Low MCAT Great GPA, ECs, great story and LORs. If and when to retake MCAT for Pcom-Ga?

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Hi SDNers!

I've been reading a bunch of posts on here and am very impressed with the responses and advice this community gives. I had planned on becoming an MD for the longest time and never heard of DO. I was shadowing an MD and found out about DO's from him. I really want to be a physician no matter which way I go (DO or MD). With that said, the more I've researched the more I LOVE DO.

Without further ado: I've got a letter in the works from an MD, a letter from the Dean of Science and Technology from my school, either a committee letter or my research professor and pre-med adviser (which makes the 3 science professor letters). Plan to shadow a DO or two ASAP. Also, not sure if I want to use the committee letter or 3 science professors (not sure which best to use). I did a lot of ECs (student government executive, various clubs good positions, highest community service award that school bestows, etc) in college as well as elderly care for 6 years. I have a GPA of 3.78. A sGPA of 3.5-3.6. I'd rather not go into my story, but I have been told in a mock interview it was fantastic.

Here's the only two issues: 1) my MCAT was a 22 6P/8V/8B (It's been a year full of family troubles). 2) I'd have to be accepted into PCOM GA campus and this cycle. (I'm a GA resident and have to be in Atlanta). I have an MCAT in 2 weeks, but have not been able to study well at all with everything going on. I feel I'm not ready...at all. If I could study for 2 months (things have cooled down...I hope) different story.

With everything said: Should I cancel it and move test back to Late November/Early December (the closer to 3 months the better)?
Should I finish up application NOW and apply and see if I get secondaries? (If they don't send me them but I retake MCAT could I reapply for the same cycle or is it a one-shot kind of thing?)
Also, if anyone knows any equally good schools in the South-East there might be a chance I could make something work (but it's VERY low chance).

I feel cancelling the test and moving it back is the BEST move at this juncture. I'm aware if I did this there is no way I could get into a MD program this cycle. While I like to keep my options open (typical pre-med behavior :p), but if I can increase my chance for this cycle for DO it'd be worth it for me. Thoughts? Any questions answered or advice given is greatly appreciated.
 

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your chance for even DO is quite low. Yes, I suggest you push the test date back but not beyond December. Don't take the MCAT unless you are fully ready. Apply to Marian, Liberty, all the VCOM schools, and William Carey.
 
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Yeah if you're not ready, I wouldn't bother taking it again. Just an FYI, the only test date in November is Nov 7 and there are no test dates in December. There are a few more in January and then that's it until they change the MCAT. Keep that in mind.
 
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You're fine/on the edge now, but when you get a higher MCAT maybe 2-3 more points you will be a very competitive candidate. Also if that is your raw GPA without replacements and you have taken courses like Immuno, Biochem, Physiology, Bacteriology, Genetics, and Anatomy it could outweigh MCAT because GPA takes four years of work versus one exam
 
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hallowmann

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You're fine/on the edge now, but when you get a higher MCAT maybe 2-3 more points you will be a very competitive candidate. Also if that is your raw GPA without replacements and you have taken courses like Immuno, Biochem, Physiology, Bacteriology, Genetics, and Anatomy it could outweigh MCAT because GPA takes four years of work versus one exam

They are not "fine" now. With a 22, its basically a guaranteed rejection from almost all schools. GPA only goes so far to ou

OP, screens at MANY DO schools are at 24 (I believe PCOM-GA is like that as well). You need a higher score. That said, you will only be hurting yourself by taking the MCAT again before you're prepared for it. I would study as much as you can for it, take it after you are consistently scoring above your target on full length practice tests, and make sure you get 25+.

Also, if schools reject you in the cycle, its school-specific whether they'd reconsider your app. You wouldn't be able to "reapply", you'd have to contact each school individually, explain that you were rejected, and then that you retook the MCAT and scored higher. At that point its up to the school what to do with your app, but some will simply say, reapply next year.
 

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I'm just going to agree with what everyone else is saying here that you need to push it back and study appropriately. Don't piss away your hard work in school because you didn't prepare appropriately for one test. Take the time you need, get your practice test scores up to what you're looking for, then apply and get accepted with no problem.
 

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They are not "fine" now. With a 22, its basically a guaranteed rejection from almost all schools. GPA only goes so far to ou

OP, screens at MANY DO schools are at 24 (I believe PCOM-GA is like that as well). You need a higher score. That said, you will only be hurting yourself by taking the MCAT again before you're prepared for it. I would study as much as you can for it, take it after you are consistently scoring above your target on full length practice tests, and make sure you get 25+.

Also, if schools reject you in the cycle, its school-specific whether they'd reconsider your app. You wouldn't be able to "reapply", you'd have to contact each school individually, explain that you were rejected, and then that you retook the MCAT and scored higher. At that point its up to the school what to do with your app, but some will simply say, reapply next year.
my experience with last year's UD thread showed that a good GPA + a 22 CAN get you places, but your options will be limited to schools like LUCOM, LMU, WVSOM, etc.

However, since they really want to get in a specific school, they should retake.
 

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my experience with last year's UD thread showed that a good GPA + a 22 CAN get you places, but your options will be limited to schools like LUCOM, LMU, WVSOM, etc.

However, since they really want to get in a specific school, they should retake.

Yeah, I'm aware of your posts that people "can" get in. Its an exception though, not a rule. I also said, "almost all" not all schools screen out that low of a score, because almost all do. Don't forget, you are also dealing with a non-randomized sample. A lot of people who don't get in don't post on this forum, so it may seem to you like those schools are accepting almost every 22 MCAT applicant with a decent GPA, when in fact the percentage might be <10% that get accepted with those MCAT scores.
 

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Yeah, I'm aware of your posts that people "can" get in. Its an exception though, not a rule. I also said, "almost all" not all schools screen out that low of a score, because almost all do. Don't forget, you are also dealing with a non-randomized sample. A lot of people who don't get in don't post on this forum, so it may seem to you like those schools are accepting almost every 22 MCAT applicant with a decent GPA, when in fact the percentage might be <10% that get accepted with those MCAT scores.


AACOM published 2013 matriculant data and roughly 22% with an MCAT score between 20-24 matriculated. So i think if they have a better shot at some schools vs others but taking the MCAT again and getting above 25 will significantly increase their chances.
 

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AACOM published 2013 matriculant data and roughly 22% with an MCAT score between 20-24 matriculated.

Yeah. That doesn't really tell us much. How many of those people had 23/24 vs. 21/22? There is no breakdown. What were those people's ECs? What about their connections?

The median DO matriculant had an MCAT of 27. The Mean was 26.87 with an SD of 3.17. That means that out of all applicants, 68.27% of matriculants fall between 23.7 and 30.04. Of the remaining 31.73%, ~15.87% had >30.04 on their MCAT, and the rest had <23.7. To put that in perspective, <16% of matriculants had <23.7 on the MCAT. You're telling me that getting in with a 22, which as I said is below the minimum screening stats for MCAT at most DO schools, is the rule? Its not. Its the exception. To put it in perspective, that's like saying its the rule that someone with a high GPA and <26 MCAT will get into an MD school. Its not, its the exception.
 
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DoctorSynthesis

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They are not "fine" now. With a 22, its basically a guaranteed rejection from almost all schools. GPA only goes so far to ou

OP, screens at MANY DO schools are at 24 (I believe PCOM-GA is like that as well). You need a higher score. That said, you will only be hurting yourself by taking the MCAT again before you're prepared for it. I would study as much as you can for it, take it after you are consistently scoring above your target on full length practice tests, and make sure you get 25+.

Also, if schools reject you in the cycle, its school-specific whether they'd reconsider your app. You wouldn't be able to "reapply", you'd have to contact each school individually, explain that you were rejected, and then that you retook the MCAT and scored higher. At that point its up to the school what to do with your app, but some will simply say, reapply next year.
PCOM ga has a 24.5 average MCAT. No way they screen at 24
 
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SkipJunior

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I'm tired of people putting down DO schools and acting like it's super easy to get into one with awful stats.
 

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do you really think a 22 MCAT score would cut it in a MD school? Why do you think it will cut it in a DO school? They're not that different.

I didn't imply that. People on SDN are too quick to write off people with low MCAT's really fast. A good amount of people have gotten in DO schools with a low MCAT score and sure its not the "top tier" DO schools. Some DO schools post on their website that certain things will counter a low MCAT. I was under the impression that DO admissions look at the entire application.

People with lower MCAT scores will get in just like 27/28's get into MD schools. There is something whether its GPA, affiliation, interview, EC that will push them over the edge.
 

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I didn't imply that. People on SDN are too quick to write off people with low MCAT's really fast. A good amount of people have gotten in DO schools with a low MCAT score and sure its not the "top tier" DO schools. Some DO schools post on their website that certain things will counter a low MCAT. I was under the impression that DO admissions look at the entire application.

People with lower MCAT scores will get in just like 27/28's get into MD schools. There is something whether its GPA, affiliation, interview, EC that will push them over the edge.

True but people with such low MCAT scores really are limited to a few new low tier DO schools, Liberty and Marian come to mind.
 

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I didn't imply that. People on SDN are too quick to write off people with low MCAT's really fast. A good amount of people have gotten in DO schools with a low MCAT score and sure its not the "top tier" DO schools. Some DO schools post on their website that certain things will counter a low MCAT. I was under the impression that DO admissions look at the entire application.

People with lower MCAT scores will get in just like 27/28's get into MD schools. There is something whether its GPA, affiliation, interview, EC that will push them over the edge.

The thing is that a 27/28 for MDs is like a 24/25 for DOs. Like I've been saying, most cutoffs are at 24, just like most MD cutoffs are at 27/28. No one is going to tell someone applying MD with a 27 MCAT that they'd be fine, let alone someone with a 25/26. They won't be, no matter how high their GPAs are. GPA can only save you so much. DOs look at the entire package, but when there's also plenty of people with decent/high GPAs and 24/25 that have a better whole package.
 

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The thing is that a 27/28 for MDs is like a 24/25 for DOs. Like I've been saying, most cutoffs are at 24, just like most MD cutoffs are at 27/28. No one is going to tell someone applying MD with a 27 MCAT that they'd be fine, let alone someone with a 25/26. They won't be, no matter how high their GPAs are. GPA can only save you so much. DOs look at the entire package, but when there's also plenty of people with decent/high GPAs and 24/25 that have a better whole package.

This is another entire argument lol but 27/28 is nothing like 24/25 for DO's though. 25 is right around the average. MD average is 31 with a Stdeviation of 4. So 29 is the lower end. 27/28 are below that.

But to the main point 22 is pretty abysmal like you guys have said, but there is always a chance if you have other things in you application overall. If he got a 24/25 or higher he is in a really good place, which is not too hard to achieve if OP puts in the work
 

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This is another entire argument lol but 27/28 is nothing like 24/25 for DO's though. 25 is right around the average. MD average is 31 with a Stdeviation of 4. So 29 is the lower end. 27/28 are below that.

But to the main point 22 is pretty abysmal like you guys have said, but there is always a chance if you have other things in you application overall. If he got a 24/25 or higher he is in a really good place, which is not too hard to achieve if OP puts in the work

27 is actually the average mcat score of a DO matriculant, not 25. If someone applied with a 25 MCAT score to TCOM, MSUCOM, Touro-CA, Touro-NY, AZCOM, CCOM etc. there's a high chance they will be waitlisted or rejected.
 

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This is another entire argument lol but 27/28 is nothing like 24/25 for DO's though. 25 is right around the average. MD average is 31 with a Stdeviation of 4. So 29 is the lower end. 27/28 are below that.

But to the main point 22 is pretty abysmal like you guys have said, but there is always a chance if you have other things in you application overall. If he got a 24/25 or higher he is in a really good place, which is not too hard to achieve if OP puts in the work

Wow. Your stats are a bit old my friend. DO matriculant average last year was 26.87, NOT 25. SD for DO average was 3.17. MD matriculant average is 31.1 or something, with the SD of 4 like you said. That means that 23.7 is 1 SD below the DO matriculant average and 27.1 is 1 SD below the MD matriculant average. So explain to me again how 24/25 as a DO applicant is nothing like 27/28 as an MD applicant?

EDIT: Also, to be clear, no one here is saying don't ever apply, you can't cut it. That's not what pre-osteo is for. That said, there are certain rules that are in the best interest of applicants. Being 1) don't apply with <3.0 GPAs and 2) don't apply with <24 MCAT. Sure outliers get in below those, but so many schools cutoff at those points that its in the applicants best interest to not apply until they are above those two requirements.
 
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DoctorSynthesis

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Source? PCOM-GA had an MCAT average of 24 in 2008 (it was started in 2005). Last I heard the MCAT average was 26-27. Check your source bro.

Source is attached.

To be fair this is for the people who are actually matriculating which probably lowered the stats compared to the numbers of people who put the deposit down as some schools most likely report. But yea this is there numbers and this is recent. I got nothing against this school but its new. Still lots of apps and rejections here.
 

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Source is attached.

To be fair this is for the people who are actually matriculating which probably lowered the stats compared to the numbers of people who put the deposit down as some schools most likely report. But yea this is there numbers and this is recent. I got nothing against this school but its new. Still lots of apps and rejections here.


Where did you find this? Off their website? I was pretty sure it was around 26-27 but I guess that figure includes everyone that is accepted and not necessarily matriculated like you said.
 
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Everyone thank you SO much for your suggestions and advice. I will push it back. I had a family member really sick and a bunch of family problems pop up all throughout the year. Rough year. I feel that I can make a 25+ even though I'm not the best at standardized testing. November 7th is it huh? Yikes, but still 8 weeks of studying that could greatly impact my score. I saw someone mention about how DO school shouldn't be treated as easier. My intention was not to slip in somewhere easy. If it was I'd go apply for a lab job in Atlanta (My degree is Cell/Molecular Biology). May not be a good job at all but it'd be work. I REALLY want to be a physician and spend the rest of my life helping and healing. I'm keeping it short and simple for this post because I'm not trying to win the Miss America contest. The admissions may seem easier, but I'm sure they quickly figure out who is using this for a back up plan and who wants to be a DO. I'm putting in an application to MD just because at this point. If it turned out great, but I'm gunning much more for DO at this point. Also with 300+ additional hours of OMM training I realize it's no walk in the park. I did take Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, Biochem, Embryology, Sensory and Perception, Rehabilitation for Neuro-disease, and Physiological Psychology (I might've missed a few) and made A's in all but Biochem which was a B.

One final question: Are "Marian, Liberty, all the VCOM schools, and William Carey" good schools? I've heard some DO schools are not up to par.
 

DoctorSynthesis

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Everyone thank you SO much for your suggestions and advice. I will push it back. I had a family member really sick and a bunch of family problems pop up all throughout the year. Rough year. I feel that I can make a 25+ even though I'm not the best at standardized testing. November 7th is it huh? Yikes, but still 8 weeks of studying that could greatly impact my score. I saw someone mention about how DO school shouldn't be treated as easier. My intention was not to slip in somewhere easy. If it was I'd go apply for a lab job in Atlanta (My degree is Cell/Molecular Biology). May not be a good job at all but it'd be work. I REALLY want to be a physician and spend the rest of my life helping and healing. I'm keeping it short and simple for this post because I'm not trying to win the Miss America contest. The admissions may seem easier, but I'm sure they quickly figure out who is using this for a back up plan and who wants to be a DO. I'm putting in an application to MD just because at this point. If it turned out great, but I'm gunning much more for DO at this point. Also with 300+ additional hours of OMM training I realize it's no walk in the park. I did take Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, Biochem, Embryology, Sensory and Perception, Rehabilitation for Neuro-disease, and Physiological Psychology (I might've missed a few) and made A's in all but Biochem which was a B.

One final question: Are "Marian, Liberty, all the VCOM schools, and William Carey" good schools? I've heard some DO schools are not up to par.

They are fine.

Liberty is very religious though and I got in trouble for talking about them.
 

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Source is attached.

To be fair this is for the people who are actually matriculating which probably lowered the stats compared to the numbers of people who put the deposit down as some schools most likely report. But yea this is there numbers and this is recent. I got nothing against this school but its new. Still lots of apps and rejections here.

This isn't a source. Its a image of an undated (and not cited) ppt slide about some PCOM-GA entering class's profile. We don't even have a good idea or any documentation of who made it, what year it was based on, etc. I'm not saying you're lying, but this is far from a reliable piece of evidence/source.

PCOM-GA may be new, but its older than SOMA, Touro-NY, RVU, etc. that have higher MCAT averages than the "24.5" that you suggest.

...One final question: Are "Marian, Liberty, all the VCOM schools, and William Carey" good schools? I've heard some DO schools are not up to par.

I've heard good things about MUCOM and the "older" VCOM campuses. I've heard mixed things about WCU, and LUCOM is far too early to tell, but they don't have a great social rep. The difference realistically will likely be how much support you have there and probably the quality of clinical rotations. That said, all will give you a DO degree if you put in the work.

If you are dead set on applying this cycle, and manage a only slightly higher MCAT (e.g. 24-25), I'd apply to almost all the newer schools (i.e. anything started in the last 4-5 yrs). If you do better on the MCAT, I'd spread out your app a bit more to some of the mid-range/more established schools. You'll be applying for mainly waitlist spots at the more established schools, but all DO schools tend to have waitlist movement in the summer.
 

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This isn't a source. Its a image of an undated (and not cited) ppt slide about some PCOM-GA entering class's profile. We don't even have a good idea or any documentation of who made it, what year it was based on, etc. I'm not saying you're lying, but this is far from a reliable piece of evidence/source.

PCOM-GA may be new, but its older than SOMA, Touro-NY, RVU, etc. that have higher MCAT averages than the "24.5" that you suggest.



I've heard good things about MUCOM and the "older" VCOM campuses. I've heard mixed things about WCU, and LUCOM is far too early to tell, but they don't have a great social rep. The difference realistically will likely be how much support you have there and probably the quality of clinical rotations. That said, all will give you a DO degree if you put in the work.

If you are dead set on applying this cycle, and manage a only slightly higher MCAT (e.g. 24-25), I'd apply to almost all the newer schools (i.e. anything started in the last 4-5 yrs). If you do better on the MCAT, I'd spread out your app a bit more to some of the mid-range/more established schools. You'll be applying for mainly waitlist spots at the more established schools, but all DO schools tend to have waitlist movement in the summer.

See DM for more details.
 
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Sorry to bring this page back but I've run into a snag and everyone on this page gave pretty dang good advise. I have 12 hours until I have to drop my Sept 18th test date so speedy replies are appreciated! November 7th is filled for any states surrounding me. My options are to push MCAT back to Oct 21st or Jan 8th. Would pushing it back to Jan 8th ruin my chances to get in? It seems with rolling admissions waiting until Jan 8th would be very unwise. Thoughts? Opinions?
 

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Sorry to bring this page back but I've run into a snag and everyone on this page gave pretty dang good advise. I have 12 hours until I have to drop my Sept 18th test date so speedy replies are appreciated! November 7th is filled for any states surrounding me. My options are to push MCAT back to Oct 21st or Jan 8th. Would pushing it back to Jan 8th ruin my chances to get in? It seems with rolling admissions waiting until Jan 8th would be very unwise. Thoughts? Opinions?

January is late but do not take the MCAT if your not ready, please take that advice. I made the wrong choice. If you think January is the date that you can do your best, do it and apply next cycle to maximize your chances. Applying this cycle isn't advisable since you won't get your scores until February. Good luck!
 
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kabead

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Sorry to bring this page back but I've run into a snag and everyone on this page gave pretty dang good advise. I have 12 hours until I have to drop my Sept 18th test date so speedy replies are appreciated! November 7th is filled for any states surrounding me. My options are to push MCAT back to Oct 21st or Jan 8th. Would pushing it back to Jan 8th ruin my chances to get in? It seems with rolling admissions waiting until Jan 8th would be very unwise. Thoughts? Opinions?
I agree with @yocharlie...Its wiser to apply next cycle if you aren't ready to take the MCAT in oct.
 
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Well, update! It looks like I'm stuck with Jan 8th as no earlier slots opened up. So I get the 3-4 months I need to really study for once! Only problem is my family is pushing for me to still apply this cycle. With my stats have I no chance? With rolling interviews I figured I'd have some of a chance, just not much of one.
 

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A 22 will be screened at many places and you do not want to be a reapplicant...
 
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It's extremely foolish to take a high stakes, career defining exam when you're not ready. I suggest taking ONLY when you are ready, even if it means delaying an app cycle. We Adcoms tend to note poor choice-making skills.

For PCOM-GA, you're going to need an 8 in each category.

LUCOM might take you, but I can't recommend them.

Grow a spine and tell your family you'll take the test when you're good and ready. They're not going to med school, you are.

A Jan MCAT will mean that you'll most likely end up interviewing for a spot on a wait list.

With everything said: Should I cancel it and move test back to Late November/Early December (the closer to 3 months the better)?
Should I finish up application NOW and apply and see if I get secondaries? (If they don't send me them but I retake MCAT could I reapply for the same cycle or is it a one-shot kind of thing?)
Also, if anyone knows any equally good schools in the South-East there might be a chance I could make something work (but it's VERY low chance).

I feel cancelling the test and moving it back is the BEST move at this juncture. I'm aware if I did this there is no way I could get into a MD program this cycle. While I like to keep my options open (typical pre-med behavior :p), but if I can increase my chance for this cycle for DO it'd be worth it for me. Thoughts? Any questions answered or advice given is greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]
 
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Thank you both for your replies!
kabead: A very good point
Goro: Thank you for answering me :). The growing a spine part already happened to switch from MD to DO and moving the test date to Jan. I take care of my grandmother and live with her, and my family is just trying to figure out what to do. If I am ready in 3 months and some change and take the MCAT would I be applying to late for this cycle? Or would I get pre-screened and shutdown for my 22?
 

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Thank you both for your replies!
kabead: A very good point
Goro: Thank you for answering me :). The growing a spine part already happened to switch from MD to DO and moving the test date to Jan. I take care of my grandmother and live with her, and my family is just trying to figure out what to do. If I am ready in 3 months and some change and take the MCAT would I be applying to late for this cycle? Or would I get pre-screened and shutdown for my 22?

If you apply now, schools will put ur application on hold until ur new mcat is out. However, you will have a difficult time getting in this cycle because ur scores will be out in feb, which is late. Yet, it's not impossible. If you have the funds, apply to a few or ~10. But be in mind that you'll have to write a new personal statement and ECs statements as the schools you applied to will have them in record (unless you won't be applying to them again).
 

iWillOneDay

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To be fair this is for the people who are actually matriculating which probably lowered the stats compared to the numbers of people who put the deposit down as some schools most likely report. But yea this is there numbers and this is recent. I got nothing against this school but its new. Still lots of apps and rejections here.

You do know that on the North East area of ur computer keyboard (at least pc, idk about mac's) there is a screen print/shot/capture thing right????
 
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