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URM: What MCAT score range do you think I need to have a chance at top schools?

xdandelionflowerx

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May 21, 2020
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Female Native American

Undergrad GPA: 3.93, neuroscience, all A's and a few A-s, nothing less than an A- on my transcript

College: top 25 public university

Activities during college: tutor for two years at school's tutoring center, resident assistant (dorms) for a year, research assistant for 3 years (two different labs), volunteering for 3 years at my school's disability services, Emergency Medical Technician for one year

Hobbies: powerlifting (have competed, gone to national competitions), drawing/art (have a portfolio and website)

Gap years: doing research at MIT in Boston for two years, EMT outside of my MIT hours for helping out during COVID-19, volunteering for a Native American center. I'm working on creating my own volunteering organization (won't explain for anonymity's sake).

I want to apply to the MIT-Harvard HST program.


What kind of MCAT score do you think I'd need?
My last take was a 511 -- 126/126/129/130
I'm retaking it because I know why I bombed the first two sections.
 
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Grapesurgery

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Feb 28, 2020
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Define "Top"

T5/10: aim 513 + for a soild chance

T25/30: 510+ you can get in.
OP already has a 511. If she got a 513 I do not think that will look favorable since it’s in the same confidence interval as 511. I would say 517-518+ for a rock solid chance, maybe 515+ for a good chance. However, note that mine and any further replies you get here are speculation.
What stands out more than your numerical stats is your story. It’s great that you volunteer for a Native American center and are starting to create your own org — is this at least partially the line of work you want to continue as a physician? If so you can have a really compelling story. Also, consult MSAR. By no means am I trying to be rude but even a 513 (as was suggested) is under 10%ile for most t10s. I’ve found that oftentimes other posters overestimate the “urm boost” on stats, coming from my experiences as a fellow urm this past cycle and cycle outcomes of other urm friends who applied. However there is definitely a boost and I would infer you stand a really solid chance with an mcat reasonably less than the MSAR medians because of your other experiences and academic excellence. Your app is looking great so far, though, keep up the fantastic work. As it stands I would say you have a great chance of getting accepted somewhere even if you applied right now, though it seems you’re gunning for top schools. If it is possible and appealing to you, I think you should only take one gap year instead of two. You do not need two full years to make yourself a highly competitive applicant. Good luck!
 
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Oct 14, 2011
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Where did you grow up (ties as Native American)? Current state residency?

If you are retaking the MCAT, I always advise to set a target of at least +10 above your last composite score, especially If you aspire to "top tier" schools. I also ask that you network with student services/diversity administrators at the schools of interest plus connect with ANAMS (Association of Native American Medical Students) chapter officers to get a better sense of an affinity community and support.
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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May 21, 2020
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Where did you grow up (ties as Native American)? Current state residency?

If you are retaking the MCAT, I always advise to set a target of at least +10 above your last composite score, especially If you aspire to "top tier" schools. I also ask that you network with student services/diversity administrators at the schools of interest plus connect with ANAMS (Association of Native American Medical Students) chapter officers to get a better sense of an affinity community and support.


I grew up in VT (VT is also where my tribe's branch is located) for the first 14 years of my life. My mom is Native American and a tribal member, so my siblings and I grew up learning the traditions and tribal language. I am also an enrolled member of my tribe. I moved to MA for high school (where my stepfather lives). *I'm being very vague intentionally to not give away personal information.

As for scoring 10+ points higher, I'll do my best. My test date is 9/28/20, and I am working full time, but I'll try to be better prepared this time.
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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OP already has a 511. If she got a 513 I do not think that will look favorable since it’s in the same confidence interval as 511. I would say 517-518+ for a rock solid chance, maybe 515+ for a good chance. However, note that mine and any further replies you get here are speculation.
What stands out more than your numerical stats is your story. It’s great that you volunteer for a Native American center and are starting to create your own org — is this at least partially the line of work you want to continue as a physician? If so you can have a really compelling story. Also, consult MSAR. By no means am I trying to be rude but even a 513 (as was suggested) is under 10%ile for most t10s. I’ve found that oftentimes other posters overestimate the “urm boost” on stats, coming from my experiences as a fellow urm this past cycle and cycle outcomes of other urm friends who applied. However there is definitely a boost and I would infer you stand a really solid chance with an mcat reasonably less than the MSAR medians because of your other experiences and academic excellence. Your app is looking great so far, though, keep up the fantastic work. As it stands I would say you have a great chance of getting accepted somewhere even if you applied right now, though it seems you’re gunning for top schools. If it is possible and appealing to you, I think you should only take one gap year instead of two. You do not need two full years to make yourself a highly competitive applicant. Good luck!

Thank you! I graduated in May 2019, so unfortunately, your gap year suggestion is moot. :( I can't apply this cycle, because I didn't ask for rec letters from anyone. I will wait until next year in June 2021 to apply, because by then I will hopefully have a solid MCAT score.
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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Do you guys think 520+ is fully necessary as Mr. Smiles said? I am doing my best in studying but do you think about a 10+ point increase is realistic for me? My breakdown was 126/126/129/130 last time.
I think I can get a 130 in CARS this time (+4), 128 (+2) in CP (maybe higher if I memorize all of the equations, etc.). I guess I can also do my best to bump up my BB section another point, and maybe PS 2 points.

It just seems like it could be a long shot? One thing to note though is I didn't study much for PS aside from watching KA and reading the book. Maybe more practicing (strategy formation) would've gotten me those 2 points I missed.
 
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InfamousDoc

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Do you guys think 520+ is fully necessary as Mr. Smiles said? I am doing my best in studying but do you think about a 10+ point increase is realistic for me? My breakdown was 126/126/129/130 last time.
I think I can get a 130 in CARS this time (+4), 128 (+2) in CP (maybe higher if I memorize all of the equations, etc.). I guess I can also do my best to bump up my BB section another point, and maybe PS 2 points.

It just seems like it could be a long shot? One thing to note though is I didn't study much for PS aside from watching KA and reading the book. Maybe more practicing (strategy formation) would've gotten me those 2 points I missed.
From the many testimonials I have read, it seems as though a 520+ would most likely be conducive to matriculation. Many MD/PhD applicants have a similar background as you ( heavy research) and are typically paired up with a great GPA and MCAT. Although it may not be impossible to get in with a 513, it most definitely will help getting a greater MCAT score considering the high volume of highly qualified applicants you would be competing with. I hope you are also considering other MD/PhD programs as well, since it is well known that acceptance to medical schools acan sometimes be arbitrary.
 
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I will say the closer you get to the higher range of the MCAT, the easier it would be. But that said, you would likely have some good responses in your MD application process if you don't get an MD/PhD interview. Have you reached out to admissions recruiters to get you better insight into MSTP programs or similar? Are you connected with mentors through SACNAS? Do you understand what a career in translational medicine entails?
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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I will say the closer you get to the higher range of the MCAT, the easier it would be. But that said, you would likely have some good responses in your MD application process if you don't get an MD/PhD interview. Have you reached out to admissions recruiters to get you better insight into MSTP programs or similar? Are you connected with mentors through SACNAS? Do you understand what a career in translational medicine entails?


Hi Mr.Smile12, thanks again for another insightful response! I am new to this forum, so I am not sure how things work. Your title says "Admissions Advisor." Can I private message you to talk more about talking to admissions recruiters and getting connected with SACNAS mentors?
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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May 21, 2020
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From the many testimonials I have read, it seems as though a 520+ would most likely be conducive to matriculation. Many MD/PhD applicants have a similar background as you ( heavy research) and are typically paired up with a great GPA and MCAT. Although it may not be impossible to get in with a 513, it most definitely will help getting a greater MCAT score considering the high volume of highly qualified applicants you would be competing with. I hope you are also considering other MD/PhD programs as well, since it is well known that acceptance to medical schools acan sometimes be arbitrary.
Thanks! I'll do my best to make significant improvements in each of the four MCAT sections.
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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I will say the closer you get to the higher range of the MCAT, the easier it would be. But that said, you would likely have some good responses in your MD application process if you don't get an MD/PhD interview. Have you reached out to admissions recruiters to get you better insight into MSTP programs or similar? Are you connected with mentors through SACNAS? Do you understand what a career in translational medicine entails?
I tried sending you a conversation message, but SDN gave me an error message that told me I am not able to do so.
 
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super robot

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Hi, sorry I'm not URM myself and not on any admissions committees or anything, but based on experiences of people I know who got into top 5's with MCAT between 510-515, I feel like people here are splitting hairs as your application looks strong to me! There's also a pre-med app called MiMentor that you may have heard of which mostly caters to the Latinx community but they've been welcoming to all students of color
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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May 21, 2020
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Hi, sorry I'm not URM myself and not on any admissions committees or anything, but based on experiences of people I know who got into top 5's with MCAT between 510-515, I feel like people here are splitting hairs as your application looks strong to me! There's also a pre-med app called MiMentor that you may have heard of which mostly caters to the Latinx community but they've been welcoming to all students of color

Thank you, super robot! What were your stats? 77 is one heck of a Lizzie M score!! Golly gee.
Did you end up enrolling in an MD program? Which one?
 
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Gaucho97

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I think your GPA and MCAT score in combination with the rest of your application would net you a solid amount of interviews especially with your URM designation. I don't think its a sound idea to bank on one school, I think you are definitely in the range for T20-30 programs. Harvard is an entirely different beast. You're competing against incredibly qualified applicants. Retaking an 80th percentile MCAT and not doing substantially better would show poor judgement in my opinion.
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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I think your GPA and MCAT score in combination with the rest of your application would net you a solid amount of interviews especially with your URM designation. I don't think its a sound idea to bank on one school, I think you are definitely in the range for T20-30 programs. Harvard is an entirely different beast. You're competing against incredibly qualified applicants. Retaking an 80th percentile MCAT and not doing substantially better would show poor judgement in my opinion.

Hi Gaucho, thanks for your input! :)

How do you define "substantially better?" I read that Harvard "views all scores, but prioritizes most recent score." Allopathic Medical School Multiple MCAT Scores | Pre-Health

My score breakdown was 126/126/129/130.
I can bump my PS up to a 131 or 132 since I barely even studied PS.
CARS is already up to a 130+ average for me (acing AAMC and Uworld resources). CP is a work in progress, but perhaps I hope to get it up to a 128. Essentially, I don't think gaining 7 points + is going to be tremendously difficult given the circumstances of why I bombed the first two sections on my first go. *Prayers and well-wishes.*

Also, one thing that's cool is that Harvard's MD-PhD site has this plastered all over it:
The program particularly encourages applications from students who are Black/African American, American Indian/Native Alaskan, and Hispanic/Latino American, as well as students with disabilities and students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

 
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Gaucho97

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Hi Gaucho, thanks for your input! :)

How do you define "substantially better?" I read that Harvard "views all scores, but prioritizes most recent score." Allopathic Medical School Multiple MCAT Scores | Pre-Health

My score breakdown was 126/126/129/130.
I can bump my PS up to a 131 or 132 since I barely even studied PS.
CARS is already up to a 130+ average for me (acing AAMC and Uworld resources). CP is a work in progress, but perhaps I hope to get it up to a 128. Essentially, I don't think gaining 7 points + is going to be tremendously difficult given the circumstances of why I bombed the first two sections on my first go. *Prayers and well-wishes.*

Also, one thing that's cool is that Harvard's MD-PhD site has this plastered all over it:
The program particularly encourages applications from students who are Black/African American, American Indian/Native Alaskan, and Hispanic/Latino American, as well as students with disabilities and students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

you can def retake then! Wishing you the best on it!

all I am saying is not to bank on one particular school even if you get a 518+ on your retake. It’s an emotionally taxing process and I’d hate for you to be left disappointed if HMS doesn’t work out. I did that with a state school of mine and was absolutely crushed when I was rejected but slowly came to realize that studying medicine in the States is an absolute privilege and i came to be extremely happy w my future home :)

all the best!
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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you can def retake then! Wishing you the best on it!

all I am saying is not to bank on one particular school even if you get a 518+ on your retake. It’s an emotionally taxing process and I’d hate for you to be left disappointed if HMS doesn’t work out. I did that with a state school of mine and was absolutely crushed when I was rejected but slowly came to realize that studying medicine in the States is an absolute privilege and i came to be extremely happy w my future home :)

all the best!
Okay, thank you!! Much appreciated. xx
 
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BlackMathMajor

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Your last take was a 511. Schools want to see significant improvement on a retake. That usually means around five points or so. Your URM status might get you a bit of leeway there, but not much. You need a 515 or better to move the needle. That means that you should be getting 518+ on practice tests from the AAMC taken under conditions approximating Test Day. Ideally you'd be consistently breaking 520, but 518 is good enough. Do that, and manage to pull off the same kind of performance on Test Day that you do on your practice tests, and you'll be a decent candidate for pretty much any school you want to apply to. Good luck.
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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Update: Because I took the MCAT and registered as Native American, I received a letter in the mail from the HMS office of multicultural affairs. The letter encouraged me to apply/told me that my score is in the competitive range for students who have previously been successful at applying. o_O
 
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xdandelionflowerx

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Update: Because I took the MCAT and registered as Native American, I received a letter in the mail from the HMS office of multicultural affairs. The letter encouraged me to apply/told me that my score is in the competitive range for students who have previously been successful at applying. o_O
Who knows though if this was just a stunt to increase the number of applications they get (aka make more money).
 
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