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Why would you ever void the MCAT?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Deepa100, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    I am taking it on July 10th and do not plan to void it. I keep hearing from the kiddos on the MCAT forum how horrible it is not to void it of you suspect that you did not do well.

    Would the med schools really be so mean that they would reject you based on a previous bad score even if you improved in the latest round???
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Um, yes. It's not about "being mean" it's about the fact that schools are getting literally 10,000 applications, and so any excuse to cull the herd is welcomed with a heavy hand. If you demonstrate you do poorly on tests, you make their job easier.

    Some schools let you use the highest scores. A small minority give you benefit of the highest score in each section. But more than a few look more favorably on folks who take it just once and do well. Actually makes sense because the boards you take in med school are going to be one shot deals. You need to be able to perform your best in one take. So yeah, if you have reason to believe you are going to score horribly, then void the sucker. But most people don't have enough of a frame of reference to know for sure.
  4. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40 7+ Year Member

    And a FEW schools take the average score. Jefferson takes the average of each section individually, and it has to be an 8 or better (that's what they told me when I applied, anyway....)

    Then there is the fact that most people do not significantly increase their score, if you look at the data on the MCAT website. Even though it annoys me to no end that a lot of uptight premeds intentionally take it and void it to 'practice', try to just take it once.
  5. gman33

    gman33 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    Don't take the test unless you are doing well on practice exams.
    If you are well prepared, the only good reason to void is if you ran out of time and couldn't answer like half the questions.

    As long as you have done well on the practice exams, I wouldn't void the test no matter what. You really don't know how you did until you get it back. You never know how the curve is going to work, etc.
  6. Lacheln

    Lacheln Cavorting in the Hills 10+ Year Member

    Mar 31, 2005
    I thought about voiding mine because there were technical problems with the computer I was taking it on, and the machine was rebooted in the middle. I wavered and wavered, but eventually decided to see how I did. In retrospect I shouldn't have done that.
  7. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Yeah, I would agree with the above post. If I can't answer one or two passages, or ran out of time or computer gave trouble, then it would be a good thing to void it but otherwise, I wouldn't void it...
  8. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call" 10+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    It used to be that once you passed the deadline, you only got $100 back if you cancelled. So, the first time I was signed up to take it, knowing I wasn't ready, and knowing that I would have the next 4 months to devote my life to the MCAT, I voided. I had planned to do so before I walked into the exam. It was a very good decision; great way to find out what the MCAT was all about, and great practice. I was not being a super-gunner premed; I was being a realistic old nontrad and knowing that I had to do VERY well the first time.

    I strongly discourage anyone from voiding if they think they did not do well, unless there is something unusual like you were throwing up for half a section, or something like that. On the day of the MCAT, you often feel that you did badly; you cannot possibly assess realistically how you did, just based on how you feel.
  9. CultureDoc

    CultureDoc MSII 5+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    The 'Ville
    Gosh, I think if I were in your situation, I would be so glad I DIDN'T void. Just a little vote of confidence for you, the fact that you still got a 35 (and you have an official note explaining that there were technical problems) sounds golden to me . . . and freaking amazing in general! Any committee should be impressed with that demonstration of grace under pressure. Oh, and not having to retake is a FABULOUS thing! :thumbup:

    But if you mean that it was a huge risk to not void, I can see your point (I think it paid off in your case, though :cool:).
  10. zuiikin

    zuiikin 7+ Year Member

    May 19, 2008
    Voiding is a GREAT option if you know that you performed significantly below your potential. I would always void if:

    a) you do not essentially complete any passages in a section. You almost always have to complete the MCAT sections to get 10s. You really want 10s to get into med school. This does not mean missing one or two questions but DOES mean having to christmas tree or near-christmas tree a passage, IMHO.

    b) you know that you got LARGE NUMBERS OF QUESTIONS wrong -- a much larger number than you usually do. Basically, you know you BOMBED the exam. Since this is obviously a much more subjective rationale than (a), I would be more cautious about using it.

    c) you get a severe headache, etc, during the exam that severely effects your performance.

    The key here is to avoid having a score that is significantly outside of your normal range on your MCAT record. Remember that your MCAT record is essentially permanent.

    A lot of schools will be forgiving if you have one bad MCAT score and do much better on a second one BUT they will expect some improvement and account for that. However, few schools are as forgiving of third of fourth MCAT scores. I really don't think you should put yourself in the position of having to overcome a bad MCAT score if you can avoid such a situation. Some of said situations can be avoided with careful use of the void option.

    Note that if you void, no one will even know that you took the MCAT. You can just pretend it never happened, learn from any severe mistakes, and redo.

    With the numerous MCAT dates available, you may be able to retake the exam in as few as two weeks so you won't lose your preperatory edge.

    Sorry for the long rant there.... got a bit carried away :laugh:. (Also, don't void if you did horribly on the writing section because no one cares about that.)
  11. Nasem

    Nasem 2+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    Lansing, MI
    huh ? you can void the MCAT while taking the test ??
  12. zuiikin

    zuiikin 7+ Year Member

    May 19, 2008
    This is from the MCAT essentials thing...

    (sorry the font got messed up when I pasted it)
    Please note the clarifications below:
    If you begin each section but do not complete one or more of them, your test will not be voided unless you request it.
    To “begin”means that you have answered at least one question in the multiple choice sections and that you have
    opened theWriting Sample. If you intend to void the test before completing it, and do not know how to proceed to the
    screen to select the void option, inform the Test Center Administrator, who will provide instructions for doing so.
    Notifying the Test Center Administrator of your intent to void your exam is not sufficient. You must select “I wish to
    void my MCAT exam” on the void screen to have your exam voided.


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