I took the MCAT for the first time on June 16th. I won’t get the score until July 18th. During the test I felt… unprepared. PS section especially. I felt good about the verbal and BS sections, but not sure on what numbers those will translate into. I historically under-estimate my performance on standardized tests and will usually feel bad about how I did and then get a good score, but I feel even more uneasy about this one. I’ve signed up for the August 6th test as a fall-back, just 2 weeks after the first score comes out.
So here’s my question: what would be the lowest score for the June test that is good enough to not take the test in August? Absolutely taking it again if I have a 30 or below… I know I can do better than that, but not sure where to draw the line. I’m studying more now obviously, so I can hope/assume that a second test score would be higher, but I don’t think I should just take a second test for kicks.
What schools are you applying to? What are your goals (outside of getting in)?
Really depends on what the rest of your application looks like and where you want to apply. For MD schools, take a look at the MSAR: https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/req uirement… The 10th percentile MCAT score for a particular school is probably about the lowest you could realistically apply to that institution with.
Owen: good point. I haven’t had a copy of the MSAR up to this point because I found a lot of the info I needed on the websites and in the US News Guide to Medical Schools books, but with that info I’ll have to get one.
Tara: All the major schools in the northeast, basically. Philly, Boston, NYC, DC, RI locations plus Robert Wood Johnson, Rochester, NYMC, Pittsburgh and Pritzker in Chicago. I’d like to end up in surgery if at all possible (competitive, I know). I want the highest score possible and I def feel/think that 30-35 is within my capabilities, but when do I hit diminishing returns? Will med schools look down on me retaking after, say, a 33? How much higher would I have to score to make that look like a good decision to retake so soon?
I agree with Owen. You need to look t th schools you are applying to, analyze your application, and see where fall.
Is general surgery competitive? I know the “other” surgeries are, uch as ortho, plastics, etc.
From what I understood, your specialization is determined by med-school grades and Step scores, not MCAT.
You ABSOLUTELY need to get your hands on a copy of that MSAR! I purchased a two year old copy (it doesn’t change much) for $5 on amazon.
You have a lot of locations which you are considering and you need to make sure you see their requirements. Generally, you want to be at the school’s avg. score for GPA/MCAT (ex. UCLA: 3.8/33Q). However, without an MCAT score, it is hard to really be as accurate as you would want. But, at least you will have a general idea!
Regarding surgery residency, I would look for posts by njbmd. She provides a comprehensive discussion on her match into general surgery.
Hope this helps!
I definitely second getting the MSAR. While getting an old edition is OK, and cheaper, I’d spring for the extra money and get the newest edition if I were you. This year’s edition also has an online component, which allows you to search schools, compare, etc. without lugging the book around.
I’d also keep in mind that you and your application are a “package.” MCAT scores are incredibly important, of course, but so are GPA, extracurriculars, other experiences, etc.
My 2 cents, for what they’re worth.
Here’s hoping for a high score!
Yep, residency match has nothing to do with MCAT. However school mission has a lot to do with what you are exposed to. Your competitiveness in the match is med school grades and board score related.
- TJJ MD Said:
Hope this helps!
My understanding was that she had to scramble into her first spot, post med school.
She did, however; she provides a good overview of her time in during residency. If she had scrambled and not found a spot, I wouldn’t have suggested that the OP look for her posts. But since she was able to find a categorical spot, I thought she would provide a good reference.
- TJJ MD Said:
My mention of scrambling wasn't about taking anything away from this monumental achievement, but it is about keeping it real!!So I mentioned NJBMD having to scramble because I'm almost certain age discrimination is the reason and unfortunately, it's an issuse those of us over 40 need to always be aware of.
I'm a person who's all about NEVER giving up no matter what the obstacles are!
- pathdr2b Said:
Not to mention that njbmd was trying to match into a surgical residency. From what I hear, age discrimination is worst among the surgical specialties.
Regarding the MSAR, beware of the latest edition for 2012-2013. AAMC took out the GPA/MCAT data. Your best bet is to find a previous edition or use their online MCAT (I’m pretty sure that has GPA/MCAT statistics). I prefer looking at a school’s website because most of that info is available there for free (and usually more accurate).
- 2old4med Said:
FYI - the online edition of the MSAR does indeed have all the GPA/MCAT info, as well as a lot of other stats, course requirements, etc. And when you buy the new hard copy edition, it comes with a login key for the online part. Just wanted to clarify that point.
Sometimes scrambling works out in one’s favor in unusual ways. My sister-in-law didn’t match into ObGyn in 2006; she only applied to 2 programs and they didn’t take her. So I flew out to help her with scramble: both of us on computers emailing and calling people. But not matching was fine with her as she was leaning away from ObGyn anyway because of the hours: she didn’t like the idea of doing C-sections at 2:00 a.m. in the morning, etc. So she matched in the scramble and found a nice D.O.-only dual internal medicine/dermatology residency. She excelled in her residency, winning numerous awards and recently was offered and accepted a position at a large non-profit clinic, and could not be happier with her choices.
Do you think her demographics other than age (female and African-American) helped NJBMD get her residency spot? There is certainly a lack of female surgeons, especially minority ones.
I wish we could do away with age discrimination in residency matching.
- datsa Said:
I agree 1000% with this comment!
As I've gotten older I've learned that whenever I didn't get something I thought I wanted, it was ALWAYS because God had something bigger and often better out there for me! So I tend to be VERY cool with the word "no".
Not trying to get all preachy here, but this is how I feel!
Well said Pathdr2b.
I was just wondering this myself. I’m applying for matriculation in Fall 2012 in a DO program, and it’s looking like a score in the 30s should be sufficient. The posted tests have me at around a 32, so here’s hoping!
In your experiences, have you found the MD schools to be particularly picky with the MCAT requirement?