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MCAT averages...who to trust?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ryanpahler, May 14, 2007.

  1. ryanpahler

    ryanpahler New Member 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 2, 2006
    So according to MSAR, numerous schools have an average MCAT of 35.
    But according to US News, the average composite MCAT score of tops schools is 11.1 (the highest being 11.4 I think)
    Is the average at top schools a 33 or 35?
    It may seem like a small insignificant difference, but I'm curious.
     
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  3. gotmeds?

    gotmeds? 5+ Year Member

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    Oct 9, 2006
    MSAR = median
    US News = average
     
  4. SAspursfan

    SAspursfan 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 23, 2006
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that the MSAR numbers are MEDIAN values while the US News numbers are MEAN values... personally, I feel the Median values are more useful.
     
  5. Purplerainangel

    Purplerainangel 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 9, 2007
    I think the difference you're seeing is that MSAR writes up averages based on the applicants that are ACCEPTED and usually numbers are based on those that MATRICULATED. The matriculated students will usually be higher since many schools will accept students with higher mcat scores who decide to actually matriculate somewhere else.

    I could be wrong about this. If I am, correct me by all means:)
     
  6. AnesthesiaMD

    AnesthesiaMD 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 4, 2007
    Also if you read the fine print, the MEAN GPA and MCAT scores are for folks that matriculated at that particular school ("entering class") instead of those who were accepted which is what the MSAR reports in MEDIAN values.
     
  7. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!! 2+ Year Member

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    May 9, 2006
    *this* is the big reason for the difference. i would also add that the 45/4.0 applicants get doule-/triple-/etc-counted in the *accepted* stats (because they get accepted to many places), while they only show up once in the *matriculated* stats (they only go to one school).

    use the matriculated stats for getting an idea of your chances.
     
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Agree.
     
  9. chickenlittle84

    chickenlittle84 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 10, 2007
    Has anyone checked out whether there appears to be a substantial difference between the accepted median in MSAR and matriculated mean in US News?

    I actually had not realized previously that the US News numbers are for matriculated students, so I assumed that for schools with lower US News mean numbers it means they accepted some outliers with low GPAs, etc. But I guess that isn't the case.

    Does US News give mean values for BCPM gpa?
     
  10. AnesthesiaMD

    AnesthesiaMD 2+ Year Member

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    I don't remember right off hand if they give BCPM, my gut tells me no, they just give avg. cumulative GPAs of each school's entering class for that year. The "magic numbers" in USNWR are a little lower on average than the MSAR for the same year. The fact that outliers are included in USNWR data would have very little effect on the class GPA as a whole as many classes are above 120 students. So, it's really hard to tell what most student's Ugrad GPAs were for a given school's entering class based on a simple average. Median values would be much more useful in determining that. Also, if there are a lot of outliers, that's when there could be a substantial effect on a school's avg. matriculant GPA.
     

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