Got my MCAT Score recently. Here’s the breakdown:
Verbal Reasoning: 13
Physical Sciences: 11
Biological Sciences: 11
I’m very pleased and just wanted to say thank you to everyone who offered prep advice.
Got my MCAT Score recently. Here’s the breakdown:
Wow! Great score! Congrats!
Great score!! Would you share with us how you prepared. Looks like whatever you did, it worked well. Any prep course or books you’d recommend?
Sure. Here was my approach
- START EARLY [3 months in my case.] 1 ½ months content review (goal was 20 hours a week; I averaged 12-15) using ExamKrackers Audio Osmosis CD’s (making notes when listening for the first time; playing them whenever driving after that).
- Used a Kaplan book for material I needed to see visually (cell structure, DNA replication etc)
- 5 weeks leading up to test, did an AAMC practice test every Saturday at the same time as test and reviewed during the week. (This was the biggest factor, getting comfortable with the test itself (and the timing!) The tests are worth the money. You get a full diagnostic report with each test. I figured out I needed to work on Genetics and Solution Chemistry early from these tests.
- Verbal Reasoning- Read, read, read anything with substance. I did not have a detailed strategy for this section. I read material like Newsweek anyway. The advantage with this kind of magazine is the complexity of the ideas that the stories go into. That gives you practice for the MCAT. Also, don’t think too hard. A good piece of advice I heard is to read the passage as if it were not an exam, just to enjoy it and then deal with the questions.
- Exam Day Advice: The material will seem unfamiliar because of how they frame the questions (except for some recall type questions in the stand alone questions). But you know the principles so don’t panic. Never get bogged down by a single question. This would happen to me in practice tests, especially if I felt I should know the answer because I had just read the topic. I just kept it moving and found I had at least 5 minutes to spare on each section for checking marked questions.
- Do not read too much into how you feel coming out of the exam. I was not sure at all how well I had done. Remember this is not a regular recall exam, so you don’t have that “I remembered that point and put it down” feeling of a regular test. I felt good about my pacing and that was about it. I then went and had a big breakfast! Good luck to all of you. This monster can be slain!
Doc34–I am so very happy for you–that is quite an accomplishment and an excellent score I might add! Thanks for adding your study approach. I will be hoping to take the MCAT next January & work two jobs and go to school full-time so definitely have been trying to figure out when to manage time for this blasted MCAT. Thanks again!
Tiffianyh- Thank you! I understand the fighting for study time dilemma. I work full time and I am married and a father of two boys! So I did not always hit the number of hours I would have liked to in study time, so I got creative and annoyed my family by playing MCAT CDs in the car a lot! That’s why starting early is an even bigger deal for us as well. The good news is prepping well can be done even with a crazy schedule like yours. I wish you every success!
Cool score, way cool
Super awesome!!! Way to Go!!
Congrats! Your advice is good, too. Thanks for passing it on.
Ok just received my scores. Damn physical sciences. That was the section I felt least confident in. Here they are:
So, do I retake it and try and bring up my very disappointing 7 or try to explain to the admissions committee why I felt it was low? My state school give automatic interview to any score greater than 23 and GPA greater than 3.3 which I have both. Looking to the council for guidance. Damn physical science.
To start with, congratulations on your score. It is not a bad score. The question you need to ask yourself is, how confident are you that you can increase your score?
Statistics have shown that most people who retake the MCAT usually get a lower score than they originally did. Then again, many people did not change how they studied.
When I took the MCAT back in 2005, I did not have the material in 10 years and received a score of 22 (9BS, 6PS, 7VR). I went back and reviewed the entire day of the exam. I found out that I would up guessing on 60 questions because I ran out of time. I never practiced my test taking and timing skills, both of which are equally important as the content. I set a schedule for myself since I was doing the Kaplan on-line course.
Sunday was lecture day, Mon/Tues/Wed were quiz and review day. After taking the quizzes I went back and ensure I answered the questions correctly for the right reasons and then went back to figure out why I did not answer a question correctly. Thurs/Frid/Satu were reading for Sunday’s lecture.
When I retook the exam 8 months later I received a 29 (10BS, 10PS, 9VR).
the point is, that I changed how I studied and practiced test taking skills. If you do not change how you are studying or review the day then you may get the same or lower score. In addition, see what the average MCAT is for the schools that you are interested in. If they are not very competitive such as Tier 1 schools, then maybe apply and see what happens.
the application process is and always will be a crap shoot. Not everyone with 35+ MCAT and 3.9 GPA will get in and not everyone with a 25 MCAT and 3.1 GPA will get rejected.
Great advice, Gabe. One of the many reasons I love this site, great minds with great advice. It has been 18 years since I have taken freshman chemistry. I did not have time to take an official review course nor would I be able to take one before retaking the test for this application cycle. I would not be able to change my study habits, especially with the amount of lecturing I am doing the next two months. I will take my score and woo them at my interview. Any other thoughts out there?
I just wanted to say congratulations. I know that you were disappointed with your P.S. but I think that you did a great job. Good luck with your applications!
27 is not a bad score - if you are not applying to Ivy League Schools. I got 27 (with slightly different point breakdown) and got accepted to 2 schools. You also said that you would not be able to adjust your study habits or take a structured review course in this application cycle, so I would advice against retaking MCAT. The worst thing you could do is to retake it and not improve or… do worse.
That being said, you mentioned that it’s been 18 years since you took your freshman chemistry. I know that some schools are quite strict about the age of prerequisites, so I hope you did your homework and you are not applying to any schools that require all the coursework to be ‘younger’ than 5 or 10 years.
Good luck with your application process!
I am not a big believer in a unplanned/summer retake for several reasons
- As has been said by “soon to be a dad for the third time” Gabe, you risk getting a lower grade. That puts you with a bad 1st score, a worse 2nd score, and that 3rd (and best last chance) as the final strike. Hmm what do you do then? Do get into that situation.
- You are sending in the score “blind” that is you don’t know what the score will be and your application will most likely be already submitted. What do you do if you get worse score? withdraw the application? will they ask about that next year?
- There is a timing factor of thinking your prep for MCAT is done and now you have to add it to your schedule when you should be doing secondaries and other application items. What do you give up?
- There is the psychological stress issue which is likely why most people do worse on a summer second MCAT.
So, from a risk perspective, I think it is better to apply with what you have then take it again. Risk is measured in both probability of the risk and impact of the risk. The worst case scenario is having a rejected application with one OK MCAT score for a reapplication for next year versus an OK MCAT and a then a worse MCAT. The second is makes you much weaker.
By itself, the score is OK. Without knowing the rest of your info, if you think that it makes you really a weak candidate, I would suggest withdrawing your application this year and reapplying next year over a real gamble in a retake. I don’t think you need go that far.