Medical school admission becoming more competitive?

LINK1290

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Last year, I was given the second edition of the U.S. News Guide to Medical Schools, which contains stats on the entering class of 2005 for every medical school in U.S. territory. A friend of mine recently acquired the third edition, which contains stats for the entering class of 2007. For nearly every school that I am applying to this cycle, the GPA and MCAT of entering classes rose a bit from 2005 to 2007. A few schools' stats dropped, but they were quite a minority. Is the rise in stats part of a typical trend, or is this due to natural year-to-year fluctuation for each school?
 

NickNaylor

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I'm guessing over the last few decades there's been a general increase in numerical stats, but for two years I would guess that's primary fluctuations.

Have no fear, someone will dig out the stats from the AAMC and post them within a few posts.
 

dru2002

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I'm guessing over the last few decades there's been a general increase in numerical stats, but for two years I would guess that's primary fluctuations.

Have no fear, someone will dig out the stats from the AAMC and post them within a few posts.
And here ya go,

http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/2008mcatgpa.htm

MCAT for matriculants has been fairly stagnant (read slight fluctuations) but gpa has shown a steady increase for both science and cumulative since 1997.
 
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niranjan162

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This isnt limited to med school. Stats of college admissions also go up, law schools etc. every year.
 

jaxasp

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um, not sure what you were looking at, but the mcat increased just like the gpa did.
mcat '97=-26.4, mcat '07=28.1
sgpa '97 = 3.3, sgpa '08 = 3.4
 

adeline

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Didn't look at the link, but where are the numbers these days?

Only a 3.4 two years ago? Whatever.
 

platon20

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Med school admissions are getting LESS competitive, not more.

Thats due to the fact that there are now 40+ new/planned med schools within the next few years. Every bumblestick hick country rural town with nothing more than a crappy "regional" medical center with 100 beds is now busy opening med schools, all in the name of "economic stimulus."

The number of applicants is going up slightly every year, but the number of seats is absolutely skyrocketing.
 

phonyreal98

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Med school admissions are getting LESS competitive, not more.

Thats due to the fact that there are now 40+ new/planned med schools within the next few years. Every bumblestick hick country rural town with nothing more than a crappy "regional" medical center with 100 beds is now busy opening med schools, all in the name of "economic stimulus."

The number of applicants is going up slightly every year, but the number of seats is absolutely skyrocketing.
40+ med schools? It's not that high. Last I heard, there were at most, ten new med schools in the works.
 

dbrokut

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Med school admissions are getting LESS competitive, not more.

Thats due to the fact that there are now 40+ new/planned med schools within the next few years. Every bumblestick hick country rural town with nothing more than a crappy "regional" medical center with 100 beds is now busy opening med schools, all in the name of "economic stimulus."

The number of applicants is going up slightly every year, but the number of seats is absolutely skyrocketing.
Ok I'd like to see your source.
 

dru2002

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um, not sure what you were looking at, but the mcat increased just like the gpa did.
mcat '97=-26.4, mcat '07=28.1
sgpa '97 = 3.3, sgpa '08 = 3.4
You're right I looked at each individual section and wrote off the minor changes in each section. But, summed it is quite significant. Thanks for pointing that out.
 
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guildsman

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Med school admissions are getting LESS competitive, not more.

Thats due to the fact that there are now 40+ new/planned med schools within the next few years. Every bumblestick hick country rural town with nothing more than a crappy "regional" medical center with 100 beds is now busy opening med schools, all in the name of "economic stimulus."

The number of applicants is going up slightly every year, but the number of seats is absolutely skyrocketing.
It's fairly difficult to open a medical school and the ones being opened have not completed the lengthy certification process.
 

NonTradMed

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Med school admissions are getting LESS competitive, not more.

Thats due to the fact that there are now 40+ new/planned med schools within the next few years. Every bumblestick hick country rural town with nothing more than a crappy "regional" medical center with 100 beds is now busy opening med schools, all in the name of "economic stimulus."

The number of applicants is going up slightly every year, but the number of seats is absolutely skyrocketing.
I haven't heard of anything that high. Are you also including DO schools? Even with new DO and MD schools, I haven't counted 40. Also, it's not easy to open an MD school because there are quite a few requirements (some of it monetary) which needs to be met in order to set up a school.
 

crasiman

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Average GPA of college students has also risen (sources: 1, 2, 3). A simple increase in average GPA of matriculants may not tell us much about admissions selectivity. Theoretically we could compare how quickly average GPAs in colleges have risen and how quickly average GPAs of matriculants have risen to get a better view of what's going on.

*goes back to work on secondaries
 

RogueUnicorn

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all we would really need to look at is % acceptance now vs 10/20 years ago. i guarantee it's lower now than before.
 

Rendar5

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I wouldn't look at MCAT honestly because you've only been able to get a 45 since 2004 I believe. When I took it, the highest score you could get on verbal was a 13, which would sometimes be written as 13-15. So the MCAT post 2004 isn't comparable to the one pre2004 except on an individual basis.
 

RogueUnicorn

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i wouldn't look at mcat honestly because you've only been able to get a 45 since 2004 i believe. When i took it, the highest score you could get on verbal was a 13, which would sometimes be written as 13-15. So the mcat post 2004 isn't comparable to the one pre2004 except on an individual basis.
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Isn't the MCAT graded on a curve with percentiles?

Like a 24 is always set as the median...50% below, 50% above.

Granted, it may be harder to get a 30 then it used to be because the TEST POPULATION STUDIES MORE, takes more prep courses, etc., but a 30 still MEANS the same thing in percentage terms no? How can MCAT stats have increased otherwise..

It's getting harder and harder to get certain scores, but I don't think the scores of today (once you get them) mean any less or more than yesterday's scores....

confusing hmph
 

RogueUnicorn

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Isn't the MCAT graded on a curve with percentiles?

Like a 24 is always set as the median...50% below, 50% above.

Granted, it may be harder to get a 30 then it used to be because the TEST POPULATION STUDIES MORE, takes more prep courses, etc., but a 30 still MEANS the same thing in percentage terms no? How can MCAT stats have increased otherwise..

It's getting harder and harder to get certain scores, but I don't think the scores of today (once you get them) mean any less or more than yesterday's scores....

confusing hmph
each individual section is curved. an 8 is 50th percentile. the composite doesn't necessarily have to be (and is not) 24. this would be essentially caused by those getting high scores in one section getting high scores in other sections and vice versa.
 

Narmerguy

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all we would really need to look at is % acceptance now vs 10/20 years ago. i guarantee it's lower now than before.
This doesn't take in account the deterring effect that the higher competition has likely caused. Many applicants that would have been rejected feel discouraged from even applying now. This inflates the acceptance rate (or so I would imagine).
 

Schemp

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i'm kind of surprised the average mcat is 28.1. well, unless that's for everyone who takes it (although in that case i would think the average would be nearer 24, although not necessarily right at it). the 28.1 is for people actually getting in to med school, right?
 

Chuck's Right Foot

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i'm kind of surprised the average mcat is 28.1. well, unless that's for everyone who takes it (although in that case i would think the average would be nearer 24, although not necessarily right at it). the 28.1 is for people actually getting in to med school, right?
28 is average for applicants not accepted, IIRC.
 

JJMrK

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Isn't the MCAT graded on a curve with percentiles?

Like a 24 is always set as the median...50% below, 50% above.

Granted, it may be harder to get a 30 then it used to be because the TEST POPULATION STUDIES MORE, takes more prep courses, etc., but a 30 still MEANS the same thing in percentage terms no? How can MCAT stats have increased otherwise..

It's getting harder and harder to get certain scores, but I don't think the scores of today (once you get them) mean any less or more than yesterday's scores....

confusing hmph
Just to clarify:

The MCAT isn't curved, it's scaled. In other words, the scaling is pre-determined and you don't directly compete with other test takers.
 

NewAndImproved

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Med school admissions are getting LESS competitive, not more.

Thats due to the fact that there are now 40+ new/planned med schools within the next few years. Every bumblestick hick country rural town with nothing more than a crappy "regional" medical center with 100 beds is now busy opening med schools, all in the name of "economic stimulus."

The number of applicants is going up slightly every year, but the number of seats is absolutely skyrocketing.
I don't know about 40, but I will tell you I was very surprised to read this article just today. Why very surprised? I grew up in Louisiana. I spent ~23 years living in Louisiana. I have never heard of Louisiana College. But they are apparently getting a medical school now.
 

Longshanks

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He's not joking or making an error. Look up some old info or very old posts here. There was a time when you're verbal score was a range if you were in the top percentile, they did not give out "perfect" verbal scores.
 

alexfoleyc

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Just to clarify:

The MCAT isn't curved, it's scaled. In other words, the scaling is pre-determined and you don't directly compete with other test takers.
Can you or someone explain to me how that exactly works? I always thought and have been told that the mcat is a competition; for example, you only compete with the ones taking the mcat on that date. Is that true?

To the OP, yes, the is becoming competitive to attend med school or any other grad school. It's a supply and demand issue. More and more people are choosing higher level education (law school, med school, etc) for whatever reason they do so. But for one, this economy may be one of the driving forces. Grad school education provides some sense of job security and financial awards.
 
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He's not joking or making an error. Look up some old info or very old posts here. There was a time when you're verbal score was a range if you were in the top percentile, they did not give out "perfect" verbal scores.
I remember reading about that; thanks for clarifying.

(Some may argue that it's still impossible to get a 15 on verbal because the scaling is insane-steep, but people still do it, heh)
 

adeline

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I remember reading about that; thanks for clarifying.

(Some may argue that it's still impossible to get a 15 on verbal because the scaling is insane-steep, but people still do it, heh)
Has anyone 45t'd yet?
 

austinap

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Has anyone 45t'd yet?

I've seen a couple posts with people claiming to have gotten a 14 verbal. Someone claimed a 44 in the 30+ study habits thread a while back.

Apparently ~0.2% of test takers get better than a 41Q.
 

Longshanks

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Can you or someone explain to me how that exactly works? I always thought and have been told that the mcat is a competition; for example, you only compete with the ones taking the mcat on that date. Is that true?
Its not true that you're only competing with those on that date. That would make the scaled score of the MCAT mean different things on different days, and different exam days would be more beneficial to take than others. Ex- September should be easy to score high then since its mainly retakers so if you're an early bird applying next year, man you're going to blow them out of the water. It absolutely doesn't work like that.

From paraphrasing what I remember from the AAMC website, there is no "curve". The scale is predetermined since the questions/passages have all been used before on previous examinations (with the exception of a new experimental passage or questions) so they know the degree of difficulty and how test takers should perform on these questions. They set up the scale based on this difficulty then. This is so whether the exam that day was an 'easier' or 'more difficult' one, that the scaled score will mean the same thing if someone took the test in June 2007 or August 2009. The percentiles are then based on the huge population of past test takers and your scaled score corresponds with the percentile of test takers who have gotten that scaled score before, which is why your percentile is given in a ranger. A 30 will always mean a 30, and can be compared to any 30 or test score. That is how its standardized.
 
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Has anyone 45t'd yet?
I did! On AAMC #3. The third time through.

More seriously though, I think its the MSAR or the Official MCAT book that mentions exact numbers (like, I think I read for one year, 0 45s, 2 44s, 8 43s...basically < 50 people from 42-45 or something), but its some insane small number that scores that high, that's for sure...
 

shiftingmirage

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MCAT numbers go up because more people are applying.

Let's say school X has 10 spots available, and it wants to pick those that are the most competitive.

The MCAT is a preset curve (or at least the % change very little between tests). So lets say 1997 100 people took the test. Based on aamc % http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/admissionsadvisors/examstatistics/scaledscores/combined08.pdf
50 people < 26
25 people 26-29
10 people 30-32
10 people 33-35
5 people >35

So school X will take the top 5 (with MCAT >35) and 5 of the next 10 (33-35)

In 2006 because of increase interest in the medical field, 200 people take the MCAT. Using sampe %
100 people < 26
50 people 26-29
20 people 30-32
20 people 33-35
10 people >35

School X hasn't changed it's class size since medical admissions were capped, so it still only has 10 spots. So it takes the highest 10. Those 10 all have MCAT >35.

So in 1997 matriculates at school X had an average MCAT of [5*(>35)+ 5*(33-35)]/10. In 2004, school X's average MCAT was [10*(>35)]/10, which would be greater than that of 1997.

This is an exageration, as I doubt medical school applicants (or MCAT takers for that matter) has doubled between 1997 and 2004.
 

UVAbme2009

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Average GPA has increased because of grade inflation.

UVa's average GPA is a little bit above a 3.3. A 3.3?! Seriously? The GPA in my major for my class (biomedical engineering) was above a 3.5. Yes, we were a very intelligent bunch. But to average a 3.5 within the major is a little ridiculous don't you think? It wasn't like the work was a breeze. Grades just felt higher at times than they probably should have been. Not that I complained...
 

RogueUnicorn

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I've seen a couple posts with people claiming to have gotten a 14 verbal. Someone claimed a 44 in the 30+ study habits thread a while back.

Apparently ~0.2% of test takers get better than a 41Q.
0.1 actually