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"I am trying so hard, but still not even getting more than a 20 on the MCAT"

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Muhammed, 05.18.14.

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  1. Muhammed

    Muhammed SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I have a friend who really, really wants to be a doctor. But he just does not have the GPA for it. He went to a good school in New York and has a GPA of 2.89. He is looking into post-bac opportunities but is not getting into any of them because he is doing poorly in the MCAT. He got 19 and 20 on the MCAT.
    Now he tells me that he works really, really hard and I'd like to believe him. He studied his butt off for last couple months and even then did not do well in the real exam. I know that his study habits are not the great and he is not very good at focusing. He also had been through a lot during college. He really wants to improve his score.

    Can anyone relate to him? What's your experience? What did you do to get a better score? Any suggestions would be really helpful !
     
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  3. phunky

    phunky 2+ Year Member

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    The truth is that some people just aren't cut out to be doctors.
     
    Amygdarya, DK2014, moop and 4 others like this.
  4. IL Pre Med

    IL Pre Med 2+ Year Member

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    Adderrall, maybe your "friend," who might even be you, has ADD
     
    listener23 likes this.
  5. hoihaie

    hoihaie Banned Banned

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    don't self diagnose or turn to medications if you dont have to...
     
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  6. Mr Interesting

    Mr Interesting Bonehead 5+ Year Member

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    While I do believe that everyone is not cut out to be a doctor, it is not my place to say who can or who can't become one. If your friend can't get into any formal post bacc programs he can just apply as a second bachelors seeking student and take upper division bio courses to get that GPA up. Before he does that he really needs to troubleshoot his studying techniques before his makes his GPA worse. As for getting his MCAT score, I'd advise your friend to venture off to the MCAT section of this forum and do a bit of exploring. There is tons of helpful stuff there. If your friend is really motivated enough and puts in the work, he can raise his score.

    Also, suggesting prescription drugs as advice is a good way to get the thread locked. In the future, it's better to ask if the op (or friend) has seen a health professional about potential mental barriers that could be hindering their success.
     
    Last edited: 05.18.14
  7. alfredo24pr

    alfredo24pr 2+ Year Member

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    caribbean med schools are his best choice I guess.

    I also had a "friend" (actually a classmate) who was not so brilliant and wanted to be a doctor. He got a 16 on the mcat and studying hard and his gpa was less than 2.8, although not really sure what exactly. He was even repeating a class that he got a C, and at the end he got..another C. So as long as he has motivation and is willing to study even harder, then caribbean med schools will give him a chance.

    My friend is in his 2nd year, and he is still there so lets see if he makes it.
     
  8. tantacles

    tantacles Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    The MCAT is a difficult exam. So difficult that it deters tens of thousands of people from applying to medical school every year. Your friend may be able to improve, and he may not. There are countless study strategies available all over SDN that your friend can find simply by using google, and with any luck, one of them will work.

    As a friend, though, it's your job to be supportive. You can't force someone to study, and you can't make his score improve.

    If your friend does well, a celebration is in order.

    If your friend doesn't do well, you need to remain present in his life. Not to say, "That's too bad! You'll find something else!" but rather to let him know, by your presence and not a trite verbal expression of consolation, that his world is not coming to an end. Sometimes people fail, and your friend might be one of them, but you can ease the blow just a little bit by making sure that your friend knows that his aspirations of medicine were not the basis of your friendship.

    And the only way you can do that is to just be around.
     
    Being, Bovary and Leslie_Knope like this.
  9. Akali

    Akali Best Gunner NA 2+ Year Member

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    I agree that if he has focus issues he should consider going to a psychiatrist to explore possibly getting treated for ADD. Still, I doubt even that would get him a 10 point jump in his MCAT score and make getting into and surviving through medical school any less of a pipe dream.

    I would also highly suggest he not go to a Carribean school either. If he couldn't get past even a 20 on his second attempt, how does he imagine he'd be able to pass board exams or even pass medical school courses?
     
    Being likes this.
  10. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    If you're going to talk about your friend in NY, why not just say it's you as your Location lists NY as the area. Stop referring to yourself in third person.
     
  11. NontradCA

    NontradCA American Hero 2+ Year Member

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    Well, it is likely his friends would be in the same state. But yea, it's probably him haha.
     
    listener23 likes this.
  12. Akali

    Akali Best Gunner NA 2+ Year Member

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    lol, why would he not have friends from where he lives?
     
    mct2762 likes this.
  13. Deadlifts

    Deadlifts Warming up with your max 2+ Year Member

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    Don't retake MCAT until practice test scores are way higher.

    Color me a skeptic but I'm doubting the fact that "he studied his butt off for [the] last couple [of] months."
     
    Being likes this.
  14. mizzu

    mizzu Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    Tell him/her/yourself it is time to change career goals.

    Say he somehow gets in (which would most likely not be MD), he is going to struggle like hell through med school and possibly not pass (we are looking at a 2.89 GPA). He will be competing with other students who DOES have good study habits and unfortunately the intellectual abilities... No offense

    Better to stop now than to pay 2 years of med school then drop out.
     
  15. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    People around here seem to like ExamKrackers for MCAT prep.

    Suggest to your friend that with a 2.89 GPA, the MCAT is the least of his worries. Even a 45 score will not yield a single interview. Suggest an alternative career.

     
    DK2014 likes this.
  16. type12

    type12 2+ Year Member

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    I kind of disagree that not everyone is cut out to be a doctor. I have found the opposite: anyone can, and people who have no place treating others (e.g., psychiatry acquaintance dates and makes fun of his patients) can make it. Yes, the admissions system is definitely flawed, but we're not in a position to change it.

    In addition, these are "basic" sciences. Not to bash anyone who does poorly, but the test is easy, and insulting in some ways. Of course, without studying, it seems impossible, because some of the science is not common sense or common knowledge. This test does not test hard to grasp concepts, just the act of grasping concepts. I say this to point out that anyone, given the right preparation, can ace the MCAT. No one is beneath it - and it'd be a sad world if that was the case (i.e., everyone should know basic sciences - Dr. Tyson agrees with me).

    Having said that, people are not equal, and there's no linear relationship with learning and hard work: just because I spent 6 months studying something promises no guarantee that I will do well. This may vary because of the learning method and personal differences. Regardless of the case, you need to accept that life is not fair, and that you spending 40 hours mindlessly doing questions will benefit some, and be a complete waste of time for others.

    Your friend needs a tutor to identify where his problems are. It sounds like the concepts more than the test and questions, but again, a tutor is the best bet for your friend. He CAN ace it, but how to go about doing so requires some guidance.
     
  17. Planes2Doc

    Planes2Doc 2+ Year Member

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    I have a friend who had a similar undergraduate GPA (he was not pre-med), and started a post-bacc after he lost his job in the business world. He started a post-bacc, but decided to matriculate to a no-name Caribbean school which didn't require the MCAT. He's still there. It's a huge risk, but it's possible to make it in the end.

    I also heard that it's possible to transfer from no-name Caribbean to the big four schools. Even those are gambles, but if you finish and rock the boards, you will practice medicine in the US.

    This approach is possible, but your friend needs to change his study habits around, since attrition is the name of the game in the Caribbean. Huge class sizes where few make it to sit for the USMLE.
     

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