Jan 13, 2010
Hi guys, so I'm a prospective MD/PhD applicant (junior year) at Cornell. I would like to be competitive for programs on the level of Tri-I or Columbia or Northwestern. GPA is fine, research is good, but I just took my MCAT and I'm pretty sure I will not receive a score that I would've liked to get (scores are probably in the range of 13-14 on psci, 9-11 on verbal, 11-12 on bio, I was aiming for 37+). I am wondering that for such competitive programs, especially given my international status, if I should retake the MCAT if I get less than 36. I know I can do a lot better the second time around if I decide to retake since I only prepared for it for ~2 weeks this time, but I am wondering if it will be worth it.

I understand that anything around 35 is a good score for med schools, but I am wondering if these competitive MD/PhD programs have a different benchmark for MCAT scores, esp. given my international status.
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7+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2010
MD/PhD Student
it's hard to assess this without knowing your actual score, since many a time you may think the test went badly but you end up being pleasantly surprised. But in general, retaking is only worthwhile if you can *dramatically* improve your score i.e. if your first mcat was a freak event where you scored something like 3-4 pts less than the avg of your practice tests.

But yes, in general 35+ is a solid score even for internationals, as long as your verbal score is >=9 (I think the verbal score is esp important for international students)

For more info re: international MSTP applicants, see my other thread:

Hope that helps...good luck!