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Feeling great despair ......need your help!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by slptodoc, Oct 19, 2001.

  1. slptodoc

    slptodoc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2000
    Many of you sent me encouraging posts yesterday which I greatly appreciated and still do!

    However, the gravity of my score is near ridiculous! It's like I fell off of a building onto my head right before the test.

    I scored straight 9's on my practice tests (not great but at least somewhat competitive)and COMPLETELY fell apart on the real thing....

    The EXACT same thing happened to me with the
    ACT and GRE. Fortunately, I was at least given the opportunity to "prove" myself and was accepted on a probationary admission both in undergrad and again in grad school. After one semester, I proved my self in each case and was removed from probationary status.

    When I took my national board exams for both of my grad programs, I did very well, totally opposite of the other tests......

    I'm really terrified that I won't be able to bring up my score enough because I'm just terrible at this kind of test.............

    My application has been submitted but not yet verified. Should I call AMCAS and stop it from being sent to the schools? I really think they'll either laugh or think I'm a nut for submitting it, especially if they don't look at my application as a whole!

    WHAT should I do?????

    I have been avoiding the docs and my friends at work so far because I just know I'm going to break down......

    I'm getting more and more depressed! (not to the point of doing something stupid.....just extremely down and teary!!!!!!!!!!!)


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  3. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2001
    Maybe you just had a bad day Aug. 18... or maybe just bad luck. Try retaking it in April! If this is your first time taking the MCAT you certainly shouldn't give up just yet. Hope you can cheer up... try going for icecream. That used to help me before I became lactose intolerant... now it just makes things worse. I know, FMI.

    Good luck!
  4. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    What about a DO?
  5. slptodoc

    slptodoc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2000
    Thanks guys...
    Trust me, D.O. wouldn't be impressed with these scores either.....

    I guess what really depressed me is looking at the stats (MCAT website) on how a person with a specific score will generally do on their retake...... it wasn't good for me.....

    I'm planning on trying to practice c/ test after test to see if I can finally master this kind of test-taking skill.....

    I'm still very concerned about my application though...... Should I stop it???? or will that bring even more attention to this humiliating result?

  6. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2001
    If your score is below a 22 (below 24 if your gpa is <3.6) I would strongly suggest stopping your application.
  7. luckyduck

    luckyduck Member 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2001
    Columbus, Ohio

    If you don't mind me asking, what were your scores? I received a whopping 21 :( on the April MCAT and turned that around to a 28 :) on the August test, but in the meantime I applied to both osteopathic and allopathic schools. I have actually already been accepted to a DO school (OU-COM)! I do have a 3.92 GPA and a 3.87 Science GPA. I know that you can do it. Just apply! For reasons beyond everyone's control, there are people with low scores that get in each year. DO and the family practice-oriented state schools seem to really look at the overall person (extra-curriculars, clinical and research experience, etc.). You need to just try and if all else fails, study for the April MCAT and kick its butt!!!
  8. slptodoc

    slptodoc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2000
    lucky duck, (congrats on your improvement!)

    I'm under 20. It's so humiliating!
    I can't believe it. My writing score though was a Q. The ONLY half-way decent thing.
    I'm so embarrassed by this!

    I had 3.65 and 3.7 GPA's in both Grad school
    programs and my science GPA is 3.75.
    I have 13 years of medical experience in rehab...... but I know this score will overshadow all of it!

    Sorry, I don't mean to sound like a whiner...
    I just feel numb and nauseated, especially when I see all of these people being down about getting a 29! (NOT to say that their feelings are irrelavant because everyone has their own goals and's just that I'm jealous!)

    Anyway, I'll try to keep hanging on.....
    I still have managed to avoid/dodge questions today but everyone knows something's wrong because they keep saying "You're not smiling....what's up?".............

    I just can't fake least not today.

  9. bebe

    bebe Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Okay here goes, I was almost exactly in your position last year(after April MCATs though). Everyone and their mama knew I was taking the MCATs. They prayed for me, encouraged me, etc. So what did i get a 19. Yes a 19 (5V, 6P, 8B) . And I was one of those, have-to-get-into-medical school now type pre-meds. So I decided to retake in August 2000, only to have to put it off (becuase I knew I was not ready), till April.I scored 28 (9V,9P, 10B). So you can do it to. Ask yourself some questions. Can you do better? My answer was hell yes! Did you feel prepared for the test? I mean like you knew as much as one ould for such as test. If not, would you really want to go to medical school, knowing that you weren't prepared(assuming your bio score is weak)? If you decide to retake it, arm yourself with mad knowledge to beat the crap out of that exam. Ask others how they did it. Change your verbal technique, for me it was reading more on a daily basis, even in my senior year of college with 18 credits. I read newspapers, books, etc. For the sciences search for materials. People are always selling stuff. I recommend using PR and Kaplan materials together. So you have the best of both worlds. Lastly be super confident that you will do better. and that April 2002 is your last chance (it was a complete mental thing for me) to get it right. get your resources together, keep files of information that will be helpful and start studying around Dec-Jan. You will be fine. Confidence is everything! I didn't believe it till it happened to me.
    When people ask you just say I am considering retaking the exam because I did not do as well as I had hoped. That's it. Nothing more. No one has to know your scores. Just leave it at that. If you are still in grad school, worry about finishing up. If not, concentrate on work , family , etc. In the scheme of life (especially with what has happened recently), the MCAT is STILL JUST AN EXAM. The true test is how you handle all of life's road bumps! Peace!
    ;) :) :) :)
  10. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum 10+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2001
    KY, The Jelly State
    Hey, don't look at that MCAT improvement garbage--it's bull****. I went from an 8 in physical sciences to a 13. According to their data, that's unconceivable, but it does happen. I would suggest taking a semester off (if you can afford to) and dedicating yourself solely to working on the MCAT. Take practice tests until you're taking practice tests in your dreams. But don't you dare ever give up. If you want to be a physician, don't stop trying.
  11. bebe

    bebe Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    I second that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111
  12. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Never underestimate the power of human understanding- even in med school admissions. There's always a chance, especially with the rest of your app being so strong. Maybe they'll think - He just isn't good on standardized tests. You should at least get some interviews. What do I know, though, it is a cutthroat world.
  13. justDOit

    justDOit Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2001
    Ignore those statistics on retesters! I went from a 7-PS to a 12-PS (0%--per their stats).
  14. Barton

    Barton Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    I agree. Those stats that MCAT publishes aren't "odds" or anything. You are in charge of whether or not you can improve your score (in most cases). From my first timed MCAT practice test to the real thing 3 months (an hundreds of study-hours later), I improved 12 points. You can do it if you are willing to work hard.
  15. slptodoc

    slptodoc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2000
    Well, my reality check just came in......
    One of my favorite (long-term) patients passed away minutes before I got upstairs to see him...... I've been consoling his wife of 47 years for the last 1/2 hour.........
    She never left his side and never gave up on him ............. incredible lady........

    This is the hard stuff you NEVER get used to..........

    I know that there's so much more to life than this test.....

    I need to just stay focused and determined and with the support and help of the devoted SDN crowd, I know that one of these days I'll find success!

    Thank you for sharing your stories with me!

    I'm going to take a break now and shed a few tears........

  16. RainaNoelle

    RainaNoelle Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 23, 2001
    Lexington, KY
    First off, <HUG!!!>

    Everyone needs one of those sometimes, and it sounds like you could use a few now. With your hubby gone, this silly MCAT crap, and losing someone you'd cared for for so long, it's not surprising you're down in the dumps. Just try to keep it all in perspective...things seem to happen in droves like that. You just have to perservere until you're back on the upswing. Hopefully that will be really soon for you, and you'll be wondering why you were so worried and upset now!

    Regarding the MCAT, here's something to think about that I am sure some here would not agree with (but others here would): can you afford to take a Kaplan prep or other prep course? I did that last summer and it did really help me. If you were getting 9's on your practice tests you might have just had text anxiety, and taking all of the prep course simulated exams sure helps ease the stress of actual test day.

    I personally think you'd be best off withdrawing your app this time around, trying not to stress out, take a prep course if you can (if you can't, at least try to organize some realistic, simulated practice MCATs with other pre-meds at your university maybe? I'd think the undergrad bio dept could hook you up with the right people for that), and then retake the MCAT in April, and apply again next year. Whatever you do, don't feel bad or stress out about what happened. You are obviously a smart lady, and have an excellent background. The key for you will most likely be building and keeping your confidence up for test day. Believe in yourself...I know you can do it!! Remember also that there's no rush...if it's what you really want to do, you WILL be able to do it! I'm nearly 33 years old and I'm just now applying myself, and if I don't make it in, I'll just keep trying. I figure one of these days they'll have to take me just to get me to stop bugging them. :D

    Anyway, keep your chin up (but do allow yourself to feel sad a while...there's nothing wrong with that as long as you pull yourself out eventually). I wish I was still in VA...I'd drive down from Richmond (where I used to live) and we'd have dinner or go shopping like someone else said. :) A "cheap Mexican" dinner and shopping is what me and my friends always do to cheer ourselves up. :)

    Best wishes!
  17. rhwave

    rhwave Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 30, 2001

    I wish that there was something I could do or say to help.

    I can't offer too much advice as far as the MCAT goes--I haven't taken it, myself--but it seems to me like some of the other posters are right on. I really hope you won't give up--I believe you will make a great doctor. Compassion and perspective, which you seem to already have, are qualities that cannot be taught but are so very valuable for physicians.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.
  18. SeeGulz

    SeeGulz Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    If extreme test anxiety is your problem (or a large part of it), consider seeking the help of a behavioral psychotherapist or psychiatrist.

    Since you were getting 9's in your practice tests, you obviously have a grasp of the material. If you haven't had a history of negative experiences with standardized tests of this type and magnitude in the past, I would suggest that you simply work on taking practice tests under progressively realistic conditions (like in a library reading room where it is still quiet, but many people around). But it seems that your testing problem is such that a professional might be able to help.

    Also consider a mild sedative, but see how you react to it well in advance. I tried this myself during a practice exam, but didn't feel as sharp as I would have liked. Still, I scored fairly well on that test.

    Anyway, these suggestions might seem a little of the wall, and you can take them or leave them, but don't give up. No one test should prevent someone who is otherwise qualified from becoming a doctor. Take your time to become comfortable with the exam format and conditions, and then re-take it. You will beat the MCAT.

    Good luck to you.
  19. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Alexandria, VA

    You're story about your patient says it all. There is more to caring about patients and being an EXCELLENT doctor than MCATs and grades. Med school for me has been nothing like the MCATs. Standardized tests come naturally to me, but undergrad courses and med school courses do not. Hell, I graduated undergrad with a sub 3.0 GPA, but I made it here. I have to work very hard to stay in the middle of the pack, and in some classes I fall behind. I know people that are kicking my butt in school do not have the type of MCAT score I do. I don't believe the two things correlate well at all.

    Our tests here are so low pressure and so fair, that if you know the material you will succeed. Nothing like the MCAT, where even brilliant people who worked so hard have difficulty in doing well.

    I have a feeling that if you were in med school, you would see that the darn MCAT means nothing, and what matters most is your devotion to medicine and your interactions with people. You seem to have both locked down, so when you improve your MCAT and get accepted to medical school, you will do just fine. Promise, okay?

    Good luck with everything and try to smile. In the long run, everything will be golden, and you'll laugh at how you felt this week. It will make your success all the more sweeter.

    Tulane Med '05
  20. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2001

    I'm not going to say "don't give up" because many have said it before and I know you wont.

    What I have noticed about your recent posts is you keep repeating "I am horrible at standardized tests" over and over!! This is NOT the kind of mantra you should have, and it's not true anyway--you said yourself you did well on your grad school boards. Mind set is REALLY important, but beleive me, I know it's hard to acheive. I think you will have to take the test again, so please try not to build a defeatist wall around it!

    Yes, study. Yes, do whatver it takes to make yourself feel prepared. But above all, lose the additude!

    " I am NOT bad at standardized tests...I am NOT bad at standardized tests...the first times were practice...yeah, just practice...this time I understand the concepts behind all the formulas...I have a feel for the verbal questions...I am READY!!!" --that's what you need to start telling yourself NOW.

    Oh and by the way, you're already in this cycle, I say stick it out. If you don't get in, ask for some counseling interviews with admissions deans at the schools you're most interested in. When next year rolls around, you'll be in their heads, and if you can pull the MCAT even into the mid-twenties It'll look really good I think!

    Keep your head up. All is not lost. I wish I had your GPA!!!
  21. ewells

    ewells Big Daddy 7+ Year Member

    My deepest condolences on losing a friend. Even when you see it coming, that is the worst part of our profession.
  22. slptodoc

    slptodoc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2000
    Thanks so much to all of you...........
    I had a good nights sleep and today the sun is shining and I feel better.....

    I can't tell you how much it meant to have your help and support over the past couple of days..........

    I know others were disappointed in their scores too..........

    For me, it was that, plus being alone and then losing my patient yesterday.......all of it just got to me......

    Anyway, I'm ok, ready for the challenge and will continue to pursue the goal along with the rest of you!

    You've all made me feel much better and I just wanted you to know that the messages posted on this board can have a bigger impact than you may know!

    L :) (smile is back!)

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