Retaking MCAT..

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sam.liam

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I am a non-traditional student that has already taken the MCAT three times. My scores are as follows:

  • 2015: 496
  • 2016: 498
  • 2019: 504

I have extensive research experience. I have worked as a Research Laboratory Manager for 4 years since I graduated college (BS in Biology). I have MD shadowing experience and a bunch of healthcare/non-healthcare volunteer experience from my time in college. However, since I work full-time my volunteer experience has been limited the past 4 years and I have had no shadowing experience since college.

I am a Kentucky resident and applied to my two in-state schools. I am currently waitlisted for both. However, I am trying to plan for the real possibility I will not get pulled from the wait lists. My plan for the next year is to complete a graduate certificate program through the University of Kentucky in Applied Nutrition and Culinary Medicine (because I plan to work as a rural physician in Southeastern Kentucky and develop community programs). I also plan to shadow a physician and pick-up more volunteer hours.

My question is should I retake the MCAT or just focus on building my extracurricular activities and showing an upward trend of my GPA by earning A's in the 12 credit hours of the graduate certificate program? Perhaps my biggest concern is will my MCAT score be valid when applying next summer for entrance into the 2022 entering class? I read that most schools only take MCAT scores from the past two years. Since I tested in May 2019 does that mean my score will be 'expired' in May 2021?

Thanks!
 

goodtime

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I am a non-traditional student that has already taken the MCAT three times. My scores are as follows:

  • 2015: 496
  • 2016: 498
  • 2019: 504

I have extensive research experience. I have worked as a Research Laboratory Manager for 4 years since I graduated college (BS in Biology). I have MD shadowing experience and a bunch of healthcare/non-healthcare volunteer experience from my time in college. However, since I work full-time my volunteer experience has been limited the past 4 years and I have had no shadowing experience since college.

I am a Kentucky resident and applied to my two in-state schools. I am currently waitlisted for both. However, I am trying to plan for the real possibility I will not get pulled from the wait lists. My plan for the next year is to complete a graduate certificate program through the University of Kentucky in Applied Nutrition and Culinary Medicine (because I plan to work as a rural physician in Southeastern Kentucky and develop community programs). I also plan to shadow a physician and pick-up more volunteer hours.

My question is should I retake the MCAT or just focus on building my extracurricular activities and showing an upward trend of my GPA by earning A's in the 12 credit hours of the graduate certificate program? Perhaps my biggest concern is will my MCAT score be valid when applying next summer for entrance into the 2022 entering class? I read that most schools only take MCAT scores from the past two years. Since I tested in May 2019 does that mean my score will be 'expired' in May 2021?

Thanks!
How did you improve from that 498 to 504?
 

sam.liam

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How did you improve from that 498 to 504?

I believe I matured a lot during the years from 2016 to 2019, and I had a vastly improved study strategy. I feel like I could get even higher than a 504 after discovering this website and all the tips/tricks on reddit.
 
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chaim123

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I am a non-traditional student that has already taken the MCAT three times. My scores are as follows:

  • 2015: 496
  • 2016: 498
  • 2019: 504

I have extensive research experience. I have worked as a Research Laboratory Manager for 4 years since I graduated college (BS in Biology). I have MD shadowing experience and a bunch of healthcare/non-healthcare volunteer experience from my time in college. However, since I work full-time my volunteer experience has been limited the past 4 years and I have had no shadowing experience since college.

I am a Kentucky resident and applied to my two in-state schools. I am currently waitlisted for both. However, I am trying to plan for the real possibility I will not get pulled from the wait lists. My plan for the next year is to complete a graduate certificate program through the University of Kentucky in Applied Nutrition and Culinary Medicine (because I plan to work as a rural physician in Southeastern Kentucky and develop community programs). I also plan to shadow a physician and pick-up more volunteer hours.

My question is should I retake the MCAT or just focus on building my extracurricular activities and showing an upward trend of my GPA by earning A's in the 12 credit hours of the graduate certificate program? Perhaps my biggest concern is will my MCAT score be valid when applying next summer for entrance into the 2022 entering class? I read that most schools only take MCAT scores from the past two years. Since I tested in May 2019 does that mean my score will be 'expired' in May 2021?

Thanks!

You're in quite a pickle. While scores can "expire", they never necessarily go away. Schools will see them all, and average them all together, even if you need a new score to be valid.

Look at the MSAR. It will list the earliest MCAT accepted by school.

Have you considered applying DO?
 

goodtime

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You're in quite a pickle. While scores can "expire", they never necessarily go away. Schools will see them all, and average them all together, even if you need a new score to be valid.

Look at the MSAR. It will list the earliest MCAT accepted by school.

Have you considered applying DO?
All schools average them? I thought some only look at the latest score. Is this on MSAR?
 

chaim123

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All schools average them? I thought some only look at the latest score. Is this on MSAR?

Yes, I should have been more clear. Some will average. Some will look at the latest. The point I meant to get across is that all schools will know you took it 3-4 times and see all your scores, whether they officially use those previous scores or not.

MSAR is a great first step. Admissions websites are a good place to confirm. And never be afraid to call and clarify policies.
 

sam.liam

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You're in quite a pickle. While scores can "expire", they never necessarily go away. Schools will see them all, and average them all together, even if you need a new score to be valid.

Look at the MSAR. It will list the earliest MCAT accepted by school.

Have you considered applying DO?

Yes, I understand they do not disappear (I saw my first two scores in my AMCAS application this cycle). I was just afraid that I will need a new to be valid. I will definitely take a look at the MSAR and contact admissions offices of the schools I plan to apply and verify if my score will be valid or not - thanks for that advice.

I have considered applying to DO, and next cycle (2021), I plan to broaden my school list to include DO schools.
 

sam.liam

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Unless your score isn't expired, don't take more MCATs. It's bad enough that they will see three unimpressive scores that are basically the same. Taking another one will cost more money and likely will not help you at all even if you knock it out of the park.

Thank you for the advice. Although I am not sure a jump from the 41st percentile (498) to the 61st percentile (504) is "basically the same". I do agree however that even my 504 is unimpressive.

I feel as if I took it again and made a significantly higher score it would show adcoms that I learned from my previous experiences. But I am still hesitant to retake if my score is still valid considering I was waitlisted at two MD schools this cycle and when I apply again I will have more recent shadowing/volunteer hours.
 
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