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Got my MCAT score and would like some advice...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by silverlining1, May 9, 2007.

  1. silverlining1

    silverlining1 7+ Year Member

    1,861
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    Oct 9, 2006
    California
    MDApps:
    So I just got my MCAT score and it wasn't great but not bad either.

    PS 13
    VR 10
    BS 11

    Total: 34T

    I had been scoring 35 consistently on my practice tests, so I was disappointed that I didn't meet that mark.

    As you can see in my MDapps, I would really like to stay in California; UCLA is my first choice. I feel that if I retook the MCAT, I could potentially go up 2 or 3 points. Would that difference be significant in admissions? Retaking would force me to apply later, or I suppose I could update schools. I would just like to hear opinions on how much difference a couple points makes.

    Also, I was very happy with my performance on the writing sample, but I hear that's the least important part. Since it is a T, though, could it possibly "make up for" my so-so performance in VR?

    Overall, I'm looking for some advice/reassurance about whether my MCAT score will be an issue for top-tier schools. I promise I'm not a troll, but I know this post is gunner-ish :( I would really appreciate honest opinions about where I stand.

    -----------------------------------

    EDIT: Thanks to all who gave me helpful, reassuring words that I'm not out of the running for my schools of choice. I didn't mean to have a whiny post about my MCAT; I realize it's a good score and I'm very grateful to those of you who were respectful of my concerns.

    I'm definitely not going to retake the MCAT. My concerns now are working on my app, grades, and activities, and figuring out where I should apply with my stats and preferences. Too bad my MSAR hasn't come in the mail yet!
     
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  3. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II 2+ Year Member

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    I say if it's under a 40 (or less than 13 in any section) you gotta retake.

     
  4. cnoevil

    cnoevil good with kids 2+ Year Member

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    a-hole of the south, tn
    new generation of gunners....can't wait.

    you're fine....do not retake
     
  5. Corndog67

    Corndog67 Second Job=Garden Gnome 2+ Year Member

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    California
    Yeah you do sound a bit gunner-ish, but nothing wrong with wanting to do your best. Really though, most people actually drop a bit when taking the real mcat so feel grateful that you didn't change much. That being said, I think the risk of doing worse is more substantial than the reward of getting a couple extra points. Besides, not much difference to the adcom between a 36 and 34. Use the time to beef up your ps or get more ec's because it's about more than just numbers.
     
  6. silverlining1

    silverlining1 7+ Year Member

    1,861
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    Oct 9, 2006
    California
    MDApps:
    Damn, I was afraid of that. :scared: :laugh:
    Thanks for the reassurance. I will definitely put my time into my PS and activities as well as my grades, since I'm still in midterm season...
     
  7. Dr2Bee

    Dr2Bee 2+ Year Member

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    You should be happy with that score. In my book, any score at or above 33 is considered superb. And its should be good enough for UCs. Go party up...all that hard work paid off!
     
  8. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 13, 2004
    waaaaaaaaaaa
     
  9. ssquared

    ssquared Member 2+ Year Member

  10. stereochemistry

    stereochemistry Walking Carpet 5+ Year Member

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    Your T pushes your sweet 10 into the next level. If you retake, you deserve a lesser score on principle.

    :rolleyes:
     
  11. Corndog67

    Corndog67 Second Job=Garden Gnome 2+ Year Member

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    California
    Nice
     
  12. silverlining1

    silverlining1 7+ Year Member

    1,861
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    California
    MDApps:
    LMAO. Okay. Thanks everyone for convincing me that I am fine and should focus on other parts of my app!
     
  13. JackofAllTrades

    JackofAllTrades 2+ Year Member

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    Cleveland
    I understand that it is dissapointing to not do as well as your practice tests. But the good news is, you got a 34 with at least a 10 in each section. :) 34 is like what 92 percentile or something? You don't want to come off as a perfectionist (in the bad way) after retaking a really good score. It's not as good as you were doing or would like, but at least it is over and you did well!
     
  14. njcaldwell

    njcaldwell Mr. Banana-Grabber 2+ Year Member

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    An Adcom member at U of M told me that unlees your MCAT score goes up 10% it is useless.
     
  15. dbhvt

    dbhvt Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Taking it again just draws attention to your lack of self-confidence. Trust me, no school is going to question your intellectual ability due to a 'low' VR. I dropped 3 points off of my practice average myself, all in VR. At first I was annoyed, then I wondered if schools would question my ability, then I realized I was really just upset because my daddy never loved me.
     
  16. quebueno123

    quebueno123 New Member

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    i got a 30 on the mcat (9 in VR) and just got into UCLA a few weeks ago. MCATs are not everything, and retaking after getting a 34 seems extreme -- unless you are compensating for weakness elsewhere in your application. congrats on the 34.










    PS 13
    VR 10
    BS 11

    Total: 34T

    I had been scoring 35 consistently on my practice tests, so I was disappointed that I didn't meet that mark.

    As you can see in my MDapps, I would really like to stay in California; UCLA is my first choice. I feel that if I retook the MCAT, I could potentially go up 2 or 3 points. Would that difference be significant in admissions? Retaking would force me to apply later, or I suppose I could update schools. I would just like to hear opinions on how much difference a couple points makes.

    Also, I was very happy with my performance on the writing sample, but I hear that's the least important part. Since it is a T, though, could it possibly "make up for" my so-so performance in VR?

    Overall, I'm looking for some advice/reassurance about whether my MCAT score will be an issue for top-tier schools. I promise I'm not a troll, but I know this post is gunner-ish :( I would really appreciate honest opinions about where I stand.[/QUOTE]
     
  17. chaldobruin

    chaldobruin Member 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 1, 2004
    I find it comical how someone could be so intelligent as to get a 34T (an AMAZING score.. thats like 95th percentile) but yet not be resourceful enough to look at MCAT averages of top medical schools and realize you are at or above the majority of averages of top 10 schools. Getting a 37 vs a 34 won't be that big a jump trust me. A 28 to a 31, yes. UCLA's average is barely a 33.. dude, I can understand you being paranoid but do NOT waste your time retaking that MCAT with that score. For God's sake, come on..

     
  18. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I'm not buying your post at all. But if you were the type to retake a 34, some places would actually have to think long and hard about whether you were too much of a gunner for your own good. Lots of places have already switched to P/F and made other changes to reduce the level of unhealthy competition in their classes. Someone who retakes with an already high MCAT might find themselves not a "good fit" at places concerned about these things. Just a thought. FWIW, MCAT is only one component of admissions and yours is adequately high for any school. Another point or two won't make a difference. The reasons you might not get in will likely not be MCAT related.
     
  19. pjl2505

    pjl2505 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 21, 2006
    i'm sorry, this post is just ridiculous
     
  20. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Let's take it easy guys. If you don't have help for the OP then don't post. Complaining about the first post is counter productive and a waste of space.
     
  21. Retro Virus

    Retro Virus 5+ Year Member

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    According to the UCLA website, "The admitted students had average MCAT scores of about 11.0 in Biology, 11.2 in Physics, and 10.5 in Verbal, as well as an average undergraduate GPA of about a 3.7." In other words your MCAT is already above average for their school. I think you might be looking for a disaster that just isn't there.

    If you don't get in, I doubt your MCAT will be to blame.
     
  22. Old ortho

    Old ortho 2+ Year Member

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    Your MCAT of 34 is good enough. Actually it is better than your GPA of 3.7, if you think the average accepted student has something like 3.6 / 30.

    Now work on your GPA and EC's. If you can get up to GPA of 3.80+, with decent EC's, then you are in good shape.

    One warning for you: you can have a GPA of 3.8 and MCAT of 34, and still NOT get in a Cali med school. It is that hard.
     
  23. akinf

    akinf Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Canada
    i'm just shocked you consider a 10VR a so-so score...i'd take a life for that 10


    PS: i'm just kidding
     
  24. silverlining1

    silverlining1 7+ Year Member

    1,861
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    Oct 9, 2006
    California
    MDApps:
    Hmm, thanks for that. I thought I had read that their median MCAT is 35, so I had been concerned about that, but hey, half the admits had less than 35 in that case.

    I'm definitely not retaking the test; I was just overreacting :( My main concern is if I should look at lower-ranked schools; I suppose I should apply broadly anyways!

    Thanks again to those who had helpful reality checks for me.
     
  25. Old ortho

    Old ortho 2+ Year Member

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    It is also more difficult for Asians to get in Cali med schools due to extreme competition.
     
  26. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

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    I got a 35 and decided not to retake it. The odds of getting a lower score are pretty good. But I like your attitude. You have stones. Screw it. A 34 will get you a big yawn in California...nobody will notice you. Throw caution to the wind and go for the gusto. And if you get a 32, don't blame me.
     
  27. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

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    Oh, you are a girl. Sorry about the stones comment. 34 is ok but I was pretty impressed when I thought you were going to throw caution to the wind and go for it.

    Searun
     
  28. gary5

    gary5 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Retake it until you break 40.
     
  29. neopentanol

    neopentanol Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    This should be made a sticky.
     
  30. Old ortho

    Old ortho 2+ Year Member

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    When you are a pre-med in Cali (esp Asians), nothing is guaranteed. I suggest apply to all the state schools and broadly to 15-20 private schools, mostly on the east coast.

    If you speak to med students on the east coast, you will find Cali people with 3.8 / 34 who were not accepted by their state schools, but were accepted to a high ranked school such as Mount Sinai or Yale.
     
  31. fcr0206

    fcr0206 New Member 2+ Year Member

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    Absolutely do not retake. You have nothing more to prove. All your sub-scores are almost average to above average at any school in the nation, and a 2 to 3 point improvement is a) not worth the risk and b) probably not all that significant anyways. The most important reason for not retaking is simply the fact it will automatically put you months behind those that aren't retaking the MCAT. With rolling admissions you want to have the first application in.
     
  32. AnesthesiaMD

    AnesthesiaMD 2+ Year Member

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    tell the 90% who scored lower than you that a 34 is not a great score...:(
     
  33. Crazy4F1

    Crazy4F1 10+ Year Member

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    no retaking!!! go out and have a drink :D you did better than more than 90% of the rest of the country.
     
  34. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

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    Yelled the crowd, in sick unison, watching the unsteady and unstable person swaying on the ledge 20 floors up.
     
  35. argonana

    argonana SDN Donor 10+ Year Member

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    NYC
    Nothing wrong with wanting to do your best, but a 34 is a solid score. Like others have said, it shouldn't hinder you. What you really need to focus on now, especially for the UCs, is your extracurriculars. Whatever interests you most--teaching, neuro research--run with it like crazy. Because yes, as we all know, you WILL need to stand out in some way.
     
  36. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

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    Maybe if you really want to retake it... actually....... :thumbdown:
     
  37. fever106

    fever106 2+ Year Member

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    This person is obviously a flamer! They knew perfectly well the type of response they would get if they submitted a post complaining about a 34 on the MCAT. If the OP were really upset about that score, he would have simply decided to retake without asking for "advice." Obviously this person does not have enough friends and family to brag to, so he posted on here to get some kudos and ego stroking from a bunch of strangers.
     
  38. lina123321

    lina123321 ralph: im a unitard 5+ Year Member

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    over the rainbow
    since u did similarly to your practice score, your new score will probably go down(regression towards the mean)
     
  39. kaudung

    kaudung 7+ Year Member

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    jesus christ. for everyone else concerned with their 34T's: are you inept? look at your percentile. you could also browse any number of guides and look at average MCAT scores for incoming classes at top schools.

    you should know better by this point. even if you weren't aware that your score puts you on par with other applicants to "top-tier" schools, a good MCAT score is not a golden ticket, charlie. rub your two IQ points together and start a fire.
     
  40. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    crazyland
    Be nice guys. The Op has come back and posted quite a few thanks to the reassurances she's recieved and has since apologized/explained her concerns.

    As has been mentioned, reading the opening post and then responding with hostility is a little rediculous. At least read the whole thread before posting.
     
  41. kaudung

    kaudung 7+ Year Member

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    i get what you're saying but i addressed my post not to the OP but to "everyone else concerned with their 34T's". i read the thread and the edited OP post.
     
  42. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    crazyland
    I wasn't only talking to you.
     
  43. st0w

    st0w plasticperineum syndrome 10+ Year Member

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    OH
    MDApps:
    You may have read somebody claiming their median total based upon the MSAR - which is not really accurate. The MSAR lists median scores on the three sections for each school. It does not, however, report a median total score (or averages for anything). One cannot just add the median for three sections to come up with a median total score, because there's no assertion that every student did equally well on each section (i.e., no assertion that the student who scored at the 50% mark in one section did so in all three sections compared to the entire matriculating studentry).

    Consider this (with scores PS, VR, BS):

    Student A: 12, 12, 12 = 36
    Student B: 11, 8, 12 = 31
    Student C: 10, 12, 9 = 31

    The medians would be: 11, 12, 12
    But the actual median total would be: 31.. NOT 35..

    Means would be: 11, 10.7, 11
    Mean total would be: 32.7..

    Averages work out nicely like that, but medians don't. So be wary when looking at median scores.
     
  44. silverlining1

    silverlining1 7+ Year Member

    1,861
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    Oct 9, 2006
    California
    MDApps:
    Ah, yes, I understand your point. Thank you for that clarification.

    Also, thanks to lilnoelle and all the others who cut me some slack and were patient through my overworrying. I understand the eyerolling sentiments, but I'm very thankful for the kind people out there who helped me out.
     
  45. ExistentialistPhilosopher

    ExistentialistPhilosopher Member 10+ Year Member

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    When I got back my Aug 2005 scores (I know, very long time ago), I considered retaking my MCAT even with a good score. Due to extreme sleep deprivation and despite my best efforts, I scored on the lowest end of how I had been performing on AAMC and Kaplan practice tests (34-38). I acknowledged it was a good score, but I did wonder if I could do better, especially with a prescription for a sleep aid the night before.

    Anyway, I decided not to retake, and I'm so glad. I did very well in this process, and I'm very grateful for that. My numbers were competitive, though they didn't set off fireworks or anything. I honestly think what helped me the most was the fact that I looked quite different than the average premed candidate in terms of my extracurricular activities and personal history and educational background (well, except for the fact that I'm Asian, in which case I look like half of the people applying). I also wrote a strong PS that interviewers seemed to love. One of my U of Chicago interviewers said, "I read the first two paragraphs of your PS and decided I had to meet you." Even though I don't know much about Cali schools and how much they favor higher numbers, my advice would be to focus on the other elements of your application, and trust the rest of us in believing that your numbers are strong as they are.

    Although there are perhaps a few schools that drool over high numbers, the majority of schools are really just trying to create a fascinating and diverse group of people. An MD/PhD at the big "H" told me that most people would be surprised at how wide the MCAT range is at many schools, even "top-tier" ones. Higher is not necessarily better; it's really about what you can contribute to the class beyond the numbers. Your score and GPA shows you're capable of handling the curriculum; now you just have to show them what makes you unique and special. They're not going to choose someone with higher numbers over you just because the person has higher numbers. Both of you have done sufficiently well to demonstrate your mastery of the material. If you have better ECs that demonstrate passion and leadership, or stronger LORs, or a more unique and interesting profile in general, you'll most likely get accepted over the "high numbers" candidate. Trust me, your numbers themselves will not hold you back from any school. Just present yourself to the absolute best of your ability, come what may.

    Good luck!
     
  46. cubbbie

    cubbbie Member 5+ Year Member

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    I just want to say that this is really funny.



    To the OP: I also dropped 3-4 points from my average and I was thinking about retaking but I'm really glad I didn't. Studying for that thing again would have been a huge waste of my time, and taking the August MCAT would have been too disadvantageous. It was a gamble, but I'm glad I made it. No regrets.


    .... actually, that's not true -- I did recently learn that I missed out on a huge scholarship because my MCAT was too low (33), but whatever. I'm still happy with where I'm going, and I'm happy I didn't waste that summer re-studying for that damn test. And hey, having too many choices would have made my head hurt, so sometimes a lower score can be a blessing. (Not sarcasm.)
     
  47. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc. 10+ Year Member

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    The Best Coast
    :thumbup:
     
  48. Spathi

    Spathi 2+ Year Member

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    Only retake the MCAT if you really want to go up badly because you'll have to study your butt off to make sure you do not go down.
     
  49. dasacohen

    dasacohen S.D.N=addicting 2+ Year Member

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    Berkeley, CA
    it was my understanding that admissions kind of group MCAT scores into categories. something like less than 27, 28-30, 31-33, 34-36, and 37 and above. As aforementioned, if you scored higher than a 37 maybe this would help you, but the liklihood of you scoring that high in my opinion is pretty low. With a 34, you have sufficiently proven that you are a very intelligent candidate, and I think your application would be more effective if you focused on your EC's and medical EC's to further enhance your application.

    Basically, if you scored the same, or a couple points higher, the value of your application might depreciate (thanks econ 1) because you'll look like a gunner (which I think you might be, but you have to be innately a little of a gunner to get here already). I think the costs outweight the benefits, and I wish you the best with your process.
     

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