BK2681

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I was wanting to see how some of you would've responded if you were in my shoes. I took the old MCAT a year ago, and while I was clicking through the tutorial section, a message popped up that said there was something wrong with the graphics card and just crashed. The test center had thought I did something to the computer. Well four hours of arguing with them later, I guess they agreed with me and restarted my exam. It sure did add a lot of extra stress, but I got over it and took the exam.

Fast forward to today while I'm taking the new MCAT. I have 10 minutes left in the first section and am grinding out problems without a second to spare. A lady taps me on my shoulder and whispers in my ear, "Have you checked in again?". I whisper back and say, "I'm on the first section still, I haven't ever checked out?" and turn around and start working again. She then proceeds to tell me that I need to leave the testing room with her because I hadn't checked in again. I point at the timer counting down and whispered to her that I wasn't leaving. She then says she is going to terminate my exam, so I jump up and follow her out of the room while my test is still up and counting down. We go to the office and I grab the paper sign in sheet and point to her that I have never signed out, so how could I have checked back in again? A guy is sitting at a computer saying that his computer is showing that I was still checked out. After about 5 minutes of arguing, the guy at the computer says, "Oh, I'm sorry, I had the wrong [Insert first name] pulled up. He's fine." Are you kidding me? I went absolutely crazy on both of them as I bolted back in the test room to attempt to finish my section. Needless to say, I didn't finish the section and was rushing through problems.

I'm at a loss for words. There were so many other things the lady could have done to verify that I hadn't ever left the room for a break and was still on the first section. She could've look at the paper sign in sheet, or asked the proctor in the exam room who was practically breathing down my neck if I had ever left the testing room. This is the second time something the testing center has done that has added extra stress to an already stressful day. Except this time, it absolutely effected my score on the first section. I know, I should've voided the exam, but I felt confident in the questions I had answered up until the lady interrupted me, so I took a gamble and proceeded with the test. I understand mistakes happen and computers malfunction but today was inexcusable.

How would you guys have handled this and is there anything I can about this? - Thanks
 
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Well perhaps you can file a complaint to AMCAS. Did you terminate teh score?
 

Lawper

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Well perhaps you can file a complaint to AMCAS. Did you terminate teh score?
This is key. Sorry to hear your woes OP, but did you void the exam?

EDIT: just saw you didn't void the exam. Well, file a report and hope for the best, since only one section seemingly got moderately affected.
 
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NewHorizons

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I certainly would have handled it without so much anger......... sure they ****ed up based on what you described (but it's the internet.... always two sides to every story) but going postal on them is not the answer, especially since it puts you on tilt.

You want to be the bigger man? Don't **** up your own exam by letting volatile emotions get in the way.

That said this sucks.... can you talk to someone outside of the exam to help relieve the situation?
 

NotASerialKiller

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I certainly would have handled it without so much anger......... sure they ****ed up based on what you described (but it's the internet.... always two sides to every story) but going postal on them is not the answer, especially since it puts you on tilt.

You want to be the bigger man? Don't **** up your own exam by letting volatile emotions get in the way.

That said this sucks.... can you talk to someone outside of the exam to help relieve the situation?
I disagree my Canadian brother. If I was back writing the MCAT in a time sensitive moment and some administrator start messing with me due to a mistake on their end I would have totally lost my s**t. If there was ever a time to not be able to sit back and calmly assess the situation, this is it. Sorry to hear about your godawful luck OP.
 

JustintheDoctor

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I would have told her to bring the paper to me, showing me where I didn't sign, and then proceed to telling her "here I am, I never left" etc.
 

NewHorizons

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I disagree my Canadian brother. If I was back writing the MCAT in a time sensitive moment and some administrator start messing with me due to a mistake on their end I would have totally lost my s**t. If there was ever a time to not be able to sit back and calmly assess the situation, this is it. Sorry to hear about your godawful luck OP.
Agree to disagree.......... it's clearly an awful situation but getting even more upset won't change the rest of the exam and will only make themselves more emotionally distressed. Buckle down to finish it as best as you could... then after the exam ends flip your lid then.
 

BK2681

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I would have told her to bring the paper to me, showing me where I didn't sign, and then proceed to telling her "here I am, I never left" etc.
I immediately went and grabbed the paper sheet and was pointing that I had never left. She wouldn't let me back in because her computer (which was on the wrong name).

I disagree my Canadian brother. If I was back writing the MCAT in a time sensitive moment and some administrator start messing with me due to a mistake on their end I would have totally lost my s**t. If there was ever a time to not be able to sit back and calmly assess the situation, this is it. Sorry to hear about your godawful luck OP.
Yea I shouldn't have acted the way I did, but this was the second time something happened and emotions got the worst of me at that moment.

What is AAMC able to in this situation? I know there options are limited because I didn't void, but I think I'm at least entitled to a refund and some type of official documentation of the incident of them admitting guilt.
 

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That luck sucks for sure and you should file a complaint.

But having said that, I have to agree that it's never appropriate to "lose your ****" or go "absolutely crazy" at someone. That's uncalled for.
 

narvik2016

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Oh my goodness, I would be livid! I really don't have any new advice to offer, but I wanted to say I am so sorry this happened to you and I hope your score still turns out to be in your favor!
 
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How would you guys have handled this and is there anything I can about this? - Thanks
Honestly, I would've been beyond pissed and I would've chewed them out after I finished the exam. I don't care what anyone says about controlling your emotions or that it's wrong to lose your cool, what happened to OP is unacceptable. This is a career deciding exam, every second counts and every point counts. I expect the people hired by the testing center to not be complete idiots like the people OP had to unfortunately deal with.

Definitely file a complaint, maybe not to AMCAS but to the testing center. If you're planning on retaking, go to a different testing center.
 

moisne

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Ok so that was a lot of bad luck but you also didn't handle the situation well. I know it's an exam, but as a doctor - aren't you expected to keep your cool when something bad happens?

1. Void exam then contact AMCAS. (this was all your fault) EDIT: When i said all his fault... i'm referring to him FAILING to contact AMCAS and VOIDING his exam... that was his fault.
2. You only lost 5 minutes.... That's not that big of a different/deal - Though you may have been significantly stressed from it.

This is your second MCAT? or third? - You could just have terrible luck - but how much was luck and how much was you just weren't going to do that well? (I'm not judging - perhaps you would've done fantastic).

Hope it works out for you.
 
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edgerock24

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Ok so that was a lot of bad luck but you also didn't handle the situation well. I know it's an exam, but as a doctor - aren't you expected to keep your cool when something bad happens?

1. Void exam then contact AMCAS. (this was all your fault)
2. You only lost 5 minutes.... That's not that big of a different/deal - Though you may have been significantly stressed from it.

This is your second MCAT? or third? - You could just have terrible luck - but how much was luck and how much was you just weren't going to do that well? (I'm not judging - perhaps you would've done fantastic).

Hope it works out for you.
Every single statement you've just made is entirely wrong and off-base.
 
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Ok so that was a lot of bad luck but you also didn't handle the situation well. I know it's an exam, but as a doctor - aren't you expected to keep your cool when something bad happens?

1. Void exam then contact AMCAS. (this was all your fault)
2. You only lost 5 minutes.... That's not that big of a different/deal - Though you may have been significantly stressed from it.

This is your second MCAT? or third? - You could just have terrible luck - but how much was luck and how much was you just weren't going to do that well? (I'm not judging - perhaps you would've done fantastic).

Hope it works out for you.
I disagree, all the fault is on the testing center and the carelessness of the people working there. "Well, the testing center messed up so you should void and retake it" isn't a satisfactory solution to what happened. Registering for another MCAT is a pain in the ass that costs money and requires finding an appropriate date, OP probably has other things going on in his life beyond the MCAT. It's the test centers responsibility to provide a fair testing condition for all clients and they failed to do so. It's like me hitting you in the head with a rock and saying it's your fault that you didn't duck. Test takers shouldn't have the burden to prepare for mess ups like that. I agree with you that he should have contacted AMCAS, but hey, there's still time - OP said he took the test today.

Also, what? I haven't taken the new MCAT but time constraint was a big element for me on the old one and I'm sure it hasn't changed drastically. Five minutes would have been a big deal for me when I was taking it, especially on verbal. It's not just that he lost 5 minutes, but he probably lost focus too. Those events would've distracted me enough to make me perform more poorly.
 

NewHorizons

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I disagree, all the fault is on the testing center and the carelessness of the people working there. "Well, the testing center messed up so you should void and retake it" isn't a satisfactory solution to what happened. Registering for another MCAT is a pain in the ass that costs money and requires finding an appropriate date, OP probably has other things going on in his life beyond the MCAT. It's the test centers responsibility to provide a fair testing condition for all clients and they failed to do so. It's like me hitting you in the head with a rock and saying it's your fault that you didn't duck. Test takers shouldn't have the burden to prepare for mess ups like that. I agree with you that he should have contacted AMCAS, but hey, there's still time - OP said he took the test today.

Also, what? I haven't taken the new MCAT but time constraint was a big element for me on the old one and I'm sure it hasn't changed drastically. Five minutes would have been a big deal for me when I was taking it, especially on verbal. It's not just that he lost 5 minutes, but he probably lost focus too. Those events would've distracted me enough to make me perform more poorly.
If you hit me with a rock...... is the most appropriate action to throw the rock back at them? Guess both sides just want to lose some stones.

Agree to disagree, but if you want to blow your lid you're responsible for the (mostly negative) aftermath.

I don't think the OP can do much now other than contact AAMC anyways.... I'm sure in the heat of the moment combined with the potential for doing well despite suboptimal conditions that he may not have wanted to void the exam. It's an incredibly difficult call either for or against voiding.
 
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If you hit me with a rock...... is the most appropriate action to throw the rock back at them? Guess both sides just want to lose some stones.

Agree to disagree, but if you want to blow your lid you're responsible for the (mostly negative) aftermath.

I don't think the OP can do much now other than contact AAMC anyways.... I'm sure in the heat of the moment combined with the potential for doing well despite suboptimal conditions that he may not have wanted to void the exam. It's an incredibly difficult call either for or against voiding.
What I was trying to get at was blaming OP for the faults of others, similar to how I would blame you for getting hit by my rock when it was my fault for throwing it. But I know what you're saying. The sad part is that the people who monitor these exams have a really easy job, you don't have to be a genius to keep track of the people who go in and out. The careless mistake they made suggests that the person working there doesn't even care enough to pay a little attention to what's going on around him/her.
 
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I was wanting to see how some of you would've responded if you were in my shoes. I took the old MCAT a year ago, and while I was clicking through the tutorial section, a message popped up that said there was something wrong with the graphics card and just crashed. The test center had thought I did something to the computer. Well four hours of arguing with them later, I guess they agreed with me and restarted my exam. It sure did add a lot of extra stress, but I got over it and took the exam.

Fast forward to today while I'm taking the new MCAT. I have 10 minutes left in the first section and am grinding out problems without a second to spare. A lady taps me on my shoulder and whispers in my ear, "Have you checked in again?". I whisper back and say, "I'm on the first section still, I haven't ever checked out?" and turn around and start working again. She then proceeds to tell me that I need to leave the testing room with her because I hadn't checked in again. I point at the timer counting down and whispered to her that I wasn't leaving. She then says she is going to terminate my exam, so I jump up and follow her out of the room while my test is still up and counting down. We go to the office and I grab the paper sign in sheet and point to her that I have never signed out, so how could I have checked back in again? A guy is sitting at a computer saying that his computer is showing that I was still checked out. After about 5 minutes of arguing, the guy at the computer says, "Oh, I'm sorry, I had the wrong [Insert first name] pulled up. He's fine." Are you kidding me? I went absolutely crazy on both of them as I bolted back in the test room to attempt to finish my section. Needless to say, I didn't finish the section and was rushing through problems.

I'm at a loss for words. There were so many other things the lady could have done to verify that I hadn't ever left the room for a break and was still on the first section. She could've look at the paper sign in sheet, or asked the proctor in the exam room who was practically breathing down my neck if I had ever left the testing room. This is the second time something the testing center has done that has added extra stress to an already stressful day. Except this time, it absolutely effected my score on the first section. I know, I should've voided the exam, but I felt confident in the questions I had answered up until the lady interrupted me, so I took a gamble and proceeded with the test. I understand mistakes happen and computers malfunction but today was inexcusable.

How would you guys have handled this and is there anything I can about this? - Thanks
omg I am so sorry to hear that. You know I can't help but ask, did you cry? This must have been such a mean thing to do.
 
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If you hit me with a rock...... is the most appropriate action to throw the rock back at them? Guess both sides just want to lose some stones.

Agree to disagree, but if you want to blow your lid you're responsible for the (mostly negative) aftermath.

I don't think the OP can do much now other than contact AAMC anyways.... I'm sure in the heat of the moment combined with the potential for doing well despite suboptimal conditions that he may not have wanted to void the exam. It's an incredibly difficult call either for or against voiding.
whispering in someone's ear and constantly bothering them during a very stressful situation is not cool. No one is saying to react in the moment but AAMC should be notified because clearly those administrators don't understand the value of the test and someone's hard work to study for it.
 
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Related story: During my MCAT, the testing center had given us the "wrong scratch paper". In the middle of the PS section, they came around and changed out everyone's scratch paper with a different one...lost everything I had written down.
 

Glazedonutlove

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If you hit me with a rock...... is the most appropriate action to throw the rock back at them? Guess both sides just want to lose some stones.

Agree to disagree, but if you want to blow your lid you're responsible for the (mostly negative) aftermath.

I don't think the OP can do much now other than contact AAMC anyways.... I'm sure in the heat of the moment combined with the potential for doing well despite suboptimal conditions that he may not have wanted to void the exam. It's an incredibly difficult call either for or against voiding.
He paid $300 for an 8 hour exam for the second time. the testing center is at fault, not op. Not saying his reaction was right, but anyone who has taken the mcat (especially the new one) would understand that it's hardly his fault.
 
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mw18

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Unless I was already reviewing my answers, I would have voided my test.

But before leaving my exam I would have said, "Ma'am, I have never left. I assure you the mistake is on your end. If it is my fault, I will have to void the exam either way. But if I leave and I'm right, I lose valuable time. I will take this up with you during the break."

Because they wouldn't have counted your test if you hadn't checked back in anyway.
 

NewHorizons

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He paid $300 for an 8 hour exam for the second time. the testing center is at fault, not op. Not saying his reaction was right, but anyone who has taken the mcat (especially the new one) would understand that it's hardly his fault.
My god the density of this thread exceeds that of lead...........

I never throughout my entire set of posts in this thread blamed the OP. I agreed that it was an awful situation but I definitely do not agree to blow up during the exam. All I ever tried to say was the OP right now can only do things after the exam is over, and that he should try to remain calm to prevent tilting and having it snowball against him. After the exam is over, he can complain to the appropriate channels and look for any way of seeking a sound resolution...................
 

jl lin

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Related story: During my MCAT, the testing center had given us the "wrong scratch paper". In the middle of the PS section, they came around and changed out everyone's scratch paper with a different one...lost everything I had written down.

What?
 

Glazedonutlove

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My god the density of this thread exceeds that of lead...........

I never throughout my entire set of posts in this thread blamed the OP. I agreed that it was an awful situation but I definitely do not agree to blow up during the exam. All I ever tried to say was the OP right now can only do things after the exam is over, and that he should try to remain calm to prevent tilting and having it snowball against him. After the exam is over, he can complain to the appropriate channels and look for any way of seeking a sound resolution...................
You are getting angry for a mistake similar to how op reacted. Does that not make you a hypocrite? :D
Lol sorry I meant to quote another post
 
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NewHorizons

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You are getting angry for a mistake similar to how op reacted. Does that not make you a hypocrite? :D
Lol sorry I meant to quote another post
Yes I was upset that the OP blew up when I mentioned he didn't have to for his sake in the heat of the moment........... where was I being a hypocrite? That is completely independent of "blaming the OP," since no one here is going to deny that the fault is on the testing centre. All I said was that the OP could have handled the situation better, not that he was the cause of the situation nor was I taking the blame away from the testing staff.
 

moisne

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I was taking the MCAT some years ago, someone next to me was taking some other test. Halfway into the physical science, the student stood up and said "F this SH**", kicked away his chair, slammed the keyboard and walked out.
 
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BK2681

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Waiting to her back from AAMC about the issue. However, I have been in contact with the test center director and he is not being helpful at all and just keeps reiterating "mistakes happen". He also said he filed an official report about the incident with AAMC and took responsibility for the mistake, but he also said he included in the statement that I yelled at one of his employees and that AAMC could open an investigation against me? I understand that mistakes happen. My computer crashing the first time I took the test was an unavoidable mistake. It didn't cost me any time, it just stressed me out even more. But what this lady did was not a mistake, it was shear stupidity and negligence. She interrupted me because a computer said that I had not signed back in yet. She could've (and should've) a) checked the physical paper sign in sheet b) asked the proctor in the exam room who was breathing down my neck if I had left the exam room yet or c) deal with it after I have finished my section... she can terminate the exam for cheating anytime she wants, so why not just wait to talk with me on my first break?

Back to the official incident report filed by the test center... do you think AAMC will open an investigation up against me for yelling at the lady? Reading further in the MCAT Essentials PDF, it does say that they can attach a copy of the results of the investigation to all "interested parties". Before everyone jumps on me, I know yelling at the lady was the wrong thing to do. If I could take it back, I would. I acted in the heat of the moment and was extremely aggravated seeing that both of my MCAT attempts had now been disrupted in some manner.
 
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I was wanting to see how some of you would've responded if you were in my shoes. I took the old MCAT a year ago, and while I was clicking through the tutorial section, a message popped up that said there was something wrong with the graphics card and just crashed. The test center had thought I did something to the computer. Well four hours of arguing with them later, I guess they agreed with me and restarted my exam. It sure did add a lot of extra stress, but I got over it and took the exam.

Fast forward to today while I'm taking the new MCAT. I have 10 minutes left in the first section and am grinding out problems without a second to spare. A lady taps me on my shoulder and whispers in my ear, "Have you checked in again?". I whisper back and say, "I'm on the first section still, I haven't ever checked out?" and turn around and start working again. She then proceeds to tell me that I need to leave the testing room with her because I hadn't checked in again. I point at the timer counting down and whispered to her that I wasn't leaving. She then says she is going to terminate my exam, so I jump up and follow her out of the room while my test is still up and counting down. We go to the office and I grab the paper sign in sheet and point to her that I have never signed out, so how could I have checked back in again? A guy is sitting at a computer saying that his computer is showing that I was still checked out. After about 5 minutes of arguing, the guy at the computer says, "Oh, I'm sorry, I had the wrong [Insert first name] pulled up. He's fine." Are you kidding me? I went absolutely crazy on both of them as I bolted back in the test room to attempt to finish my section. Needless to say, I didn't finish the section and was rushing through problems.

I'm at a loss for words. There were so many other things the lady could have done to verify that I hadn't ever left the room for a break and was still on the first section. She could've look at the paper sign in sheet, or asked the proctor in the exam room who was practically breathing down my neck if I had ever left the testing room. This is the second time something the testing center has done that has added extra stress to an already stressful day. Except this time, it absolutely effected my score on the first section. I know, I should've voided the exam, but I felt confident in the questions I had answered up until the lady interrupted me, so I took a gamble and proceeded with the test. I understand mistakes happen and computers malfunction but today was inexcusable.

How would you guys have handled this and is there anything I can about this? - Thanks
Omg when I first took the MCAT, the reason I scored so poorly was because of the testing center! I was next to the door, and the proctors outside of it were talking very loudly. Additionally, one of the proctors kept waking in and out very loudly. Even with the noise cancelling headphones, I could hear them. It just added to my stress and distracted me.

I would have bitched them out so hard. And asked to talk to the manager (or whoever is in charge). And filed a complaint.

I'm so sorry though, I totally feel your pain. I would flip out if that happened to me. I'm sorry :\
 

Spector1

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that sounds infuriating. I would be hella pissed if that happened to me.
 
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Gandyy

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I certainly would have handled it without so much anger......... sure they ****ed up based on what you described (but it's the internet.... always two sides to every story) but going postal on them is not the answer, especially since it puts you on tilt.

You want to be the bigger man? Don't **** up your own exam by letting volatile emotions get in the way.

That said this sucks.... can you talk to someone outside of the exam to help relieve the situation?
I totally do not agree. This MCAT is YOUR LIFE. It means everything. All of your work ever culminates to this moment.

My personality probably would not have allowed me to "blow up" on them, however I would have still been EXTREMELY pissed.

I'm actually mad right now after reading OP's post. Well, I've also cooled down and am no longer mad. OP as I said before, I would have not yelled at them, but then thats me. Still you are rightfully justified in being extremely pissed.

Especially considering what OP had to go through last year. This is absolute horse****.

OP file a report. Make it very detailed and clear. Put down names, ID numbers and any other full information you can give to AAMC.
 

Gandyy

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Ok so that was a lot of bad luck but you also didn't handle the situation well. I know it's an exam, but as a doctor - aren't you expected to keep your cool when something bad happens?

1. Void exam then contact AMCAS. (this was all your fault) EDIT: When i said all his fault... i'm referring to him FAILING to contact AMCAS and VOIDING his exam... that was his fault.
2. You only lost 5 minutes.... That's not that big of a different/deal - Though you may have been significantly stressed from it.

This is your second MCAT? or third? - You could just have terrible luck - but how much was luck and how much was you just weren't going to do that well? (I'm not judging - perhaps you would've done fantastic).

Hope it works out for you.
Do you seriously believe that 5 minutes on the MCAT is not a big deal?
 

Stagg737

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I immediately went and grabbed the paper sheet and was pointing that I had never left. She wouldn't let me back in because her computer (which was on the wrong name).

Yea I shouldn't have acted the way I did, but this was the second time something happened and emotions got the worst of me at that moment.

What is AAMC able to in this situation? I know there options are limited because I didn't void, but I think I'm at least entitled to a refund and some type of official documentation of the incident of them admitting guilt.
I think that you have a very good case to at least get a refund. You were pulled out of your test early for a significant amount of time for something that was completely the test center employees's fault. As a result, you were unable to finish the section. Even if you yelled at them, that mistake is not excusable for a test which will literally determine your ability to enter medicine. File a report with them, file with AMCAS. I rarely say this, but if necessary get in contact with a lawyer.

Idk what your score was, but if you think it's really that bad, I'd try and get it voided. You should have done that on the test day, but that's just 20/20 hindsight. It also doesn't help that you flipped out while there, but it still doesn't excuse the fact that they made a ridiculous error. There are some cases that you just can't do anything about (like when the entire row of computers I was at crashed 30 minutes into the first section and they said it would be over 2 hours to fix them), but this was something completely avoidable which should never have happened and I would be pretty aggressive in my follow-through with this situation.
 
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NewHorizons

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I totally do not agree. This MCAT is YOUR LIFE. It means everything. All of your work ever culminates to this moment.

My personality probably would not have allowed me to "blow up" on them, however I would have still been EXTREMELY pissed.

I'm actually mad right now after reading OP's post. Well, I've also cooled down and am no longer mad. OP as I said before, I would have not yelled at them, but then thats me. Still you are rightfully justified in being extremely pissed.

Especially considering what OP had to go through last year. This is absolute horse****.

OP file a report. Make it very detailed and clear. Put down names, ID numbers and any other full information you can give to AAMC.
Wait so we do agree....... I didn't think he should blow up at them either. I still think it sucks and shouldn't have happened at all.
 

Gandyy

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Wait so we do agree....... I didn't think he should blow up at them either. I still think it sucks and shouldn't have happened at all.
In a pseudo sort of way. His explosion of anger is totally warranted here. Like everyone else said, it may not have been the best way to handle it, but this situation is absolutely ridiculous.
 
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nwts

2+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2015
1,093
669
Status
Pre-Medical
All of these MCAT horror stories are making me extremely grateful that I had the most uneventful MCAT ever.
 
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studentdocftw

M4
5+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2015
1,373
1,445
Status
Medical Student
I would be pissed...royally pissed. In all seriousness...you should've voided and filed a complaint. Scoring the exam knowingly you could've done better is a huge mistake....and this is coming from a guy who's gone through 3 MCATs and finally got it right on the last one (MCAT2015). Good luck with everything OP...and should you have to retake it...kick ass.
 
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