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Need Advice

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by odango, May 14, 2008.

  1. odango


    Apr 24, 2008

    I am not sure if I have the capacity to retake the MCAT and do better. My score ended up being a 26 with a 10 in Biological Sciences, 9 in Verbal Reasoning and 7 in Physical Sciences. Should I retake the MCAT? Also, I'm currently logging in volunteer hours, but I'm also wondering, is one type of volunteering better than another? Furthermore, if I applied early this cycle what do you think my chances are of acceptance?

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  3. kypdurron5

    kypdurron5 10+ Year Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    I don't remember my distribution the first time but I had a 27. I retook it and ended up with a 33- 13 VR, 11 BS, 9 PS. I think I increased VR by 3, BS by 2, and PS by 1. This is despite putting all my effort into really concentrating on PS. Anyway, take that for what it's worth, but I think it made a huge difference in getting accepted. If you're thinking about DO schools it might not be worth the risk of a lower score, but otherwise I recommend retaking IF you're reasonably confident you can do better. My study habits were 100% different the second time, and I really liked the Exam Krackers books.
  4. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor? Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    You won't get many interview offers with that score. If you haven't taken the exam multiple times already, you can improve. If you choose to do so, you need to set aside study time (which may interfere with volunteering), so you need to set priorities.

    In terms of volunteering, go to where you can smell the patients (i.e. hands on clinical work). Otherwise, you aren't getting the clinical exposure you need.
  5. Weoh

    Weoh 5+ Year Member

    I'd retake the MCAT- especially if the low PS score was atypical of your performance on practice tests. I improved my score the 2nd time-- in my case, I had an uncharacteristically low VR score the first time around. I was worried about the other scores dropping, but I made sure that I remained prepared in those areas. I'd echo that you should use some review materials to prepare again, and make use of any/all practice tests that you can get your hands on. Review your mistakes, guesses, etc.

    As for volunteer experience, clinical is good- but it's not the end all be all. If you already have some clinical experience under your belt, and you have an interest in volunteering in some other capacity (Habitat, Boys/Girls Club, Food Shelter, etc.), those experiences certainly won't hurt your application. Besides, it's good to show a variety of interests-- just be prepared to show/explain how your experiences will help you be a better doctor (whether it's being a med tech or soccer coach).
  6. nontrdgsbuiucmd

    nontrdgsbuiucmd 2+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    my own little world
    Same general thoughts from me, Yes I'd suggest retaking the MCAT due to the 7, that will knock you out at a number of schools at their first screen. If the retaken MCAT was 10/9/9 you'd be in much better shape. Also, some schools (I know George Washington, I recall others as well) look at the highest scores in each section rather than the most recent mcat score. Enough focus on PS & you'd be in good shape! I somehow brought my PS score up from a 6 on the Kaplan diagnostic to a 10 on the MCAT, am sitting for the MCAT again in July, prepping with ExamKrackers, and hope for a similar or higher score than that! Lots of study time.

    Volunteering depends on where you want to be, I stopped volunteering in the OR and continue to volunteer in the ER because the ER allows much greater patient/family interaction, in the OR I was primarily assisting the medical staff (and to a lesser extent groggy patients). Depends on your preference, in that case I don't think one or the other would have looked "better" to an admissions committee. Patient contact is the key, however.
  7. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian 7+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    I would try and give it a second go. I had to grudgingly take mine again and I think having a 7 as part of my breakdown really hurt me, ven in that second try. But after that I felt like you and after talking to a number of people, I realised that a 3rd try might not be worth it because of some studying issues...etc. So I understand that you might just cringe at the idea of taking it again but as other posters have said, it would really help you to at least try it again and bring that PS section up. After that, if you still have the same thoughts based on your score, you can consider some alternate avenues, but for now, try and focus on getting that PS score up!

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