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Question Regarding Retaking MCAT After Submitting Secondary

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Messier83, 09.21.14.

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  1. Messier83

    Messier83

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    Hello SDN,

    I've sent out all my secondaries but was considering retaking the MCAT since this will be my last opportunity to take the old exam before it changes.

    My question is this: MUST I notify my schools (it's a list of around 30) that I am planning a retake?

    If so, does this mean my application is put on HOLD? Or will they continue the evaluation as if nothing happened?

    Yes, I do realize that the safest thing is to call each of the schools but I am hoping for a general guideline before following through with that.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: 09.21.14
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  3. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich 2+ Year Member

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    Is it an absolutely necessary re-take? What was your first score? If it is 30 or above just leave it alone, the cycle isn't over yet.
     
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  4. user12

    user12 2+ Year Member

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    this is what I would say, but I guess im not really an expert or one to give incredible advice.

    1. if your mcat is good, don't retake it.
    2. if you do retake it and you notify schools, there's a chance it will hold up your application, and this late in the cycle, that's probably not ideal.
     
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  5. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    All MCAT scores populate your AMCAS application whether you notify the school or not.
     
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  6. Messier83

    Messier83

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    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    Yes it is over 30 (it's a 34, but my GPA isn't stellar (3.6), I have a blemish on my record and I'm a CA resident). Honestly it's not that I am unhappy with the score, it's more of just an insurance sort of thing: after January I won't be able to retake it since it's the new one, and by now the MCAT is the only thing about my application that I can really change.

    My main worry is regretting that I didn't give it a last try if I don't get accepted this cycle (which is a VERY likely scenario - I'm already 3 rejections in and it's not even october).
     
  7. Messier83

    Messier83

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    Thanks GynGyn. I am fine with the schools knowing the score, that's not a problem. I planned on notifying them of the result either way.

    What concerns me is having my application put on hold while they're waiting for the results to come on.
     
  8. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Most MD schools won't consider an MCAT taken this late for the current cycle, so it's not an issue for those. A few will consider later scores. For example, Howard accepts MCAT scores as late as January 2015 for this cycle.

    Don't do it, BTW. There is no school that doesn't like a 34.
     
  9. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich 2+ Year Member

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    Do not retake a 34. I understand feeling like you should have some control over your life, application but adcoms have repeatedly advised against re-taking 30+ scores on this site, adamantly so in fact and a 34 is a stellar score all on its own. There may be other faults on your application but your MCAT will not keep you out of an MD school, that is for sure.
     
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  10. Messier83

    Messier83

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    I appreciate the sound reasoning. You're spot on about the motivations behind it: it's to regain some control over an otherwise horribly unsettling situation. My reasoning to justify the retake was having an MCAT "so stellar" i.e. 38+ that it outshines the shabby GPA (a "wow' factor, if you will).

    But again, I totally see your point.
     
  11. Messier83

    Messier83

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    You're both an attending and a professor, so honestly I'm treating your posts as gold. You've replied to my WAMC post before and know my background: do you think this MCAT is good when considering my so-so GPA and background?
     
  12. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    The weak spot in your application is not gpa or MCAT. Those are both good.
    If a screener has concerns about the weak spot, no gpa or MCAT will compensate.
    Hopefully, your list included enough schools that give you a chance to explain.
     
  13. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich 2+ Year Member

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    I can understand that and, technically, a 4-pt increase would bump up your LizzyM score but try looking at it from a different perspective:

    1. Student has "Great MCAT" and "Average GPA"
    2. Student has X blemish on record

    1 is good and 2 is bad. 1 becomes better, is 2 any less bad? If 2 is not an academic issue it would seem like something that would have to be improved with ECs, your PS, LORs and the interview but not by more academic achievement. I mean, this perspective might not be totally accurate but it could be a diff. way of looking at it to soothe your nerves and divert your focus to other parts if you ever need to re-apply (hopefully you never do! :) )
     
  14. Messier83

    Messier83

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    Noted. So far every school has given me an opportunity to explain.

    Thank you.
     
  15. Messier83

    Messier83

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    It's definitely a relief in a way. My EC's are solid - that is what I did first after my incident occurred and it's definitely the most logical thing to work on. Of course, though, I can always do more with the community - which is infinitely more rewarding than grinding for a 38+.

    In a way this is a relief: if I've done all I can for now then I can mellow out. Thanks, Lucca.
     
  16. wmtpcantuat

    wmtpcantuat

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    Is it an absolutely necessary re-take? What was your first score?[​IMG]
     
  17. Messier83

    Messier83

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    It was a 34
     

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