HopefulPreMed1

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I'm currently a junior biology major at a top 15 UG school, with a focus in neurobiology. I have a 3.94 GPA, am actively involved in research, a mentoring organization with underprivileged youth, and have substantial clinical experience at several top hospitals. I am also a TA for a major class. I have a 33 MCAT score (12 PS, 10 VR, 11 BS, R). Since I will not be applying until next year, should I retake the MCATS? I'm looking to apply to top 20 medical schools. Also, do you guys have recommendations about medical schools that would offer merit scholarships to people with similar credentials? Thanks in advance, I really appreciate it!
 

TriagePreMed

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high balanced score and high gpa. focus on other parts of your application.
 

SFO-IST

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high balanced score and high gpa. focus on other parts of your application.
Agreed. The marginal return from improving the MCAT score will not be as significant - for your application or your future career in medicine - as more clinical experience or even community service oriented volunteer experience.
 

Catalystik

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Before worrying about whether your MCAT score needs to be higher to better appeal to a small group of schools, I suggest you consider whether you have the strength and substantiveness in your ECs that demonstrate to top schools that you have potential as a future leader in medicine, which is the type of applicant they want to train. To me that means 2+ years of research, possibly with pubs, dedication shown by longevity and excellence in some activty, and a peer leadership position that accomplished great things.

If you believe your Experiences show that side of you, SDN wisdom is that you should not retake unless you repeatedly score 3+ points higher on practice tests. Of course, if you score lower, which we've seen happen, that doesn't reflect well on you at all.
 

Ignatius M.D.

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Nov 13, 2010
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I'm currently a junior biology major at a top 15 UG school, with a focus in neurobiology. I have a 3.94 GPA, am actively involved in research, a mentoring organization with underprivileged youth, and have substantial clinical experience at several top hospitals. I am also a TA for a major class. I have a 33 MCAT score (12 PS, 10 VR, 11 BS, R). Since I will not be applying until next year, should I retake the MCATS? I'm looking to apply to top 20 medical schools. Also, do you guys have recommendations about medical schools that would offer merit scholarships to people with similar credentials? Thanks in advance, I really appreciate it!
Don't be that person. I have friends at Vanderbilt with 3.8/35R that are retaking it in the spring. Your score is solid, and you have a 3.94 at a top undergrad. Like others have said, focus on your ECs. You could shadow more, or take up a leadership position, or both. Show them that you have more than only a high IQ.