liquidstatic

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Hi all, wondering if you think my unusual MCAT sub-scores will hurt me with MD/DO programs.

126 CP / 130 CARS / 125 BIO / 128 PSY - 509 total

I googled and it seems not many people score this way (high CARS, lower science). Will this disqualify me anywhere?
 

Horse Apiece

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Not super unusual. Your score is average though, so that will disadvantage you at many schools. Just look at the MSAR for where to apply. I wouldn't worry too much about subsections, but doing well on CARS vs. Sciences is a good thing, but not a huge deal unless you are Canadian.
 

gonnif

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Hi all, wondering if you think my unusual MCAT sub-scores will hurt me with MD/DO programs.

126 CP / 130 CARS / 125 BIO / 128 PSY - 509 total

I googled and it seems not many people score this way (high CARS, lower science). Will this disqualify me anywhere?
Actually not that uncommon. Non science major often do better on Old VR/New Cars and worse on BIO/CP and vice-versa
Dont sweat it.
 

The Knife & Gun Club

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Is this the equivalent of a 15 on verbal?? If so that's pretty damn impressive.

I'm not an adcom but I'd prefer someone with a high verbal score because that's much harder to study/prep for (aka fake). Shows you've got real verbal reasoning skills beyond being a chemistry robot.
 
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gonnif

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Is this the equivalent of a 15 on verbal?? If so that's pretty damn impressive.

I'm not an adcom but I'd prefer someone with a high verbal score because that's much harder to study/prep for (aka fake). Shows you've got real verbal reasoning skills beyond being a chemistry robot.
I fully agree with that.
 
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My scores were really similar with 99th percentile CARS and then ~65-70th percentile CP and PSY and my premed advisor said it wasn't unbalanced enough for me to worry about retaking if that makes you feel any better!
 

wizzed101

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Is this the equivalent of a 15 on verbal?? If so that's pretty damn impressive.

I'm not an adcom but I'd prefer someone with a high verbal score because that's much harder to study/prep for (aka fake). Shows you've got real verbal reasoning skills beyond being a chemistry robot.
Right. Because there is only 1 CARS section vs. the other 3 science/kinda-science sections. Just make the MCAT contain only CARS and see how "hard" it is.

Maybe just for the lulz, I'll study just for CARS and take another MCAT before matriculation. Shooting for 117/132/117/117. If I leave everything blank, the score is gonna be 117, right?
 
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DingoPingo

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I think CARS is much harder to study for if you suck at Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.

I think science is much harder to study for if you suck at science.
 
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efle

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Is this the equivalent of a 15 on verbal?? If so that's pretty damn impressive.

I'm not an adcom but I'd prefer someone with a high verbal score because that's much harder to study/prep for (aka fake). Shows you've got real verbal reasoning skills beyond being a chemistry robot.
It's a Verbal 12 equivalent.

Studies done on the MCAT and correlation to step 1/preclinical grades consistently found Bio to be the best section in terms of predictive power, but Gyngyn has mentioned before that sometimes admissions people will have a personal favorite subsection.
 

GrapesofRath

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On top of how difficult verbal can be for the old MCAT the AAMC just flat out have fewer high scores for verbal( I think you needed like 95th percentile for a 12 in verbal but like 88th-89th for a 12 in the sciences). High verbal scores objectively were harder to obtain.

That said when there's a big discrepancy potentially you might wonder a little was that person capable of doing better and just didn't study enough or take the test seriously if you see something like 132 CARs 124 Bio. Not worth sweating over though

There isn't any great conclusive data or consensus opinion about regarding MCATs predictiveness of med school performance beyond those that hit 27+ tend to make it to graduation. That includes that subscore data which always gets debated and is interpreted in different ways so I doubt that's driving too many decisions about which subsection to show some favoritism towards
 
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wizzed101

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I think you needed like 95th percentile for a 12 in verbal but like 88th-89th for a 12 in the sciences). High verbal scores objectively were harder to obtain.
Okay. I know that you are trying to make a point but let's not get head of ourselves here. 12 for the sciences was ~95%-97% and 12 for verbal was 98%. 130 for C/P and B/S is 97% and while 130 for CARS is 98%. Verbal is not muh masterrace so much that if a person scored 132 CARS and 124 BIO, you would incline to think that they didn't study for the latter seriously, while if it were the reverse, that person would be perceived as inept. The verbal score is very bottom heavy, which, I think, means that people don't actually study for it and those that do do very well, as expected. Like, if you told me that everything I needed to know about the test was to be provided on the test day, I would just study less.

Yes, I admit that I am butthurt about my CARS, more so because I didn't prepare for the test day (not the test itself), and I can't retake my score. I just feel that if I had spent as much time as the other 3 sections, my score will be more stable and not susceptible to my state of mind. And no, reading 5 passages/day 2 months before the test is not"studying." I don't even know why I "studied" it like that because I rarely did practices for the other 3 sections, just wiki, journals, textbooks and obscure articles for the C/P, B/S and P/S.
 

To be MD

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Okay. I know that you are trying to make a point but let's not get head of ourselves here. 12 for the sciences was ~95%-97% and 12 for verbal was 98%. 130 for C/P and B/S is 97% and while 130 for CARS is 98%. Verbal is not muh masterrace so much that if a person scored 132 CARS and 124 BIO, you would incline to think that they didn't study for the latter seriously, while if it were the reverse, that person would be perceived as inept. The verbal score is very bottom heavy, which, I think, means that people don't actually study for it and those that do do very well, as expected. Like, if you told me that everything I needed to know about the test was to be provided on the test day, I would just study less.

Yes, I admit that I am butthurt about my CARS, more so because I didn't prepare for the test day (not the test itself), and I can't retake my score. I just feel that if I had spent as much time as the other 3 sections, my score will be more stable and not susceptible to my state of mind. And no, reading 5 passages/day 2 months before the test is not"studying." I don't even know why I "studied" it like that because I rarely did practices for the other 3 sections, just wiki, journals, textbooks and obscure articles for the C/P, B/S and P/S.
:wideyed:
 

The Knife & Gun Club

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Oh well 12 is still a good verbal. I was thinking a 15 in verbal would be damn near extraordinary though.

Even on SDN I feel like I've only read of one person getting close and that was @md-2020 with what would be a 14. And that despite like relatively common 15s in chem or bio
 

Lost In Transcription

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Is this the equivalent of a 15 on verbal?? If so that's pretty damn impressive.

I'm not an adcom but I'd prefer someone with a high verbal score because that's much harder to study/prep for (aka fake). Shows you've got real verbal reasoning skills beyond being a chemistry robot.
I agreed with this before the new MCAT.

IMO the new MCAT tests verbal reasoning throughout. That's why it is such a damn exhausting exam.
 

Goro

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A 125 Bio score will earn you a wait list or reject at my school. I feel it will be lethal at MD schools.


Hi all, wondering if you think my unusual MCAT sub-scores will hurt me with MD/DO programs.

126 CP / 130 CARS / 125 BIO / 128 PSY - 509 total

I googled and it seems not many people score this way (high CARS, lower science). Will this disqualify me anywhere?
 

efle

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Goro

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Bio is the subsection that is viewed most harshly. I wouldn't call OP's score balanced.


A 9 in bio automatically rules out a direct acceptance? I thought a balanced 27 was competitive for DO applicants?
 
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Bio is the subsection that is viewed most harshly. I wouldn't call OP's score balanced.
But there are quite a few people accepted with the equivalent of 9 to MD schools. One of my top choices has an average of 9.8 for their Bio score. I would assume that at least half of them would have a 9 subscore.
I realize this is n=1, but several schools seem to have averages around 10 for their B/B score.
 
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Lawper

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A 125 Bio score will earn you a wait list or reject at my school. I feel it will be lethal at MD schools.
Bio is the subsection that is viewed most harshly. I wouldn't call OP's score balanced.
What about someone who scored a 520 with a distribution of 132/132/124/132 (124 in bio)? Would they still get waitlisted/rejected by your school and MD schools?
 
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In an early MCAT I received V 15 BIO 8 and PHY 4

Of course, I took the MCAT just too early, without the pre-reqs other than Chemistry.

I would say this was a little unbalanced.

It would say to the adcom that I could read the texts, handle the reasoning, but was clueless on the formulas.
 

Goro

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Haven't a clue. A 124 says to me the person learned nothing in the most important field.

You love your extreme examples, don't you?


What about someone who scored a 520 with a distribution of 132/132/124/132 (124 in bio)? Would they still get waitlisted/rejected by your school and MD schools?
 
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Goro

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I might be too harsh. State MD schools would cut the most slack.


But there are quite a few people accepted with the equivalent of 9 to MD schools. One of my top choices has an average of 9.8 for their Bio score. I would assume that at least half of them would have a 9 subscore.
I realize this is n=1, but several schools seem to have averages around 10 for their B/B score.
 

Lawper

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Haven't a clue. A 124 says to me the person learned nothing in the most important field.

You love your extreme examples, don't you?
:laugh: i'm just trying to compare low subsection scores with overall high cumulative scores. The mismatch is rare but it can happen (e.g. say having a major diarrhea from being food posioned in the lunch break between CARS and bio sections).
 
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Hi friend!

I also have an unbalanced MCAT score that breaks down similarly to yours:

125/131/128/128

:)

Not that I have much to add on top of the wisdom here already, but after freaking out about it for ages (took it in January) it finally got through to me that while, yes, ideally my sub score would be better, it's not going to kill an otherwise solid app and you shouldn't allow yourself to freak out about it too bad. I primarily applied MD, and somehow managed to already snag two II's. It's not the end of the cycle and we'll see how it all pans out of course, but if the subs core was an issue I would have guessed I wouldn't have gotten II's. So....in essence, this is just another n=1 of it being okay.
 

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Bio is the subsection that is viewed most harshly. I wouldn't call OP's score balanced.
How would adcoms view my 512: 128/124/129/131? I was averaging 126-127 CARS on practice FLs but ended up taking a hit to the section due to not being able to get any sleep before my MCAT, whereas I did fine on the other sections off of background knowledge. Planning on applying MD and DO, from California.
 

Goro

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What I strongly recommend people do is:

1) Convert your subsection scores to the old exam's score using the charts that efle has made (do a search please).
2) Invest in MSAR Online
3) See if your subsection scores are above the target school's 10th %iles. If yes, you're still in good shape.

For example, the 10-90 range is 10-13 at Albany. Thus, the OP would not fare well at Albany, I believe.

The national median for acceptees in Bio and C/P is 11, and 10 for VR which comes to ~ 128+ for the former two, and ~127 for CARS. CARS/VR gets cut the most slack.
 

ace_inhibitor111

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These types of distributions are so common I feel that the adcoms would just stop paying attention after the first 1,000 of them.
 

mcatjelly

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I might be too harsh. State MD schools would cut the most slack.
I received 5 MD IIs (2 IS, 3 OOS) and was accepted to two schools (one IS, one OOS) with a breakdown of 125/130/125/128: 508. Granted, I was initially WLed everywhere, and yes of course n=1, but it clearly wasn't a death sentence. :)
 
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trickydick

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What I strongly recommend people do is:

1) Convert your subsection scores to the old exam's score using the charts that efle has made (do a search please).
2) Invest in MSAR Online
3) See if your subsection scores are above the target school's 10th %iles. If yes, you're still in good shape.

For example, the 10-90 range is 10-13 at Albany. Thus, the OP would not fare well at Albany, I believe.

The national median for acceptees in Bio and C/P is 11, and 10 for VR which comes to ~ 128+ for the former two, and ~127 for CARS. CARS/VR gets cut the most slack.
Any clue on how a low P/S is viewed? Would it get cut more slack like CARS or would a really low score, like a 124/125, put an applicant in auto-reject territory?
 
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efle

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Here's the chart for those that want to convert. OP's score would be a approx. a PS 9 / V 12 / BS 9 and Composite between a 30 and 31.

Surprised to hear a 9/12/9 would be looking at best-case waitlist at any DO school! But perhaps some are starting to set their sights only on 10+ bio scores.
 
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I've read the B/B is the greatest predictor of doing well on the Step 2, is this true? Also the new test applies Critical thinking much more than the old test if the old AAMC FLs are accurate indicators of how the old test is. I found myself applying CARS skills the entire time I was doing B/B, P/S and even much of C/P. CARS was by far the hardest section for me to improve because of how unforgiving the scaling is. You mess up 2 passages you are sunk whereas for C/P you mess up multiple and you can be at 129+ (personal experience). I took philosophy and literature classes just as much as science classes and I still found it very difficult to improve in CARS, also am an avid reader so OP that 130 is very impressive and shows you can do well in every section.

Also like trickydick asked how is P/S viewed since it is a new section?
 

Goro

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Nobody knows. Give us three years and then we can answer.

Also like trickydick asked how is P/S viewed since it is a new section?
 
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Nobody knows. Give us three years and then we can answer.
Figured you guys would need data. Some of the dean's I've talked to said they are weighting it less. Is this just for some schools or are many weighting it less?
 

Goro

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We don't know. Schools don't communicate this type of info to one another.

then you also have the mindset of individual screeners/interviewers as well.


Figured you guys would need data. Some of the dean's I've talked to said they are weighting it less. Is this just for some schools or are many weighting it less?
 
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We don't know. Schools don't communicate this type of info to one another.

then you also have the mindset of individual screeners/interviewers as well.
That makes a lot of sense. Never thought about the individual screener/interviewers. Thank you.
 

efle

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There isn't any great conclusive data or consensus opinion about regarding MCATs predictiveness of med school performance beyond those that hit 27+ tend to make it to graduation. That includes that subscore data which always gets debated and is interpreted in different ways
...really? Quick pubmed search for "usmle mcat" had a top result only a few months old showing:


Looks like N of a few hundred. I recall looking at this stuff a while ago and finding a good meta analysis maybe I can find that again
 

GrapesofRath

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...really? Quick pubmed search for "usmle mcat" had a top result only a few months old showing:


Looks like N of a few hundred. I recall looking at this stuff a while ago and finding a good meta analysis maybe I can find that again
I'd have to read the study and look more carefully at it. When I get a chance this weekend if I remember Ill read it.
 

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Figured you guys would need data. Some of the dean's I've talked to said they are weighting it less. Is this just for some schools or are many weighting it less?
We are not distinguishing it from the other components.
Individuals may have their own biases.
 
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efle

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I find it really odd in light of the studies that people don't universally value BS/PS over V (or Writing when that was a thing)
Same, I would think that Bio would be king. I could maybe understand why the old PS wouldn't be as much since it is not as applicable but the new C/P seems very applicable to medicine. Maybe Verbal is valued to prove that we aren't science robots and can think (also that step 3 correlation). If I had to rank the new sections it would be B/B>C/P>>CARS>P/S but I guess I don't make the rules =/, new one is a lot more reasoning and medically relevant, especially B/B.
 

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Bumping this thread because I'm in the same boat and this is the only helpful post I've found to-date. Anyone have different thoughts/ advice now that we're a couple years in with the new test?
 
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Also interested in knowing which section has the greatest predictive validity for Step 1 scores for the new MCAT. I wonder if it will still be Bio like it was for the old MCAT