MCAT Redo...

Yup. It’s official. I scheduled a retake on July 6th. It was the closest date I could get after my scores come back.

If everything winds up ok, I’ll just be out the $120. But I didn’t want to risk waiting…

Now that classes are over, and my husband is going out of town for the summer, I won’t have much else to worry about. I will just keep studying…hunker down…and actually have the luxury of being able to focus.

Still so bummed about my Saturday experience. To top it off, I heard some people talking in the parking lot (a huge no-no, I know…) and they were discussing several PS things that I would’ve NAILED… of course, they weren’t anywhere to be found on my exam. sigh

I still feel like I was part of an evil practical joke. LOL

But having a retest day scheduled actually makes me feel a lot better. It’s there if I need it…

Well what is done is done, but are you sure you are not rushing? Well if you are ready to waste $120 (probably a drop in the ocean when it comes to med school education cost) then no biggie.

But do you think that the extra time will make you ready? I mean if you get a similar test by the time you take it, do you think you will be able to answer correctly?

I took a year between my attempts, not that I needed a year on it, but knowing that I would have only 5 to 10h a week, and knowing that Verbal was the hardest section to improve, then I just wanted to take my time and work over the long run. I started slowly back in October and did some Verbal through Jan. Then I worked on the sciences and again finished with some more verbal. But again 5h a week is not much. I was able to get 10h/week during school breaks.

You saw the MCAT is not just about knowledge, but more how you approach an issue and solve it. I felt that it was not the amount of work that mattered, but to let things mature over a long period of time. That’s why I felt that was better prepared knowledge-wise on first attempt, but approach-wise or strategy-wise, it was much better the second time. To put simply, I learned not to panic if I had to guess, and on my MCAT, there was a lot of these.

Anyway, no matter what you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck.

Just to play devil’s advocate, I’ll offer another side of the story. While I think it is worth waiting longer if knowledge is the issue, I firmly believe the MCAT is a crap shoot. My first test was a nightmare, similar to what you describe Carrie - like someone was playing a joke on me. My second attempt, while difficult, did not even compare to the first - not even close. And it had nothing to do with “knowledge” I acquired in the interim. The test-makers can talk all they want about validity/reliability blah blah - I don’t buy it. Just my opinion, of course. But when considering the timing of a re-take, just do what you feel is best - there’s no right or wrong way.

If it is any help to you–I have always thought your class/work/parenting schedule was insanely ambitious and then throwing in the MCAT on top of it! You bit off a lot, which most other folks aren’t doing to quite the same level…so practice some self-compassion. I’m sure that you did better than you thought!

Thank you so much to each of you for your insight–and your compassion!

We are always our worst critics, aren’t we? I am extremely hard on myself, I know. Type A to the hilt. I should probably work on that before going to med school, eh?

Switz and Redo–you both have excellent points, and both of you are speaking from experience. I value your opinions, truly! Honestly, I think the July retake is a good idea for me, and I’ll tell you why:

  1. I am going to have oodles upon oodles of spare time in the next 2 months, and as I’ve become REALLY efficient with my life, I will have about 10x more time to study.

  2. Part of my feelings about the PS section come from the fact that I simply panicked. I was counting on that section–and it was such a shock to navigate my way through it that I know it affected my performance. “Know thine enemy” couldn’t be a truer statement here. I feel so much more comfortable going in the 2nd time. I will also be FAR better at managing my time.(I ran out of time on the PS…even though I always had at least 10 mins left over during practice exams. I kept digging into problems and trying to solve them, because I thought, “surely, the next screen will move on to chemistry, and I will pick up speed.” Didn’t happen.) I can assure you that I will NOT make the same mistake twice.

  3. My issues were with PS and BS–not verbal. I knew that Bs was my weakest section, and I got blindsided by PS. But there were less than 5 questions in VR that I felt the slightest bit unsure about. So, in all honestly, there is quite a bit of information I can conquer in that regard. Actually, if Redo and I could find a way to combine our MCAT experience, we’d probably score dang near a 45.

    I am now in full battle mode. I absolutely, positively refuse to allow this exam to beat me. I am the kid who used to throw the candyland board across the room when I could tell my sister was going to beat me. (I was 3. Yes, I was that stubborn. Yes, my own daughter is now giving it back to me every day with her own stubbornness. My mom is quite pleased. ) Suffice it to say, I need to retake this exam. I would take it sooner if I could, honestly.

    Granted–it’s unfortunate that I had to have this experience in order to get into that mentality. But I can’t go backwards. And I know what I need to do… so I’m just going to assume that I got the score I think I did, and prepare for battle in July.

    Here is what I have to offer those who have NOT yet faced this beast. I have a 4.0 science gpa. I consistently made the top grades in every class by a mile. When I heard people talk about the MCAT, I was arrogant. I thought, “eh, that’s probably true for most people, but I won’t have to study as hard… I’ll be fine…I always do well on standardized tests…”

    L-I-S-T-E-N to those who have gone before you. L-I-S-T-E-N!!! They know a thing or two about this exam. When they say you will likely run out of time (or close to it)? You will. When they say it won’t be anything like your practice experience? It won’t. When they say you need to put as much effort into preparing as you would a full length science class? They’re RIGHT.

    Now… I have to go eat my humble pie.


I think you made an important point when you said “I’ll be fine…I always do well on standardized tests…”

it is NOT a normal standardized test. Standardized tests typically test information, or comprehension, and calculation.

MCAT is designed to test critical thinking. I’m not saying that is what it DOES test, but having the basics of the science info will not get one very far at all with the test. Reasoning one’s way thru the passage and associated questions, (quickly) is big.

I’m so proud of you getting your forward momentum up so quickly and forging ahead. I know you will do very well!


Thniking of you today…

Me too! Hope you do well! You have a pretty kick ass attitude!

Thank you, guys. I love that they make you wait until 5pm.

They have my scores. They just choose to dangle them and be exceptionally cruel. mua hahahaha…

I’m resigned to it… honestly, I’m ok. Just something to move past. I am 98% sure I bombed the thing. I just hope I didn’t bomb it to an embarassing degree. LOL

Either way, I’ll know what I’m dealing with in T minus 3 hours!

Thanks for all the support!

Well, Im pretty new around here, but I have been reading your posts and following along enough to be on the edge of my seat for you. I have been looking at the clock and trying to figure out where I will be when you post again. I will be in rush hour traffic by the time you get your results so needless to say my thoughts are with you. Keep us posted and by the sound of it, regardless of the results, you are going to do great-one way or another.

It has been longer than 3 hours…

Yes sir, it has. I have checked in at least 4 times…I hope the delay is due to a celebration!

Ha… Sorry to disappoint you guys, but no celebrating around here tonight!

The good news first…I got a solid vr score and an almost perfect writing score…you know…the section no one cares about? Lol

The other good news…didn’t tank as bad as I thought, but it still isn’t enough for Vandy. Not even close.

8 bs/ 8ps/ 11vr… 27-S composite. -sigh-

With my 3.9 gpa, it MIGHT be enough for my state school, but I don’t want to leave my family. I need to bring my science scores up a few points in each section to even have a remote shot at a Vandy interview…I know what I need to do, and I have 5 weeks to do it.

Don’t have much time to grieve this…disappointed but not defeated. I will get to work and see what happens.

Can’t thank you guys enough for your support!

WOW an S! That’s awesome! I honestly have not seen many people report getting that high on the essay-so great job. Your attitude is what’s going to carry you through this “hiccup.” Additionally, you have a clearer perspective than you did several hours ago. It may not be what you hoped for, but at least you know where you stand and can adjust. Thank you for sharing your experience with us…

Hi Carrie

well, it happened to me so it is not a big deal, really.

Your score is still decent, but I understand the need to retake it. The score is not important, your own satisfaction is.

So I wish you the best of luck, and I am the proof that you can do much better on the retake.

Carrieliz --I’m sorry for the disappointment I know this is but

“I will get to work and see what happens.”

GREAT way to maintain forward momentum! Pulling for you and believing in your ultimate success!


carrie, keep that fire lit and hit it hard again. good luck.


I will likely be there with you in a few weeks. I’m not sure if I will retake if I score a 27. Unfortunately, I have this sinking feeling that my score will be significantly less than that.

We shall see…

If I did tank it, I will indeed pick myself up, dust myself off and get back at it.

Best of luck on the retake, Carrie! You’ll do great. I’ll keep you in my thoughts!

Carrieliz -

I am new here, and it is so awesome to see such a great attitude!

Have you already retaken?