LizzyM Score, really quick because I couldn't find the post

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by amph119, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. amph119

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    I seem to recall her saying in a post somewhere that:

    20% of schools can be 2+ points above your score
    60% should be within 2 points
    20% should be 2+ points below

    or something. Anyone else recall this?
     
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  3. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom
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    I thought you already submitted?
     
  4. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom
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    Also, that "formula" is just a rule of thumb... not something to live or die by. But those percentages seem reasonable.
     
  5. amph119

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    I did, I'm talking to one of my friends who is asking my advice on his list.
     
  6. amph119

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    and yeah I know it's just a general rule of thumb. I just wanted to pass it along to him :]
     
  7. rowerlauren

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    If you are on the top end of the scale you should apply to some places lower than 2pts from your LizzyM score...
     
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I would go further and say that few to no schools actually use that formula. So the percentages are not set in stone, and can often lead you astray. Use the score if you want to gauge your level of competitiveness NUMERICALLY. However this is not a wholly numerical, objective process, and I'd say probably most people in the application pool will be either more or less competitive than this formula suggests. The dude with a high formulaic score who lacks in ECs, or is a lousy interview is going to not be competitive for the schools he picks from this formula. Conversely, the person with amazing ECs, interviews great, and has lots of cool things in his/her app is going to be much much more competitive than this numerical formula suggests. Sadly, everybody is an individual first and a number second. The folks who put too much weight in the objective are the ones who come back on here whining that the process is so random. It isn't. Folks just put too much weight in the objective and miss the boat on the real teeth of this process.

    All she was saying by the percentages of it is pick a few longshots, a few schools where you ought to be very competitive ("safeties", if there is such a thing), and keep the rest in the middle. It's basically a conservative investing approach. But the exact percentages are meaningless and should vary based on the strength or weakness of the rest of your app.
     
  9. Agreed. It's just a rough way to apply to a variety of tiers of med schools come application time.

    They're not cut-and-dry guidelines. They're not "rules."

    It's like people who use practice MCATs as "predictors" of their actual score. No, that's not what they're for. Use them to gauge improvement - if you started off scoring in the low 20s and now you score in the low 30s, you're doing well. But that does NOT mean you're going to score in the low 30s on the real test!
     
  10. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
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    You can use them as both. People generally get a score on the real thing thats close to their last few AAMC practice tests. Of course, we all know someone that went up (or down) a half dozen points, but those are outliers.
     
  11. I would be very, VERY careful about making predictions of your real MCAT score based on your practice tests.
     
  12. BigRedder

    BigRedder Passing Gas

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    How else is one supposed to make a prediction? If you try hard to replicate testing conditions you should be pretty close, especially if you take your tests from a mix of sources. Now, if you mean to say that you shouldn't make predictions at all about your MCAT score, I would probably agree, but that is perhaps a philosophical question about the value of forecasting personal performance. A basketball player can make 100 free throws consecutively in practice and still miss during the big game, but he should still expect himself to make the shot based on past performance.
     
  13. But the practice tests are just that - practice. They're not real, actual tests with real, actual questions - they're put out by companies trying to "simulate" the real thing.

    Use them as a guide to see if you're improving - that's it.

    It's like any other test you've taken out there. You don't take a practice bio test to predict how you're going to do on the final (e.g. an 85% on the practice test doesn't equate to an 85% on the final). You can, however, use more than one test to see if you're improving or getting worse.

    I've just seen too many people get burned because they were consistently scoring in the low 30s - and hence they thought they were going to score similarly on the real test - when what they should have focused on is the fact that their practice scores were variable and often didn't show much improvement at all.

    Just be cautious, is all I'm saying.
     
  14. BigRedder

    BigRedder Passing Gas

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    I don't think we disagree, in fact your reasoning is why I said in another thread that aiming for a 30 is a recipe for disaster. Much better to aim for a 45. The take home message is not to rest on your laurels, especially when those laurels are of no consequence.
     
  15. Totally agree. :thumbup:
     
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  17. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
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    The AAMCs are real, actual MCATs with real, actual MCAT questions. The main difference is that they are old, but the more recent ones are pretty damned similar to the real MCAT. Polls on this forum have shown that people generally get within a few points of their AAMC average on the real thing. Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't people for whom that doesn't apply, but someone whos getting 22s on practice exams won't exactly pull a 37 out of his rectum.
     
  18. amph119

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    Haha, rereading my original post I sound really uninformed. I of course agree with exactly what you said here. I wasn't trying to pass along exact percentages to him, I was just seeing if anyone would respond really quickly if they knew what I was talking about. He was looking over my shoulder at the time and I was more trying to see if anyone would link me the thread I saw it in so he could read it.

    In the end yeah, of course this isn't a numbers-only process. Anyone who spends more than 3 seconds on this forum knows that eh?

    :)
     
  19. s1lver

    s1lver ☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠
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    Something like this:

     
  20. nontrdgsbuiucmd

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    The exception being for state schools if the applicant is OOS. Often public schools have higher or much higher cutoffs for OOS applicants than their averages, some have similar cutoffs and look more closely at ties to the region or significant ECs.

    For public schools in particular, it seems very reasonable to inquire about this prior to sending in that secondary fee.

    Also, many schools have a hard cutoff for minimum MCAT section scores, regardless of overall score. i.e. a section score below 8 (or below 7 for some schools, below 10 for OOS apps for one school I spoke with) means no interview, regardless of GPA & total MCAT score. Much more work to find this out than to simply look at averages, couple dozen phone calls will save quite a bit of money & wasted effort.
     

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