Should I Retake?

  • Yes

    Votes: 41 43.6%
  • No

    Votes: 53 56.4%

  • Total voters
    94
Sep 10, 2015
7
10
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Pre-Medical
So I just got my Mcat score back for the 8/5 exam and i got a very unbalanced score.

I got an overall 514 which is 91st percentile but my score breakdown was:

Chem/Phys: 131 (99th percentile)
CARS: 122 (22nd percentile)
Bio/Biochem: 130 (97th percentile)
Psych/Soc: 131 (98th percentile)

I dont know what happened in CARS. I have never scored this low on a CARS section before. I am not sure if I should retake? My fear with retaking is that my science scores will go down and I will somehow repeat a bad verbal section on test day. I usually averaged a 125-126 on CARS on my practice tests.

Would I be able to apply with this score and get into an MD school? Just for reference I have a 3.9 GPA and have extensive research and volunteer experience. I am not sure how I should proceed. Any advice?

UPDATE: Took the exam in January and got a better more balanced score!

I got a 517 (96th percentile) with the following breakdown:
Chem/Phys - 130 (97th percentile)
CARS - 128 (87th percentile)
BIO - 130 (97th percentile)
Psych/Soc - 129 (93rd percentile)

I am so glad I decided to retake the exam!
 
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Jun 6, 2015
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Damn. You must have been nervous and lost your confidence on CARS. Did you change your answers? That could be the reason. As for med school, I would imagine that you'd still get in somewhere, but that could put you in trouble with cutoffs. Maybe you should meet with your pre-med adviser and see how you should go about applying. Some schools may not say they have cutoffs, but in practice, they do. Others may genuinely still consider your overall package no matter your verbal performance. You just need to do your homework and find out.
 
6

625233

I wouldn't even think about retaking. You should get in somewhere for sure with those insane science section scores
 
Apr 19, 2015
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I'd apply. You'll get in with those stats. That's still a 93rd percentile score. If anything, it may be brought up in an interview and you can just explain to them what you explained to us.
 
Sep 11, 2015
4
7
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No way would I retake w/ those numbers. Just come up with a good excuse during interviews. Something happened on test day during CARS.
You got the runs and had 2 bathroom trips!
 

GrapesofRath

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May 5, 2015
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So I just got my Mcat score back for the 8/5 exam and i got a very unbalanced score.

I got an overall 514 which is 91st percentile but my score breakdown was:

Chem/Phys: 131 (99th percentile)
CARS: 122 (22nd percentile)
Bio/Biochem: 130 (97th percentile)
Psych/Soc: 131 (98th percentile)

I dont know what happened in CARS. I have never scored this low on a CARS section before. I am not sure if I should retake? My fear with retaking is that my science scores will go down and I will somehow repeat a bad verbal section on test day. I usually averaged a 125-126 on CARS on my practice tests.

Would I be able to apply with this score and get into an MD school? Just for reference I have a 3.9 GPA and have extensive research and volunteer experience. I am not sure how I should proceed. Any advice?
For MD schools I think a re-take is in order. That translates to a 6. There was a thread a few weeks ago about applying with a 7 in verbal. The consensus was it will cause a solid number of problems. Gonnif directly said a 7 would screen you out at a number of places and in almost all places it would be a legitimate red flag and could tremendously hurt an applicant. Now a 6? That's really hard sledding for an MD school.

The track record of unhooked applicants getting into MD schools with a 6 in verbal, even if everything else is truly stellar, is not very favorable. If you can re-take and get a 125 type of score, it will help you immensely(obviously easier said than done).

For DO's you will be ok however.

If you do apply with a 122 CARs let us know how it goes. Best of luck. Apply very broadly to lower tier MD schools, be prepared for alot of rejections and if you do get a II, absolutely nail it. Everything else about you is very competitive, if you can just re-take and help address your biggest weakness it will help you immensely.
 
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Ad2b

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Just come up with a good excuse during interviews.
Not being harsh here so please don't take it this way but the word "excuse" needs to be removed from your vocab. I agree with your statement about not retaking but the question in interviews should be answered truthfully, even if that is, "I do not know as I had been testing preliminarily very well. I've gone back to review what I could have done differently."
 
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ElectricNoogie

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I was wondering, can the P&S section balance out the low score in CARS?
Usually no. In an application a solid GPA can balance a less-than-amazing MCAT and vice versa (my MCAT score made up for my GPA) but a big disparity like this is a red flag. Unless something really disruptive happened this tells the schools that the student is good at memorizing and mastering science, but is not skilled at reading and critically thinking about new material.

Psych/Soc is the newest section, so it's tough to predict how schools will use it. I would not say that it can stand in for any poor score, but the pysch/soc is probably the science section closest to CARS in style. CARS far and away is one of the most important sections on the test. Strip away all the science, a students education, undergrad rep, and CARS is getting at the pure critical thinking the MCAT is "supposed" to look for (according to the AAMC anyway).

From what I've seen, score imbalance like this eliminates MD schools as a realistic option. There may be exceptions and your exact admission profile may help. Contact schools, look on SDN for the results of people similar to you (I have 10 years of experience to draw on, you can simply browse the threads). I'd retest if you are set on MD. DO or Caribbean, you have a chance getting in with your current score.

Good luck!
 
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GrapesofRath

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I was wondering, can the P&S section balance out the low score in CARS?
Not to this extreme. People get in with "lower" verbal scores like an 8 all the time. But a 6 like this equates to on the new scale? That'll get screened out at a ton of schools and the ones where it won't it'll be a big enough red flag that it's too much to overcome. Even 7's in verbal cause applicants a fair amount of problems that take a good bit to overcome. A 6 is just going to be too low the vast majority of the time.
 

LastWinter

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Usually no. In an application a solid GPA can balance a less-than-amazing MCAT and vice versa (my MCAT score made up for my GPA) but a big disparity like this is a red flag. Unless something really disruptive happened this tells the schools that the student is good at memorizing and mastering science, but is not skilled at reading and critically thinking about new material.

Psych/Soc is the newest section, so it's tough to predict how schools will use it. I would not say that it can stand in for any poor score, but the pysch/soc is probably the science section closest to CARS in style. CARS far and away is one of the most important sections on the test. Strip away all the science, a students education, undergrad rep, and CARS is getting at the pure critical thinking the MCAT is "supposed" to look for (according to the AAMC anyway).

From what I've seen, score imbalance like this eliminates MD schools as a realistic option. There may be exceptions and your exact admission profile may help. Contact schools, look on SDN for the results of people similar to you (I have 10 years of experience to draw on, you can simply browse the threads). I'd retest if you are set on MD. DO or Caribbean, you have a chance getting in with your current score.

Good luck!

You know what I think. Why would do ADCOMs put so much weight on verbal. Like for real, how is that section even truly indicative of critical thinking. The whole exam is pretty much critical thinking, there are very few parts in the sciences where rote memorization is even needed. Honestly, there are a good number of people with overall good scores but still have to retake because of one section.

Honestly, med schools should only pay attention to the overall score and be done with it.

Check out this study:

http://www.internationalgme.org/Resources/Pubs/Donnon et al (2007) Acad Med.pdf

Then I came across this study which said:
This study did show a greater correlation between individual MCAT-VR scores and USMLE Step 1 performances than would be expected, and we are not sure how to interpret this finding. In general, previous studies with other data demonstrated less correlation of the MCAT-VR score with performance on a science-laden exam such as USMLE Step 1

http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/fulltext/2002/10001/undergraduate_institutional_mcat_scores_as.5.aspx

But then I read this study from 2002...

Our data suggest that perhaps
schools should pay more attention to the Verbal Reasoning section
score in the selection process, particularly if it has better correlation
with performance in the later years of medical school.

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/11081920_Undergraduate_institutional_MCAT_scores_as_predictors_of_USMLE_Step_1_performance


Checked up on wikipedia and they said this:

The Biological Sciences section most directly correlates to success on the USMLE Step 1 exam, with a correlation coefficient of .553 vs .491 for Physical Sciences and .397 for Verbal Reasoning.[16] Predictably, MCAT composite scores also correlate with USMLE Step 1 success.[17]

Sources on wikipedia for the lazy:

http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED464943

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12377692?dopt=AbstractPlus


So seriously, why the fuccckkk do the adcoms have a hard on for verbal, when overall score tends to have a more indicative to the process of success...



But at the end of the day, There is no point of me arguing. Med schools want balanced scores and will always prefer balanced scores. Verbal still carries weight
and rather argue the system, might as well test again for that higher verbal score.

Good luck OP, I am rooting for you. Hope everything turns out alright for you man!!
 
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Ad2b

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I spoke a few years ago to a med school adcom and asked him similar questions. The old MCAT was not really a thinking exam. You could spoon feed your way through every section of it except for VR.

What he said they were finding at that particular medical school is that the med students could barf out data and formulas and systems all day long but could not think about how they fit together. What that school found was those that did better in VR could think.

I equate that with physics or gen chem. So many just want to memorize F=ma, or PV = nRT and then when presented something that doesn't fit those exact variables, can't figure out how to put it together. Or now, when the doppler effect is combined within the ear, people struggle thinking about the impact of the waves not only on the 3 little bones but on the fluid inside the canal of the ear and the nerves that send the signal to the brain to interpret the message.

Agree the new exam is 100% critical, integrated thinking. I'd hope my doctor would be able to do that. If she only spit out BRS type data, I'd fire her; I want her to think, integrate with everything else she knows about me to either include or exclude data that matters or doesn't. And do it quickly.
 

ElectricNoogie

MCAT enthusiast
Apr 30, 2015
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You know what I think. Why would do ADCOMs put so much weight on verbal. Like for real, how is that section even truly indicative of critical thinking. The whole exam is pretty much critical thinking, there are very few parts in the sciences where rote memorization is even needed. Honestly, there are a good number of people with overall good scores but still have to retake because of one section.

Honestly, med schools should only pay attention to the overall score and be done with it.

Check out this study:

http://www.internationalgme.org/Resources/Pubs/Donnon et al (2007) Acad Med.pdf

Then I came across this study which said:
This study did show a greater correlation between individual MCAT-VR scores and USMLE Step 1 performances than would be expected, and we are not sure how to interpret this finding. In general, previous studies with other data demonstrated less correlation of the MCAT-VR score with performance on a science-laden exam such as USMLE Step 1

http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/fulltext/2002/10001/undergraduate_institutional_mcat_scores_as.5.aspx

But then I read this study from 2002...

Our data suggest that perhaps
schools should pay more attention to the Verbal Reasoning section
score in the selection process, particularly if it has better correlation
with performance in the later years of medical school.

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/11081920_Undergraduate_institutional_MCAT_scores_as_predictors_of_USMLE_Step_1_performance


Checked up on wikipedia and they said this:

The Biological Sciences section most directly correlates to success on the USMLE Step 1 exam, with a correlation coefficient of .553 vs .491 for Physical Sciences and .397 for Verbal Reasoning.[16] Predictably, MCAT composite scores also correlate with USMLE Step 1 success.[17]

Sources on wikipedia for the lazy:

http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED464943

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12377692?dopt=AbstractPlus


So seriously, why the fuccckkk do the adcoms have a hard on for verbal, when overall score tends to have a more indicative to the process of success...



But at the end of the day, There is no point of me arguing. Med schools want balanced scores and will always prefer balanced scores. Verbal still carries weight
and rather argue the system, might as well test again for that higher verbal score.

Good luck OP, I am rooting for you. Hope everything turns out alright for you man!!
I am not an Adcom, so I can't tell you why the AAMC thinks a solid CARS score means good critical thinking, I can only go (as I stated above) on what they tell US. Over and over they use the verbal/CARS section to look for "critical thinking" as they call it (MCAT thinking as I call it). Like it, love it, hate, you need it and there is nothing you can do about it. The good news is it's the one part of the exam that requires NO prior study to do well. From day 1 you can jump in, work out CARS strategies and see hundreds of examples of AAMC style "critical thinking." That doesn't mean it is easy, but it's much more straightforward than the science prep. You get to see how the AAMC thinks, reasons and argues right out in the open. One of the reasons the VR sections had the tightest curves is because most testees do well on it. I wager this will continue with the new MCAT as we get more data.

Speaking from experience, once you get to med school you'll find that your first 2 years are largely unlike the MCAT. MS1 and 2 were mostly lots of memorization. Some schools (like mine did) integrate some problem based learning early in 1st year and more schoools take this approach each year. Yeah it was kind of frustrating to see how little that skill mattered in my first 2 years. Classmates and I spent hours bitching about the MCAT and then hundreds more during medical school about things we thought were pointless, but it doesn't matter, you gotta get though it.

The Bio MCAT section has had the highest correlation with the USMLE for years now, and CARS not so much, because the USMLE step 1 was primarily a recall test, but it has gotten even more creative with its questions over the years. I remember a MS2 professor showing us USMLE Step 1 Qs from 15, 10, 5 and 1 year before my class took the exam and you could see how much more elaborate, creative and INdirect the questions had gotten. Remind you of anything? In the 8 years since I took Step 1 I imagine it's gotten even more creative. One of the major reasons for the changes to the MCAT was to, according to the AAMC, bring it inline with the modern USMLE. During problem based learning and during MS 3 & 4, you will appreciate a little more why the CARS/VR section was important to medical school admissions, though even then there is still a disconnect. If you cannot tie in new information to arguments or analyze/spot flaws in opinions, then you cannot think in the manner physicians need to. Being able to read, analyze and reason about new information happens every day.

The AAMC believes it measures the kind of thinking that physicians and more directly, student-physicians need to succeed. That's all you need to know. And the CARS section is the LEAST changed section of the new MCAT. Even after analysis of all the data they have, including recent scores and med school performance (the AAMC tracks us from application through med school to residency) the last 10 years of data, the AAMC still decided to keep it, almost entirely unchanged (it is longer and you have more time for passages). Whatever you think it's doing, they find it important to assess your "MCAT thinking" ability so something about it is working.

As for why you need such a high score, well that's just always going to happen in such a competitive environment. Schools want to be high on US News rankings, they want bragging rights. An easy way to stand out is MCAT averages for matriculants. Does a 80%-ile vs a 90%-ile matter at all to success in med school and beyond? Heck no (years of AAMC tracking statistics support this) but if med schools have a choice, they will ALWAYS choose the students that made them look good, and the MCAT is an easy way to do that.

If you want to change the system (and it does need some changing), come join it first. But your gotta jump through those hoops first.

Good luck!
 
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LastWinter

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n the 8 years since I took Step 1 I imagine it's gotten even more creative. One of the major reasons for the changes to the MCAT was to, according to the AAMC, bring it inline with the modern USMLE. During problem based learning and during MS 3 & 4, you will appreciate a little more why the CARS/VR section was important to medical school ad

I doubt the new mcat is about rote memorization now though. The biochem, chem/physics and psych sections now are way more about critical thinking.

I know they are way more about critical thinking now because before I even started studying for the new test, I was scoring 130+ on both biochem and chem/physics section without even studying. Even the weeks leading up to the test, I had barely even cracked open a review book for those sections and only continued to do problem sets because the nature of the test clearly changed. When I took the old test, I had spend so much more effort on memorizing for the sciences compared to this new one.

Also what you said earlier: "If you cannot tie in new information to arguments or analyze/spot flaws in opinions, then you cannot think in the manner physicians need to. Being able to read, analyze and reason about new information happens every day."

Literally, in the new mcat sciences, they give us journal articles as passages and ask us to analyze the data, and be able to spot out flaws. I feel the sciences in the new mcat adequately do a better job at conveying critical thinking ability compared to verbal now. Then again, I spent 3 years doing research so I guess I would have an edge over others in this department, but still is this form of critical thinking not applicable to the critical thinking that is done in medical school?

My experience is n=1 so it literally means nothing to everyone else.

Man... I'll retaking soon anyways because of verbal...
 
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Jul 3, 2015
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the question is where are you applying? where do you want to go? If you are aiming for top schools, then retake, if not, then don't retake. You WILL get in somewhere with your stats.
 

ElectricNoogie

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I doubt the new mcat is about rote memorization now though. The biochem, chem/physics and psych sections now are way more about critical thinking.

l...
@LastWinter I apologize if I was unclear but my point, which was echoed above by @Ad2b, was that the MCAT is and has been for over 10 years a critical thinking exam 1st and a science exam 2nd. The issue seemed to be you weren't quite buying into CARS/VR being a reliable measure of critical thinking. Hopefully we have showed you how, at least, the AAMC reaches that conclusion.

It is quite clear from all evidence and feedback I have from my students that the new MCAT integrates more thinking and less rote recall/calculation than it did even in 2014. We were merely trying to help you understand what role verbal/CARS plays in that assessment, again according to the people who design it.

We understand your frustration with a section that is hurting your score but it may help to understand how this section is different and is not just about comparing given information to a set of known information like many science Qs are. Every Q in CARS must be researched and supported by info in the passage, and only info from the passage. Your outside knowledge cannot help you, it is all about your reasoning skills and ability to suss out what the author and/or Q is getting at.

Good luck if you decide to re-take. Be sure to try out and decide on reliable, effective CARS strategies before you retest.

If you want some advice direct from Adcoms, there are a few that help out in the pre-med forums and are great about answering admissions questions.
 
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GrapesofRath

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@LastWinter I apologize if I was unclear but my point, which was echoed above by @Ad2b, was that the MCAT is and has been for over 10 years a critical thinking exam 1st and a science exam 2nd. The issue seemed to be you weren't quite buying into CARS/VR being a reliable measure of critical thinking. Hopefully we have showed you how, at least, the AAMC reaches that conclusion.

It is quite clear from all evidence and feedback I have from my students that the new MCAT integrates more thinking and less rote recall/calculation than it did even in 2014. We were merely trying to help you understand what role verbal/CARS plays in that assessment, again according to the people who design it.

We understand your frustration with a section that is hurting your score but it may help to understand how this section is different and is not just about comparing given information to a set of known information like many science Qs are. Every Q in CARS must be researched and supported by info in the passage, and only info from the passage. Your outside knowledge cannot help you, it is all about your reasoning skills and ability to suss out what the author and/or Q is getting at.

Good luck if you decide to re-take. Be sure to try out and decide on reliable, effective CARS strategies before you retest.

If you want some advice direct from Adcoms, there are a few that help out in the pre-med forums and are great about answering admissions questions.
I'll be rather interested to see the new AAMC FL that is released in Nov because while I have not taken the new MCAT going through the official practice one released my feeling was that it was definitely more straightforward than I was expecting and I didn't really notice nearly as much difference in style(not content style and ways of questioning) as I would expect from comparing it to the AAMC 10 and AAMC 11 practice tests.

Maybe the practice test the AAMC has released for this new exam is just really really different from what the actual exam is but the hoard of data on this site and from many I've talked to shows that people perform similar to the real thing as they did on their practice. From really going through the new practice test and comparing it to AAMC 9-11 of the old version I noticed a couple things
a) More time for the CARs for this new thing. Similar questions.
b) Way more biochem tested but the concepts tested in biochem were not very complicated at all and did not really involve some sort of deep thinking. There were also definitely some memory recall questions in biochem, and this is something many have confirmed to me(particularly when the AAMC makes you know all amino acids and everything about them).
c) The physics section is somewhat different but the skills tested are still similar. The old PS section had skills that were very learnable through practice; my feeling going through that AAMC practice test is those questions were also learnable.
d) The psych/soc section is all about terminology and definitions. And this is something alot of people who have taken the real thing have said as well. Sure there is an element of reasoning and some similarities to CARs, but terms and just knowing principles and vocabs is very important here.
e) More research based analysis in this new MCAT and from the practice test. But again, the skills tested in research are not overly complicated here and from what that practice test rather learnable ie reading a western blot, reading bar graphs of PCR data, looking at slide staining, identifying what is and isn't tested and the controls etc.

I guess we'll have to see though. Without having directly taken the actual new MCAT my viewpoint will always be somewhat limited unfortunately. My point has always been I think the differences between the two tests are vastly overstated and the MCAT has been moving towards this direction they are publicizing about "analysis" for the past decade.
 
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ElectricNoogie

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I'll be rather interested to see the new AAMC FL that is released in Nov because while I have not taken the new MCAT going through the official practice one released my feeling was that it was definitely more straightforward than I was expecting and I didn't really notice nearly as much difference in style(not content style and ways of questioning) as I would expect from comparing it to the AAMC 10 and AAMC 11 practice tests.

Maybe the practice test the AAMC has released for this new exam is just really really different from what the actual exam is but the hoard of data on this site and from many I've talked to shows that people perform similar to the real thing as they did on their practice. From really going through the new practice test and comparing it to AAMC 9-11 of the old version I noticed a couple things
a) More time for the CARs for this new thing. Similar questions.

I guess we'll have to see though. Without having directly taken the actual new MCAT my viewpoint will always be somewhat limited unfortunately. My point has always been I think the differences between the two tests are vastly overstated and the MCAT has been moving towards this direction they are publicizing about "analysis" for the past decade.
I agree, and haven taken the exam I can say that yes, the pre and post 2015 exams are far more similar than the AAMC hoopla would like you to believe. Only content has really been shaken up to any real extent, along with clear changes in passage tone and formatting. Those info-style passages are much more rare on the new exam, though they are still I would say ~ 30% of the exam. I haven't seen any of those "competing hypothesis" type passages at all. Those have been replaced with more experimental based passages. The Physics and Gen Chem now tested seems to be far less calculation and number crunch oriented. If anything the sciences are closer to CARS than before.The MCAT was never about testing tough topics so it should be no surprise the biochem is easy (compared to what it could be and what you will have in medical school). The physics, orgo and gen chem has always been that way.

With my limited experience and the 1 test we have, it may be a fluke, but myself and most students I have spoken with have reported that the practice test was easier than their real exam. Much of that can be chalked up to test day jitters so I think it's a wash. We are also less than 10 months into this new exam, so I imagine some tweaks and changes will be made (small they may be) over the next 2 years as the MCAT/AAMC finds its sweet spot. That is why I do not assume this summer's experience will necessarily be the same as someone who tests next summer. Very much similar, but I expect some small tweaks as the AAMC begins to crunch the data they have.

I've tried to tell students all summer not to throw the baby out with the bathwater regarding methods that worked for the old MCAT. We'll see, but overall yeah, the big "new" MCAT is much ado about little.
 
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GrapesofRath

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I agree, and haven taken the exam I can say that yes, the pre and post 2015 exams are far more similar than the AAMC hoopla would like you to believe. Only content has really been shaken up to any real extent, along with clear changes in passage tone and formatting. Those info-style passages are much more rare on the new exam, though they are still I would say ~ 30% of the exam. I haven't seen any of those "competing hypothesis" type passages at all. Those have been replaced with more experimental based passages. The Physics and Gen Chem now tested seems to be far less calculation and number crunch oriented. If anything the sciences are closer to CARS than before.The MCAT was never about testing tough topics so it should be no surprise the biochem is easy (compared to what it could be and what you will have in medical school). The physics, orgo and gen chem has always been that way.

With my limited experience and the 1 test we have, it may be a fluke, but myself and most students I have spoken with have reported that the practice test was easier than their real exam. Much of that can be chalked up to test day jitters so I think it's a wash. We are also less than 10 months into this new exam, so I imagine some tweaks and changes will be made (small they may be) over the next 2 years as the MCAT/AAMC finds its sweet spot. That is why I do not assume this summer's experience will necessarily be the same as someone who tests next summer. Very much similar, but I expect some small tweaks as the AAMC begins to crunch the data they have.

I've tried to tell students all summer not to throw the baby out with the bathwater regarding methods that worked for the old MCAT. We'll see, but overall yeah, the big "new" MCAT is much ado about little.
Interestingly I know alot of people who took both MCATs and found a lot more success on the new version, hence my comment about why I'm skeptical to buy into the new exam being this "beast" everybody is scared about. The MCAT will always be the MCAT: full of tricks, vague answers, long passages, hoards of figures, all compressed to be done in a short amount of time. Nothing has really changed that much.

I think alot of people say the practice AAMC is easier than the real thing that I agree. But the practice AAMC also seems to predict your MCAT score pretty well. All in all that's just like the old tests; the old AAMC versions were reported as easier but would predict your score pretty well.

I do think the MCAT will change over the years. The MCAT of the 90's when the newest versions of that last format were being given out are FAR different than what we saw from 2005-2014. I still think old MCAT's are good practice; the bottom line is if you can think in the way the AAMC demands, you will have success. And the way the AAMC wants you to think hasn't magically just changed in the past year.
 
OP
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Just thought I would update you guys and let you know that I ended up re-taking the MCAT a few days ago (Jan 22nd exam). Hopefully my score is more balanced this time! 29 more days til score come out...
 
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OP
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Pre-Medical
So I went with most people's advice and ended up retaking the test in January. I'm glad to say that I got a even higher score this time around! And its balanced!!! :soexcited:

I got a 517 (96th percentile) with the following breakdown:
Chem/Phys - 130 (97th percentile)
CARS - 128 (87th percentile)
BIO - 130 (97th percentile)
Psych/Soc - 129 (93rd percentile)

I want to thank everyone for their advice!! I am so glad I decided to retake the exam!
 

Pastamahn

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
1,188
852
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
So I went with most people's advice and ended up retaking the test in January. I'm glad to say that I got a even higher score this time around! And its balanced!!! :soexcited:

I got a 517 (96th percentile) with the following breakdown:
Chem/Phys - 130 (97th percentile)
CARS - 128 (87th percentile)
BIO - 130 (97th percentile)
Psych/Soc - 129 (93rd percentile)

I want to thank everyone for their advice!! I am so glad I decided to retake the exam!
Way to go! That's an awesome improvement!!
 
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Reactions: mikeross530
Feb 25, 2016
1
1
Status
Pre-Medical
So I went with most people's advice and ended up retaking the test in January. I'm glad to say that I got a even higher score this time around! And its balanced!!! :soexcited:

I got a 517 (96th percentile) with the following breakdown:
Chem/Phys - 130 (97th percentile)
CARS - 128 (87th percentile)
BIO - 130 (97th percentile)
Psych/Soc - 129 (93rd percentile)

I want to thank everyone for their advice!! I am so glad I decided to retake the exam!
I taught you well Mike Ross. Good Job!!!
 
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Reactions: mikeross530

doppio

2+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2014
130
42
Status
Pre-Medical
I doubt the new mcat is about rote memorization now though. The biochem, chem/physics and psych sections now are way more about critical thinking.

I know they are way more about critical thinking now because before I even started studying for the new test, I was scoring 130+ on both biochem and chem/physics section without even studying. Even the weeks leading up to the test, I had barely even cracked open a review book for those sections and only continued to do problem sets because the nature of the test clearly changed. When I took the old test, I had spend so much more effort on memorizing for the sciences compared to this new one.

Also what you said earlier: "If you cannot tie in new information to arguments or analyze/spot flaws in opinions, then you cannot think in the manner physicians need to. Being able to read, analyze and reason about new information happens every day."

Literally, in the new mcat sciences, they give us journal articles as passages and ask us to analyze the data, and be able to spot out flaws. I feel the sciences in the new mcat adequately do a better job at conveying critical thinking ability compared to verbal now. Then again, I spent 3 years doing research so I guess I would have an edge over others in this department, but still is this form of critical thinking not applicable to the critical thinking that is done in medical school?

My experience is n=1 so it literally means nothing to everyone else.

Man... I'll retaking soon anyways because of verbal...
I got a 9 on Verbal on the old MCAT and a 125 on the new one. I did better on practice tests, but they are only practice tests after all. Did you end up retaking the MCAT?
 

Dominique8604

7+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2010
125
17
Status
Pre-Medical
@mikeross530 , congrats on your new score! Thats such a good improvement. I find myself struggling with verbal. Would you mind telling us how you were able to turn things around in the verbal section?
 
OP
M
Sep 10, 2015
7
10
Status
Pre-Medical
@mikeross530 , congrats on your new score! Thats such a good improvement. I find myself struggling with verbal. Would you mind telling us how you were able to turn things around in the verbal section?
Thanks! My second time around I really stressed doing as much verbal practice as I could. I tried to do multiple passages a day, and about 2-3 weeks before my test date I would do an entire verbal section. This really helped with my timing and confidence. I would spend some time reviewing the passages just to see what types of questions I was constantly getting wrong. Once I figured out what types of questions I had most trouble with, I would take more time on those questions when doing my practice. So I think with a bunch a practice and a bit of luck with the passages I got on test day, I was able to turn around things in my verbal section.
 

Dominique8604

7+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2010
125
17
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks! My second time around I really stressed doing as much verbal practice as I could. I tried to do multiple passages a day, and about 2-3 weeks before my test date I would do an entire verbal section. This really helped with my timing and confidence. I would spend some time reviewing the passages just to see what types of questions I was constantly getting wrong. Once I figured out what types of questions I had most trouble with, I would take more time on those questions when doing my practice. So I think with a bunch a practice and a bit of luck with the passages I got on test day, I was able to turn around things in my verbal section.
Thank you! :)