Aug 9, 2009
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Baltimore
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Medical Student
Hey everyone,

I'm considering retaking the MCAT this summer because I feel like my application is very borderline (my gpa stinks) and I think I can do better now that I have a few more physiology classes under my belt. Let me know what you think. I'm trying to get into University of Maryland School of Medicine (my in-state school).

Heres my info:

-nontraditional student (I am 24 now, wasn't originally college-bound and didn't really go to high school)
-32Q (PS 11/ VR 10/ BS 11)
-3.3 science GPA
-3.35 overall GPA
-physiology/neurobiology major
-graduating with high honors from a good public university (University of Maryland, College Park)
-100 hours operating room volunteer
-10 hours physician shadowing in medically under served area
-extensive undergraduate biology research
-Tutoring/Mentoring 1st-5th graders in a Baltimore community outreach center in 7th poorest urban neighborhood in the U.S.
-In a touring band that has released several records and gone on national tours

Should I retake? I am shooting for a 34+
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Inside the tesseract
I think that 34+ is a good goal for general purposes, but considering how selective UMaryland is, 2 points above that would be better. Or apply to DO med schools. Or consider an SMP (Special Masters Porgram). Hopefully, you already have a recent upward grade trend, but if not, wait another year to apply, getting lots of As in additional upper-level science classes.

Your clinical experience and physician shadowing are on the skimpy side. Can you improve these before applying? Iit looks like you have strengths in research, teaching, artistic endeavors, and nonmedical community service. But the clinical stuff is important too, and moreso when another part of your application is on the weaker side.
 

STAT EKG

7+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2009
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I don't think you should retake... a 32 is solid and you run the potential risk of your score going down (not saying that it will, but there is that risk).

A 32 is definitely not a retake score. There's not a lot of elbow room in that scoring range, and, honestly, a 34 really isn't that much different than a 32 in terms of percentiles and where (I think) it'll get you.

Your 32 is fine... if anything is going to hold you back, it's going to be other parts of your app. I would try to focus on your GPA and ECs if anything - not that they're weak - ... but you have the most room for improvement there. Do you have a big upward trend with your GPA?
 
Aug 9, 2009
110
0
0
Baltimore
Status
Medical Student
My GPA shows a clear upward trend, I was definitely learning how to be a student in college. I am applying to roughly 15 schools and I don't wanna go to a DO school.

I can improve my clinical experience but not until after I graduate (late May). During next year I plan to volunteer at least 10 hours a week at the University of Maryland Medical Center, but I'm sending my application in early June so that stuff won't be listed.

I have a powerful personal statement that tells my unusual circumstances, I hope that helps.
 

STAT EKG

7+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2009
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My GPA shows a clear upward trend, I was definitely learning how to be a student in college. I am applying to roughly 15 schools and I don't wanna go to a DO school.

I can improve my clinical experience but not until after I graduate (late May). During next year I plan to volunteer at least 10 hours a week at the University of Maryland Medical Center, but I'm sending my application in early June so that stuff won't be listed.

I have a powerful personal statement that tells my unusual circumstances, I hope that helps.
I think that with all of those factors you have a pretty solid shot as is. The GPA is low, but an upward trend will help your case. Overall, you're fairly solid and I wouldn't be surprised to see you get an acceptance with your current numbers.

I would maybe take some post bacc classes, get A's, and try to get as much clinical experience as possible during the upcoming year just in case you do end up having to reapply (not saying that this will happen). This way you'll be improving the only factors that *might* need improvement in the next cycle.

If you haven't been accpted by the end of next fall semester, send in updates with what you've been doing. You'll more than likely get interviews and make sure to rock those... once you get to the interview stage, the interview carries A LOT of weight with most schools.

Overall I think you're in a good (not great, but good) spot for MD acceptance. This may not be an acceptance at Maryland, but all US MD schools are going to give you a great education.

I hope that allays some of your worry.
 
Last edited:

canjosh

10+ Year Member
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Jun 18, 2004
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I would not retake. Post-bacc or SMP if you don't get in this year. Apply very broadly this cycle. I would recommend more than 15 schools.
 

Brigade4Radiant

10+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2006
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You have about a 50-60% chance apply early and broadly your MCAT is avg for your school so applying early is a must.