Sep 10, 2020
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Hey guys. I have not been able to study for the MCAT as much as I would have liked to and I scored low on the Princeton Review practice test (487). Over a month ago when I realized I wasn't where I wanted to be at study wise, I looked into changing my test day but there were no more seats available for a later date. I have a 3.85 GPA and everything else on my application is very good so I am not sure what to do since the MCAT testing dates are virtually over for the year... Should I void it/cancel/keep it??? If I void or cancel it, how would that work with needing to take the MCAT next year and my application now? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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Princeton is notorious for having difficult exams, and as a result, their scores are deflated. They're also not reflective of what the MCAT is like. A princeton score of 487 is around mid to high 490s. Regardless, I would advise to hold off and cancel the MCAT until youre consistently hitting at least +/- 3 points of your target score. Any score below 500 is a serious red flag and indicates you have large gaps in your content knowledge. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by hastily applying.

It sucks having to put off your application for another year but the process of becoming a med student is a marathon, not a 100m dash. Use the time in between to reflect what you can improve on and tackle it again with a fresh mindset.
 
Sep 10, 2020
7
0
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Princeton is notorious for having difficult exams, and as a result, their scores are deflated. They're also not reflective of what the MCAT is like. A princeton score of 487 is around mid to high 490s. Regardless, I would advise to hold off and cancel the MCAT until youre consistently hitting at least +/- 3 points of your target score. Any score below 500 is a serious red flag and indicates you have large gaps in your content knowledge. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by hastily applying.

It sucks having to put off your application for another year but the process of becoming a med student is a marathon, not a 100m dash. Use the time in between to reflect what you can improve on and tackle it again with a fresh mindset.


Thank you for your feedback. How would cancelling it affect my applications that are already submitted? And I can definitely see where taking time off to better prepare would be advantageous but I'm also curious if having a lower score is means for an automatic decline? Or would they look at everything together?
 
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Screamapillar

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Jun 23, 2013
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when is your test? have you taken any AAMC full length exams? those are usually the best indicator of where you're at.

3.85 is a good GPA, so I would wait until you have the MCAT to match it (probably 510+), otherwise you're really handicapping yourself in this process. a <500 MCAT will close most MD doors. you can always retake, but when you send in your scores all schools see all scores, so if possible its best to avoid having any bad scores on your record.
 
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Jul 10, 2019
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Thank you for your feedback. How would cancelling it affect my applications that are already submitted? And I can definitely see where taking time off to better prepare would be advantageous but I'm also curious if having a lower score is means for an automatic decline? Or would they look at everything together?

It depends on the school but most MDs will auto-reject a 500 or below. A cancellation will not show up on your record.
 
Sep 10, 2020
7
0
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
when is your test? have you taken any AAMC full length exams? those are usually the best indicator of where you're at.

3.85 is a good GPA, so I would wait until you have the MCAT to match it (probably 510+), otherwise you're really handicapping yourself in this process. a <500 MCAT will close most MD doors. you can always retake, but when you send in your scores all schools see all scores, so if possible its best to avoid having any bad scores on your record.


Yes, the full length one was the 487, and it was a pretty even distribution (I read somewhere that if you're going to have a low score it better be evenly distributed lol). Not sure if it matters in how you guys think about my GPA but I am a Chemistry major.... And to answer your question the exam is tomorrow. With COVID rules they allow cancelation on the day of but I was really hoping not to since I wasn't sure how that'd affect my application/timing.
 
May 6, 2019
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Cancel it. Even with a 3.85 gpa a 487 on a AAMC full length shows a serious lack of content knowledge that you cannot make up in a day. Even if you only applied DO you would be DOA for most schools and if you were thrown a bone at all it would be to the newest DO schools which have yet to prove themselves so it would be a huge gamble on your end.

It also shows a serious lack of judgement to take the MCAT and get a score in that range even if you managed to increase the points significantly for a retake.
 
Aug 6, 2020
228
254
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I am only interested in DO schools. Not because getting in is stereotypically easier but because I prefer the more holistic approach.

If you include OMM as part of the holistic approach, that isn't necessarily true in practice. Have you shadowed any DOs? The DO Otolargyngologist I shadowed vehemently avoids using any OMM. Even the Family Medicine DO I spoke to, only uses it sparingly, and exclusively for lower back pain.
 
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Sep 10, 2020
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Cancel it. Even with a 3.85 gpa a 487 on a AAMC full length shows a serious lack of content knowledge that you cannot make up in a day. Even if you only applied DO you would be DOA for most schools and if you were thrown a bone at all it would be to the newest DO schools which have yet to prove themselves so it would be a huge gamble on your end.

It also shows a serious lack of judgement to take the MCAT and get a score in that range even if you managed to increase the points significantly for a retake.


Would it be advantageous to at least take it then void?

Also, how would that affect an application already in process (i.e. Submitted just waiting for scores)?
 
Aug 6, 2020
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Would it be advantageous to at least take it then void?

Also, how would that affect an application already in process (i.e. Submitted just waiting for scores)?

Nah, because most people who intend to void, end up not voiding the test!
Did you submit a buttload of primaries already?
 
Aug 6, 2020
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Really? Why don't they void?

And 2 primaries. Would I have to redo that?

Happy to hear you didn't submit more than 2! It can be scary if someone submits ALL of their primaries...then later receiving an awful MCAT score.
I think it's mainly either a surge of confidence, or a "why the heck not" attitude. Never a good idea.
 
Jul 10, 2019
542
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I am only interested in DO schools. Not because getting in is stereotypically easier but because I prefer the more holistic approach.

You should try for MD because you have the stats to do so (assuming you score well on the MCAT). Quite frankly, both MD and DO practice holistic medicine these days. It isn't just unique to DOs. A lot has changed in medicine recently and DO students now have to work twice as hard as their MD counterparts in order to achieve the same results.

Really? Why don't they void?

And 2 primaries. Would I have to redo that?

I guess you can use the real MCAT as a learning experience and void it. Schools will never know.

Many DO schools will also auto-reject scores below 500. Some don't have minimum requirements for the MCAT, however anything less than 500 doesn't inspire confidence in those who read your file. You can check the link in my signature for DO school stats.

With your stats aim for 505+ and you'll have a solid shot in DO
 
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Screamapillar

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Jun 23, 2013
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Yes, the full length one was the 487, and it was a pretty even distribution (I read somewhere that if you're going to have a low score it better be evenly distributed lol). Not sure if it matters in how you guys think about my GPA but I am a Chemistry major.... And to answer your question the exam is tomorrow. With COVID rules they allow cancelation on the day of but I was really hoping not to since I wasn't sure how that'd affect my application/timing.
the reason I ask about AAMC Fl's is because above you mentioned that your test was a Princeton Review test. these tests are usually both harder and just different from the actual test. AAMC releases old MCAT that you can take to get a good idea where you stand. however, a 487 on a PR exam still indicates significant content gaps that would likely lead to a similar score on AAMC materials.

chemistry is a tough major, so that will also help you out, although schools don't care too much about that kind of thing. even if you're only interested in DO schools scoring below 500 is pretty detrimental, and 495 could probably be considered a lethal score for those schools. i know it sucks to delay for a year (i've been delayed for 4!), but with how competitive this process is you have to be methodical or you run the risk of never getting in!
 
Sep 10, 2020
7
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Status
  1. Pre-Medical
the reason I ask about AAMC Fl's is because above you mentioned that your test was a Princeton Review test. these tests are usually both harder and just different from the actual test. AAMC releases old MCAT that you can take to get a good idea where you stand. however, a 487 on a PR exam still indicates significant content gaps that would likely lead to a similar score on AAMC materials.

chemistry is a tough major, so that will also help you out, although schools don't care too much about that kind of thing. even if you're only interested in DO schools scoring below 500 is pretty detrimental, and 495 could probably be considered a lethal score for those schools. i know it sucks to delay for a year (i've been delayed for 4!), but with how competitive this process is you have to be methodical or you run the risk of never getting in!


So just to clarify because I don't think anyone specifically answered this question... How would canceling my MCAT directly impact my already submitted applications? Will LORs have to be redone by recommenders? Will a new personal statement have to be written? What will the schools I submitted to do with my application? Things of that nature.... so I guess that could be simplified to will I have to start over?
 

Screamapillar

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Jun 23, 2013
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So just to clarify because I don't think anyone specifically answered this question... How would canceling my MCAT directly impact my already submitted applications? Will LORs have to be redone by recommenders? Will a new personal statement have to be written? What will the schools I submitted to do with my application? Things of that nature.... so I guess that could be simplified to will I have to start over?
basically, you would withdraw any active applications (i.e. ones which you have submitted a primary for). your recommenders could submit the same LOR's next year, but it might be nice to get a new one with updates. same with personal statement, since you only submitted to two schools you wouldn't necessarily have to update it, they're the only schools that have seen it; but you may want to update it based on your experiences this year. basically, you wouldn't have to start from scratch, but you would be wise to update things.
 

GreenDuck12

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Mar 30, 2014
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So just to clarify because I don't think anyone specifically answered this question... How would canceling my MCAT directly impact my already submitted applications? Will LORs have to be redone by recommenders? Will a new personal statement have to be written? What will the schools I submitted to do with my application? Things of that nature.... so I guess that could be simplified to will I have to start over?

If your primary application has been verified and you listed schools, you will be considered a reapplicant at those programs for any subsequent application. This is not a big deal. Your LORs are fine. You may want to ask professors to update the letter by changing the date but I would only do this if the letters are 3+ years old. You should work on your PS over the course of the year.
 
Mar 14, 2019
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So just to clarify because I don't think anyone specifically answered this question... How would canceling my MCAT directly impact my already submitted applications? Will LORs have to be redone by recommenders? Will a new personal statement have to be written? What will the schools I submitted to do with my application? Things of that nature.... so I guess that could be simplified to will I have to start over?
Yes. Nobody else directly answered your question. Unless a school has waived the MCAT requirement this year due to COVID (as Stanford has done), while some schools will send secondaries and a few might even send IIs without a MCAT score, your application will not be complete without it, and you will never get to a final review stage, so you will not receive a decision, other than maybe a rejection after the deadline for MCAT submission. You will then be a reapplicant next year.

Some DO schools apparently have MCAT deadlines in 2021 for this cycle. You might want to look into them so you can take the test in January if that is something that you would be interested in. You won't be able to move your 2020 MCAT to January since it's a new test year, but you can cancel any date this year and get a full refund, so it won't cost you anything (other than whatever the increased fee will be next year) to do this.
 

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