruit desired students.
Applicants offered interviews are notified by email and given instructions for scheduling the interview. Interviews are conducted on select Thursdays, from the end of August through mid-March
Each applicant will have a Traditional Interview and a Multi Mini Interview.
o For the traditional interview, the applicant meets individually with one Admissions Committee
member for a twenty–five minute interview.
o The Multi Mini Interview consists of a series of 8 -10 stations each held in a different room.
Applicants will discuss or respond to a scenario that is different in each station.
Interviewers, both traditional and multi mini interviewers are blind to the applicants GPA and MCAT score. Traditional interviewers do have access to the applicant’s AMCAS and Secondary applications and letters, but do not have access to applicant’s coursework, grades or MCAT scores. Multi Mini interviewers do not have access to any applicant information other than name.
The interview day includes presentations on curriculum, admissions, student services and diversity and inclusion. Applicants also have lunch with current students and go on a tour of the hospital.

I read this on a UAB application overview file. I guess I was assuming coursework implies schools attended.
I mean I think they're just saying any objective aspects are blinded.

And depending on questions asked I'm sure things about coursework and university could come up naturally. One of my interviews this cycle (MD interviewer) I was asked what class was my favorite and why. I was also asked about one of my clinical experiences and there was no way I could contextualize it without mentioning it's location and affiliation with my uni. You shouldn't censor yourself because they say they are stat and coursework blind.
 
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KnightDoc

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It might be just that or it might be more. My school blinds mcat for the admissions committee decision. So when the committee members look at your file after your interview, the mcat score is blinded. It still plays a factor in interview decisions, but once you get the interview, the people who are deciding on your file for admission won’t know what you scored unless they happened to be someone who looked at it when determining if you get an interview and they remember your score months later.
Yes, but your school is really the exception to just about every rule.

I'd be surprised if there was any other school in the country (other than maybe UCSF, if they are serious) that do not share MCAT scores with the adcom when making decisions. Once your school determines a MCAT clears your II bar, fit and fitness for the unique type of practice you are committing to is much more important than MCAT score. That might also be true at programs that extract a commitment for years of rural or primary care practice, but just isn't applicable to the other 99% of us.
 

sasukeuchiha33

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@KnightDoc im curious as to what you mean when you say “UCSF, if they are serious”? I don’t know much about UCSF other than their claim that they are not considering MCAT scores when extending an interview invite, are you expressing skepticism that this is true?
 

KnightDoc

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@KnightDoc im curious as to what you mean when you say “UCSF, if they are serious”? I don’t know much about UCSF other than their claim that they are not considering MCAT scores when extending an interview invite, are you expressing skepticism that this is true?
Yes, and others have as well. It's a T5 school. If they are going to ignore MCATs altogether that's one thing, but they haven't gone that far in their statements.

What doesn't make sense is for them to ignore it when issuing IIs, and then use it to knock people out later, yet that's precisely what they are implying by saying it's not a factor for IIs but is one for admission. That would risk wasting precious II slots on people they were never going to accept, so I'm skeptical that they actually do this.

I'm sure they are more forgiving than a school like NYU when it comes to a MCAT below 518, but I have a hard time believing they don't look at them when sending out IIs. After all, they seem to take forever just to push out secondaries! Are they really examining every comma in a PS while not even looking at the MCAT? :)
 

GoSpursGo

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This seems like the kind of thing that one could agonize for hours over exactly what the school means, and still wind up no closer to understanding what they mean.

Clearly, your definition of "MCAT blind" is different from what they mean, but you're not going to be able to glean exactly what they mean by that unless you're actually sitting on their adcom.
 
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sasukeuchiha33

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Yes, and others have as well. It's a T5 school. If they are going to ignore MCATs altogether that's one thing, but they haven't gone that far in their statements.

What doesn't make sense is for them to ignore it when issuing IIs, and then use it to knock people out later, yet that's precisely what they are implying by saying it's not a factor for IIs but is one for admission. That would risk wasting precious II slots on people they were never going to accept, so I'm skeptical that they actually do this.

I'm sure they are more forgiving than a school like NYU when it comes to a MCAT below 518, but I have a hard time believing they don't look at them when sending out IIs. After all, they seem to take forever just to push out secondaries! Are they really examining every comma in a PS while not even looking at the MCAT? :)
If that’s the case then why would they express the contrary on their site?

I guess I’m trying to understand what medical schools would gain from saying this to applicants when they don't mean it? (Picking on UCSF now, not even applying here, and I’m not at all insinuating that they are lying, this is purely a hypothetical to illustrate my confusion)- If you're really going to look at MCAT scores then why even say you're not going to? What do they gain from this? Why just say nothing?
 
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deleted1080380

If that’s the case then why would they express the contrary on their site?

I guess I’m trying to understand what medical schools would gain from saying this to applicants when they don't mean it? (Picking on UCSF now, not even applying here, and I’m not at all insinuating that they are lying, this is purely a hypothetical to illustrate my confusion)- If you're really going to look at MCAT scores then why even say you're not going to? What do they gain from this? Why just say nothing?
If the only weak part of my application is a 505 MCAT, I'd apply to UCSF if they were completely MCAT blind through interviews. Ergo, more applicants and more money from people who wouldn't have applied otherwise.
 

gonnif

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If that’s the case then why would they express the contrary on their site?

I guess I’m trying to understand what medical schools would gain from saying this to applicants when they don't mean it? (Picking on UCSF now, not even applying here, and I’m not at all insinuating that they are lying, this is purely a hypothetical to illustrate my confusion)- If you're really going to look at MCAT scores then why even say you're not going to? What do they gain from this? Why just say nothing?
Lets see if we can clarify your misreading of all this. The written application is always evaluated with MCAT score. Most schools wont even evaluate an application without it. At the interview portion, some schools have blind interviews where interviewer does not see submitted file of applicant. The applicant has already been evaluated and reviewed on that and therefore there is no reason to go over the same material again

During the pandemic some schools dropped MCAT requirements
 
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KnightDoc

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Lets see if we can clarify your misreading of all this. The written application is always evaluated with MCAT score. Most schools wont even evaluate an application without it. At the interview portion, some schools have blind interviews where interviewer does not see submitted file of applicant. The applicant has already been evaluated and reviewed on that and therefore there is no reason to go over the same material again

During the pandemic some schools dropped MCAT requirements
You're slightly misunderstanding here. UCSF explicitly says on its website:

For the 2022 Admissions Cycle, the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine will accept applications without an MCAT score due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All candidates will be screened and interview decisions will be offered without utilization of an MCAT score. Given the ongoing geographic variation in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as per usual all applications will be reviewed by our admissions decision committee holistically regardless of availability of MCAT scores.

Our speculation surrounds whether they really mean it, and whether they would actually not look at the MCAT and issue an II to someone with a subpar score that will knock them out when it is seen post-II. Any thoughts on that?
 

KnightDoc

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If that’s the case then why would they express the contrary on their site?

I guess I’m trying to understand what medical schools would gain from saying this to applicants when they don't mean it? (Picking on UCSF now, not even applying here, and I’m not at all insinuating that they are lying, this is purely a hypothetical to illustrate my confusion)- If you're really going to look at MCAT scores then why even say you're not going to? What do they gain from this? Why just say nothing?
You're absolutely correct! Maybe to appear more sympathetic to applicants facing COVID struggles than they really are? Maybe because the people they invite in are so strong that they just know they have decent MCATs? Maybe they actually do what they say, and risk wasting IIs on people who are not eligible for admission due to sub par MCATs?

Who knows? But, when you think about it, does it make sense to issue IIs without considering anything, other than the interview itself, that will be considered post-II?

Bottom line -- you're right, it makes no sense to say something they are not going to do. OTOH, it also makes no sense to actually do this, so where does that leave us? :)
 

Spine MD

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Would love adcom insight on this @Goro @gyngyn @LizzyM @gonnif @Faha and others-

Do schools that claim they have an MCAT blind interview selection process really mean that? this is only anecdotal, but I'm a reapplicant and am applying with a substantially higher score this year than last year, and have been getting more love from the same schools that turned me down last year even though they were supposedly MCAT blind both years.

My GPA is the exact same, my extracurriculars haven't changed, no new LORs, no new anything except for a higher MCAT. I would obviously expect to see this at schools that did not claim they were MCAT blind, but I'm noticing the same trend even among schools who claimed an MCAT blind selection processes for this cycle and last cycle. Just was curious to see people's thoughts on this and whether the claim of an MCAT blind review process was actually true or just a feel-good empty promise so schools didn't receive backlash for not supporting applicants. Thoughts?
MCAT score absolutely matters.

Been on multiple adcoms. Science gpa, MCAT matter no matter what story one has. 50% of the applicants have amazing stories about their lives.
 
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