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low mcat-chance at top med school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by lala2626, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. lala2626

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    anyone themselves or know of anyone who got into top med schools with a 20-something mcat score?
     
  2. Manyac86

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    I know someone with a 30 who got into a top10ish school. He was in every other way a perfect/amazing applicant.
     
  3. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member
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    With a 20-something MCAT score, you'd be lucky to even get into med school these days.

    You might want to PM flaahless. He got into many top schools with a sub-30 MCAT score. He's the only person I know in real life or on SDN who got into a top 20 school with a 20-30 MCAT score.
     
  4. Character

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    yes, it will we really tough. though i do know many who have gotten into top schools with high 20's, this is the exception by far. so, your best bet is to improve your mcat score.
     
  5. AlexMorph

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    i cannot agree more with what the great character has said
     
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  6. Mobius1985

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    No.
     
  7. Ginzo

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    This probably isn't going to happen unless you're applying as URM. Honestly, even low 30s MCAT scores are questionable at a lot of the top schools now. I know of one well-ranked state school that prioritizes interviews by MCAT score. Highest score = earliest interview. Chances are that their interviewing season would be over long before they ever reached the 20s.
     
  8. wisguy

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    A lot of people with 35+ don't even get interviews at top schools, let alone acceptances. Is it possible, yes, but the chances are exceedingly slim.
     
  9. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Lowest I've heard of is a 33. But I really know a very limited set of applicants.

    SO that's just my 2 cents.
     
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  10. flip26

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    Somebody recently posted a spreadsheet with the 10th percentile MCAT scores for matriculants at each med school...I did not save the link, but for the top schools, this was well into the 30s...
     
  11. nevercold

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    Yes, students get in to top medical schools with MCAT scores below 30. Usually they are URMs and have demonstrated that they can succeed academically in another way (GPA 3.7+ or strong GPA while working full-time, etc). They have very compelling reasons for admission such as the potential to offer a very significant contribution to society in and after medical school through community work, leadership, or research. Caucasians and East Asian students are highly unlikely to be admitted to top-10 schools with an MCAT below 30 without a huge hook. However, they definitely get in with MCATs in the lower 30s.

    There seems to be the perception by some that if a school has an average MCAT of 36, then all the students there are 35, 36, 37, 38 with a few URMs with lower scores. The truth is that the range tends to be broader with a handful of scores around 27-29, a very reasonable number of scores 30-34, the majority between 35-40, and a handful between 41 and 45. The number of scores 39 and up tend to offset the number of scores 33 and below, leaving the average to fall around 36 for those schools.
     
  12. CrystalClear

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    I did. I'm a non-URM and a first-time applicant. Anything's possible, but the higher your MCAT the better your chances are, of course.
     
  13. chunglee

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    People are going to flame me, but here is my honest opinion. Don't bother applying, just retake it. If its too late, then try public health or a masters program.
     
  14. kaliphornia

    kaliphornia '12 UCLA!! =)
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    it is very possible. i got into (and will be matriculating at) a top ten school with a below-30 mcat score. my app was very strong and compensated for the low mcat. and i'm not an urm. so, its possible!
     
  15. chunglee

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  16. imahustler

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    affirmative action..
     
  17. kaliphornia

    kaliphornia '12 UCLA!! =)
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    sure. keep telling yourself that.

    this thread is not to question others, but to answer the op's question. if you look at the mcat ranges for med schools, none of them range from 10-15 in each section. the range is very broad. mcat scores do not make your application, instead support your application like other factors that are equally important.
     
  18. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Let's refrain from insulting others. It's a violation of the Terms of Service which, as members, we all agree to abide by.
     
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  19. frikarika

    frikarika RADIOHEAD
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    Yes, I personally know somehow who got into harvard w/ scholarship with a 25 MCAT. I also know someone who got into Duke (also hopkins) w/ scholarship w/ 27. In both cases they were URM's. That probably made the difference.
     
  20. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member
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    According to the MSAR, the 10th percentile for the three sections is around 9-10 at most top schools. In fact, most top schools have a composite 10th percentile of 29. However, it is unlikely the same person scored in the bottom 10% in VR AND PS AND BS sections. The person who got into Harvard with a 9 in verbal probably did well in the other two sections. So, in actuality, fewer than 10% of the students at top schools scored 30 or lower. Considering the number of spots reserved for URM's, it is unlikely a non-URM will get accepted with that kind of a score.

    BTW: You say you're not a URM but from your previous posts, it appears you're hispanic. :confused:
     
  21. dienekes88

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    I saw that too. However, he's listed in the "supporter" section of the "Mexicano/as" thread. That doesn't mean he's hispanic. It just means that he isn't Mexican but supports Mexicans in medicine. There could be a thousand reasons for this.
     
  22. skybannister

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    Know a girl with a 24 MCAT at Cornell. She is now a resident at DUMC. And one with same score at UNC-Ch. No joke
     
  23. Law2Doc

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    There will always be exceptions to the rule. But that won't be you. You will be the rule. So if you have an MCAT that isn't competitive for the schools you are interested in, you need to retake, not hope for some freak lightning strike.
     
  24. dienekes88

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    But I'm special. I'm a snowflake... unique and beautiful. :D
     
  25. Law2Doc

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    Snowflakes quickly melt and get nowhere in life. Grains of sand aren't as unique, but tend to endure.
     
  26. nevercold

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    Lose.

    Win.

    Tie.
     
  27. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才
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    I know non-URMs with 27-29 who have been successful, including one at a "top 20" school. As for URMs, I've heard of scores in the low 20s, although I do not know them personally.

    You should still retake it if it is at all practical.
     
  28. flaahless

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    There is a thread about having a "hook" and I think that's what attracts adcoms to individuals with sub 30 MCAT scores. I was fortunate to have some really unique life experiences that appealed to a lot of adcoms. If you have truly unique experiences, then discuss them in a way where adcoms will see you as an absolute necessity and will disregard your MCAT.

    For instance, my weakness was my VR score. So I tried to show that my score was a fluke by perfecting my PS and secondary essays, and making sure that my LOR writers praised my critical reasoning and verbal skills.

    Lastly, the application cycle is a game of strategy. If you play the game correctly, you can have major success with mediocre numbers. It's like texas holdem. A great MCAT and GPA is like an Ace King suited, but you can still win with a 5,8 off-suit. Don't believe the sdn naysayers, believe in yourself and try your hardest to get adcoms to believe in you as well.
     
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  29. kaliphornia

    kaliphornia '12 UCLA!! =)
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    thats true, i'm a supporter. i'm a supporter of all.

    and to assume that all or even most urms achieve those "few low" mcat scores who get into top schools is ridiculous, baseless. getting a low mcat score is not discriminatory.

    and who is to say a high mcat = success during the app process? it can help. but there are students who still don't get in with high scores. on the other hand, a low mcat can generate great success during the app process. and once at a top school, you can succeed, despite previous mcat scores.

    i will succeed at a top school regardless of my low mcat with hard work, humanity, passion, determination.. etc. that got me through the app process. so OP, if you decide to retake and get a higher mcat score, it will only strengthen your application, but won't guarantee an acceptance. you make your choice. and just fight through the process. submit a perfect amcas, stellar ps, and strong lors. flaahless said it, life experiences make the difference. the whole process is a game. learn how to play. i've gotten this far. and i am very happy with the outcome.

    good luck!! and to everyone else too!!
     
  30. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member
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    If the MCAT is the only thing that will keep you from getting into a top school, then you just need to retake it again and score in the middle to upper 30s. You might need to take 3 months or so to study for it, but it's a simple thing to do compared to the half-dozen other things over which you have very little control over by now (GPA, research publication, longterm extracurricular commitments).
     
  31. lala2626

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    thanks to everyone for responding. so if the rest of my application looks strong, and i end up having to retake the mcat... do med schools pretty much disregard the first low score as long as my second retake score is decent?
     
  32. momofpremeds

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    Why do you feel you have to go to a "top" med school? There are many other options for you to look into. You may also find the less prestigous schools are more "person" friendly - meaning they see you as a person rather than a statistic. Prestige is nice but a good education can be found outside of the "top" med schools.
     
  33. lala2626

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    yep i know, just wondering if it's even worth trying to apply to them or not.
     
  34. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member
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    Most of the top tier schools will not disregard your previous score, they will look at your entire set of scores or they average the scores from the two exams (applying to medical school is not like applying to college where you can just retake the SAT if you did badly on it). So if you scored 25 on your first MCAT and then 35 on your second MCAT, they might average it to be about 30 (the top schools get so many applicants who scored in the 35-40 range on their first try that they would rather admit those applicants than an applicant who had to retake the MCAT because of a low score). There's a lot of flexibility in the way they interpret a prior scores though. If you scored 4 or 5 on just one section but ended raising your score to a 12 or 13, then the schools might give you the benefit of a doubt since you may have been sick or distracted on that particular section. But if you raise your score marginally (from a 25 to a 28) or worse, show a downward trend, then it might put your application in jeapordy since the schools will assume that you've "maxed out" your potential and can no longer show any improvements.
     
    #34 Margaux1985, Jun 6, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  35. Character

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