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Should I apply for med school this cycle?

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I redid the MCAT during this COVID pandemic setting and I got the same score that I did before. Should I still apply during this cycle or is it better to apply at a later cycle and redo the MCAT? #july20 #med-school #mcat

Hi Shelana, I edited your question slightly to make it clearer what you were asking. I also added a few hashtags so that you could be matched with more professionals Gurpreet Lally Translate
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John’s Answer

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Shelana a "good" MCAT score is one that puts you near or above the average percentile for matriculants at your target medical schools. For comparison, the average MCAT score for students admitted to an MD program in the United States in 2019–2020 is between 508 and 511, with an average GPA of 3.71. If you didn't hit your target score on the MCAT or fear it's not high enough to get you into your dream med school program and you are considering registering for another MCAT, here's everything you need to know about retaking the MCAT test again.

REMEMBER YOU CAN ONLY TAKE THE MCAT UP-TO 7 TIMES
• Up to 3 times in one year
• Up to 4 times over a two-year period
You'll want to pick a test date that will ensure your med school will receive your scores by the deadline and allow you to put in the prep you need to retake the test. Consider when you take your next test VERY carefully.

HOW YOUR MULTIPLE MCAT SCORES ARE VIEWED BY YOUR MEDICAL SCHOOLS ADMISSIONS OFFICE
Keep in mind that all your scores will be seen by your medical school, though admissions committees will use MCAT scores in different ways. Check the score policy for every med school on your list, depending on the program, schools may:
• Consider your highest score;
• Take the average of all your scores;
• Give greater weight to your most recent score; or
• Consider your highest section score from each test.
• Check the score policy for every med school on your list.

HOW TO PLAN FOR YOUR NEXT MCAT TEST
It depends when you are applying to med school. You'll want to pick a test date that will ensure schools receive your scores by the deadline and allow you to put in the prep you need to retake the test. If you do decide to retest, you’ll need to seriously reassess your MCAT study routine.
• Did you get in enough practice tests and drills?
• Did you simulate real MCAT conditions when practicing?

REMEMBER YOUR MED SCHOOL IS EVALUATING YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE
The reality is that your chances of acceptance depend on a lot more than just good MCAT scores. It’s a combination of the following pieces of your med school application:
• Your GPA;
• Your MCAT scores;
• Your undergraduate coursework;
• Your letters of recommendation;
• Your experience related to the medical field (such as volunteer work or research);
• Your extracurricular activities; and
• Your personal statement.

Shelana if you studied on your own the first time, consider signing up for a prep course or working with a private tutor to identify your personal weak spots.

Hope this was Helpful Shelana
Thank You Dexter for your continued support. Our success is not determined by what we have, but by what we do with what we have. John Frick Translate
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Yasemin’s Answer

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Hi Shelana! I agree with the previous answer! I think it's very detailed and explains it well. I'll just add a couple things; so first of all, don't stress, as someone who has sat for the MCAT twice it takes time. There are many students who even take it 3 or 4 times so remember you are not alone. That being said, don't rush to apply to medical school, it's not only time consuming to complete your application within deadline but also expensive as well. I actually did apply with my first low MCAT score, I should not have but I was committed to getting into medical school and being a physician right away. Unfortunately, there can be setbacks in life but they can turn out to be great lessons and allow for new opportunities, therefore only apply to medical school when you feel absolutely ready in terms of volunteering, shadowing, grades and MCAT, etc. An MCAT score for MD schools is 508+ to be competitive and a high GPA, such as 3.8+, can compensate for a lower MCAT score, and vice versa, high MCAT score can compensate for a lower GPA <3.5.Schools also make a difference, high tiers school require much higher scores like 515+.
To answer your question directly it's complex, right now these are uncertain times so if you believe that your MCAT score is pretty good, you feel ready and if you think it won't be too late in terms of secondaries, then apply! However, if you feel that you can do better, then try again! If you have a premed adviser I would speak to them too, they will tell you honestly what your chances are based on your application. It's very diverse and unfortunately not a straight arrow for all students. I would also recommend to check LizzyM score on student doctor network, you put in your GPA and MCAT and you get a percentage of your chances at getting accepted. Of course it doesn't take into consideration your extracurriculars and your personal background, but it is helpful. I also attached a site MCATselfprep.com, the creator Andrew George offers insightful information and I used this site's advice in preparing for a second time. It is completely free to register and if you'd like you can upgrade with a small cost.

I wish you the best!! If you have any other questions feel free to ask!
Best of luck!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

  • Check out https://www.studentdoctor.net/schools/lizzym-score
  • https://mcatselfprep.com/should-you-retake-the-mcat-3-key-things-to-consider/
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