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Official "Should I Retake?" Thread

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by QofQuimica, Jun 14, 2007.

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  1. bunnyguts


    Sep 4, 2011
    So I got my Jan MCAT scores back this week and I was slightly disappointed. I averaged about a 35-36 on the AAMC practice test (with a 38 on one of the last ones). I was hitting 9-11 on verbal and 12-14 for the bio and physical science. My score I got back from the real deal was 33Q (10V, 10P, 13B). I wasn't feeling super charged up in the beginning on test day mostly because I was trying to stay cool and not freak. The result I think was that I wasn't as sharp on the PS but I hit my stride for the rest of the test. I think that if I study a bit more and get more "in the zone" for physics that I might be able to bump that up a couple points. On the other hand is the couple points really going to make a difference especially considering there is always the possibility (albeit slim if I review for all sections) that one of the scores will go down? Thanks!
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  3. YzGuy22

    YzGuy22 2+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2012
    I took the 1/27/12 MCAT and scored a 12/ 6:confused:/11 (29N). I have no idea where the VR score came from because I didn't feel any differently than when I was taking the AAMC FL's and I never scored below an 8. Here are my FL scores in the order I took them:

    AAMC#5: 12/9/10=31
    AAMC #7: 11/8/10=29
    AAMC #4: 10/9/10=29
    AAMC #3: 12/10/11=33
    AAMC #8: 12/10/11=33
    AAMC #9: 13/9/12=34
    AAMC #10: 12/9/11=32
    AAMC #11: 11/9/12=32

    My GPA and science GPA are 3.95. I am currently adding to the 2 semesters of volunteering I have had at a hospital, started undergraduate research a few months ago (which I plan to continue until graduation), and became EMT-certified a couple years ago (but I haven't really done anything with the license). I know that my EC's need improvement, but the 6 in VR is reason alone to start studying again to re-take right?? My goal for medical school is UIC by the way. Thanks.
  4. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Unfortunately, getting a 6 in VR means you have to retake.
  5. flodhi1

    flodhi1 Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    Assuming you have a decent GPA there's absolutely no need to retake the MCAT at all. Great job on the Sciences!
  6. dreamweaver1988

    dreamweaver1988 Banned

    Sep 16, 2011
  7. ChampoftheWorld

    ChampoftheWorld 2+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2012
    I took my first MCAT 1/28 and got a 31P (9PS/9VR/13BS). My AAMC average was a 34 and I never got below 10 in any section in my practice tests. I feel like the ps score was just nerves and the verbal section the hardest of any section on the test. I'm planning on applying md/phd but I feel my score won't be competitive at nationally funded programs. I plan on applying broadly (some not nationally funded) but my goal schools are:
    Wake Forest
    South Carolina

    When I apply I will have 2 years research experience, Awarded 2 undergrad research fellowships, 2 presentations (one at a national conference) and the possibility of being on a publication as an author (most likely) or primary author (maybe). I also have a 4.0 gpa and good shadowing/ECs.

    Should I retake? If so would a June 21 test date be too late for the upcoming application cycle?

    Thanks in advance
  8. BruinBear13

    BruinBear13 7+ Year Member

    Jun 16, 2010

    My GPA is currently a 3.6 at a top UC. I am hoping it will be a 3.7 by the time I apply. Do you think that is still competitive for medical schools such as UCSD, UCLA, UCI ?
    I think I might be able to do better if I retake the MCAT, but would a 35-36 compared to the 33 I have make that big of a difference?
  9. flodhi1

    flodhi1 Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    Honesty California schools are rough there is a SDN member who applied 2 cycles with a 3.6 and 36 MCAT score from Cali now in the Caribbeans it's not common but shows the nature of California. I would apply early and broadly just be open to applying to OOS schools!
  10. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    That's someone that either applied very poorly, had basically no ECs, or was horrible at interview. Maybe even all three. Based on stats alone, that person shouldn't have gone to the Caribbean and probably should have gotten into an MD school.
  11. JRTennis19

    JRTennis19 2+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Scored a 32R with a 14PS, 8VR, 10BS. Very concerned about getting pre-screened out of many MD schools due to the 8 in verbal and the large range in section scores. Thoughts on re-taking? Willing to apply OOS and broadly if necessary.
  12. flodhi1

    flodhi1 Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    i totally agree.
  13. Maxine450

    Maxine450 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2011
    I posted this on the general discussion but I'll go again.

    I've taken the MCAT twice. The first time, I voided. The second time I got a 28Q (while working full time). I've now decided to quit my job and study for the MCAT full time. The problem is when to take it. I really didn't count on having to take it again, since I thought that I was going to do well (average around 33). Now that I haven't, I've lost my advantage for applying the earliest possible.

    The two dates I'm considering are May 31st or June 22. Is June too late ? I don't want to take it late because I want my application in as early as possible. I already registered for June. What to do?? What if I'm not ready for the 31st?
  14. torshi

    torshi Squirrel 5+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    I would go for June to give you more time, no need to rush and do a May test. June is not late, you'll get your scores back mid July. You will be fine.
  15. Bruin2012


    Mar 15, 2012
    Hey everyone! My current MCAT score is a 30 (P 11, B 11, V 8). I actually applied last cycle (entering class 2012) and received 5 interviews. I am currently on the waitlist on all 5 schools. I am sick to my stomach about these waitlists... and am very fearful that I won't get accepted.

    So instead of moping, I have devised a plan. I am planning to retake my MCAT this May to reapply this June. I will devote 2 months of full-time MCAT prepping to get ready for the May 31 test. Do you guys think it would be worth my time to retake?
  16. Bruin2012


    Mar 15, 2012
    I was also debating the same thing. The next date after May 31 is June 21. For that June test date, scores don't come out until July 24 which is pretty late already. I think the 3 extra weeks would be really nice to have but submitting on July 24 and waiting for 4 weeks to get verified is too long. I feel this will really put me at a disadvantage. Don't know what to do... :confused:
  17. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    I wouldn't suggest it. Getting 5 interviews shows that your stats were fine for those schools. However, getting 5 interviews and no acceptances also demonstrates that you have weak interview skills that need some serious work. You should address the actual problem with your application, i.e. your interview skills, and not give yourself another headache by trying to improve your MCAT when it isn't needed. Not to mention if you do worse on your MCAT, schools will not look kindly on it.
  18. Bruin2012


    Mar 15, 2012
    I agree! My interview skills are terrible and need serious work :(. I just psych myself out WAAAAY too much and end up being so nervous. My only concern about not retaking the MCAT, is that nothing new will be added to my application this upcoming June since I applied last year. Won't school looks down upon this since I haven't technically done anything (other than refining my BAD interview skills) to "improve" my application since last time?

    If I apply this upcoming June, will the schools be able to see the past interviews I received?
  19. Fing Fang Foom

    Fing Fang Foom 2+ Year Member

    May 13, 2011
    MCAT 27O (PS 9/VR 8/BS 10)
    3.3 GPA

    I applied to schools on November 15 and December 15, which is very late in the cycle. I had quite a few rejections and almost all of them stated something about the large number of applicants (over 11,000 for one school) but there are schools that I have not heard from. I was quickly invited for an interview at IU in February. Didn't receive a letter today so I need to be proactive. I am not sure how long to give myself to study to retake the MCAT if I do need to retake it. If I do retake it I know that I want to apply early.
  20. cwmccoy


    Mar 20, 2012
    25N (7PS 9V 9BS)
    3.64 overall gpa
    3.61 science

    I took the MCAT May 20th of last year. I took a Kaplan course, this time i think i am going to use the 3 month schedule. I am on the waitlist at one school, so i might not need to re-take but want to plan for the worse. I took some of the AAMC full lengths in my last preparations, and i was wondering if it would be ok to use those to study this time around or should i find others?
  21. Sdsu1990

    Sdsu1990 2+ Year Member

    Mar 24, 2012
    I am having a lot of trouble with the steps that I should take next. I took the mcat and got a 22Q (8 PS, 5 VR, 9BS). To say the least, I was really unhappy with my score. I took a prep course and was getting high 20s to low 30s on my practice tests. I have a 3.8 gpa overall and a 3.76 science. I have a lot of ECs (have been in a research lab for two years, lots of volunteering, shadowing, and leadership on my college campus). With that score, I know that I need to retake but does anybody have suggestions on what prep material to use? I am wanting to apply to both MD and DO schools. I was going to retake the mcat in August and apply in June but I'm not sure how schools will look at the look at the first score because they will get that score and then not get my retake until September. Anybody have any suggestions?
  22. fas376


    Jul 28, 2011
    Hey man, try Berkeley Review. It has pretty in-depth content as well as tons of practice passages after each chapter. Your overall GPA and average are amazing, so just work on that MCAT! Even with a 28, you should be fine with MD schools since everything else is perfect. I would submit your apps early and then note that you'll be retaking. Good luck!
  23. Bauer


    Mar 23, 2012
    This one is tough. My scores are well rounded, but could definitely improve. Taking the practice exams under testing conditions, I was averaging 33-36. Should I retake or let it ride?

    PS: 9
    VR: 9
    BS: 9
    WS: P

    Total: 27P

    P.S. I'm interested in allopathic schools.
  24. stolen_biscuit

    stolen_biscuit MS3 5+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    What does everything else look like? GPA?

    My thoughts would be to retake unless the rest of your app blows them out of the water. If your average was that much higher (consistently), it shouldn't be a ton of practice to get back there; yet even another point in each section would put you in a whole different category.

    Of course, compare to the stats of your target schools to see their averages/standard deviations.
  25. jalba3


    Dec 4, 2009
    GPA: 3.57
    Science GPA: 3.63

    VR: 6
    PS: 8
    BS: 10


    I'm primarily interested in osteopathic schools, but will definitely attempt to get into some allopathic schools. My advisors told me to retake it in order to improve on VR.

    My main concern/question is that if durring my retake, I feel that I did significantly worse, should I void my score?
  26. movax

    movax 2+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2009
    Query from a buddy of mine, MCAT was 32S (12, 10, 10), wondering if he should retake? GPA is low (3.4) from being a double engineering major, non-trad who's been working full-time for two years.

    I told him if that he sees solid improvement in practice tests, he may as well go for it. He said he fell apart/got super-stressed in the BS section and ran out of time, which may have contributed to the 10. Otherwise, I was thinking he had a solid chance keeping the 32 and applying June 1st/broadly. Thoughts?

    e: Though, I was also concerned about the 12 in PS possibly dropping points at the expense of the other sections.
  27. IUXU


    Apr 2, 2012
    Hey guys, I took the MCAT twice, the first time I got,
    P: 8
    V: 9
    B: 8
    Essay: Q
    I just used the Princeton Review tests thinking that those were good enough to prepare me. So then my second time around I took ALL of the AAMC practice tests. This time I got,
    P: 9
    V: 8
    B: 8
    Essay: S
    I was really shocked to see my Biology score so low since I felt really confident about that particular section after taking the test. My individual scores arent too bad (nothing lower than an 8) its just the cumulative score thats kind of a bummer. I'm considering retaking but unfortunately I have exhausted my best resources for practice (AAMC practice tests) My GPA is a 3.5. I have shadowed 7 doctors. I have many hours of volunteering at several different departments of 2 hospitals and I have also made a missionary trip to Haiti. I have worked as phlebotomist for almost a year. I had to discontinue that for school and studying for MCAT.
  28. BYUgrad

    BYUgrad 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2012
    Here is my score:

    PS: 7
    VR: 11
    BS: 8
    WS: M

    I have a 3.5 GPA and lots of shadowing and volunteer hours. I applied last year and got one interview with a possible wait list. If I don't get in, I am considering studying for the MCAT all summer and retaking it in August or September to apply next year. I am interested mainly in DO. Should I go through with this plan? If so, does anyone have any suggestions on what materials to use to improve my BS and especially my PS score. I want to get both of them up to at least 10.

  29. MedPR

    MedPR Banned

    Dec 1, 2011
    Retake. Use TBR if you didn't the last time.
  30. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    IUXU: For MD schools, you have to not only retake the MCAT, but you must make a serious improvement. This is especially the case considering you retook with no overall score increase.
  31. MedPR

    MedPR Banned

    Dec 1, 2011

    A 25 on the MCAT kind of negates everything you've done. You need to retake it and also show a significant improvement. Good luck!
  32. coyotelime

    coyotelime 5+ Year Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    I posted this once already but received mixed opinions. I need to sign up now if I decide to retake, so here goes again.

    11/9/10, 30S

    3.7 cGPA, 3.6 sGPA, strong upward trend (3.2F/3.8S/3.8-3.9 this year hopefully)
    Top 20, no grade inflation
    All my other ECs/LORs are in place and should be above average.

    I was consistently hitting 33-34 on my practice tests. 30 was my low. It may have been a combination of test anxiety/ridiculous verbal. If I were to retake, I would take May 31st and prepare for 2 weeks (1 week content + 1 week practice).

    Is this worth a retake? I would be happy with any allopathic school. Thanks!
  33. slwnstdy

    slwnstdy 2+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2011
    IMO I would say no (as in don't retake!) Unless you think it wouldn't take much to go up from a 30 (some of it is getting lucky--questions you are strong at etc..). You have a strong GPA as well.

    I took the 3/24 test and would be so so so happy with a 30 :) But we all have different goals! I think sometimes when looking so much at SDN people forget that a 30 is a good score to apply with.

    I know personally I don't want to retake unless absolutely necessary (expensive/stressful etc..)

    You must way the pros/cons.

    Good luck either way!
  34. MedPR

    MedPR Banned

    Dec 1, 2011

    No, especially if you only play to do 2 weeks of prep.
  35. jhonny rockit

    jhonny rockit

    Apr 21, 2012
    took MCAT once 27L: 10V 9B 8P

    post bac gpa 3.9
    undergrad gpa 2.7

    I started college at 22 years old, 28 now. Non-traditional UIM (underrepresented in medicine) student. Letters of rec are very strong. EC are strong. Work full-time with no parent or family support.

    Last time I took off 4 days work to study. Not sure how I can make time to study and do better.

    Do I have a chance at California MD schools? or is a retake a must?
  36. lorien129


    Apr 14, 2012
    I'm on track to apply June 1st this cycle (MD), and I just got my scores. I'm wondering if I should try for some heavy cramming and take the test again.
    BS 10
    PS 8
    VR 11
    GPA is a 3.75 currently, should stay that way/go up a bit for the end of the semester.

    My ECs are interesting: research experience is really, really good, clinical is decent (80 hours shadowing and 200 hours in a clinical lab), while volunteering is a bit poor (<100). Solid LoRs

    Should I retake the MCAT? Reach school is Cornell, and I know this score weak for them.
    Thank you!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  37. maxx52188

    maxx52188 7+ Year Member

    Mar 11, 2009
    PS: 12
    VR: 8
    BS: 11
    WS: L

    cGPA: 3.72
    sGPA: 3.75

    First three semesters I had a 2.9 cGPA, after realizing I wanted to do something in the medical field, my cGPA has been a 3.95 and my sGPA a 4.0

    I come from a Cali state school. I have an thousands of hours working for a medical foundation doing clinical and administrative work. I play division one rugby, I have a good amount of leadership ECs (I definitely stand out as a leader), one semester of biomechanical research, 8 month clinical exercise physiology internship, monthly blood drive volunteering for about 6 months, during the off season, the rugby team volunteers its time around the community doing various things, I took notes for a deaf man in my history class during every class meeting, and I have 80+ hours of shadowing experience

    Yesterday I got my MCAT score, and I promised myself that since I got above a thirty, I was not going to retake. Today, I'm beginning to reconsider.

    I'm applying EARLY this june.

    If I retook the MCAT, I'd do it July 27th.

    I'm concerned my verbal and WS are going to keep me out of medical school (I know they'll hinder me, but i am more concerned about them completely ruining me). I don't want to go to some prestigious university, and I don't care if I stay in cali or not. I just want to go to ----ing medical school and become a physician.

    Am I right that I'm sitting fine for DO?

    Now what about MD? (NATIONWIDE)

    If I got the same scores on my retake, how is that looked at by medical schools?
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  38. daymann

    daymann 5+ Year Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    I've posted here bere, and I've posted in the chances thread too, but I'm still at a loss of whether I should retake or not. I'm applying this summer and my gpa is a 3.8. My mcat was a 31M(11/10/10). If I choose to retake, the earliest I could would be the end of May, which would mean my application would be complete by the end of June, correct? Or would my application be complete regardless, since I already have one score?
  39. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    I wouldn't recommend it.
  40. JustMeditate

    JustMeditate Not a potato! 2+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  41. cdavidso


    Apr 28, 2012
    New Orleans, LA
    Total: 29P
    GPA: 3.54 total; 3.65 science

    I scheduled to retake it 5/31/12. I scored roughly the same on the practice test I took a few days ago. Not sure if my score is going to be improved enough by 5/31:( x.x Help!
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  42. 09ine


    Apr 12, 2011
    What do you guys think is the minimum MCAT score that someone with a 3.71 GPA should be getting to offset their GPA?
  43. flodhi1

    flodhi1 Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    A 3.71 is a high GPA, you don't need to "offset" your GPA, anything > 30 would be great.
  44. flodhi1

    flodhi1 Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    A 29 could be enough but it depends on your ECs, LORs, PS and most importantly how early & broadly you apply. If you feel like you will score lower on the next try then I would not retake. If you start scoring in the mid 30s on the practice test then go ahead other wise just get a gist of your performance exam day as in if you should void or not. You could apply June 1st and apply to 30 + schools of good choice and just update them with your new MCAT score.

    I have a good feeling as long as you have average ECs your high GPA combined with that MCAT should get you into a DO school. In the case you don't get in I would focus on both but more on ECs since DO schools care about the softer things of an applicant than just the raw stats.
  45. 1289


    Feb 3, 2012
    29R, applied this cycle but very late due to late mcat, received 3 MD interviews and 3 waitlist positions.. first mcat date that's available in my state right now is July 14th. Better to apply earlier this year w same mcat, or retake July 14th?
  46. flodhi1

    flodhi1 Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    Apply early and broadly, if you received 3 interviews late it's a safe bet to say that the rest of your application is strong enough to get you accepted with a 29.
  47. coolster0040

    coolster0040 2+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    Not trying to brag but I got a 36N

    Will the N on writing negatively impact my application?
  48. km17

    km17 Annyong 5+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    If your verbal is at least 8 and you're not Canadian, nope!
  49. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden 2+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2012
    My MCAT score is a 32O (11/9/12). GPA is low (cGPA 3.0, sGPA 2.7). I am either doing an SMP next year or a 1-year biochem masters. From what I've read, the SMP is more favored on SDN. My clinical experience are very good and I think I will get some good LORs when I apply to med school next year. So...should I retake the MCAT? I'd appreciate any advice!
  50. MMaplegrove

    MMaplegrove 2+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2011
    30R (10/10/10)
    1 year research (working on manuscript)
    ~100 clinical hours
    Applying to: Jefferson, Temple, UPenn (def a reach), Drexel, Pitt, Penn State, a few out of state (not sure which yet).

    This is really a borderline score for me. I was hoping to do at least like 32/33 and I would have been happy but 30 is just a little too low for comfort. :( What do you guys think?
  51. flodhi1

    flodhi1 Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    No need for a retake it's your GPA hindering your application not the MCAT. SMP is a good option.

    As long as you apply broadly and early trust me you'll be fine. Your 3.79/30 should no doubt open doors. Make sure you apply to some low-tier med schools just to be safe, mostly you should be applying to mid-tier.

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