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MCAT Screening -- How does the number screening work?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by BoxVersionAce, May 17, 2014.

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  1. BoxVersionAce

    BoxVersionAce 5+ Year Member

    Jun 26, 2011
    Hi everyone,
    I asked this question in another thread and was wondering if I could get further clarification.

    first try: 11/6/11 28 MCAT
    second try (year later): 14/11/14 39 MCAT

    Someone told me schools will essentially see the first score as a "black mark" and others tell me not to worry about the first score at all. I know there are multiple schemes such as averaging the score, most recent, best score, whatever.

    What I'm concerned about is I hear that students also get screened out by having low MCAT subsection scores or overall. Would this screening work against me in a school-specific manner? I guess I just want insight as to how exactly they look at numbers and pick out students to consider for secondaries/II. My best guess is that a computer will do number crunching for whatever specific policy a SOM has first and then go from there. In which case, I need to be concerned for how low each respective school goes in terms of screening (especially for my previous VR 6).

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  3. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    Not even the Ivies expect you to be infallible. So quit fussing and aim high. Even schools that average scores are not going to ignore a 39. That's what, 97th %ile? Wash U territory.

    orthogenes, chenzt and Mr Interesting like this.
  4. darkjedi

    darkjedi how did this get here I am not good with computer 7+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Scoring a 39 period is a feat, and one likely worthy of overlooking your first initial score. Don't worry about it too much and apply to wherever you like. Keep in mind however that the higher you aim, the more the rest of your application has to really stand out apart from your scores.
  5. chenzt

    chenzt 2+ Year Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    Even better, 99.5%ile. MCAT wise no door will be closed for the OP.
    LizzyM and Goro like this.
  6. Lifeman

    Lifeman 7+ Year Member

    Jul 28, 2008
    How did you improve that much?
  7. BoxVersionAce

    BoxVersionAce 5+ Year Member

    Jun 26, 2011
    I'm really proud of the fact I did well and I will certainly work to hinder my insecurities. its just that fussing online is an easy thing to do while working on MDapps :) So I guess of all medical schools, there is no computer-based method that would auto-reject me? I never asked one of my profs. that told me to ignore it but it makes sense in the context of not ignoring students in my situation (altogether not too uncommon I suppose).

    Been working on it this past year and now through PS, LOR, and Work/Activity paring, thanks for the feedback.

    I was going to post in the MCAT forums but I thought my method was completely catered to my personality as a student. Besides taking every practice test I could get a hold of (21 in total- TBR, TPR, Gold Standard, RETAKING Kaplan, RETAKING AAMCs) I took advantage of my role as a university student for a year. Being a TA, taking upper-division classes such as philosophy, sociology, of course your bios (physio, genetics, cell/molbio), and any lab class (genetics, analytic chem, physics) helped mature my academic mindset. Tackling science passages/experimental setups was natural because I wrote test questions. So while taking a ton of practice tests is probably the key, I cannot imagine that I would have done as well without my focus as both a student and a TA.

    EDIT: A little more context: Two exams a year apart. Both I did MCAT studying specifically for 3 months. The first exam I already had all the pre-req classes done (except for the labs which for my university is separate) and tried to do an SN2 with additional Kaplan tests. Second test I had more upper div classes, TA'd, tutored, worked in a lab, and did something similar to "Spiniach Dip's Method" taking a ton of passages and tests. I had to retake tests/passages (esp. VR). I am a part of the group that approves of retaking passages/tests, especially if it is one that you did not do particularly well on. There is a fundamental reason you did not do well and reviewing over even a well thought-out soln. manual once won't allow you to get perfect on the next try.
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  8. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    Nope. Work on the anxiety issues, though.

    So I guess of all medical schools, there is no computer-based method that would auto-reject me?
  9. BoxVersionAce

    BoxVersionAce 5+ Year Member

    Jun 26, 2011
    Will do and thanks for the relief!
  10. justAstudent

    justAstudent SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    I'm sure you'll be fine like others havr said. Just wanted to congratulate you on your excellent score. Good luck with everything!

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