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This is speculation. These are not my scores.

If someone got a 7 on the verbal part of the MCAT, but their overall score is still 30+, would they be prevented from getting into MD schools?

Some websites of schools show that they want a minumum of 8 on each section, but do these represent the majority of MD views towards scores?

Can they not admit you due to the 7 or would they merely question you about it and move onto the rest of your application without it severely affecting your chances?
 

GrapesofRath

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This is speculation. These are not my scores.

If someone got a 7 on the verbal part of the MCAT, but their overall score is still 30+, would they be prevented from getting into MD schools?

Some websites of schools show that they want a minumum of 8 on each section, but do these represent the majority of MD views towards scores?

Can they not admit you due to the 7 or would they merely question you about it and move onto the rest of your application without it severely affecting your chances?
Look at MSAR. There are schools with 10th percentile verbal scores at 7. Any school that has a 10th percentile score at 7 or 8(in some cases maybe even a 9) could potentially be a possibility(obviously state of residency and other factors mattering a whole lot as well). Obviosuly it is not a good thing. There are clearly schools that screen out at 7. And there are many others where it will cause problems, even significant ones. But it alone has not kept out some people in the past.
 
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In some places in an almost automatic rejection. In most, if not all places, it would be a major negative impact and a huge flag to reject. Retaking the MCAT is not only the option here but should be considered a requirement
 
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To answer your question: possible yes, likely no.
Yeah OP I think "possible" isn't ever the best target. There will always be outliers that make things possible. statistically you won't get to be the exception to the rule, you will be the rule. Consider retaking after you figure out how to improve this in practice tests.

It's a very competitive process and for any allo school I can guaranty the wait list is going to be full of people who hit at least 9 in every section, which makes it that much harder to accept you.
 
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A friend of mine got into a top 20 with a 7 on Verbal but had 14s on the other 2 sections and spotless application otherwise.
 

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A friend of mine got into a top 20 with a 7 on Verbal but had 14s on the other 2 sections and spotless application otherwise.
Yes and I know a guy who won the state lottery. Doesn't mean squat about the wisdom of me buying lottery tickets. We all "know a guy". There will always be exceptions to any rule, always be extreme outliers. Unfortunately that will statistically not be the OPs fate, and so this kind of anecdote is probably counterproductive.
 

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Xyphr, Law is basically saying to be prudent and look at the overall probability here. He's not telling anyone to give up. He, like many others here at SDN, are just saying/have said to do whatever you can to make your best application, given the overriding stats of others that you are up against.

There are people that use the excuse of not wearing their seatbelt b/c of fear of veering off into a substantial body of water and not being able to get out. But the overwhelming majority of morbidity and mortality to people occurs as a result of impact and energy forces going back and through those within the vehicle; hence the restraining effect of the seatbelt may not protect you from everything; but it will protect you from being a free-flying body until stopped suddenly by impact on the steering column, windshield, whatever and the increasing impact force.

The likelihood of dying as a result of being trapped inside a vehicle that moves into a large body of water is significantly less than the likelihood of dying as a result of not wearing a seat-belt and experiencing increased impact force.

He's just being logical and suggesting that a person use science and statistics in their favor, whenever possible.
 

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@Law2Doc, with all due respect I don't understand why you feel so threatened by the success stories. All we're doing is telling him it is possible given the right circumstances. How can you possibly equate getting into medical school with a 35 to winning the lottery? I don't care what anyone says, if your score is 14/7/14, you will get into medical school. Probably many of them.

I love SDN but the stat shaming that constantly goes on here is pretty deplorable, especially considering how the same people stat shaming like to advocate for holistic review of applicants. I am really grateful I took the leap and applied because if I had listened to all the people who shamed me for applying with a 7, I would have gotten nowhere. Like I already said above, it would be UNLIKELY to get in with a 7, but nowhere near impossible. Instead of telling OP not to value "counterproductive anecdotes," why not offer actual advice? I'll bite: OP, excel in other aspects of your app, get an above average GPA and excellent/unique ECS, apply broadly and to many schools, and you will maximize your chances. Don't go in expecting to get accepted because chances are that you won't, but know that it ABSOLUTELY IS POSSIBLE (that is the title of this thread after all, right?)
It's also possible for an ORM to get into an MD with <23 MCAT, so why not try?
 
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By your logic, just because we know someone who won the Lotto, is it a worthwhile investment of recourse to buy Lotto tickets?

Possible =/= likely, nor reasonable.

@Law2Doc, with all due respect I don't understand why you feel so threatened by the success stories. All we're doing is telling him it is possible given the right circumstances. How can you possibly equate getting into medical school with a 35 to winning the lottery? I don't care what anyone says, if your score is 14/7/14, you will get into medical school. Probably many of them.

I love SDN but the stat shaming that constantly goes on here is pretty deplorable, especially considering how the same people stat shaming like to advocate for holistic review of applicants. I am really grateful I took the leap and applied because if I had listened to all the people who shamed me for applying with a 7, I would have gotten nowhere. Like I already said above, it would be UNLIKELY to get in with a 7, but nowhere near impossible. Instead of telling OP not to value "counterproductive anecdotes," why not offer actual advice? I'll bite: OP, excel in other aspects of your app, get an above average GPA and excellent/unique ECS, apply broadly and to many schools, and you will maximize your chances. Don't go in expecting to get accepted because chances are that you won't, but know that it ABSOLUTELY IS POSSIBLE (that is the title of this thread after all, right?)
 

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I'm applying with a 124 in CARS but 130 in bio/biochem. I have 3 II's so far and 0 rejections, so I don't think it's mattered so far. n=1 though.

Let's be honest....who actually cares about verbal?
 
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Three!! You told me two...did you just get another one? If so, can you share?

Note: I have five pages of PMing with Rachiie, and her lower VR score will do her no harm.


I'm applying with a 124 in CARS but 130 in bio/biochem. I have 3 II's so far and 0 rejections, so I don't think it's mattered so far. n=1 though.

Let's be honest....who actually cares about verbal?
 

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Three!! You told me two...did you just get another one? If so, can you share?

Note: I have five pages of PMing with Rachiie, and her lower VR score will do her no harm.
4!! I just got my 4th one in the last hour!

Georgetown
West Virginia
Rosalind Franklin
Oakland (just received!)

Edit (so I don't seem like an @sshole): I have very mediocre stats but spent a lot of time on my personal statement and tried to be thoughtful with my secondaries. I really don't think any 1 thing will break an otherwise strong application, so please don't get discouraged if you do have a wart on your app (death to verbal, anyway).
 

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4!! I just got my 4th one in the last hour!

Georgetown
West Virginia
Rosalind Franklin
Oakland (just received!)

Edit (so I don't seem like an @sshole): I have very mediocre stats but spent a lot of time on my personal statement and tried to be thoughtful with my secondaries. I really don't think any 1 thing will break an otherwise strong application, so please don't get discouraged if you do have a wart on your app (death to verbal, anyway).
Welp looks like someone is going to have options!.....did you make a WAMC thread or anything like that by chance that listed your stats out of curiosity?
 

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I really don't think any 1 thing will break an otherwise strong application, so please don't get discouraged if you do have a wart on your app (death to verbal, anyway).
Agreed (well, not about the verbal part, verbal was my jam). I have a not so stellar GPA that some people would probably tell me necessitates taking a gap year/doing a post-bacc. I applied anyway, though, because I thought I had a pretty decent application, and I currently have 5 interviews scheduled.
 

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By your logic, just because we know someone who won the Lotto, is it a worthwhile investment of recourse to buy Lotto tickets?

Possible =/= likely, nor reasonable.

Exactly this. It's good to make friends with reality.
 
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jl lin

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IDK, I think verbal is an important area in which to do well. Written and verbal communication is big in medicine. No matter what area of medicine you work, it will be important.

I think this sums it up:

"Verbal reasoning involves listening and reading. Demonstrating verbal reasoning requires speaking and writing. Verbal reasoning -- one of four basic cognitive reasoning skills -- encompasses almost all learning tasks considered part of a formal education. Even mathematics, which is a nonverbal skill, requires some verbal reasoning because it's generally taught through oral or written instruction. When most people discuss learning, they're talking about the ability to use verbal reasoning skills."--Catherine Donges


"Medical school admissions officers actually weight the verbal reasoning section the heaviest of the entire MCAT, because they view it as a measure of a student's ability to learn and communicate."--The Princeton Review
 

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The only students that typically get accepted with scores like that have either excellent everything else (13+ in BS and PS, research, etc) with English as a second language, are going to very uncompetitive state schools, or have excellent connections.
 

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Since you stated you know the difference between possibility and probability, why wouldn't you use that knowledge in endorsing an application plan, which leans more toward what is more probable?

I mean, it's possible I could get slammed by an astroid, but I live my life understanding that the probability of that occurring is low--at least at this point in time.

What is within one's locus of control is that which raises the level of their probability of success.

Not one person has said it isn't at all possible--not that I recall. What they are saying is it is less probable. But you know, there is that whole list on the re-applicant's forum--if that some comfort.:rolleyes:
 
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IDK, I think verbal is an important area in which to do well. Written and verbal communication is big in medicine. No matter what area of medicine you work, it will be important.

I think this sums it up:

"Verbal reasoning involves listening and reading. Demonstrating verbal reasoning requires speaking and writing. Verbal reasoning -- one of four basic cognitive reasoning skills -- encompasses almost all learning tasks considered part of a formal education. Even mathematics, which is a nonverbal skill, requires some verbal reasoning because it's generally taught through oral or written instruction. When most people discuss learning, they're talking about the ability to use verbal reasoning skills."--Catherine Donges


"Medical school admissions officers actually weight the verbal reasoning section the heaviest of the entire MCAT, because they view it as a measure of a student's ability to learn and communicate."--The Princeton Review
Lol yeah I'm good with not relying on Princeton Review for advice. Besides, every adcom I've talked to has told me that the bio section is weighed heaviest, and if you look at the data verbal is actually the worst indicator for step 1 success.

Major lol @ verbal being an indicator of my ability to listen and communicate. That doesn't even make sense. And I've said this before but I'll say it again: I scored 36 on ACT reading and english and 172 on the LSAT. A low verbal score can mean a number of things (you winged the test, you read slowly, you have test anxiety etc) but it certainly doesn't mean you aren't communicative, you won't do well on step 1 or you aren't intelligent.
 

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Everyone quoted me here and I can't respond individually, so let me ask you all for your opinion on something: should I have not applied myself with a 28 MCAT and 7 on verbal? If not, where do you draw the line between "go ahead and apply and take your chances" and "no way, apply next cycle? It really can't be that arbitrary.
I personally would have retaken with a 7 in any section or a score below 30. People do get in with those scores, but everything else needs to set you apart.
 

jl lin

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Lol yeah I'm good with not relying on Princeton Review for advice. Besides, every adcom I've talked to has told me that the bio section is weighed heaviest, and if you look at the data verbal is actually the worst indicator for step 1 success.

Major lol @ verbal being an indicator of my ability to listen and communicate. That doesn't even make sense. And I've said this before but I'll say it again: I scored 36 on ACT reading and english and 172 on the LSAT. A low verbal score can mean a number of things (you winged the test, you read slowly, you have test anxiety etc) but it certainly doesn't mean you aren't communicative, you won't do well on step 1 or you aren't intelligent.

PR was only one blurb. What was posted previous to that was from an experienced educator. I have taught, and on just about all the prep tests for which I have instructed, verbal was no. 1; b/c it reflects one's ability to learn, comprehend, and then apply and share that learning.
That's why if you can teach someone something, you, as teacher, will learn it even better. Teaching actually helps you learn, and teaching is about comprehending and communicating.

As you have shared, it would seem that you are one of those outliers to which Law2doc was referring. And that is totally fine. My thought would be there was something else that held down your MCAT verbal--I don't know? Nerves, timing, focusing so much on the sciences, hunger, who knows? But you are in general the exception and not the rule. That's great for you.

Step 1 is a whole different discussion b/c by that point you have to merge a lot from areas in order to makes an informed judgment--the way you think and the way you take actions and solve problem. But you still need that core of scientific knowledge in order to apply it, and you need the ability to reason well, both in the learning and the applying. IOWs, it's not an either or kind of thing.
 

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PR was only one blurb. What was posted previous to that was from an experienced educator. I have taught, and on just about all the prep tests for which I have instructed, verbal was no. 1; b/c it reflects one's ability to learn, comprehend, and then apply and share that learning.
That's why if you can teach someone something, you, as teacher, will learn it even better. Teaching actually helps you learn, and teaching is about comprehending and communicating.

As you have shared, it would seem that you are one of those outliers to which Law2doc was referring. And that is totally fine. My thought would be there was something else that held down your MCAT verbal--I don't know? Nerves, timing, focusing so much on the sciences, hunger, who knows? But you are in general the exception and not the rule. That's great for you.

Step 1 is a whole different discussion b/c by that point you have to merge a lot from areas in order to makes an informed judgment--the way you think and the way you take actions and solve problem. But you still need that core of scientific knowledge in order to apply it, and you need the ability to reason well, both in the learning and the applying. IOWs, it's not an either or kind of thing.
Show me data, not blurbs.
 

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Rachiie is being very modest. She has what I call a "compelling story".


4!! I just got my 4th one in the last hour!

Georgetown
West Virginia
Rosalind Franklin
Oakland (just received!)

Edit (so I don't seem like an @sshole): I have very mediocre stats but spent a lot of time on my personal statement and tried to be thoughtful with my secondaries. I really don't think any 1 thing will break an otherwise strong application, so please don't get discouraged if you do have a wart on your app (death to verbal, anyway).
 
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Goro

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There are schools for which you're in striking distance, and it also depended upon the rest of your app.

People do get accepted while having numbers < the 10th %ile.

I hedge bets with some SDNers, and tell others to go for it.



Everyone quoted me here and I can't respond individually, so let me ask you all for your opinion on something: should I have not applied myself with a 28 MCAT and 7 on verbal? If not, where do you draw the line between "go ahead and apply and take your chances" and "no way, apply next cycle? It really can't be that arbitrary.
 

jl lin

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Show me data, not blurbs.

Re: verbal reasoning and learning? The data is out there, if you are inclined to seek it.

But I am happy for your 2ndaries, etc. Like I said, you are more the exception and not the rule. You could probably kick butt on VR part of such tests. You've done it with other exams. So, it was some kind of testing fluke or something for you. All indicators seem to be you are well above average.

Good luck to you. :)
 

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Re: verbal reasoning and learning? The data is out there, if you are inclined to seek it.

But I am happy for your 2ndaries, etc. Like I said, you are more the exception and not the rule. You could probably kick butt on VR part of such tests. You've done it with other exams. So, it was some kind of testing fluke or something for you. All indicators seem to be you are well above average.

Good luck to you. :)
Thanks!

But for the sake of others reading this with low verbal scores, let's be clear that adcoms don't actually weigh verbal higher than bio and that verbal is the poorest predictor of all other metrics to predict step performance.
 

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Thanks!

But for the sake of others reading this with low verbal scores, let's be clear that adcoms don't actually weigh verbal higher than bio and that verbal is the poorest predictor of all other metrics to predict step performance.

Actually if you do a search on SDN, you'll find many threads noting the HIGHER correlation of the verbal section to USMLE results. An example citation from a 2006 thread is Academic Medicine. 80(10):910-917, October 2005, which presumably you can find on pubmed.
 
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Actually if you do a search on SDN, you'll find many threads noting the HIGHER correlation of the verbal section to USMLE results. An example citation from a 2006 thread is Academic Medicine. 80(10):910-917, October 2005, which presumably you can find on pubmed.
Hmm... I was just recently in a discussion with @efle where he pulled up the actual data for comparing various subsections of the MCAT, total MCAT score and GPA to Step 1 performance and verbal had the lowest correlation. I'm on my janky phone right now so I won't attempt to find that thread, but I'm fairly certain Wikipedia cites the same results.
 
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Hmm... I was just recently in a discussion with @efle where he pulled up the actual data for comparing various subsections of the MCAT, total MCAT score and GPA to Step 1 performance and verbal had the lowest correlation. I'm on my janky phone right now so I won't attempt to find that thread, but I'm fairly certain Wikipedia cites the same results.
Honestly, the correlation isn't all that impressive for any section, but the conventional wisdom on here, with multiple threads citing studies, is that verbal is the best of those crappy indicators. No idea whether its different for the new MCAT, but I wouldn't dismiss the verbal as less important. Frankly nothing on the MCAT will be important to you once its done, but verbal skills are more important to being a doctor (or any professional really) than bio or physics or chem knowledge.
 

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Honestly, the correlation isn't all that impressive for any section, but the conventional wisdom on here, with multiple threads citing studies, is that verbal is the best of those crappy indicators. No idea whether its different for the new MCAT, but I wouldn't dismiss the verbal as less important. Frankly nothing on the MCAT will be important to you once its done, but verbal skills are more important to being a doctor (or any professional really) than bio or physics or chem knowledge.
I still disagree. I've never seen any data that actually indicates that verbal is a stronger indicator than bio. Actually, I thought it was pretty common knowledge that bio was the best indicator. I know that @Goro would tell you bio trumps all.

If bio were less important then any english teacher could come take care of patients since their verbal is so great lol. emotional intelligence is important, but having the foundation to care for the patient is kind of the priority. I agree that listening and communicating is essential, I just don't see any proof that verbal tests for that.
 

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I still disagree. I've never seen any data that actually indicates that verbal is a stronger indicator than bio. Actually, I thought it was pretty common knowledge that bio was the best indicator. I know that @Goro would tell you bio trumps all.

If bio were less important then any english teacher could come take care of patients since their verbal is so great lol. emotional intelligence is important, but having the foundation to care for the patient is kind of the priority. I agree that listening and communicating is essential, I just don't see any proof that verbal tests for that.
Hate to break it to you, but a lot of us non-science majors are in medicine and feel that bio is of LEAST importance in being a doctor. I even know a guy who never took a bio course in his life, found a place that waived that prereq, and did well in med school and medicine. So yeah, an english teacher who completed the prereqs could be a great doctor. There's a reason that med schools have moved away from only exclusively admitting bio/biochem type majors like they did in the 70s -- these were not shown to be particularly advantageous for doctoring. Bio is not much of a foundation for medicine. Its minimally a foundation for biochem and path which is a foundation for some of med school.
 

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Hate to break it to you, but a lot of us non-science majors are in medicine and feel that bio is of LEAST importance in being a doctor. I even know a guy who never took a bio course in his life, found a place that waived that prereq, and did well in med school and medicine. So yeah, an english teacher who completed the prereqs could be a great doctor. There's a reason that med schools have moved away from only exclusively admitting bio/biochem type majors like they did in the 70s -- these were not shown to be particularly advantageous for doctoring. Bio is not much of a foundation for medicine. Its minimally a foundation for biochem and path which is a foundation for some of med school.
Lol I never said that only bio majors should be admitted! I don't believe that at all. But you have to have the ability to do well in bio more so than verbal. Someone who sucks at biology will have a rough time in medical school. Someone who bombed one verbal section will probs still be fine.
 
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... But you have to have the ability to do well in bio more so than verbal...
No -- I'm saying that's simply not the case. I don't know where you got the notion that bio has such importance, but it's pretty bogus. I'm far down the road and I use my verbal skills far more than any of the prereqs. Doctoring is more about communication and counseling than college science.

The prereqs are not things you need so much as a common set of metrics. They could require sociology, history English and business instead of the sciences and people would do just as well in med school.
 
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No -- I'm saying that's simply not the case. I don't know where you got the notion that bio has such importance, but it's pretty bogus. I'm far down the road and I use my verbal skills far more than any of the prereqs. Doctoring is more about communication and counseling than college science.

The prereqs are not things you need so much as a common set of metrics. They could require sociology, history English and business instead of the sciences and people would do just as well in med school.
I'm not talking about pre-reqs though and I'm not sure where that started getting factored in. I think gpa is a poor indicator too. I'm talking specifically about the influence of MCAT bio section versus the MCAT verbal section and how that plays into admissions. Based on the adcoms here, the bio section is considered more heavily. If you ask an adcom why, they'll tell you it's because it's the closest representation (on the MCAT) of med school curriculum they have and that it's the best indicator of performance on Step 1 .

Nowhere did I say that MCAT bio=med school curriculum or that any of these metrics are spectacular, but that another conversation. You can argue all you want about which of these numbers you think is best, but this discussion is about which numbers adcoms care about the most.

And because you seem to think that I value scientific knowledge so much more than humanism, I'll clarify right now that that isn't at all the case. I firmly believe that the best doctors are approachable, empathetic and sensitive to the needs of others. I agree that those with high scores in the sciences but lack people skills shouldn't go to medical school. However, I disagree with the notion that a low verbal score is indicative of ''people skills''. If you want to judge me based on my ability to communicate with others, my compassion, and my sensitivity, then do it in an interview and read my letters and essays, but don't judge people skills based on a 90 minute test that involves zero interaction with other people.
 

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There are papers on this people. Composite and Bio and Physics >> verbal (~.60s vs ~.40 iirc)
Can you link some please? Because @Law2Doc is saying the exact opposite

Actually if you do a search on SDN, you'll find many threads noting the HIGHER correlation of the verbal section to USMLE results. An example citation from a 2006 thread is Academic Medicine. 80(10):910-917, October 2005, which presumably you can find on pubmed.
 

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Honestly, the correlation isn't all that impressive for any section, but the conventional wisdom on here, with multiple threads citing studies, is that verbal is the best of those crappy indicators. No idea whether its different for the new MCAT, but I wouldn't dismiss the verbal as less important. Frankly nothing on the MCAT will be important to you once its done, but verbal skills are more important to being a doctor (or any professional really) than bio or physics or chem knowledge.
Verbal is an important section, but not really because applicants have communication skills (those are assessed by the interviews and essays), but more so on how applicants can decipher a set of unknown passages accurately within a short period. I think that's an important skill in itself since the medical career requires a lot of reading and analysis.
 

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Can you link some please? Because @Law2Doc is saying the exact opposite
Yeah I already gave one journal citation above from a prior discussion on this same topic. If you search on SDN there's a good thread from 2006 (as well as others -- this is an old rehashed topic) that cites a bunch of other articles showing that though the correlation between mcat and USMLE isn't that impressive, the verbal section had the best correlation.
 
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I have 2 IIs currently with a 7, and personally know 3 others who have matriculated with it. All of us are ORM.

To answer your question: possible yes, likely no.
Interesting that you usually neglect to mention that you're ESL. It changes the significance of your score in the VR/CARS section, and allays concerns that adcoms would usually have with such a score. You should also be able to recognize the difference between your scoring a 7 in VR and someone whose native tongue is English scoring a 7 in VR.
 
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Law2Doc

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There are papers on this people. Composite and Bio and Physics >> verbal (~.60s vs ~.40 iirc)
There are papers stating the exact opposite of what you just said. I referenced one above. There are more. This is an old rehashed discussion and if you go on pubmed youll find many papers which would reverse your equation.
 
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http://www.internationalgme.org/Resources/Pubs/Donnon et al (2007) Acad Med.pdf

Results: "...and (2) the biological sciences subtest as the best predictor of medical school performance in the preclinical years s (r 0.32 95% CI, 0.21– 0.42) and on the USMLE Step 1 (r 0.48 95% CI, 0.41– 0.54)." January 2007.

Edit: That ^^^ was a super quick google search and I don't have time or energy to search further, but I can assure you that there are plenty of papers (more recent than 2006) that cite the exact opposite of what your article states. I haven't had time to read the article you posted, but it would definitely be interesting if your article states one thing and multiple others found the exact opposite.
 

Lawpy

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Yeah I already gave one journal citation above from a prior discussion on this same topic. If you search on SDN there's a good thread from 2006 (as well as others -- this is an old rehashed topic) that cites a bunch of other articles showing that though the correlation between mcat and USMLE isn't that impressive, the verbal section had the best correlation.
Well regardless of what studies indicate what correlations, i'm fairly convinced that every section is important on the MCAT, so it should be everyone's goal to do the best they can and ideally score a 10+/127+ on each section. 9 is of course fine, but anything lower becomes concerning on a case by case basis.
 
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Discussion: "▪ Other than the biological sciences subtest with basic science/preclinical (r 0.40), all of the MCAT subtest predictive validity coefficients are small (range: r 0.00 to 0.29) for both the basic science/preclinical and clerkship/ clinical years of medical school performance."
 

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Verbal is an important section, but not really because applicants have communication skills (those are assessed by the interviews and essays), but more so on how applicants can decipher a set of unknown passages accurately within a short period. I think that's an important skill in itself since the medical career requires a lot of reading and analysis.
This is a good point except that the other two (now three) sections also require deciphering a set of unknown passages accurately within a short period, which assesses the ability to read and analyze.
 
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