When is it okay to discuss poor MCAT score on secondaries?

Goro

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It's never OK to draw attention to a negative, unless you have a really compelling explanation, like, as the wise @gonnif once relayed about a service member who had to take the MCAT after very trying field or travel operations.

Personally, whenever I read things like this, they always come off as excuses. And never try to explain that "I got sick" or "My mom died two days before the exam". We expect people to have commons sense to NOT take a high stakes career deciding exam when they are not at their best. I have a Faculty colleague on our Adcom who auto-rejects people for making poor choices like these.




Hi, I have a discrepancy between GPA and MCAT score. My GPA is great but my MCAT score is bad. On secondary questions that ask, "is there anything else you'd want us to know" or "what might be concerning about your application"? Is it okay to talk about disadvantaged backgrounds and a poor MCAT score, but then emphasize positive things like how you took advantage of resources and GPA?
 
Jun 23, 2016
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It's never OK to draw attention to a negative, unless you have a really compelling explanation, like, as the wise @gonnif once relayed about a service member who had to take the MCAT after very trying field or travel operations.

Personally, whenever I read things like this, they always come off as excuses. And never try to explain that "I got sick" or "My mom died two days before the exam". We expect people to have commons sense to NOT take a high stakes career deciding exam when they are not at their best. I have a Faculty colleague on our Adcom who auto-rejects people for making poor choices like these.
Hello Goro. What if my computer froze and affected my performance? I also have a letter from AAMC acknowledging what had happened. I still scored well but there is a clear dip in the section where my computer went bonkers. I started getting a little swirly in my head but picked myself up and plowed through the rest of the test and didn't void.
 
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Aug 16, 2016
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If you have a letter saying that a technical issue affected your scores, say that and include the letter in your application. But why didn't you re-take the exam?
 
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a_person1234567

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what if you came from a low-income background with no academic mentors growing up because your parents were refugees? and your high school was really poor at preparing their students. What if you left things on positive note that despite this, you did well in your undergrad and that better reflects your work ethic
 

gyngyn

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what if you came from a low-income background with no academic mentors growing up because your parents were refugees? and your high school was really poor at preparing their students. What if you left things on positive note that despite this, you did well in your undergrad and that better reflects your work ethic
We still need evidence that you can perform on standardized tests.
How bad are we talking here?
 
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Goro

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There's a difference between being unprepared for colege, and being unprepared 3-4 tears into college. You mean you didn't take advantage any resource your College had to offer?

That's on you, not growing up disadvantaged.
what if you came from a low-income background with no academic mentors growing up because your parents were refugees? and your high school was really poor at preparing their students. What if you left things on positive note that despite this, you did well in your undergrad and that better reflects your work ethic
 

Goro

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If you include said letter in your app, then we'll take it into account

Hello Goro. What if my computer froze and affected my performance? I also have a letter from AAMC acknowledging what had happened. I still scored well but there is a clear dip in the section where my computer went bonkers. I started getting a little swirly in my head but picked myself up and plowed through the rest of the test and didn't void.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Maybe you should just tell us your score, "bad" is a subjective term. Like are we talking about a 505ish that is below the MD median or a 495? The first could greatly me helped by the AAMC letter but the latter just means you actually just weren't getting that many answers right and the computer thing didn't really affect you
 
Jun 23, 2016
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Maybe you should just tell us your score, "bad" is a subjective term. Like are we talking about a 505ish that is below the MD median or a 495? The first could greatly me helped by the AAMC letter but the latter just means you actually just weren't getting that many answers right and the computer thing didn't really affect you
Sorry about the late reply. I'm talking about 510-520 (range for anonymity). I actually ended up adding it to only one school's upload section.

You say that it can help if I still scored well despite the technical issue. If I haven't heard back from some schools, is it worth adding that letter as an update along with some other updates?