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Getting the magical 40

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by TripleDegree, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    That my goal.

    Based on my research, I think that in order to get this score in any of the possible combinations, I can't afford to drop more than 8 questions overall.

    I know there's folks who have analyzed this pretty closely. Can you confirm?

    I think I can pull off a 14 or 15 in verbal, and a 13 on PS. Which leaves a 12-13 on BS, my personal Achille's heel.

    Wish me luck, and I wish everyone all the best too.
     
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  3. jtshark

    jtshark Junior Member

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    Ha, dude if you feel like you can get a 15 on the verbal please tell me how...that is missing one question. I mean I want to shake you hand if you get a 15 on the verbal!
     
  4. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    That is a great goal because even if you miss it by a little, you'll still be in good shape. However, the tests seem to vary so much in difficulty that you can't really say that if you miss say, 4 questions, you'll get a 13 on a section. I'm not sure if anyone knows what you can miss to get a particular score unless he or she works for aamc.
     
  5. xerxes

    xerxes Membership Revoked
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    verbal may be your best subject, but it's also got the roughest curve. your goal is silly and basically a waste of time. most people seem to agree that anything above 35 is all butter anyhow. all the 40 gets you is bragging rights which can never be exercised because you reveal yourself to be an a--hole if you go around talking about your 40.
     
  6. CanIMakeIt

    CanIMakeIt Fellow
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    Hey tripple degree

    thanks for the wishes and good luck to you for that magical 40.... bragging rights or not..it would still be an excellent score..... go for it
     
  7. bella_dottoressa

    bella_dottoressa make it happen
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    Sure, go for it, and good luck but you have to remember that what...0.001% of test takers break 40? If you get too into the 40 dream you're gonna end up dissapointed with your 34...and that's just lame. :)
     
  8. farley is god

    farley is god Empty Tank.
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    don't be a hater
    as long as he/she thinks it's realistic, it isn't a waste of time.

    you can't call someone ELSE's goal "silly", fool.

    WHY THE HATE
     
  9. xerxes

    xerxes Membership Revoked
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    i don't intend to be hatin'. but what i see at work is a conflict of two goals that are both going to major devourers of time. 1) get the best education to be well-prepared and a strong candidate for medical school, and 2) reach a very specific goal point on the MCAT'ometer. if you focus on the general goal of "doing well" or "doing exceptionally well," fine. but when you try to quantify an accomplishment you haven't yet made, you only add a completely unnecessary sense of stress and distraction imposed into something that's hard enough as it is.

    and if he/she feeds off of stress and trives by it, then that's great, too. all my nay-saying will only galvanize their will to prove me wrong, and that the dream was very fulfilling ultimately.
     
  10. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    If you're setting goals, why not go for a 45?

    I figure you can pull it of with a 15 in verbal, a 15 in PS, leaving a 15 on BS...! :p

    Besides, if you've set 45 as your goal, you can mess up by almost 10% per section and still end up with a 42 - TWO POINTS HIGHER than your current goal! :horns:

    Shoot for the stars - you might just hit the moon! :laugh:
     
  11. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    Why do you need a 40? I think above 35, medical schools look to other things to decide your admissions. If you weren't going to get in with a 35, you won't get in with a 40.
     
  12. zepplinfan

    zepplinfan Senior Member
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    not true, if your inital gpa is too low that it will not make a cut-off, then you need something to really stand out for them to pass you into the next pool. 35 I doubt would do that. 37+ may do this.
     
  13. farley is god

    farley is god Empty Tank.
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    HUH
     
  14. R_C_Hutchinson

    R_C_Hutchinson Senior Member
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    Well,
    1. getting the point distribution you talk about is actually the hardest to replicate and most luck-dependant way of getting your "magical 40". people can replicate 14-15 on physical and bio, but the curves are too sharp and questions too subjective to realistically count on a high verbal.

    2. as for the overall # missed, you're pretty far off. it totally and completely depends on the test taken. I almost certain (after looking up questions i didn't know) that I missed more than 10 questions last august and ended up with a total score well above 40. the test is set relative to other students, if you want a 40, you must out-perform >99.95% (or something like that) of test takers.

    3. be smart about this; although anecdotal, most people on SDN who get very high scores dont have amazing 4.0 GPA's, they take hard class loads that get them well prepped for the test and that results in a high score at the expense of that 3.9+. In that respect, I think (hope) that a 40+ would be differentiable from a 35. obviously a 4.0 double major with a 35 MCAT will have an easy time getting admitted to med school, however I would hope that someone with a 40+ and 3.5 would have just as easy a time.

    4. setting goals like this is a really dangerous thing to do. set goals like "i'll have a ton of friends" or "i'll love college" or "i'll learn everything i can for my tuition money". that way you win no matter if you bomb on test day or not. that 40+ may get you an interview, but if you've sacrificed your social being to get it, your interview will sink you. I guess I worry a lot about people who set goals like this- what ever happened to enjoying life and being "in college"?
     
  15. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    Since you got 40+, you are great in my books.
     
  16. cattywoman

    cattywoman Member
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    If I got a 40 on the mcat, I won't get into any med schools b/c I'd probably die of a heartattack.
    If there are people out there who are scoring high 30s or low 40s what in the world do you guys do to get that score?
    How did you get it to click in your head?

    :) ---> you with your 40

    :clap: ---> me with my 20-something
     
  17. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    haha - thats really funny :laugh:
     
  18. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    Having completed the admissions cycle for the 2004 entering class, I believe that the majority of medical schools use the MCAT as a screening tool, in the sense that applicants deemed competitive for admission merely have to clear a particular threshold value (around a 30). Only the most competitive medical schools (top 20 or so on US News) actually use the MCAT to differentiate between applicants. For example, WashU in St. Louis actually makes a distinction between applicants with a 35 on the MCAT and those who score in the upper thirties or lower forties--applicants in the latter category have a much higher chance of admission. But keep in mind that WashU is an exception to the rule. For most medical schools, there is no appreciable difference, for the standpoint of admissions anyways, between a 30 and a 35.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that once you make it to the interview stage, all applicants are considered more or less equal--strong interviewing skills can make a TREMENDOUS difference in admissions. Again, some of the highly competitive medical schools are exceptions.

    Good luck on the MCAT and your pursuit of the M.D.! Hard work pays off.
     
  19. eklope2000

    eklope2000 Member
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    40 is an excellent goal! Forget this nonsense about high MCATs not being reproducible, and no distinction made between 35 and 40 applicants, and not having a social life and all that...

    You only take this test once (maybe more, but shouldn't probably plan on it.) It's worth every hour of effort to score your absolute maximum score possible. What is a few months of intense studying when you have years to play?

    I recommend that you do not approach the test with your missed-question system. That is, don't pay a lot of attention to how many questions you are missing or think you will miss... just strive for perfection. The proper mindset is: my test is basically going to be perfect. Hopefully at this point you have the practice test scores to back up this mind-set.

    I find that I typically don't meet my goal exactly... usually coming very close but slightly missing the bar. My goal on the MCAT was a 42-43 and I ultimately scored a 40. No doubt, by pushing myself to try to obtain a score I probably couldn't obtain, I at least made a very good, slightly lower score a definite reality. The caveat is that I really believed I could get up to 42... so I don't think that deceiving oneself into shooting for something higher than his real goal will work... My advice is to generally set extremely high goals (as you have done) and you will achieve! Don't settle for just good enough.

    If you make that 40, you'll feel great about yourself and you'll be the envy of nearly every other premed. Good luck!
     
  20. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    Great Point.
     
  21. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    Thanks for everyone's comments. I think most of you meant well, and I appreciate the feedback.

    I have a wealth of experiences and friends in life, being a non-trad. Part of the excitement of writing the MCAT for us *older* candidates is that it represents a move back in time, back to the times of exams and competition and the thrill of high scores. Hence my obsession with the "magical 40".

    Less than 2 weeks and counting..... Good luck again to one and all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  22. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch
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    You made me do it. My goal was 39, but I gotta up it to 40 now. You're right, it would be magical. Best wishes.
     
  23. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    First off - good luck to all on the upcoming MCAT! I hope that everyone goals are attained!!!

    You may have detected the sarcasm in my first post ("Why not aim for 45?"). I think my issue regards using the term "goal" rather than "hope" or something like that.

    Here is one definition of goal from dictionary.com: The final purpose or aim; the end to which a design tends, or which a person aims to reach or attain.

    The key here is that a goal is and end to which a design tends. If you didn't change your study plans when you changed your "goal" from 39 to 40, then it isn't really a goal. It's a hope.

    Your goal is (presumably) to do the very best on the MCAT that you possibly can do. You have structured your studies and test preparation to reach that goal. Your hope is that if you reach your goal (to do the best you can do) that your score is 39, or 40, or 43, or 30, or whatever...

    One caveat to my theory: If you have taken the MCAT before and received a certain score, determined what difference in your preparation would effect a specific change, and then established a "goal" of receiving this new score, I think that qualifies.

    If you haven't taken the actual test before and are really working to "do your best" then the numbers really aren't a goal.

    Either way, study hard and do well! :clap:
     
  24. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch
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    SailCrazy - that's a good, if overly pedantic, point about goal versus hope. To be more precise, I'm changing the score which, upon opening the envelope and reading it, would cause me to jump up and down, squeal, and clap my hands. Now that I've changed my hope, a 39 will produce a somewhat more muted response. I'll only clap one hand.

    This is all, btw, tongue in cheek.
     
  25. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    When you get your 39, I hope that you'll at least jump on one leg too...!

    Coincidentaly, due to an odd bet that my parents had with a linguist, pendantic was almost my middle name... :p
     
  26. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch
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    :laugh:
     
  27. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    I'd be pissed if your goal was 40 and you only managed a 39.
     
  28. pathdr2b

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    As a nontrad, I'm hoping to make at least my age on the MCAT. Yeah I know. let me beat you guys to the punch. "You can't get 55 on the MCAT" or " A 2 wouldn't get me into ANY medical school".

    :laugh: :laugh:
     
  29. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch
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    Heck, I wouldn't get angry. I'd retake it in August.
     
  30. TheFlash

    TheFlash Playtime Is Over
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    A 35 will NOT keep you out of a top school. Look at the averages.
     
  31. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    I totally disagree. I think they see a HUGE difference between 30 and 35. VCU, and in state school, asks in state students who are competitive to have a 30 composite and says scores of 34-36 for in state students are "superior". I think the differences begin to attenuate at around 37. With a score of 37+, I think schools see diminishing returns, and in fact, this should be a competitive score at all top 10 institutions, where personal factors separate the men from the boys (or women from girls) and factors less into admission decisions.

    I am not a great reference point for this, though.
     
  32. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    TheFlash is an even poorer reference point.

    TheFlash has been using inferior protein products, sacrificing gains. Instead of realizing the awe-inspiring power of Nitro-tech, he continues to use artificial knock offs with a lower BV. He is clearly not maximizing muscular development; his self-destructive tendencies will catch up with him in medical school if not before then.

    JH
     
  33. jalabert

    jalabert Member
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    I wish I owned stock in Muscletech, because of all the bozos that buy (literally) the hype. It would be a lot easier to make a fortune in the supplement biz than in medicine if you are willing to sacrifice your principles and market blatant misinformation.
     
  34. Disenchanted 1

    Disenchanted 1 Senior Member
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    Hey cattywoman...btw, I love your username! I just wanted to tell you dont worry about these posts.....There are plenty of people who get in with below 30....just come to texas and let the show roll. You will see plenty of applicants with below 30's get in and NO that is not because they are less competetive but rather because they look at the WHOLE applicant not just GPA and MCAT.

    It is rather ignorant and presumptious of you to think that a 40 something score is the only good score. Yea, if you are a weak applicant with no other qualities I can take that but to be honest with you most adcoms look at the whole package....A relatively good GPA/MCAT and a whole buncha other qualities that will only be revealed through interview in addition to all those LOR's and EC"s. So if you think that the 40+ will get you in to anywhere w/o other qualities you are in for a big shock....and for people like cattywoman and myself who dont have that above 30 score...DONT WORRY and dont listen to rather ignorant (I hope I am not being too harsh on the OP I just think assuming that 40 is only a good number while everyone knows that it is an EXCELLENT score is rather ignorant) posts like these, you will do fine as long as you are a well rounded applicant!! I am only telling this to encourage those with lower scores......I got into my number 1 choice (which by the way was an allopathic school not osteopathic...although DO would have been just fine with me) with a below 30 MCAT and yes maybe it wasnt JH or anything but to me any med school is competetive and good. Initially, everyone thought I wouldn't even so much as get an interview but I had faith in myself and i beat the odds. I think your passion and compassion will show through the interview and those qualities are just as significant as your MCAT/GPA. SO good luck to you all and to the OP, it is excellent that you aim so high but first off, 40 is not the magical number i would say it is more like 30+ (and please go head and call me a low achiever but going through this cycle last year and having friends who have gone through it the past 3 years has only confirmed that anything above 30 is excellent) and secondly, you will be just perfectly fine with a 35 or even a 32 as long as you have a half decent GPA...3.5 or so..!! Good luck with all of you and if any of you are texas applicants feel free to send me a PM if you have any questions that I might be able to help you with.
     

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