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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Karen, Nov 23, 1998.
How low can your MCAT scores be for acceptance into osteopthic school?
Your question is a difficult one. I know fellow students at my undergraduate university who had 25's and received interviews and acceptances. I think the MCAT's are an important part of your overall application, but are still just a part of the whole story. There are publications which list the average MCAT scores for the entering classes of osteopathic medical schools. I would suggest that you take a look at them and see where your stand. I applied to schools where my scores were "below average" and received interviews and acceptances. Remeber you are not your MCAT scores....your application reflects your years of experience and education. Good luck. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have...drop me an email. Take care
Based on stats and anecdotal evidence, here is my opinion:
- 5 or lower in any category = rejection
- one or more 6's = likely rejection (sometimes a 6 in verbal is overlooked when a candidate is excellent)
- 7's - once again, depends on rest of profile
- 8's - minimum if you're other credentials are just good (not outstanding)
NOTE: Osteopathic Medical Schools often look past numbers if you give them a reason to (eg. being a pharmacist/nurse/PT for years, having a master's degree etc.).
My GPA is 3.4 (3.7 last two years) with undergrad degrees in chem and psych. My MCAT is 29 and I work in a hospital as an orderly. I have spent much time shadowing a rural DO. I applied quite early to 7 schools and so far have two interviews (both coming up). They aren't breaking down my door to interview me so I'd write the MCAT again if you scored too low and are a pretty average candidate otherwise (like me).
Dear Karen, the MCAT score is just one factor of your application, it is not a determination if you will get in medical school or not. You also have your GPA, extracurricular activities, jobs etc. How you portray yourself is very important too. Don't listen to what other people said about what your MCAT has to be to get accepted, it is very random depending on who look at your application, at what time of the day, etc. So long as you are not getting 2's or 3's, you should go for it. Feel free to email me if you want specifics about my stats. I can tell you that my MCAT score is not terrific. Good Luck. Viviane
I forgot to say that I already got three acceptances, and my scores are not great compare to many people.
I'm living proof that you can get accepted with a 6 on the MCAT. And it was in physical sciences, not verbal (11). I have received 4 interviews, 2 acceptances and 1 alternate list. If you took the MCAT before completing all of your pre-reqs (I did), this will be taken into account by most schools. Amazingly enough, I was actually complimented on my scores by 2 interview panels. I cannot stress enough that MCAT scores are just one aspect of your application. In my case, my GPA is above average and I have alot of extracurriculars & work experience. My strategy was to get all application materials in at the earliest possible time. This maximizes your exposure to the admissions committees, plus it indicates that you are serious about getting in. I think the best thing you can do is not focus too much on one perceived weakness. Just try to create the best overall application package that you can. I firmly believe that if you want it badly enough, you can get in. Good luck!
What everyone is saying is pretty much correct. I have stats for TCOM (as of last year): Overall GPA: 3.6, Science GPA: 3.6, MCAT: 27. This was the class average for last year. Got this info from the admissions dept.
I just wonder if you got any acceptance yet? I had a decent GPA (3.75), lots of extra curriculum activities but an unbalanced MCAT (5 on verbal, 11 on physical science, 9 on biological science). I will have an interview with TUCOM on March. What is my chance of getting in? Thanks for your input.
Hi Karen. Don't get discouraged if your MCAT's are not what you think they should be, are not any indication of your intelligence whatsoever, etc... Some of us just have a hard time with that test. I applied to 10 DO schools, was invited to interview at 6, interviewed at 5, and was accepted to all 5. Although I thought I had a strong application, my numbers are below the mean for all of these schools including a 7 on the MCAT. There will always be exceptions to any standard and I just can't wait to prove in school that these admissions committees took a big chance on me that paid off in the end. Best of luck.
Just to be on the safe side, I think you need AT LEAST a 7 on the verbal, and 8s on the sciences. Almost all the schools have an 8 average for every subject, so to be competitive you need to be at least average. I remembered on my UMDNJ-SOM secondary, they said that applicants below an 8 are placed at a serious disadvantage. I applied to 15 schools, had 6 interview offers, and decided to interview at 3, and my MCAT total was 27.
I am still waiting for an interview. I have a few schools left that haven't rejected me,but it looks pretty hopeless. My state does not have a DO school (yes UHS is nearby). I need to retake the MCAT, but I don't know what else to do. I've taken all the "right" courses. I guess I will find another college and find something to take & get a part time job. . . and next time I won't apply after the August MCAT.
Don't give up just yet. If you don't get in this year, take a year off or reapply. I decided to take two years off working for a small chemical company. At night, I atttended classes at a local university, volunteered some more (I had tons of volunteer before and 3 years of rsrch) and shadowed a DO. Those two years changed my life and made a new person and applicant out of me. Now I am glad I waited coz I wouldn't have been this motivated then. I took the April MCAT but I didn't send in my primary app. until the first week of August and didn't get most of my apps done until October or November. That hurt. I got two interviews but they were so late they were meaningless. I learned it hard the first time. I reapplied the second time around very early and get accepted in early December on my first interview on my first choice. Don't give up just yet. Take a job. Get a Master's. (I didn't attend PostBac 'cause I had all the PreMed courses and more. Even one of my interviewer the first time I applied advised me not to go the PostBac route since I already have the reqs fulfilled). Some of my classmates volunteered for the PeaceCorps, get MS, MPH, and some just reapplied. If you want to retake the MCAT, study REAL hard for it. I retook and my scores were unchanged. Good luck and keep your hopes afloat. Hope to be your colleague one day.
If it is any consolation, I applied to medical school 4 times - never thought I would have it in me to do so!! It has worked out well, as I was accepted to my first choice school. And...all the pain and suffering of past rejections disappeared with the first acceptance letter!
While I was applying, I studied and worked overseas, and took part in AmeriCorps - the domestic peace corps - for two years. Then took some time off to ace the MCAT - it made a tremendous difference.
What I learned most - the past does not determine the future. As long as you have the will, you will come up with the answers and find the opportunities.
I have mention about this program many times here. I am form NOVA and we have a master of biomedical science program that are open for students that want to get into the DO program. All the master will take the cour science classes with the first year medical students.
If the master decided to apply for the medical program, any class that have a A grade will not need to be repeated. There is a very hight chance for the master students get accepted into the DO program.
If you like the Sun and Florida, think about this program and reapply next year.
I would like to tell you that your MCAT scores are not important but they are. The test serves only one purpose: to help the reviewer draw a lign.
They are so many applicants, that the schools kind a have to do that. The good news is that you don't have to score 40 in order to get in. You just have to score high enough so that you can pass the initial "cut". Basically the only purpose for the MCAT is to tell the reviewer which applications to pay more attention to. Seeing it that way made it easier for me.
In the infortunate case that you don't get in, PLEASE DON'T get discouraged. I know it might seem like the end of the world but it's not. I took 2 years after college to do research and I loved it. If you feel like
you need to retake the MCAT & need some help, feel free to email me, I'll be glad to discuss it with you. Also you might want to call the schools that rejected you & find out from the horse's mouth what in their opinion was the "flaw" in your application. You might get surprised - it might not have been your MCAT at all. Sometimes stupid things can ruin your chances. The first time I applied ( 1 school ), I got an interview but didn't get in. I called & asked why. Their answear was simple: I applied too late. I reapplied this year and got 3 interviews and an acceptance.
Good luck & let us know what happens-
Western U. '03
Don't think of it as being how low your scores can be. Think about if you have done your best. If you have, then proceed with your dreams. It's not easy, (it was defienently a challenge for me) but your application is more than MCAT scores and a GPA. Of course those will get you in the door (by means of a secondary) usually. But your extra-curricular activities (research, work, community involvement, volunteering, extra classes, EMT, etc.) are VITAL. Think of yourself as an admissions commitee member and imagine if you would accept yourself. (Don't be easy on yourself either.) If you think you are competitive, I suggest that you look up the post regarding the MCAT and GPA averages of the entering class as a reference. Then go for it. If you truly want to do it don't give up! If for some reason you don't get in, improve your application. If you get the average or somewhere near the average for the MCAT, ask the admissions commitee if you should retake the MCAT over.
Remember what a pain the MCAT was. Studying for it may take time from all your other extracurricular activities. Try and balance you medical experience. Look at your application, if you see anything lacking think of ways you can improve it. The best thing is to talk to people that have got into school. It will give the strength to go on.
Best of luck,