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Neuro_bertagirl

Should I rewrite the MCAT?

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Hey everyone! I got a 513 (129/126/128/130) on my first MCAT attempt. I'm IP for Alberta and my cGPA is ~3.8. I'm considering rewriting mostly because of my CARS score. What do you guys think? Is it worth it to rewrite? I just want to make my application bit more competitive. 

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Hi, 

 

If i were you, I wouldn't rewrite. Your GPA seems fine and if you write your extracurricular's well you should be fine. At the end of the day, any higher score, though beneficial to a small degree, wouldn't be the difference between you getting in or not. You are in a good place. If you have the means to write and the time, feel free though!  

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18 hours ago, kwrgvnq said:

Hi, 

 

If i were you, I wouldn't rewrite. Your GPA seems fine and if you write your extracurricular's well you should be fine. At the end of the day, any higher score, though beneficial to a small degree, wouldn't be the difference between you getting in or not. You are in a good place. If you have the means to write and the time, feel free though!  

Hi, thanks for your input! Theoretically, if I could improve my score to ~520 with a higher CARS than before, you don't think that could be the difference between me getting in or not? 

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I got into UofA and was waitlisted at UofC with a 126 in CARS. I wouldn't be too worried about the 513 either since apparently that's the average MCAT score for last cycle's matriculants. (source: https://www.ualberta.ca/medicine/programs/md/applying-to-medicine/before-you-apply/admission-statistics). 

It's always nice to have a higher MCAT since it can only improve your chances of getting in, but your MCAT is already in a decently competitive range anyways. I don't think the cost (in terms of time, money and energy) is worth the marginal benefit that a higher MCAT would give to your application. Your time is valuable. My advice for you this summer is to, rather than spending time aiming for a 520, emphasize writing up an amazing application. Focus on how you frame your activity entries, go through multiple drafts, and ask for feedback from others. 

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Any answer you get is really just going to be speculation since the UofA will not release how much it weights the MCAT. From looking at the sample size of people accepted and rejected, the MCAT doesn't appear to be the limiting factor. Of course, a higher MCAT will most likely increase your odds of getting in. Although, I would say it's more valuable to get better ECs this summer if you can. If you're not in a position to get a good chunk of ECs/hours added to your application before this fall, I'd rewrite the MCAT.

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That is a DREAM score!

 

If you feel like your extracurriculars aren't as strong, have extra time laying around, and feel like you could improve, by all means! But I think it's a great score you should be proud of, and your time may be better spent on living out your life and doing things you love

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For what it is worth, I had practically the same GPA and MCAT score as you and I did not receive an interview. Your ECs and how you write them can definitely make or break your application, so make sure to spend a ton of time perfecting how you write those. I would encourage you to put your best foot forward and apply as broadly as possible! 

@Med2be The IP interview average was a 3.82 and a ~513 according to my feedback letter

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18 hours ago, garceyues said:

For what it is worth, I had practically the same GPA and MCAT score as you and I did not receive an interview. Your ECs and how you write them can definitely make or break your application, so make sure to spend a ton of time perfecting how you write those. I would encourage you to put your best foot forward and apply as broadly as possible! 

@Med2be The IP interview average was a 3.82 and a 128 (512) according to my feedback letter

 

Oops! I didn't receive a feedback letter so I just went off of what I thought I remembered on the forums lol 

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In my opinion, if you think you could get a better score, then rewrite it. Because of COVID, it might actually be the best summer free of distractions to write the test again. I wrote the test 4 times, voided it the first time. My score did not change very much at all - and eventually I was accepted with my 508. However, if you scored a 513 and that was a lot lower than your practice tests, and you think you could do better, then maybe the higher score could open up more schools you could apply to. 

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Make sure your ECs are above average and write about them well. My friend had a 3.83, 516, and a 6/17 activities score (IP average EC score for interviewees) and did not get an interview this cycle. My other friend who also did not get an interview had around the same GPA and MCAT, but a 5/17 activities score. 

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54 minutes ago, Premed12345 said:

Make sure your ECs are above average and write about them well. My friend had a 3.83, 516, and a 6/17 activities score (IP average EC score for interviewees) and did not get an interview this cycle. My other friend who also did not get an interview had around the same GPA and MCAT, but a 5/17 activities score. 

the reason for those friends not getting interviews does not have to do with their GPA/MCAT/EC combos which are strong...it's most likely casper. For some reason, a lot of people here underestimate how much casper is worth for UofA pre-interview. It's worth very significantly as I have seen a lot of people who were at or above the interview average stats not get an invite. It's either that or a red-flag in verifiers but most likely it's casper since many people have had the same thing happen to them. 

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15 hours ago, gniyonna said:

In my opinion, if you think you could get a better score, then rewrite it. Because of COVID, it might actually be the best summer free of distractions to write the test again. I wrote the test 4 times, voided it the first time. My score did not change very much at all - and eventually I was accepted with my 508. However, if you scored a 513 and that was a lot lower than your practice tests, and you think you could do better, then maybe the higher score could open up more schools you could apply to. 

That's what I was thinking, thanks!

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9 hours ago, Premed12345 said:

Make sure your ECs are above average and write about them well. My friend had a 3.83, 516, and a 6/17 activities score (IP average EC score for interviewees) and did not get an interview this cycle. My other friend who also did not get an interview had around the same GPA and MCAT, but a 5/17 activities score. 

Do you think we can say with certainty that your friend tripped a red flag, whether that was CASPer or a reference/verifier gone wrong? I don't know how else your friend could be at/above the IP interview average for each category and not receive an interview if it wasn’t one of those three things.  

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9 hours ago, offmychestplease said:

the reason for those friends not getting interviews does not have to do with their GPA/MCAT/EC combos which are strong...it's most likely casper. For some reason, a lot of people here underestimate how much casper is worth for UofA pre-interview. It's worth very significantly as I have seen a lot of people who were at or above the interview average stats not get an invite. It's either that or a red-flag in verifiers but most likely it's casper since many people have had the same thing happen to them. 

Take this with a grain of salt, but I talked to an admissions advisor last cycle and they told me only about 10 people get flagged because of CASPer a cycle :/ 

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1 hour ago, garceyues said:

Do you think we can say with certainty that your friend tripped a red flag, whether that was CASPer or a reference/verifier gone wrong? I don't know how else your friend could be at/above the IP interview average for each category and not receive an interview if it wasn’t one of those three things.  

No idea. My friends prepped for CASPer pretty hard too. Also, they knew that U of A essentially treats verifiers as references, so they chose verifiers carefully. The U of A gives zero indication as to how it selects applicants pre and post interview. For all we know, it could've just been due to randomness or their applications didn't vibe with the file reviewers.

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This is heavy speculation on my part, but my feeling based on personal experience and talking to others is that stats are being deemphasized. I got rejected with well above average stats, a "pass" in the interview, Mac level CASPer, and a average (6/17) EC score for an IP interviewee. Now, a "pass" could still mean failing a station or an overall low score, but it does seem that nearly maxing out the stats side of things isn't enough to overcome a mediocre interview. Of course, there's always the possibility of a red flag somewhere. 

As far as CASPer, the feedback FAQ was quite clear that "The SJT was Pass/Fail". I really wonder how important verifier feedback is, it seems to matter a great deal. 

To OP, I would only rewrite if you were able to raise your CARS score to Calgary's average and didn't have anything else going on this summer. Even as an IP applicant with IP advantages strange things happen, so being able to apply to more schools (Mac, Western, etc...) is a huge bonus. 

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23 minutes ago, MedicineLCS said:

This is heavy speculation on my part, but my feeling based on personal experience and talking to others is that stats are being deemphasized. I got rejected with well above average stats, a "pass" in the interview, Mac level CASPer, and a average (6/17) EC score for an IP interviewee. Now, a "pass" could still mean failing a station or an overall low score, but it does seem that nearly maxing out the stats side of things isn't enough to overcome a mediocre interview. Of course, there's always the possibility of a red flag somewhere. 

As far as CASPer, the feedback FAQ was quite clear that "The SJT was Pass/Fail". I really wonder how important verifier feedback is, it seems to matter a great deal. 

To OP, I would only rewrite if you were able to raise your CARS score to Calgary's average and didn't have anything else going on this summer. Even as an IP applicant with IP advantages strange things happen, so being able to apply to more schools (Mac, Western, etc...) is a huge bonus. 

Strange things indeed do happen. I am IP in Alberta. I got rejected post-interview at Calgary and waitlisted at U of A. Accepted to Mac as OOP though because of my high stats. High MCAT (especially CARS) is very helpful for applying to OOP schools.

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