May 3, 2012
77
4
Status
Pre-Medical
I have my mcat this friday and my final decision is that I'm not ready. I am doing horrible on the practice exams, really horrible.

My question is: if I cancel the date, will I have to pay? If I DO have to pay, should I just go and sit in and just void the exam at the end? Will medical schools see that I went in to take the test but voided it?

I need a response asap guys. I'm really stressed out and I really wanted to apply this year but I decided not to..


For anyone that cares this is my quick background:

I have a 3.0 science gpa and mcat practice exams I was scoring below 20. (yes I know I have to study content). My plan was to just take the mcat, do mediocre and get 20's, and apply to the caribbean schools.
I did my research and found out that Caribbean schools aren't the way to go. So I decided to devote like the next few months (until like April) of my life to the mcat, score really well on it and try to get into a US school (more specifically NY).

I am done with all my core sciences. Which sciences should I take to help increase my science gpa? (more specifically classes that will help on mcat) I have two more semesters left.


Please any response will be greatly appreciated guys. Thank you for your time.
 

snowflakes

7+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2013
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I believe it is too late to get a refund, unfortunately. Since you are going to lose your money anyway, I would suggest taking then voiding it. Nobody, including med schools and YOU, will see your score if you void. Take note of how the exam is formatted on the screen (if the computers are old, it might be a bit different than what you're used to), and if the questions feel any different than the practice exams you've done. Keep in mind that people usually come out of the test feeling the real MCAT was a lot harder than the practice AAMCs, but end up scoring around their practice average. Thus, even if the questions do feel a lot harder, the scaling of the raw score will probably account for this. Of course, without your score, it'll be difficult for you to get a sense of how your post-test feelings translate into your actual performance.

Depending on your school, it's possible upper level science classes may actually be easier to do well in than intro courses. What science subject (bio, physics, chem, stats, etc) is your strongest? What topics are you interested in? Do you do better in lectures or seminars? Take courses that target your strengths so you can raise your sGPA.
Regarding the MCAT, If you're done with the core courses, you upper level chem/physics courses are probably not going to help that much. Physiology does help with the content review for the bio section. Personally, the course I found most helpful for the MCAT was a bio seminar where we discussed current papers--learning how to read papers, how to analyze the graphs and findings, and understanding what types of conclusions were most reasonable based on the data provided was really helpful for the bio section. In fact, I'd say this type of course is more helpful than physiology because it's easier to learn the physiology content on your own than it is to learn how to think scientifically without the guidance of a professor/class.

Good luck!
 
Last edited:

sh0rtstop34

5+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2013
106
21
New England
Status
Pre-Medical
Only take the exam when you feel prepared...remember that this is not an exam that you want to take twice. However, you will have to pay. If you are averaging <20, chances are you will score right around there, plus or minus a few points. I took biochemistry and immunology right before the MCAT, and I thought that those two classes helped me out a ton for test day. Genetics would also be a good class to take. Have you thought about taking a year off? maybe focus on getting your GPA up this year, and take the MCAT early next year to apply for entrance in the fall of 2015. Bottom line is if you do not feel ready for the exam, then you probably are not ready so do not take it yet. Good luck, and I hope this was helpful.
 
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May 3, 2012
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wow thank you so much for the reply^!

yes I have decided that I will go and take the exam to void it at the end.

But since I am done with all my core classes, if I take say a micro bio class or a genetics class, it will go towards my science gpa right?

and what do you guys say? Did I make the right choice by choosing not to apply to caribbean meds and waiting a year strengthening my application?
 

snowflakes

7+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2013
437
319
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Medical Student
wow thank you so much for the reply^!

yes I have decided that I will go and take the exam to void it at the end.

But since I am done with all my core classes, if I take say a micro bio class or a genetics class, it will go towards my science gpa right?

and what do you guys say? Did I make the right choice by choosing not to apply to caribbean meds and waiting a year strengthening my application?
Yes all science courses go towards bcpm gpa, not just the core ones.

Definitely. Check out the current thread about the pros/cons of Caribbean schools.
 

sh0rtstop34

5+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2013
106
21
New England
Status
Pre-Medical
wow thank you so much for the reply^!

yes I have decided that I will go and take the exam to void it at the end.

But since I am done with all my core classes, if I take say a micro bio class or a genetics class, it will go towards my science gpa right?

and what do you guys say? Did I make the right choice by choosing not to apply to caribbean meds and waiting a year strengthening my application?
I think you are making a good choice but ultimately, the decision is yours. Any BCPM course you take, even out side of your major will be factored into your science GPA. Take the gap year, and take advantage of that time to boost your application (increase GPA, take the MCAT when you are prepared, and just as important, increase your ECs, i.e. volunteer or shadow).

Good Luck! :)
 
May 3, 2012
77
4
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Pre-Medical
thank you guys!

I have another question. I was going full throttle trying to apply this year/ cycle or whatever you guys call it but this MCAT really messed me over. My question is, for the letters that I got from my professors, what's the "expiration date" on them? Can I use them for next year?
 

sh0rtstop34

5+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2013
106
21
New England
Status
Pre-Medical
thank you guys!

I have another question. I was going full throttle trying to apply this year/ cycle or whatever you guys call it but this MCAT really messed me over. My question is, for the letters that I got from my professors, what's the "expiration date" on them? Can I use them for next year?
I think you can keep them for next year, but if you keep in close contact with one or more and the get to know you better, then they may add too the letter. I would play it by ear as the year goes by.
 
May 3, 2012
77
4
Status
Pre-Medical
ah Yes that's what I'll do. Will it be possible to read what they wrote about me? That way I can see which professors I should hang around so they can improve their letter?
 
May 3, 2012
77
4
Status
Pre-Medical
now that I think about it, out of the letters that I did receive, my pre med counselor did not ask if I wanted to read any...

are we not allowed to? is that what it is?
 
May 3, 2012
77
4
Status
Pre-Medical
^ohh ok I didn't know that. Oh well it is what it is.

What do you guys suggest I do in my gap year? I was thinking about doing research but I have a friend who got into John Hopkins without ANY research and just volunteering. Any advice?
 
Jan 10, 2012
243
8
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Pre-Medical
^ohh ok I didn't know that. Oh well it is what it is.

What do you guys suggest I do in my gap year? I was thinking about doing research but I have a friend who got into John Hopkins without ANY research and just volunteering. Any advice?
I would do both, get your hands on any EC's you can get. With your GPA, without a postbac/smp, i think your best bet is US DO.
 
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Do what you want to do and what interests you. You don't NEED research for alot of schools, but volunteering and clinical experience are pretty important.

Have you thought about DO schools? They do grade replacement, so it would be easier to bring up your GPA by simply retaking classes you did poorly in. Plus, they have a lower MCAT score requirement. In any case, you made the right decision to void your MCAT this time around. Wait until you are ready. Good luck! :luck:
 
May 3, 2012
77
4
Status
Pre-Medical
thank you! and with a 3.0 science gpa, and say with a 35+ MCAT with good EC's you guys think I won't have a shot in a American medical school? I live in NY btw if that helps.

What if I take one or two more science classes and increase my science gpa to a 3.1 or even a 3.2. Will I still have no chance at an US med school? My overall gpa is a 3.4
 

Entadus

Happy on 5-HT
10+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2008
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thank you! and with a 3.0 science gpa, and say with a 35+ MCAT with good EC's you guys think I won't have a shot in a American medical school? I live in NY btw if that helps.

What if I take one or two more science classes and increase my science gpa to a 3.1 or even a 3.2. Will I still have no chance at an US med school? My overall gpa is a 3.4
I think the 3.0 would be a big red flag. You've got to try and raise it.

Think about it, 3.0 is a B average. Doctors are not "B" students, for better or for worse. Doctors are expected to be "A" level students in college... it's just the nature of the career. You have to prove that you can make "A"s, and for you, that might necessitate some post-bacc work.
 
Jul 28, 2013
32
0
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Pre-Medical
I would do a postback to improve your gpa durning the gap year. I do agree that DO schools might be your best bet.
 
Feb 9, 2013
671
257
Status
Medical Student
thank you! and with a 3.0 science gpa, and say with a 35+ MCAT with good EC's you guys think I won't have a shot in a American medical school? I live in NY btw if that helps.

What if I take one or two more science classes and increase my science gpa to a 3.1 or even a 3.2. Will I still have no chance at an US med school? My overall gpa is a 3.4
I would definitely try to raise that science GPA, a 3.0 is quite low and will cut you out of most MD schools.

Also, a 35+ is much much easier said than done. If you were scoring below 20's on your practice tests, I wouldn't exactly count on a 35+. Not saying it can't be done but don't count on it.
 
May 3, 2012
77
4
Status
Pre-Medical
you guys are right. I just realized one or two science classes won't increase my 3.0 science GPA by much considering if I get A's in them.

What exactly is a post-bacc though? Does anyone know or have a general idea of it? Can it be done/completed in that gap year? I know its a post- bachelors as in you take classes after your bachelors but is it a program you have to get into? or do you just choose whatever classes you want to take like its a regular upcoming semester?

Thank you for anyone who is responding!
 

Gauss44

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2012
3,190
402
Status
Pre-Medical
I have my mcat this friday and my final decision is that I'm not ready. I am doing horrible on the practice exams, really horrible.

My question is: if I cancel the date, will I have to pay? If I DO have to pay, should I just go and sit in and just void the exam at the end? Will medical schools see that I went in to take the test but voided it?

I need a response asap guys. I'm really stressed out and I really wanted to apply this year but I decided not to..


For anyone that cares this is my quick background:

I have a 3.0 science gpa and mcat practice exams I was scoring below 20. (yes I know I have to study content). My plan was to just take the mcat, do mediocre and get 20's, and apply to the caribbean schools.
I did my research and found out that Caribbean schools aren't the way to go. So I decided to devote like the next few months (until like April) of my life to the mcat, score really well on it and try to get into a US school (more specifically NY).

I am done with all my core sciences. Which sciences should I take to help increase my science gpa? (more specifically classes that will help on mcat) I have two more semesters left.


Please any response will be greatly appreciated guys. Thank you for your time.

About voiding: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=1014333

Which practice tests are you using? If you answered EK, TPR CBTs, AAMC CBTs, or GS CBTs: Do not take the mcat yet, if you are scoring <20. <20 is not competitive for DO. My understanding is that Caribbean schools are not a solid choice. Anyone have different experience? And I suspect that <20 is not competitive for Caribbean schools either.

Now if you are using some other form of practice test like Columbia Review, ARCO, or TPR old tests A-D, try an AAMC CBT to correctly estimate your score.
 
May 3, 2012
77
4
Status
Pre-Medical
I took only one practice test which was the AAMC 3.

What exactly is a post-bacc though? Does anyone know or have a general idea of it? Can it be done/completed in that gap year? I know its a post- bachelors as in you take classes after your bachelors but is it a program you have to get into? or do you just choose whatever classes you want to take like its a regular upcoming semester?
 
May 3, 2012
77
4
Status
Pre-Medical
ALSO another important question guys!

I planned on applying this year and I sent in my transcript already but I didn't submit my final application. Now that I've decided I'm taking the mcat next July and applying next cycle, is there anything I have to do now since I already sent in my transcript? Do I have to call them to tell them to ignore the transcript or something?

How does it work now?
 
Jan 10, 2012
243
8
Status
Pre-Medical
ALSO another important question guys!

I planned on applying this year and I sent in my transcript already but I didn't submit my final application. Now that I've decided I'm taking the mcat next July and applying next cycle, is there anything I have to do now since I already sent in my transcript? Do I have to call them to tell them to ignore the transcript or something?

How does it work now?
Just call and ask
 
May 3, 2012
77
4
Status
Pre-Medical
yes true but I was just wondering if anyone knew or had any idea about the situation
 

sh0rtstop34

5+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2013
106
21
New England
Status
Pre-Medical
I took only one practice test which was the AAMC 3.

What exactly is a post-bacc though? Does anyone know or have a general idea of it? Can it be done/completed in that gap year? I know its a post- bachelors as in you take classes after your bachelors but is it a program you have to get into? or do you just choose whatever classes you want to take like its a regular upcoming semester?
Take more practice tests! I took all 19 Kaplan and AAMC before I took the real thing. It will help with content, pacing, and endurance...by the time I took the real one, it just felt like another practice test

EDIT: I went from a 26 on my first practice, to a 42 on the real thing if that is any motivation
 

Gauss44

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2012
3,190
402
Status
Pre-Medical
I took only one practice test which was the AAMC 3.

What exactly is a post-bacc though? Does anyone know or have a general idea of it? Can it be done/completed in that gap year? I know its a post- bachelors as in you take classes after your bachelors but is it a program you have to get into? or do you just choose whatever classes you want to take like its a regular upcoming semester?
Take AAMC practice test 11 and see if you do any better. If you get the same score as before, either void or don't show up.

There are a lot of post-bac programs. I've heard that some SMPs offer back doors to medical school or automatic acceptance if you do really well in their program.
 
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