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Phosphorus

Rewriting The Mcat

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Hello,


 


I know this might be the wrong section, but my post is specific to UBC.


 


I got my MCAT score back in August and I scored a 29 (11 BS, 11 PS, and 7 VR). I am a BC resident and I just made the cutoff for verbal. Do you think I should rewrite in January? I am hoping to achieve a better score, particularly in verbal to increase my chances of an acceptance at UBC. UBC will use the old MCAT for one more application cycle after this one.


 


Thanks for the help!


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Hello,

 

I know this might be the wrong section, but my post is specific to UBC.

 

I got my MCAT score back in August and I scored a 29 (11 BS, 11 PS, and 7 VR). I am a BC resident and I just made the cutoff for verbal. Do you think I should rewrite in January? I am hoping to achieve a better score, particularly in verbal to increase my chances of an acceptance at UBC. UBC will use the old MCAT for one more application cycle after this one.

 

Thanks for the help!

 

If you want to apply to other schools other than UBC, then yes definitely retake the MCAT the 7 is too low for almost all other schools. 

 

For just UBC, your scores are fine, they use it more as a cut-off AFAIK. People have gotten in with lower scores. Maybe when it comes to final selection after interview they may take it into consdieration, but your 11's are strong. 

 

Wouldn't bother to be honest. 

 

Take the new MCAT if you intend to apply to more schools next cycle, if you don't get in this time! The MCAT is very unlikely to hold you back, GPA and ECs are king to get the interview.

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Fair enough. I have strong EC's and a competitive GPA (even more competitive when they drop my worst year). I'll be graduating by the end of this year, so I would have a lot of time to prepare for the new MCAT if required. However, what makes you so sure that they only use the MCAT as a cut-off? I know they only consider it after the interview process, but maybe they rank students based on their MCAT score.

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Fair enough. I have strong EC's and a competitive GPA (even more competitive when they drop my worst year). I'll be graduating by the end of this year, so I would have a lot of time to prepare for the new MCAT if required. However, what makes you so sure that they only use the MCAT as a cut-off? I know they only consider it after the interview process, but maybe they rank students based on their MCAT score.

Doubtful, i know handfuls of people with scores as low as 25-29 getting in last year.

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One other question for you, ubc2012 (or anyone else for that matter). I do have a competitive GPA for UBC and strong EC's, however, due to financial issues I was not able to take 5 courses per semester, every semester. Full-time at my university is 3 courses per semester. However, a lot of the courses I took were associated with labs, so they were worth more credits (that's why I couldn't financially afford to take more courses) during some semesters. I have one full year (two semesters) where I took a 5 courses per semester. In other years, I took 4 courses per semester (not including labs). I have 3 semesters in which I took 3 courses per semester (not including labs). I only have 5 courses left to complete my degree, but 3 of them are offered next semester and the last two are only offered in the summer (I go to a small university so some courses are only offered once a year or once every two years). Therefore, I will eventually end up with 4 semesters in which I took 3 courses per semester. Therefore, I've been in school for 5 years, with 2 academic years in which I have only taken 3 courses.

 

I feel like this is a large downside to my application. Combine this with a 29 MCAT (7 in VR) and I feel like I'm in trouble. I don't want to sound like I am trying to convince you that I should re-write the MCAT in January. I just want to give you all of the information so that you have a clear idea of my situation.

 

Thanks for the help.

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I don't know if it matters for UBC. I kind of doubt it. Near as I can tell, I haven't heard of people in this year's class talking about their MCAT scores, and I know that it's not historically been much of a thing at UBC. I wonder if my low GPA (although decently high in recent years) was offset by my high-ish MCAT when it came time for final review.

 

Another thing- not everyone thinks of MCAT the same way. For some, it's a time burden, for some, it's an emotional burden, for some, a financial burden. If these things don't apply to you, or if you feel the benefit outweighs the potential burden, or if you simply don't feel like the MCAT is a real burden, feel free to rewrite.

 

Bottom line- if it's all about UBC, do not rewrite. If it's about other schools OR if you don't feel rewriting would be a big burden, rewrite.

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I'm in a similar situation to OP. I retook the Mcat and to my dismay, got a 29(9 PS 10 VR 10 BS) from a 23 (7 PS 8 VR 8 BS).In my case, should I be more concerned with getting a better MCAT score or should I just concentrate on working on my extracurricular? Which of the following choices would enable me to gain a more competitive advantage? Thank you.

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It's hard to tell melkenshawn. I'd argue that both are equally important, just at different stages of the application. MCAT is only considered after interview invites are out, while EC's are considered prior to the interview, but may also be considered after an interview. On the other hand, previously leaked documents show that NAQ did was not considered in the final applicant selection process, but I don't know how reliable that document is. I was looking through the accepted/rejected thread the other day and I found an individual who was accepted in 2013 with nearly the exact same stats as mine (nearly similar GPA and exact same MCAT score and exact same break down – 11/7/11). They were an IP applicant and first time applying. This would lead me to believe that the MCAT is not as important as we make it out to be. However, they did claim that they felt really great about the interview, which I think is safe to assume the most important component.

 

I'm debating whether I will rewrite again or not. Rewriting this test for the purposes of one school and for only one more application cycle seems impractical.

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Can anyone confirm whether this held true for this year's cycle? Can you really get in with a low MCAT as long as it meets the requirements? 

 

 

In the past, I have heard of many people with mid to high thirties who were not accepted after the interview, so I am just curious as to how it went this year. 

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Can anyone confirm whether this held true for this year's cycle? Can you really get in with a low MCAT as long as it meets the requirements? 

 

 

In the past, I have heard of many people with mid to high thirties who were not accepted after the interview, so I am just curious as to how it went this year. 

Every cycle is different, what happened this cycle may or may not hold true. Full stop.

 

As for your second remark about people with high mcats not getting accepted after interview, that is very likely to happen every cycle, simply based on the fact that a high MCAT does not gaurantee anything. It is only one part of the application.

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In the case of UBC, I believe that the MCAT is essentially a check-box and nothing more. It's possible to get in with a low, balanced score and it's also possible to be rejected with a high 30's score.

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In previous years (at least as recently as 2011-2012), post-interview selection for VFMP, SMP & IMP was based on an overall score consisting of 25% GPA, 25% MCAT, and 50% interview.

 

(source: read the article shared in this thread http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/61439-cbc-ubc-medical-school-standards-called-into-question/)

 

But of course, like Gohan said, there is zero guarantee that this still applies to the upcoming cycle, or even to any of the cycles since 2011-2012. In fact, UBC changed its post-interview selection criteria last year or the year before to include NAQ in the final score. It's entirely possible that they eliminated the MCAT from the final selection criteria, but no one knows for certain.

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In previous years (at least as recently as 2011-2012), post-interview selection for VFMP, SMP & IMP was based on an overall score consisting of 25% GPA, 25% MCAT, and 50% interview.

 

(source: read the article shared in this thread http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/61439-cbc-ubc-medical-school-standards-called-into-question/)

 

But of course, like Gohan said, there is zero guarantee that this still applies to the upcoming cycle, or even to any of the cycles since 2011-2012. In fact, UBC changed its post-interview selection criteria last year or the year before to include NAQ in the final score (thank god for that, in my case! haha). It's entirely possible that they eliminated the MCAT from the final selection criteria, but no one knows for certain.

That gets thrown around a lot but many people tend to question the validity of that report.

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That gets thrown around a lot but many people tend to question the validity of that report.

 

At this point, it doesn't matter if the report is valid or not, because the final selection criteria have definitely changed since then anyway. I just think that it's important to recognize that there's always a possibility that one's MCAT score DOES matter in the end, even if it's not a major factor in their overall score. There's just no way to know. It would be in an applicant's best interests to have the highest MCAT score they think they can achieve, just in case.

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At this point, it doesn't matter if the report is valid or not, because the final selection criteria have definitely changed since then anyway. I just think that it's important to recognize that there's always a possibility that one's MCAT score DOES matter in the end, even if it's not a major factor in their overall score. There's just no way to know. It would be in an applicant's best interests to have the highest MCAT score they think they can achieve, just in case.

 

 

Oh, I completely agree.  Not to mention that a high MCAT puts you in the running for OOP schools as well.  I just meant that I'm not really all that convinced that report was even true when it came out. 

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Can anyone confirm whether this held true for this year's cycle? Can you really get in with a low MCAT as long as it meets the requirements? 

 

 

In the past, I have heard of many people with mid to high thirties who were not accepted after the interview, so I am just curious as to how it went this year. 

 

Hey, I was accepted this year as an OOP applicant with an 8 in Verbal so UBC is definitely willing to look past a low MCAT.  Thank God for UBC!

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I got in this year as an OOP applicant with an 8 in PS, 31 total. :D Thank God for UBC, because I missed the MCAT cutoffs for most of the Ontario schools by 1 or 2 points (Toronto, Western, ?Queen's...).

 

It's possible that UBC does use the MCAT in their final score calculations, but not the overall score. Maybe they only look at the BS score? Or maybe a low MCAT score can be overcome with high grades in corresponding university courses. Who knows? :)

 

 

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I had an interview at ubc this year. My gpa and ecs were above avg which probably got me an interview. But my mcat was 27 (8 VR) and i ended up with a rejection despite scoring above average on the interview. I guess I will be rewriting for this cycle. 

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I had an interview at ubc this year. My gpa and ecs were above avg which probably got me an interview. But my mcat was 27 (8 VR) and i ended up with a rejection despite scoring above average on the interview. I guess I will be rewriting for this cycle. 

 

IP or OOP?

 

27 seems "sufficient" for IPs to get accepted.. with an above average interview, AQ, and NAQ, I'd look at the other factors that they might have considered as well.

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If the low MCAT is what keeps you from being eligible to apply to other Canadian schools, then it would be worth it to retake. If that is just one of multiple factors that keep you from applying elsewhere, then that is a more complicated story. In general though, retaking the MCAT and scoring higher would help rather than hurt overall. But if you have other obligations that prevent you from retaking the low score, that is something you have to reconcile and decide for yourself.  No one knows how UBC uses the MCAT, but if its the last thing you are able to do that is within your control - it could be fruitful to retake, even if just psychologically to know you did everything in your control to provide the "best" application you can.

Many could's, and hypothetical thoughts. 

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I know people who got in with a 27 this year, so I'm not sure retaking would actually make a big difference. Again, as people have have said, nobody really knows how they calculate the final score after the interview. If you think you can really score above, than go for it, but the MCAT is a huge time, emotional and financial commitment. Not to mention that it is an entirely new test, as I believe they wrote this year on the website that if you write the 2015 exam, than they will not use your old score, even if it is better. That is definitely something to consider. You meet the cut offs and people have gotten in with that score. Just something to think about. 

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