Feb 19, 2021
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I recently made a similar post on Reddit, where I asked for advice on improving my application (please follow that link for an organized summary of my application). Now, I want to ask the SDN community for advice on which schools I should consider applying to. At this point, I'm not asking for anyone to come up with a school list for me—I know that I still have to do my own research. I'm just hoping someone can point me in the right direction by providing some advice.

MCAT scores:
May 2018 -- 507 (128/124/128/127)
Sept 2020 -- 521 (130/127/132/132)

I'm undecided between two different paths I could potentially follow:
  • Apply early decision to my state school—I previously spoke with the dean of admissions before retaking the MCAT. Based on the feedback I received, the dean made it sound like my old MCAT score was the greatest concern regarding my application. I haven't spoken with anyone at the office since retaking the MCAT. But bearing in mind the feedback I received previously, I'm fairly confident I could be a strong ED applicant. If this assumption is true, I don't think it would be wise to back-out of applying ED after reaching out to re-discuss my candidacy. It would probably be perceived as a lack of interest in the school.

  • Apply broadly through regular decision—If I were to go down this route, where should I consider applying? After browsing MSAR, I see that my MCAT score falls in the range for the top-tier schools. Bearing in mind that I'll be a re-applicant who's taken the MCAT twice, do you think I would have a realistic chance at these schools? Or would my previous attempt likely exclude me from consideration? I did NOT apply to any of those top-tier schools during my first attempt, as I knew I had no chance whatsoever, so this would be my first application to any of those schools. Still, I know that they will be aware of my first MCAT score and my previous application when I answer that inevitable question on the secondary. Do you think it's worth spending the time, money, and effort to apply to those places?
I know that my original MCAT and previous application are a stain on my record. If the 521 was my only MCAT score, and if this was my first time applying, I'd be in a completely different situation.

Thank you for your feedback—any other input would also be greatly appreciated!
 

Lifeblood_20

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Mar 23, 2017
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Hey, I read your Reddit post and think that you have significantly improved your application since your last app cycle, including that fantastic retake score!
If your state school is your top choice, maybe applying via ED there would be the best, but if you are interested in other schools, I feel confident that you'd find success applying broadly via regular decision.
Top schools are a crapshoot for everyone (even for applicants with 520+ first take), so obviously don't focus exclusively on T20s, but there are nice upper/mid-tier schools in-between state schools and T20s.

I don't think it would be wise to back-out of applying ED after reaching out to re-discuss my candidacy. It would probably be perceived as a lack of interest in the school.
I don't think this is true! Schools get thousands of applicants per year, and I really don't imagine them keeping track of who applies ED v.s. regular. Do what you feel is the best for your goals and don't worry about what others might feel.
If I were to go down this route, where should I consider applying? After browsing MSAR, I see that my MCAT score falls in the range for the top-tier schools. Bearing in mind that I'll be a re-applicant who's taken the MCAT twice, do you think I would have a realistic chance at these schools? Or would my previous attempt likely exclude me from consideration?
You might need to research more into this, but some schools average your MCAT attempts while others focus on the latest attempt. In the case they average, you still have a 514 average, which is still a solid score for many MD schools.
 
Jun 5, 2020
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Congrats on the retake! I'd go straight to MSAR and use that as your guide, applying to schools with median MCATS of 513-518 or something like that. Regular decision. What are your GPAs ?
 
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Goro

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Jun 11, 2010
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I recently made a similar post on Reddit, where I asked for advice on improving my application (please follow that link for an organized summary of my application). Now, I want to ask the SDN community for advice on which schools I should consider applying to. At this point, I'm not asking for anyone to come up with a school list for me—I know that I still have to do my own research. I'm just hoping someone can point me in the right direction by providing some advice.

MCAT scores:
May 2018 -- 507 (128/124/128/127)
Sept 2020 -- 521 (130/127/132/132)

I'm undecided between two different paths I could potentially follow:
  • Apply early decision to my state school—I previously spoke with the dean of admissions before retaking the MCAT. Based on the feedback I received, the dean made it sound like my old MCAT score was the greatest concern regarding my application. I haven't spoken with anyone at the office since retaking the MCAT. But bearing in mind the feedback I received previously, I'm fairly confident I could be a strong ED applicant. If this assumption is true, I don't think it would be wise to back-out of applying ED after reaching out to re-discuss my candidacy. It would probably be perceived as a lack of interest in the school.

  • Apply broadly through regular decision—If I were to go down this route, where should I consider applying? After browsing MSAR, I see that my MCAT score falls in the range for the top-tier schools. Bearing in mind that I'll be a re-applicant who's taken the MCAT twice, do you think I would have a realistic chance at these schools? Or would my previous attempt likely exclude me from consideration? I did NOT apply to any of those top-tier schools during my first attempt, as I knew I had no chance whatsoever, so this would be my first application to any of those schools. Still, I know that they will be aware of my first MCAT score and my previous application when I answer that inevitable question on the secondary. Do you think it's worth spending the time, money, and effort to apply to those places?
I know that my original MCAT and previous application are a stain on my record. If the 521 was my only MCAT score, and if this was my first time applying, I'd be in a completely different situation.

Thank you for your feedback—any other input would also be greatly appreciated!
A 521 score is nothing to sneeze at! Will make suggestions later
 
Feb 19, 2021
2
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  1. Pre-Medical
Congrats on the retake! I'd go straight to MSAR and use that as your guide, applying to schools with median MCATS of 513-518 or something like that. Regular decision. What are your GPAs ?
Thanks, I've never studied that intensely for any other exam. My cumulative GPA is 3.93 and science GPA is 3.87
 

PatchAdamsWannabe

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Oct 17, 2017
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Wow, huge improvement! Great job, congratulations. I am in a similar situation (3.9, 509 >> 518) and have had the most success with my state schools and OOS private mid tiers. I have had 1 T25 interview. With a 521 you'd likely have more success than I at the T20 big boys, but I would caution you to still apply quite broadly.
 

Banco

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May 28, 2014
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You have a great application and should apply broadly. Shoot your shot at top 20s, but also have a healthy amount of mid and low tiers. Because of your situation you'r probably looking at 30 schools minimum to apply to.
 

SeanJeff

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2018
19
15
I recently made a similar post on Reddit, where I asked for advice on improving my application (please follow that link for an organized summary of my application). Now, I want to ask the SDN community for advice on which schools I should consider applying to. At this point, I'm not asking for anyone to come up with a school list for me—I know that I still have to do my own research. I'm just hoping someone can point me in the right direction by providing some advice.

MCAT scores:
May 2018 -- 507 (128/124/128/127)
Sept 2020 -- 521 (130/127/132/132)

I'm undecided between two different paths I could potentially follow:
  • Apply early decision to my state school—I previously spoke with the dean of admissions before retaking the MCAT. Based on the feedback I received, the dean made it sound like my old MCAT score was the greatest concern regarding my application. I haven't spoken with anyone at the office since retaking the MCAT. But bearing in mind the feedback I received previously, I'm fairly confident I could be a strong ED applicant. If this assumption is true, I don't think it would be wise to back-out of applying ED after reaching out to re-discuss my candidacy. It would probably be perceived as a lack of interest in the school.

  • Apply broadly through regular decision—If I were to go down this route, where should I consider applying? After browsing MSAR, I see that my MCAT score falls in the range for the top-tier schools. Bearing in mind that I'll be a re-applicant who's taken the MCAT twice, do you think I would have a realistic chance at these schools? Or would my previous attempt likely exclude me from consideration? I did NOT apply to any of those top-tier schools during my first attempt, as I knew I had no chance whatsoever, so this would be my first application to any of those schools. Still, I know that they will be aware of my first MCAT score and my previous application when I answer that inevitable question on the secondary. Do you think it's worth spending the time, money, and effort to apply to those places?
I know that my original MCAT and previous application are a stain on my record. If the 521 was my only MCAT score, and if this was my first time applying, I'd be in a completely different situation.

Thank you for your feedback—any other input would also be greatly appreciated!
I am a reapplicant myself, and I know many re-applicants who have had a poor first MCAT. You will get lots of great interviews with those stats. Try to apply as soon as you can.
 
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