HELP, please

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by willy, May 24, 2002.

  1. willy

    willy Senior Member

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    Hi guys. I need your help. I have a 3.5, 30R MCAT, ivy leaguer, 4-yr varsity athlete, full array of typical pre-med EC's. YET I wasn't fortunate enough to be accepted...anywhere. Because I was invited to interview at 5 schools, I suspect my personality has a lot to do with my recent line of rejections. So here's the debate. Be honest, please, and think about your preferred answer: should I retake my MCAT?

    PROS of doing it (i.e., for your consideration): I want to retake the MCAT. I think I can "go big" this time without having to worry about school or sports getting in the way. I just took BIOCHEM. I did markedly better on the Practice Tests (33-34's) than the actual (30) the first time around. I want not only to get accepted the second time around, but I want to consider some top 20's. I have confidence I can score a 35 or so this time if I truly devote myself. My GPA will be the same as before, so if I don't retake the MCAT, my credentials will be no different that last year's.

    CONS: Obviously, it would be devastating to score lower or only marginally higher (<31) on a second try.
     
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  3. CityIvy

    CityIvy Senior Member

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    willy, are you on any waitlists now? if so, it's still early...don't give up yet!
     
  4. none

    none 1K Member

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    I'm guessing your problem was the schools you applied to, not your stats. How many? And did you apply to Finch, Albany, George Washington and NYMC?
     
  5. brickmanli

    brickmanli Senior Member

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    Just curious: what aspect of your personality do you think could be the problem?
     
  6. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member

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    How many schools did you apply to? Did you apply to all of your state schools and enough "safety" schools? Did you write any letters of intent to show additional interest?

    Also, how did you think your 5 interviews went and what if anything can you pinpoint about your personality hurt you during the interviews?

    A 30 MCAT isn't bad and I am not a fan of taking over that awful test unless you are sure you can do a whole lot better. Maybe take a few post bac classes to boost your GPA which isn't that bad already? Honestly your stats are fairly competitive but the process is such a crapshoot that I wouldnt take it personally that you werent accepted. Just try to pinpoint what you did wrong, e.g. not apply to enough safety schools, cocky during interview, not enough quality extracurriculars, etc.
     
  7. willy

    willy Senior Member

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    To answer your questions: CityIvy, I am on the NYMC waitlist. I am not confident that waitlist will move considerably. None, I applied to 13 schools: 6 were legitimately hard to get into, 3 were less hard (Tufts, Georgetown, BU), and 4 were in my 'range' (MCPHU, NYMC, UConn, GW). Bricmanli, I think I may have too sophomoric in my interviews, and arrogant.
     
  8. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member

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    I don't think you applied to enough safety schools considering your borderline stats. And it doesnt look like you applied to any state schools? What state residence are you? If I were in your shoes I would have applied to all my state schools and a total of about 23 schools.
     
  9. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by willy:
    <strong>To answer your questions: CityIvy, I am on the NYMC waitlist. I am not confident that waitlist will move considerably. None, I applied to 13 schools: 6 were legitimately hard to get into, 3 were less hard (Tufts, Georgetown, BU), and 4 were in my 'range' (MCPHU, NYMC, UConn, GW). Bricmanli, I think I may have too sophomoric in my interviews, and arrogant.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">if it's your interview skills, then don't bother with the MCATs. With a 30 MCAT, it will be difficult (statistically speaking) to get a higher score. Just hang in there. You are on a waitlist.
     
  10. westsidespartan

    westsidespartan Senior Member

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    I am in a somewhat similar situation. I interviewed at 7 schools, with no success. I was rejected from 5 post-interview and am now sitting on 2 waitlists. It leads me to believe it must be something with my personality. I really don't know what to do assuming I don't get off a waitlist.
     
  11. KKay999

    KKay999 Member

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    Willy, before taking any drastic measures, I would recommend calling the deans of the schools that you interviewed with and ask them what you could do to improve your application next year. I think that would help you to pinpoint what actions you need to take.
     
  12. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member

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    If you're THAT sure that you can improve significantly on the MCAT (I'm talking about 3+ points), then you should retake it. This is, of course, if you want to get into some good schools.

    However, 3 more points on your MCAT won't help you much considering you got completely shut out. You might get a few more interviews, but you DEFINITELY have to work on your interviewing skills. Arrogance is a TERRIBLE thing to have (show) here, considering we're going to enter a field in which we're out to help people who are mostly "lower" than we are on the social ladder.

    One other thing: I've heard of a real case (verified) of someone who graduated from Penn with a 3.8+ GPA and got a high MCAT score (somewhere in the 36-38 range), but got ZERO acceptances. It's likely that he applied to only top tier schools, but with numbers like that, you'd expect him to get in somewhere. I don't think he got many interviews, either. And it's not like he had few ECs, either; this guy played some varsity sport for four years (a "rich man's" sport like lacrosse or polo, something like that), and held some leadership positions, among other things. The reason he didn't get in, premed counselors said, was that he seemed to be born with a silver spoon in his mouth and never really helped anybody outside his privileged status.

    Willy, if you come across as arrogant even a little, you'll be just like this guy, albeit with a lower GPA and MCAT score. That's not a good thing. You have to come across as mature, sincere, and a "good" guy. Personally, I think I'm a terrible interviewer, but during my interview at MCPH, I met a doc from U Tennessee who was interviewing for Chief of Infectious Diseases. We chatted for about 40 minutes, and when I asked him about what he looks for when he interviewed students, the main thing he wanted to see was maturity. He said that I have that, and that he'd "like to have you (me) in my (his) program."
     
  13. willy

    willy Senior Member

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    Thank you everyone- keep the votes coming. This will have a very strong effect on my ultimate decision.
     
  14. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    You did not apply to enough schools, i.e. you should have added more mid to low ranked schools. With similar stats, undergrad school, EC's etc. to you, I applied to 23 schools, was invited to 14 interviews, went to 13, was accepted at 5 schools (one top 10) and waitlisted at another 5. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason to the pattern of interview invites or acceptances. The process is such a crapshoot that it's essential to apply to lots of schools. (See Dra. Foxy's thread emphasizing this.) In addition to working on your interview skills and trying to lose that arrogant attitude, I would also encourage you to think about whether your personal statement could be improved, and whether your LOR's really worked for you. I voted against retaking the MCAT, but if you're absoslutely sure you'd improve, it certainly couldn't hurt. But I really think it's other aspects of your application that held you back. And maybe that waitlist will move!! Think positively, and good luck!!
     
  15. atsai3

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    willy:

    Echoing the advice others have given, I would say that you should apply to more schools in a future cycle -- and you should apply to a wider range of schools (reach schools, middle of the road schools, and "safety" schools). Call the admit deans and ask for feedback on your interview. If they are made of anything they will gladly provide you with feedback. I would strongly advise against retaking the MCAT unless you are sure you can get at least 4 points extra. Otherwise it could really go against you.

    Cheers
    -a.
     
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  17. Mr.D

    Mr.D insipidus maximus

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    Willy, I would say if you are reapplying again do everything you can to increase your chances to get in. With this in mind, if YOU KNOW YOU CAN DO MUCH BETTER, TAKE THE MCAT AGAIN. Only do it of course if you're easily breaking +35 on diags leading up to the exam. In addition, consider taking some more courses to add some more weight to your GPA and apply to a wider variety of schools (20 or so). I think by doing all of these things and being a little more modest and mature during the interviews, you should definitely increase your chances at getting into medical school next year, even into some top 20 schools. Take care. :D
     
  18. jonquille

    jonquille Senior Member

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    Starting right now, how about doing some new volunteering? If you give yourself to a group/a person who could really use your time and help (don't think it has to be medical, but that wouldn't hurt), I think that would be beneficial. Be sure, however, that you do something you care about. When you are interviewing next time, you can talk about this experience with passion (and humility? if you think that's a weak point), if that's how you feel, and that will shine through.

    I also would advocate calling the admissions offices of the schools you weren't accepted to -- both ones you interviewed at and ones you didn't. You can say that you are reallly interested in that school and you want to know specifics about how to strengthen your application. Some schools simply provide their average "stats" (as if that eludicates much, we know an applicant is more than stats). But many schools will arrange for you to have a phone appointment with a dean or director of admissions. In my experience, they have gone through my application point-by-point and provided interesting feedback and suggestions. You never know what they are thinking in those admissions meetings.

    Finally, if you don't get off the NYMC waitlist, enjoy your time away from school! I have been out of school for four years, working, and have had lots of time to think and learn about the world and medicine and figure out better who I am. This kind of growth and self-awareness is apparent to interviewers, I believe.

    Just my thoughts. Good luck.
     
  19. jonquille

    jonquille Senior Member

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    Whether or not you re-take the MCAT is actually complicated enough a question that I would even more strongly suggest you talk to advisors and admissions people. First of all, it depends what your score breakdown was. A director of admissions would tell you what she/he thought of each subscore.

    ALSO, would you take the August MCAT? If yes, you'll have to figure out when you'd submit your AMCAS. Ask a director/dean that too.

    I've also heard RUMORS that the August MCAT is harder. Since each test is scaled against the other people taking it (also hearsay), applicants have more time to study/practice over the summer and so the scale becomes more intense. But I have no proof of this.
     
  20. willy

    willy Senior Member

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    Thank you, everyone, for your help. Funny thing is, your decisions seem as split as my own. I am in favor of retaking the MCAT, though my decision is slowly migrating to don't. Everybody's input struck real close to home, so please, keep it coming. I am ever so grateful!
     

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