Pre-Allo FAQ Series: What is more important GPA or MCAT?

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DoctorPardi

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Here's the idea guys, the staff for pre-allo will be assembling a FAQ thread, based on the community's responses. The way this will work is, I will open a new thread with a question commonly asked in pre-allo. Then the community will debate and discuss and give their own opinions on it.

Once this topic has been covered in some depth I will close the thread and begin the next topic. Each thread will be linked to in a main FAQ Thread, which should hopefully cover many of the most common topics in pre-allo.

The first discussion in this series will be, "What is more important GPA or MCAT?"

Feel free to discuss this at length, especially good posts may be edited into the first post or linked too otherwise. Inappropriate, or off-topic posts will be deleted to keep the discussion on track.

Thanks, and I hope we can all work together to create a comprehensive FAQ that is useful for the entire community

-DoctorPardi
 

LifetimeDoc

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From what I have gathered, both GPA and MCAT are important, but in different ways...

GPA : this measures your ability to work hard, to spend the time to learn, assimilate, and regurgitate various topics over a long period of time, and to juggle various classes, activities, and life experiences while doing it. This is split into an overall GPA and a Science GPA (BCMP: Biology Chemistry Math & Physics).

MCAT : this measures your ability to take standardized tests (specifically its correlation to your performance on the USMLE), to comprehend and assimilate new material quickly, and to test your basic science knowledge so it can be compared to others on a level playing field.
 
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hsperson

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I admire the thought, but I must point out that this issue is not one that most premeds have grounds to debate about. The fact that you call it a "debate" hints at the speculation and flawed arguments that would follow. Instead of having a thread in which premeds, greatly inexperienced with the "application game," argue in circles about something that they are ultimately in the dark about, why not keep a thread merely asking what some experienced adcomms think about GPA vs MCAT etc. The point of which would be to get some real, useful advice and not take flawed pseudo-advice from premeds who know just as little about this "game" as I. That would really be of help to me.
 
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LifetimeDoc

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I admire the thought, but I must point out that this issue is not one that most premeds have grounds to debate about. The fact that you call it a "debate" hints at the speculation and flawed arguments that would follow. Instead of having a thread in which premeds, greatly inexperienced with the "application game," argue in circles about something that they are ultimately in the dark about, why not keep a thread merely asking what some experienced adcomms think about GPA vs MCAT etc. The point of which would be to get some real, useful advice and not take flawed pseudo-advice from premeds who know just as little about this "game" as I. That would really be of help to me.

Maybe the pre-allo forum should be read-only then and only adcoms are allowed to post? :rolleyes: :laugh:
 
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Eric Lindros

It's a trick question. Both mean different things to each school. You can't answer it.

Next question.
 

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GPA: Below a 3.5 hurts, above a 3.8 helps, otherwise I think schools pay more attention to where you went to school and what you took - i.e. rocks for jocks vs. intensive calc-based physics.

MCAT: Just like the SAT, the big equalizer. Scores in the 30-35 range represent significantly different test results, 35+ differences are trivial, anything below a 30 will make you much less competitive unless you have a good excuse and stellar recs/extracurrics. It's one test (assuming you take it once), so adcoms know it's only a snapshot of your ability.

My guess would be the MCAT is a representation of your reasoning ability/scientific aptititude, GPA represents how consistent your work will be. The less impressive your undergrad, the more important the MCAT will be.
 

spicedmanna

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I agree with those saying that there isn't a meaningful answer to this question. However, my take on it is that it is like asking, "which is more important, your right leg, or your left leg?"

Sound performance in both are equally essential for successful application to allopathic medical schools. They both provide predictive indications on a given student's potential for medical school success, and each school uses this information according to their own specifications. It is best to look at the data available in the MSAR as a guideline.

However, the question can be examined on a more generic stance. There is some available data on the predictive value of the MCAT and the undergraduate GPA (UGPA). According to one study (Koenig & Wiley, 1996), the MCAT and the UGPA both correlated moderately with medical school grades when considered individually, but when taken together, correlated more strongly with medical school grades, as one would suspect. Also, as common sense would predict, the MCAT correlated much more strongly with USMLE Step I than UGPA data (Koenig & Wiley, 1996). As with medical school grades, when the data were taken together, the correlation was higher (Koenig & Wiley, 1996). So, according to this particular study, the MCAT is a better indicator overall, but one should really look at both together to get the best prediction of medical school grades and USMLE Step I performance.

Here is the actual quote from the abstract, taken from AAMC's website:

AAMC Website said:
Koenig, J.A.; Wiley, A. The Validity of the Medical College Admission Test for Predicting Performance in the First Two Years of Medical School. Academic Medicine, 71;S83-S85, 1996.

PURPOSE: To assess the validity of the Medical College Admission Test for predicting performance in the first two years of Medical School.

METHODS: Sixteen medical schools, representative of the 125 U.S. medical schools, participated in the predictive validity study. Data obtained from each school included basic science grades, USMLE Step 1 scores, MCAT scores, undergraduate GPA (UGPA), undergraduate institution selectivity, medical school grades, and Step 1 scores. Relationships among the variables were analyzed using multiple regression analysis. Regressions were run separately for the entrants to each school. Two student cohort groups were studied, those who entered medical school in the falls of 1992 and 1993. Performance was summarized by computing end-of-year grade point averages for each year and a two-year cumulative GPA, which was the simple average of the two end-of-year averages. Multiple correlation coefficients were obtained for five unique predictor sets: Undergraduate science GPA and undergraduate nonscience GPA (UGPAs); MCAT scores; UGPAs and selectivity; UGPAs and MCATs; and UGPAs, selectivity, and MCAT scores. For each regression, all variables were entered simultaneously.

RESULTS: MCAT scores had slightly higher correlations with medical school grades (median correlations ranging from .615 to .67) than did UGPA data (median correlations ranging from .54 to .58). Prediction of performance was improved when the two sets of predictors were considered together (median correlations of .70 to .76). A considerable difference was noted when median correlations were compared for UGPA predicting Step 1 (median R=.48) versus MCAT predicting Step 1 (median R=.72). When MCAT and GPA data were considered jointly, the median correlation coefficient increased. MCAT's utility in the admission process became evident when values obtained for predictor set 3 (UGPA and selectivity) were compared with those obtained for predictor set 5 (UGPA, selectivity, and MCAT). The increases in median values were .15 for year 1 GPA, .11 for year 2 GPA, .12 for cumulative GPA, and .22 for USMLE Step 1.

CONCLUSIONS: The authors noted that establishing the validity of the MCAT for predicting performance in the first two basic science years of medical school is a crucial step in the overall validity studies planned for the MCAT. In addition to the variables examined in their study, the authors suggested that other criterion variables need to be evaluated such as USMLE Step 2 and 3 scores as they become available. The authors stated that a study is underway that will examine the extent to which MCAT predicts performance differently for individuals grouped by gender and racial/ethnic status.
 
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mikeinsd

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It's a trick question. Both mean different things to each school. You can't answer it.

-yup, and anyone who tries to say otherwise (without qualifying the answer so that it only pertains to a specific school) is purely speculating...

case in point - MAYO = 3.87 or so GPA, 33MCAT vs. (cant remember specific, but amsar is filled with schools that have avg gpa in the 3.75 range with avg MCAT of 34 or 35) - USC i think has about 3.72ish and nearly 35 mcat (was 34 couple years ago but i think it went up?)

clearly mayo seems to care more about gpa, whereas mcat seems more dominant at usc
 

UMP

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that's like asking... what's more important cute face or hot body?

One can make up for the other, but neither of them can be awful
 
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Davjc2009

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that's like asking... what's more important cute face or hot body?

One can make up for the other, but neither of them can be awful


:D Perfect analogy...
You can take it a step further... some schools may lean toward to a better face some lean towards a better body...
 
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johnnydrama

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Haha, so does that mean med schools would prefer a one night stand with a high MCAT and to marry a high GPA? Just imagine the new apps...

Scores: 13-12-14
Turn-ons: Helping others, long nights in the lab
Turn-offs: HMOs, lawyers, gunners.
 
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Pemberley

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I admire the thought, but I must point out that this issue is not one that most premeds have grounds to debate about.

We're asking the wrong question here. Needing an answer seems to imply that you're trying to pick one to do badly on!

Also, a great deal of the argument is going to be tinged with that "...and therefore I'm smarter than you and did better at what really is a true test of a pre-med and you just did well at what anybody can do" sentiment. To argue this-vs-that smacks of oneupmanship. Each of us has only one situation; to those of us in one of these high/low situations, what matters is not whether people in the inverse situation are better or worse off than we are, but how our situation usually plays out, and how to make the most we can of it.

"What are applicant experiences so far with a high {GPA/MCAT} but a low {MCAT/GPA}?" might be a better question (actually, that's two questions) to sticky-FAQ. This one's just going to turn into a flame war. Especially once the whether-it-matters-where-the-GPA's-from question comes into play.
 
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spicedmanna

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We're asking the wrong question here. Needing an answer seems to imply that you're trying to pick one to do badly on!

Also, a great deal of the argument is going to be tinged with that "...and therefore I'm smarter than you and did better at what really is a true test of a pre-med and you just did well at what anybody can do" sentiment. To argue this-vs-that smacks of oneupmanship. Each of us has only one situation; to those of us in one of these high/low situations, what matters is not whether people in the inverse situation are better or worse off than we are, but how our situation usually plays out, and how to make the most we can of it.

"What are applicant experiences so far with a high {GPA/MCAT} but a low {MCAT/GPA}?" might be a better question (actually, that's two questions) to sticky-FAQ. This one's just going to turn into a flame war. Especially once the whether-it-matters-where-the-GPA's-from question comes into play.

Hallelujah. I agree with your assessment that we are asking the wrong question and your invitation to see the game as an individual challenge.
 
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Anastasis

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We're asking the wrong question here. Needing an answer seems to imply that you're trying to pick one to do badly on!

Also, a great deal of the argument is going to be tinged with that "...and therefore I'm smarter than you and did better at what really is a true test of a pre-med and you just did well at what anybody can do" sentiment. To argue this-vs-that smacks of oneupmanship. Each of us has only one situation; to those of us in one of these high/low situations, what matters is not whether people in the inverse situation are better or worse off than we are, but how our situation usually plays out, and how to make the most we can of it.

"What are applicant experiences so far with a high {GPA/MCAT} but a low {MCAT/GPA}?" might be a better question (actually, that's two questions) to sticky-FAQ. This one's just going to turn into a flame war. Especially once the whether-it-matters-where-the-GPA's-from question comes into play.

Pemb has a really good point, and I think that's a good suggestion for a FAQ. :)
 

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i like pemb's use of the word oneupmanship. :thumbup:

and i agree with her suggestion. the question is already loaded by saying that one has to be more important than the other, and answering it doesn't really give anyone any additional information regarding success or failure of applications.
 

sunnyjohn

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We're asking the wrong question here. Needing an answer seems to imply that you're trying to pick one to do badly on!

Also, a great deal of the argument is going to be tinged with that "...and therefore I'm smarter than you and did better at what really is a true test of a pre-med and you just did well at what anybody can do" sentiment. To argue this-vs-that smacks of oneupmanship. Each of us has only one situation; to those of us in one of these high/low situations, what matters is not whether people in the inverse situation are better or worse off than we are, but how our situation usually plays out, and how to make the most we can of it.

"What are applicant experiences so far with a high {GPA/MCAT} but a low {MCAT/GPA}?" might be a better question (actually, that's two questions) to sticky-FAQ. This one's just going to turn into a flame war. Especially once the whether-it-matters-where-the-GPA's-from question comes into play.

"Can the Church say Amen!"
 

DoctorPardi

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Recognize that sometimes answering the question is acknowledging it's flaws. There is obviously not a clear choice, yet it is something people ask about.

The most important thing to say about this might be, is that they are both very important, neither could truly make up for the other.

These threads, will be concerned around the most common FAQ's in pre-allo, and so many of the existing users can answer these easily, or might think they aren't valid. The fact of the matter is many people visit SDN for quick answers, while this is more so a place of long term support/help. So in an effort to to bridge the gap between some of the SDN new comers and SDN vets I am trying to assemble some answers to the most common questions posed. So to do that, instead of attempting to assemble a FAQ based purely on my ideas or responses, I thought it would be more fulfilling and interesting for the community to contribute and be involved :) .
 

Stolenspatulas

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I think the MCAT is much more important for students coming from less-known or less-reputable state schools or small colleges. This is because medical schools cannot be certain if a high gpa is a product of an ''easy'' school or intelligence/hardwork. (If someone goes to an Ivy leaguer, school reputation will automatically speak for the ''difficulty'' of the school).

========================================================


MCAT and GPA are both important of course .... some schools even have a formulation for deciding who is interviewed/given a secondary:

MCAT + (GPA * 10) = N , where N tends to be ~70 for a cut-off

(these sort of formulations have no evidence that I can show; they are entirely based upon hearsay... some from this website)
 
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UMP

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I think the MCAT is much more important for students coming from less-known or less-reputable state schools or small colleges. This is because medical schools cannot be certain if a high gpa is a product of an ''easy'' school or intelligence/hardwork. (If someone goes to an Ivy leaguer, school reputation will automatically speak for the ''difficulty'' of the school).

========================================================


MCAT and GPA are both important of course .... some schools even have a formulation for deciding who is interviewed/given a secondary:

MCAT + (GPA * 10) = N , where N tends to be ~70 for a cut-off

(these sort of formulations have no evidence that I can show; they are entirely based upon hearsay... some from this website)


70 for a cut-off ??? that's a bit high don't you think ?

~65 might be enough for 80% of the schools
 

Stolenspatulas

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70 for a cut-off ??? that's a bit high don't you think ?

~65 might be enough for 80% of the schools

I dont know why I thought 70 (maybe it was a thread I read about Pitt or Vandy?), yea I bet a ~65 is more reasonable and more accurate for the majority of schools.
 

DoctorPardi

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Ok guys, I know we're under a page on this one, but I think it was pretty simple and easy to cover. So I'll be putting the next one out soon.

If anyone has ideas about good topics for these discussion threads, feel free to PM me with them.
 
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UMP

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The old 35 MCAT/ 3.0 GPA scenerio
and 25 MCAT/ 4.0 GPA scenerio

Possible to get in with these stats?
 
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MirrorTodd

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It must be possible, because people have done it. Hell, I know a guy, who's a fourth year now, who had to apply 7 times before he was accepted or so he says.
 

hsperson

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Maybe the pre-allo forum should be read-only then and only adcoms are allowed to post? :rolleyes: :laugh:

Actually, if SDN were just that, it would be extremely helpful! Wouldn't it? Someone could post a question, and adcomms could answer.

Since we don't have that, we should "debate" more about things that are within our scope; perhaps, how to choose schools, or MCAT study tips, or whatever we have grounds to discuss.

This whole, "let me predict what the adcomms will think" idea is inevitably flawed, misleading and impractical. I've spoken in person to many adcomms from many top schools and I can't tell you how many times some SDN myth had been vehemently negated. One actually advised me not to go to SDN looking for advice! After this, I realized that much of the pseudo-advice on SDN is based on rumor and speculation from premeds taking shots in the dark.

We may be able to theorize about things, but theory rarely fully lends itself to practice, and its better to get info from the primary source, someone who deals with this every day, rather than someone who's just trying to make a logical argument. Your sarcasm doesn't make my point any less legit and, logically, doesn't even directly address my argument.
 

calcox

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The old 35 MCAT/ 3.0 GPA scenerio
and 25 MCAT/ 4.0 GPA scenerio

Possible to get in with these stats?

Living proof of the former...
 
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MonkeyNuts!

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I'd have to say it is more important to get a good GPA, not because adcoms look at GPA more than MCAT, but simply because a low GPA is harder to "fix." When you have a low MCAT score, your options are studying, getting a tutor, enrolling in a program like Princeton Review or Kaplan, and then retaking - you're looking at usually several months and no more than several thousand dollars max.

With a low GPA/BCPM, your options for fixing it are generally postbaccaleurate studies, special masters programs, graduate school. All three are more time consuming - usually a year or more. Retaking the MCAT is even easier now with the new system, and only requires several months of studying. Also, postbaccs, SMPs, and grad school tend to be much more expensive than retaking the MCAT, usually because they don't give you large stipends like PhD programs (loans are main mode of financing).

Plus, you also have to consider, let's say medicine doesn't end up being the thing for you. GPA is still important - that's what carries into whatever field of study you choose next. Your MCAT does not.

Which is more important to an adcom? Who knows? It's probably even different for each member of a specific adcom. Which should be more important for you? Definitely GPA. Harder to fix.
 
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Eric Lindros

I'd have to say it is more important to get a good GPA, not because adcoms look at GPA more than MCAT, but simply because a low GPA is harder to "fix." When you have a low MCAT score, you just study, get a tutor, whatever and simply retake.

If it were only that easy....

BTW, best be much improved on that second attempt because for most adcoms, it's two strikes and you're out with the MCAT
 

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Do you really think anyone can get a 30+ score with just more studying and practice?
 

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Personally, I generally view the MCAT as more of the great "equalizer," and thus only slightly more important than the GPA. The GPA symbolizes a long-time commitment and hard work, while the MCAT symbolizes scientific and reasoning prowess.

I was going to [hypothetically] relate this to two students in different sections of Organic Chemistry and grading differences, but I couldn't word it right, so I just decided to nix the whole thing. ;)
 

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Do you really think anyone can get a 30+ score with just more studying and practice?


I don't. It takes more than just memorization to do well on the MCAT. You can't study "reasoning skills" and "logical aptitude," although you can certainly practice and improve.
 

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I don't. It takes more than just memorization to do well on the MCAT. You can't study "reasoning skills" and "logical aptitude," although you can certainly practice and improve.

You haven't taken the mcat, nor have you practiced for it intensely. Why are you chiming in?

You can't take the village idiot and practice him to a 30+ score. HOWEVER, the MCAT is a test, just like any other test.... it can be broken.

If someone has decent reasoning and logical skills, I think I could shape that person into a solid scorer. Most people that I've come across that can't cut a 30+ score (I was a Princeton rev teacher) could not finish sections of the test. THE TEST WAS DEFEATING THEM BECAUSE THEY DIDNT ADAPT. they just had to guess on so many bubbles because they were too slow in the process, and would always get hung up. there are ways to improve your speed and increase your net score to the point that intelligence doesn't really matter (as long as you are at least somewhat intelligent). it takes a lot of hardwork and you cant miss ''freebies'' (ie stand-alone questions that require rote memorization). The rest is a skill game. If you cant come up with the skills alone by your own practicing techniques, you can always get help.
 
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chad5871

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You haven't taken the mcat, nor have you practiced for it intensely. Why are you chiming in?

You can't take the village idiot and practice him to a 30+ score. HOWEVER, the MCAT is a test, just like any other test.... it can be broken.

If someone has decent reasoning and logical skills, I think I could shape that person into a solid scorer. Most people that I've come across that can't cut a 30+ score (I was a Princeton rev teacher) could not finish sections of the test. THE TEST WAS DEFEATING THEM BECAUSE THEY DIDNT ADAPT. they just had to guess on so many bubbles because they were too slow in the process, and would always get hung up. there are ways to improve your speed and increase your net score to the point that intelligence doesn't really matter (as long as you are at least somewhat intelligent). it takes a lot of hardwork and you cant miss ''freebies'' (ie stand-alone questions that require rote memorization). The rest is a skill game. If you cant come up with the skills alone by your own practicing techniques, you can always get help.

I know that I have not yet taken the MCAT. However I have begun preparing for the MCAT and have taken several full-length practice exams. I know at least what the test is about even if have not officially "taken" it or begun my intensive preparation. The argument was that with studying, anyone could get a 30+ score. I am simply disagreeing with that statement because there really are people that are not capable of the score, no matter how hard they try. I am not disagreeing with you - I think the points you made are valid.
 

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I know that I have not yet taken the MCAT. However I have begun preparing for the MCAT and have taken several full-length practice exams. I know at least what the test is about even if have not officially "taken" it or begun my intensive preparation. The argument was that with studying, anyone could get a 30+ score. I am simply disagreeing with that statement because there really are people that are not capable of the score, no matter how hard they try. I am not disagreeing with you - I think the points you made are valid.

I think many MCATers fall into the trap of scoring in the high 20s and don't adapt / find ways to make a net substantial improvement. They think that stickin to their study methods would work. There are ways to fine-tune. I guess I kinda just picked these up on my own as I prepared.
 

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It's a trick question. Both mean different things to each school. You can't answer it.

Next question.

I agee with this statement. the degree to which numbers or any other aspect is important to an application depends on the individual school as well as who their applicants are in a given year. What may be true of a given cycle may change the next cycle to a certain degree because the level of competition among applicants and profiles of applicants may be different to a certain degree as in more competitive or less competitive.

Debating this is pointless because one school may accept someone with a 3.8 and 21 or a 3.2 and 37 but who's to say that means someone else with those exact stats will get interviewed at the same school or anywhere? The better thing to do is to talk to adcom directors of schools of interest and then see what they say.
 

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I think many MCATers fall into the trap of scoring in the high 20s and don't adapt / find ways to make a net substantial improvement. They think that stickin to their study methods would work. There are ways to fine-tune. I guess I kinda just picked these up on my own as I prepared.

I also think that is true. But I alternatively argue that there are several people who have been living in America only a few years and do not have good English because they don't take the time to read English books so their reading comprehension and speed sucks unless. They are able to do well if they have a lot of time but reading and answering those passages on the verbal portion especially is tough for them. So they dont necessarily get a higher verbal score. This isn't my case but I have friends who fall in this category.
 

gujuDoc

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You haven't taken the mcat, nor have you practiced for it intensely. Why are you chiming in?

You can't take the village idiot and practice him to a 30+ score. HOWEVER, the MCAT is a test, just like any other test.... it can be broken.

If someone has decent reasoning and logical skills, I think I could shape that person into a solid scorer. Most people that I've come across that can't cut a 30+ score (I was a Princeton rev teacher) could not finish sections of the test. THE TEST WAS DEFEATING THEM BECAUSE THEY DIDNT ADAPT. they just had to guess on so many bubbles because they were too slow in the process, and would always get hung up. there are ways to improve your speed and increase your net score to the point that intelligence doesn't really matter (as long as you are at least somewhat intelligent). it takes a lot of hardwork and you cant miss ''freebies'' (ie stand-alone questions that require rote memorization). The rest is a skill game. If you cant come up with the skills alone by your own practicing techniques, you can always get help.

I think this post hit it on the nail. The speed thing gets a lot of people. Like the east asian friend of mine that I was referring too. Speed and technique is where most people seem to screw up.
 

gujuDoc

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Do you really think anyone can get a 30+ score with just more studying and practice?

If they change their techniques and can identify what is holding them back perhaps it can be done but its not easy especially for non native English speakers.

I had a friend who went from a 23 on her first attempt with the mcat to minimal studying getting a 27 on attempt 2. then on attempt 3 she broke 35 because she completely revamped her study style to include more practice tests (taking them under proper conditions) and then going over each one and reviewing them and then taking them again later. She did her TPR stuff 2x each as well as the Kaplan tests and AAMC tests. She went to a tutor for the topics she was weak in and would treat it like a regular class where she'd go each weak to get tutored in her TPR instructor'soffice hours.

The potential is always there to do 12-14 points higher then you start out with, so if the avg of people taking an initial diag is 14-15, then the potential to score a 30 is there if everyone just finds what works for them. Hell, a girl I knew a few years back got a 31 after starting out with a 12 on her first diag. So its definitely possible if people identify what they are doing wrong but the hard part is getting over the nervousness and anxiety and figuring out what works best sometimes.
 

MonkeyNuts!

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If it were only that easy....

BTW, best be much improved on that second attempt because for most adcoms, it's two strikes and you're out with the MCAT

UMP said:
you really think anyone can get a 30+ score with just more studying and practice?

Well my point wasn't that it is easier to do well on MCAT than GPA, my point was that you have an easier time getting opportunities to redo MCAT vs GPA. Fixing MCAT = less time & money than trying to fix GPA, so GPA probably more important from that perspective.

Anyway I edited it to be clearer.
 

Kikaku21

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Do you really think anyone can get a 30+ score with just more studying and practice?

Yes, considering that I hit a 29 on my first practice test, and that there are people who are far smarter than me-- I think it is reasonable to conclude that some people hit 30+ wihtout studying and practice.

This is, of course, assuming that they have taken the science.
 

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You need whatever GPA gets you passed the computers.

You need whatever MCAT to get an interview.

I think that this sums it up perfectly...if you don't have the GPA needed for the particular med school that you are applying for, you won't even get to the next step.

Assuming that you have an acceptable GPA, the next thing the of importance may very well be the MCAT as I'm sure that a goal of many schools is to have a high pass rate on the boards...seeing that a student did well on their MCAT will give better odds for the student, the next comes (and this is my opinion) whatever extra as an applicant can add to differentiate him/herself from the other applicants. Once it comes to the interview, I believe that it will come down to the interaction between the interviewer and the interviewee and that is purely subjective because an applicant can have a stellar background but if they come off wrong to the interviewer...I'd cross that school off the list.

Krisss17
 

armybound

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I also wish there could be a discussion of how much different scores matter.

If someone got a 30, how much would it help them to retake it and get a 33? How about a 31 to a 35? 28 to a 32?

It seems to me like there's a floating myth about the "magic number" that schools are looking for, and there's another "magic number" that means you're doomed to never get an interview, or only at your state schools.

I really think that myth needs to be cleared up. Some people might be stressing about needing to get their MCAT up, when in reality it's already good enough.

Or maybe it's just me :)
 
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bigdog8829

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MCAT matters more.
I have a 3.85 gpa (sci and non-sci are the same). With a sub-30 MCAT my interviews at allopathic schools are quite limited. EC's and everything are good too, president of school club, 75+ hours shadowing docs.
If i had scored a few points higher on the CAT I would be sitting in a lot more interview chairs.
I can't say that I'm complaining bc do schools have been quite responsive to me, but if md if definitely your thing, 30+ definitely needs to be your goal.
 

arsenewenger

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If they change their techniques and can identify what is holding them back perhaps it can be done but its not easy especially for non native English speakers.

I had a friend who went from a 23 on her first attempt with the mcat to minimal studying getting a 27 on attempt 2. then on attempt 3 she broke 35 because she completely revamped her study style to include more practice tests (taking them under proper conditions) and then going over each one and reviewing them and then taking them again later. She did her TPR stuff 2x each as well as the Kaplan tests and AAMC tests. She went to a tutor for the topics she was weak in and would treat it like a regular class where she'd go each weak to get tutored in her TPR instructor'soffice hours.

The potential is always there to do 12-14 points higher then you start out with, so if the avg of people taking an initial diag is 14-15, then the potential to score a 30 is there if everyone just finds what works for them. Hell, a girl I knew a few years back got a 31 after starting out with a 12 on her first diag. So its definitely possible if people identify what they are doing wrong but the hard part is getting over the nervousness and anxiety and figuring out what works best sometimes.


did she get in
 

gujuDoc

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did she get in

The girl with the 35 had a ton of interviews just within the past couple of months so she's still waiting on hearing back from certian schools but has one acceptance in hand as of now. She hopes to get more at some of her more top choice schools. The girl who went 19 points up from her first diag is an MS II at one of the in state schools here and had acceptances and interviews at several other schools when she was going through the process.
 

DoctorPardi

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Sorry about the delay fellows, closing now and will be opening another one ASAP. I'd like to thank everyone for participating!

You can find these FAQ threads linked to from this thread:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=277000

I'll be editing it a bit so the organization is more appropriate, but for now it will do.

Thanks, again :)
 
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