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Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by uhohspaghettio, May 13, 2007.
Anything less than 28 or 29 or 30? Elaborate please.
Most people on here would say yes. But I do have a friend that got into UIC (in-state) with a low gpa and a 27 (and she's not a URM), so it's not a hard and fast rule that you can't get in anywhere with that score. It probably really depends on how the rest of your application looks (great ECs, letters, a strong gpa, etc.), and especially your state of residency. It seems like things are more flexible in some states. Also, if you'd consider applying to a DO school, then that might work too.
My suggestion would be to go to www.mdapplicants.com and put in your state of residency and an MCAT range of 26-28 and click on the box that will select out only profiles of people that got accepted into at least one school. Then, look at who got in where, and what the rest of their application/gpa looked like. True, mdapps is just self-reported, and isn't completely trustworthy, but it should still give you an idea of where you might have a shot at. Good luck.
Depends on a ton of factors - get out the MSAR and see how you stack up. If you have a 4.0 from Harvard and discovered a new organ, your state school will probably overlook a lower MCAT score. If you're borderline in other areas, I'd say take it again - but only if you think you have time to put in the effort for a decent score increase (more than a point or two).
MDapps is pretty good - but it's a selection of the application pool - often people who have numbers they aren't embarrassed about. I'd call the admissions director at your school of choice and see if they're willing to give you a suggestion.
While there is good advice on this forum, it is only a forum and info/advice should be taken with a grain of salt.
That being said, I would NOT trust this website or MDapps to decide to apply to MD schools. They are typically inflated and will generally not describe the averages. Even when you look at the MSAR, they only show ACCEPTED, not their entering class, so even that statistic is inflated. If it is a state school, I would go to the school visit and speak to the students and the dean. Ask them what numbers you need. That would give you a much better and more reliable source!
I agree with eddie on this. Most statistics are inflated. Before entering med school I did a masters in epidemiology, of which Statistics is a huge part of the curriculum. I remember one professor in particular who warned us time and again to always double check all "official" statistics, as they are easily manipulated. Most public and private institutions (including med schools) tend to artificially inflate their statistics in order to achieve some gains. Government agencies might do it to qualify for more funding, corporations might do it in order to keep stock prices inflated and med schools might do it in order to seem more discriminating and thus have more "prestige".
My point in all of this is to take all "official" statistics with a grain of salt. I would especially do so with opinions made by fellow SDN posters. Most are pre-med such as yourself only have uninformed opinions. They might mean well, but in the end they are just that, opinions. I have heard of cases in which students have been accepted to med school with an MCAT score of 23, a particular case in mount sinai comes to mind.
While MCAT scores are very important in regards to admissions, you have to remember that there are other equally important factors. Many med schools have even gone the route of diminishing the importance of the MCAT, while some dont even consider it at all. Addcoms are starting to open their eyes to the fact that standardized exams have inherent weaknesses, and is not the best way to compare one applicant to another. No one here can tell me that students that attend public school in Baltimore or rural Mississippi will tend to have similar scores to students that attend Beverly Hills High, its just not true.
This is even affecting the way the USMLE is given. There are talks going on between the national board of medical examiners (NBME) and med schools to do away with step 1 and 2 of the USMLE and unite them as one single exam after third year. The original purpose of the USMLE is for licensing purposes. The NBME is not at all happy the way residency programs have turned the USMLE into a tool for evaluating candidates when that is not the purpose of the exam to begin with.
As you can see it is a little complicated. My advice to you is to earn as high a GPA as you can, do some EC's and get nice letters of remcommendations. When you do take the MCAT prepare for it the best you can. If you get a decent score it will not burn a well balanced application. If, on the other hand, your app is mediocre (lower GPA, no EC's) then you have to get sa high a score as you can to offset your other deficiencies. I know this is a bit complicated and long winded, but it does give you an idea of how the system is set up, and where it might be heading.
Hope that helped.