sigh.If you're aiming for Top 20's, then you don't have a choice. If you'd settle for below that, don't retake. It could not only end poorly, but you may also appear to look like you don't know when to stop.
You'll definitely be accepted somewhere with those stats, but the likelihood of a top 20 may not be all that plausible.
I'm planning on retaking, but at the end of next summer (so MCAT 2015).
Score: 33 (12/10/11) AAMC average: 36 GPA: 3.7 (at HYP)
Thoughts? I want the equivalent of a 35 or higher (for top 20's, like Mt. Sinai, NYU, etc.)...
Retaking an excellent MCAT such as a 33 or 34 can be seen as a red flag. Be aware of the risk that you're taking and the negative implications that come with a good score retake.Yo I got a 34 (AAMC avg was 40) and I'm retaking. I'm also aiming for top schools so I figured I didn't really have much of a decision to make. It sucks but we can do it
I don't think you quite understand how the MCAT works, how medical schools work, how admissions work, or all of the above.It's "excellent" for a DO school, sure, or some random medical school in the Midwest outside the Top 50. And that's not to disparage students who go to those schools. They get a great education and become excellent physicians that at the end of the day differ very little from their top tier graduate counterparts (save for contributions to research, perhaps).
But I don't want to go to a random medical school in the middle of nowhere. I want to go to one in a location that I want to be in after graduation, near a hospital network that's exciting and resourceful to be a part of.
A 33 is barely 10th percentile for students accepted to places in the top 20 (most of which are in good locations and have strong hospital networks).
I don't know how this translates to an SAT score from high school - if I got idk a 2100 and I wanted to go to HYP (where I am now), I would without a doubt retake. It's an "excellent" score. But it's nowhere near good enough. And I'm not even aiming for HYP-equivalent medical schools at this point. I really just want a 35.
I don't think you understood what I was saying, so allow me to clarify.I do have a pretty solid understanding of how applicants from my school do with the stats they present.
Would you mind linking me to these adcoms' posts in which they talk about your points in #4? I am genuinely interested. Thank you!I don't think you understood what I was saying, so allow me to clarify.
An MCAT score of 33 is an excellent score that will allow you to get accepted to many medical schools in the US. With that said, retaking it has some implications:
1) Getting a 35 will not improve your chances at top schools. It is only marginally better and many schools average MCAT scores. If anything, it demonstrates poor decision making in taking the test again and only doing marginally better.
2) You put yourself at risk of doing the same or worst on the MCAT, which would be an issue at many schools.
3) This isn't the SAT where you can simply send one score or send all and have them super score or send all and not have the lower ones impact your application.
4) Most importantly of all, retaking an excellent score carries with you many implications. This person could be "entitled, arrogant, over-perfectionistic, gunner-like, or all of the above". None of these traits are desirable in a future physician. This has been stated multiple times by adcoms on this forum. With all the amount of candidates who are able to get a 35+ on their first take, why take the risk of admitting a possible perfectionistic gunner? There are people who would be content with a 33, since it allows them to be a doctor. This person feels the need to retake for what reason?
As gyngyn, one of the California adcoms on here, has said many times: the best application is one with a single strong MCAT score. You've probably already diminished your chances at a few top schools by getting a 33 on the MCAT the first time. Retaking it and scoring either marginally better (35), the same, or even worse, will hurt your chances at more schools, including those outside the top ones.
I don't have tons of time to search everywhere, but the most recent post was by gyngyn who is a California adcom member.Would you mind linking me to these adcoms' posts in which they talk about your points in #4? I am genuinely interested. Thank you!
The best application is one with a single strong MCAT.
Retaking a weak score is understandable (if not desirable).
Re-taking a good score identifies you as a particular type of applicant. Even with a much higher re-take score.
Is is always a bad idea? Maybe not, but when the original score is this good a re-take is more often a liability than an asset.