rafman

7+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2009
246
2
141
Texas
Status
Medical Student
Hi,
I was wondering if retaking the MCATs a second time (or maybe even a third time) is looked down upon/ or not favored by medical schools. One of my friends told me her pre-med advisor told her this, but I cannot think of any reason why retaking the MCAT would be looked down upon by medical school admission boards. Its not like college admission boards looked down on applicants who took the SATs multiple times. But then again, I could be totally wrong :). Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

Zona Pellucida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
2,446
3
141
Status
Medical Student
Obviously you want to do well enough the first time. It just saves so much time/stress/pressure/etc.

It, however, is NOT a death sentence at all to have to retake. Many applicants have multiple MCAT scores. Again, just aim for your best the first time to save the hassle.
 

ThaliaNox

10+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2008
882
2
0
Status
Medical Student
In my experience people who retake the MCAT are not disadvantaged, per say, but there is some differential treatment. Let's take two applicants. The first gets a 28 the first time, retakes and gets a 32. The second gets a 32 on their first try. Honestly, the second applicant probably will be better seen. That being said, the 28 and 32 applicant is much better off than someone with only a 28.

It also raises eyebrows to see a person who's taken the MCAT more than three times, especially if they haven't improved.

This kind of reminds me of a question someone asked during a block meeting about the STEP 1 exam. They asked, "If I don't think my score is high enough, can I retake it?" The group leader stared for a second and answered. "If you pass, you don't retake it. Period. Mostly." I wasn't sure what to make of that.
 

Augustus

Removed
Oct 25, 2009
89
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi,
I was wondering if retaking the MCATs a second time (or maybe even a third time) is looked down upon/ or not favored by medical schools. One of my friends told me her pre-med advisor told her this, but I cannot think of any reason why retaking the MCAT would be looked down upon by medical school admission boards. Its not like college admission boards looked down on applicants who took the SATs multiple times. But then again, I could be totally wrong :). Any thoughts or suggestions?

30 is the key number. If you don't have it, take the MCAT until you get it.

Obviously, you can't get a 30 on your first attempt anymore. So don't dwell on that.

BUT, my advice would be STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, and then study some more. Pay for the AMCAS practice exams and DO NOT retake the MCAT until you are consistently scoring 30+.

Get it right the next time. And only take it when you are prepared to get a 30.

You better have a stellar GPA (3.8+), and incredible extracS if you want to be a long-shot at getting into MD school with a 25.

If you have competitive stats: and a 22,25,30 on your MCAT you will probably get in. But if you've got 22, 25, 24 you probably won't.

Study hard and get it right the NEXT time you take it.
 

jturkel

7+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2009
1,603
255
181
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
i retook mine. jumped from a 27 to a 36............they asked about it in my interviews. why did i get a 27 and jump so many points? i had mono. "oh." they said....shocked that i was able to muster a 27 with mono.

thats my true anecdote (and all my interviewers have asked me about the huge jump in my score), but if you are able to get a higher score, then it will not hurt you at all. you may just get asked about it.

and retaking it certainly has not hurt me.
 
Last edited:
May 23, 2009
8
0
0
Boston
Status
Pre-Medical
Obv depends on the rest of your application/background etc. I took the MCAT and got 28 first round (with 2 weeks of studying--don't ask) then retook after studying for 4 months and got the same score. I was devastated but couldn't be bothered to take that test again. In the end I had to just worry about the rest of my application. My GPA is not stellar but that is mostly because of Freshman year nonsense. In the end, I've had interviews at and been accepted to some very number-happy schools. I'm not saying not to retake or that a 28 is a great score to apply with. I was asked at my interviews what happened and why I got the 28 twice. I really have no clue what happened, I think it was just bad luck so I gave them the best answer I could and hoped they'd be happy with the rest of my app, which they were. If you feel that you can retake it and get a higher score than definitely do so (so that you won't be regret down the line not having tried). But if like me, you think you just had raw luck and can't be bothered to go through the process again then look critically at your application and think about how much retaking it and getting a higher score will help you (keeping in mind that it's certainly not easy/straightforward/guaranteed that you will improve your score, not matter what you do). But also think about how much higher you can realistically get. Don't worry about how the medical school will worry about you taking it 2/3 times, I think if you end up being a student that school is looking for, taking it twice won't hold you back from an interview and if you can explain during that interview why you took it twice then you'll be golden. Good luck! (I hope this makes some sense --it's late in the day and I'm still at work!)
 

shepardsun

7+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2010
497
136
181
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Like most of the comments here have stated, you don't want to take it again unless you have to. The amount of studying you put into it and the stress alone are major incentives to nail it the first time around. However, if you do feel that your first score didn't reflect your true potential and you can, with study and focus, consistently score much higher on official AAMC practice tests, you should consider retaking it again. The one situation you do not want to find yourself in is scoring lower than your first attempt, so absolutely make sure that you're better prepared than you were your first time.
 
Jul 25, 2009
180
0
41
Status
Pre-Medical
not to mention the cost of the actual test... yet another reason you only want to take it once if you can help it!