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MCAT and the Coronavirus

satdixon

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Mar 23, 2019
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Will the MCAT really not matter this upcoming admissions cycle? I understand how the coronavirus has put limitations on testing dates right now, but it feels somewhat unfair to everyone who took it before the pandemic as nearly 66 percent of applicants have their MCAT done by March. The reason I ask is because Stanford recently made their MCAT optional, and I am wondering on how you all feel this cycle will be affected. Any input would be appreciated!
 
May 19, 2020
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It's a strange cycle, for sure.

But just to address one thing in your post: med school admissions really isn't about fairness. It's about med schools selecting the people they feel will best fill out their class.

I'll also add that if you're in a position where you feel like you're not putting a strong foot forward because of COVID, that you might be in a good position to take a year, work, and be a stronger applicant. There's nothing that says you need to apply right at the end of undergrad. In fact, I'd argue it's a lot rarer for students to have a truly strong application then. Take a gap year. Take several gap years. Then apply when you have an application you feel is strong enough to be competitive.
 
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satdixon

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2019
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It's a strange cycle, for sure.

But just to address one thing in your post: med school admissions really isn't about fairness. It's about med schools selecting the people they feel will best fill out their class.

I'll also add that if you're in a position where you feel like you're not putting a strong foot forward because of COVID, that you might be in a good position to take a year, work, and be a stronger applicant. There's nothing that says you need to apply right at the end of undergrad. In fact, I'd argue it's a lot rarer for students to have a truly strong application then. Take a gap year. Take several gap years. Then apply when you have an application you feel is strong enough to be competitive.
Do you know what schools will be looking for more this upcoming cycle if the MCAT no longer matters?
 
May 19, 2020
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I think that even if more schools go MCAT optional, it still won't change much about admissions.

I would hypothesize that it's pretty rare that an MCAT score was the only thing holding back an otherwise exceptional candidate. And so, as always, schools will look at the entire applicant. Lack of scores means they have to have other evidence to prove what they can do.
 

penguinsfan71

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Jan 7, 2020
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This has been discussed here and here if you wanna take a look through those. The general consensus seems to be that even for schools that have gone "MCAT optional" (which is just Stanford at the moment), it's still pretty important. With testing centers opening back up, it should be a non-issue.
 

pista_kulfi

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Jun 2, 2020
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I have heard the big 5 are supposed to follow as well, so I was wondering if you think other schools will do the same
If you don't mind me asking, where did you hear this ?
Even for Stanford, MCAT is not strictly optional. If you have taken it already you have to submit (you don't have a choice to not submit it). There is really a very narrow sliver of candidates who can potentially benefit from this since no other school (that I know of) has MCAT optional.
 

satdixon

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Mar 23, 2019
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If you don't mind me asking, where did you hear this ?
Even for Stanford, MCAT is not strictly optional. If you have taken it already you have to submit (you don't have a choice to not submit it). There is really a very narrow sliver of candidates who can potentially benefit from this since no other school (that I know of) has MCAT optional.
It was from a guy who's involved with Stanford Med on Youtube, I can link the video if needed
 

gonnif

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Will the MCAT really not matter this upcoming admissions cycle? I understand how the coronavirus has put limitations on testing dates right now, but it feels somewhat unfair to everyone who took it before the pandemic as nearly 66 percent of applicants have their MCAT done by March. The reason I ask is because Stanford recently made their MCAT optional, and I am wondering on how you all feel this cycle will be affected. Any input would be appreciated!
It's a strange cycle, for sure.

But just to address one thing in your post: med school admissions really isn't about fairness. It's about med schools selecting the people they feel will best fill out their class.

I'll also add that if you're in a position where you feel like you're not putting a strong foot forward because of COVID, that you might be in a good position to take a year, work, and be a stronger applicant. There's nothing that says you need to apply right at the end of undergrad. In fact, I'd argue it's a lot rarer for students to have a truly strong application then. Take a gap year. Take several gap years. Then apply when you have an application you feel is strong enough to be competitive.
As @eigen says, the mission of a medical school is to educate individuals to become doctors and move on to the next level of training to become physicians. Applicants are merely the raw materials that are used in this production. It is perfectly fair, you are free to apply or not. If you find this so unfair, you can not apply or withdraw your application. Once you apply, you agree to follow the rules put forth. I suppose you could sue schools but there has been this thing called the Corona Virus/COVID-19. I am sure you heard about it, been all over the news. Kind of hard to claim personal unfairness when a world-wide pandemic has disrupted millions of people's lives, put 40 million out of work in USA, and has killed 125,000 officially in the USA (with a likely 40% over that number as many people died without testing). This the equivalent to the home front for a major war where plans get altered and often a generation of college age and early 20s have their life trajectory changed, And that unfortunately the hard truth of this all
 
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