Sep 3, 2014
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi all,

I just received my MCAT score about a week ago and got a 34. I'm very happy with the composite, but the breakdown is less than ideal.

34 9/11/14 PS/V/BS

I go to a top 20 undergraduate and expect to have around a 3.70 by the time that I apply this June. Considering just my MCAT and GPA, would it be in my interest to retake this score? I already have a date in January that I was planning to let go of as soon as I received my scores, and I haven't unbooked it yet. The opportunity costs that I see here would be focusing on my GPA (confident that I can get a 4.0 this semester), starting my own research project at our affiliate medical school, and applying to full-year internships/master's programs for next year in health policy (on track to graduate a year early, but haven't made any definitive plans).

Ideally, I want to be competitive for schools where my GPA would be competitive. I feel that this is a pragmatic way of looking at this situation, and I understand that at some point, a higher MCAT score simply wouldn't change an admissions decision.

Thanks!
 

C.S. Peirce

Abductin'
Feb 14, 2014
49
103
Status
Pre-Medical
Don't re-take.

The reason you shouldn't retake: you did WELL on the MCAT.

You know, pragmatism and all that.
 

efle

not an elf
5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2014
11,670
15,445
Status
Medical Student
Ideally, I want to be competitive for schools where my GPA would be competitive. I feel that this is a pragmatic way of looking at this situation, and I understand that at some point, a higher MCAT score simply wouldn't change an admissions decision.
Not sure how pragmatic that approach is. A 3.7 is approximately median at a HUGE range of schools (Emory, USouthernCali, and Tufts all have 3.7 median sGPA, but so do UArkansas, UMissouri Kansas, and UMississippi). Most people take the exact other approach and use their MCAT to place themselves against schools, since that tends to correspond better to school caliber.

Regardless, a 34 is ~94th percentile. A moderately successful retake would only net you a couple more percentile points - most wouldn't call that worthwhile.
 

texan2414

5+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2013
1,200
733
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
What do you hope by a retake? A better PS score? At what cost? Because at your current BS score, you are significantly likely to DROP the 14. Are you going to retake that retake to bring that BS back up to 14?

I just don't understand how people scoring at the 94th percentile on the MCAT don't understand the point of diminishing returns...
 

benjaminl1nus

Probationary Status
7+ Year Member
May 12, 2011
393
167
Status
Pre-Medical
Don't re-take. Unless you are shooting for the top 10 schools AND you really KNOW you can improve. Even so, retaking isn't a smart idea. I know of students scoring 38-42 on practice exams and scoring under 35 on test day. The test is scaled, and your score is based on probability...odds are greatly stacked against you for scoring higher. If you're smart, you won't bet on a poor hand...

Also, do keep in mind that schools WILL average your MCAT scores, meaning if you score a 36 on your next attempt, scores will see your MCAT as a 35.
 
OP
A
Sep 3, 2014
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks so much for the advice so far -- I didn't mean to offend anyone with this post. I'm just a bit worried about the low PS score, since a 9 falls below the 10th percentile on the MSAR for several schools where my 34 would be a competitive MCAT score. Would this be looked past with my BS score?
 

texan2414

5+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2013
1,200
733
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Thanks so much for the advice so far -- I didn't mean to offend anyone with this post. I'm just a bit worried about the low PS score, since a 9 falls below the 10th percentile on the MSAR for several schools where my 34 would be a competitive MCAT score. Would this be looked past with my BS score?
Most deans when selecting their classes want to keep a certain composite average. If your composite is well within their median I think you should be fine.
Although, I probably can't say the same for schools that you're mentioning if you fall below the 10th percentile with a 9PS. But who knows??