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Ride on the current MCAT or study for the next one?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Hero, May 15, 2002.

  1. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    My original plan was to send out my AMCAS to a hundred or so schools <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> , take the August MCAT, and hope to get in one of the medschools as a relatively late applicant.

    However, I just made a rough list of med schools that still take the 1999 MCAT and have a reasonable acceptance rate for out of staters (All cali schools require at least 2000 MCAT :( )

    (PM me your email if you'd like a copy of it in *.*doc)

    So the list comes out to be 32 schools... 32 schools is a healthy number but it is also very expensive. To pay for it, I will no questionably have to work during the summer (unless AMCAS decides to let me apply for free after fuxing me over b/c they lost my Off. transcript and didn't tell me until FREAKING OCTOBER :mad: [/end rant])

    So what would you do in my shoes? I just don't want to be stupid for another year :*(

    My 1999 mcat is fairly competitive 32 (but 8 in the verbal)
     
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  3. Nuclearrabbit

    Nuclearrabbit Senior Member

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    only take the mcat again if you have the time to put in to seriously raise your chances in improving your score. 32 is fairly competitive, ans shouldnt hold you back unless you really want to get into a highly ranked school. obviously your gpa and e.c. letters of rec are going to play an important role also, so don't think getting an extra point on your mcat is going to be the difference of you getting in or not.

    good luck

    :p
     
  4. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin

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    32 on the mcat is a very competitive score, if you stick to your plan on retaking it, make certain you'll beat it the 2nd time around: the mcats and the curve have been getting progressively tougher each year (although next april it should change to a slightly more relaxed pace, the curve would still bite though)
     
  5. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    If my mcat wasn't expired for most of the schools (e.g. all cali schools) in the US, I would not retake it.

    I really really really wish I did not have to reatake the acursed test because in my practices, I never broke 30.
     
  6. Future_Doc

    Future_Doc Senior Member

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    32 is pretty dang good! How long are MCAT scores good for??
     
  7. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    going through the MSAR book, most schools you can get away with being 2000 mcats for the 2003 cycle. I think i saw 1 school that needed 2001. There're several with 1999 latest and even less with 1998 and earlier.
     
  8. locitamd

    locitamd Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Assassin:
    <strong>...(although next april it should change to a slightly more relaxed pace, the curve would still bite though)</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Sorry for the ignorance, but why are you anticipating a more relaxed pace?
     
  9. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by locitamd:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Assassin:
    <strong>...(although next april it should change to a slightly more relaxed pace, the curve would still bite though)</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Sorry for the ignorance, but why are you anticipating a more relaxed pace?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">placing the verbal after the physical sciences and trimming it by 5 questions makes it "relaxed pace" in my book, as is shifting the bio/orgo breakdown to 60/40%. of course i'm assuming verbal and orgo are your weaker points :)
     
  10. Weeble

    Weeble Senior Member

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    Not sure how this would affect your decision, but don't forget that if you note that you're taking the August MCAT on your AMCAS, most schools will not even look at your application until the August scores are in sometime in mid-late Oct.
     
  11. otter

    otter Senior Member

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    Hero, let's hope that you'll get in this year. I think you have a very good chance of getting in. Keep showing interest in them (although I don't think you need me to tell you this).

    As for August MCAT, that is REALLY a tough call. But, seeing that you never scored 30 or above on the practice tests and I presume that you feel fortunate to have gotten a 32, maybe the right thing to do would be to go with the 1999 scores. I can see that there are 3 advantages: 1). you won't have to have MCAT preparation spoil another summer; 2). you will not risk having the score go down; 3). your apps will not be held back by the August MCAT.

    If those 32 schools are a healthy mix of different calibers of schools (with enough 2nd-tier schools included), then I'd say just go with your 1999 MCAT. Btw, I saw that someone commented that 32 is a "fairly competitive" score. It is a GREAT score.
     
  12. darkmatter

    darkmatter Senior Member

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    Don't forget to talk to an admissions officer (some schools provide consultation) in order to get a good evaluation. 32 is a very good score and there might be something else that you've overlooked.

    Of course with that score in mind and nothing you've mentioned indicated any sore spot in your application, then it is very likely that you'll get an acceptance this year.
     
  13. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    I'm sorry if this sounds mean... but I disagree with everyone who says that a 32 is a great score. A 32 is a great score only if you have 9+ in every section. I think a 8V 12P 12B is actually ~worse~ than a 10V 10P 10B.

    If I were you I'd take it again. It's really good that you're applying to a lot of schools! You're chances are so much better if you apply to a lot of schools.

    Good luck! I wish you the best. :)
     
  14. TommyGunn04

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by relatively prime:
    <strong>I'm sorry if this sounds mean... but I disagree with everyone who says that a 32 is a great score. A 32 is a great score only if you have 9+ in every section. I think a 8V 12P 12B is actually ~worse~ than a 10V 10P 10B.

    If I were you I'd take it again. It's really good that you're applying to a lot of schools! You're chances are so much better if you apply to a lot of schools.

    Good luck! I wish you the best. :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">or maybe it's a BETTER score than a 10/10/10. Because I'm sure that ADCOMs know how screwing up a question or two in verbal can easily drop your score by one or two points. If your transcript shows that you can write (aka getting an A in an English class or something) and you're able to communicate well with another human being during your interview, I think an 8 in verbal is just fine (especially when your total is a 32!). And if you're going to score &lt;10 in any particular section, verbal is the place to do it! 12/12 in PS/BS at least implies that you have what it takes to handle all the science in medical school. If you had an 8 in BS, that might imply that you don't, and that would DEFINITELY not be helpful! Just my 2 cents... :)

    But you'll probably get in this cycle, and not have to worry about it again. However, in the event that you don't, I'd be reluctant to retake the MCAT, especially since you'll be the "guinea pig" so to speak, since this will be the first time with the new changes, right?
     
  15. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    Normally I would say retake the test. But in your case, I'm not sure it is worth it. scoring a 24 in the sciences is pretty damn good, and I don't think your bad verbal is enough to counter it. I actually think a 8 12 12 is better than a 12 10 10, far and away.
    But my reason for saying not to take it is because most schools expect to to gain 1-2 points the second time you take the MCAT. I think it would be hard to gain those points in the sciences with the 24, and verbal it's extremely hard to learn how to read and comprehend better after doing what you've been doing your entire life.
    I personally think you'll get in this year, but I wouldn't take the August MCAT.
     
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  17. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member

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    The score is fine, do not retake it. It's well above the national average. I had a 7 VR and 8 PS and got in.
     
  18. swimr

    swimr Junior Member

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    May I ask, eagle, what is your BS score? I also have a wonderful 7 in VR and would LOVE to get in ANYWHERE, if I should be so lucky. :rolleyes:
     
  19. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member

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    OK..so I had a BS score of 13...but I don't think it offsets the other portions of the test. What I think most offsets the VR score is my R on the writing sample. I simply brought up the discrepancy in my interview and explained that I "didn't make an efficient use of time on the VR section and screwed up, and that it's not representative of my true ability".
     
  20. Zack90

    Zack90 Senior Member

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    swimr.... I also made it in this year with a 7 in VR... and an O on the writing... so, it can be done.... I had a BS score of a 12...
     
  21. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    Look, I'm not saying the Op doesn't have a chance. I'm just saying he's going to have a really hard time wiht an 8 in verbal. I would bet he's not going to have multiple acceptances to choose from. Whereas if he bumped that verbal he defeinitely would... since he has everything else! I think if this guy retook and boosted his verbal 9even at the expense of the other sections) he'd have a shot at top schools. :)

    I don't know where you guys are getting your information but any good pre-med advisor will tell you that the verbal section is more important than PS or BS. It doesn't matter if that makes sense or not... it's just the way it is. You can give a hundred solid, logical reasons why verbal should not be the most important section, but that doesn't change anything... it's how adcom's think.

    We all wonder how people with 30+ scores get rejected... well this is one reason they might. A 10V 10P 10B is better than any 30+ score with an 8 in one section. Medical schools like to see balance.

    Another point is that adcoms usually see diminishing difference between the 11+ scores in the sciences. Once you break into the double digits, adcoms start looking more for BALANCE.

    If any of you can find me any VALID, RELIABLE source (other than yourselves :) ) that contradicts anything I'm saying, please feel free to correct me. however I think if you do a little research you'll see what I'm saying is true.
     
  22. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    Here's a little exert from <a href="http://www.medicalschool.com/MCAT.htm" target="_blank">www.medicalschool.com/MCAT.htm</a> just to show i'm not making this up...

    Verbal Reasoning

    .... Do not take this section lightly! It is considered just as important, if not more important, than the other sections. While
    interviewing at the University of Chicago, I was told that they gave this section the most weight because this section
    had the highest correlation to the Medical Board Exam (USLME Part I). ....
     
  23. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    This is from Stanford's pre-med sight:

    "10) What is a good MCAT score?

    Traditionally a good score is "double digits" (10 or better) on each test, and a score of at least "N" on the essay. You can get into medical school with lower scores, depending on the rest of your application and on the medical school. For your state medical school, a total score of 27 or higher, with no individual score less than 8, is probably sufficient. It is important to have a well balanced MCAT score, with no individual score markedly lower than the rest of the test. For example, a score of 8,8,8 (total 24) is generally considered superior to a score of 10,10,5 (total 25).
     
  24. otter

    otter Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by relatively prime:
    <strong>Look, I'm not saying the Op doesn't have a chance. I'm just saying he's going to have a really hard time wiht an 8 in verbal. I would bet he's not going to have multiple acceptances to choose from. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I don't think you can say this. Certain med schools place greatest emphasis on verbal scores, while others care mainly about sciences, and the rest view them equally. For example, I'm pretty sure that NYU cares a lot more about the sciences than the verbal, because they say in their application that they look for &gt;10 in the sciences but mention nothing about verbal.

    Getting an 8 on one section is NOT the end of the world. My scores were 8v-11p-11b. So far, I've gotten into two schools, even though the rest of my application is nothing out of the ordinary. If I remember correctly, SMW had an 8 in one of her sections and look how many great schools she's gotten into (SMW, sorry I volunteered your info without permission). 32 is a kick-ass score, and MCAT isn't what Hero should be worried about. He should be more concerned with getting the apps in EARLY.
     
  25. HanSolo

    HanSolo Member

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    In general I agree with a lot of what Relatively Prime said. However, an 8 in VB does not kill your chance of getting acceptance. Having said that, I notice the OP is from CA, and in my humble opinion it's exceedingly difficult to get into a CA school (ie UCs+Stanford) with an 8 in VB, unless you have some mitigating circumstances in your life.
     
  26. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    Otter and HansSolo: Where did I say that an 8 verbal is a death sentence?!?! I DO think he has a chance of getting into ~a~ medical school. What I said was that he is going to have a hard time... and he will! I also don't think he's going to have a multitude of acceptances with a 8 verbal. There are always acceptions to the rule... a few people will always get in against the odds. However CHANCES ARE that he wouldn't be as lucky as you. Just because a few people die from car accidents every year doens't mean I'm going to stop driving. No one should base his or her course of action on the few examples that go against the odds. Don't forget this guy is not a URM (or at least he hasn't said he is). Unless there's something REALLY outstanding in his application... this guy is going to have a tough time. The good thing is that he is applying to a lot of schools. If he were only applying to 10 schools, I'd bet he wouldn't get in any US MD schools.

    Go to the web and DO SOME RESEARCH if you think I'm wrong. Everything I say is based on things I've read or heard from experts. Where are you getting your information? Show me a good source...

    I think this person would have a good chance at not only a few lower end schools but a lot of good schools if he could just raise his verbal. It would be a shame if he didn't retake because you all have convinced him that a 32 with an 8 in verbal is a great score... when it simply isn't.
     
  27. SuzyQ

    SuzyQ Senior Member

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    Ok, i personally think that all medical schools are equally good. You will get a good education WHEREEVER you attend. It just depends on the persons studying skills and how much he/she wants to put forth in making himself or herself successfull in the medical world. I really dont believe there are top school and lower end schools.
     
  28. HanSolo

    HanSolo Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Otter and HansSolo: Where did I say that an 8 verbal is a death sentence?!?!</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Sorry if I offended you Relatively Prime. I agree with what you said. But my comment regarding an 8 in VB doesnt not kill med school chances is more directed to the OP, Hero, than to what you said. You are absolutely right in that an 8 in VB is a liability more than an asset, esp. concerning CA schools.
     
  29. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    I wasn't offended... just kinda confused why it seemed everyone thought I was saying that. :)
     
  30. otter

    otter Senior Member

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    Relatively Prime, I also wasn't trying to accuse you of saying that an 8 on verbal is the end of the world. That was a general comment from the second paragraph of my previous post which was directed more towards Hero. Sorry about the confusion. I still believe that it'd be in Hero's best interest to get the apps out early with his 32 MCAT than to take the August MCAT and then have his application held back. But that's just my opinion.

    HansSolo, I think Hero said that he's not going to be applying to any of the CA schools if he were to apply with his 1999 scores.
     
  31. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    yea i definitely will not be able to apply to cali schools because none of them will take 1999 mcat. My original plan was to apply to all the 1999 MCAT acceptable schools and when I get my results for the 2002 MCAT, apply to cali schools.

    Reason for this is because I am waitlisted at UCSD and USC. I figure I have my foot in the door with them already, might as well try to make a big push to get in especially once I get over the expired MCAT hurdle.

    What Weeble said concerns me. Perhaps I will put 'no' in taking the august mcat and send out my first wave of applications. When the mcat scores come in, send out the second wave of applications to cali schools <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

    eagle26, Zack90 PLEASE tell me from which schools you were accepted. I'll be sure to apply to them! even if they don't accept 1999 MCAT, i have friends that will be interested.

    and otter yes, I will make sure my app gets sent early this year.. AMCAS all done except for a few updates on my P.S. and i've already sent my transcripts :) And if AMCAS tries to pull anything on me again, i'll have thejurisdoctor fax them legal threats :D

    I believe my 8(VS) is the weakness in my application. I have a high GPA from a difficult school, 2 years of research, 2 years of heavy community service, and letters from professors that I've taken classes and whom I've worked with closely.

    If i do not get accepted, I will schedule some sort of counseling w/ an advisor from a med school that rejected me and ask them what's wrong w/ me. (can i do this now? my school advisors are useless it has to be someone from a med school that has looked closely at my file)

    If i don't take the august mcat(which wouldn't be very useful if it'll stop schools from looking at me till mid oct.), would it be the same if I waited till April to take it? Who knows, applying this early, i might get accepted by even before April!

    If the august MCAT is out of my way, I can work for a few more months, go on a one month trip to Europe w/ my buddies and come back to work and to face the 2ndaries (expired MCAT) <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" />

    Here's a list of schools that'll take my 1999MCAT. the schools in bold are schools I've applied to before. the schools with (w) are ones where i have been waitlisted. I'm an idiot for not applying to more of these schools listed here. *sigh* live and learn Hero. Live and learn.

    University of Connecticut
    Yale
    George Town University
    Emory University School of Med
    Loyola University Chicago
    Northwestern University
    Rush Medical College at Rush
    Indiana University School of Med
    Uni Iowa College of Medicine
    Johns Hopkins Uni
    Uni Maryland SOM
    Harvard Med School
    Tufts
    Uni of Michigan Med School
    Mayo Medical School
    Uni Minnesota Med School-Minneapolis
    SLU(w)
    UMDNJ-NJ Med school
    Albert Einstein College of med
    Columbia Univ
    Weil Med college of Cornell univ
    Mt. Sinai
    NYMC
    NY SOM
    Uni Rochester
    Duke(w)
    UNC chapel hill
    Wake Forest Uni
    Case Western
    Med College of Ohio
    Jefferson Med College
    Uni Pittsburgh SOM
    Vanderbilt University
    Baylor College of med
    University of Vermont
    Virginia Commonwealth University SOM

    Lastly, I just want to say I really appreciate all this great advice you are taking the time to tell me. . . Thanks!
     
  32. swimr

    swimr Junior Member

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    I would also like to know where eagle26 and zack90 got accepted. Also, are you URM?
     

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