Oct 11, 2013
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I am applying to podiatry school and after talking with some admission counselors, they said since my GPA (3.7) was good that I needed around a 22-24 MCAT score to be competitive. I know to many on the forums here that that score is jokingly low, but I am nervous that I may not get around those scores. Historically, I have done bad on standardized tests.

I have bought the Princeton Review verbal and science books for studying along with the free AAMC test. Do you think with a month of studying I can get around a 24 on the MCAT. any advice or study schedules you would recommend would be awesome.
 

SpartanWolverine

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Assuming your GPA includes many pre-med hard science classes, I honestly would be surprised, with a 3.7, if you couldn't score a 22 without any studying. However, the MCAT requires critical thinking skills, time management, and reading comprehension. If you really understand the timing and structure of the test, you should be fine.

Get as many practice tests as you can... and take them all (spread out) under timed conditions. I think that is what helped me most.
 

michigan1212

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I am applying to podiatry school and after talking with some admission counselors, they said since my GPA (3.7) was good that I needed around a 22-24 MCAT score to be competitive. I know to many on the forums here that that score is jokingly low, but I am nervous that I may not get around those scores. Historically, I have done bad on standardized tests.

I have bought the Princeton Review verbal and science books for studying along with the free AAMC test. Do you think with a month of studying I can get around a 24 on the MCAT. any advice or study schedules you would recommend would be awesome.
You could probably get that score in your sleep. Just take a practice test to get a baseline score. Then you know how much (if any) you need to improve.
 

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Unless you have a specific diagnosable reading difficulty (e.g. dyslexia), or English is your third language, or you have weapons-grade test anxiety, or your school has such bad grade inflation that a jellyfish could get a 3.7, chances are you'll be totally fine. Take AAMC #3 to see how you do. Take the free practice MCATs you can get from KTP, TPR just to get more free practice. Then go knock out the real thing.
 

valkener

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Yes I'd say your chances are very good at achieving that score or better. If you end up in the 30 range, please consider going MD. You should take full length tests by AAMC and then see, on average (!), how well you do. A single test is not indicative but the more tests you take, the more reliably you can predict your score on test-day.
 
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Yes I'd say your chances are very good at achieving that score or better. If you end up in the 30 range, please consider going MD. You should take full length tests by AAMC and then see, on average (!), how well you do. A single test is not indicative but the more tests you take, the more reliably you can predict your score on test-day.
appreciate the replies everyone. I heard the sciences are not bad but the verbal is a killer no matter how much you study.

I was thinking of MD, except I am transfer student so a good number of medical schools I talked to prefer pre-reqs at a 4 year and plus I am a CA resident which puts me in the unlucky situation of being forced to apply out of state to a lot more schools. Plus I liked podiatry and at least I know what I would be doing instead of taking a complete turn from orthopedics to family medicine if my Step 1 scores/GPA were not good enough

what was most helpful for verbal. I used Chad's for general chemistry/organic chemistry for the last two months
 
Oct 22, 2013
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appreciate the replies everyone. I heard the sciences are not bad but the verbal is a killer no matter how much you study.

I was thinking of MD, except I am transfer student so a good number of medical schools I talked to prefer pre-reqs at a 4 year and plus I am a CA resident which puts me in the unlucky situation of being forced to apply out of state to a lot more schools. Plus I liked podiatry and at least I know what I would be doing instead of taking a complete turn from orthopedics to family medicine if my Step 1 scores/GPA were not good enough

what was most helpful for verbal. I used Chad's for general chemistry/organic chemistry for the last two months
Please don't believe what you hear about Verbal. I have seen people improve their verbal by 3-6 points. I'm studying for the MCAT right now, but if you still to verbal and practice everyday, you will improve. I honestly think with 2-3 months of practicing verbal everyday and analyzing your mistakes, anybody can improve their score by 3+ on verbal.
 
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Please don't believe what you hear about Verbal. I have seen people improve their verbal by 3-6 points. I'm studying for the MCAT right now, but if you still to verbal and practice everyday, you will improve. I honestly think with 2-3 months of practicing verbal everyday and analyzing your mistakes, anybody can improve their score by 3+ on verbal.
problem is that I am registered for the MCAT in late January, hopefully that will be enough time to practice the verbal. I have been studying the MCAT sciences for the last three months using Chad's videos and MCAT Examkrackers for biology. Starting the TPRH science workbook now.
 
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problem is that I am registered for the MCAT in late January, hopefully that will be enough time to practice the verbal. I have been studying the MCAT sciences for the last three months using Chad's videos and MCAT Examkrackers for biology. Starting the TPRH science workbook now.
I'm taking that one too. Just make sure to do 3-4 passages of verbal everyday. There will be days when you really, really don't want to do verbal. Make it a habit of doing verbal everyday and you will improve.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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If you can score 9+ on verbal without breaking a sweat, then two weeks of intense prep should get you 23+.

On my very first AAMC practice test which I took after 3 weeks of content review, I scored 18, but that was due to scoring 2 on VR.
 

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I have seen people improve their verbal by 3-6 points.
This is absolutely true. A 6 point score improvement is rare, but it does happen. I just finished working with a girl who's first VR was a 4 (on a real MCAT) and after tutoring with her for 3-4 months, she ended up getting a 9 on the real thing. So it does happen, just not every day.
 

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This is absolutely true. A 6 point score improvement is rare, but it does happen. I just finished working with a girl who's first VR was a 4 (on a real MCAT) and after tutoring with her for 3-4 months, she ended up getting a 9 on the real thing. So it does happen, just not every day.
Given the reliability of verbal measurements overall (as in across standardized exams), a more likely explanation than actual improvement in skill is that her first preparation was extremely poor and the test did not effectively measure her actual ability but her approach (e.g., she may have skipped passages or anal-retentively checked every answer against the passage, etc. instead of relying upon instinct the way the VR was meant to be done). Actual improvement in verbal skills does not generally occur over a period of months, unlike scientific knowledge/understanding.
 
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If you're a good critical thinker and test taker, getting even a 30+ is a total breeze. Consistently getting a 37+ is what I'm trying to figure out...
 
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inycepoo

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If you're a good critical thinker and test taker, getting even a 30+ is a total breeze. Consistently getting a 37+ is what I'm trying to figure out...
Cool story bro. Great contribution.
 

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Even if you're bad at standardized exams, a 22 shouldn't be too hard. Emphasis on "too." Carelessness will never be rewarded :p
 
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Unless you have a specific diagnosable reading difficulty (e.g. dyslexia), or English is your third language, or you have weapons-grade test anxiety, or your school has such bad grade inflation that a jellyfish could get a 3.7, chances are you'll be totally fine. Take AAMC #3 to see how you do. Take the free practice MCATs you can get from KTP, TPR just to get more free practice. Then go knock out the real thing.
that is completely condescending, you're a tutor? i took the mcat three times and got a 22, 22, 24. I can honestly tell that I studied really hard only to get the same score the second time. I was scoring 27-28s on my practice. I can guarantee you I do not have a learning disorder.
 

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that is completely condescending, you're a tutor? i took the mcat three times and got a 22, 22, 24. I can honestly tell that I studied really hard only to get the same score the second time. I was scoring 27-28s on my practice. I can guarantee you I do not have a learning disorder.
I don't find his comments that condescending. I think he's right that without a learning disorder, difficulty with English comprehension, or serious anxiety, a 3.7 should be a good indicator that you have learned, are capable of learning, and are sufficiently good at taking tests, that a 22-24 is not something that is insurmountably difficult.
Think of a 3.7 as likely being higher than the 80th percentile of graduating students (assuming, as the poster said, that they didn't go somewhere like Harvard with rampant grade inflation where 3.7 is just above average). A 22 is approximately the 30th percentile of MCAT scores. If someone gets a 3.7 and < 22, this would be a huge red flag for many reasons.
I'm not trying to say anything about your personal experience on the MCAT... it's just what I think from looking at the numbers. A 22 denotes poor understanding of the content, poor understanding of the exam, outside issues, or all of the above.
 
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I don't find his comments that condescending. I think he's right that without a learning disorder, difficulty with English comprehension, or serious anxiety, a 3.7 should be a good indicator that you have learned, are capable of learning, and are sufficiently good at taking tests, that a 22-24 is not something that is insurmountably difficult.
Think of a 3.7 as likely being higher than the 80th percentile of graduating students (assuming, as the poster said, that they didn't go somewhere like Harvard with rampant grade inflation where 3.7 is just above average). A 22 is approximately the 30th percentile of MCAT scores. If someone get a 3.7 and < 22, this would be a huge red flag for many reasons.
I'm not trying to say anything about your personal experience on the MCAT... it's just what I think from looking at the numbers. A 22 denotes poor understanding of the content, poor understanding of the exam, outside issues, or all of the above.
I see your point. I guess I am influenced by the other comments on this thread such as the one from the "banned" member. I think I interpreted that more as anyone getting a 22 must have one of those problems not someone who has a 3.7 gpa getting a 22 on the mcat.
 

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I see your point. I guess I am influenced by the other comments on this thread such as the one from the "banned" member. I think I interpreted that more as anyone getting a 22 must have one of those problems not someone who has a 3.7 gpa getting a 22 on the mcat.
Gotcha. I'm certainly not trying to imply that a low score implies a serious personal issue! I have quite a low GPA and would be offended if someone told me I must have a learning disorder, anxiety, or some other clinical issue based on that.
Of course a ~24 is not a death sentence in and of itself. With a balanced score, I bet many DO schools (or pod schools in the OP's case) would gladly accept an applicant with a decent GPA and good experiences.
 
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Gotcha. I'm certainly not trying to imply that a low score implies a serious personal issue! I have quite a low GPA and would be offended if someone told me I must have a learning disorder, anxiety, or some other clinical issue based on that.
Of course a ~24 is not a death sentence in and of itself. With a balanced score, I bet many DO schools (or pod schools in the OP's case) would gladly accept an applicant with a decent GPA and good experiences.
yea it definitely isn't! I have two interviews so far and a decent gpa (not enough that my 24 would really be a red flag in my case I think) & ECs. I was a peer leader at my school and I definitely encourage students to try the best they can on their grades or the MCATs and to keep trying if they really want it!
 
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inycepoo

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(assuming, as the poster said, that they didn't go somewhere like Harvard with rampant grade inflation where 3.7 is just above average).
Bad example, because rampant grade inflation doesn't mean that the grades are not deserved and the students are not able. A 3.7 from Harvard would not be susceptible to an extremely low score. I know because I have a 3.7 at a comparable school to Harvard (but we're better) and got a 36.[/quote]
 

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Well, I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that... are you suggesting that Harvard students were less intelligent when a 3.2 was the average GPA than now (when the average is 3.6-3.7)? Sure it's "hard" to get into Harvard for undergrad, but that doesn't mean everyone deserves an A for every class.

So you're an average Ivy student GPAwise and got an MCAT score in the ~95th percentile. I don't think that demonstrates that the average student at H/Y/P could do so.
 

inycepoo

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Well, I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that... are you suggesting that Harvard students were less intelligent when a 3.2 was the average GPA than now (when the average is 3.6-3.7)? Sure it's "hard" to get into Harvard for undergrad, but that doesn't mean everyone deserves an A for every class.

So you're an average Ivy student GPAwise and got an MCAT score in the ~95th percentile. I don't think that demonstrates that the average student at H/Y/P could do so.
I've discussed this topic on these forums ad nauseam already, so I'm not going to try that hard anymore…(http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/mcat-studying-diary-exam-8-2-2013-journey-to-a-45-ha.1011056/page-7)

Yes, I believe current HYP students are more intelligent (book-smart, nothing else; not going to extrapolate too far) than their counterparts decades ago. The gigantic increase in the applicant pool allows our admissions offices to cherry pick the best they want. When the average GPA was a 3.2, Ivies were filled with rich, white men wearing Gant. That is not a very representative population to compare the current students to. The current average for HY is around 3.55 (from Crimson, YDN, and respective OIRs; gradeinflation.com is garbage).

We don't all get As for every single class; an average of 3.55 mandates that a good number of A- and B+ be given. 62% of grades given at Yale were A- and above in the past academic year. Is this inflated? Perhaps. Is it rampant inflation and undeserved? There's no way to accurately defend either side of that statement like when difficulty level, student caliber, and other related metrics are inherently subjective and cannot be described properly to someone who has only taken classes at one institution. i.e., you won't understand what I mean when I say Ivy students all work extremely hard and perform at very high levels all the time, and I won't understand what you mean when you say that we're not too special in that regard. It's all relative. I don't know how I'd do at a flagship, and you don't know how you'd do at an Ivy or top-tier.

I consider myself the average Ivy case. (I may even be a little below that, who knows.) Average applicant at Yale (we don't screen like JHU; everyone gets a letter if you ask, even for DO) has a 3.65/34. Average at Harvard is 3.67/35. I think that's pretty good evidence that the average premed at HY tends to get >90th percentile fairly consistently. Advisors (we actually have some capable and knowledgable ones) tend to expect a ≥33 from premeds.

Also, keep in mind that the easiest graders are not in the natural sciences. It's really the humanities and social sciences where sometimes getting an A is a joke. I've taken history classes that are jokes, but also political science ones that required a **** ton of work and was hard as dried horse dung. But since the majority of premeds at such liberal arts institutions dabble in a ton of non-sciencey subjects, it's much more complicated than it is ostensibly.

Conclusion: our grades may be inflated by a little bit, but definitely not as rampantly as outsiders think. This is not undeserved; when average SAT scores keep climbing as the students get increasingly book-smart due to the Common App and admissions outreach, it should not be blasphemous for grades to rise accordingly. (I would be concerned if grades did not improve because then, either 1) professors are being dicks and forcefully grading people down for little reason other than to keep status quo, or 2) our problems in pre-tertiary education are even more severe than we'd think. For med school admissions, the effect of "inflation" is negligible because adcoms definitely know where we all compare to one another (based on past performance of similar students), and we always have the MCAT as a [semi-useful] equalizer.
 
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so here is the following stuff I have used for the past three months:
Chad's videos
Examkrackers Biology
AP Biology Cliffs notes

for practice I used the:
TPRH Verbal and Science Workbook

with about a month left of studying, do you think this should be sufficient (any recommendations would be awesome)

I am starting the verbal material now, do you think I can muster a 6 or a 7 with a month left?
 

SpartanWolverine

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I personally think verbal is the hardest to "learn" and is much more of a process. If you're a native English speaker who had read for pleasure, been exposed to scientific literature, are a good critical thinker, and understand the timing... no problem getting 7-10+.

I hope you've been taking lots of practice tests and really learning the structure of the test. That's super important to have done -- or to really start now!
 
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OP
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I personally think verbal is the hardest to "learn" and is much more of a process. If you're a native English speaker who had read for pleasure, been exposed to scientific literature, are a good critical thinker, and understand the timing... no problem getting 7-10+.

I hope you've been taking lots of practice tests and really learning the structure of the test. That's super important to havr done -- or to really start now!
I like to read a variety of books and scientific articles but for some reason my reading scores do not reflect that, I took a DAT once and got a 19 on the reading when I thought I would get a much better score. Also I am a native speaker, I am guessing I am not a good critical thinker.
 

SpartanWolverine

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I like to read a variety of books and scientific articles but for some reason my reading scores do not reflect that, I took a DAT once and got a 19 on the reading when I thought I would get a much better score. Also I am a native speaker, I am guessing I am not a good critical thinker.
Yeah, I'm not sure what's a good score on the DAT or not. Regardless, just keep practicing. Some people may recommend reading this and that... but I think just doing practice tests and verbal passage practice is the way to go. Good luck! :thumbup:
 
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Yeah, I'm not sure what's a good score on the DAT or not. Regardless, just keep practicing. Some people may recommend reading this and that... but I think just doing practice tests and verbal passage practice is the way to go. Good luck! :thumbup:
thanks for the advice, the study materials mentioned a couple posts above should be sufficient though right?
 

SpartanWolverine

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I expect so. If you feel like you're recognizing recurring physics/bio content on practice exams and understanding general themes in the verbal... your material is probably sufficient. I think that all of the major review companies have valuable stuff. I personally took an Examkrackers live course with review books and used the Kaplan online material, so I can't speak exactly to the materials you mention (short of the EK bio, which I thought was good). If you haven't purchased every single practice exam you can get your hands on, though, I would do that and take them under timed conditions.