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What should I do?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Osteopathic [ DO ]' started by TheDarkNeuron, 09.24.14.

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  1. TheDarkNeuron

    TheDarkNeuron

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    Hey everyone - so I got my mcat score back yesterday (7/7/8) 22 I feel so terrible about it. My practice test I was averaging around a 28-30. My first practice test was a 24 before I even started studying. I honestly don't know what happened. I am unsure where to go from here, I have a 3.3cGPA and 3.45sGPA with a huge upward trend (one semester i got a 0.9GPA) I talked about it in my personal statement (family issues, domestic violence). I could retake those classes and bring my cGPA up pretty significantly, but they were just freshmen level easy classes. I'm not sure when I should take the MCAT again - if I should wait until January and take it, or take the new one in 2015. My 2nd major is psychology so I feel like I could do well in the social section, and also I took biochem and advanced biochem and did well in those courses, which leads me to believe maybe I should take the 2015 mcat. Also, I will be graduated after december, so I would have time to study for the 2015 mcat without focusing on classes as well. I am pretty torn about it. If I took my mcat in January, would it be too late for this cycle?
     
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  3. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Well so the fact that you received a balanced score and the fact that your practice tests were averaging so much higher makes me think it was a fluke and not representative of your real potential. Generally speaking I would argue that the MCAT is relatively BS proof - i.e. the more work you put in, the better your score. But this seems kind of random to be honest. Was there some circumstance that you think could have caused you to do worse on that particular day? Were you excessively stressed? did you not sleep well the night before? Were the conditions in the testing center funky? Were you sick?

    I would say overall dont touch your GPA. If you truly have a strong upward trend then it will be apparent to adcoms, they really do take that stuff seriously - especially at DO schools. You have the requirements to get through the GPA pre-screening at all DO schools. If you did well in the advanced courses and bombed the early courses because of some other circumstance then that would be silly to go back and retake the early courses (unless your GPA was so low as to be pre-screen out pre-interview - which its not). So yea I would not worry about that.

    As for a retake, obviously you should, but then question of whether you should take it soon vs the new one is really up to you. If in the depths of your soul you know it was a fluke then you could essentially take it soon and have no problem. If you think there was some sort of consistent error in the way you were studying or something (which it does not necessarily point in that direction) then maybe give yourself more time and take the 2015 version.

    As for applying this cycle, personally I would say hold off and get your crap straightened out so that way you can have the chance to apply to better schools and have the greatest chance of acceptance. It worked for me so I have no complaints about pushing my application a year. But others on here will argue for you to just go for it and that "plenty of people have gotten in with a 22." For which I will argue that those people very likely got in at a crappy school that they would not have otherwise wanted to attend if they had a score that was even just a couple points higher. It wont change the fact that you become a doctor at the end, but a little bit of patience now can open up more doors later (better schools are "better" simply because they might have more opportunities available to you). But that is just my opinion.
     
    WhyDoWeFall and vlazlo like this.
  4. TheDarkNeuron

    TheDarkNeuron

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    Thank you so much (again) for all the amazing advice, I was really hoping you would let me know your opinion on here! I'm not really sure what happened with my MCAT, I slept fine and everything, I don't think I was too nervous. Admittedly, I was pretty burned out from studying. I also took the AAMC #11 test and got a 23 on it a few days before. I didn't feel exactly ready for the test, but I didn't it would be that low either. I would consistently get 28's on pretty much all the later exams, and I thought that is where I would be at. On the actual mcat I think it was just an 'unlucky' exam for me as most of the material that was tested was my weaker areas (lots of gen chem in ps and orgo in bio) I was so shocked about the verbal because that is usually one of my best areas the lowest I got was a 9 in all my practice tests, and I thought it felt easy on the actual exam, guess i was wrong about that. I really did feel 'off' that day, but I know I wasn't fully prepared either.

    Definitely my biggest issue right now i guess is when I should take it again. I don't know if i could devote enough time to the mcat on top of a full semester. I am seriously considering taking it in early January, because I have the practice materials for the old mcat and think i could do well. However I am taking 2 difficult upper-level science classes this semester as well. If I took it in January, would I be too late to apply this cycle? (getting the results mid feb)? I feel like I could apply more time to it if I took the new mcat for 2015, and take a gap year. but I think maybe trying the old one again might be an ok idea? and then if I did bad in it again, I could take the 2015 one? a gap year doesnt sound all that bad in all honesty, I have been going to school every year consistently, after HS and I graduated in 2008, I will have 2 degrees and also a certificate (electrical linemen) degree. but Ido feel burned out about school right now. In my gap year I could address the weaker areas of my application (clinical volunteering, and maybe become an EMT), but I am already 24 (will be 25 in feb) I am just really torn, if i could take the jan mcat and still be ok for this cycle I think i would try that

    Thanks again for all the help I truly appreciate it
     
  5. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    So again, this is just my personal bias, based on what I did. But I would suggest waiting until next cycle. So I did the same thing as you, I graduated in the fall semester. I knew that I was taking a few tough classes and decided on the gap year. So when I graduated I had all spring to work and devote the time that the MCAT deserves. Personally, I think there is this big hype about the new MCAT but honestly I dont think it will be that bad. As it stands now, people and prep companies have basically perfected how to take the MCAT and thus they are the competition that you will face as your test is scored. So everyone who takes the test on your test is graded on a curve together. With the new MCAT I think the bar will be equalized a little bit again. So if you give yourself a few weeks in the spring to really hit it hard and focus then absolutely you should do better. It takes a mountain of stress off your back trying to cram and get your application in. If you push your application to next cycle you could get your application in day 1 which is incredibly important. I know people with worse scores than me who have way more interviews and acceptances than I have simply because they applied earlier than I did. Secondly it would give you time to pre-write secondary questions (which takes time to write good ones), as well as a killer personal statement, and then to get all of letters of recommendation in order. That way when you apply next cycle its like application is in June 3rd or whatever. Then you get secondaries late June and are able to send them back within 24 hours. Then you get interview invites late July and early August, and you are accepted to a top notch school before October even rolls around. It is a freaking good feeling to have...

    On a side note, the gap year thing is the best decision I have made. Not only has it given me time to continue to beef up my application (got a good job, more shadowing, a DO letter of rec, etc). It honestly is extremely nice to have some time away from school. I think I have grown and matured a lot and that not only makes me happy personally, but I think it was reflected in my application and particularly in my interviews. And honestly because of the gap, I am not SUPER pumped to start school next fall. Like I am well rested and energized to hit it ridiculously hard. I am excited to learn again and be in that environment and I have an added boost of confidence that I will be able to do well - after working and accomplishing things at work I never thought I could do. I mean dont get me wrong, there are definitely times where I wish I was already started on the journey and in med school. But I know that the gap year was so beneficial to my personal and academic health. I will be 25 when I start school and I am extremely happy about that, I would not have wanted to go when I was 22 when I first started down this path, heck I dont think I would have even had a chance at 22.

    But again, this is by no means what you HAVE to do. It is simply what I did and it worked out for me. I am already accepted into one of my top choice schools for next fall. I would take the year of being patient vs freaking out about getting my application in and on time, any day.
     
  6. TheDarkNeuron

    TheDarkNeuron

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    Thank you - Yeah that does seem like the best option to do. Do you know if all of my AACOMAS information will be saved or will I have to do everything all over next year? also, should I withdraw or just leave it how it is? Man this is a big decision
     
  7. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    man there were spelling errors all over that haha...

    "So everyone who takes the test on your DAY is graded on a curve together. "

    "And honestly because of the gap, I am NOW super pumped to start school next fall." <--- That one really changes the meaning haha

    To answer your questions:
    I am about 90% sure that AACOMAS will save your information. But if it doesnt, its best to just copy and paste your application into a file so you can essentially cut and paste next year. Mind you that some aspects of your application you will want to change and beef up.

    As for withdrawing and stuff... well I mean I guess that depends. Is your application like verified and sent to the schools and all? Where did you end up applying to?
     
  8. TheDarkNeuron

    TheDarkNeuron

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    Haha no problem it's awesome talking to someone who has been in my shoes. I Just submitted to one school to get verified, so aacomas has my transcripts and everything, but no LOR's and mcat
     
  9. TheDarkNeuron

    TheDarkNeuron

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    I submitted my primary to be verified no secondaries or anything. Also, I saw that sociology will be on the new mcat and I dont have any intro sociology courses, so I am wondering if they will make that class a pre req for med school then? if so I would be screwed because this is my last semester
     
  10. TheDarkNeuron

    TheDarkNeuron

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    I think i am going to take the Jan test just because there is a chance my score will improve significantly, if I do that and then get my score back and it is bad, I will still have enough time to apply for next cycle and take the new mcat and be early
     
  11. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Sounds good... but definitely DO NOT take it unless you are consistently scoring where you need to be +2 points. If you are not ready then push it. There are many people who take the MCAT twice and thats fine. But once you start getting to 3 or 4 times then adcom members might start questioning your ability to pass boards on the first try. It is best to focus hard and take it when you are truly ready.
     
  12. TheDarkNeuron

    TheDarkNeuron

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    Thank you so much - yeah definitely I will do this, and push it back if I am not ready. Congratulations on your acceptance!!
     

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