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Totally dejected man, hard on his luck from his MCAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DZT, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. DZT

    DZT Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    I studied for 4 months for the MCAT and got 29,29,29,31,33 on my Kaplans. I was hoping to break at least a 30, but unfortunately I got a 29. I worked very hard for 4 years, maintaining a 3.75 GPA, winning Phi Beta Kappa, and doing a myriad of other activities (Hospice, Big Brothers/Sisters, Medical Term Abroad, Rugby, Radio, Psychiatric Research, Surgical Observation, etc.). I was doing fine until today when I recieved my MCAT scores: 12BS,11PS,6VR, S WS. I just dont get it... Be reasonable and honest with me, who is going to take someone with the stigma of a 6 into their medical school. I feel really dejected with this; 6 is in the bottom 25% percentile. I dont know what to do now? Should I even bother and apply with such a bad VR score or wait it out until August and retake it? Anybody have any advice for me. I sure could use it. To everybody who broke a 30, I congratulate you.
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  3. Kazzar

    Kazzar Psychiatrist 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2001
    Ventura, CA
    You should give up. It's hopeless man. With that little "6" on your record, AAMC has branded you a loser and you are lost to the world as a hopeless human being.

    Seriously, man. Don't let a score like that get to you. So you aren't good at multiple choice tests that measure your ability to find tone/intent/meaning in silly little passages. Plenty of people get into med school with less than 30. You have stats to prove it. Just have all your strengths shine above your one minute weakness.

    You'll be a doctor, if you really want it. Don't take another MCAT. It's near impossible to improve a verbal score unless you freaked out during the test. Verbal is only improved through years of reading. Taking more practice tests can help, but you took enough already to know the feel of the test. Just apply to med school. It'll be a hard year ahead. Make sure to have lots of people read your personal statement and all your secondary essays so you have no grammatical flaws in them (it'll make up for the bad verbal score).

    You'll be a doc, just have a good attitude and don't freak out. It's all a game anyway.

  4. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 1, 2001
    Doesn't your "S" on the essay portion of the MCAT compensate at least a little bit for your verbal score? Thats a really good written score, and it shows you can certainly communicate well.
  5. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by scootad.:
    <strong>Doesn't your "S" on the essay portion of the MCAT compensate at least a little bit for your verbal score? Thats a really good written score, and it shows you can certainly communicate well.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Unfortunately, the adcoms don't really give a **** about the essay section, which is too bad since I got a T!


    I disagree with the first post in that, unfortunately, I do think you should take it again. Obviously, the science sections are not your problem but the reality is that performance on the USMLE exams is more correlative with the VR score than the other two (and the SAT Verbal is one of the excellent predictors, also).

    You CAN absolutely improve your VR score (I taught PR classes) -- follow the suggestions -- begin reading the NYT everyday, especially the op-ed sections and begin to mark (the op-eds that is) as you would passages. Get your hands on as many VR materials as you possibly can and do passages, more passages, and keep doing passages right up until the day before.

    By reading A LOT (outside of MCAT studies), you can definitely improve your score.

    To be sure, I DO think you could get into medical school with your score, but given your high GPA and extracurrics, if you improved your VR (to say a 10), you would be able to shoot for top 20 schools whereas that is going to be exceedingly difficult with a 6.

    Don't be discouraged no matter how tempted you are -- don't think about the test for a couple of weeks and then consider taking the exam again in August, if you can fully devote yourself to studying during the next two months (we're talking on the order of ~40+ hours per week).

    Best of luck -- try to think about other stuff for at least a little while before tackling this dilemma.

    Take care. :)
  6. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 13, 2002
    The Tundra
    I'd have to disagree about not being able to improve VR scores. I started out with a 4 (kaplan full-lengths) and got a 9 on the real thing. All it takes is finding what works for you. For me I found going with my first "gut-instinct" was good because i finished all the passages. My accuracy decreased, but i didn't have to fill in B for the last 10 questions. But it depends on what works for you. try different techniques that SDNers suggest. It's time consuming and frustrating, i know, but it may pay off big time in the end! You have GREAT scores! i'm sure you'll get in anyway, but if you want to try again, it is possible to improve. keep your chin up!
  7. DZT

    DZT Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Folks, thanks so much for your encouragement. I felt awful about the 6 since 5PM today and talked to my friends, who are not premedical. Its good to hear it from actual premeds. So from consensus, with 12BS,11PS,6VR,S WS, I should retake? Wouldnt this put me really behind the admissions cycle? Do med schools average scores or tend to stress improvement?
  8. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    If you kept your PS/BS scores high and improved on your VR, they'd definitely stress the improvement. . .

    Retaking depends on what you're shooting for -- if you are really interested in going to a 'top 10' school, given your ECs and grades, this seems very reasonable with a VR improvement, but I have little doubt that you could gain admission with your current stats.

    What 'ya think ?? :)
  9. Dave409

    Dave409 Junior Member

    May 23, 2002
    Try not to be freaked out. My friend had good mcats as well except that he too got a 6 on the MCAT. He had a hard time getting in, but he did eventually get in, without even having to be waitlisted. It was his state school but regardless. That was the good. Here's the bad.

    He was not told by the admissions committe why when he interviewed Sept 13 and didn't get in until april (with no letter in between). HE eventually heard on his third personal discussion with the dean that it was indeed his verbal (and only his verbal) that was blocking him from his acceptance. He finally decided to retake the MCAT, but he actually arrived home from the test to find his acceptance in the mail THAT DAY! He had fantastic recs and a good GPA which I believe was a 3.7. So it took a lot, but he did get in! Don't despair. Just think of it as an obstacle which you need to analyze and plan for during your admissions process. Also, he took a lit/writing course that fall, got an A and had the girl write him a rec, which helped to compensate (in their eyes) for this low score the summer before! Good luck!
  10. Mr.D

    Mr.D insipidus maximus 7+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Getting into medical school is a crapshoot and it's ALL ABOUT INCREASING YOUR CHANCES! It's important to keep in mind that there will always be stories of people who get in with a bad GPA and/or a poor MCAT subscore, but there are far more bad stories than success stories. Basically, it all comes down to whether you want to take your chances with a poor subscore (if we're talking about the MCAT only), or retake it again and do better. Maybe you're overall score won't change, but your MCAT will be better balanced and looked more favorably upon by adcoms, which is really what it all boils down to. Taking the MCAT is not fun, but I think in the long run it's better to apply with your best numbers (GPA and MCAT), then to do so with a reservation about one of them and then hope for the best. Yes it is true that even with good numbers you can get rejected and with bad numbers you can get accepted, but even then the odds are in the favor of the former getting in.
  11. Mr. H

    Mr. H 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2001
    I'm going to have to disagree wth everyone about how ad comm's view the writing sample. I talked to the head of the ad comm member, and he told me that at his school (uw-madison) and many, many others, writing score can helpl!!!! But he said only with a score of R, S, or T. Otherwise, they could care less. But it DOES help if you did well, if you didn't then who cares.
  12. brickmanli

    brickmanli Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Definitely retake it. I think there's a 100% chance you'll improve on the verbal, but I don't know if you'll do worse on the other sections. There's a correlation between how people do on essays and their verbal scores, and I think you might have freaked out or something. I was in the bathroom for ten minutes during the verbal section so I can understand.

    By the way, how did you do on the diagnostic verbals?

    I echo one of the previous poster's comments about how to prepare for verbal. Read Read and Read. Not just the New York Times, but New Yorker, Scientific American, Atlantic Monthly. Also start to get up at seven in the morning and go to a classroom to do your verbal diagnostics and time yourself.

    Good luck! I really believe you can kick ass on the verbal.
  13. DZT

    DZT Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Here are my scores on the Kaplan Diagnostics I,II,III,IV and V respectively: 9,6,7,9,10. On the AAMC V however, I got a 6 as well. I think that the AAMCs are considerably harder.
  14. brickmanli

    brickmanli Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    On second thought (given your diagnostic scores), I'm not as enthusiastic about you retaking the MCAT as before. I got 11 or 12's on the Kaplans and only scored a 10 on both of my actual MCAT's. Maybe your approach towards the passages is wrong, did you finish the section on time?
  15. paean

    paean Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2002
    Gower from medical gold said that verbal scores were lower across the board this time. I think you might get in this time, and at at least one school, the writing section matters a lot (contrary to popular opinion on this board). I was told at Ohio State by my interviewer that my writing score made it likely I would be accepted. I was surprised to hear that since my writing score (R) was good, but I thought it wouldn't matter, and I considered it less impressive than other things in my record. When I questioned her, she made it clear that certain influential persons on their adcom put weight on the writing section. So the S will make a big difference somewhere. Considering Ohio?

    Many people find they score higher on Kaplan than the MCAT (the opposite for the other prop companies). This is an unfortunate thing, and one of the reasons I am underwhelmed by Kaplan.

    I would retake the MCAT as plan B. Take another prep class, and work on all of your score. But I would put that off until April, and try applying this year with the current score.

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