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How much can a high MCAT effect admissions?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ArthurClarke2112, May 4, 2001.

  1. ArthurClarke2112

    ArthurClarke2112 Junior Member
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    In contrast to law schools, medical school admissions don't appear to hinge so much on one's MCAT score. For example, I know of students with 3.1 GPAs getting into Columbia and U Chicago Law Schools with 177+ LSAT scores. I've never heard of anyone doing the same with those schools' respective medical schools. Are there any exceptions? For example, could a 3.3 with a 42 MCAT assure anyone serious considerations from MCAT heavy schools like Washington U or NYU?
     
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  3. Col_4:14

    Col_4:14 Senior Member
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    Arthur, adcoms are a black box. :eek: Stranger things have happened. Remember SO MUCH depends on extras other than MCAT/GPA. There are no sure set numbers. People with awesome numbers have been rejected because of lousy interviews, etc.
     
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    "Conventional wisdom" is that someone with a really high MCAT but a low gpa has a better chance of admission than the reverse (ie, MCATs are standardized, gpas are not).

    However, nothing is assured - even for those with 4.0s and 45 MCATs. [​IMG]
     
  5. Jonesy

    Jonesy Junior Member

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    A 3.3 GPA and 42 MCAT would pretty much "seal the deal" when it came to admissions depending on :
    1) why you had a 3.3 GPA
    2) How well you interview
    3) and your interest outside of medical school (i.e extracurricular activities)

    If you can communicate even a lil' bit you would be in for sure.


    :cool:
     
  6. Tim Duncan

    Tim Duncan Member
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    For example, could a 3.3 with a 42 MCAT assure anyone serious considerations from MCAT heavy schools like Washington U or NYU?

    If we assume an interesting portfolio, good recommendations, and a great interview, a 3.5/42 is a semi-lock on many programs.
     
  7. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    There are no sealed deals, ever.

    At risk of sounding horribly conceited, I'll mention that my MCAT was actually higher than the one Jonsey cites as an example, and my GPA considerably higher. And no, my application did not have any glaring deficiencies. I still got rejected by a few schools without interview.

    I do have suspicions about what landed me in the reject pile at these places, but the point is that you never know what lurks in the mind of an adcom -- EVER.

    That said, a high MCAT can certainly give you credibility if your GPA is lacking.
     
  8. yigit

    yigit Senior Member
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    I had a 3.1, a 34, and a ton of extra stuff and got denied by most of the schools I applied to. :eek: :) :(
     
  9. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member
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    In contrast, I had a 3.3 and a 30, plus a ton of extras, and got accepted to most of the schools I applied to! :cool: :D
     
  10. ana

    ana

    This is how admissions works at many schools:

    The applications are screened based on gpa or mcat first. That is, there is a minimum mcat or gpa that they require and if you do not make this cut off, then your application is tossed -- no one ever sees your extracurriculars, reads your personal statements, etc. If you are an underrepresented minority, the cutoff may be lower. Whether they look at gpa first then MCAT depends on the academic history of the school. For instance, if they historically have had difficulty passing the boards, then they may weight mcat more.

    Usually, there is a formula. For instance, multiplying gpa by 10 and then adding it to mcat score. They then select applications based on the formula to start reading background info, letters of rec, personal statements, etc. Again, depending on the personal idiosyncrasies of the school, they may weight mcat or gpa more or less. If special consideration to minority status, URMs are separated from the rest of the apps and screened differentially.

    Obviously, as long as you meet the minimum gpa, then the higher your mcat, the better your chances (and vice versa). But if you do not meet their minimum gpa, then it doesn't help. Some places also have a "must interview" mcat -- that is, since the mcat is the only standardized test applicants take, if an applicant has an impossibly high mcat, then they may get an interview. I do not know which schools do this or what that mcat level is (though, I imagine it is quite high); this is rare, but I have known people who have had letters from adcoms asking them to consider applying to their school (McGill did this a few years back).

    There is no way for you to know what the formula at any particular school is unless you have an unethical person from the adcoms committee tell you (they are all required to sign a nondisclosure agreement regarding applicant criteria). The best you can do is to apply to as many places as you can possibly afford with your time and money and make sure you have some "safety" schools -- schools whose gpa/mcat/successful applicant profile matches your own whether or not it is your first choice.
     
  11. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member
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    The purpose of my last post was just to illustrate the fact that you never can tell from numbers alone what your chances are! :cool:
     
  12. colorado_1

    colorado_1 Member
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    not to be too big of a pain to you poster, but "How much can a high MCAT effect admissions?" the word you're looking for is AFFECT not EFFECT.
     
  13. guardian

    guardian Senior Member
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    No it's effect. Affect means to be emotionally moved or overcome. They're similar except affect has an emotional context ;).
     
  14. showeeeeeeeee

    showeeeeeeeee Senior Member
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    Effect is a noun, to mean anything brought about by a cause. I like to think of it as "an affect is the verb that causes an effect".
     
  15. colorado_1

    colorado_1 Member
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    AFFECT is to influence, which is what a high mcat can do to your admissions, whereas effect is a "cause and effect." if a high mcat would effect admisssions, it would mean a high mcat = acceptance regardless of your other qualifications.
     
  16. jofrbr76

    jofrbr76 Senior Member
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    you have to go with colorado on this one guys, he/she is right
     
  17. guardian

    guardian Senior Member
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    Don't even open the Oxford. Go to Microsoft Word's thesaurus.

    And the word effect is not an absolute, it was modified by saying "how much".
     
  18. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    I agree that "affect" is probably the verb the original poster was seeking, since it means influence, have an effect upon, and so forth.

    However, "effect" is a legitimate verb meaning to bring something into being: something can effect a change.

    So if you're asking how a high MCAT score can influence your chances of admissions, you've got the wrong verb.

    But if you're asking whether a high MCAT score will cause you to be admitted, your verb is fine.
     
  19. colorado_1

    colorado_1 Member
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  20. BlueFalcon

    BlueFalcon curmudgeon
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    Since you opened the can Colorado...

    It's touche (with a ' over the e).
     
  21. colorado_1

    colorado_1 Member
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    falcon, i swear i'd have failed out of college it it weren't for the advent of the spell checker, so you got me. grammer . . . well, that I'm good at as an english lit minor, but spelling? well: spelling can be all yours; you got me!
     
  22. BlueFalcon

    BlueFalcon curmudgeon
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    You're a good sport Colorado. While I may know how to spell touche, I never have gotten "affect" and "effect" straight. Thanks for the illumination.
     
  23. Jonesy

    Jonesy Junior Member

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    For those of you who dd not get in with a 3.3 and a 42 MCAT, it's called personality and you obviously didn't have any!. My friends got in with good GPA's and low MCAT
    > 24 but they all had great personalities and experience. Grades are not everything, it is good to be a person before a perfect student.
    Perfect students don't always make perfect doctors!


    Good doctors are smart, great doctors have a heart!
    -Jonesy :D
     
  24. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member
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    Excellent Point Jonesy! :)
     
  25. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    What are we talking about here, Jonesy, not getting in anywhere with a 42 MCAT, or not getting in everywhere?

    I suppose it depends on whether the original poster was asking whether a high score will Affect or Effect admssions.

    Certainly it's true that if you have a 42 MCAT you'll likely get in somewhere, and if you don't get in anywhere, there's a serious flaw in your application. Maybe it's your lack of personality, or maybe it's your lack of healthcare exposure.

    But it's misguided to assume that a brilliant MCAT score will "practically guarantee" you admission to most schools, even if the rest of your application is solid. The process is far too random. And with a low GPA, there is even less certainty.

    Remember that adcoms are looking for reasons to reject you. The combination of a high MCAT and a low GPA (though preferable to the reverse) may make the person reading your file think that you're one of those "brilliant-but-lazy" types. Or you may be screened out by the computer on the basis of that GPA before you ever get a chance to demonstrate your terrific extra-curriculars or your sparkling personality.
     
  26. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    Yep, omores is right. I have a friend who had a 12 13 14 (39) on his MCAT, moderately low GPA of ~3.3 or so, and didn't get in anywhere. Personality MUST matter, because it's the only reason I can think of that would keep this guy out of med school.
     
  27. BB07734

    BB07734 Junior Member
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    I agree too. I know someone who had 40 (12,14,14) on the MCAT, 3.2 GPA, healthcare exposure, research experience, but did not get in anywhere. This guy actually applied two years on the row. NOPE! nowhere. So, what is missing: personality.

    I have another friend: 26 MCAT (7,10,9) and 3.5 GPA, received 7 acceptance so far, waitlisted on 5 other schools, 3 of them are prestigous (top 10). So why? Personal essay and recommendations become critical.
     

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