Quantcast

Unbalanced MCAT, retake?

BeMo Free Repeat™ On Us + 5 Med School Challenge
This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

Retake 510 MCAT with 124 bio score?

  • Yes

    Votes: 26 45.6%
  • No

    Votes: 31 54.4%

  • Total voters
    57
  • Poll closed .

CT153

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Messages
81
Reaction score
114
I took the MCAT in 2016 and got a very unballenced 510 (<50th percentile B.B.) This was the score I used in my 2016-17 application cycle, and while I received two interview invites I did not end up with any acceptances. My question is should I retake it before I reapply In 2018? I know 510 is an okay score for some schools but I'm thinking the low bio section scores would be a red flag to adcoms.
 
Last edited:

Superfluous94

Full Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
39
Reaction score
9
Are you sure it was your MCAT that didn't get you any acceptances because I honestly don't think it is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Goro

Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
67,795
Reaction score
104,626
I'm not crazy about the Bio124, but you managed to snag two IIs with it anyway. So

1) work on your interview skills this cycle
2) if you're reapplying, have a better list
3) have DO schools on the list
4) improve your app in other ways, like boosting service ot others less fortunate than yourself, or volunteering with the most vulnerable, fragile patient populations, such as the developmentally disabled, or in hospice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

CT153

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Messages
81
Reaction score
114
I'm not crazy about the Bio124, but you managed to snag two IIs with it anyway. So

1) work on your interview skills this cycle
2) if you're reapplying, have a better list
3) have DO schools on the list
4) improve your app in other ways, like boosting service ot others less fortunate than yourself, or volunteering with the most vulnerable, fragile patient populations, such as the developmentally disabled, or in hospice.

Thank you for the advice!
 

CT153

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Messages
81
Reaction score
114
Are you sure it was your MCAT that didn't get you any acceptances because I honestly don't think it is.

I made about every mistake in the book when I applied and have plenty to improve upon. There doesn't seem to be too much precedent of applicants (at least on SDN) with bio as their low section, so I wanted to see if I needed to add an MCAT retake to my to-do list for the upcoming year.
 

DrDwayneJohnson

Maester of the Citadel in training
2+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
632
Reaction score
738
3) have DO schools on the list
4) improve your app in other ways, like boosting service ot others less fortunate than yourself, or volunteering with the most vulnerable, fragile patient populations, such as the developmentally disabled, or in hospice.

I've noticed how #3 is a huge reason for people being re-applicants (myself included). OP your scores are well within striking distance of some solid DO programs and low/mid MD programs.

As for #4, I think it'd really help your app out a lot. I ended up volunteering in a homeless shelter and consequently developed a passion for serving people experiencing homelessness, which helped me decide on how to spend my gap year (w/ rural homeless). You don't have to necessarily choose the path I did, but I think it could really help you out. It's certainly helped me -- both personally and with my app
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

efle

not an elf
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
14,017
Reaction score
22,414
Looks like I'm in the minority but I'd be looking at a retake based on how strong your other science section was. Take the bio prep seriously this time
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

dr.Breezy

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
229
Reaction score
584
Looks like I'm in the minority but I'd be looking at a retake based on how strong your other science section was. Take the bio prep seriously this time
But actually, retake it. The bio section is probably the most important of the sections


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

PreMedMissteps

The Great West Coast
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
1,826
I made about every mistake in the book when I applied and have plenty to improve upon. There doesn't seem to be too much precedent of applicants (at least on SDN) with bio as their low section, so I wanted to see if I needed to add an MCAT retake to my to-do list for the upcoming year.

Please detail what those mistakes were


Looks like I'm in the minority but I'd be looking at a retake based on how strong your other science section was. Take the bio prep seriously this time

But actually, retake it. The bio section is probably the most important of the sections


I agree with the retake but only after really prepping for the bio section. But when are you reapplying? If you're applying this cycle, I'm not sure that a score coming out in Sept or Oct will help you.

I, too, think the bio section is one of the most important sections. IMHO, a 124 in the bio section signals that your bio knowledge/understanding is weak and that maybe you have memorization issues.
 

CT153

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Messages
81
Reaction score
114
Looks like I'm in the minority but I'd be looking at a retake based on how strong your other science section was. Take the bio prep seriously this time
Thanks, this is what my gut feeling has been, and I really needed to hear I wasn't crazy for thinking of retaking it. I definitely did not give myself enough time to prep before my exam last year.
 

PreMedMissteps

The Great West Coast
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
1,826
Thanks, this is what my gut feeling has been, and I really needed to hear I wasn't crazy for thinking of retaking it. I definitely did not give myself enough time to prep before my exam last year.


Be prepared. Not only the bio section, but you can't afford to have those other sections drop.
 

efle

not an elf
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
14,017
Reaction score
22,414
Thanks, this is what my gut feeling has been, and I really needed to hear I wasn't crazy for thinking of retaking it. I definitely did not give myself enough time to prep before my exam last year.
Yeah I'm gonna guess you have a chem/physics background and didn't do much bio content review? Scoring 100th percentile in one and 40th percentile in the other is such an extreme gap I think you can be confident that proper review would get you huuuge gains in that section
 

lpp06

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
1,104
Reaction score
2,050
Thanks, this is what my gut feeling has been, and I really needed to hear I wasn't crazy for thinking of retaking it. I definitely did not give myself enough time to prep before my exam last year.

What were your AAMC practice scores? Bio subsection scores?
 

CT153

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Messages
81
Reaction score
114
Yeah I'm gonna guess you have a chem/physics background and didn't do much bio content review? Scoring 100th percentile in one and 40th percentile in the other is such an extreme gap I think you can be confident that proper review would get you huuuge gains in that section


Yeah, that's what I'm hoping for. I only gave myself four weeks to prep for the MCAT due to an unexpected time crunch finishing my senior thesis research and that was not nearly enough to learn the bio. I think with 6 months of solid prep I can bring that score up a lot.
 
Last edited:

CT153

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Messages
81
Reaction score
114
What were your AAMC practice scores? Bio subsection scores?

I only took two practice exams, but on both my bio scores were 60-70th percentile. I think for those I lucked out that the questions on those exams happened to be on material I was more familiar with.
 

Lawpy

31 ★ The L is for Lend No Okays
7+ Year Member
SDN Ambassador
  • Joined
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages
    58,410
    Reaction score
    149,617
    I took the MCAT in 2016 and got a very unballenced 510 (132/127/124/127). This was the score I used in my 2016-17 application cycle, and while I received two interview invites I did not end up with any acceptances. My question is should I retake it before I reapply In 2018? I know 510 is an okay score for some schools but I'm thinking the low bio section scores would be a red flag to adcoms.

    I support retaking 510 but provided you work very hard for the bio section and make sure the other sections don't drop in the retake. A retake score 515+ with 129 bio section and rest unchanged will significantly improve chances. Couple with @Goro suggestions above, you'll have a more successful reapplication cycle.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 users

    premed_1

    New Member
    Joined
    May 2, 2017
    Messages
    1
    Reaction score
    0
    I was planning to take my Mcat for the first time this summer but for some reasons I wasn't able to study as much. Is it better to wait another year and try next summer to get a good score or should I just try and see how it is? Will it have negative effect in my application if i do it and not get a good score?
     

    blackroses

    Full Member
    2+ Year Member
    Joined
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages
    568
    Reaction score
    876
    Is it better to wait another year and try next summer to get a good score or should I just try and see how it is?
    No, you should not "just try".

    Will it have negative effect in my application if i do it and not get a good score?
    Yes, it will have a significant negative effect if you take it and score poorly.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user

    efle

    not an elf
    7+ Year Member
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages
    14,017
    Reaction score
    22,414
    I was planning to take my Mcat for the first time this summer but for some reasons I wasn't able to study as much. Is it better to wait another year and try next summer to get a good score or should I just try and see how it is? Will it have negative effect in my application if i do it and not get a good score?
    Take an AAMC practice exam under test conditions (like with a timer and hard stops when the timer runs out). Tell us what the score is.
     

    Lucca

    Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
    Staff member
    Administrator
    Volunteer Staff
    7+ Year Member
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages
    8,584
    Reaction score
    19,740
    I only took two practice exams, but on both my bio scores were 60-70th percentile. I think for those I lucked out that the questions on those exams happened to be on material I was more familiar with.

    This comment right here tells me that you should make the effort to retake, with a better/different study approach. There will be a lot of content on the exam that you don't know, but all of the foundational biology concepts should be at least familiar to you. A 100th percentile on another section tells me that your test taking skills / interpretation skills are probably more than good enough to get a higher score. The problem is then with your foundational knowledge. That's an easy fix if you are willing to put in the effort!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user

    Pharaoh95

    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2016
    Messages
    626
    Reaction score
    952
    If the 124 were in any other section, the advice you would be receiving would largely be one-sided, but unfortunately the 124 is in arguably the most important section of the exam. I strongly recommend a retake given you have the time to adequately prepare.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 users

    efle

    not an elf
    7+ Year Member
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages
    14,017
    Reaction score
    22,414
    Same as above two. Bio is the most important section, and since you hit 100th percentile in the physical sciences, I bet a good amount of bio background review will see you jump ~5 or more points.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user

    CT153

    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2016
    Messages
    81
    Reaction score
    114
    Just got scores in from my May retake, 517 with a 99th percentile BB. Thank you to all that advised me to retake! I would very much appreciate input from anyone with admissions committee experience on how to take both scores into consideration for a school list this cycle.
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: 4 users

    gyngyn

    Alta California
    Staff member
    Administrator
    Volunteer Staff
    Lifetime Donor
    10+ Year Member
  • Joined
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages
    26,238
    Reaction score
    48,216
    Just got scores in from my May retake, 517 (129/127/131/130). Thank you to all that advised me to retake! I would very much appreciate input from anyone with admissions committee experience on how to take both scores into consideration for a school list this cycle.
    What state?
    The AAMC advises us to average scores but there really is no way to know how individual examiners will interpret multiples.
    When you are ready, start a thread in WAMC and we'll all pitch in.
     

    CT153

    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2016
    Messages
    81
    Reaction score
    114
    .
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user

    altblue

    Full Member
    7+ Year Member
  • Joined
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages
    1,900
    Reaction score
    2,586
    I'm happy for you and all, but I didn't realize such asymmetry was possible lol.
     
    Top