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My MCAT and GPA represents the whole spectrum

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by desperatedoc, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. desperatedoc

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    Hello guys, this is my first post here.
    I've been waiting and waiting for responses from schools.
    I took my first 2 years at the community college, then the last 2 years at a regular 4-year school. Graduated with 3.9 GPA, grades from the community college wasn't accounted for, so practically 3.9 is my grade from the university. Then the MCAT is like this: PS 14, BS 11, VR 7, WS grade R. It represents almost half the percentile system :D. The VR score really bugs me and makes me wonder if it's okay enough. But the schools can't conclude that I can't read English can they?
    I have one summer research award, two full-year research internships, some minor activities (plant trees, build houses, etc...)
    And I didn't really volunteer in a clinic or hospital; I volunteered at a local business specializing in home health and doing business-related kinda work. They paid me with food. So that's still volunteering I think?

    So far only the school in my state called for an interview. Other places I applied to sent me 2nd app, I completed those but I don't hear anything yet.
    There are two bugging schools though. The first one is Mayo medical school. They sent me an email saying that they don't require 2nd app. Then a couple weeks later they rejected my application. I don't know why. The other one is UNC in Chapel Hills; I was finishing up on their 2nd app and suddenly they sent me an email acknowledging my withdrawal. I've never sent them anything about my withdrawal???

    So from your past experiences, do you think I have a chance at UCSF, UCLA, Stanford, and Harvard (my PS score fits them, good enough no)?
     
  2. Chemist0157

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    They won't like the VR score...
     
  3. BarefootinDC

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    Agreed. When I was in an MCAT prep course, they told us that the VR score had the most correlation with whether or not someone would pass the boards. Anyone else hear this?
     
  4. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    Welcome to SDN. Be prepared for some tough questions, such as applying to Harvard with VR of 7. Most schools don't like to see any scores below 9, much less the Ivies.

    My question is: what do you mean when you say that your CC (community college) grades are unaccounted for? Every grade is counted into AMCAS GPA. So if you had let's say 2.0 from CC and then 4.0 from your four year undergrad, your GPA would be the average - 3.0. If your 3.9 GPA excludes CC courses, you need to recalculate to factor in any courses taken beyond high school in any institution. Your science GPA matters as well.
     
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  5. cubssox2000

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    Yes, I think thats what Kaplans preaches.
     
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  6. liquid8r

    liquid8r Desert Nomad
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    Welcome to the wonderful world of medical school admissions. If you are not highly cynical yet, congratulations. Your stats are good. You have one weakness that you have identified. However, SDN posters are not privy to your interview skills, personal statement, or LOR. An "R" writing score would indicate you have excellent writing ability, so let's assume your application hinges mostly on your verbal score. At this point, you can do several things.

    1) Send update letters to each school that you are complete stating your reasons for applying to the school and why you believe you are a good fit.

    2) Wait and see what happens and take no action.

    3) Retake the MCAT and apply in the 2010 cycle.

    I think you may see some interview love, later in the cycle. Maybe January or February when adcoms are shoring up their classes and forming alternate lists. Your stats are good, OP. Keep the faith and fight off the cynicism as long as possible. Or embrace it like a warm blanket.
     
  7. desperatedoc

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    I mean my 4-year school just took the classes from 2-year school and the grade won't transfer. But yeah, every grade is counted into AMCAS. It's higher when they take in my grade at the 2-year school, pumping my GPA from 3.90 to 3.93.

    How come the VR correlates most to passing the board? What about the WS? The PS doesn't matter either?
     
  8. airplanes

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    They all matter. Schools are looking for a reason, any reason to filter through thousands of candidates. Your high PS is good but a 7 on the VR won't be overlooked because of it. You applied to a lot of top tier schools and the 7 could be the only thing holding you back provided you have lots of good extracurriculars, letters of rec, a strong personal statement, clinical experience, etc. It also sounds like you may have applied too narrowly? Medical school admissions is a crap shoot and there is never a sure thing. If you ended up getting rejected from schools don't take it personally, contact them and find out what you can improve upon. If you suspect it is the only the VR, you might want to take the MCAT again.
     
  9. desperatedoc

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    Retaking MCAT seems daunting. I'm not sure I'll be in good mental shape and score 14 on PS again :). And I still don't know why the VR is 7. There must have been some score mistakes. Otherwise it only indicates one thing, I can write coherently but I can't read :laugh:
     
  10. liquid8r

    liquid8r Desert Nomad
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    I understand your apprehension to face the exam again. However, many people have had to do so and have found success. While you may not achieve your 14 in PS, if you can raise your verbal score to at least a 9 or better, it will not matter. Schools will see that you achieved a 14 on your previous exam so even if you got an 11 in PS and your total score went down, you would still be in good shape.

    As a poster above said, you may have applied too narrowly. Think good thoughts until mid January. Then begin contemplating a retake.
     
  11. desperatedoc

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    Don't worry. Those are the schools that I want to go to. I apply to more places than that, also ranging all kinds of GPA and MCAT combos
     
  12. airplanes

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    How did you get an R on your WS and a 7 on your VR...
    I notice typos/bad grammar all over your posts :rolleyes:
     
  13. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    A lot of people mistakenly correlate VR and WS. The two aren't closely related at all. I'm also a firm believer that the WS doesn't test your ability to write effectively. I'm a hell of a writer, but I can't crank out a research paper in an hour the way some people can. When I write, it's either deliberate and thoughtful or slapdash and only highlights crucial information in sentence fragments. Think writing a paper for publication vs. taking notes in anatomy. The middle ground is flimsy at best.
     
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  14. sarahl86

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    Now now, children, play nice.

    One section tests your ability to form a logical argument while the other tests your ability to comprehend and interpret information. Very different objectives.

    And according to this, Biology and Verbal Reasoning sections are the strongest predictors of Step 1 scores (about the same) but Biology is the stronger of the two: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17198300?ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
    "In predicting performance on the medical board licensing examination measures, only the biological sciences and verbal reasoning subtests maintained adjusted medium effect-size values across the first two and all three Step examination respectively."
     
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    #14 sarahl86, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  15. airplanes

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    Just sayin'
     
  16. alibai3ah

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    I got a Q but an 8 on the verbal.......they test two completely different things. I personally think if medical schools reject you its because of something else in your application rather than your verbal MCAT score. Are you from this country, because that matters a lot. I also don't think you shoudl retake it, because the chances of you getting a 14 on the PS are slim. Unless you are applying to top tier schools, I'm surprised you haven't had more interviews in lower tier OOS private schools. I think you need to address something else in your application (EC, Letters, Essays?), b/c with a 32/3.93 you should be getting more attention......despite the verbal
     
  17. alibai3ah

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    I'm sure if we look hard enough, you have probably had some posts that aren't exactly eloquent either. These are threads.....you are not writing an essay.
     
  18. Chemist0157

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    DON'T YOU KNOW!? Adcoms regularly check this forum and pay attention to how we type. It's true. Ask anyone.






    /typical pre-med neuroticism

    :D
     
  19. Retsage

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    Realistically, you're boned. A 7 is death for everything but your state school. Retake the test.
     
  20. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    I find it amusing how you always come up with this doomsday-all-or-nothing-extreme scenarios. A 7 is pretty bad, but you don't know much about his application. Sometimes your state school can be harder to get in than an OOS school. Sometimes you don't even have a state school. Also, for some URMs, 7 on the MCAT is pretty close to the average. Another reason why you can't definitely say 7=boned=death or 7=in-state only. Just like you can't say intelligence=nature=genetics only. Too many onlys!
     
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  21. Retsage

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    He's already mentioned that he was only interviewed at his state school. And whispering soft-nothings in his ear, while very sweet, is rather pointless, no? A 7 is a very bad score to have. May other factors save him? Maybe. It won't save the average premed student, though.

    PS - Stay on topic.
     
  22. desperatedoc

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    Very informal and spoken language is used here to communicate with other SDNers. It feels like my thoughts just squirt out here on the forum, unlike the MCAT exam which I have to think very carefully. And the scores aren't made up if you're wondering. Who would want to make up a score like that anyway?
     
  23. desperatedoc

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    Thank you!
     
  24. airplanes

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    I was mostly joking and being a smart***, but I honestly had to re-read most his stuff so that I could understand what he was trying to say.

    Not saying you made anything up at all. Just wondering and I hope you don't take offense, but are you from here or are you a foreign student?

    I think you've gotten a consensus about what to do more or less. So good luck to you this application cycle and I'm sure your time will come this year or the next.
     
  25. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member
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    Retake? I wouldn't - MCATs don't work like the SATs where they just add up your highest scores. Yes, the upper tier schools are a stretch, but honestly they are a stretch for everyone - that's what makes them upper tier. They are even a stretch for that "7=boned" doomsdayer.

    Like someone else said, this process can be a real crap shoot - I wouldn't be surprised if you get many "later" interview opportunities in January or February. Many aspects of your app that we don't know, but it appears decently strong from what you've told us. Best of luck!
     
  26. desperatedoc

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    I'm a naturalized citizen, but English was taught parallel with the native language. You are very sharp to point out the non-native usage from just reading the forum. You must have been speaking English longer than I do :laugh:
     
  27. nevercold

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    1) Do you have clinical experience? I'm not finding any as I read through your original post...

    2) I hate those verbal reasoning things. Even when they show me the correct answers for the ones I've gotten wrong, I disagree. And I don't just disagree slightly; I can mount a detailed argument for my answer that I think trumps their answer. Only that doesn't do you any good :)

    3) One of the reasons for the MCAT's writing section is to reflect your command of the English language in a different way than the verbal reasoning section. If you can succeed in upper level science classes and do well in the science sections of the MCAT, you must have reasonably good reading skills.

    You just don't interpret passages in the set methods of interpretation that the verbal reasoning section writers use. If you can actually do better on the VR just by doing more and more questions, there's something up. You should not all of a sudden become a better reader by doing a few hours of those questions in contrast with years of learning how to use the English language. It's about learning their style.
     
  28. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    Princeton too
     
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  29. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    While everyone else is up in arms about that 7, I think this issue is equally a problem for you. "Business-related kinda work" doesn't sound like clinical experience to me, which will make schools question whether you know what being a doctor really is like. Really strong ECs might have saved your app from the VR 7, but as strong as your research background, it sounds like you actually have sub-par ECs if that's all you have for medically-related work. Please correct me if I'm wrong and this is actually some amazing clinical experience.

    I'm guessing your VR of 7, coupled with seemingly no clinical experience, did it. Mayo is a really good school; many people with much stronger stats than you have been rejected pre-interview.

    To be honest, no, I don't think you have any chance at any of those schools. Your 32 composite score is below average for all of those schools, and as others have said your 7 is quite ghastly; I don't know why the myth that VR is not important to med schools keeps getting spread, but it's simply not true. It's not that PS doesn't matter, it's just that the VR matters at least as much. You have one really strong EC (research), but your very low amount of clinical experience is another big negative for you. In order to have a shot at those schools, one's app really needs to be almost perfect, and yours has quite a few glaring weaknesses.

    Luckily, you have at least interviewed at your state school, so you should have a shot there this cycle. I'm not sure where else you applied, but some lower-tier privates might look at you. However, if that doesn't work out, at least you should know what's holding you back so that you can fix them for next cycle- retake the MCAT to get a more balanced score (a 11/10/11 would really be much, much better than your unbalanced score, even if your composite doesn't go up), and get more clinical experience.
     
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  30. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    Actually some schools do take your best scores from your last two MCATs so just check out if your school does that.
     
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  31. Bacchus

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    Aye with GoSpurs. Whats your clinical experience?
     
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  32. KeyzerSoze

    KeyzerSoze Scrambled Member
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    OP, I think you also need to get a clear idea of what your AMCAS GPA is, because the community college grades do count.

    Does the GPA on your AMCAS application actually say 3.9? Or was that only based on the transcript from your 4-year school? I'm assuming AMCAS needed a transcript from the community college as well.
     
  33. desperatedoc

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    Hello,

    I absolutely and definitely concurrent with you. Since the VR tests your arguments, I think you can practically form any argument to refute their arguments. You can even find something to refute what I'm typing here too.
    I have very little clinical experience. I shadowed a pediatrics doc for two weeks, get bored and thought that it's useless to follow someone all day long. It's true sometimes they let you try something on the patient, but it's still mostly walking along with them and not really being a doc yourself. I turned to volunteering for a nursing agency because they let me do more stuff around, eg getting paperwork done, fix printers, computers,... So yeah, it's not really physician experience, but since I spent time with the nurse, it's still clinical right?
     
  34. KeyzerSoze

    KeyzerSoze Scrambled Member
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    Not according to the LizzyM definition.

    (obvious prurient joke omitted here)
     
  35. desperatedoc

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    Aye with gospurs too. My clinical activity is sub-par. I have some other volunteer trips to plant trees and build shelters though.
     
  36. PeepshowJohnny

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    I had similar biological/physical science scores with a higher verbal (13/13/10). I even had people ask me on my interview days why they thought my VR was lower than my other scores. Basically, they don't want an egg head who can't handle information.
     
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  37. alibai3ah

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    I understand the importance of the verbal section, but if the OP is not from this country, I can understand why he would have a harder time. Most people with 11's and 12's on the verbal are usually students who are born in this country.....On the other hand if he/she is american born and raised, the 7 could be a bit of a problem...if you do retake it, try aiming for a 8-9 or higher, bc I think thats what they set their screening numbers too...
     
  38. Bacchus

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    This is your problem... you have an obvious lack of clinical exposure and thus adcoms probably feel you haven't made an educated choice. Add the 7 to this and that's why schools are not looking at you.
     
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  39. Rabbit36

    Rabbit36 Lagomorphadelic
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    Um, you're not a doctor. Patience is a virtue. Do some volunteering for a solid chunk of time even if it's frustrating and boring. I don't know what your native language is, but if you can find a clinical spot where many patients speak that language, you may be thrust into more patient interaction quickly. It might raise some eyebrows if you're hopping from clinical gig to clinical gig ever few weeks or months (some people even say they won't seriously look at any experience shorter than about 6 months). They want the clinical experience for you, not for them. If you get bored following a doctor, but enjoy filing and working with the nurses, how can they be sure you'll really be happy as a doctor? You should also try hard to bring the 7 up to at least 9, so practice VR passages a lot. Good luck! You got an interview, which is more than a lot of very intelligent and motivated people get. Seriously, congratulations. Hopefully you'll get in. But if not, don't get discouraged. Address your weaknesses and look at your application holistically, and keep trying!
     
  40. CarrieBad

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    I agree a 7 is death (and also I think VR is viewed as the most important section). And honestly, since you got a 14 in another section, it can't be chalked up to being a bad test taker. You should retake the MCAT. I know that's a serious bummer, but just do it!
     
  41. justdoit31

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    Hey I thought I would share a little advice- I got into an out of state public school with a 7 in PS but a higher verbal score...

    I want to suggest you doing a lot more clinical work and when I say clinical I mean working with patients as a hospital or clinic or try shadowing in another field maybe peds wasn't your thing. I have a lot of clinical work and that was something that came up in ALL my interviews- they want to know that you have a clue what you are getting into.

    I have volunteered at a hospital tutoring patients for 2 1/2 years and get lots of one-on-one time with the kids and while I can't explicitly ask what is wrong with them the teachers in the program usually give me a reason they are in and most kids will share quite a bit about treatment. I also worked a summer camp for kids with Crohns disease which was awesome- all with patients and we were able to help the kids go through why they are on certain meds (with medical staff leading discussion), discuss physical and mental issues with the disease and play really hard all week!

    My shadowing experiences were great- not always hands on but it depends on where you are- at the teaching hospital I got to do more stuff (nothing invasive but general physical exam techniques), while in private office it was more observing and asking questions- that physcian helped me a ton through the admissions process though! I also worked a free clinic which was the most hands on- I did vitals and took histories in the peds section with a med technician so that was great experience!

    Try to find something you can do clinically and enjoy it- if you do like kids there is a lot of opportunities to work with patients at children's hospitals because you can play games, do art, etc...

    Goodluck- don't be discouraged and if you have to do this process again I would suggest a retake (consider using exam-krackers verbal practice test) and apply more broadly because getting in is a crap-shoot
     
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  42. bigman225

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    #42 bigman225, Dec 3, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  43. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
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    Probably the same way I got an N on my last WS and a 13 in VR.
     
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  44. airplanes

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    Settle down, I said I was joking.
     
  45. desperatedoc

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    Please calm down everyone! It's useless to fight on a forum!
     
  46. halekulani

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    not that i read the link, but what good is the PS section then?
     
  47. Starlingbruin

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    hi, new fairly new to this site... what is the VR score? and why is it so important?
     
  48. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    VR= verbal reasoning section of the MCAT. It's important because it makes up 1/3 of your grade on the MCAT.
     
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  49. Also important because, as stated above, it tends to correlate with your chance of passing your boards
     
  50. Starlingbruin

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    Thanks for the response Gospurs and Kevin. Do you think an anthro major would do well on the VR section? What about psych major?
     

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