lola

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has anyone complained about the testing conditions, received a letter back from the mcat program office, and sent that letter to schools to help explain your mcat scores? a few weeks ago i received a letter from the mcat program office confirming the poor testing conditions and stating that i could make copies of the letter to send them to schools if i thought it would help. i'm wondering how schools view this. i don't want to be a whiner, but i do feel like the conditions affected my performance.
 

chopsuey

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lola-

when i took the MCAT, the room was infested with ants. now, i'm terrified (TERRIFIED, let me emphasize that) of bugs, but i managed to pull myself together for most of the test- as far as bugs go, ants aren't too bad and besides it was the MCAT....i wasn't about to let all of that prep go to waste b/c of ants. then, i opened my backpack at break and saw that my bottle on mountain dew (caffeine :)) had opened....and the entire bag was filled with ants!!! it was horrific. i am embarassed to admit this, but i practically burst into tears, thoughi managed to restrain myself. the guy next to me was nice enough to help me shake everything out and my lunch was ok, but i was upset enough that the proctor actually offered me a valium (he had one in his pocket and was not joking...more than a little sketchy if you ask me, but i had bigger things to worry about!). i ended up doing ok on the MCAT, though i think that i might have been able to do better on the bio if i hadn't been so upset. some poor girl had to move because ants were crawling up her legs. i ended up not complaining because...and this is the part that is relevant to you...they would probably just wonder why you didn't retake it if the conditions were so horrible. it's not like you couldn't have retaken it, even though if i remember correctly you're an august mcatter and had submitted some stuff already. this isn't a flame because i didn't retake it and i feel your pain on the what-could-have-been aspect of the situation. the other thing is that i used to tell this story often (it was worth telling, though...in retrospect, it was a funny situation) and once a doctor i worked for laughed and then told me to never bring that up in interviews or anywhere else "offical." they really really don't want to hear you complain...

you can check out others' opinions and i'm definitely interested in hearing them, too, but i'm probably going with the say-nothing tactic.

good luck, lola!!!
 

kaos

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:eek: That's really unusual!
 
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poloace

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i hate amcas, aamc, mcats, and any other acronym that has sucked out my money and time and made it a pain in the ass to get into medschool.
p
 

kaos

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Originally posted by poloace
i hate amcas, aamc, mcats, and any other acronym that has sucked out my money and time and made it a pain in the ass to get into medschool.
p
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Ditto!
 
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lola

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thanks for your input, chopsuey. i sent the letter not to try to get a letter that explains my score, but because i was upset that they made some of the test takers take the test in areas with inadequate lighting. since i wouldn't take the test there again for this reason, i decided it should be brought to somoene's attention. anyway, i probably will not send it out but am still considering it. perhaps if asked in an interview i will explain. i dunno...
sorry about those pesky ants :laugh: it sounds funny now but i imagine it was quite upsetting/distracting at the time.
oh yeah, and i will be 27 next month so do not want to take the mcat again and postpone med school (and having a family) for another year. also, i've already spent hundreds of dollars applying. i did well enough to get in somewhere probably but my chances at a uc are no longer very good.
 

Nefertari

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Originally posted by lola
my chances at a uc are no longer very good.
Lola,

Ya never know 'til the cows come in . . . . ;) Some of the UC's might like old ladies like us . . . . :)
 

Exene

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Originally posted by poloace
i hate amcas, aamc, mcats, and any other acronym that has sucked out my money and time and made it a pain in the ass to get into medschool.
p

:laugh:
Oh man, there are other words in the jargon too: GPA, EC's, CE's, adcoms (not really an acronym, but it is one of those irritating code words that only we premeds know)...
 

Jadeite

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When I took the MCAT it may have been the most horrendous conditions... We all got there early (way before the 8 am time to check in - about 7/7:30.) They didn't *START* check in until 8:45, the test didn't start until 10, by the end of the verbal we were all STARVING. The administrators couldn't count the tests so it took them a very very long time to let us go to break (I think they counted them 3 or 4 times!) and all said and done we didn't get out until 8 pm. It was long, arduous, and I'm sure the fatigue didn't help our scores.

I was very tempted to write a letter to AAMC (not the administrator!), but then I decided against it. #1 if they decide to flag your scores (this is according to my advisor) they will put a star by them on the amcas but the explaination will be your obligation. And that star could mean anything - like easier administration or security leaks....

#2 Complaining about stuff like that might hurt you just as much as it will help you. Medicine is a difficult, fatiguing field where nothing ends up working out the way you plan. And life isn't fair. If you can't handle some degree of unfairness and duress and still succeed... Well, I've just heard complaining about anything is about the worst thing you can do at an interview....

But, anyway, I could be wrong. It very well could have helped if I did complain, but my advisor really convinced me not to.

Jade~
 

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Originally posted by Jadeite
I was very tempted to write a letter to AAMC (not the administrator!), but then I decided against it. #1 if they decide to flag your scores (this is according to my advisor) they will put a star by them on the amcas but the explaination will be your obligation. And that star could mean anything - like easier administration or security leaks....

#2 Complaining about stuff like that might hurt you just as much as it will help you. Medicine is a difficult, fatiguing field where nothing ends up working out the way you plan. And life isn't fair. If you can't handle some degree of unfairness and duress and still succeed... Well, I've just heard complaining about anything is about the worst thing you can do at an interview....

But, anyway, I could be wrong. It very well could have helped if I did complain, but my advisor really convinced me not to.
Reminds me about when people get laid off because they are older and make more money than people fresh out of college. It's basically age discrimination in many industries, but you're better off not pursuing it. Getting 3 years worth of income in a lawsuit isn't worth not being able to get a job at all afterward. It sucks...

This also reminds me how stupid many consultants are. In this case, the damn consultants are more interested in cost cutting, rather than thinking about who valuable employees are. The older more experienced people tend to be more competent, mature, and able to handle a variety of situations. Their experience is more than worth their income in most cases (at least observing the electrical engineering field).
 
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lola

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they might flag your scores? they would tell me if they flagged my scores, right? all they told me was that they confirmed the poor conditions with the test supervisor but that it was up to me as to whether or not to mention it to adcoms. i complained not really to help myself but to try to prevent the problem in the future.
 

Jadeite

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You should be able to tell, it was my impression that if they were flagged when you got your score report it would have a star next to the numbers. Also probably on your amcas.

Jade~

Originally posted by lola
they might flag your scores? they would tell me if they flagged my scores, right? all they told me was that they confirmed the poor conditions with the test supervisor but that it was up to me as to whether or not to mention it to adcoms. i complained not really to help myself but to try to prevent the problem in the future.
 

chopsuey

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check your AMCAS...the on-line thing. i hope they didn't flag it- that would be so cruel since you were just trying to help people out!
 
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lola

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well, there are no stars on my amcas application! hopefully the same will be true of my score report when i get it. i guess if there are stars, then the decision will be made for me. i'm thinking at this point that i won't mention the experience to adcoms unless they say something about my mcat scores not really corresponding with everything else on my app.
 

Mutterkuchen

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The fire alarm went off for about 5 minutes, then silence, then 5 minutes longer during the middle of the Verbal section of my MCAT. The proctor said "Don't worry, this happens all of the time."

It was irritating, but there was nothing I could do about it.
 
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