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j.s.o.f.l.y.

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I have already submitted my AMCAS and AACOMAS applications. I took my first MCAT and got a 23. Bummer. Then I took it again thinking I would do much better. I got a 24. I am beyond frustrated. I'm in a dilemma- should I continue with the application process, try the test once more and apply next cycle, or start looking at other options? cGPA is 3.52, science GPA 3.48 and nonscience 3.84. I don't believe that my extracurriculars are fantastic enough to pull enough weight to compensate for my low MCAT score.
I have 500 hours of research, 90 hours volunteering, and only 10 hours shadowing (I am currently shadowing now).

Can anybody give me some advice? I know MD is out of the question. I was focused more on DO but applied to MD for my dad, but my MCAT score is nowhere near the averages for DO schools. Please help!! Anybody!! If I should apply next cycle, what are some things I can look into to strengthen my application? I have already graduated so taking more classes is not an option for me. Thanks so much for all your responses.
 
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24 might work at some DO schools....the cost of applying (if you have it) is a lot less than losing a year of salary
 

j.s.o.f.l.y.

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24 might work at some DO schools....the cost of applying (if you have it) is a lot less than losing a year of salary

Yes, I may just apply to several DO schools and prepare for the next cycle with another MCAT and shadowing experience for now. Thank you so much!
 

candbgirl

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Your ECs are hardly worth mentioning. I wouldn't apply this cycle. You should work on your ECs (10 hours shadowing?) and figure out why you are having such a hard time with the MCAT.
 

j.s.o.f.l.y.

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Your ECs are hardly worth mentioning. I wouldn't apply this cycle. You should work on your ECs (10 hours shadowing?) and figure out why you are having such a hard time with the MCAT.
I will have close to 40 by the end of August. It has been a hard experience trying to find a doctor that will let me shadow them (believe me, I've tried hundreds of doctors). I am planning on taking a course for the MCAT for my next try. What else would you recommend that would strengthen my application? GPA is not really an option since I am graduating soon.
 
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peudamour

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I agree with @sb247 . If you can get in this year, the year of attending salary that you wouldn't lose out on would outweigh your costs for applying this year instead of next. I don't think it would hurt too bad to try.

Maybe @Goro could weigh in on chances for DO?

Either way, you should try to start improving your ECs. If you get interviews it will look good, and if not, you'll be a stronger re-app. Try to get more diverse volunteer experiences. Find something clinical that you can do over the next full year. Get with a hospital or something and volunteer regularly. If you can, get a medically related job as well. You need to show schools that you know what you're getting into. Also, you could find a non-medical volunteer opportunity that you'd really love based on your interests and get some non-clinical hours.
 

Goro

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OP, you're in a pretty deep hole. You'be be autorejected at my school. Low MCAT scores are associated with failing our of med school or failing Boards. You should not apply and solely concentrate on fixing your test taking deficits. Go to you school's learning center for help on this.

And do NOT apply to medical school to please anyone but yourself.
I was focused more on DO but applied to MD for my dad, but my MCAT score is nowhere near the averages for DO schools.
 
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mc3894

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Your GPA is decent, but the MCAT is low.. I'd say you have a chance with DO, but it is still cutting it close. You would want to apply broadly and hope you'll get some attention. I would suggest an MCAT retake and possibly working on your EC's some more. I don't think that taking a gap year would be that big of a deal. A lot of people will argue that you're missing out on a whole year of salary, but right now I am not sure how you would fair in this application cycle. I wish you the best of luck!
 

j.s.o.f.l.y.

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Your GPA is decent, but the MCAT is low.. I'd say you have a chance with DO, but it is still cutting it close. You would want to apply broadly and hope you'll get some attention. I would suggest an MCAT retake and possibly working on your EC's some more. I don't think that taking a gap year would be that big of a deal. A lot of people will argue that you're missing out on a whole year of salary, but right now I am not sure how you would fair in this application cycle. I wish you the best of luck!

Thank you! I am going to apply to 6 or 7 DO schools this cycle and prepare for a gap year in the meantime.
 

kthxbai

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The MCAT is only one issue. You don't seem to have the clinical exposure to warrant an application to any medical school at all.
 
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I got in to a good medical school with a 24. I was a shoe in. The MCAT is not the only thing schools look at. I was rejected the first time around because of a low GPA and low MCAT and probably because of a poor personal statement.

As a wise Dean once told me, find what is weak on your application and make it not-weak.

I knew my MCAT was low, but I knew that it really said nothing about me and my capabilities. So, I enrolled in a Master's program for med-seeking students and did really well. I graduated with a 3.75. After graduation, I had the option to retake my MCAT. I knew I would do much much better, but my experience from the previous cycles told me attempting to study for the MCAT and applying to schools could be a deal breaker. Applications are hard and very time consuming. I really wanted my application to shine and I knew that my work in my Master's would drown out my MCAT score. I decided to put my entire focus on my applications and essays, getting them in EARLY. I'm talking the day the cycle opens. I think that's what helped me as well. I got interviews early and found out early I was accepted to every school I interviewed at by late October/Early November. Most people are still interviewing during that time.

If I were you, I would look into a Master's Program (Medical Science, one year). It really helps your application and even helps if you decide you want to retake the MCAT, most of my friends MCAT scores went up 6-7 points after the Master's Program I took. I know mine would have gone up, but honestly, I was tired and felt confident of my efforts.

But good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!
 

peudamour

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I got in to a good medical school with a 24. I was a shoe in. The MCAT is not the only thing schools look at. I was rejected the first time around because of a low GPA and low MCAT and probably because of a poor personal statement.

As a wise Dean once told me, find what is weak on your application and make it not-weak.

I knew my MCAT was low, but I knew that it really said nothing about me and my capabilities. So, I enrolled in a Master's program for med-seeking students and did really well. I graduated with a 3.75. After graduation, I had the option to retake my MCAT. I knew I would do much much better, but my experience from the previous cycles told me attempting to study for the MCAT and applying to schools could be a deal breaker. Applications are hard and very time consuming. I really wanted my application to shine and I knew that my work in my Master's would drown out my MCAT score. I decided to put my entire focus on my applications and essays, getting them in EARLY. I'm talking the day the cycle opens. I think that's what helped me as well. I got interviews early and found out early I was accepted to every school I interviewed at by late October/Early November. Most people are still interviewing during that time.

If I were you, I would look into a Master's Program (Medical Science, one year). It really helps your application and even helps if you decide you want to retake the MCAT, most of my friends MCAT scores went up 6-7 points after the Master's Program I took. I know mine would have gone up, but honestly, I was tired and felt confident of my efforts.

But good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

MD or DO?
 

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Actually I'm not. What I meant by "shoo in" was that I was not made to wait 7 months for a response or put on a wait list, it was a yes.
 

kthxbai

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I can only assume you told one hell of a story.
 

el_duderino

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Actually I'm not. What I meant by "shoo in" was that I was not made to wait 7 months for a response or put on a wait list, it was a yes.

With a 24 MCAT and a round of rejections, a 3.75 in a Master's degree doesn't get you multiple early MD acceptances without something else going on. Your essay wasn't that good.
 
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kthxbai

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I too suspect something is not all as it seems. Don't think you impress anybody with the half-assed information you've given us.

Besides, even if you somehow managed to get your way to medical school with that 24, don't encourage OP to take this rotten gamble.
 
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Hey guys, my post are meant to help those struggling, not to deceive. If anyone needs any advice feel free to ask :)
 

el_duderino

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Hey guys, my post are meant to help those struggling, not to deceive. If anyone needs any advice feel free to ask :)

You don't really provide any useful or actionable information. The only things a premed with poor stats could take from your post are "enroll in a Master's program" and "make sure your essays are great." That's not very helpful.

There's clearly some information you're leaving out of your story. I suggest that if you don't want to share the details, either keep it to yourself or start a thread.
 
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kthxbai

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Hey guys, my post are meant to help those struggling, not to deceive. If anyone needs any advice feel free to ask :)

I would love to know how you made the improbable happen. It would be great if you could share!
 
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I would love to know how you made the improbable happen. It would be great if you could share!

I was persistent and didn't give up when I was faced with hardships or had downfalls. I learned from them and used them to grow.

I had a bad GPA, I fixed it by completing the Master's program. I
I had a weak personal statement, I fixed it
I did copious amounts of shadowing (over 300 hours) ,volunteering in a healthcare clinic (over 250 hours).
Won a contest to shadow one of the best cardiologists in the country.
Made sure I had really great rec letters from people who believed in me and witnessed my growth.

Just fyi, the MCAT I applied with was before I entered the Master's program. It wasn't current.
 

DrZeke

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I was persistent and didn't give up when I was faced with hardships or had downfalls. I learned from them and used them to grow.

I had a bad GPA, I fixed it by completing the Master's program. I
I had a weak personal statement, I fixed it
I did copious amounts of shadowing (over 300 hours) ,volunteering in a healthcare clinic (over 250 hours).
Won a contest to shadow one of the best cardiologists in the country.
Made sure I had really great rec letters from people who believed in me and witnessed my growth.

Just fyi, the MCAT I applied with was before I entered the Master's program. It wasn't current.

I'll ask the pressing question.... Do you fall under the category of minority applicant?
 

Boom it goes

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You don't really provide any useful or actionable information. The only things a premed with poor stats could take from your post are "enroll in a Master's program" and "make sure your essays are great." That's not very helpful.

There's clearly some information you're leaving out of your story. I suggest that if you don't want to share the details, either keep it to yourself or start a thread.

Actually, it's pretty helpful information. It's what got me in.

Sometimes you do more damage than good trying to give someone step by step information. Simply giving direction can do wonders, I hope you've experienced this before.
 
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gyngyn

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I was persistent and didn't give up when I was faced with hardships or had downfalls. I learned from them and used them to grow.

I had a bad GPA, I fixed it by completing the Master's program. I
I had a weak personal statement, I fixed it
I did copious amounts of shadowing (over 300 hours) ,volunteering in a healthcare clinic (over 250 hours).
Won a contest to shadow one of the best cardiologists in the country.
Made sure I had really great rec letters from people who believed in me and witnessed my growth.

Just fyi, the MCAT I applied with was before I entered the Master's program. It wasn't current.
Master's programs don't 'fix" bad gpa's. SMP's give some who do well a chance at their particular program, though.
None of your other improvements are likely to sway an MD program toward an applicant (especially a re-applicant) with a 24 MCAT.
 
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j.s.o.f.l.y.

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Master's programs don't 'fix" bad gpa's. SMP's give some who do well a chance at their particular program, though.
None of your other improvements are likely to sway an MD program toward an applicant (especially a re-applicant) with a 24 MCAT.

I plan on taking my MCAT again. I am having trouble figuring out my weaknesses because on the official AAMC tests I have been consistently scoring 28-29. I know this isn't the best score ever, but it's definitely better than a 24. I realize that MD might be out of reach, but I have hope for DO. It honestly doesn't matter to me which of the two I pursue, because in the end I just want to give healthcare. If all else fails, I still plan on pursuing something else in healthcare such as pharmacy or physician assistant, but my first choice is medical.

Also, I know the most common way for students to get shadowing hours is by calling/emailing doctors to ask. I've been doing that for a few months now with not much success. Is there anybody that could possibly connect me with somebody in Georgia to shadow? I know that the answer is probably a no, but it can't hurt to try and ask.
 

gyngyn

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I plan on taking my MCAT again. I am having trouble figuring out my weaknesses because on the official AAMC tests I have been consistently scoring 28-29. I know this isn't the best score ever, but it's definitely better than a 24. I realize that MD might be out of reach, but I have hope for DO. It honestly doesn't matter to me which of the two I pursue, because in the end I just want to give healthcare. If all else fails, I still plan on pursuing something else in healthcare such as pharmacy or physician assistant, but my first choice is medical.

Also, I know the most common way for students to get shadowing hours is by calling/emailing doctors to ask. I've been doing that for a few months now with not much success. Is there anybody that could possibly connect me with somebody in Georgia to shadow? I know that the answer is probably a no, but it can't hurt to try and ask.
Don't re-take the MCAT until you are really ready. DO is in reach. Have you contacted AACOMAS for one who will let you shadow?
 
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Correct, they don't "fix" a bad GPA. However, excelling in one does say significant information about an applicant.

You're also right, some institutions do give students a chance in their particular program; however, this is does not apply to me.

Much to your surprise, my improvements did sway a committee on this re-applicant. Also, I had no ties to the school, that might surprise some as well.

I've learned that not everything is as black and white as some would like things to be. Not all medical schools look for just a specific MCAT or GPA. Some medical schools really are interested in the actual person, rather than just their numbers.

If you are an applicant in a similar situation as mine, work hard and look for those schools that are genuinely interested in the whole person.
 

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I plan on taking my MCAT again. I am having trouble figuring out my weaknesses because on the official AAMC tests I have been consistently scoring 28-29. I know this isn't the best score ever, but it's definitely better than a 24. I realize that MD might be out of reach, but I have hope for DO. It honestly doesn't matter to me which of the two I pursue, because in the end I just want to give healthcare. If all else fails, I still plan on pursuing something else in healthcare such as pharmacy or physician assistant, but my first choice is medical.

Also, I know the most common way for students to get shadowing hours is by calling/emailing doctors to ask. I've been doing that for a few months now with not much success. Is there anybody that could possibly connect me with somebody in Georgia to shadow? I know that the answer is probably a no, but it can't hurt to try and ask.


My advice, ask someone on an admissions committee for more "absolute" advice.
Also, don't ever take yourself out so early in the game. Even if others think you are a "dead no". Keeping knocking, someone is bound to open the door.
 

FutureOncologist

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A lot of people are just looking at your GPA and saying "NOPE" or "Not gonna cut it". But I wanna ask if this is an upward trend? Or a downward trend? Or just an overall B+ average? Because a lot of state schools have a more "holistic" approach and will consider you if it's an upward trend. That's what happened to me. Had a 3.1 cGPA half way through, got my **** together, and pulled it up to a 3.5 and got into two M.D. schools.

Trying to find a doctor to shadow is no joke if you have no one in the family that has ties to a hospital. Same thing happened to me. Had to almost beg to get some surgery and shadowing hours to hospitals that I shadowed. It sucks, but I did it. Also, 40 hours is fine for most state schools (at least around me). I only had around 60 hours from 3 years combined.

Retake the MCAT. No way around it. It sucks. I know some people in my class that just read some TPR books for 2 months and made a 34. Me? I had to take it twice. First time was a 29 from half-ass-studying. The second time I put in 3 hours a day for 4 months and made a 36. Trust me, it isn't easy. At all. But if you're serious about getting in, then I suggest really sitting down and really study. Even if it means taking a gap year.

On a personal note, how long did it take to get 500 hours of research? Legitimately curious.
 
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j.s.o.f.l.y.

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Don't re-take the MCAT until you are really ready. DO is in reach. Have you contacted AACOMAS for one who will let you shadow?

Yes, I had a month between my first and second tests. I thought that my testing style was the problem, but I think its deeper than that. I need to completely change my studying strategy. I am still going to try some DO schools this cycle, but am going to prepare for a gap year.
 
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Boom it goes

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Is a 3.75 really "excelling"? That's 3 As and a B every semester. Meh.

Boom, which schools accepted you?

Actually it's one B and like 13 A's.

IUSM
UT MB
TCOM
USC

You guys can doubt me all you like, but at the end of the day I got in. I didn't have any direction going through this process and all I'm trying to do is give a little hope for those who are shot down by people on sites like these.
 
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j.s.o.f.l.y.

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A lot of people are just looking at your GPA and saying "NOPE" or "Not gonna cut it". But I wanna ask if this is an upward trend? Or a downward trend? Or just an overall B+ average? Because a lot of state schools have a more "holistic" approach and will consider you if it's an upward trend. That's what happened to me. Had a 3.1 cGPA half way through, got my **** together, and pulled it up to a 3.5 and got into two M.D. schools.

Trying to find a doctor to shadow is no joke if you have no one in the family that has ties to a hospital. Same thing happened to me. Had to almost beg to get some surgery and shadowing hours to hospitals that I shadowed. It sucks, but I did it. Also, 40 hours is fine for most state schools (at least around me). I only had around 60 hours from 3 years combined.

Retake the MCAT. No way around it. It sucks. I know some people in my class that just read some TPR books for 2 months and made a 34. Me? I had to take it twice. First time was a 29 from half-ass-studying. The second time I put in 3 hours a day for 4 months and made a 36. Trust me, it isn't easy. At all. But if you're serious about getting in, then I suggest really sitting down and really study. Even if it means taking a gap year.

On a personal note, how long did it take to get 500 hours of research? Legitimately curious.

I have an upward trend in GPA. My first two years weren't very good, but I finally got my stuff together and got a 3.7 the last two years.
I am going to retake the MCAT once I feel fully prepared. I guess it's somewhat of a relief knowing that I will have more time to study this time.

I took research as a research course at my university. I went in around 16 hours a week for a year. Research is definitely hard to find, and it was difficult to get PI's serious consideration but I guess I got lucky.
 

gyngyn

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My advice, ask someone on an admissions committee for more "absolute" advice.
Also, don't ever take yourself out so early in the game. Even if others think you are a "dead no". Keeping knocking, someone is bound to open the door.
It's harder to find someone on an admissions committee who is authorized to give counsel than it is to find someone to shadow! Nobody here is taking OP "out of the game." We're trying to keep him in the game in a realistic manner.
Where are these elusive MD schools you referred to earlier?
 

gyngyn

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Actually it's one B and like 13 A's.

IUSM
UT MB
TCOM
USC

You guys can doubt me all you like, but at the end of the day I got in. I didn't have any direction going through this process and all I'm trying to do is give a little hope for those who are shot down by people on sites like these.
Are you referring to Keck or S Carolina?
 

el_duderino

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Actually it's one B and like 13 A's.

IUSM
UT MB
TCOM
USC

You guys can doubt me all you like, but at the end of the day I got in. I didn't have any direction going through this process and all I'm trying to do is give a little hope for those who are shot down by people on sites like these.

One B and 13 As is a 3.75? I'm guessing math wasn't part of your Master's program.

And USC's 10th percentile MCAT is 30. You got in as a white or Asian kid with a 24 MCAT and 3.75 Master's GPA? And you got accepted to both a Texas school and a California school with a 24?
 
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j.s.o.f.l.y.

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Have you contacted AACOMAS for one who will let you shadow?

I have called AACOMAS and they just refer me to sites that I have already tried. There is only one DO school in my state and they do not require a letter from a physician, so they do not help students find DOs that they can shadow.
 

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One B and 13 As is a 3.75? I'm guessing math wasn't part of your Master's program.

And USC's 10th percentile MCAT is 30. You got in as a white or Asian kid with a 24 MCAT and 3.75 Master's GPA? And you got accepted to both a Texas school and a California school with a 24?

Hey Jonnythan I'm guessing you got into one of those schools that only looks at numbers, ay?
 

el_duderino

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Hey Jonnythan I'm guessing you got into one of those schools that only looks at numbers, ay?

My GPA was 2.8, so probably not.

Seriously though. You have to be trolling. 1 B and 13 As does not equal a 3.75 unless that B was like 50 credits.
 
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Boom it goes

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We're just fact-checking like any good scientist. Was it CA or SC?

It was Carolina.

I never understood the purpose of trolling? Who has time for that. I certainly don't, otherwise I might have sent some 1,000+ messages versus 10.

But alright, I guess you guys don't want me giving out any of what I consider as "helpful" information, so I'll happily step away.

Have a good night guys, hope you have a good day tomorrow.
 

Goro

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Actually, this is excelling But every SDNer who has posted about an SMP helping them get into an MD school has had a 34+ MCAT score, so if you can share, even by PM, Boomer, this will help future posters.

EDIT just saw your posts right above. USC-Co has a floor of 25, while USC-Greenville has a floor of 25 (Charleston has a floor of 24!) with medians of 29. I assume you're an in-stater? that would give a leg up and explain the <10th %ile.

But unless you're part Hoosier and part Texan, I'm amazed with the other two schools. There were 18/228 OOSers at UTMB.

Are you a veteran?

But to speak realistically to future SDNs, I'd say you're an outlier.


Is a 3.75 really "excelling"? That's 3 As and a B every semester. Meh.

Boom, which schools accepted you?
 
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gyngyn

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It was Carolina.

I never understood the purpose of trolling? Who has time for that. I certainly don't, otherwise I might have sent some 1,000+ messages versus 10.

But alright, I guess you guys don't want me giving out any of what I consider as "helpful" information, so I'll happily step away.

Have a good night guys, hope you have a good day tomorrow.
I will concede that if you are IS for S Carolina there is a possibility that this is true. But if so, it is mostly because of IS bias for which the OP has no chance. What beggars imagination is that you were also accepted to any TX school as an OOS applicant with this MCAT score (with the possible exception of TCOM). If you are a TX resident you certainly benefited from their strong IS policies, but then the other acceptances don't fit at all. Either way, your acceptance turns more upon your state of residence than the purported holistic evaluation you are asking OP to look for.
 
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DocConk

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OP, you're in a pretty deep hole. You'be be autorejected at my school. Low MCAT scores are associated with failing our of med school or failing Boards. You should not apply and solely concentrate on fixing your test taking deficits. Go to you school's learning center for help on this.

And do NOT apply to medical school to please anyone but yourself.
I was focused more on DO but applied to MD for my dad, but my MCAT score is nowhere near the averages for DO schools.


Goro spits wisdom like it's nobody's business. I love it.

You too, gyngyn.
 
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