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Need advice on my stats

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Chargers, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. Chargers

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    I am a graduating senior with a 3.88 science GPA and 3.87 overall GPA in Biological Science major at one of those UC schools in Cali. I am pretty sure that I will get the Summa Cum Laude honor at graduation . I got the National Dean's list and Golden Key award (are they any important? ). I have great research experience with a paper published in the undergraduate research journal with poster presentation award at the symposium. I have good volunteering experience with two hospitals. I hold a leadership role at one of these hospital recently. I also have great LORs from my PI, MDs, PhDs, and a DO from shadowing. I involved in premed clubs, but I was only an intern for one ( I don't know if that counts for leadership or not). However, my first MCAT score is 24P with a 6 on verbal:mad:. I took it last August with limited studying/ watching World Cup:oops: . My question is what kinda MCAT score do I need to get in order to get acceptances at California medschools as well as those mid-level medschools around the US? I don't care about those top schools like John-Hopkin. What about DO schools?

    I apologize for the long paragraph. Any real advises will be appreciated.
     
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  3. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member
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    cali schools I'd say you need atleast a 32 to be competitive.

    mid-tier schools around the U.S. 30-32

    D.O. schools a 27 would be nice but I've heard of 24 cutting it.
     
  4. Chargers

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    even with my GPA? wow I know it's not 4.0, but it's not easy to get a 3.8 at UC. I thought that it might help me a little bit on the MCAT side.
     
  5. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member
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    I'll let the cali applicants tell you all about how fun applying to cali schools is. :D
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Obviously you need to retake the test. I wouldn't worry about "what kind of score do I need". You need to buckle down and study and get the highest possible score you can. After your last score, I personally wouldn't take the test again until you are breaking 30 on three consecutive full length practice tests, no matter how many test offerings come and go. A second low MCAT could wipe out a lot of options. And then you are going to need to apply broadly in any event. If you can pull the score up decently, then allo is still an option, but it means getting serious. And when asked on interviews why you did so poorly the last time, you really need a much better explanation than the World Cup.
     
  7. aspirationMD

    aspirationMD Rookie of the Year
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    That doesn't sound good! I'm planning on UCD, so if someone knows something I don't (and I am sure many people do!) please do tell :)
     
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    The MCAT is used by med schools to evaluate the credibility of your GPA -- it is the one commonality against which to compare applicants at different schools, and thus is given great weight. With a low MCAT score, your GPA thus doesn't give you much juice. Retake and do much better.
     
  9. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member
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    Also, I never said it's easy to get a 3.8 at UC, but the fact that your current stats are 24 MCAT with 3.8 GPA might give people that idea. The whole point of the MCAT is to equalize all applicants who come from schools and majors of varying difficulty.


    edit: damnit, L2D got to it before I did.
     
  10. Richard Kimble

    Richard Kimble A one arm man did it
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    I graduated summa from a UC and got a 32-ish score (yes distracted as well, but hey not too bad). Accepted to USC and Davis. You need at least a 32 and significant research/clinical. 32 is the median for UCI, UCD, UCLA, USC (33) so no extra admission points there if you get a 32. However, your GPA should/hopefully get you in one assuming median MCAT (32). Now if we're talking Stanford, UCSD and UCSF, get 35+. Assuming CA resident. Summa Cum Laude and <27 doesn't look hawt either, so this may be a strike against you (other SCL buddies got 31, 34, 35, 38). Good luck.

    As many will tell you, there is a HUGE difference between 29-33 scores (every point matters, even distribution, 9+ and WS). After 34/35 maybe every ~3 points make a slight difference.
     
  11. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member
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    Cali schools are notoriously brutally hard to get into. They are very highly ranked for state schools, you get state tuition with prestige, and most people from california seem to want to stay in california, which can't be said for many other parts of the country. . . so there are alot of super bright people who want a cali school. I got a UCLA interview and I was totally blown away that they wanted to talk to me, it ended up that I didn't like LA or the school very much and apparently they felt the same way about me since they waitlisted me, but I still consider it a major victory that they wanted to talk to little ol'me.

    All that aside, the thing to get about the MCAT is that it is the grand equalizer. An adcomm is rarely going to be familiar enough with all the UGs their applicants are coming from to really understand their relative difficulties, so they weigh the MCAT quite heavily since it puts everyone on an even playing field. For someone like me, who had a rocky start, a strong MCAT prooved that in the end I really got it. If however you have stellar grades but a low MCAT, they will question if you really got it in the end and if your program might have been less challenging. Its important not to have something that is weighted sooo heavily be a weakness in your app.
     
  12. TexanGal

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    ... I know I'm just a lowly high school student and all BUT I would like to inform you of one little thing. Advise is the verb form and advice is the noun form. So next time use advice if you're talking about something you need. :)
     
  13. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member
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    30 should be the minimum to aim for.
     
  14. User of Needles

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    Can you break 30 this time around? A 35 may just erase that 24.

    And it doesn't hurt if you're URM either.
     
  15. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making
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    yeah all these ppl beat me to it i was gonna say 30 would give youa chance. 32 and applying early would give you a much stronger chance. but please realize that this whole process is random and even this might not ensure anything . but i'd say shoot for a 32.
     
  16. Chargers

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    opps, haha now you know why I got that 6 on the verbal haha ..ha...:( . English is my second language and misspelling is my middle name:oops:.
     
  17. Chargers

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    What's URM?

    Yeah I've been getting 30-31 on practice tests. And why do I need to erase that 24? Don't medschools look at the latest score the most for validation of improvement and maturity?

    Thanks for all the advices, guys:thumbup:
     
  18. Richard Kimble

    Richard Kimble A one arm man did it
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    Some average them :)eek: ), some take the latest, some take the best of each section of the two.

    URM= Under Represented Minority (Hispanic-Americans, Native-Americans, African-Americans)

    If you start asking why/how this plays a role in admissions, the systemic inflammation could cause anaphalaxis. Some members have mast cells primed with IgE for this sort of thing.
     
  19. Chargers

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    who are those bastards?:oops:
     
  20. Richard Kimble

    Richard Kimble A one arm man did it
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    Consult MSAR and websites. It really is a fair way of doing things. You rarely get to keep the best test in UG. But people have bad days and usually a bad day in UG won't ruin all chances of a future profession.
     
  21. ssquared

    ssquared Member
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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Danger, Will Robinson!


    (but in all seriousness to the OP, buckle down and get that MCAT up! you have a great GPA, you have it in you :) )
     
  22. Chargers

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    thanks for the encouragement. I will kill this thing called MCAT:cool: . My only concern is verbal score. I hope they take my past into consideration.
     
  23. pennybridge

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    not to sound like a prick (ok, I'm going to sound like a prick)

    but 24-6=18

    that's a 9 on each science section. Nothing really to write home about.

    you're going to have to do better all around to have a chance at staying in california, CA med schools know how fickle UC GPAs can be. And a 3.8+ GPA with <10 on science sections are going to lead to mass head scratching by admissions committees.
     
  24. Chargers

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    NO that's not prick-like at all. I appreciate your honest opinion. I do kick myself for having that low of a score on the MCAT when I know for sure that I can do better, at least on the science parts.
    And like I said, I am gonna kill that MCAT test when I take it the second time:smuggrin:. Besides, I do keep an open mind for all other schools in the US.
     
  25. paranoid_eyes

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    riiiiiiight.....:rolleyes:
     
  26. pennybridge

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    It's simple to get a high GPA at a UC, just pick the right major, not so easy to rock the MCAT. I went to a UC, had a low science GPA but a high MCAT score and I'm staying in CA for school.

    Sure things even out in the long run but if you went to a UC school you know how easy it is to "plan" your GPA based on what quarter you take what class and with what professor. Some people make their entire applications about their grades and it rarely works out like they planned.


    and as for worthless anecdotal evidence, I know plenty of kids with extremely high GPAs but low MCAT scores, none of them are getting any love this year from medical schools.
     
  27. paranoid_eyes

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    that is very true. but you have to admit, at some point, you are gonna have to face the lower div science courses (which are the most notorious for weeding out) such physics, LS, Chem
     
  28. pennybridge

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    clearly, but to be fair, grades in those classes can be offset by enough upper division OBEE (think marine bio) classes and a generous sprinkling of 199s :cool:
     
  29. pyrois

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    If you stick with your 24, schools will presume 1 of 2 things.

    Thing #1: you took easy peasy classes
    Thing #2: you cared about the world cup more than your medical future, so you didn't study for the MCATs

    Neither assumption is good.
     
  30. byong_soo

    byong_soo Member
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    you should get at least 29+
    i had a friend who had a better gpa (~3.98) at a uc and ~27ish, but didn't fare well (got into one mediocre school)
    she had excellent lors and excellent activities.
    good luck
     
  31. byong_soo

    byong_soo Member
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    199s are pass/notpass at our school
    and to be fair, many pre-meds at ucs don't actively try to take bs classes like marine bio.
    if they do it's prolly 1 or 2, not to significantly affect overall gpa
     
  32. pennybridge

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    and your point is?....


    the point is that out of context a high GPA means nothing. As demonstrated by this kids high GPA and abysmal MCAT score. You can wiggle your GPA if you know how/care/have the energy, but a solid MCAT score is not easy to hack. That's why you don't hear about people getting 33s and saying "F it! I can do better!"


    and at my school 199s are most definitely for grades...well... for As to be more precise.
     
  33. Richard Kimble

    Richard Kimble A one arm man did it
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    Ha. My 199 was my only A-. My PI was tough. But this isn't normal. I did learn more in this class than any others though. Translational Oncology MD/PhDs don't give out A's easily I guess. He gave some other kids C's. Yikes!
     
  34. kelvin81

    kelvin81 Member
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    Agreed with penny about bio199. Anyways, I think I m the underdog in this process of applying, especially for CA schools. I took the MCAT twice, OP. Also, English is my second language. But I m lucky enough to make it to a good CA school. So yeah, GPA, MCAT, ECs, LORs are important but you do need luck in this process. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Here is my profile.
    http://mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=7679
     
  35. patrickd223

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    You could probably get into many DO programs. If you apply very broadly, a few acceptances in MD may pop up. good luck
     
  36. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this
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    Yes, even with your GPA you're gonna want a 30+ MCAT, especially for the UCs. Sounds like your major weak spot is the verbal, and judging by the last sentence of your first post (and the fact that you cared about the World Cup), English probably wasn't your first language.

    Anyways, you definitely need to retake the MCAT. And I know the verbal is pretty hard to study, so all I can say is that you should really try to challenge yourself with what you're reading in your free time. The Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Scientific American, etc. are all great periodicals to read, and they should force you to think about what's written in order to understand them. Well, I'll admit this is easier if you actually care about the articles, and thus want to know what's going on, so read what you like, but just make sure it's pushing your verbal limits.

    I'm fairly confident that if you improve your reading abilities it'd help you in all 3 sections, since a big part of the science sections is still knowing what the heck they're asking you.

    Oh, and study a little harder this time, I'm not going to rag on you for watching the world cup since I'm sure you were just kidding about slacking off (I hope), but it wouldn't hurt to suffer a little harder this time around =)
     
  37. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm...
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    Retake, pull up that MCAT. And, for e record, which UC was it? I hope it wasn't Merced...
    Anyway, (no one has addressed this yet), Golden Key and National Dean's list mean nothing, absolutely nothing (I hope you didn't actually pay the fee). The only honors society that matters is Phi Beta Kappa.
     
  38. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this
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    lol I got a 1 and I think I can do better, but that's because I literally had 1 hour of sleep the night before the MCAT, and by the time I got to the writing and BS section my brain had basically died, so I got an L in writing (lol), and a 9 in BS. Funny because I had done the best in the BS in several practice tests (tested 11+ consistently in practice tests, including the AAMC ones). And I am damned sure I'll do better than a friggin' L if I retook the test. Seriously...people probably think I just wrote curse words or something for my essays =(

    I think the other reason why you don't hear people wanting to retake once they've score high is that the MCAT is a horrible painful test of doom, and if you don't have to go through that horror again you probably just learn to live with your 1 lol.
     
  39. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm...
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    :barf:
    Gag! Un-prompted numbers share!
    :barf:
     
  40. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this
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    Haha, yeah, I kinda realized it sounded like that. Sorry :(

    There, I've edited the original post to take out the ego =p

    OH DAMN I JUST HIT TRIPLE DIGITS IN POSTS!!!

    DOH which was my 1000th post?! (don't worry I don't think it was the number share, that was prolly 999)
     
  41. Chargers

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    Ok now you're just being really degrading to all the UC students who are really busting their asses off to get good grade. You think it's easy to get high GPA, but your science GPA is low. What does that make you? Why didn't you "plan" your GPA to be better than low? Try to be not so bitter about your fellow UC students who really earn their number.

    Although I agree with you that GPA is only a part of the whole application, it still is an important part. Don't make it sound like you could have gotten a 4.0 if you wanted to. BTW UC is a top university system in the US, so I think the high GPA should/will mean more than you made it out in your bitter post. Thanks for your comment anyway.
     
  42. Chargers

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    Thank you for the advice. Yeah English is my second language. I do try to read the Economists every chance I got, and I think it helps. My verbal score has gone up significantly.
    About the World Cup, whatrugonnaduu, it's once every 4 years:D. Yeah I was kidding. I only watched the good matches in spare time.
     
  43. Chargers

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    :laugh: Are you a UCI alumnus by any chance? Anyway no I didn't have to pay the fee. My school Dean of student took care of that.
    Oh and AED>>>Phi Beta Kappa:cool:
     
  44. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker
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    Non-URM and URM applicants have gotten in with your stats. Its always better to aim for higher, but if you are certain that you can't do higher, then you have to be smart as you apply to schools. Will you get into California schools? No. Will you get into a top 20 school? Probably not. Does that matter to you? If not, then I believe that you may have a chance. The problem with your MCAT is that it limits your chances. So you spend a ton of money applying to all these schools and not receive many interviews and maybe no acceptances. A higher MCAT score will give you a better chance to choose between medical schools, rather than bite your nails right up to May 15, wondering whether you will get in. But trust me, it is possible, and although it is better to have a higher MCAT, adcomms are more concerned about your application as a whole as compared to "premeds" on SDN. Take care!
     
  45. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm...
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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
    You are being facetious, aren't you?
     
  46. Chargers

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    au contraire, I was dead serious about AED:D
     
  47. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm...
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    :eek:
    Do you know what PBK is?
     
  48. Chargers

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    Thanks for the advice. Yeah I will retake the MCAT this July. In the meantime, I'll send out my primary application with that first score and tell them to wait for the second. I do plan to apply broadly. A doctor is a doctor. As long as I do well on my job, I don't care about my title.:)
     
  49. Chargers

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    what's that?
     
  50. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm...
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    Phi Beta Kappa is the first and oldest Honors Society in the U.S. It is what other societies such as Golden Key try to emulate.
    Membership is usually based on teacher referals, and is reserved for the top 10% of students, if not more selective at certain universities. Checkout www.pbk.org or wikipedia for more information.
     
  51. Chargers

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    Oh I thought you meant some other thing. yeah I have some idea what Phi Beta Kappa is. I have heard tales about it;). I was just promoting my own club, AED.
     

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