One MCAT or Two?

I was thinking I’d take the 1/15 MCAT for which I’m registered and have been preparing for, however, I am not where I want to be.

So, in my on-line, live Kaplan class, I told one of the instructors in private that I was thinking I’d have to take the 2015 MCAT in May and was wondering how much of the material currently working would be relevant.

He said, “Don’t take it twice especially with the change as medical schools will look at the “old” MCAT score from “old” exam and the new one. Since the med schools are not sure what to do with the new score, it could cause me trouble if the scores are comparatively very different and the med schools might revert to the “old” score… just take it once when you’re ready.”

So, that begs the question:

I am NOT feeling comfortable right now. I get between 60 - 70% on the section tests (Kaplan) and 83% in the online questions of class.

I also have the 2nd half of my deposition coming up on the 9th and mediation coming on 2/6.


Have you taken biochem and psych/soc for coursework?

I keep hearing don’t take the MCAT until you’re ready, and ready means scoring 3-4 points consistently above your target score on the practice exams.

The new MCAT throws a wrench in that, but I agree you don’t want a bad “old” score to stick out like a sore thumb on your app. If you’ve taken the coursework, then you could just review or do another prep course. Kaplan has one just for biochem and psychology, if money isn’t a huge issue.

Personally, if I wasn’t scoring what I needed to on the practice exams, then I’d wait, even with the new material. You’d have enough time to study the material you already need, add on the extra stuff and take it in May, for example.

Thank you, Tallulah.

I have had all the course work (including psych and soc) but the psych / soc is old; biochem is a strength for me (my biochem prof made us learn things he said we would need for med school…)…

So, I think I’m looking at May… still in time for summer submission (late June/early July) but one score that is solid vs. 2 with one being “wonky” …

That’s what I would do – you’ll have plenty of time to strengthen your weak areas of study. Biochem is probably the big challenge for most people, but since you’re solid, the psych/soc stuff should be fine to pick up by then. I went through Khan’s MCAT section on it and it’s nothing hard, just common sense and memorization.

If I understand it right, the new test will still be scaled, so percentile scores would be the great comparison in my mind. I’d still say only take the test when you’re ready, and only once if you can swing it.

I, too, faced this dilemma. I put off taking the old MCAT three times, and by cancelling my last reservation in November, I committed myself to the new MCAT. My advice would be to take it just once, whether old or new UNLESS you can guarantee to yourself that you’ll do better. There is the risk that schools won’t know what to make of the new test when comparing it to the old one, not only because they have different scales of scoring but the new test is longer, has more topics, and the emphases of those topics are different (more biochem, less physics of non-biological phenomena).