The Decision to Retake the MCAT and the Process

I’m a non-trad in my thirties applying for the class of 2018. I’m planning to submit my application June 1st. I did not feel great about my actual MCAT- I find out my score tomorrow (5/20).

I scored 509 and then 512 on the practice tests, but I think I scored closer to the 509 on the actual exam- and I don’t think that score is good enough to get into my top choice.

What is the process for retaking the MCAT after submission of the AMCAS application? For example, do I notify all the schools that I am planning to retake the MCAT? How will taking the MCAT as late as July or August affect my chances?

There’s a part of the AMCAS online application about a future MCAT date. You’re supposed to update it with either the new date of your future test or your decision to not take a future test. I’m pretty sure AMCAS will validate your application since you have a test on file and send your stuff out to the schools. Schools will likely hold your application/interview selection pending that future score though. Your test range is still pretty good (comparing to “old” MCAT scores because that’s what I know) and competitive for a lot of schools. There are some data out there, available through AAMC, that show very few test takers actually improve their score and can even drop a little on retakes. Be cautious… Applying to medical school is a total crapshoot and very difficult to make sense of from an applicants perspective. You can get into your top choice with a below-their-average MCAT if you have a strong application. You can also not get into your top choice with an above-their-average MCAT if you fall short in other areas they favor and/or bomb your interview.

And please please please submit your application on June 1st. There is no reason to hold off submitting your primary while waiting for the MCAT. They’ll validate your application so you don’t have to wait and submit to be late in the queue (wish I had known that when I applied).

If you’re anything like me, I was pretty sure I failed the MCAT when I walked out of the building. I stared at the “do you want to void this test” screen for a solid few minutes before rolling the dice and keeping the score. I signed for up a new test date from my car in the parking lot… Got my score, was better than I had ever imagined and subsequently canceled the follow on. Hopefully you’re in the same boat. Good luck tomorrow!

Thank you very much for this advice. Kenny, I had the same feeling as you. Just got the score, much better than my practice scores!