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How will you decide about retake?

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closertofine

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So I took the test on Saturday and, like most people, am not at all sure what score I will get. And since I'm still too sick to get up and away from the computer (that dang stress really messes up my immune system!) I thought I'd post this question, even though I know it's a little premature...you don't have to tell me that!

What I'm a little worried about is that I'll get my score back, and it will be "good enough" to get in to some med schools, but still below the averages of some other schools I'd like to apply to. I'm not a URM and I go to a state school, so I know I need very close to or even above average MCAT's to have a chance at some places.

So would it be worth it to retake in August with a decent, but not very impressive, score? How will you decide on whether or not to retake?

I know there is a lot more I could learn and study (and actually it would give me something to do...now that it's over I'm almost missing my ever-present flashcards! sad, I know!). But then again, I would really be happy not ever having to go through the stress and craziness of this test! :D
 

meanderson

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I think we need a little more info. What's your gpa? When you say you go to a state school, what kind of state school? Also, what kind of EC's you bringing to the table?

It all depends on those things. If you have a 3.9 from a UVA/UCBerk type state school, great EC's, great clinical experience, etc, then I would feel ok if my MCAT score was around the schools averages that you are looking at(33-35).

Every single non-URM that I've seen who has been accepted to a top 15 private school from a mediocre state school had numbers that were just eye-popping. 3.9/38+ numbers. I come from this type of school and I'm not going to even consider sending in secondaries to top 15 out of state schools unless the mcat is 37 or above.

IMO, if your score comes back as a 31-32 and you know you have a good shot at a 36-38, retake. But only if you *expect* that 36-38 every time you take a test.
 

Rudy1223

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BULL!!!!:rolleyes: I dont know what planet you are from? Admissions does not work this way. Are you in medical school? No.....
 

buggy

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Originally posted by karen44
So I took the test on Saturday and, like most people, am not at all sure what score I will get. And since I'm still too sick to get up and away from the computer (that dang stress really messes up my immune system!) I thought I'd post this question, even though I know it's a little premature...you don't have to tell me that!

What I'm a little worried about is that I'll get my score back, and it will be "good enough" to get in to some med schools, but still below the averages of some other schools I'd like to apply to. I'm not a URM and I go to a state school, so I know I need very close to or even above average MCAT's to have a chance at some places.

So would it be worth it to retake in August with a decent, but not very impressive, score? How will you decide on whether or not to retake?

I know there is a lot more I could learn and study (and actually it would give me something to do...now that it's over I'm almost missing my ever-present flashcards! sad, I know!). But then again, I would really be happy not ever having to go through the stress and craziness of this test! :D

I have the same thought! I'm thinking that if it's below 32, I'll probably retake it, because I only studied for the April MCAT for about two weeks and I'll probably do better on the August one. But if I do get above 32 :D , that means I'm really lucky and I should be grateful and just apply with that score.
 

closertofine

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Originally posted by meanderson
I think we need a little more info. What's your gpa? When you say you go to a state school, what kind of state school? Also, what kind of EC's you bringing to the table?


I would post these things, but I'd rather not get flamed, as I've seen happen to some other people who posted...there are some good points and some bad points to my application...grades being a good thing and clinical experience not as good (so far, I'm working on that though)...so if I can post more info without getting rude comments, I will...until then, I guess I should assume I need some pretty good MCATs to have a chance at the top schools....
 

efex101

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Are you guys on crack? I am so sick and tired of reading on sdn that you must have a 33 or more mcat to get into med school, that is just plain bull. I have talke to numerous adcoms from top ten schools and state schools, they all say that they look at the WHOLE PICTURE. Yes, some folks get in with great mcats but many do not. Again, there are averages for each school about half get in with above and half get in with below. Stop the insanity!
 

illinu

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I fear I have to reply to Mr.Meanderson.
Bull on the 38 dear chap!
I got a 38 (Apr95) but I sat with several good people who had 30 and a 28 (did not make him any less of a worthy fellow). And I am talking UCSF so go climb a tree if you think about top 15 schools.

I just feel sorry for all the others that actually believe you when you state it so confidently.

my $0.02
 

meanderson

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illunu....are there people that get into schools like UCSF with 28-31? Sure. But if you look at this group, I bet they either:

1) are URM and have solid gpa/ec's
2) are not URM, have great EC's, great clinical experiences, and come from a top 25 undergrad


Without more information, none of your examples contradict what I wrote earlier. I think it is clear that top 15 med schools are looking for really exceptional candidates, and they should be.
 

SouthernGirl

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Since I'm an MCAT veteran who will be starting med school in August, I don't visit this forum too frequently. But I felt I had to comment on this thread.

To retake with a 30 or above is just crazy. Is your goal to get accepted to a prestigious program, or to be a doctor? If everything else in your application is solid, and if you come across well in person, a 30 (even a 28 or 29, gasp!) should be good enough to get you in SOMEWHERE. Probably not Harvard or Hopkins, but who really cares about that? You will get an exceptional medical education (and more importantly, you will be a doctor!) after four years at any school.

I, and everyone I know who applied this year with me, were pretty shocked about how competitive this process really is. And I am the type of person who has never really struggled with anything academically before. To even get interviews can be tough. To be accepted at all--anywhere--is an enormous honor. Most likely, your attitudes regarding prestige and rankings and all that jazz will change a LOT as you go through the admissions proces--mine sure did.

I know the wait for scores is not fun, and retaking is even worse (I speak from experience). Good luck. :)
 

lotanna

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Originally posted by meanderson
illunu....are there people that get into schools like UCSF with 28-31? Sure. But if you look at this group, I bet they either:

1) are URM and have solid gpa/ec's
2) are not URM, have great EC's, great clinical experiences, and come from a top 25 undergrad


Without more information, none of your examples contradict what I wrote earlier. I think it is clear that top 15 med schools are looking for really exceptional candidates, and they should be.

Oh pls, u and ur posts are really startin to crack me up :p
How about a friend of mine who is actually an international student got into Harvard with a 28. I can state many other people, just becos u dont feel the need to apply to certain schls, mean u should discourage others who want to. How about u let the schls decide for them??? :rolleyes: When I went to Harvard for a conference, my advisor there who's on admissions committee was even talkin bout this guy who they interviewed with a 3.1 and 29...It happens a lot more than u think, so go get ur facts straight :p
 

closertofine

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Southerngirl, it is good to hear from someone who has been through the process before. I do see what you mean, but I think I just have a slightly different philosophy. I agree that getting in anywhere would be great...but if I am capable of getting into a med school with a program or an environment I really like, I would like to at least try to get in. And as I said before, I feel like I could be a good bit more prepared for the August test, if it comes to that.

And no, it doesn't have to be Hopkins or Harvard. But if I'm going to pay for (well, take out loans for!) an out-of-state or private school, I would like to shoot for the school that seems "best" to me...not necessarily ranked highest, just the one that has a strong program that seems to fit me the best. And of course, a higher MCAT score likely gives you more options...since it IS so hard to get into med school, I know a high score couldn't hurt.

I have heard the argument that med school is med school, so I should go to my state school and save money. And that's basically what I did for undergrad...instead of going to a private school, I got a scholarship at a public state school. But for med school, I would like to choose based less on cost, and more for what the school has to offer (even though I will end up with some loans).

And I will admit to at least a small bit of pride...I've worked hard in undergrad and did put a good amount of time into studying for the MCAT (though still probably not as much as I should have). Whether this is logical or not, some part of me would like all this work to "count" for something in admissions...if I had planned on going to my state med school, I could have done a bit more partying and a lot less studying...I'm sure I could get flamed for that last statement, but I know many people who have been accepted to this med school, and though many of them are very smart, their GPA's and MCAT's are generally not "eye-popping."
 

chapinsita

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Originally posted by efex101
Are you guys on crack? I am so sick and tired of reading on sdn that you must have a 33 or more mcat to get into med school, that is just plain bull.

I wish it was bull. I live in California, and I've spoken with numerous people on admissions here too. I even have the stats to prove that below a 30 is not good enough for a state school here. Maybe if I lived in Alabama I would be happy with a 28. A 27-29 is a really good score, but sadly not if you are in Cali. I don't exactly have a 4.0 so getting above a 30 is not a crazy goal for me, but it is a requirement. If I get below a 32, I will also be retaking in August.
 

meanderson

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karen, I'm really curious what state school in ga you go to. But I understand if you prefer to remain anonymous......

On your statement that you could have done "a little more partying and less studying" and gotten into MCG. I really hope the doors to MCG are that easy to crack. I've also seen 3.4/28 applicants get in. But I've also seen 3.6/31 applicants get rejected or waitlisted. Remember the averages are ~3.6/30. Those are not low, especially for a large state school.

If I quit studying now and did absolutely nothing more for the August MCAT I'm pretty sure I would be in the 30-32 range. But I'm not 100% confident that would be enough.......it would give me a great shot but there are no guarantees.
 

illinu

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Meanderson
None of the people I mentioned were URM. Two were dutch-moroccans and one was british. Jason was from El Paso Texas (no top 25 school there) and I am international also.

Great Clinical experiences and Great EC's are subjective issues valued differently at different institutions. For instance all of us applied to Stanford too and did not get a secondary! Is Stanford ranked higher than UCSF? Never has been!

You also mention " it is clear", far from it. Isnt it the reason why this debate is afoot at all?
That would imply that the schools evaluate according to their criteria and is not set in stone. Sure better scores will give an advantage but lower scores are nothing to be scoffed at either.

Cheers
 
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