TwilitForest

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Hi, everyone. Long-time lurker, first time posting as I have a serious question about my MCAT tomorrow as I had a bit of a freakout yesterday. I know that it's FAR from ideal, but I took my first practice exam (actually Blueprint's diagnostic to be fair) yesterday and scored much lower than I had hoped (500: 123 C/P, 125 CARS, 125 B/B, 127 P/S). I've been studying for the MCAT for at least 6 months now, however, I just finished all of my content review last week (been using Kaplan books with supplementary KA videos when needed, as well as MileDown's Anki deck). Of note, I expect a higher CARS score on the actual exam as it's my best section and I've been consistently acing Jack Westin passages and Kaplan CARS practice sets... so I consider the 125 to be a bit of a fluke as there was a pretty difficult passage lumped in with the others in the diagnostic test (it was about Mexican politics, and political science is really not my forte, haha). But the C/P section is something that I'm extremely worried about as I'm not the best with relationships in equations and am better at conceptual stuff.

All in all, I'm going to apply to some mid- and lower-tier MD schools (about 12-15) rather than DO (as, to be completely honest and after a lot of debating, I'm really not interested), and I suppose I'm wondering if I should void my MCAT tomorrow in sake of taking it again after a month or so in order to increase my score. I'd prefer to not void if I don't have to (I mean, obviously) as I really, REALLY just want to be done with all of this MCAT stuff and get it off of my back already. I'd really like to get in this cycle (said ALL applicants of course) as I don't want to have to take a 3rd gap year. If you think that a below-average MCAT score wouldn't necessarily hurt me a bunch for the schools I'm applying to (IU, OS, Pritzker, Tufts, Medical College of Wisconsin, Georgetown U, U of Minnesota, U of Wisconsin, etc.), please let me know.

To give some more background on my stats as an applicant, I have a GPA of 3.7 and a sGPA of 3.6. I'm applying this cycle (haven't turned my application in yet as I was waiting to submit it after my MCAT) and am currently in my second gap year as I graduated in 2015 with a double major in biology and dance. The application components as far as my personal statement and work/activities section are pretty strong if I do say so myself, so I'm not too worried about that.

It seems a bit silly to me that I'm reaching out for some advice regarding this, but I could really use some help from you guys. Thanks in advance. :)
 

drstranger

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I had similar GPAs and 504 MCAT and applied to a few of the MDs you listed and got 0 interviews. I got accepted to several DOs though. Do not expect a miracle 10+ point increase in a day, and you probably need a few more weeks of studying to increase your MCAT to MD level and by that point, you would be late in the MD cycle. Additionally, I have been told by adcom if you apply with a low MCAT and then retake the MCAT and do better there is no guarantee that adcom will look at your application again.
 

TwilitForest

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Thanks for the input @drstranger, I really appreciate it! I completely agree that a few more weeks of studying could raise my score as all of the content isn't really solidified in my mind just yet anyhow. I just wish that it wouldn't put me out of the running for this cycle. An email from AAMC was sent out a day or two ago stating that med schools are "considering" switching from rolling admissions this cycle to a set acceptance date, but not sure if that will go through, let alone help or hinder me.

@GreenDuck12 I haven't as I didn't want to shell out the money for the exam until I had finished my content review, and now it's only a day before my exam and I feel as if it wouldn't help me much at this point... I have access to Kaplan and Blueprint exams (although not as indicative as the AAMC ones of course) and I plan on taking one later today.
 
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GreenDuck12

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Thanks for the input @drstranger, I really appreciate it! I completely agree that a few more weeks of studying could raise my score as all of the content isn't really solidified in my mind just yet anyhow. I just wish that it wouldn't put me out of the running for this cycle. An email from AAMC was sent out a day or two ago stating that med schools are "considering" switching from rolling admissions this cycle to a set acceptance date, but not sure if that will go through, let alone help or hinder me.

@GreenDuck12 I haven't as I didn't want to shell out the money for the exam until I had finished my content review, and now it's only a day before my exam and I feel as if it wouldn't help me much at this point... I have access to Kaplan and Blueprint exams (although not as indicative as the AAMC ones of course) and I plan on taking one later today.

I would recommend voiding your test since you are not in the best position possible to do well. Content review helps for the MCAT, but practicing with the AAMC's material is essential to doing well on the test. Learning good test taking skills and strategies is essential. The MCAT is less a test of content mastery and more of a reasoning exam. See if you can reschedule for 4-6 weeks down the line so that you can thoroughly take and review the AAMC's material.
 
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drstranger

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Thanks for the input @drstranger, I really appreciate it! I completely agree that a few more weeks of studying could raise my score as all of the content isn't really solidified in my mind just yet anyhow. I just wish that it wouldn't put me out of the running for this cycle. An email from AAMC was sent out a day or two ago stating that med schools are "considering" switching from rolling admissions this cycle to a set acceptance date, but not sure if that will go through, let alone help or hinder me.

@GreenDuck12 I haven't as I didn't want to shell out the money for the exam until I had finished my content review, and now it's only a day before my exam and I feel as if it wouldn't help me much at this point... I have access to Kaplan and Blueprint exams (although not as indicative as the AAMC ones of course) and I plan on taking one later today.
That will be great if they move away from rolling admission and end up doing something like Texas. Also I strongly recommend at least getting the AAMC FLEs they are the best predictors of score

One thing I will add is atleast go to the testing center and take the test tomorrow. Then void it. Since you cant get a refund atleast get the flow of everything down. Also I wouldnt take a test the day before your exam rest and review
 
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TwilitForest

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@drstranger @GreenDuck12 Thanks for the input you two. Come tomorrow, I'll most likely void it (unless a miracle happens during the exam) and try to reschedule for a few weeks down the line. With COVID, I know that med schools have to be understanding of the abnormal application timelines for applicants this year, so I suppose delaying my application submission until I've taken my MCAT isn't the worst thing that could happen. In the meantime, I'll work with some of the AAMC materials over the next month in preparation!
 
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JimKimSlim

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It concerns me that you haven't taken AAMC FL exams before the actual test, since they're the cloesest things to the real MCAT. I think 3.7 is a good GPA, but that's also near the median GPA for medical school matriculants, so a competitive score on the MCAT would be very helpful for the schools you listed. Just take the MCAT later, after you achieved your desired score on AAMC FL's!
 
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TwilitForest

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It concerns me that you haven't taken AAMC FL exams before the actual test, since they're the cloesest things to the real MCAT. I think 3.7 is a good GPA, but that's also near the median GPA for medical school matriculants, so a competitive score on the MCAT would be very helpful for the schools you listed. Just take the MCAT later, after you achieved your desired score on AAMC FL's!

Honestly, I figured that the AAMC materials were pretty much optional and that 3rd party materials would suffice for FLEs, so I didn't buy them as I considered them to be an unnecessary purchase... But I can totally see how they would be much more useful considering that they are from the AAMC themselves, haha. I'll give in and buy some (if not all 4 of them).
 

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Sorry I didn't get a chance to answer this until now, but if anybody in the future reads this, AAMC material is absolutely CRUCIAL for MCAT studying. If you think you don't have enough time to finish all of the material (it should only take around 2-3 weeks to finish it all), then just do the full lengths. But prioritize AAMC material over all other third-party material. The AAMC FL exams are also the only way to accurately gauge if you are ready to take the actual MCAT since third-party material scores are not weighted.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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TwilitForest

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Sorry I didn't get a chance to answer this until now, but if anybody in the future reads this, AAMC material is absolutely CRUCIAL for MCAT studying. If you think you don't have enough time to finish all of the material (it should only take around 2-3 weeks to finish it all), then just do the full lengths. But prioritize AAMC material over all other third-party material. The AAMC FL exams are also the only way to accurately gauge if you are ready to take the actual MCAT since third-party material scores are not weighted.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors

Thanks so much for the reply anyways! As an update, I voided my exam after taking it the other day and decided to buy all of the AAMC FLEs this time around. I'm also going to buy the AAMC Q-packs and/or a subscription to UWorld for practice with passages. In addition, I'm going to go ahead and submit my application in the next couple of days and reschedule another MCAT exam for ~4-5 weeks from now.
 
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