HalfListic

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I have a tough decision to make in the next week or so, which is whether or not to re-take the MCAT. Any feedback or opinions anyone would like to contribute would be appreciated.

*this might be confusing so if you are tired, feel free to rest up and hydrate before you continue*

Heres the background:

In Aug 2009, I got a 30R (10,10,10 if that matters) but applied with a sub 3.0 sGPA which didn't turn out well. I have spent the last two years repairing my GPA thinking that my MCAT score would last that long as well.

It turns out, some of my top schools of choice, -DMU, CCOM, RVU, KCUMB, PCOM- will not accept an MCAT from 2009.

So, my main question as I decide if its worth it for me to re-take, is this: Can I submit my application June 1st to the schools Id like to attend, including the ones that won't take my old MCAT, and in the meantime, study for and take the MCAT in late July early August. My thought is that the scores will be back in time for them to see it and not be too late in the cycle.

Any thoughts from the crowd?
 

torshi

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apply to the rest of the D.O schools if they accept it. You can get an acceptance
 

MedPR

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Retake it if you know you can do better and really want to go to a school that won't accept your 2009 score.

Otherwise just go wherever will take you.
 

donkeykong1

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don't retake. your risk of scoring lower outweighs applying to those select schools. apply to other schools, and apply early.
 

MedPR

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don't retake. your risk of scoring lower outweighs applying to those select schools. apply to other schools, and apply early.
Considering the OP got a 30 after poor performances in undergrad (presumably in pre-reqs as well), I think they have a much better chance at scoring 30+ now that they've retaken the coursework.

I took my first MCAT with a C, C-, or D in gen chem I & II, orgo I & II, and physics 1 and got a 28 with very minimal prep. I retook gen chem I & II, orgo I and took microbiology and A&P I. I also retook my MCAT while in the middle of A&P II and physics I retake and got a 33.

Having a good foundation in the pre-reqs makes the MCAT much easier to prep for.
 

donkeykong1

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Considering the OP got a 30 after poor performances in undergrad (presumably in pre-reqs as well), I think they have a much better chance at scoring 30+ now that they've retaken the coursework.

I took my first MCAT with a C, C-, or D in gen chem I & II, orgo I & II, and physics 1 and got a 28 with very minimal prep. I retook gen chem I & II, orgo I and took microbiology and A&P I. I also retook my MCAT while in the middle of A&P II and physics I retake and got a 33.

Having a good foundation in the pre-reqs makes the MCAT much easier to prep for.
i think by you taking those courses a second time around your foundation did increase. nevertheless, you really didn't risk much. was your gpa at least a 3.0?
 
OP
HalfListic

HalfListic

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Considering the OP got a 30 after poor performances in undergrad (presumably in pre-reqs as well), I think they have a much better chance at scoring 30+ now that they've retaken the coursework.

I took my first MCAT with a C, C-, or D in gen chem I & II, orgo I & II, and physics 1 and got a 28 with very minimal prep. I retook gen chem I & II, orgo I and took microbiology and A&P I. I also retook my MCAT while in the middle of A&P II and physics I retake and got a 33.

Having a good foundation in the pre-reqs makes the MCAT much easier to prep for.
i think by you taking those courses a second time around your foundation did increase. nevertheless, you really didn't risk much. was your gpa at least a 3.0?

This is the internal struggle Im going through right now. Im pretty sure I can get 30+ again, but I wont have a ton of study time...maybe I need to take some tests and see where Im at.

It sounds like its a decently big risk to retake the MCAT, from the responses. thanks everyone so far:thumbup:
 
May 9, 2010
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This is the internal struggle Im going through right now. Im pretty sure I can get 30+ again, but I wont have a ton of study time...maybe I need to take some tests and see where Im at.

It sounds like its a decently big risk to retake the MCAT, from the responses. thanks everyone so far:thumbup:
If you are fine going to a medical school outside of that list that won't accept a 2009 MCAT, then just apply early and broadly. Good luck :)
 

NeuroLAX

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maybe I need to take some tests and see where Im at.
I think this is a reasonable idea. See how you do on some practice tests to gauge your performance, and apply now to the schools that will accept your current score. If you end up retaking and score better, add on the schools that require the more recent score. What do you think?
 
OP
HalfListic

HalfListic

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I think this is a reasonable idea. See how you do on some practice tests to gauge your performance, and apply now to the schools that will accept your current score. If you end up retaking and score better, add on the schools that require the more recent score. What do you think?
Yeah, this seems like the right choice. I need to see if I'm close enough to a good score before I make any final decision...I appreciate the feedback, it helps me a lot in this process.
 

batndz

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I was in a very similar situation (although my scores werent outdated (took mine in 2010).

I was advised against taking them again in august because even the schools that do take the 2009 MCAT will wait until the new scores are out. This will put you behind, and you will not benefit from applying early.
 
OP
HalfListic

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I was in a very similar situation (although my scores werent outdated (took mine in 2010).

I was advised against taking them again in august because even the schools that do take the 2009 MCAT will wait until the new scores are out. This will put you behind, and you will not benefit from applying early.
Oh really... This is pretty definitive then. I'll confirm this and if you're right, there's no question.

Thanks for the info
 
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I'm pretty sure most schools now won't accept a 2009 MCAT but I guess you can always check to see. I would retake the MCAT if I were in your shoes, since you kinda have to. I know it's hard and it sucks but you already spent 2 years repairing your GPA. In the grand scheme of things, what's another few months to study for the MCAT? You got a good score the first time, most people don't get worse the second time around if you study and practice enough (besides, AAMC practice MCATs are a pretty accurate indication of how you will score on the actual MCAT. I know this from personal experience). Don't settle for a school you don't really want to go to just because you couldn't study for a couple more months. You will have to go to that school for 4 Years. Just make sure you study enough and practice enough before you go to re-test.
 
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OP
HalfListic

HalfListic

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I'm pretty sure most schools now won't accept a 2009 MCAT but I guess you can always check to see. I would retake the MCAT if I were in your shoes, since you kinda have to. I know it's hard and it sucks but you already spent 2 years repairing your GPA. In the grand scheme of things, what's another few months to study for the MCAT? You got a good score the first time, most people don't get worse the second time around if you study and practice enough (besides, AAMC practice MCATs are a pretty accurate indication of how you will score on the actual MCAT. I know this from personal experience). Don't settle for a school you don't really want to go to just because you couldn't study for a couple more months. You will have to go to that school for 4 Years. Just make sure you study enough and practice enough before you go to re-test.
Thanks for these thoughts...I'd have to say, I agree with the undertone of your comments; don't settle for something to avoid hard work. This is a great principle and I wouldn't compromise my future to avoid an MCAT retake. I'm actually pretty confident in test taking in general.

But, I first want I confirm what batndz brought up, and make sure that I don't blow my chances with other schools to chase 3 others. Currently there are 17 schools that I wouldn't mind going to that accept my MCAT, 3 of them are in my top 5-6 choices. But DMU, CCOM and PCOM won't take it, and they are also in my top 5-6.

So I just want to confirm that retaking this year won't mean that my application isn't considered early at the other schools. If that makes sense...
 

MedPR

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i think by you taking those courses a second time around your foundation did increase. nevertheless, you really didn't risk much. was your gpa at least a 3.0?
The point was that my score went up quite a bit due in part to having a better foundation and I think that most people would experience similar results.
 
OP
HalfListic

HalfListic

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The point was that my score went up quite a bit due in part to having a better foundation and I think that most people would experience similar results.
I agree with you...my question is this: let's say I retake in July. My scores won't post til August or sept. so, even with an improved score, does that mean y application won't be considered until then? If so, I doubt I'd get in applying that late.
 

help2

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I agree with you...my question is this: let's say I retake in July. My scores won't post til August or sept. so, even with an improved score, does that mean y application won't be considered until then? If so, I doubt I'd get in applying that late.
Send in your app as early as possible irrespective of the mcat timing. You will get and complete secondaries a lot faster, and while many schools will wait for your scores, you'll still be in a much better place than someone who sends everything in September. It's always better to apply earlier in the cycle, even if you're not technically complete. Some schools may even go ahead and offer an interview without waiting for scores. You never know!
 

NeuroLAX

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I agree with you...my question is this: let's say I retake in July. My scores won't post til August or sept. so, even with an improved score, does that mean y application won't be considered until then? If so, I doubt I'd get in applying that late.
August is not that late. I wouldn't discount your chances with a solid retake.
 
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donkeykong1

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The point was that my score went up quite a bit due in part to having a better foundation and I think that most people would experience similar results.
there's a big difference between getting a 28 rather than a 30 on one's first take. OP is better served applying early.
 
OP
HalfListic

HalfListic

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I do feel like applying early is good for me this year. Id like to get in this year more than trying to get to a particular school, especially since I don't have a descending list, but a group of top choice schools, some of which will take my MCAT.

I'm still going to put in some time to research what would happen if I took the mcat in July and just updating the other school in case it's not too late. But I don't want to hurt my chances at the schools who will take that exam. Really, I'm kind of upset that schools have a two year test policy, since my bad grades are mostly twice as old and they still count...but I digress ;)

Keep any other comments coming if you have them...this thread has helped me and I think it will help quite a few other people in the future as well. I'll try to find out more hard info and post it as well.
 

MedPR

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there's a big difference between getting a 28 rather than a 30 on one's first take. OP is better served applying early.
Some of the OP's top choices will not accept his 30 MCAT. Hence the reason for this thread.

If the OP can get a 30 with weak pre-reqs, he can do better with strong pre-reqs.

OP, the way I see it you have two options:

Option 1: Keep the 30 and have no chance at some of your top choices, but have a good shot at the other DO schools. I think you said your GPA is competitive now, right?

Option 2: Retake the 30 with the possibility of getting a lower score, thereby reducing your chances of getting in at some of your top choices, but still having some chance at getting in since you now have an updated MCAT score.

If it were me, I would pick option 2.
 
Jun 20, 2011
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I'm having mixed reviews now... Will schools review my application with my current score and offer me an interview if I have a planned retake.
I'm writing in August, and if schools wait for my new score in September I rather just submit with my application as-is and not list a re-take because applying that late is going to kill my chances.
 
OP
HalfListic

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I'm actually not as worried about getting a lower score. What I'm worried about is, if I retake does that mean my app won't be considered early at any school.

If I could apply early to schools with My old score and also retake to be considered at the other schools, even of its later, then I would would have a good chance at the early schools and some chance with the retake schools.

But if it ruins my chance this year at the other schools, I'm not sure it's worth it. Tough decision
 
Jun 20, 2011
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I'm actually not as worried about getting a lower score. What I'm worried about is, if I retake does that mean my app won't be considered early at any school.

If I could apply early to schools with My old score and also retake to be considered at the other schools, even of its later, then I would would have a good chance at the early schools and some chance with the retake schools.

But if it ruins my chance this year at the other schools, I'm not sure it's worth it. Tough decision
This is what i'm worried about. I'm just going to call AACOMAS on Monday if no one here knows for sure.
 

MedPR

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I'm actually not as worried about getting a lower score. What I'm worried about is, if I retake does that mean my app won't be considered early at any school.

If I could apply early to schools with My old score and also retake to be considered at the other schools, even of its later, then I would would have a good chance at the early schools and some chance with the retake schools.

But if it ruins my chance this year at the other schools, I'm not sure it's worth it. Tough decision
I don't see a problem still...

The schools that will accept your 2009 score will use that to evaluate your app while they wait for your new score.

The schools that won't accept your 2009 score might like the rest of your app and wait on your new score, or they might throw it in the trash pile. If you don't retake it though, your app is definitely going in the trash pile at those schools.

Option 1 = no chance, option 2 = maybe a chance. Option 2 seems better all the way around.
 
OP
HalfListic

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I don't see a problem still...

The schools that will accept your 2009 score will use that to evaluate your app while they wait for your new score.

The schools that won't accept your 2009 score might like the rest of your app and wait on your new score, or they might throw it in the trash pile. If you don't retake it though, your app is definitely going in the trash pile at those schools.

Option 1 = no chance, option 2 = maybe a chance. Option 2 seems better all the way around.

OK, I see where you are missing the concern now. What you aren't considering is a third option. This is something that several people on this forum have suggested and AACOMAS has not yet answered me. I'll call it option...3.

Option 3: If I decide to retake the MCAT, and put a future date on my application, some people have said that ALL schools will wait until my score comes back to consider my app complete. That would mean Im late everywhere, which hurts my chances at getting in anywhere.
If I don't put a future test date, then some schools might see an old date and trash my app before I can repot a new score to them.

So, I am just trying to see if schools are going to wait to review my app and to offer interviews until my new score comes out or not. I want to be early in applying, so if that is the case Id be more hesitant in retaking.
 
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May 26, 2012
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Thanks for these thoughts...I'd have to say, I agree with the undertone of your comments; don't settle for something to avoid hard work. This is a great principle and I wouldn't compromise my future to avoid an MCAT retake. I'm actually pretty confident in test taking in general.

But, I first want I confirm what batndz brought up, and make sure that I don't blow my chances with other schools to chase 3 others. Currently there are 17 schools that I wouldn't mind going to that accept my MCAT, 3 of them are in my top 5-6 choices. But DMU, CCOM and PCOM won't take it, and they are also in my top 5-6.

So I just want to confirm that retaking this year won't mean that my application isn't considered early at the other schools. If that makes sense...
Wow there are 17 schools that would take MCAT from summer 2009?

do you have the list? ty ty
 
OP
HalfListic

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Wow there are 17 schools that would take MCAT from summer 2009?

do you have the list? ty ty
I'm doing an EMT shift so I don't have access to my computer right now to give it to you for sure, but have you downloaded the CIB?

Look at the CIB and go through the schools looking at the MCAT section. They each list the year or how far back they will accept. Some even go back 5 years...
 
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I'm doing an EMT shift so I don't have access to my computer right now to give it to you for sure, but have you downloaded the CIB?

Look at the CIB and go through the schools looking at the MCAT section. They each list the year or how far back they will accept. Some even go back 5 years...

do i have to buy it?...
 
OP
HalfListic

HalfListic

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OP
HalfListic

HalfListic

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