Lee

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      This is the Official "Should I Retake"" Thread Part 2
      This is an updated from: https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/official-should-i-retake-thread.412739/ (created on June 14, 2007 and retired on December 20, 2018) in favor of a post that is catered for Retake advice for the New Post-2015 MCAT!

      For those of you who are trying to figure out whether you should re-take, this is the thread for you. Post your dilemma here if you want advice from other SDN folks. Please note that you should take the opinions you get from SDN as one source of advice; you would be wise to also consult your premed advisor before making this decision.

      Template:
      1. What are your previous MCAT Score(s) (with section wise breakdown):
      2. What is your GPA (w/ Science GPA) (If relevant: trend, uGPA/grad GPA/postbacc GPA)
      3. State/Country of residence (optional):
      4. Ethnicity (ORM/URM?):
      5. Goal Med school (Tier/goal):
      6. Include ECs/Other Relevant Info if you would like:
      7. Other Facts regarding your studying the first time:
      8. Do you know/think you can do better?
      Definitely Retake:
      • Scores <495
      • Scores with a subsection of 120 or lower
      • if you scored substantially below your practice Full-length examinations and think you can do better.
      • if your current score does not allow you to reach your target medical school goal (both your GPA and MCAT are below your goal score and your ECs are not spectacular).
      • if you know you could do better and have the time/money to prep for a retake
      • if you had some kind of major problem during the test that affected your performance (ex. you started puking or running a 102 degree temperature)
      • if you took performed poorly on a section you did not take a pre-req class for: (one year each of biology, chemistry, physics, and organic, one semester of biochemistry and psychology) and/or took the exam without studying for it.
      • if you know what went wrong in your prep the first time and can fix the issue when prepping for a retake.
      • if you left large numbers of questions blank/ran out of time.
      Retake only in some circumstances depending on your goal:
      • if you scored a 512 or better, especially if all of your individual section scores were a 125 or better
      • if your section subscores (the numerical ones) are all good, but you didn't perform well on the CARS section.
      • if you scored well overall but with one section below a 123.
      • if you had some minor nuisances (ex. a noisy test room) during the test and you're not sure if it affected your performance
      • if you studied thoroughly for the test and you scored within the range of your practice exams, but your score is in the middle range 500-510.
      Thanks to @MCATKINGS for updating this thread.

      Previous Discussions on Should I Retake can be found here:
      Forum Members - Official "Should I Retake?" Thread
       
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      StraTos_SpeAr

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        From everything I've ever read, that 121 section score is going to sink you pretty hard.

        You already have an uphill climb being from CA. A 507 also isn't the most competitive score for MD schools, though it won't auto-sink you either. The big problem is going to be getting a 121 on the 2nd section (and doing worse on it to boot). Some schools auto-screen for per-section scores, and others will see that and have a very skeptical eye.

        My first reflex would be to say "take it again", but you REALLY need to make sure that you improve that 121. You need to figure out why you scored poorly on that section in the first place and then why you scored worse the second time. If you take it three times in a row and still can't get that up to an at least average score (~125), then it could be really worrisome.
         

        dr_asdrubal

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          From everything I've ever read, that 121 section score is going to sink you pretty hard.

          You already have an uphill climb being from CA. A 507 also isn't the most competitive score for MD schools, though it won't auto-sink you either. The big problem is going to be getting a 121 on the 2nd section (and doing worse on it to boot). Some schools auto-screen for per-section scores, and others will see that and have a very skeptical eye.

          My first reflex would be to say "take it again", but you REALLY need to make sure that you improve that 121. You need to figure out why you scored poorly on that section in the first place and then why you scored worse the second time. If you take it three times in a row and still can't get that up to an at least average score (~125), then it could be really worrisome.
          What are my chances with DO schools?
           
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          GreenDuck12

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            Without knowing more about your goals, state of residence, and background, I would not advise a 3rd attempt without having an unsuccessful cycle. Your composite score is strong as are several of your section scores. Your gpa is great. With that being said, apply broadly and try to identify programs that won’t screen out sub 125 section scores.
             

            dr_asdrubal

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              If I could ask @Goro and @gyngyn, do you think it would be wise to retake if I could ensure a much higher CARS score and then apply? Or should I apply and if I do not get in anywhere, only then retake?

              I am asking because I would like to better my chances for MD schools. However, I understand that if I were to apply and get into a DO school for example, then denying that acceptance would be foolish. What are your guys' thoughts?

              Thank you for your time!
               

              Goro

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                If I could ask @Goro and @gyngyn, do you think it would be wise to retake if I could ensure a much higher CARS score and then apply? Or should I apply and if I do not get in anywhere, only then retake?
                How exactly would you do the bolded text?

                The CARS section is the hardest to remediate, especially for ESL and, I suspect for some 1st gen Americans as well.

                I think that you have hit your plateau.
                 
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                gyngyn

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                  I must agree with @Goro.
                  The most resistant section seems to be CARS.
                  If you studied effectively and sufficiently and actually dropped in score, you would need to identify a course of remediation that will work for you.
                  You would then need to employ this strategy over a period of time sufficient to make progress.

                  The largest uncontrolled experiment I've seen in CARS is Canada. I often see applicants take the MCAT up to seven times in an attempt to raise this score. Mind you, their other scores are great, but they just can't budge CARS. Clearly they are motivated and take plenty of time. Thus, I conclude that there is a subsection of the population for whom CARS will persist as a stumbling block without regard to the interventions tried. We don't know if you are in this category but the information you have shared indicates that you may well be.
                   
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                  GreenDuck12

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                    Hey guys,

                    I'm looking for some advice on what the best course of action may be for me regarding my MCAT. I took it twice and the first time I scored 505 (125/123/129/128) and on my second take I got a 507 (127/121/128/131). When I was retaking the practice FLs I had a 515 average but I knew that this was due to inflation so I was expecting something lower along the lines of like a 512 but not below 510.

                    Anyways, my question is do I retake or do I apply next cycle? I'm CA ORM with a 3.8+ GPA and I would prefer MD over DO. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
                    Depending on your timeline between the first and second attempt your retake score is on the low end of what I would expect on a second attempt. I tell most folks I work with that for a retake you should anticipate 1-2 points per section of score inflation on the FL average which is what we see here. I do not think you can guarantee that your score will improve in cars or you would have done that already. I agree with Goro, I think you’ve hit a plateau. While it’s possible to see small increases, an incremental score increase will not significantly impact your chances. Apply as is and only retake after an unsuccessful cycle in which you apply broadly.
                     

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                      What were your practice exam scores? With your GPA, you could have some success if you apply broadly- much moreso if you apply DO. The 123 in CARS will preclude you from quite a few schools, but I wouldn't risk a retake unless your practice test scores were ~515+ consistently.

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                        I wouldn't even say this score is unbalanced. And a 125 in CARS will be enough to make sure you won't be prescreened at any school, so unless you were scoring in the 517+ range on your practice tests, I wouldn't retake.

                        Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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                        GreenDuck12

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                          I wouldn't retake at this point - your PS is excellent, your CARS is strong, BB is right where it needs to be and CP is on the weaker side. The good news is you hit the 125 subsection minimum that a lot of MD programs have and your composite score is right at the mean for accepted applicants to MD programs. Given your strong GPA, I would go ahead and apply if your application is well rounded and ready as your stats are quite promising per the AAMC acceptance grid for GPA/MCAT score. In the event you have an unsuccessful cycle I would go ahead and plan on a retake pending feedback from programs. Best of luck to you.
                           

                          MDChasing620

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                            1. What are your previous MCAT Score(s) (with section wise breakdown): 508 (127/123/130/128)
                            2. What is your GPA (w/ Science GPA) (If relevant: trend, uGPA/grad GPA/postbacc GPA) cGPA: 3.42 sGPA: 3.51
                            3. State/Country of residence (optional): TX resident
                            4. Ethnicity (ORM/URM?): URM African American Male
                            5. Goal Med school (Tier/goal): I would prefer a TX state school but open to anything. Open to DO but prefer MD
                            6. Include ECs/Other Relevant Info if you would like: Probably 1000 hours as and EMT, few leadership positions in undergrad, 500 hours volunteering, 50 hours clinical volunteering. 20 hours shadowing
                            7. Other Facts regarding your studying the first time: Quite a few distractions. I even had to fly out of state 3 times during my studying. Other responsibilities definitely hindered me to an extent. Me and my girlfriend even broke up the day before my MCAT. Yea, I know…
                            8. Do you know/think you can do better? My cars score was lower than ever. My last few full lengths I was fluctuating between 126-127.

                            The cars score is what is killing me. I know I can do so much better. The cars section that day was particularly difficult too which definitely didn’t help. I tested 9/2 7:30 AM, so if anyone else tested that same day, you know what I mean. I wouldn’t be considering retaking if I got a 125 on cars, maybe even a 124. I feel like 123 is just too low for Texas schools. Also Texas schools love high GPA’s and mine is definitely not as high as I would like. Do many schools have subsection cutoffs?

                            Should I retake?
                             

                            goodbee

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                              1. What are your previous MCAT Score(s) (with section wise breakdown): 508 (127/123/130/128)
                              2. What is your GPA (w/ Science GPA) (If relevant: trend, uGPA/grad GPA/postbacc GPA) cGPA: 3.42 sGPA: 3.51
                              3. State/Country of residence (optional): TX resident
                              4. Ethnicity (ORM/URM?): URM African American Male
                              5. Goal Med school (Tier/goal): I would prefer a TX state school but open to anything. Open to DO but prefer MD
                              6. Include ECs/Other Relevant Info if you would like: Probably 1000 hours as and EMT, few leadership positions in undergrad, 500 hours volunteering, 50 hours clinical volunteering. 20 hours shadowing
                              7. Other Facts regarding your studying the first time: Quite a few distractions. I even had to fly out of state 3 times during my studying. Other responsibilities definitely hindered me to an extent. Me and my girlfriend even broke up the day before my MCAT. Yea, I know…
                              8. Do you know/think you can do better? My cars score was lower than ever. My last few full lengths I was fluctuating between 126-127.

                              The cars score is what is killing me. I know I can do so much better. The cars section that day was particularly difficult too which definitely didn’t help. I tested 9/2 7:30 AM, so if anyone else tested that same day, you know what I mean. I wouldn’t be considering retaking if I got a 125 on cars, maybe even a 124. I feel like 123 is just too low for Texas schools. Also Texas schools love high GPA’s and mine is definitely not as high as I would like. Do many schools have subsection cutoffs?

                              Should I retake?
                              Personally, I think you should retake. Here's why...

                              The great Lee recommends that you "definitely retake" if:
                              1. "Scores <495
                              2. Scores with a subsection of 120 or lower
                              3. if you scored substantially below your practice Full-length examinations and think you can do better.
                              4. if your current score does not allow you to reach your target medical school goal (both your GPA and MCAT are below your goal score and your ECs are not spectacular).
                              5. if you know you could do better and have the time/money to prep for a retake
                              6. if you had some kind of major problem during the test that affected your performance (ex. you started puking or running a 102 degree temperature)
                              7. if you took performed poorly on a section you did not take a pre-req class for: (one year each of biology, chemistry, physics, and organic, one semester of biochemistry and psychology) and/or took the exam without studying for it.
                              8. if you know what went wrong in your prep the first time and can fix the issue when prepping for a retake.
                              9. if you left large numbers of questions blank/ran out of time."

                              I think you should retake because your CARS score dropped significantly (3), your GPA/MCAT will hurt your chances at a lot of TX schools (4), and you had issues during your studying (5/6). According to the TMDSAS Medical Statistics you'd have roughly a 15% chance of admission with your GPA/MCAT. That's extremely low,
                               
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                              gyngyn

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                                That's surprising to hear. Could I ask which texas schools you think I have a shot at?
                                I'm far from an expert on TX, but you would be good to go at most CA schools if that is your only MCAT.
                                Let's see if @wysdoc can provide any insight on TX
                                 
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                                wysdoc

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                                  I'm far from an expert on TX, but you would be good to go at most CA schools if that is your only MCAT.
                                  Let's see if @wysdoc can provide any insight on TX
                                  You should apply to all the MD schools on TMDSAS but maybe less chance at UTSW & Baylor. Apply to TCU also (AMCAS)
                                   
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                                  satdixon

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                                    Hey everyone! So I retook my MCAT, and got a 513 (C/P 128, CARS 125, B/B 130, P/S 130). This is only a minor improvement from my last time, where I got a 512 (C/P 129, CARS 126, B/B 129, P/S 128). I was wondering how screwed am I in regards to applying for next cycle, where I will be a reapplicant.

                                    For reference, I am Asian, have 3.8 cGPA, 3.76 sGPA, and am a Texas Resident. I graduated with a degree in math and computational biology, and I am currently doing an MPH in epidemiology. Also I am currently working as a clinic assistant part time and will have around 1000 hours of work experience when I apply. I also am currently in doing research and have over 1000 hours of research experience. I also am president of a nonprofit that's fundraiser 8K dollars, and I had 3 additional leadership positions during undegrad. I have over 2000 hours of volunteering. Please let me know if there is any additional information you may need from me to help provide a more complete picture
                                     
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                                    MyOdyssey

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                                      Hey everyone! So I retook my MCAT, and got a 513 (C/P 128, CARS 125, B/B 130, P/S 130). This is only a minor improvement from my last time, where I got a 512 (C/P 129, CARS 126, B/B 129, P/S 128). I was wondering how screwed am I in regards to applying for next cycle.

                                      For reference, I am Asian, have 3.8 cGPA, 3.76 sGPA, and am a Texas Resident. I graduated with a degree in math and computational biology, and I am currently doing an MPH in epidemiology. Also I am currently working as a clinic assistant part time and will have around 1000 hours of work experience when I apply. I also am currently in doing research and have over 1000 hours of research experience. I also am president of a nonprofit that's fundraiser 8K dollars, and I had 3 additional leadership positions during undegrad. I have over 2000 hours of volunteering. Please let me know if there is any additional information you may need from me to help provide a more complete picture
                                      Seems to me you still have a good shot at TX in state schools, though probably not Baylor or UT Southwestern. The retake neither helped nor hurt you.
                                       
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                                      gonnif

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                                        Just apply broadly. Also Texas resident helps a lot because so many state schools.

                                        You’ll get in somewhere. May not be a T20 but that’s most people who apply
                                        Texas Residents in state have a lower matriculation rate than AMCAS aggregate.
                                         
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                                        MyOdyssey

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                                          That’s surprising. It’s smaller than California, more med schools, and the schools have statutory caps on OOS matriculants. Do just more people in Texas want to be doctors. Smaller schools?

                                          There have been many threads discussing this over the years. The gist is that out of state schools fear that TX residents won't leave TX because of TX medical schools' substantially lower tuition. Some venerated ad coms on this board have confirmed that this is true.
                                           
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                                          Goro

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                                            Hey everyone! So I retook my MCAT, and got a 513 (C/P 128, CARS 125, B/B 130, P/S 130). This is only a minor improvement from my last time, where I got a 512 (C/P 129, CARS 126, B/B 129, P/S 128). I was wondering how screwed am I in regards to applying for next cycle, where I will be a reapplicant.

                                            For reference, I am Asian, have 3.8 cGPA, 3.76 sGPA, and am a Texas Resident. I graduated with a degree in math and computational biology, and I am currently doing an MPH in epidemiology. Also I am currently working as a clinic assistant part time and will have around 1000 hours of work experience when I apply. I also am currently in doing research and have over 1000 hours of research experience. I also am president of a nonprofit that's fundraiser 8K dollars, and I had 3 additional leadership positions during undegrad. I have over 2000 hours of volunteering. Please let me know if there is any additional information you may need from me to help provide a more complete picture
                                            Why should you be screwed. You have two fine MCAT scores, and the app looks great. Maybe you won't get into Baylor, but some TX school is sure to take you.
                                             
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                                            KnightDoc

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                                              That’s surprising. It’s smaller than California, more med schools, and the schools have statutory caps on OOS matriculants. Do just more people in Texas want to be doctors. Smaller schools?
                                              Yes, it is smaller than the largest state in the country, making it the second largest! :laugh:

                                              @gonnif is actually a little wrong on this one. While the TX overall matriculant rate of 37.9% is below the national average of 41.9% (it was certainly lower last year, but those numbers have not yet been released), its IS matriculation rate isn't terrible, at 31.8%, compared to 17.2% for CA and 25.3% nationally. I have a feeling @gonnif confused overall matriculation rate with IS; hopefully he will confirm.

                                              The problem for TX applicants is that they face a real problem OOS, beginning with the fact that they have to submit an entirely separate primary in an entirely different system just to be able to apply, and ending with a massive OOS bias due to the high IS preference and low IS tuition for TX schools. The result is that only 6.1% of TX applicant matriculate OOS, compared to 23.4% for CA and 16.6% nationally.
                                               
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                                              MedicalStudent888

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                                                Hi all, this post is asking for a friend without SDN looking for some advice on whether to retake MCAT or not. He plans to apply into the 2022-2023 cycle next spring.

                                                He got a 513 on his MCAT( which of course is a great score) but was scoring closer to 518 on his practice full lengths and was hoping for a 514+. He is ORM, has a 3.9x GPA at a T10 undergrad with good research (third author on a pub coming this year) + decent clinical experience and is really hoping to be a competitive applicant. Do you think a 513 would really hurt his chances at getting interviews from T20 and T50 schools if everything else looks good on paper? How risky would it be to retake a 513 in hopes for a score closer to 518?

                                                Any opinions welcome!
                                                 

                                                Goro

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                                                  Very risky because:
                                                  1) anyone can hit .300 in batting practice, but facing a 95 mph fastball from a pitcher on the mound is a different story.
                                                  2) most retakers either stay at the same score, go down, or only go up a point or two.
                                                  3) the MCAT is a test of judgment, in addition to one of confidence. Adcoms can very well wonder why someone would retake a perfectly good score.
                                                  4) despite what medical schools might say on their websites, there is no accounting for individual screeners or interviewer's prejudices. And we know that averaging MCAT scores is more accurate than taking either of the scores.
                                                  5) your friend can get into many fine schools, and that should be his goal, to get into A medical school.
                                                   
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                                                  Proudfather94

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                                                    Hi all, this post is asking for a friend without SDN looking for some advice on whether to retake MCAT or not. He plans to apply into the 2022-2023 cycle next spring.

                                                    He got a 513 on his MCAT( which of course is a great score) but was scoring closer to 518 on his practice full lengths and was hoping for a 514+. He is ORM, has a 3.9x GPA at a T10 undergrad with good research (third author on a pub coming this year) + decent clinical experience and is really hoping to be a competitive applicant. Do you think a 513 would really hurt his chances at getting interviews from T20 and T50 schools if everything else looks good on paper? How risky would it be to retake a 513 in hopes for a score closer to 518?

                                                    Any opinions welcome!
                                                    I wouldn't do it if I were him, unless he's ivy league or bust. That's a perfectly fine MCAT score that's like what 87th percentile? It's far more likely he'll score between 0-87th percentile on the retake than 88-100th statistically speaking. To be 87th percentile how many questions do you think you would have to get wrong to be that high? I'm guessing 3 or 4, are they that confident that they will only miss 1 or 2 questions per section with a test that will focus on other ideas and concepts on the retake?
                                                     
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                                                    MedicalStudent888

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                                                      I wouldn't do it if I were him, unless he's ivy league or bust. That's a perfectly fine MCAT score that's like what 87th percentile? It's far more likely he'll score between 0-87th percentile on the retake than 88-100th statistically speaking. To be 87th percentile how many questions do you think you would have to get wrong to be that high? I'm guessing 3 or 4, are they that confident that they will only miss 1 or 2 questions per section with a test that will focus on other ideas and concepts on the retake?

                                                      He has been dreaming about a T20 school but I definitely agree 513 retake seems very risky (which I have been trying to tell him), but his main concern is that this score would close many of those doors for him and he feels he could do a few points better on a retake

                                                      From what he has told me, the problem happened with a big drop in one section (CARS) while in other sections the scores were in range of practice tests, not sure if that makes a difference
                                                       

                                                      srirachamayonnaise

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                                                        He has been dreaming about a T20 school but I definitely agree 513 retake seems very risky (which I have been trying to tell him), but his main concern is that this score would close many of those doors for him and he feels he could do a few points better on a retake

                                                        From what he has told me, the problem happened with a big drop in one section (CARS) while in other sections the scores were in range of practice tests, not sure if that makes a difference
                                                        If he dreams about t20's, with his ORM status, he needs to retake that 513.
                                                         
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                                                        gonnif

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                                                          Yes, it is smaller than the largest state in the country, making it the second largest! :laugh:

                                                          @gonnif is actually a little wrong on this one. While the TX overall matriculant rate of 37.9% is below the national average of 41.9% (it was certainly lower last year, but those numbers have not yet been released), its IS matriculation rate isn't terrible, at 31.8%, compared to 17.2% for CA and 25.3% nationally. I have a feeling @gonnif confused overall matriculation rate with IS; hopefully he will confirm.

                                                          The problem for TX applicants is that they face a real problem OOS, beginning with the fact that they have to submit an entirely separate primary in an entirely different system just to be able to apply, and ending with a massive OOS bias due to the high IS preference and low IS tuition for TX schools. The result is that only 6.1% of TX applicant matriculate OOS, compared to 23.4% for CA and 16.6% nationally.

                                                          My statement remains. Texas IS via TMDSAS (which does report data to AMCAS) have a lower overall matriculation rate than AMCAS aggregate, my point being that there is a strong belief among premeds that Texas was a silver bullet for getting a seat. California wasnt mentioned until after my comment. Now if you want compare various IS acceptance rates, scores, etc, that is a different question. However I would also say it is the wrong question. If the goal of a premed is to get a seat in ANY medical school, it would be interesting to compare residents of states and see percent of acceptance at ANY school
                                                           
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                                                          Proudfather94

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                                                            He has been dreaming about a T20 school but I definitely agree 513 retake seems very risky (which I have been trying to tell him), but his main concern is that this score would close many of those doors for him and he feels he could do a few points better on a retake

                                                            From what he has told me, the problem happened with a big drop in one section (CARS) while in other sections the scores were in range of practice tests, not sure if that makes a difference
                                                            To be frank, for a t20, I feel like he'll achieve better results if he focuses on other areas. How's his volunteering?
                                                             
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                                                            meltonzheng

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                                                              1. What are your previous MCAT Score(s) (with section wise breakdown):
                                                                1634158066628.png
                                                              2. uGPA: 3.93, Science GPA: ~3.9
                                                              3. CA, USA
                                                              4. ORM
                                                              5. Mid-tier is fine. My goal was UCLA, but after getting my scores back I don't think I am competitive anymore.
                                                              6. Did wet lab/dry lab every year in college. Did clinical research and shadowing for a hospital near UCLA. Have worked at a clinical company for electronic consults doing claims processing and eligibility.
                                                              7. I used mostly free resources like Khan Academy, and spent money on the practice AAMC tests.
                                                              8. I can probably do better if I consistently did reading passages everyday, but when I was studying for the test I focused on psychology and biology. Not sure if I want to spend the effort to study again though...
                                                               

                                                              MedicalStudent888

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                                                                To be frank, for a t20, I feel like he'll achieve better results if he focuses on other areas. How's his volunteering?
                                                                pretty cookie cutter honestly and limited clinical opportunities due to COVID-19 didn't help. He has been a TA for 3 years, has tutored younger kids at an underserved elementary school once a week (so probably 100 hours) and just started working as a volunteer in an urban hospital (4-5 hours a week) for more clinical experience. These numbers should grow over the school year before applying

                                                                Would you say focusing more on clinical hours would be a better use of time over focusing on MCAT score improvement? Thanks for feedback!
                                                                 

                                                                Anon_help00

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                                                                  Not sure what this sugarcoating is about but no amount of volunteering or clinical experience will get a 513 ORM interviewed at T20s aside, you'll need some serious leadership or research achievements or life achievements to do so.

                                                                  512 is a published screen for UCLA, so it's fair to assume similar-tier schools are around there for non-URM. Even then, 10th percentiles are usually ~515 for most T20s and even higher for a certain few. If you are an ORM with a 513 and cookie cutter ECs you have no chance (at those schools), to be blunt.

                                                                  However to be fair, with that current application profile even a 520 probably wouldn't give much of a chance at T20s, most of which care about research as well.
                                                                   
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                                                                  MedicalStudent888

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                                                                    Not sure what this sugarcoating is about but no amount of volunteering or clinical experience will get a 513 ORM interviewed at T20s aside, you'll need some serious leadership or research achievements or life achievements to do so.

                                                                    512 is a published screen for UCLA, so it's fair to assume similar-tier schools are around there for non-URM. Even then, 10th percentiles are usually ~515 for most T20s and even higher for a certain few. If you are an ORM with a 513 and cookie cutter ECs you have no chance (at those schools), to be blunt.

                                                                    However to be fair, with that current application profile even a 520 probably wouldn't give much of a chance at T20s, most of which care about research as well.
                                                                    I appreciate the candidness!
                                                                     

                                                                    KnightDoc

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                                                                      My statement remains. Texas IS via TMDSAS (which does report data to AMCAS) have a lower overall matriculation rate than AMCAS aggregate, my point being that there is a strong belief among premeds that Texas was a silver bullet for getting a seat. California wasnt mentioned until after my comment. Now if you want compare various IS acceptance rates, scores, etc, that is a different question. However I would also say it is the wrong question. If the goal of a premed is to get a seat in ANY medical school, it would be interesting to compare residents of states and see percent of acceptance at ANY school
                                                                      ??? You are comparing IS in one state to both IS and OOS in the aggregate. In other words, apples to a fruit basket. :)

                                                                      TX IS is surely no silver bullet, with a 31.8% matriculation rate, but it DOES represent the largest number of IS matriculants in the country, including CA, and the 31.8% is higher than the 25.3% national IS matriculation rate. So saying it is lower than the national 41.9% matriculation rate is very misleading and doesn't tell the whole story. The whole story is that the overall TX matriculation rate of 37.9% is slightly below the national rate because their OOS rate of 6.1% is abysmal, NOT because their IS rate is sub par, because it simply isn't.

                                                                      Also, I appreciate the constant drumbeat of the goal being to get into any school, but it has its limits. UIC exploits your admonitions by charging $83,036 in OOS tuition and fees, before living expenses, while the comparable number for an IS applicant at every TX school other than TCU is in the low 20s. The University of South Carolina charges close to $90K in tuition and fees for OOS matriculants (COA = $114K/yr!). Should the goal really be to allow them to exploit our desperation to attend medical school, rather than taking as many shots as it takes to pay less than a quarter of that amount in TX? With over 1,500 seats available for IS TX applicants, and a 40-60K+ per year cost differential, PLUS an ability to be near a support system and preferred residencies, should their goal REALLY be to get a seat in ANY school?

                                                                      Bottom line, if you want to talk about how bad it is to be a TX applicant, you need to compare the 37.9% to the 41.9%. Comparing the 31.8% IS to overall national rate of 41.9% is not a valid comparison, and distorts the 4% shortfall TX applicants have in their overall matriculation rate, making it look far worse than it is by not taking into account the additional 6.1% who matriculate OOS.

                                                                      The numbers you seek are available in AAMC Table A-5. TX is slightly below average, but there are several that are worse and, as noted above, they place by far the greatest number of applicants in IS seats due to the large number of schools in TX and their 90% IS set aside.
                                                                       
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                                                                      gonnif

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                                                                        ??? You are comparing IS in one state to both IS and OOS in the aggregate. In other words, apples to a fruit basket. :)

                                                                        TX IS is surely no silver bullet, with a 31.8% matriculation rate, but it DOES represent the largest number of IS matriculants in the country, including CA, and the 31.8% is higher than the 25.3% national IS matriculation rate. So saying it is lower than the national 41.9% matriculation rate is very misleading and doesn't tell the whole story. The whole story is that the overall TX matriculation rate of 37.9% is slightly below the national rate because their OOS rate of 6.1% is abysmal, NOT because their IS rate is sub par, because it simply isn't.

                                                                        Also, I appreciate the constant drumbeat of the goal being to get into any school, but it has its limits. UIC exploits your admonitions by charging $83,036 in OOS tuition and fees, before living expenses, while the comparable number for an IS applicant at every TX school other than TCU is in the low 20s. The University of South Carolina charges close to $90K in tuition and fees for OOS matriculants (COA = $114K/yr!). Should the goal really be to allow them to exploit our desperation to attend medical school, rather than taking as many shots as it takes to pay less than a quarter of that amount in TX? With over 1,500 seats available for IS TX applicants, and a 40-60K+ per year cost differential, PLUS an ability to be near a support system and preferred residencies, should their goal REALLY be to get a seat in ANY school?

                                                                        Bottom line, if you want to talk about how bad it is to be a TX applicant, you need to compare the 37.9% to the 41.9%. Comparing the 31.8% IS to overall national rate of 41.9% is not a valid comparison, and distorts the 4% shortfall TX applicants have in their overall matriculation rate, making it look far worse than it is by not taking into account the additional 6.1% who matriculate OOS.

                                                                        The numbers you seek are available in AAMC Table A-5. TX is slightly below average, but there are several that are worse and, as noted above, they place by far the greatest number of applicants in IS seats due to the large number of schools in TX and their 90% IS set aside.
                                                                        Chill out. I make my points about Texas because I’ve run into far too many people who want to pull up stakes, Move to Texas under the believe they’ll have a better chance of getting a seat And that simply isn’t true. Again overall aggregate AMCAS had a better chance than Texas IS.

                                                                        As for your arguments about money and cost I always ask the same question if you got excepted to only one school and I was over your cost would you not go? I don’t worry about the cost of school and advising students to get a seat in medical school. Are we going to start advising students Only to apply where they can afford? Do we have any idea what that is prior to an acceptance and getting a financial aid package? Yes costs are important but irrelevant To a student applying because you absolutely have no idea what is actually going to cost you to go until you get accepted.
                                                                         
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