How to defend a low mcat score? tried my hardest vs. circumstances

shaggy411

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How should one "defend" their mcat score in an interview if it's low, say 18-22. From my experience talking to people..They said admissions want to see confidence, so "I tried my hardest" reason OR another answer could be...

if there were circumstances that made it hard to prepare for the mcats, say "car accident, brother's wedding the week before, etc... "

how would you all respond to the question asked in an interview and give some circumstances..
 
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shaggy411

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shaggy411 said:
How should one "defend" their mcat score in an interview if it's low, say 18-22. From my experience talking to people..They said admissions want to see confidence, so "I tried my hardest" reason OR another answer could be...

if there were circumstances that made it hard to prepare for the mcats, say "car accident, brother's wedding the week before, etc... "

how would you all respond to the question asked in an interview and give some circumstances..

i got an interview with a low mcat score..but I'm not sure how to react to the question............ first time i had a servere car accident and was left financially and physically in trouble which affected my studying-had rehab for physical injuries. my gpa is like ~3.5 when i graduated from college..

second time around brother's wedding..it was an south asian wedding which entails lots of planning and help from family members..

I really know I could do better ont he mcat with a clear mind and nothing goin on with me and stuff around me (family, etc)..but I can't stand doing it again.. I need to get in this time..2nd time around applying...how do i defend the low mcat score!
 

Lady Tokimi

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shaggy411 said:
i got an interview with a low mcat score..but I'm not sure how to react to the question............ first time i had a servere car accident and was left financially and physically in trouble which affected my studying-had rehab for physical injuries. my gpa is like ~3.5 when i graduated from college..

second time around brother's wedding..it was an south asian wedding which entails lots of planning and help from family members..

I really know I could do better ont he mcat with a clear mind and nothing goin on with me and stuff around me (family, etc)..but I can't stand doing it again.. I need to get in this time..2nd time around applying...how do i defend the low mcat score!
how many times have you taken the MCAT?? once?

Are you only anticipating the "why low mcat score" question?? or did you actually get asked?
 

ShyRem

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I got the why low mcat score about my first set (25Q). The answer was simple - I had mono.
 

cyclegirl

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I have an similar situation, I got my best score without completing OCHEM or Phys but it is below average so I toke it again in Aug and only got a 17 but I had a 104 temp and hives all over my body on test day. When I interviewed last year I explaind that but I am not sure how the interviewer took it. I signed up to take it again this Aug but I could not show up because my grandma was in a car accident the day before and I was the only family member in town. I have an interview coming up next week and I do not know how to explain this without it sounding like a lot of excuses. Anyone have any suggestions????
 

Donvb

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cyclegirl said:
I have an similar situation, I got my best score without completing OCHEM or Phys but it is below average so I toke it again in Aug and only got a 17 but I had a 104 temp and hives all over my body on test day. When I interviewed last year I explaind that but I am not sure how the interviewer took it. I signed up to take it again this Aug but I could not show up because my grandma was in a car accident the day before and I was the only family member in town. I have an interview coming up next week and I do not know how to explain this without it sounding like a lot of excuses. Anyone have any suggestions????
I am in a similar situation with the low MCAT, and have been asked about it both times... When asked about my score, the question was usually stated as the following: "I see that you are involved in a ton of activities on campus and in your community, do you feel this affected your MCAT score and how would you have changed things if you could go back?"

I said I wouldn't change a thing, and realize now that in medical school I will need to allocate more of my time to studying and academics than I do now... But I feel that taking care of a down syndrome child for three years, working with physically disabled children for two, and being the president of a world-wide community service club have created who I am and given me the experience and personality to be a great Osteopathic physician!

That was my answer, which showed them two things...

1. That I realize I need to focus on academics more in college to do well on the COMLEX/USMLE...

2. That I gained awesome experience and valuable skills from my undergraduate involvments that are worth much more than a better MCAT score...

So... Try and focus on all of the activities/volunteering you did(hopefully you have a couple pages full or else this won't work :eek: ) and take their mind off of the low MCAT while reverting their attention to your amazing personality and experiences while in Undergrad!

Good luck at interviews and I'm sure you'll be fine!! :thumbup:
 

Darth Asclepius

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shaggy411 said:
i got an interview with a low mcat score..but I'm not sure how to react to the question............ first time i had a servere car accident and was left financially and physically in trouble which affected my studying-had rehab for physical injuries. my gpa is like ~3.5 when i graduated from college..

second time around brother's wedding..it was an south asian wedding which entails lots of planning and help from family members..

I really know I could do better ont he mcat with a clear mind and nothing goin on with me and stuff around me (family, etc)..but I can't stand doing it again.. I need to get in this time..2nd time around applying...how do i defend the low mcat score!
The car accident and problems afterwards are worth discussing, especially since it's a long term problem, but beware that if you talk about your brother's wedding the week before you're likely to get this question, "Life will not stop when you are in medical school. If your family obligations kept you from preparing for the MCAT, how will you be able to prepare for med school exams and the COMLEX/USMLE?" It's a legitimate and likely question. Also, even if you were heavily involved in the wedding planning, the MCAT is something you should have been preparing for a long time ahead, so I think it makes it sound like you waited until the last minute and then couldn't pull it off because of the wedding. The car accident is an extenuating circumstance, no offense, but the wedding will most likely come off sounding like an excuse for not preparing. I'm not trying to bash you, but I think the wedding thing will get you into deeper poop in the interview if you bring it up.
 

fitnessexpert

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I have a about average MCAT score and I defended myself saying that "The MCAT does not define me as how good of a DO I will be." I continued by acknowlegding that I was not going to give any excuses (even though some of the excuse are legit). I said look at my experience and GPA. A one day test result should not rate your WHOLE academic experience. Yes there are things that happen on the test day. I didn't say this but I wanted to say "Are you seriously going to say I can't be in your school because of ONE test score? Why did I even waste my time filling out an application if you are just going to decide by my MCAT score?"That was just my rant. I know how to work hard and tried proved that I was passionate. A score of 18-22 is not that bad. I have a friend who is almost a 4.0 and got an 18. Some people just aren't good standardized test takers. I have never been a good standardized test taker since grade school. Side-note: There are actually books that teach you strategies for breaking the every standardized tests without studying. This one science guy actually did it with the GREs and SATs.
 

smc927

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Don't defend, just explain. Recognize what elements of your environment contributed to the situation. But also recognize what elements within yourself contributed. Be honest enough to admit if your study habits, preparedness, etc, were not up to par.

Then turn those negatives into positives. Everybody has hard times. Everybody makes mistakes. Demonstrate how you've learned and improved and are a better applicant because of those hard times/low scores.
 

NRAI2001

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Tell them your girlfriend was having a baby on the day of the test.
 

Nate

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I have a great idea, be honest..

Or better yet, retake it.
 

NRAI2001

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Nate said:
I have a great idea, be honest..

Or better yet, retake it.
Yea probably the best thing to do. Take responsibilty for your mistakes, people respect that more than making up excuses for yourself.
 

Static Line

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Nate said:
I have a great idea, be honest..

Or better yet, retake it.
Bravo!! Out of all these answers this was the most practical.

BTW, My MCAT sucked. I still got interview and accepted. At my interview I told them my MCAT sucked( not in these words) and I sucked when I took it. Obviously they accepted that. Retaking it at that time for me would have been more difficult, and require another year waiting to apply but starting in January 06 when the MCAT will be offered 20 x a year via computer there will be no more excuses.