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How much of an increase to expect?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Doc.Holliday, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. Doc.Holliday

    Doc.Holliday Senior Member
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    so, i took this past august mcat, and scored 31M, 13V, 9P, 9B... that was with just about no studying. i took the kaplan diagnostic at the start of summer, got a 32, then 3R 5 dayse before the test, 32 on both, skipped the writing sections... i then went to the beech right before the test, and took along the kaplan comprehensive review, and skimmed through that a bit, mostly to learn the structure of the test etc so id know somewhat what was happening. right, so i had planned on voiding, (i had planned on studying a lot too, but things got in the way) but at the last minute my curiosity got ahold of me and i kept my mouth shut and let it get scored. i wanted to die after, i knew it was a terrible mistake... but it turned out just fine 31M isnt too much to be ashamed of id say. but, i want to retake, and this time i'll be able to do a good bit of studying, i have the kaplan comp review still, and all the EK books and tests, and all the aamcs.

    soooo... how much would you expect one in my situation to improve? assuming i study through all the above mentioned materials, and taking into account the weight off my shoulders knowing i already have an OK score (not an excuse to slack of course, but you know, test day is a huge stress, and this fact will calm me down for sure, maybe i'll sleep more than 2 hours this time)
     
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  3. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
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    I would say that you might go down. I would stick with this score unless you plan on Seriously studying for 3 months in order to beef up your bio and phys sections.
     
  4. gujuDoc

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    Yes this is what I feel too. I know I talked to you some months ago and you said that you wanted to take it again because you believe you can get higher, but it is a huge risk.

    That said, if you can maintain a strong verbal, getting a higher score in the sciences won't be hard to accomplish because it is easier to study for the sciences.

    Its hard to tell how much improvement will occur though.

    It is easier to say that there is a good chance of going up 6 points from the mid 20's. But it is much harder to go from a 31 to a 35+.


    I'd try to practice as much as possible and assess your weaknesses.
     
  5. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    I wouldn't retake unless you're making up for some other problem.
     
  6. Nikki2002

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    oooohhhhh take it again!! it's so much fun!!! right, guju?
     
  7. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I agree with the previous posters. Unless you have a low GPA or you want to apply to Canadian schools, definitely don't retake. And even if you do have a low GPA, you're probably better off doing a year of post bac rather than re-taking the MCAT in hopes of scoring 35+. Your MCAT score is already competitive to apply to most US med schools.
     
  8. jeffsleepy

    jeffsleepy Senior Member
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    It depends on how serious you actually are. If you slacked off the first time, what makes the second time around any different? If however, you really didn't study at all after your diag and are serious about it now, I would retake. It's easier to study for the sciences portions than for the verbal and from 9's, you still have some room to improve. 35+ shouldn't be too hard, 3 points above your first diag isn't much at all. 40+ is possible as well, though that will depend on your test-taking ability and other factors.

    If you take a bunch of diags, scoring lower than 31 shouldn't be a concern. It's extremely unlikely that you'll go from a 38 on your diag to a 30 on the actual MCAT. And if you're not seeing any improvement in your diags, just don't go through with the real thing. But before you spend the effort, honestly evaluate whether you're serious about the whole thing or if it's more of a "Yeah, I could probably do it if I really wanted to."
     
  9. Doc.Holliday

    Doc.Holliday Senior Member
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    i am serious about it, there were serious reasons keeping me from studying this past summer, and as i said, it wasnt planned to let it be scored.

    this sure shows the diagnostic is pretty accurate. at least for me.

    anyway, i dont see why you all are so against it, i of course wont retake unless my practice tests show a noted increase, (so unless im scoring high 30s when april comes around, i wont retake). i was really just curious if anyone has heard/experienced what sort of increase people have had starting from a relatively high score.
     
  10. gujuDoc

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    There's a thread by Coffeecat that is titled.......For those who improved. You'll see some of your answers in that thread. But in most of those cases, the people who retook had gotten in the mid 20's and then went from that to 31-33 range. There were a couple of nontraditional students who retook with a 30 and got about a 35 or 36. Correct me if I'm wrong on that one, but I recall reading something like that some time back.
     
  11. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Look, you asked for people's opinions, and we gave them. You're free to disregard our advice and do whatever you want anyway. But I do think you'd be foolish to retake. Here's my rationale: it requires about three months of serious study to prepare for the MCAT. This means that during those three months, you will have significantly less time to do other things, like take college courses, work at your job, go out with your friends, and sleep. At the end of the three months, you will take the exam, which you may or may not improve on. Let's be optimistic and say that you go up a few points to a 33 or 34. Ok, so now we do a cost-benefit analysis. You just spent three months of your life to raise your score 2-3 points. Was it worth the time, effort, and money (even if you don't spend a dime on materials, your time is still worth something, and you have to pay $200 to take the test again) to gain an extra three points? Will it really make you that much likelier to get into med school?

    Now, let's envision a second scenario. Let's say that you decide not to re-take the MCAT. Instead, you decide to invest that same three months into shadowing a physician, getting trained as an EMT, volunteering in a hospital, taking classes to boost your GPA if you need it, doing research in a lab, spending a semester studying abroad, starting a new club, or even working a job to save up the several thousand dollars worth of app and interview fees that you're going to need in the near future. You will now have something more interesting to talk about at your interviews than your MCAT score, and since your MCAT score is already more than high enough to get you through any school's minimum cutoff, you will very likely HAVE some interviews to go on anyway.

    I've got a ridiculous MCAT score, and I've gone on a lot of interviews. But you know what? My MCAT score almost never comes up. You know what my interviewers want to talk about? My research, volunteering, and work experiences. Yes, if your MCAT score is much lower than the average, you are probably going to struggle. But your 31 MCAT is above the average, and raising it a few more points is not going to help you stand out as much as having some kick-a** ECs will. So now does my advice make sense?
     
  12. gujuDoc

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    I agree with QofQuimica

    The thing is, to sum up her very long post :smuggrin: .........

    Your MCAT Score and GPA get you past the cutoffs, but from then on, they need something more then numbers to determine whether you are truly worth it.

    Give us an idea of the rest of your application profile and whether you are one of those hell bent on a top 10 school, etc. and it might be easier to advise you.
     
  13. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Hey, what else is more important for me to do right now than give advice to pre-meds who are going to ignore it? :smuggrin: :p
     
  14. gujuDoc

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    :laugh: :laugh:

    I was just messing with you. :p
     
  15. Doc.Holliday

    Doc.Holliday Senior Member
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    offering to advise me? i'll take the offer....

    the gist: there has been a good bit in my life holding me back
    heres a bit of that, not all for sure
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=3034436#post3034436, i have never gone into tooo much detail on here, but ive enlightened some of you a bit in the past. im a junior, ~3.4, from new orleans, now researching in Oregon (research is my strong point, i was flown up here by my PI and given my own subproject, ive worked in a lab at home for a couple of years now, also with my own project, some of that for pay, and would have had quite a few publications if the hurricane hadnt hit, i should have some eventually, but by application time i dont know)

    now the important question what do i do about my lacking areas? research, however influencial and well known the professors ive worked for are, wont be quite enough.. so i need some sort of clinical volunteer activity. I will not abandon my projects, and dont have the time while at my home school to volunteer etc, i need something more time effective.

    this coming summer ive considered a research fellowship at mayo or nyu, or another school, this would add to my research aspect and also give me clinical experience, and shadowing im sure... OR, i can intern at a cardiovascular surgery research lab in NYC, mostly shadowing, and through connections ive made through my research etc. the second would allow me to take first session summer classes (offered to me by the school for free due to the hurricane) and thus raise my gpa a bit, and allow me to take an even lighter courseload allowing for more study time for the mcat. i dont need these classes though, i am double majoring in cell/molecular bio and history, and will be finished both majors by the end of this year, next year is just for a couple of other school reqs and for getting the minimum credit limit. which to choose if i get the fellowships?
     
  16. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    Well, you'd really be gambling on the small chance that you have the potential to be a 40+ scorer. If you could do that, then the time would be worth it. :thumbup:

    Did you max out the SAT?
     
  17. Doc.Holliday

    Doc.Holliday Senior Member
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    im an ACTer, no, not a 36, maxed out science reasoning and reading though, not quite for math and english
     
  18. gujuDoc

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    Hmmmmm....I'd say either internship or fellowship is good. But I'd start volunteering one day a week at a hospital or somewhere clinical from now. I don't know where you've been since Tulane went underwater, but if the school you are at currently has a medical school attached with it, you might want to talk to doctors affiliated with the medschool about shadowing opportunities. VA hospitals generally tend to be more open to these sort of things.

    Other ideas: medical mission trips overseas may also give good experiences.

    I'd focus more on these things then the MCAT. Once you get past the numbers stage, these things hold more weight in determining who's the better candidacy for the medical school.
     
  19. finch

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    I would guess that science reasoning and reading relate to the mcat a lot more than math or english, so it seems to me from that perspective that you might have the potential to increase dramatically.
     

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