Introduction, seeking advice!!

Hello all, I’ve been reading the OPM boards for quite a while but I’ve only recently decided to come out of the shadows. I’m a little worried about the MCAT and will appreciate any input you all have!!! Here’s a little about me. Sorry for it being so long.

-Graduated (first in the family) from a large state school (5 years ago) with an abysmal 2.73 cgpa in economics and a 2.0 sgpa. Yep, 2.0 sgpa with a straight up F in a biology and society class that I didn’t even bother showing up to the final for. Unfortunately I was very, very immature and not ready for college and now I’m paying the price.

-Started the pre-med journey two years ago at 25.

-I’m 27 now and just completed a two year postbac at Harvard Extension School while taking all of the pre-reqs. Naively went into the postbac thinking I need a 4.0 when it’s all said and done but ended up with a semi-disappointing 3.59 postbac gpa, bringing my cgpa up from 2.73 to 2.93. My science gpa went from 2.0 to 3.27.

-I won’t be applying until next year and I will be taking upper-level bio classes this next year and am confident I can bring my cgpa up to 3.0 and my sgpa to at least a 3.4 (fingers crossed). Also hoping I can raise my current 3.59 postbac gpa to 3.7 this next year.

-These past two years I’ve gained a lot of experience while volunteering clinically, non-clinically and with some research (no publications). Also got a good amount of shadowing in as well.

-Already obtained two LORs from my physics and general chemistry professors which should be decent-strong, and I’m expecting a third LOR from my research PI which he agreed to but stated he needs to see me MCAT score first.

Now my question is, being that I have a moderate gpa trend going on, what kind of MCAT score should I be shooting for that will corroborate my academic turn-around? Obviously I’d like for my score to be as high as possible but I’m looking for a general range that I should shoot for that will really help my case for med school admissions. I took the first AAMC practice test and scored a disappointing 29 on it and I’m concerned that even a 33 MCAT (which I’d be ecstatic to get) score “won’t be enough” and I’d be left waiting in the dust. Basically I’m looking for a MCAT score range that, if my practice test scores aren’t in a particular range I should consider putting off the test until next year. I’m scheduled to take the test on September 11th.

Thank you all OPMers!! Any kind of anecdotal input will be much appreciated!!

So - I’ll be honest with you - the MCAT you need to get is…

The best you can get with as much studying as you can put in.

I’m not a fan of giving ranges because the goal is doing the best that you can do. No more, no less.

Prepare as best as you can, and rock it!

And if that wasn’t what you were looking for - use this - 2012factstable24.pdf

“Disappointing 29?”

I think that the score you should be aiming for (and be content with) is the score that coincides with the average score of matriculates to the school (or schools) you are interested in attending. Par exemple: At Johns Hopkins the average score is 38. Harvard, 35.6 At the University of Oklahoma, 30. The same goes for your sGPA.

In reality, though, I’d agree with Doc Gray. While it is certainly okay to have a “range” or a target score that you want to achieve, you may want to refocus your sights on simply scoring as high as is possible for you. This puts me in mind of three of my friends who are currently at various stages of this journey whose scores vary by as much as 10 points (24-35). Two are already in school and one is (surely) going to begin in the Fall of 2014.

The point is, don’t obsess as much on scoring a “…” as much as studying and scoring well. If you do this, in the end you’ll probably score at or better than you may have anticipated.

The best place for this information if you want to look statistically is located on the AAMC website. Assuming you’re white, here’s the table from AAMC ( 2012factstable25-4.pdf)

With a total gpa of 2.93, your chances are 35.4% of being accepted if you score 33.

Hope this helps.