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Is there love for people with low writing scores?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by panacea, Mar 23, 2001.

  1. panacea

    panacea Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2001
    Hi Everyone:

    Do med schools over look the rough spots (e.g. scoring M on the written section of the MCAT) and see your shining stars?


    I got a 9 on verbal reasoning, 10s on the biological and physical sciences but M on the writing. [​IMG] My undergrad GPA is 3.57 (Mechanical Engineering, U of T - the school consistently ranked as the top college in Canada). I'm currently working on a masters degree in biomedical engineering (also at U of T) and have a couple of conference proceedings. My grad GPA is ~3.8. A journal paper is in the works from previous work I've done on heart bypass anastomoses. I may, in addition, have another publication coming out of my masters.

    My extracurriculars aren't stellar but a bit above the average. One of the schools I got rejected from this year (my first time round) said I ranked ~54.9 percentile on the autobiographic submission in their pool of applicants.

    Any good ideas on how to explain a low writing score?
    The only factor that I can think of that might mitigate it a bit is the first 5-6 years of my life I wasn't speaking English. This is something that the admissions people can perhaps read out of my citizenship.

    Re-taking the MCAT has crossed my mind. I'd love to hear opinions on it from various people.

    I would be especially grateful to hear from engineer/med students, and people (similar to myself) that made it in with a somewhat shaky MCAT and decent but not godly GPA.

    Many Thanks!
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  3. Panacea

    The writing section isn't as important as your numerical scores on the MCAT. Here's a link to a thread that discusses low VR scores. Good luck. [​IMG]

    any love with a verbal 8?

    - Stinky
  4. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    I have a friend who is currently applying with a 34M, and around a 3.7 or 3.8 GPA. He's gotten a lot of interviews at top schools, and one acceptance (he turned all his stuff in super late, otherwise I think he would have several more acceptances). Depending what you are aiming for, I think the 29 itself might be more of a cause for concern thatn the writing score.
  5. There is some love for people w/low mcats and a low writing sample. I got a 10,8,11 for v,p,b sections and an I got a 29. Anyways, I had 2 interviews and have been waitlisted at both.

    The key thing is other things like life experiences and letters of recommendation. Don't sweat it unless your overall package in your humble opinion is lacking. I'm still praying I get in.
  6. panacea

    panacea Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2001

    I think that I could do reasonably well in an interview, if I got one. I've worked overseas a couple of times and done some volunteering so I do have some things to talk about. I've also been a member of the debating club. Now, I'm not the sharpest debater but I do, because of it, have confidence in my speaking and can think on my feet.

    Those things aside I can talk about the publications I've authored and the work I'm currently doing which involves getting samples at autopsy.

    I thought a 29 puts you in contention for the decent and mediocre schools. I read somewhere that the average numerical score is 24 and the average for successful applicants 29.6.

    I'm not aiming for an academic position just a position where I can 'scratch the itch' I have for research.

    That said you're making me wish I studied harder for it.

    What was your GPA like?
    I wish you all the best!

    Have you gotten any interviews?
    What are your stats?

    Thanks for all the comments everyone... and keep them coming!

    [This message has been edited by panacea (edited March 23, 2001).]

    [This message has been edited by panacea (edited March 23, 2001).]
  7. Panacea,

    I applied this year with a terrible writing score. I can't remember the letter, but it put me in the bottom 15 to 30% among test-takers. I am the first to admit that I am not a gifted writer, but I do not think this score accurately reflected my writing ability. Anyhow, the rest was application was pretty solid and I received interviews from 8 schools. I have been asked to explain the score on two occasions. One interviewer explained that handwriting can have a big impact on the score and they suspect this when there is a big discrepancy between the numerical scores and the writing grade. I believe this may have affected me since I had always printed and I struggle to write cursive. My first interviewer gave me this insight, so opened the discussion on the topic at my future interviews. They seeemed very understanding, and I have received acceptances.

    I suggest that you consider the above explanation and even send a writing sample if you apply again.

    Good luck,
  8. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;) 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2000
    In residency HELL
    Many of you know that my "ultimate" MCAT score wasn't that great (27) but even worse...I got an "M" in the writing section. Now, I must admit that I was TOTALLY shocked by this, I wasn't expecting a "T" but at the same time, I've won 2 writing competitions(w/attached scholarships) so I know my writing ability isn't THAT bad.

    Bottom line....I got an "M"....and I still got accepted to a very reputable school!

    If you make sure the rest of your app is strong, a weak MCAT (like mine) CAN be overcome! Good Luck! [​IMG]
  9. My GPA really isn't the greatest at all. I got a 3.44 overall I believe, and a slightly higher one closer to 3.5 for my science. Major was biochem. You seem to have a good chance of getting in. I sincerely believe my chances where slighted by the late delivery of my transcripts.

    What was your GPA like?
    I wish you all the best!

  10. Toran

    Toran Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 1998
    Don't worry about the writing section. It has only been in the MCAT for a few years, and was only put there to see if you can put a noun, verb and subject in one sentence.
  11. Frankly Panacea, I think the bigger problem is going to be your citizenship. I take it you are not a citizen of either Canada or the US? If so, admission is going to be difficult regardless of your writing score. Most schools will overlook a low verbal and writing score in a non-native English speaker, but admissions to medical school for international students are exceedingly low.
  12. rokka

    rokka Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 6, 2000
    athens, GA
    does anyone know if a good writing score can positively affect your application, or is it just overlooked. My score was a 10,10,R,10 so might that look better than a 30M or other scores. It's not the best MCAT score but is slightly above average for matriculants to the state school to which I am applying.

    Thanks for any info!
  13. Medigirl

    Medigirl Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    San Antonio, TX
    rokka: I also got a 30 (9V, 10P, 11B) and an R on writing. One interviewer said to me, "Nice work on the writing section." It may not make a huge difference, but getting an R instead of an M cannot hurt. [​IMG]

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