"I have no chance at any MD schools" ...but I'm applying to harvard

coco11

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So...I'm not trying to be mean with this thread, I just find this to be an interesting phenomenon.

Many people on mdapps or in the WAMC thread make posts asking if they can get into any school at all - say things like "should i consider caribbean?".

Then you look at their list, and have very low GPA/MCAT/weak activities - but then have Harvard/Yale on their lists. I mean, I am definitely applying to reach schools too but at some point you have to just feel like you're wasting your money. Also, if a person genuinely feels like they wouldn't get in TO ANY SCHOOL, why would they add some of the most competitive ones?

Has anyone else noticed this?
 

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I will reference myself (3.6, 30--basically an average applicant)--I added Harvard because it is a dream school and you never know. 20 years from now, I can at least say to myself, "Hey at least I tried."
 

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BTW COCO, I like your list on schools on your mdapps and I think you will be accepted at one of your "reaches" for sure. If I was you, I would definitely add Harvard or Yale if interested :)
 
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Well, med school is a crapshoot. I agree that at a certain point, the top med schools are not plausible and a waste of money. However, the process does engender a certain amount of 'wishful thinking' because adcoms tend to be random on who they accept sometimes.
 

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I was very surprised where I got in/interviewed etc. Wasn't granted a secondary at Vandy but interviewed and waitlisted at Harvard. The point: if you want to go there and have the money, it's worth trying!
 
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coco11

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Oh, I definitely agree that one should add reaches. You don't want to have any regrets.

I'm more referencing people who are like OMG I HAVE NO SHOT EVER HELP ME PLEASE! But then have a list of like 10 super-competitive schools.
 

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coco11 said:
Oh, I definitely agree that one should add reaches. You don't want to have any regrets.

I'm more referencing people who are like OMG I HAVE NO SHOT EVER HELP ME PLEASE! But then have a list of like 10 super-competitive schools.

In all fairness can we bash the people who have a 3.9+, 35+ and cry that they will never get accepted :smuggrin:

I guess both ends of the spectrum need some tweaking hehe.
 
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DrVanNostran said:
BTW COCO, I like your list on schools on your mdapps and I think you will be accepted at one of your "reaches" for sure. If I was you, I would definitely add Harvard or Yale if interested :)
Thanks for the comments :). I really really want to go to UVA, so that's the reach I'm most concerned about! :laugh:


I've read a lot of your posts and it seems like you are definitely putting in your all this semester. From looking at your profile, I have no doubt you will get into a good school. :luck: to you!
 
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DrVanNostran said:
In all fairness can we bash the people who have a 3.9+, 35+ and cry that they will never get accepted :smuggrin:

I guess both ends of the spectrum need some tweaking hehe.

:thumbup:
 

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the "official 2007 what are my chances/where should i apply thread" is the most ridiculous thing i've ever read in my life. i've only read about 2 or 3 posts that i've taken seriously.
 

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DrVanNostran said:
In all fairness can we bash the people who have a 3.9+, 35+ and cry that they will never get accepted :smuggrin:

I guess both ends of the spectrum need some tweaking hehe.

Yea, I think that a lot of people just want attention. Same with people who before MCAT scores came out, were like, "oh i did so bad," knowing they did ok, then get a 38. It makes people feel better to self-depreciate themselves. :scared:
 

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Well, even an atom sitting in the middle of Missouri has a chance that one of its electrons is currently flying through California.

If you value going to Harvard enough, it's worth the cost. Someone with a .05% chance of getting in: estimating $100 in app fees, $50 in lost time only needs to value getting accepted to Harvard at $3000. Add a little extra for the chance of getting interviewed (plane+hotel+lost time) and not getting in.
 

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DrVanNostran said:
BTW COCO, I like your list on schools on your mdapps and I think you will be accepted at one of your "reaches" for sure. If I was you, I would definitely add Harvard or Yale if interested :)
Not to bash on her, but my app is similar but with a higher MCAT, and I didn't get much love at all from the reach schools I applied to (Yale, Cornell, UMich, Stanford, Vandy, and a few others), so there's no threshold where they'll be "be accepted at a reach school for sure."
 
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TheProwler said:
Not to bash on her, but my app is similar but with a higher MCAT, and I didn't get much love at all from the reach schools I applied to (Yale, Cornell, UMich, Stanford, Vandy, and a few others), so there's no threshold where they'll be "be accepted at a reach school for sure."
yeah, i know. where did you end up prowler?
 

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rcd said:
Well, even an atom sitting in the middle of Missouri has a chance that one of its electrons is currently flying through California.
that's some analogy.
 

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coco11 said:
So...I'm not trying to be mean with this thread, I just find this to be an interesting phenomenon.

Many people on mdapps or in the WAMC thread make posts asking if they can get into any school at all - say things like "should i consider caribbean?".

Then you look at their list, and have very low GPA/MCAT/weak activities - but then have Harvard/Yale on their lists. I mean, I am definitely applying to reach schools too but at some point you have to just feel like you're wasting your money. Also, if a person genuinely feels like they wouldn't get in TO ANY SCHOOL, why would they add some of the most competitive ones?

Has anyone else noticed this?
I think a lot of people use SDN to feel good about themselves.

They want to see people telling them how great they actually are and that they have such a good shot and to not give up (hey, you have to admit it that it is nice to have people giving you nice, encouraging comments during this brutal process.) But deep down they know that it is somewhat of a random process and technically they do have some sort of shot at schools like Harvard....
 

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coco11 said:
So...I'm not trying to be mean with this thread, I just find this to be an interesting phenomenon.

Many people on mdapps or in the WAMC thread make posts asking if they can get into any school at all - say things like "should i consider caribbean?".

Then you look at their list, and have very low GPA/MCAT/weak activities - but then have Harvard/Yale on their lists. I mean, I am definitely applying to reach schools too but at some point you have to just feel like you're wasting your money. Also, if a person genuinely feels like they wouldn't get in TO ANY SCHOOL, why would they add some of the most competitive ones?

Has anyone else noticed this?
I think everyone applies to Harvard and BU as a "well I just wanted to check" effort. I can't see where it would be useful later -- "Hey guys, did you know I applied to Harvard Med a long time ago? Who wants to touch me?"

...but maybe people will feel differently.

It's not altogether impossible to get into top schools with low GPAs... consider "this guy": 39 MCAT / 2.85 GPA, admitted to NYU, Cornell, Dartmouth...

...so they MAY not throw your application out if it comes in as a low GPA, but don't think this is the rule... as if Cornell wants to make sure they fit in a couple people around 3.0 in each class as a 'good will' effort.

That being said, people sometimes beat the system and get in with low GPA's. It does happen.
 

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Hmm, from the profiles you listed it seems a lot more schools screened pre-secondary back then (2004, 2005). That's nice. I wish they still did.

Oculus Sinistra said:
It's not altogether impossible to get into top schools with low GPAs... consider "this guy": 39 MCAT / 2.85 GPA, admitted to NYU, Cornell, Dartmouth...

...so they MAY not throw your application out if it comes in as a low GPA, but don't think this is the rule... as if Cornell wants to make sure they fit in a couple people around 3.0 in each class as a 'good will' effort.

That being said, people sometimes beat the system and get in with low GPA's. It does happen.
 
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Oculus Sinistra said:
I think everyone applies to Harvard and BU as a "well I just wanted to check" effort. I can't see where it would be useful later -- "Hey guys, did you know I applied to Harvard Med a long time ago? Who wants to touch me?"

...but maybe people will feel differently.

It's not altogether impossible to get into top schools with low GPAs... consider "this guy": 39 MCAT / 2.85 GPA, admitted to NYU, Cornell, Dartmouth...

...so they MAY not throw your application out if it comes in as a low GPA, but don't think this is the rule... as if Cornell wants to make sure they fit in a couple people around 3.0 in each class as a 'good will' effort.

That being said, people sometimes beat the system and get in with low GPA's. It does happen.
good examples. i guess MCAT was more my issue.

it seems a 40 MCAT/low gpa with possible medical/other excuse can squeak by - and "beat the system"

while a 26 MCAT/4.0 seems to be a lot less lucky.

i'm referencing more those with very low MCAT (as compared to the median MCAT scores of those schools).
 

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I think that makes sense. The MCAT is a standardized test and can be used to compare applicants much more objectively than GPAs from a vast spectrum of schools. If I were an admissions officer, I would feel that a person with a high MCAT score obviously mastered the basic sciences and has good critical thinking skills, and I would be more likely to accept their excuse for not having such good grades. On the other hand, I would think someone with a 4.0 and a bad MCAT score probably went to an easy college.

But I think your 33 is a respectable score.

coco11 said:
good examples. i guess MCAT was more my issue.

it seems a 40 MCAT/low gpa with possible medical/other excuse can squeak by - and "beat the system"

while a 26 MCAT/4.0 seems to be a lot less lucky.

i'm referencing more those with very low MCAT (as compared to the median MCAT scores of those schools).
 

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coco11 said:
it seems a 40 MCAT/low gpa with possible medical/other excuse can squeak by - and "beat the system"

while a 26 MCAT/4.0 seems to be a lot less lucky.

i'm referencing more those with very low MCAT (as compared to the median MCAT scores of those schools).
It seems like MCAT is more important than GPA... 4.0/26 don't get in too often, but 3.2/40 get in somewhere...

It also seems like a (GPA*10) + MCAT combo of 75+ will get you some kind of scholarship.
 
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I think the whole "omg i'm never getting in" is just because they're nervous, and not necessarily about the grades. I'm an above average student, and I freak out that something's going to go right every time something big is about to go down academically, even though it's more than likely I do exceptionally well.

But if they are people that have a less than 3.0 GPA and a less than 30 MCAT together, than I could understand with the slight annoyance of people who try to apply to very competitive schools.
 

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If premedmachine was still here, he would remind you that you are all a bunch of morons for applying to Harvard with anything under a 3.97gpa/41mcat!!!
 

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Oculus Sinistra said:
It also seems like a (GPA*10) + MCAT combo of 75+ will get you some kind of scholarship.
Oh Lord if that were only true! But like Law2Doc points out it's not always about numbers.


[whiny voice]but i'm worrrrrried... what if I do get iiiiin? I've only saved like 4 starving african children, what if the cut off is 5!?!? [/whiny]
 

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whiny voice]but i'm worrrrrried... what if I do get iiiiin? I've only saved like 4 starving african children, what if the cut off is 5!?!? [/whiny]
Have another one fake near-death for ya real quick.
Then you'll be a shoo-in.
 

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Billy Shears said:
Screw saving individual children. Just cure AIDS.
O crap. I've only cured diabetes so far. :(


And to add to the thread, like some other people have said, YOU NEVER KNOW. This process is random and you might get lucky and get picked as the Ivy League charity case for the year.
Plus, there's always the thing about regrets..."maybe if I had applied" bla bla bla. It's better to try and fail than to not try and keep wondering. I REALLY REGRET not applying ivy league after high school because I think I had a chance with my grades and SAT and my background, but I had no money so I didn't even try. I regret it now and I at least want to TRY at some point if my life. If I don't get Ivy League for medschool I'll just try again during residency, or during fellowship, etc, etc.
On the other side, I'm applying to all my state schools. The AMCAS applications I get for free, so I might as well use them. I don't lose anything. I wouldn't apply to any public out of state schools because I stand no chance, so I might as well shoot for the stars.
Also, why do you care what other people do or not do with their time and money? Worry about your application and stop criticizing others for trying or for their scores. It's none of your business. How do you know there isn't more to the application than a sub 3.8 gpa or sub 30 MCAT score. You don't know the person so shut up.

So to the OP, thanks for the interest, but everyone deserves the chance to try. It's at OUR OWN RISK and with our own money to waste.
 

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coco11 said:
So...I'm not trying to be mean with this thread, I just find this to be an interesting phenomenon.

Many people on mdapps or in the WAMC thread make posts asking if they can get into any school at all - say things like "should i consider caribbean?".

Then you look at their list, and have very low GPA/MCAT/weak activities - but then have Harvard/Yale on their lists. I mean, I am definitely applying to reach schools too but at some point you have to just feel like you're wasting your money. Also, if a person genuinely feels like they wouldn't get in TO ANY SCHOOL, why would they add some of the most competitive ones?

Has anyone else noticed this?
Yeah, I totally agree. Ok, yes there is some element of randomness when it comes to acceptances, but come on people! I guess a lot of people just can't accept their mediocre stats. If your stats are close to these schools (3.7+, 33+), then sure go ahead and reply. But don't get your hopes up. It's not exactly a crapshoot.
 

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ironmanf14 said:
I think a lot of people use SDN to feel good about themselves.

They want to see people telling them how great they actually are and that they have such a good shot and to not give up (hey, you have to admit it that it is nice to have people giving you nice, encouraging comments during this brutal process.) But deep down they know that it is somewhat of a random process and technically they do have some sort of shot at schools like Harvard....
Are you talking about yourself?
 

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i also applied to harvard because i don't want to regret not applying
seriously, like people mentioned earlier, i will at least be able to tell myself, "hey, i tried"

and it's not always about the numbers
so i have no shame applyin to these top-tier med schools
 
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coco11 said:
So...I'm not trying to be mean with this thread, I just find this to be an interesting phenomenon.

Many people on mdapps or in the WAMC thread make posts asking if they can get into any school at all - say things like "should i consider caribbean?".

Then you look at their list, and have very low GPA/MCAT/weak activities - but then have Harvard/Yale on their lists. I mean, I am definitely applying to reach schools too but at some point you have to just feel like you're wasting your money. Also, if a person genuinely feels like they wouldn't get in TO ANY SCHOOL, why would they add some of the most competitive ones?

Has anyone else noticed this?

So I am wondering why you care so much what other people are doing...try worrying about yourself and how you are going to present yourself when interviews come around.
 

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I think that many students from prestigious undergrads may have a hard time swallowing their pride when it comes to med school applications. This was certainly the case with me. I was in denial of my GPA or something.

I do, however, have an opinion (in response to a few posts on this thread) about high GPA/low MCAT vs low GPA/High MCAT, but I've been discussing this on the "GPA rumor thread" see here
 

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Oculus Sinistra said:
It seems like MCAT is more important than GPA... 4.0/26 don't get in too often, but 3.2/40 get in somewhere...

It also seems like a (GPA*10) + MCAT combo of 75+ will get you some kind of scholarship.
Well hell, then I only need to pull a 41 on the MCAT then to garner some form of a scholarship. :laugh:

BTW I wouldn't go to Harvard under any circumstances short of a full ride scholarship.....of course this also holds true for Yale, BU, and a few other schools a lot of people would sell their own mother in the sexual slavery trade to garner an acceptance letter to.
 

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Psshhh. Curing diabetes is for osteopathic applicants.
uhhh....
 

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coco11 said:
So...I'm not trying to be mean with this thread, I just find this to be an interesting phenomenon.

Many people on mdapps or in the WAMC thread make posts asking if they can get into any school at all - say things like "should i consider caribbean?".

Then you look at their list, and have very low GPA/MCAT/weak activities - but then have Harvard/Yale on their lists. I mean, I am definitely applying to reach schools too but at some point you have to just feel like you're wasting your money. Also, if a person genuinely feels like they wouldn't get in TO ANY SCHOOL, why would they add some of the most competitive ones?

Has anyone else noticed this?

shhh! we need these ppl around to make us look better! don't scare them off ;)
 

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I'm convinced Harvard Med doesn't actually exist. It's just a couple of Harvard Buissness grads with a PO box that figured:

"Hey, we set up a med school so exclusive NO ONE GETS IN, advertise to the select markets, EVERYONE WILL APPLY. Charge $100 a head and reject everyone. Send 20% to some Joe at USNews to make up some phonie rankings making us #1 and we'll never have to work a day in our life."

Brilliant idea really.
 
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riceman04 said:
So I am wondering why you care so much what other people are doing...try worrying about yourself and how you are going to present yourself when interviews come around.
:laugh: I obviously have nothing better to do than waste my time on a message board - I'm doing fine with my apps, thanks.

I'm not allowed to be curious and ask for some insight?
 

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Homer Simpson said:
I would feel that a person with a high MCAT score obviously mastered the basic sciences and has good critical thinking skills, and I would be more likely to accept their excuse for not having such good grades. On the other hand, I would think someone with a 4.0 and a bad MCAT score probably went to an easy college. But I think your 33 is a respectable score.
Who are we kidding here? Do you think an individual that did really well on the MCAT has OBVIOUSLY mastered the basic sciences? We are talking about a SINGLE test! And if it were about subject mastery, the test prep companies would not be in business. That test is all about test-taking strategy. That's why the most effective means of preparing for the test (as cited by a multitude of people who have excelled on it) is taking the AAMC practice tests...so, I'm sorry, but this is not about one's mastery of the subject! I have seen too many hard workers that have done well at not so easy colleges, that had a bad day when it came to taking this test. The MCAT is not everything! I took the thing cold and achieved a "respectable score." Considering I have not yet taken college level Biology, I don't think I have quite mastered that material. Okay..I'll stop torturing everyone with my ridiculous post.
 

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danjo said:
Who are we kidding here? Do you think an individual that did really well on the MCAT has OBVIOUSLY mastered the basic sciences? We are talking about a SINGLE test! And if it were about subject mastery, the test prep companies would not be in business. That test is all about test-taking strategy. That's why the most effective means of preparing for the test (as cited by a multitude of people who have excelled on it) is taking the AAMC practice tests...so, I'm sorry, but this is not about one's mastery of the subject! I have seen too many hard workers that have done well at not so easy colleges, that had a bad day when it came to taking this test. The MCAT is not everything! I took the thing cold and achieved a "respectable score." Considering I have not yet taken college level Biology, I don't think I have quite mastered that material. Okay..I'll stop torturing everyone with my ridiculous post.
Also, the MCAT also has a degree of luck to it. With only 4 options for each question, you come in with a 25% chance of getting it right without knowing squat about science. Such a chance does allow luck to play a small factor.

There is a big difference between a A-D multiple choice test and a A-K multiple choice test
 

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True, but if you do the calculations, the odds of someone guessing more than a couple of answers correctly on even an A-D multiple choice test is rather low (assuming they guess completely randomly).

But yeah, I do agree that there is some luck to the MCAT, particularly if you get a test form with lots of topics you are strong in (or are weak in, if you are unlucky).
 

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Mister Pie said:
True, but if you do the calculations, the odds of someone guessing more than a couple of answers correctly on even an A-D multiple choice test is rather low (assuming they guess completely randomly).

But yeah, I do agree that there is some luck to the MCAT, particularly if you get a test form with lots of topics you are strong in (or are weak in, if you are unlucky).
yea, good point about topics too

So take student A, who gets his weaker topics and guesses on 15 questions and gets only 2 right

Compare that to student B who gets all his stronger topcs and guesses on 15, but gets lucky and gets 8 right.

You could see a very big difference between those 2 tests
 

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danjo said:
Who are we kidding here? Do you think an individual that did really well on the MCAT has OBVIOUSLY mastered the basic sciences? We are talking about a SINGLE test! And if it were about subject mastery, the test prep companies would not be in business. That test is all about test-taking strategy. That's why the most effective means of preparing for the test (as cited by a multitude of people who have excelled on it) is taking the AAMC practice tests...so, I'm sorry, but this is not about one's mastery of the subject! I have seen too many hard workers that have done well at not so easy colleges, that had a bad day when it came to taking this test. The MCAT is not everything! I took the thing cold and achieved a "respectable score." Considering I have not yet taken college level Biology, I don't think I have quite mastered that material. Okay..I'll stop torturing everyone with my ridiculous post.

oh great, the "had a bad day" excuse. I'll have to remember that one when I take the boards.
 

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I'm not saying that someone who did badly on the MCAT necessarily doesn't know anything, but I don't think you can attribute a >40 MCAT score to pure luck and test-taking skill.

danjo said:
Who are we kidding here? Do you think an individual that did really well on the MCAT has OBVIOUSLY mastered the basic sciences? We are talking about a SINGLE test! And if it were about subject mastery, the test prep companies would not be in business. That test is all about test-taking strategy. That's why the most effective means of preparing for the test (as cited by a multitude of people who have excelled on it) is taking the AAMC practice tests...so, I'm sorry, but this is not about one's mastery of the subject! I have seen too many hard workers that have done well at not so easy colleges, that had a bad day when it came to taking this test. The MCAT is not everything! I took the thing cold and achieved a "respectable score." Considering I have not yet taken college level Biology, I don't think I have quite mastered that material. Okay..I'll stop torturing everyone with my ridiculous post.
 

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ahumdinger said:
oh great, the "had a bad day" excuse. I'll have to remember that one when I take the boards.
yeah really, the test obviously doesn't test your critical thinking skills or your grasp of basic science :rolleyes:

I love it when premeds debate the validity of the mcat. Idiots.
 
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