Low MCAT Score - To withdraw 2010 application or not?

Unfortunately, for a number of reasons I scored poorly on the MCAT (below 25) – since I took it late in the summer, my 2010 AMCAS App. and ACOMMAS were already in (and I received 2nds from ALL 15 schools…) [Obviously, before they saw my MCAT score]

So - I would appreciate some input on 2 items: (1) should I withdraw my apps. from consideration? and (2) I am desparately trying to figure out “what I did wrong” to get such a dismal score – thinking maybe of going to a consultant would help to assess this and get a strong plan in place to do better – any suggestions? (I already took the $2,000 Kaplan course…)

Thanks for any words of wisdom!

I don’t know if you necessarily did anything wrong. I took the MCAT this summer as well and it was significantly harder than any of the AAMC practice tests that I took. The friends I made at the Princeton Review course I took had a similar perception of this months tests. Both of them scored significantly lower than predicted by the AAMC practice tests.

I wouldn’t beat myself up over it too much.

Anyone else think that this summer’s test was out of the ordinary?

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’m trying not to beat myself up, but rather to figure out what I didn’t do, that I need to do, in order to perform better on the next one!

In doing my research, I came across a good website that allows you to check on GPAs and MCAT scores for applicants, as well as those who were actually accepted for every MD and DO school – thought I would share in case it would help anyone determine if they would even be potentially considered by a particular school, based on MCAT score:


I’m still working on my research and trying to develop a “better plan” for MCAT prep. – if anyone has any suggestions. I also came across a few “recommended study schedules” if anyone is interested – I’d be glad to share!

[Still haven’t decided whether to withdraw my applications, complete any secondarys (??) or just not do anything…] Thoughts??

  • Pamela Said:

Taking the MCAT without ALL of organic chemistry was a very bad idea IMHO.

I'll bet you'll increase your score 3 points at least in the BS section by taking the classes FIRST, then sitting for the MCAT.

Great point! Maybe I will wait and re-take it in April, rather than end of January, so I get both O.Chem. classes in!!

Thanks for the input!

Hey, I’m an attorney too. I wonder how many of us are on here?

BTW, maybe it could help others comment if you gave your score break down, or point to a section you were particularly weak in.

Also, what do you think would be the benefit of withdrawing your applications? Will you get your money back?

Generally the benefit of withdrawing apps is not being a 2nd year applicant which the med schools see. SOME med schools see being a repeat applicant as a disadvantage.

As a 1st time applicant you have no “issues” that needed to be resolved between 1st and 2nd times. As a 1st time app, NO one has seen your weaker app, all they see is a strong app.

And then there is the financial consideration…

Hi, Pamela. Sorry to hear of the MCAT woes. If it were me I think I’d leave my applications in. You’ve already technically applied, so you’re going to be a second time applicant regardless. I honestly don’t know that being a second time applicant really is looked down upon with much negativity. I’d say move forward. People with low MCATs do get into medical schools.

Best of luck with whichever your decision goes!

Before you withdraw your application…take a look at www.mudpiles.com

See the MCAT Buster section


My advice from personal experience would be to withdraw.

I underperformed on the MCAT in last year’s cycle. In the rush to be an early applicant, I took it two weeks after my orgo final (ACS exam) and got kicked in the jimmy really hard. It was about five points below the average most of the schools I was interested in.

Instead of sitting a year, I panicked a bit because of my age (33) and decided to apply all over the place, hoping my killer GPA and unique life experience would put me over the top.

It didn’t happen. I applied to nearly 30 US MD schools. Two interviews, no admissions.

I retook the MCAT (+4 points), did research and took biochem. This past summer, I put in 25 applications with a net of 11 interview invites.

As much as I see info that most schools do not penalize re-applicants, I went 5/6 on invites with the new schools I added (incl. Pitt, Mayo and Hopkins) and did much worse with my reapplications.

In summation, not only did I waste three grand with my failed application attempts last year, I think I also prejudiced some schools against me (I went 0/4 again in my hometown here in NY).

You don’t need an admissions consultant. You need to bang away at the books and do better on the MCAT. Finish orgo, do your content review, and then take every single AAMC MCAT in existence.

You’ll know you are ready to retake when you start seeing the “bait” answer choice scream out at you.

Best of luck and don’t let a silly test keep you from your dream.

Wow, Destro. I’m so sorry this process has been like that for you but give you great kudos on continuing the drive, stoking that passion, and doing what you needed to improve your application package.

I’m crossing my fingers for you!

Pamela, that really sucks, sorry to hear about your MCAT. If you do take the MCAT again, now you have a better idea of how hard it is. I took the MCAT twice this year, and both tests were much harder than the AAMC practices. I’ve heard the same about every test. In terms of what to do different, forget about how you did in your prereqs and master each content area of the MCAT and practice practice practice. As a lawyer I would think you could really master the VR section and use that to boost your overall score. Did you use EK 101 Verbal passages? Lastly, can’t you cash in on the Kaplan guarantee? I personally took a Kaplan course and thought it was pathetic. I would recommend the Berkeley Review materials for in depth content review, and the EK books for a good condensed review. Good luck!

A premed I know did one of the above programs, sorry, not sure which and she said that NOTHING indicated that she would score a 29 on her MCAT. It sounds like you have to do almost perfect on the practices to get a decent grade on the real test. Best wishes!