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what should i do??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pk1, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. pk1

    pk1

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    Hey everyone,

    I have taken the MCAT 3 times already and scored a 24 each time 1)PS-8 VR-8 BS-8 2)8-9-7 3)9-6-9. However, studying for the last MCAT i was getting 29s-30s and even a 32 on my practice tests. I have taken kaplan twice and really feel that it is a sham. I am considering taking the test again and paying for a tutor (princeton review or private), what do you think?
    I have a 3.95cGPA with a 3.85sGPA and a great resume; I have done volunteer work at University of Maryland Medical Center (TRU and Child psych ward), have shadowed an MD at Columbia University Hospital, and i am currently working on the cardiology research team at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. I have LORs from various physicians.
    I applied for 2008 (after my second MCAT) and got interviews at Maryland and Einstein, got wait-listed at both, and the eventually taken off both wait-lists. I decided not too apply for 2009 (eventhough i got this job at Columbia) because some schools have a maxium of 2-applications and i figured with my lack of increase in score i would exhaust my possibility of getting accepted.
    I know that taking the test 4 times is a stretch but i really feel that i have it in me to perform well on the exam. Should i even give it a shot? wiill med schools look at my application with 4-mcats? anyone have any advice on how to study? any tutors out there?

    I really have a passion for medicine and feel that i would make a great doctor one day!

    Thanks for your time,

    PK GO Giants!
     
  2. BeardedRunner

    7+ Year Member

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    If you can't get a 10 on either science section after 3 tries, it means that there is a fundamental flaw in your understanding of the basic sciences. Verbal can be improved through practice, but you need try to re-learn the essential concepts of physics, chemisty, and biology before you take it again.
     
  3. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    If you are serious about retaking the MCAT, you should take some time to think about why you didn't improve from #1 to #2 to #3 because that same factor will probably hold you back if you take it for a 4th time. Was it just Kaplan not helping you? Did you do all the practice tests and homework? I've heard lots of good things about Examkrackers for MCAT prep, that may be a better option for you.

    As for your chances for med school, I'm not sure but I definitely think you will have difficulty applying due to the number of times you've taken the MCAT. Your GPA is great, not sure about your EC list, but the mitigating factor will be the MCAT. Presuming you do well the 4th time (30+ at the minimum), some schools may still exclude you for that reason. Consider DO options if you re-apply because they tend to have less strict admissions criteria.
     
  4. kac714

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    examkrackers. i took kaplan, got a 24, used exam krackers, got a 31. only thing i didn't use it for was verbal the second time and that score stayed the same.
     
  5. skrilladoc

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    Do not let anyone on this website dictate what you feel is best for your career choice. If medicine is truly what you want to pursue, change your studying habits....begin to memorize and understand WHY and HOW to solve a problem.

    I got a 20 on my first try, used Examkrackers and really bore down on my studying and problem solving abilities, came out with a 34 on my next MCAT. Medical schools review entire applications, not just MCATs. If you can explain your passions, your toil to succeed taking the MCAT....it shows that you have drive/determination to continue, most likely as a physician.

    Consult physicians that you shadow for better advice, maybe even ask an admissions department both at your school and at a medical school how to make yourself more attractive as an applicant.

    Good luck.
     
  6. BlackBantie

    BlackBantie The Black Bantam
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    Has test anxiety ever been a problem for you? I'm surprised that you have a good GPA and did well on practice exams yet not doing well on the real ones.
     
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  7. fahimaz7

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    4 times on the MCAT.. Red flag?
     
  8. littlealex

    littlealex little tiny alex
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    Red flag? Yes. So what? Honestly OP's got nothing to lose.

    Retake it; you basically have to. However, retake it KNOWING that you will do better. Examkrackers help you focus on the big concepts. Like many before said on ehre, if you truly understand the concepts and understand how to solve problems, there's no reason that you cannot get 10+ on the two sciences.

    As for verbal, you've already proved that you can get an 8+. Read copiously (it actually matters) and work on passages.

    Take it again and do it right. It's not about taking a few practice tests and going "Oh I scored high this time I will do well." Study for a true understanding of the test and the problem types.

    Just don't do the same things you did to prepare for the test the last 3 times.
     
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  9. Chemist0157

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    I had to take the MCAT three times before I was satisfied with my score; I even made the same score on my first two tries. However, it's troubling to see that even after three times, you have yet to show improvement. I don't think schools really care when applicants take the MCAT multiple times as long as they show improvement.

    Figure out what's holding you back. Studying like you always have, taking the same practice tests, using the same books, etc. is not going to cut it.

    How do you take the practice tests? Do you do them all the way through? Do you time yourself? Do you review afterward? Ask yourself these kinds of questions.
     
  10. STXGregor

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    I don't know if you have your heart set on MD or not, but I did a quick search and saw that most DO schools have an average MCAT in the mid-20 range, some even in the low 20's. With your GPA and EC's I don't see why you couldn't get an acceptance to a DO school as is.
     
  11. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    You'd get in at least somewhere if you went DO. The criteria are rising every year though...I might try a crack at the MCAT one more time, that 6 on the last one will hurt you.
     
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  12. STXGregor

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    That made me think of something else. Check out different schools, I believe that some schools take your MCAT scores on a section by section basis. Meaning, that some schools may see your MCAT as a 27 (9-9-9), which mixed with your GPA might be high enough to find you in an MD program somewhere.
     
  13. alibai3ah

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    4 times can be problem, unless you significantly improve your MCAT score. I'm talking 32+. Now to get a score like that you really have address what is wrong with your study habits. I recommend studying 2-3 months straight and make a schedule. For verbal use EK 101 books and practice with random journals and articles. For the physical sciences I think berkeley review is really good. If you can get a hold of those books it will help. MCATs is not a memory test, its your ability to read fast and answer questions about what you comprehend from that passage. You say that kaplan didnt' work for you. Kaplan has a lot of online stuff, so I'm surprised it iddn't help you at all, because if you do all the quizzes and tests you shoudl see an improvemetn. But if you are aversive to the idea of taking kaplan again, then I would recommend EK stuff. I heard they are really good. I don't think you are screwed, but one more bad attempt will pretty much kill any chance you have at an MD school.
     
  14. thisismyyear

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    I took kaplan and on first try got a 19. switched to princeton and on second try got a 28. I found that the princeton practice exams were really similar to the real mcat. On the princeton practice tests I was constantly scoring from 28-30 and on the real thing I got a 28. Try Princeton!! Don't give up! if i can improve 9 points, so can you. good luck!
     
  15. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    I agree with this post -- as I'm still marveling how someone with a 3.95 GPA can pull a 24 on the MCAT.. a 24 is like a 2.0 student's score.

    Don't take it for a 4th time until you're scoring 35+ on practice exams. You have to rock this to justify four tries..
     
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  16. NiCad089

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    You should study using the past MCAT exams. Also, why not try DO schools?
     
  17. majestic red

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    I took the Kaplan course and thought that it was a great review of the exam content, but that their "strategies" weren't for me. I took several practice tests using their note-taking method and did decently, but I had the sinking feeling that it was slowing me down more then anything else. So on the real test, I just decided to stop doing it, and I ended up scoring 3-4 points higher than I did on my practice tests.
     
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