Dr. Doogie

2+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2014
16
13
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Pre-Medical
Hello friends.

So, first off, please forgive whatever naivety might be on display here as I ask this question.

I plan to take the MCAT in January of 2019 and apply that cycle. I will not be done with the relevant pre reqs until that time and it makes the most sense considering my family.

I have compiled many tips for long term MCAT study (1 hour a day, high yield, don't burn out) and as I begin this strategy I am wondering what you all think my goal score should be. Taking a full length/diagnostic test wouldn't be a worthwhile assessment since I haven't even gone through much of the content for the first time.

Me-at-a-glance (some stats (GPA) projected) come 2019 cycle:

3.3 cumulative GPA (terrible freshman year, better sophomore, 3.8 Junior year, 4.0 senior year (goal))
2.75 Science GPA
150+ hours clinical volunteering with high patient interaction focusing on under served populations between 2 clinics (one of the clinics is actually where my #1 choice state school's medical students volunteer at as well)
100 hours research
100 hours shadowing
LORs from clinical sites/physicians
Long term and meaningful leadership experience
Service with Boy Scouts, Church and a 2 year church service mission
Fluent in Spanish
First Generation college student
Non-traditional student: 28 years old, married, have a kid

I know that this is kind of a shot in the dark and it is dependent on the next year and a half's academic performance and extracurricular activities, but I more or less just am wondering about a ballpark MCAT goal as a starting point to be competitive for normal MD admittance at state schools and perhaps SMPs (Though I understand I might not even be competitive for DO programs in state, or out for that matter ).

I am trying to approach this question realistically. Just based off of a quick glance what score should I shoot for?
 
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Mr Donald Mouse

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May 25, 2017
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My goal was 510 which I got. I probably should of aimed higher though. I recommend 510 or higher as a goal. Got my first MD interview of the cycle today with my stats. 4.0/510. Obviously the higher the better.
 
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Zenabi90

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Jul 14, 2017
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As high as you can get. Considering your sciGPA, 515+ would be a good goal to set.
 
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Zenabi90

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If you're a URM, you might have more leeway.
 
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Ad2b

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upward trend = good

science GPA = bad

MCAT? 515+
 
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Dr. Doogie

Dr. Doogie

2+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2014
16
13
Status
Pre-Medical
If you're a URM, you might have more leeway.
Thanks for your reply.

I'm not. Though I am first generation college and have a true desire to work in rural and underserved areas - it's something, but not an ethnic minority or socioeconomically disadvantaged.
 

Ad2b

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Though I am first generation college and have a true desire to work in rural and underserved areas

both good discussion points in an interview or in the secondaries but you gotta nail the MCAT and anything else you take to get to that point :) Work hard - you can!
 
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Zenabi90

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Jul 14, 2017
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Thanks for your reply.

I'm not. Though I am first generation college and have a true desire to work in rural and underserved areas - it's something, but not an ethnic minority or socioeconomically disadvantaged.
I see. It's something I always mention whenever someone mentions Spanish fluency, or first generation college student, for the sake of covering all bases when possible.

As Ad2b said, work hard and the rewards shall be yours.

In case you're curious, 515 is the general cutoff for 90th percentile, and thus 515+ is considered among the strongest of score groups for applications with deficiencies.

You're not in California, right? Because at least state schools would be an option if you're outside Cali.
 
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Dr. Doogie

Dr. Doogie

2+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2014
16
13
Status
Pre-Medical
I see. It's something I always mention whenever someone mentions Spanish fluency, or first generation college student, for the sake of covering all bases when possible.

As Ad2b said, work hard and the rewards shall be yours.

In case you're curious, 515 is the general cutoff for 90th percentile, and thus 515+ is considered among the strongest of score groups for applications with deficiencies.

You're not in California, right? Because at least state schools would be an option if you're outside Cali.
Can you explain the significance of the cutoff for 90th percentile?

Also, I am not in California. State schools are my #1 choice though, so I hope a 515+ would do it. (I say that like it doesn't terrify me....)
 

Ad2b

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@Dr. Doogie - the significance of the 90% MCAT is that it alone catches the attention of the adcom's reviewing your completed file. Because BOTH GPAs are pretty low, you need something for them to grab onto so that a full review can occur. Low GPA + lower MCAT = potential auto-reject.

Also, you NEED to have an excellent MCAT score to "prove" you can handle the sciences because the 2.75 BCPM is really low. Many applying in the 3.0 and below crowd, have a science above 3.3 and the cGPA is lowering their overall.

I know that score seems daunting, trust me, I know. My ugrad GPA from 30 years ago is worse than both of yours. Way worse. My post bacc, however, is pretty substantially higher, and recent. What am *I* doing to help make sure my app gets a cursory review?

Stellar MCAT is my goal. *Something* that, coupled with the rest of my app, will help the adcoms say I'm worthy of an interview.

After years on this forum, writing my own non-trad blog, and another forum, talking to docs/adcoms/being in finance of a medical school, I draw my conclusions which are still imperfect.
 
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Zenabi90

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Jul 14, 2017
593
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Great points. 90th percentile is exactly that. Your score is better than 90% of takers. In concrete terms, out of the average ten takers, you're better than 9 of them, which makes you the best of the bunch.

With the upward trend in your GPA, a high MCAT cements the "once stupid, now serious" story you'll be wanting to spin. To go from a 2.7 science GPA to a 90th %ile MCAT is strong, tangible evidence that you have likely left your poor academic days behind you, and have the potential to succeed in the rigors of medical school. This self-improvement narrative is usually well-appreciated during the application review process, especially at DOs.

I think you have a solid plan. Work on maximizing your GPA, transition to rocking the MCAT, and only then should you start to worry about what your options for schools might be.
 
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Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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Hello friends.

So, first off, please forgive whatever naivety might be on display here as I ask this question.

I plan to take the MCAT in January of 2019 and apply that cycle. I will not be done with the relevant pre reqs until that time and it makes the most sense considering my family.

I have compiled many tips for long term MCAT study (1 hour a day, high yield, don't burn out) and as I begin this strategy I am wondering what you all think my goal score should be. Taking a full length/diagnostic test wouldn't be a worthwhile assessment since I haven't even gone through much of the content for the first time.

Me-at-a-glance (some stats (GPA) projected) come 2019 cycle:

3.3 cumulative GPA (terrible freshman year, better sophomore, 3.8 Junior year, 4.0 senior year (goal))
2.75 Science GPA
150+ hours clinical volunteering with high patient interaction focusing on under served populations between 2 clinics (one of the clinics is actually where my #1 choice state school's medical students volunteer at as well)
100 hours research
100 hours shadowing
LORs from clinical sites/physicians
Long term and meaningful leadership experience
Service with Boy Scouts, Church and a 2 year church service mission
Fluent in Spanish
First Generation college student
Non-traditional student: 28 years old, married, have a kid

I know that this is kind of a shot in the dark and it is dependent on the next year and a half's academic performance and extracurricular activities, but I more or less just am wondering about a ballpark MCAT goal as a starting point to be competitive for normal MD admittance at state schools and perhaps SMPs (Though I understand I might not even be competitive for DO programs in state, or out for that matter ).

I am trying to approach this question realistically. Just based off of a quick glance what score should I shoot for?
513+ if your' boning for MD
510+ for your state MD schools
505+ for DO
 
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