Jun 4, 2020
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Pre-Medical
My MCAT is currently scheduled for 6/27, and the deadline to reschedule it is tomorrow (the 19th). If there were any spots available for the July 7th exam in my entire state, I probably would have rescheduled it by now. The next available date is July 18th. I submitted my application to AMCAS within the first week, but due to transcript delays with everything going on, my application wasn't marked "Ready for Review" until June 15th. I have no idea where that leaves my application as far as when it will be made available to schools, if the verification process is now said to be taking up to 8 weeks.

Back to the point: I don't know whether I should reschedule. My goal is a minimum of 515, and I've been scoring pretty consistently, and slightly improving overall:

FL1: (4/14/20) 498 (124/123/126/125)
FL2: (4/30/20) 501 (125/124/128/124)
FL3: (5/20/20) 508 (127/126/128/127)
FL4: (6/8/20) 510 (127/126/130/127)
AAMC 3: (6/11/20) 511 (127/126/128/130)
AAMC 1: (6/13/20) 512 (126/128/129/129)
FL5: (6/13/20) 513 (128/128/128/129)
FL6: (6/14/20) 509 (128/126/128/127)
FL7: (6/16/20) 511 (128/127/128/128)
FL8: (6/18/20) 512 (127/126/130/129)
Additional scores since time of posting
AAMC 2 (6/24/20) 517 (129/129/130/129)
FL9 (6/30/20) 515 (130/130/128/127)
FL10 (7/2/20) 515 (129/128/131/127)
AAMC 4 (7/6/20) 520 (129/130/130/131)


FLs were all Altius, other than the indicated AAMC exams.

Is 8 days sufficient enough to improve my score up to a 515 (or, preferably, higher)? (515 is what I want my "settle for" score to be, but I'm aiming for a lot of schools with median scores between 515-520).

If I were to reschedule it to July 18th, my score would be available on August 3rd. I would pre-write secondaries and have everything ready to go. Would sending in my primary on August 3rd be considered late in the cycle, or put me at a disadvantage?

And if the verification process will actually take up to 8 weeks, would it even matter?
 
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How is the rest of your application and what are you aiming for? I.e. any med school or heart set on Harvard, etc?

A 512-515 is solid and near the top of your bell curve. Just be aware so is a 508. If a 508 is intolerable, then you may need to push it back. Don't forget you can submit your primary without your MCAT score in yet, so long as it is in for secondaries.

David D, MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
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May 10, 2020
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You have made amazing progress in 2 months. From what I have read Altius scores tend to be deflated by 2-3 points. you may be close to your target score, even now. However based on the positive upside in scores you have achieved in the last 2 months of nearly 10-12 points, you may be able to go up a little more in the next month, and may not have peaked yet. This is a tough decision.
 
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GreenDuck12

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You're doing way too many FL exams at this point. You should be scaling back and focusing on correcting errors that you are making on AAMC practice exams, not taking additional Altius exams. Your AAMC scores are 512 and 511, with low/variable scores in CP and CARS. Both of those sections are challenging to address.

Have you gone through the Section Bank?
Have you gone through the CARS question pack?

If you haven't done those two things, you may want to consider pushing your test date back to get some additional practice. As for remaining FLs, make sure you put in a couple days in-between them so that you can rest/recover and fully review your errors.

You're in striking distance of a 515. I usually advise my students to not take the exam until they have hit their goal score on practice exams.
 
Feb 5, 2020
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First, regarding how long it will take to process your AMCAS application, you can check on the right panel of their AMCAS website that says "Processing applications that reached "Ready for Review" on Month/Date. " I'm on the same boat as you, waiting for my AMCAS application to be processed, but I've heard as long as your application is processed by late July, it's still considered "early" (please correct me, if I'm wrong).

Next, I also used Altius FL's as my third party resources. I started with a 506 on Atius FL1, then learned from my mistakes and improved up to 515. On the actual MCAT, I received a 520, so Altius deflated my performance (N = 1, btw). However, 520 was also the average of my AAMC FL scores, and I received the same exact individual scores as FL4, so what you get on AAMC FL's as average should be fairly predictive of your performance on the actual MCAT. 510-512 is a solid score already, but I don't think 8-days is enough to improve your score past 515. Unless you're scoring around 518 , I wouldn't also rely on luck to score above 515. I would suggest rescheduling for the exam, if you're really deadset about 515+.

Also, is there a reason why you skipped AAMC FL2?

Best of luck!
 
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Jun 4, 2020
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Hi everyone -

Thank you for your advice. A spot happened to open up on July 7th today, so I rescheduled my exam for then! I feel SO much better with the extra two weeks; I'm very confident that I can improve my score between now and then.

@MedSchoolTutors - I'm not sure I'd be competitive enough for Harvard even with a 520 - Harvard intimidates me way too much, lol. I'm interested in Boston University, UMass, Tufts, Duke, Columbia, Dartmouth, UFlorida, and probably at highest reach, UPenn. The rest of my application is fairly balanced (3.9 GPA, research experience, shadowing, clinical and non-clinical volunteering, club leadership, undergrad TA, etc.). I've never considered it extraordinary. I feel like I'm at a disadvantage because I'm a year ahead; I've only just finished my second year of undergrad, but I'll be graduating a year early and didn't want to take a gap year. I guess that's why I'm putting more weight on my MCAT score.

@nkal225 - Thank you! I'm really happy with my progress so far; I feel I can do better. I pushed the exam.

@GreenDuck12 - I know; I was so conflicted over whether or not I should push the exam that I wanted as many practice scores as possible when making the decision. Now that I've pushed the exam, I'll definitely be combing through everything and effectively filling in my gaps. I have been going through all of the question packs, and will be purchasing the section banks now. Thank you!

@JimKimSlim - Thank you for that insight! Hopefully 3.5 weeks will be a much better timeline and I will be able to get up past a 515. No particular reason about FL 2! lol
 

GreenDuck12

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Think of practice scores as opportunities to calibrate what you’re doing. Right now, you know you’re doing well in BB and PS. Keep doing what you’re doing in those sections. For CP focus on figuring out what you need to add in: is it content specific like orgo or physics, is it misreading graphs, drawing the wrong conclusions etc. For CARS, keep practicing and honing your strategy. Spend a lot of time analyzing the word choice and structure of answers. This is usually where I spend the most time with my students outside of analyzing how tables are presented.

Also keep in mind that the mcat is a test of confidence. I got a huge boost knowing on test day that I had gone through all the AAMC materials, never mind that I never scored above a 507 on NS exams. Good luck to you on your final stretch.
 
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