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HELP!! Advice for applying this June!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by AHappyCalBear, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. AHappyCalBear

    AHappyCalBear Member
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    So I need some advice guys and it would really mean a lot. Here's the situation. I'm a third year at UC Berkeley with roughly a 3.4 GPA and I'm planning on taking the MCAT this April 17 but the problem is that I haven't scored that well on the GChem/Physics part of the exam. I'm floating around a 10 for both Bio/OChem and Verbal but that 3rd part has been just a pain to raise in score. Is it worth it to take the exam, get anywhere between 27-32 (probably a closer to 28) depending on the test, OR should I wait to take it in August when I can study over the summer and be sure of breaking 30 on the MCAT?

    Basically is it better to sacrifice a higher score so that I can apply early? For argument sake will a 28 and a 3.4 get my into a school like Drexel or Einstein or a school of that caliber.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    I think you should wait to see what you actually receive. If you receive a 29 or higher, I don't think you should take it again and you should just apply with what you have. You have a shot at schools such as Drexel of Finch. Even with a 28 I would say you have a shot.

    Just aim for a 30 and hope for the best.
     
  4. CalBear- Take the AAMC practice tests number 5 and 6 and see what you get. Those are pretty comparable to the real test. Don't panic over these last two weeks, just relax and stay healthy.

    I'd say if you have a 29 or higher on both of those, just go for it. I think applying early really really helped me. My top acceptances/interviews... well all of them really... came really early (interviews sep/oct, acceptances before xmas...). If I took the August MCAT and got the same score (30) I might not have fared so well.

    Good luck! Oh, and don't listen to all the premed Berkeley drones, they have no idea what they are talking about. Its not that hard to get in SOMEwhere...
     
  5. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    So, you've been scoring around an 8? That's not too bad. You might be surprised. Relax and take the exam. If you do well, you're all set to go. If you don't do well, you still take the August exam.

    A 28 will be fine for many medical schools. You're from Cal, so look at UVM, NYMC, and Albany. Apply to as many schools as you can afford, apply wide, full range. But wait until you get your results back before you go into panic mode.

    One 8 won't kill your application.

    Again, you might surprise yourself and get a 9 or 10.

    Just take it and get your application in early. Timing is an important part of the process.
     
  6. Why UVM, NYMC, and Albany?
     
  7. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    Have you considered Osteopathic programs?
     
  8. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    Those schools have tons of Cal students. UVM has almost as many Cal students as Vermont residents.
     
  9. Ischemia

    Ischemia Member
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    Hey,

    No one can really answer your question. Ultimately, you will have to make a choice and just hope for the best.

    If you take the August MCAT and have all your secondaries in by the time the scores come out (mid October), you won't really be at a disadvantage. Most schools will tell you this. However, a lot of August MCAT people don't hand their secondaries in early because they assume it doesn't matter since their MCAT scores aren't in. That is a mistake. It could cost you dearly. Do your secondaries during the summer so that the only thing your schools are waiting on is the MCAT score and you should be okay.

    That said, I'm not quite sure how significant the difference is between a 28 and 30. It may make a difference, but it may not. I've seen lots of people get in with sub-30 MCAT scores. From what I've observed, if you have at least a score of 9,9,9, you shouldn't have a problem at a lot of schools in terms of your MCAT score, though, of course, the more "prestigious" schools may get a bit upset. People toss around the score of 30 only because it is the average of matriculants' scores. It isn't necessarily a magic number in and of itself.

    Finally, though both schools are good medical schools that produce great physicians, Drexel is considered one of the easier schools to get into, as they interview and accept a lot of people who tend to be a bit more borderline in how competitive of an applicant they are. While Einstein interviews and ultimately accepts a lot of people, I believe that the GPAs and MCATs of their acceptees tend to be higher. Thus, the two schools aren't necessarily in the same league as you indicated in your original post.
     
  10. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    hey fellow berkeleyian...

    i want to ask you something...

    is it absolutely necessary for you to apply your 3rd year?

    honestly applying your senior year would reduce the amount of stress on so many levels...


    - you can take the mcat this april, august or next april...until you feel you can score well and get doubles in each section. you have the potential since you are hovering around 10s in the other 2...and im sure with a bit more work you can get that PS section up as well. it is important to score well since most adcoms know that the cal curriculum is challenging and that our gpa will reflect this...however to show them that this is truly the case then you need to do well on the mcat to make yourself more competitive to a guy who may have a higher gpa but lower mcat than you.

    -you wont have to go through the troubles of dealing with secondaries, interview scheduling, missing classes and making up tests your senior year...which could affect your grades...which in your case (we have basically the same gpa by the way!) would not be a good thing.

    a 3.4 with a 27-32 mcat....the gpa is relatively low of course and depending on what you get...the mcat can make you competitive depending on the rest of your application.
    you arent guaranteed anything in this process. the 2 schools you mentioned gave me no love at all. but i have been accepted to other schools obviously not because of my gpa (tho they did comment positively on my upward trend which is VERY important to have if you are a "low" gpa applicant...they would not have been able to gauge this if i applied earlier...) but cause of my solid mcat score and the experiences i have gained from my ECs and my life...i interview well.
     
  11. taehong81

    taehong81 Senior Member
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    If I were you I would take the april MCAT and see how well you do. If you do well then you have a great advantage of applying early. But if you don't do well you can always take the august mcat. Applying early is so critical in the application early. My pracitice scores before the real test ranged from 29-31. But on the real thing I scored 33 and I was really surprised. Good luck!
     
  12. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    cause uvm is sweet school...

    i think 40% of the their class is from cali if i remember correctly....i forget...(uc burlington)

    lots of cali students at nymc as well. (uc valhalla).
     
  13. sunflower79

    sunflower79 Plays well with knives
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    had to help out a fellow bear... I agree you should take it anyway and see what happens, wait for your scores before submitting your app. That is, assuming you are set on applying this june. If there are other reasons you might apply later, that's a whole other thread.

    Right now focus on taking the test and nothing else. Relax and have confidence. The test is 80% mental attitude.

    good luck :)
    sunflower
     
  14. AHappyCalBear

    AHappyCalBear Member
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    Well then I think it's obvious. I'm going to take the MCAT this April, see how well I do and then see my options from there. Thanks for ALL the help guys, I didn't expect for so many people to answer so quickly and being so helpful!! And to all the Alum Cal bears thanks a lot too...

    Good Luck to you all, hope to see you in med school some day

    :)
     

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