Bombing Take 1

Lurker turned new member. I recently took (1st attempt) the MCAT after completing a private-company prep course and averaging a 32 across 6 company/AAMC practice tests. In hindsight, I think I completely bombed the PS portion of the test, as the real test was legitimately (in my opinion…) harder than any of the practice tests and got into concepts I wasn’t completely ready for. I also blew my strategy for time/pace which probably cost me some freebie points too, but that’s beside the point. I plan on retaking the test right after scores are released, but I’m waiting to click “submit” on my application before I get my first results. Any opinion on a min score to hit submit with a future test date or just hold off? Planning on going through AMCAS and AACOMAS. Career-timing wise, my best options for the foreseeable future are to apply this year or next year.

Other stats:

cGPA: 3.69

sGPA: 3.74

BS in Engineering, MBA, 4 post-bac courses for pre-req

Welcome to Old Pre Meds. First off, breath.

Take a deep breath, hold it and exhale. Repeat one more time.

Since you do not know your score, I suggest you just try to relax. And HIT the button. Here is why. When you hit the button, then AAMC and AACOMAS will begin to process your application. Which means that they will need to verify all of your grades. And this takes forever. And it takes precious time from you when you can be working on secondaries. What schools do, if you state in your application that you plan to retake the MCAT, they will hold onto your application until the new MCAT score is released. However, most schools will send you a secondary already (heck it’s a cash cow for them). In the meantime, you are verified and the schools have everything.

If however, you state you plan on taking the MCAT and when you receive your score, you decide not to, then contact AAMCAS and AACOMAS and let them know about the change and that will be sent to the schools.

But in the meantime, you are verified and processed.

Good reasoning, I guess I’ll go ahead and hit submit when round one comes back. Thanks for the advice.

So I guess I fell into the same post-test anxiety trap that most do. During the actual MCAT, I felt like I was guessing on more questions than I knew the answer to. I also managed to put myself into a situation in which I had 8 minutes to complete 2 PS passages. There was no way in my mind that that was my final bout with the MCAT.

Got my scores and they came in a point higher than my initial goal. Sometimes it’s better to more lucky than good. I wonder how much money AMCAS makes on canceled reschedules every year…

Thanks for the update. Good job on the test!

As Gomer used to say, “Suprise, suprise, suprise!”

It’s like the New York State Lottery - “Hey, you never know!”

Dear Kennymac,

I can so relate to your low MCAT scores as it is most likely the only thing keeping me out of medical school. You see, I have a 3.8 GPA cum with a science GPA of 3.7. Bachelor in electrical engineering and MBA 3.9 GPA. Roughly 1500 hours volunteer work at a clinic with good LORs and I am a URM. If you can believe it I made a 100% in my anatomy class and my professor asked me if I could email him my notes so he could use them in the future. I even got to participate in an autopsy with Dr. Perper ( from the Anna Nicole Smith trial). Actually, my wife spotted him in Whole Foods one day and that’s how I got to see him perform autopsies for the day.

Now for the down side. My MCAT score is a 20 Q and time is not on my side as I am 46 years old. All prerequisites are complete. I just finished 21 credits in the summer term with a 4.0 GPA. I have precisely 5 weeks to study for the MCAT …last test date for the year is Sept 12 th. I am planning on studying at least 10 hours per day. I ordered the ExamKrackers 1001 for each area. Oh and I am drinking green smoothies per my wife to boost my energy. Any other suggestions? Please any advice is welcome.

Am I really too old to start medical school at 47? I did get accepted at Ross University if I take their pre class in the Bahamas. Prefer to stay in the states with my family. I wish everyone luck on their journey! Chin Up!


Thank you Kate!

I think we have the complete opposite application packages…

Is your MCAT issue a content problem or an application of content problem? I slammed through the Kaplan On-Demand course in about 3-3.5mo. I finished my gen chem/physics prereqs in '02, orgo prereqs in '07, took a bio course at the end of '12 and biochem first semester of '13. Aside from the obvious re-learning of a lot of stuff, the course covered how the MCAT tests you vs just content and discussed strategy for certain types of questions. I think that part helped me as much or more than simply covering the general concepts.

Too old??? Did someone say too old? Is there such a thing???


Dear Kennymac,

I had problems with both content and application of content. I am expecting the Examkrackers 1001 for each subject any day now. This time I am going to do more tests and study 10 hours ore day. Any suggestions?

If I do not get a decent score then I will be sitting out another year. That means two more years before I would start medical school. While I will do what it takes, it gets a bit discouraging with each passing year.

Granted, I don’t know too much as this is the first year I’ve applied and have been wading through the app muck. I think the best way to really get better in the short term would be to take practice tests and really study the questions you missed. Look at the “why didn’t I know the content” or “why didn’t I know how to apply what I know” instead of just taking the score and moving on. It’s kind of a stretch to just study this way though because the tests definitely don’t cover all of the testable areas.

If things don’t work out this go around, I highly recommend a structured program with an instructor if you can foot the bill. I did the Kaplan On Demand so I could work it on my time. You lose the direct interaction with the instructor, but the content lessons and the transformation of thinking from “normal” to “MCAT” helped out immensely. It went beyond the standard self-paced “read this and memorize it” to a more useable level of understanding. You already know the MCAT is much more than just a “what you know” type test.

10 hours a day is a LOT of studying. Make sure you take breaks and don’t burn out. I know I definitely have a limited time span in which I actually absorb information before I need to step away for a few minutes.

Again, take my advice with a grain of salt. There are many others who have much more experience with this and can offer you better info.

Med school is hard but is quite doable. I was mid 30s when I started, 2 kids and a stay at home wife (extremely supportive). There were 50 year olds in my class. If medicine is your passion let nothing or no one stop you.