How hard is it to score a 26 or higher with subscores of 7 or higher

Nov 10, 2010
74
0
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone,

My case is kind of different than most pre-meds. I have already been selected for a Guaranteed Admissions program for sophomores (MD) for EY2012 and as part of my post-selection process, I must take the MCAT and pass with a total score of 26 or higher with no section less than 7. Also I am eligible for 2 more retakes until September of next year. Not to forget that deans at the medical school told me they don't care what score I receive on the writing section (which is awesome, meaning more time to study for the other sections). So overall, I need to score 26 on all three sections and any score on writing (J-T).

I'm a junior now and I have taken all my pre-reqs (including human phys and biochem) BUT not physics 2 yet which is my only worry. I have already signed up for the April 29, 2011 exam (at 1pm) because I am not a morning person and I want your opinion OR anyone's opinion on whether I should take physics 2 in the spring semester while studying for the mcat? Or will it be too much? Also I know that there is a fair amount of genetics on the exam. Will I be at a huge disadvantage if I have not taken physics 2 and genetics yet or do the review books contain enough material to teach you the topics? I also have a very cheap (in terms of monetary) private tutor to teach me physics just in case the books won't be enough.Please keep in mind that I only need a 26 but my goal is to get around 30 on the first try, just to be safe.

Also I am going to start SN2ed's 3 or 4 month study plan in the next two weeks or so. What do you guys recommend doing, a 3 or 4 month plan? Do you think the 4 month plan is too much for just above a 26? I have seen and heard stories of people scoring 26 on their first diagnostic prior to even doing any content review.

If anyone is willing to help, I would appreciate it! Thanks.
 

ronaldo23

The Truth
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2007
994
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Medical Student
Hi everyone,

My case is kind of different than most pre-meds. I have already been selected for a Guaranteed Admissions program for sophomores (MD) for EY2012 and as part of my post-selection process, I must take the MCAT and pass with a total score of 26 or higher with no section less than 7. Also I am eligible for 2 more retakes until September of next year. Not to forget that deans at the medical school told me they don't care what score I receive on the writing section (which is awesome, meaning more time to study for the other sections). So overall, I need to score 26 on all three sections and any score on writing (J-T).

I'm a junior now and I have taken all my pre-reqs (including human phys and biochem) BUT not physics 2 yet which is my only worry. I have already signed up for the April 29, 2011 exam (at 1pm) because I am not a morning person and I want your opinion OR anyone's opinion on whether I should take physics 2 in the spring semester while studying for the mcat? Or will it be too much? Also I know that there is a fair amount of genetics on the exam. Will I be at a huge disadvantage if I have not taken physics 2 and genetics yet or do the review books contain enough material to teach you the topics? I also have a very cheap (in terms of monetary) private tutor to teach me physics just in case the books won't be enough.Please keep in mind that I only need a 26 but my goal is to get around 30 on the first try, just to be safe.

Also I am going to start SN2ed's 3 or 4 month study plan in the next two weeks or so. What do you guys recommend doing, a 3 or 4 month plan? Do you think the 4 month plan is too much for just above a 26? I have seen and heard stories of people scoring 26 on their first diagnostic prior to even doing any content review.

If anyone is willing to help, I would appreciate it! Thanks.
First off, congrats. I think you will have no problems getting a 26 on 1 of 3 attempts. Honestly, if I was in that position...I would first play it by ear with studying. After taking a bunch of FL's and maybe a month or two of studying, if i was consistently scoring a few points above 26 (say averaging ~28-30), I would just pull the trigger and enroll for a test then. After all, you have 2 fallbacks to take it more seriously if that doesn't work out. If you don't feel comfortable with that, either the 3 or 4 month plan will work perfectly fine.

I imagine if you got into an early assurance program, your grades are good and you probably have a strong grasp of the science material. Unless English is a second language, getting a min 7 on each section will be a piece of cake. I mean, I suppose my mentality is based on getting the most of your early acceptance deal (i.e. doing the least work possible to get from point A to B). I'm sure you're capable of a 35+, but what's the point of all the extra effort?

You definitely don't need to take a genetics course for the MCAT, and can easily learn the genetics material needed on your own (if you didn't learn much of it in general biology). As for physics II, it's better to have it under your belt, or to at least be enrolled in it when studying, but it is doable to learn the main topics on your own if that is not possible.
 
OP
M
Nov 10, 2010
74
0
Status
Medical Student
Hey man thank you for the great advice. I am currently signed up for physics 2 in the spring. I'm just going to take your advice and study for the mcat while taking the class because I know most of the difficult concepts on PS come from phys 2. Also my first lang is English so there shouldn't be much of a problem.

Also I really just want to knock it out on the first attempt, and hope that I do not have to retake it. So you think the safe route is the 3 month plan then? And I know myself that if I study too long for something, I'll easily forget the material. 4 months sounds too stretched, especially for my case.

I've done really well on all my pre-reqs but I need a major refresher. And I'm not a big morning person so I really need to take the exam on April 29th when they offer the 1pm exam.

Thanks again and I'll let everyone know how I do
 

PostHaste

Eye Roller
5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2010
334
7
Midwesterly
Status
Medical Student
Congrats on the guaranteed acceptance, what a weight lifted off your shoulders!

If you're generally a good student (which it sounds like you must be) I wouldn't be too concerned unless you have major test issues. I think ronaldo's advice is good. Maybe spend a day or two reviewing the physics/chem equations, then take a few full-length practice tests and see how you do. It would be silly to waste 3 months studying if you didn't have to, especially when you've got 2 more shots at it.

As far as how "easy" it is, I've managed 26's (eta, 8/10/8, 7/10/9 PS/VR/BS) on my first two practice tests without having had Bio 2, Chem 2, and Ochem 2. Plus I've not had physics, chem, or bio since 2000 and am just finishing re-taking Ochem 2 now. I'm not studying much at all right now as I work full time, am taking 14 credits, and have 2 kids. I was 2 and 6 weeks into a PR class, so I wasn't coming in totally cold, but I'd say I'm significantly behind where you're at right now.
 
Last edited:
Nov 15, 2010
16
0
Status
It is insulting that a guaranteed acceptance program is asking for 26 on the MCAT. They might as well not require the MCAT at all.
 
OP
M
Nov 10, 2010
74
0
Status
Medical Student
It is insulting that a guaranteed acceptance program is asking for 26 on the MCAT. They might as well not require the MCAT at all.
Well the point of guaranteed admissions is to focus on the students capabilities in not only test taking. It's more of a personal contract between the student and the school in that they really want to get to know you. Over the course of pre-matriculation, you have to meet with the Deans multiple times. And also they focus on your maturation as a sophomore and ability to handle a huge load of clinical experience.

Well I'm guessing your implying getting a 26 is a joke? Lol
 
May 22, 2010
521
4
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
It is insulting that a guaranteed acceptance program is asking for 26 on the MCAT. They might as well not require the MCAT at all.
:thumbup: for the most part. A 26 is maybe 55th percentile of students who take the test. Sort of silly they would require that you're just in the top half of students to get an M.D. or D.O. Imagine how awful our health care system would be if this applied across the board.

Basically, what I'm saying is that you should be fine if you're doing well as an undergraduate. Take some practice tests and have a broad background and you should be good.

I think a 3 to 4 month study plan is a little much to attain just a 26 if you're already in an accelerated program (probably had to get over a 1500 SAT and have over a 3.7 UG GPA or something) because you probably have the test taking abilities to do well enough without much prep.

I would say maybe a month of studying a couple hours a day would be more than enough to hit over a 26 (assuming you just want to get in)
 

ronaldo23

The Truth
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Jul 28, 2007
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:thumbup: for the most part. A 26 is maybe 55th percentile of students who take the test. Sort of silly they would require that you're just in the top half of students to get an M.D. or D.O. Imagine how awful our health care system would be if this applied across the board.
)
I don't think it would have any impact on our health-care system if this was the case. I believe 26 is about the average of D.O. acceptees actually, with some schools averaging even lower than that, and they make fine physicians.

The average MCAT of 31 at MD schools has more to do with supply/demand of the applicant pool (a very competitive one), not that a "30+" or "X percentile" is some magic threshold needed to be a competent physician.

The program here probably requires really high grades to get in, and so they don't care much about the MCAT, other than proving to them you aren't inept at standardized tests (and therefore that you won't bomb the USMLE). That's probably how they attract people...if they required a higher MCAT of 30+, people might just take their chances at other med schools, since it wouldn't be all that great a deal to accept.
 

afob100

ASA Member
7+ Year Member
May 27, 2010
278
26
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Resident [Any Field]
Dude, I'm in the same guaranteed program (but am a senior). My advice is to study for 3-4 months and blow the MCAT out of the water. It's not that difficult. I got a 34 and have been accepted to UVa and UMaryland. Btw, I used SN2ed's 4 month study schedule, and it was golden.

Don't settle for a 26...you can do much better!!
 
Last edited:

phltz

7+ Year Member
May 13, 2010
889
30
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone,

My case is kind of different than most pre-meds. I have already been selected for a Guaranteed Admissions program for sophomores (MD) for EY2012 and as part of my post-selection process, I must take the MCAT and pass with a total score of 26 or higher with no section less than 7. Also I am eligible for 2 more retakes until September of next year. Not to forget that deans at the medical school told me they don't care what score I receive on the writing section (which is awesome, meaning more time to study for the other sections). So overall, I need to score 26 on all three sections and any score on writing (J-T).

I'm a junior now and I have taken all my pre-reqs (including human phys and biochem) BUT not physics 2 yet which is my only worry. I have already signed up for the April 29, 2011 exam (at 1pm) because I am not a morning person and I want your opinion OR anyone's opinion on whether I should take physics 2 in the spring semester while studying for the mcat? Or will it be too much? Also I know that there is a fair amount of genetics on the exam. Will I be at a huge disadvantage if I have not taken physics 2 and genetics yet or do the review books contain enough material to teach you the topics? I also have a very cheap (in terms of monetary) private tutor to teach me physics just in case the books won't be enough.Please keep in mind that I only need a 26 but my goal is to get around 30 on the first try, just to be safe.

Also I am going to start SN2ed's 3 or 4 month study plan in the next two weeks or so. What do you guys recommend doing, a 3 or 4 month plan? Do you think the 4 month plan is too much for just above a 26? I have seen and heard stories of people scoring 26 on their first diagnostic prior to even doing any content review.

If anyone is willing to help, I would appreciate it! Thanks.
Definitely take Physics II - just trying to learn it on your own is likely to be much less effective. As far as how hard it'll be, there's really no way for us to say. Some students struggle to get up to a 26, some students already score over 30 on their first real practice test. You probably won't know where you fall until you take one or two of the AAMC FLs. So take one of those, maybe over the Christmas break. You'll be missing Physics II, obviously, so your PS score will suffer, but it'll give you an idea of where you stand.
 

1fastmedic

Thankful for my life
Nov 30, 2010
34
4
South Carolina
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone,
Also I know that there is a fair amount of genetics on the exam. Will I be at a huge disadvantage if I have not taken physics 2 and genetics yet or do the review books contain enough material to teach you the topics?
If you want to be best prepared for the 1st attempt, you really need to take Physics II and Genetics. I just took it in July and the Bio section was full of genetics. I remember the 1st two passages on the PS section was optics and magnetism as well. It's a gamble on what may be on your particular exam, but taking the chance that you will have an exam that is not Physics II or genetics heavy is not a good idea. Also, I know it's a costly thing, but take as many AMCAS MCAT practice tests as you can to get prepared. These are old versions of the real thing. The EK and Kaplan materials, IMO, weren't even close to the real exam. I wouldn't spend as much time with those prep materials. Good luck!!
 

1fastmedic

Thankful for my life
Nov 30, 2010
34
4
South Carolina
Status
Medical Student
It is insulting that a guaranteed acceptance program is asking for 26 on the MCAT. They might as well not require the MCAT at all.
That's right!! Because the MCAT exam is the only criterion that should be considered when considering one's worth to go to medical school!!

Give me a break.
 

jwied73

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Jul 2, 2008
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Tampa
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Other Health Professions Student
Getting a 26 on the MCAT isnt always a guarantee, and it certainly is NOT always an indicator of intelligence. A buddy of mine in undergrad graduated Magna Cume Laude and studied his butt off, every day for months for the MCAT. He took it and got a sub-20 score. Twice. Me, on the other hand, studied very little for the MCAT and ended up with a 26 on my first try. But he re-evaluated things and decided to try for dental school, and he ended up performing very well on the DAT and was accepted into one of the top dental programs in the nation. (And here I am, doing a MS degree because I need the help getting in to Med school...)

That said, statistics show that you probably will do better than a 26, since it is only 55 percentile. Just don't blow it off. Study hard, do well, live long and prosper.
 

aamirakram19

DocOc
7+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2010
19
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Status
Pre-Medical
If you don't mind me asking MCVkid12, which program did you get into and what are your personal stats. I'm a sophomore thinking about applying to these programs and I would like to know where I need to be in order to apply.
 

afob100

ASA Member
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May 27, 2010
278
26
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Resident [Any Field]
If you don't mind me asking MCVkid12, which program did you get into and what are your personal stats. I'm a sophomore thinking about applying to these programs and I would like to know where I need to be in order to apply.
This program is only available to undergrads at VCU for VCU School of Medicine.

Mount Sinai is the only program I know that admits students after 2 years of college that didn't go to an affiliated undergrad. (But you have to major in humanities/can't take science classes or something).
 
OP
M
Nov 10, 2010
74
0
Status
Medical Student
If you don't mind me asking MCVkid12, which program did you get into and what are your personal stats. I'm a sophomore thinking about applying to these programs and I would like to know where I need to be in order to apply.
Yea no problem. I am currently a junior and just finished my fall semester studying Bio (honors program). I got accepted into VCU med as part of the guaranteed admissions program. When I applied in my sophomore year, spring semester, I actually had a 4.0 GPA. Only two students get accepted from around 8 schools in VA to VCU because they reserve these spots for them. I need to now pass the MCAT with a 26 or higher to keep my spot. But they give you re-takes if something goes wrong the first time.