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retaking mcat

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by mocheese, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. mocheese

    mocheese Member
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    I have taken the mcat two times and come away with a composite of 28 (10V,8P,10B). For some reason I havent been able to get my PS above that 8, which i think is a fluke, as all the pratice tests I have taken I am equally strong as the other sections. After getting no response this year I am considering taking it again, even though I swore i never would. I also have a weak GPA (3.1/3.0 thanks to my 2.4 freshman year) but I am planning on enrolling in a 1 year masters. My question is has anyone taken the MCAT 3times, and how does the addmissions comitee look at this? If I took it again and got over a 30 would they consider it legit, or brush it off because I have taken it so many times? Any insight from anyone who has been in my postition or known anyone in my position would be helpful. Thanks.
     
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  3. Chrisobean

    Chrisobean The Killer Bean
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    check your PMs
     
  4. mocheese

    mocheese Member
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    Thanks for your reply chrisobean. Anybody else got some input on this. I hope I am not the only person to ever consider this.
    Thanks
     
  5. walkball

    walkball Microdoc

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    I, like you have, will be taking the MCAT for the third time this comming Aug. I think that the best thing to decide is how into the medical profession your are. I waited about a year inbetween each of the previous two, and two years for this last one. I'm not sure if it helped, but I went out and immersed myself in the healthcare field. It seemed to give me the extra drive I needed to turn the TV off and tell my friends that I would catch up with them later. It's all about studying for this test that determines the next four to ten years of your life. If you are really serious about the medical profession, then you should take it as many times as you need to to get accepted.
    My family doctor went to Havrvard for his undergrad and then tried to get intot he medical school, but couldn't seem to get past the MCAT. So, after three years of trying, he went off and became a mechanic. Then, after some time at that job, he decided to try again. For the next FOURTEEN years he took the MCAT every April and August and applied to Harvard. He was finally accepted and is now a practicing physician. Some people take tests better than others natrurally. Your job now is to get every advantage you can. I would suggest taking a study course like KAPLAN or Princeton to help you with the areas you a lacking in. Take all the practice exams you can, cause this will help you feel more comfortable. I did this and am now rocking out with and average of 39 on all the practice exams I'm taking. I only hope that I can keep this up for Aug.
    Totally keep trying and apply to as many different schools as possible, some one will take you, and after 4 years, everyone will call you Dr., no matter what school you went to.
     
  6. Gbemi24

    Gbemi24 1K Member
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    :wow: Pardon my french, but I think your family doc is full of sh1t.
     
  7. Aaron Earles

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Hey mocheese,

    I took the MCAT 4 times. Let me tell you what you need to do. Do you have any type of letter head from any of the schools that you are applying to that indicate that you have either interviewed, denied interview, or been denied a spot in the class? If so, you need to make copies of those letters and include them as an attachment in a letter that you send to the MCAT company. These letters show your intent on going to medical school. If you would like, I could email you the letter i sent to the MCAT office. You should have no problem registering for the August MCAT. MCAT has this 3 test maximum to keep some of the review courses from taking the mcat over and over again to prepare for their material (so I was told by a Course instructor).

    Secondly, medical schools can look at taking the mcat several times in two ways. One, they can say, "It took this kid 4 times to get a 30R" or they could say, "wow, this kid is dedicated, and does not give up easily and strives to do better." I tend to think that some schools go with the later description. You also have the option of witholding some of your MCAT scores that get released, but you must be very careful when you do this. For more elaboration on this, feel free to PM me. At each school I applied to, except one, they looked at the best score from each test. All my best scores, save the verbal reasoning, came from the last test I took. So they do compare past MCAT attempts as well.

    I know that you want to be more competitive and that is a great thing. I think that your MCAT score is pretty good. If you have some good ECs, LORs, and hospital exposure/experience, I think that you would be fine. I have a Master's degree, and I think it helped me because it is in the healthcare field. Best of luck to you and feel free to PM me with any more questions you may have.

    Good luck

    Aaron
     
  8. Pembleton

    Pembleton Senior Member
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    August will be my fourth time also taking the exam. However, the first two times I took the test were in 1997.

    Will I need special permission to take the test? After all it has been seven years between tries.
     
  9. thirdangel

    thirdangel Senior Member
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    Pembleton

    Yes, you will need special permission to take the MCAT 4 Times. I took it for the 4th and last time last week. I sent them a letter of rejection from a medical school. This is what the AAMC site says in the FAQs:

    I have taken the MCAT three times already. Do I need special permission to take the test again?
    You must apply for special permission to take the MCAT if you have attended three or more MCAT administrations since 1977 (whether or not the test was completed and/or answer documents were voided). Individuals who sit for the MCAT should be preparing to apply to a health professions school.

    Your request should include evidence of intent to apply to a health professions school (e.g., a completed application, letter of rejection, or letter from a medical school or advisor), which must accompany the registration materials. This documentation is required each time you wish to retest.
     
  10. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    You know, I don't really believe it is your MCAT stopping you from getting in. There is nothing wrong with a 28. I think it may be your gpa. Have you talked to the schools where you were rejected and find out why they didn't accept you? They are more than willing to do that for you.

    Why take the MCAT again if that is not the issue with the med schools. How are your EC's? How about your LORs? What is your personal statment like? Perhaps it is one of those areas where you are weak, or maybe it boils down to your GPA, which I really think is the drawback.

    Hey, no one wants to put them self through taking the MCAT, especially if you don't need to. I know truckloads of people who have been accepted with 26-29 range of MCATs.
     
  11. Pembleton

    Pembleton Senior Member
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    Thanks thirdangel.

    I might have a few reject letters to show them.
     
  12. kaikai128

    kaikai128 Yes SIR. ;-)
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    I would have to agree with Amy B that maybe it is your GPA that is keeping you from getting in. Mocheese: What schools are you applying to??? M.D., or D.O.??? I know little about the M.D. programs outside of my state, but I know that many many people get into D.O. schools with stats like yours or worse. Regardless, Good luck with everything
     
  13. Energon

    Energon Nobody Summons Megatron
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    I agree with the above posters. Its probably your GPA that is holding you back. There are some guys that make up for low GPA's with stellar MCAT scores in the high 30's. Since you already have a 28 which can get you in, maybe you should now work on your GPA. A masters course is definately a good idea.
     
  14. mocheese

    mocheese Member
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    I applied to MD programs in my state (OH) and only 1 DO school. A huge reason I didnt get any interview offers, beside my gpa, was the fact that I didnt get my secondary apps in till the last minute, literally. I know right now my gpa is holding me back, so that is why I am getting a masters. I really would like to go to an MD school that is heavy in research and also located in a city not a rural area. I talked to an adcom person at ohio state (where i went to school) and she told me that my 28 wouldnt do it with my gpa, even if I got a masters so that is why I am considering retaking it. I have pretty good ECs (publications, shadowing, volunteer work) and good LORs (one from a doctor). As far as DO schools go, I am not opposed to it, but my only reservation is most DO schools are located in rural areas so I would only be interested in a few schools such as PCOM and CCOM. are my stats good enough for either of those schools? I know it sounds stupid, but I love city life and I would be miserable if I had to go back to the country. One question about applying to DO schools: how important is the lot from the DO? could a letter from an MD take it's place?
     
  15. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    Hi,
    Some schools require a letter from a DO and some take an MD letter instead. Timing is definitely everything in the application process. Late timing will indeed affect your chances. With your GPA showing an upward trend from that horrible freshmen year, and with your MCAT what it is, you could have a good chance at a DO school, if your ECs,LORs and personal statement are great.

    I wasn't able to find a DO to shadow due to HIPPA. I was able to set up an interview time with one and faxed him my personal statement and some secondary essays I was working on. Then we met for 45 minutes and he wrote my LOR. You say you applied to 1 DO school, did you have a DO letter? I know VCOM and WVSOM require a DO letter and will not take an MD letter in its place, but some of the other schools will take the MD letter.

    You are right DO schools are in more rural locations. That is why I actually wanted to go DO and turned down the MD offer.

    I can't believe Ohio State won't even let you do a graduate program to improve your GPA, geez some of these schools just won't give people a chance to prove themselves.

    Just make sure your personal statement reflect your desire to become a DO. Make sure you have researched the topic online extensively so you can show the DO schools that you are really interested in the whole DO education and professsion. There are a few books you could read. Here is a link to a book I was told to read by the DO that wrote my letter.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801843219/qid=1082983809/sr=2-2/ref=sr_2_2/002-9623201-1071250

    Good luck.
     
  16. kaikai128

    kaikai128 Yes SIR. ;-)
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    Did you find this book helpful?
     
  17. Ginkoba4

    Ginkoba4 Member
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    To the OP,

    I have pretty much the same stats as you, exact same MCAT grades (10V, 8P, 10B and R in writing) and my GPA at the time I was applying was a 3.15 (BCPM around the same). I am a biochemistry major and had showed steady improvement after freshman year (although I did get a C in orgo II freshman year!). I applied to 3 DO schools and 15 or so MD schools very late in the game (I waited until I saw my Aug MCAT scores which was a big mistake). I had all good letters and hospital experience, but that didn't help me get in anywhere (sorry, this is not one of those hopeful stories :D). I am waitlisted at PCOM (the one and only interview I got too!), my first choice school.

    I see this all as a lesson learned. I think if we both did post-bacc programs to raise our GPAs it would help a lot; showing you can handle medical school means much more than some numbers from a standardized test in my opinion. So I wouldn't worry about MCATs as people said above (although, I am taking it again in August, mostly to prove to myself that I know my s***, does anyone else think I'm nuts?). Also remember, even if you did really well on the MCATs and raised your GPA, those top tier "dream" MD schools would probably look down on you anyway because you couldn't get it right the first time! If anyone knows of schools who like post-bacc applicants, please start a thread on it! Just make sure you're happy with what you're doing! Good luck!
     
  18. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    Yes, I did. :)
     
  19. no-see-um

    no-see-um Bindaas
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    Suppose you registered to take an MCAT and did not show up and didn't take the test and got a refund. Does that count as having taken the test for registration purposes? Is that part of the 3 test procedure?
     
  20. no-see-um

    no-see-um Bindaas
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    Anyone know this?
     
  21. KrapYnot206

    KrapYnot206 Junior Member
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    No, you have to physically be at the testing site and open up the booklet. This is the only way you are considered to have "taken" the test, wether you void the scores or not.

    I know because I was planning on taking August 2002 MCAT but didn't feel ready and talked to the AAMC people.

    As long as you don't SIT for the test. You are fine.
    Hope this helps.
     
  22. HeavyD

    HeavyD Member
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    Mocheese,

    My advice is a good or useless as anyone esle but I'll throw it in anyway.

    1) Time to get serious, which it doesn't sound like you really are. How many times have you taken the MCAT and are still asking questions regarding 'what it takes' to get in at (X) program? There are multiple sources out there that list all schools in the US, mean GPA/MCAT, % of acceptance per applications, costs, etc. This stage of the game it's time to 'fish or cut bait'.

    2) Take a good look at what you are trying to achieve. Earning an acceptance into a medical program is only the start. It's a grind from week #1. There are trying times even for the most dedicated of med students. Dedication and commitment can make up (but only so much) for academic weaknesses (as it sounds you might suffer). If you are certain medicine is your calling, you might open your seemingly narrow view of your options. All sorts of schools out there that are in dense populations outside of the few you had mentioned applying to. Maybe in less desireable areas to you, but the programs you would choose first might not be a realistic fit for you as an applicant.

    3) Get your apps in the first week, especially with schools that have rolling admissions. You're trying to get into a professional field, so it's definately time to conduct youself accordingly. Last minute submissions don't tend to portray a seriousness of an applicant.

    Again, my advice is as good or useless as the next poor sucker.
     

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