trapdr

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    On my mcat diagnostic i got a 488. I'm a little overwhelmed because the exam was so difficult and I guessed on a lot of the questions. My overall gpa and science gpa arent good (3.5 and 2.7 respectively) so the mcat is really all i have left to work on (as well as physics2 and biochem to raise my gpa hopefully). Is a 20+ point increase possible/likely?

    thanks!
     

    Hospitalized

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      I've seen a few posters who scored similar to you on a diagnostic but had their score up to a 510 within a few months. Diagnostics are produced by test companies; they do not necessarily give you an accurate representation of where you are and what you need to work on. Most often, they will always given a score that will encourage you to take a class or buy prep materials. Your GPA is worrisome, so you will need to make up for it with a solid MCAT score. It's definitely possible with discipline. I highlight that because it's the single most important thing for the MCAT. Learn how to take the test by spending hours and hours of time preparing for it.
       
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      Lawpy

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        it's unreliable because kaplan heavily deflates their scale. don't worry about it. you're fine if you prep well.

        My overall gpa and science gpa arent good (3.5 and 2.7 respectively) so the mcat is really all i have left to work on (as well as physics2 and biochem to raise my gpa hopefully).

        however, a 2.7 science GPA is really bad and you should work on bumping it up to at least a 3.0. focus on applying DO though since your sGPA is too low for MD schools

        as such, aim for a 503 on the MCAT to be competitive for DO schools
         
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        trapdr

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          it's unreliable because kaplan heavily deflates their scale. don't worry about it. you're fine if you prep well.



          however, a 2.7 science GPA is really bad and you should work on bumping it up to at least a 3.0. focus on applying DO though since your sGPA is too low for MD schools

          as such, aim for a 503 on the MCAT to be competitive for DO schools

          Ive been considering retaking bio 1 & 2, I got C's in both.. but I was going through some family issue and didn't really know how to get out of it. If I were to get A's in both and possibly an A in physics 2, would med schools take my new scores into account? Or am I screwed?
           

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            Ive been considering retaking bio 1 & 2, I got C's in both.. but I was going through some family issue and didn't really know how to get out of it. If I were to get A's in both and possibly an A in physics 2, would med schools take my new scores into account? Or am I screwed?

            yes. DO schools do grade replacement and take only your new/retake grades in calculating your GPA/sGPA. it will help you a lot.
             
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            MerYangBey

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              I believe I got a 22 on that test. Ended up with a 33 on the actual exam. The diagnostic test is a scam.
              The last 4 practice tests I took ranged from 32-35 which is obviously a better representation of my abilities. Don't let the first few practice tests intimidate you. Use them to figure out what you need to work on more.
               
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              trapdr

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                yes. DO schools do grade replacement and take only your new/retake grades in calculating your GPA/sGPA. it will help you a lot.
                Thanks! Do you think I have a chance at MD schools though? My premed advisor said I should also take a grad level bio course to show them the C's were a thing of the past and a product of my misfortunes that year.
                 

                trapdr

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                  I believe I got a 22 on that test. Ended up with a 33 on the actual exam. The diagnostic test is a scam.
                  The last 4 practice tests I took ranged from 32-35 which is obviously a better representation of my abilities. Don't let the first few practice tests intimidate you. Use them to figure out what you need to work on more.

                  Thank you! That test really scared me
                   
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                  Lawpy

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                    Thanks! Do you think I have a chance at MD schools though? My premed advisor said I should also take a grad level bio course to show them the C's were a thing of the past and a product of my misfortunes that year.

                    MD schools are a bit more difficult. The average GPA for matriculants is a 3.7 (both cumulative and science). And MD schools average your retake with original grades so retaking won't help. Ideally, you would need to bump your science GPA up to a 3.0 and maybe do an SMP to show you can handle medical school curriculum. But that's painstaking and risky because you have to best out most of first-year medical students to do well. And grad-level courses are counted separate from undergrad GPA (due to views of them being heavily grade inflated).

                    That's why MD route is sadly unfeasible. If you want to go into US medical school without incurring unnecessary expenses, the DO route is the most efficient.
                     

                    trapdr

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                      MD schools are a bit more difficult. The average GPA for matriculants is a 3.7 (both cumulative and science). And MD schools average your retake with original grades so retaking won't help. Ideally, you would need to bump your science GPA up to a 3.0 and maybe do an SMP to show you can handle medical school curriculum. But that's painstaking and risky because you have to best out most of first-year medical students to do well. And grad-level courses are counted separate from undergrad GPA (due to views of them being heavily grade inflated).

                      That's why MD route is sadly unfeasible. If you want to go into US medical school without incurring unnecessary expenses, the DO route is the most efficient.

                      Okay, thank you. Also what's SMP?
                       
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                      Lawpy

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                        Okay, thank you. Also what's SMP?

                        SMP = Special Master's Program. You take rigorous medical school classes with first-year students and are graded directly against them. Doing well shows MD schools that you can handle medical school without a problem.

                        But it's too risky and stressful which is why it's better to avoid it.
                         
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                        UNMedGa

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                          Don't sweat it too much. I got a 499 on my diagnostic, never got higher than a 508 on any Kaplan practice test and ended up wth a 521 on the real thing. What you need to realize is that 1) you're just beginning to study for the MCAT - the point is that you *aren't* ready for it yet and 2) the 2015 MCAT is still so new that most of these prep companies can't really accurately depict it, so many of them try to overshoot it in difficulty in order to over prepare their students for it (at least this was the case with my course).

                          If this was the score you got on the last practice test you took before the real thing, that'd be a problem, but this is your first time taking a practice test. Just keep up your perseverance, prep hard, keep doing practice tests and reviewing what you're weak on and you should be ok for the MCAT.
                           
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                          Doctor Dream

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                            the 2015 MCAT is still so new that most of these prep companies can't really accurately depict it, so many of them try to overshoot it in difficulty in order to over prepare their students for it (at least this was the case with my course).
                            Yea I agree with this. I also think it's a business ploy to scare people in to spending more money on prep materials. People see "488", start panicking, and think they need to spend 2K on a class to bring their score up to an acceptable level.

                            OP, the AAMC material will be much more accurate at assessing your abilities. Most people score lower on prep company material (especially Kaplan) than the real thing. Keep your head up, and keep plugging away. It sounds like many people (including me) "bombed" their diagnostic and ended up doing fine on the real thing.
                             
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                            NonTrad16

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                              Thank you! That test really scared me
                              Worth noting is that many people (myself included) took practice exams before companies re-normalized (based on additional data). So if you look at a practice exam that someone took 8 months ago, it may not be scored the same way as one today. At least I know TPR revised scoring.

                              That said, the exams are meant to be hard (to motivate studying, assure they don't have to give a free class based on their guarantee, make you feel like you need the course, etc). Don't get paralyzed by it, but realize you need to give it 100%. Someone else getting a 500 practice and a 518 real doesn't mean your 500 would translate similarly.

                              Personally, I'd sooner revisit your undergrad science courses for DO grade replacement, using it as a primer for your MCAT. There's a lot of bio...
                               

                              candbgirl

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                                Don't bother worrying about a MCAT score now. Don't even plan to take it or start studying for it. You need to figure out what you are going to do to fix your sGPA. You would be auto screened from all MD schools and probably most if not all DO schools with that 2.7. Another thing about SMPs that make them really risky is you have score a >3.6 GPA to be considered for med school. You currently have shown no ability to score that high in a SMP. Your very best bet is doing grade replacement and apply DO. But first you have to figure out why your sGPA is so low.
                                 
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                                  As others have said, focus on studying and practicing and you will see a lot of improvement. Diagnostic exams are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they let you know immediately where your deficits might be; on the other, unless you are an innately strong test taker they can be very discouraging since the MCAT is not only about a bunch of knowledge but also strategy and pacing.
                                   

                                  GrapesofRath

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                                    If you really want to know where you stand take one of the old AAMC practice tests. The verbal is the same. The bio and physical sciences have somewhat different of a format but the skills tested are largely the same, the differences are overblown between both tests. That can give you a better rough approximation of where you stand now and how far you are away from your target score.
                                     
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                                    crystal_lover_

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                                      On my mcat diagnostic i got a 488. I'm a little overwhelmed because the exam was so difficult and I guessed on a lot of the questions. My overall gpa and science gpa arent good (3.5 and 2.7 respectively) so the mcat is really all i have left to work on (as well as physics2 and biochem to raise my gpa hopefully). Is a 20+ point increase possible/likely?

                                      thanks!

                                      You do need to work on that GPA to be competitive even for DOs, but it is possible. I had a 2.8 or a 2.9 GPA total as a sophomore in college, but then I worked hard and took extra units, repeated the class I got a D in, and now I have a 3.6 Science, 3.55 overall. With the D replacement, it's a 3.7 Science, 3.65 overall, but hey, it happens. First focus on improving your GPA and then take the MCAT!
                                       
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                                        Your academic record indicates that you shouldn't even worry about the MCAT right now. Retake some courses and get your grades up. Pre-reqs are like air when it comes to the MCAT. If you've taken them, you don't realize how they've helped you. But when you haven't taken them, you'll realize their absence very quickly.
                                         

                                        doctorleospaceman

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                                          Had a ?478 on the diagnostic and got a 519 on the real thing.
                                          And no, that jump was not thanks to the Kaplan course as they'd like you to believe.

                                          Edit: This was during the first year of the new MCAT when I suspect the scores were even more off. Kaplan always lowballs the diagnostic though.
                                           
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                                          Nucleophile1

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                                            I didn't do well on my diagnostic either. Keep in mind that diagnostics are intended to be more difficult so that you will want to buy their product.

                                            I didn't worry too much about the overall score on the diagnostic. I did, however, look at the individual scores. It helped me figure out which sections needed the most work.
                                             

                                            futureMD4294

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                                              Your academic record indicates that you shouldn't even worry about the MCAT right now. Retake some courses and get your grades up. Pre-reqs are like air when it comes to the MCAT. If you've taken them, you don't realize how they've helped you. But when you haven't taken them, you'll realize their absence very quickly.
                                               
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