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julieann

Chances Of Western Only Accepting New Mcat For 2016/17 Cycle?

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Currently the website says MCAT is okay is taken within 5 years, but it is weirding me out that it says:

 

" For the 2015-16 application cycle, Schulich Medicine will accept MCAT scores from tests taken within the last five years.  Minimums for the 2016-17 cycle will be posted in February 2017."

 

Just looking for opinions!

 

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Currently the website says MCAT is okay is taken within 5 years, but it is weirding me out that it says:

 

" For the 2015-16 application cycle, Schulich Medicine will accept MCAT scores from tests taken within the last five years.  Minimums for the 2016-17 cycle will be posted in February 2017."

 

Just looking for opinions!

Nobody can give you a reasonable number. I'm sure if they decide to only take the new MCAT that they will give people ample time to write it. I personally don't think that they will make the switch so abruptly. If they were able to make cutoffs this year then why not the next or even 2 years from now? I think you're reading too much into it. Try not to let these matters concern you as there is nothing that you can do about it. 

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Currently the website says MCAT is okay is taken within 5 years, but it is weirding me out that it says:

 

" For the 2015-16 application cycle, Schulich Medicine will accept MCAT scores from tests taken within the last five years.  Minimums for the 2016-17 cycle will be posted in February 2017."

 

Just looking for opinions!

 

That simply means Western took both versions of the MCAT this cycle and that minimums for the upcoming cycle are not posted in advance, as they're determined by the applicant pool. I haven't heard a specific announcement on whether they're accepting both versions of the MCAT in the 2016-17 cycle and that statement doesn't lead me to believe they're leaning one way or the other. If you have significant concerns that you'd like addressed at this time, I would contact the school directly to see if they've made a decision on their MCAT version policy for the 2016-17 cycle.

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Realistically, how many more years do you think there will be enough competitive old MCAT applicants? This year already we saw a lot of people complainning about the unfair cut-off distribution between the old MCAT and the new MCAT. I think it'll be even worse next year as the number of high old MCAT scores decreases year by year. They will have to stop accepting the old MCAT in the near future or the cut offs will be ridiculously low compared to the new MCAT, even more-so than this year.

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Realistically, how many more years do you think there will be enough competitive old MCAT applicants? This year already we saw a lot of people complainning about the unfair cut-off distribution between the old MCAT and the new MCAT. I think it'll be even worse next year as the number of high old MCAT scores decreases year by year. They will have to stop accepting the old MCAT in the near future or the cut offs will be ridiculously low compared to the new MCAT, even more-so than this year.

Just speculation but I don't think the cutoffs for the old MCAT will drop any lower than what they currently are. Anything lower would be giving those with the old MCAT scores a HUGE advantage if they don't adjust the cutoffs for the new one accordingly, but at that point there would be way too many people meeting cutoffs for automatic invitations to be given out. However I could be completely wrong because for whatever reason this year they chose to accommodate applicants who would not have even received invites in the previous few cycles.

 

That said I think many of those with moderate-high old MCAT scores will have gotten in somewhere after this cycle and while I don't think they will stop accepting the old MCAT entirely, they may have high cutoffs to ensure people with 9/11/9 for example are not getting invited over those with competitive scores on the new MCAT.

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Just speculation but I don't think the cutoffs for the old MCAT will drop any lower than what they currently are. Anything lower would be giving those with the old MCAT scores a HUGE advantage if they don't adjust the cutoffs for the new one accordingly, but at that point there would be way too many people meeting cutoffs for automatic invitations to be given out. However I could be completely wrong because for whatever reason this year they chose to accommodate applicants who would not have even received invites in the previous few cycles.

 

That said I think many of those with moderate-high old MCAT scores will have gotten in somewhere after this cycle and while I don't think they will stop accepting the old MCAT entirely, they may have high cutoffs to ensure people with 9/11/9 for example are not getting invited over those with competitive scores on the new MCAT.

 

cut offs are based on the applicant pool. if they're going to keep accepting the old MCAT in the next few years, they will have to artificially lower the cutoffs for the old MCAT at some point, giving the old MCAT takers an unfair advantage to get a sizeable interview pool. otherwise what's the point of accepting the old MCAT if only like 20 people are going to be past the cutoff? I would argue that this point already came this year, others may disagree, but you must see the problem in accepting the old MCAT in the future when the competitive applicant pool will be shrinking every year.

 

I mean, I scored in the 98th percentile on the new MCAT and barely met their cutoffs. a 10/10/11 score distribution is not in the same universe as a 127/127/130. What ever they do, I hope it's fair, unlike what they did this year which imo was not fair at all. Yes, the cutoffs are based on the applicant pool, but how you weight the cutoffs and the number of old MCAT interview spots are controlled internally, so they can't just give the lame "based on applicant pool" excuse.

 

How they handled this was not how I would have handled it, which would have been to accept the old MCAT, but set the cutoffs so that they are proportional between the two versions of the MCAT, even though that may translate to fewer old MCAT interview spots. But what do I know, I'm just an insignificant grain in the wheat farm ;)

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I actually emailed admissions after I bombed my interview this year lol... they said they ARE accepting the old MCAT next year. I think the assumption that the only people applying with the old MCAT are those with low scores is flawed. I have a 96th percentile score and just got around to applying this year. I have a friend who hasn't even applied yet (he will next year) with a 99th percentile score. A lot of people write well in advance to get the mcat out of the way even if they aren't planning on applying right away. 

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Does anyone here know if it's likely that Western will increase the old MCAT VR cutoff to 12 next year?

 

If they plan on setting the CARS cutoff at 130 again, the 2016 percentiles line up perfectly with a 12 VR. Other than that no one knows what they'll do, they might set it at 11 / 130 again. It depends on the application pool and how many students they want to interview from each MCAT.

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If they plan on setting the CARS cutoff at 130 again, the 2016 percentiles line up perfectly with a 12 VR. Other than that no one knows what they'll do, they might set it at 11 / 130 again. It depends on the application pool and how many students they want to interview from each MCAT.

 

Western never set VR to 12 before, however. You had to understand that the old MCAT had wildly varying VR scores that weren't necessarily reflective of... well.. anything. I understand that you scored well on the new MCAT, but it is not completely comparable to the old MCAT. Remember, lots of great people have been admitted to medical schools in the past with an 11 VR, or even lower. :) 

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Agreed ysera! Non-swo requirement set by Western for old MCAT VR was 11; (95 percentile), but they set the new MCAT CARS to 130 (97 percentile); (%tile CARS band ref AAMC); As you perfectly said, does not seem fair for new MCAT score applicants.

 

I mean, I scored in the 98th percentile on the new MCAT and barely met their cutoffs. a 10/10/11 score distribution is not in the same universe as a 127/127/130.

What ever they do, I hope it's fair, unlike what they did this year which imo was not fair at all.

 

Yes, the cutoffs are based on the applicant pool, but how you weight the cutoffs and the number of old MCAT interview spots are controlled internally, so they can't just give the lame "based on applicant pool" excuse.

 

How they handled this was not how I would have handled it, which would have been to accept the old MCAT, but set the cutoffs so that they are proportional between the two versions of the MCAT, even though that may translate to fewer old MCAT interview spots. But what do I know, I'm just an insignificant grain in the wheat farm ;)

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Agreed ysera! Non-swo requirement set by Western for old MCAT VR was 10; (84 percentile), but they set the new MCAT CARS to 130 (97 percentile); (%tile CARS band ref AAMC); As you perfectly said, does not seem fair for new MCAT scores applicants; not a logical conversion at all. The converted requirement CARS score should have been set to 128 (87%) or lower.

 

VR cutoff for non swomen was 11. Which is 95th percentile. 

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Can people stop whining about this? The cycle is done. Nothing is guaranteed in this process for seemingly arbitrary reasons at every school. You aren't entitled to an interview/acceptance at any school. Western's cutoffs are purely reactionary to the applicant pool (which I'd argue is more fair than having a first year med student mark my ABS/Casper/essays at other schools). The lesson here is that if you're close to the cutoff you should apply and hope you're lucky enough to be in the top 450 to be interviewed.

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I don't think it's self-serving. The 12 in bio is more justified than a 130 in CARS because the bio section is more relevant to establishing a knowledge base for future medicine courses.

 

 

It's self serving in the sense that people will complain when they're weak at something, but will be very happy to accept the opportunties their strengths provide. I'd go as far as to say it's cowardly in a sense tbh.

 

Also, I wouldn't say it's justified because the CARS is actually more highly correlated with future success as a physician. The Bio and CP start off with a higher correlation for the first two years of med, but CARS overtakes them as time goes on. At residency, CARS has the highest correlation IIRC while BIO and CP are almost at chance I think (dont' quote that last bit). Source is the studies Ian Walker from Calgary has posted. Check out the videos they post on Calgary's website. 

 

Lastly, it's a little dubious to think that 1st year sciences have significant effect on 1st year med. I haven't started med, so I can't say, but I'd think the higher level sciences would be more indicative of success at medical school science curriculum. 

I think the reason that a lot of people are upset is not simply because 130 is extremely high. It has more to do with the fact that there was such a huge difference between the requirements of the old exam and the new exam. VR 11 is much more achievable than a 130 CARS. People are upset because they feel that this discrepancy is unfair. Yes, Western is reactive in their application processes but other sections or even GPA requirements could have been modified to align the two different applicant pools in a way in which one did not have a significant advantage over the other. 

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I think the complaints are entirely valid. Given the 97th percentile verbal score, that essentially becomes the sole criterion on which interview invites are based (given the lax wGPA and other MCAT subsection scores).

 

Now then, is looking at verbal as the only criterion really supposed to be a holistic assessment?

 

I am not sure how people are yelling "entitlement!!". Western is a public university, supported in part by tax payer dollars. So no, they really can't do whatever the heck they want with respect to requirements. A bit of accountability is not unreasonable.

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Fair enough. But why wouldn't they complain about the Bio going from 10 to 12 one year? That's pretty significant, but no one batted an eye. 

I think no one batted an eye for two reasons.

 

1. Something had to give and everyone knew this. It is more likely to do well on 3 sections than on four (when the writing sample was included) so therefore people will do better overall. This tends to raise cutoffs. Recently people needed a cumulative MCAT of 32 (when only the old MCAT was accepted with 3 sections evaluated). When Western switches to only taking the new MCAT, you will notice that the total cumulative MCAT score will be lower than the 32 equivalent with respect to percentiles simply because of the fact that it is harder to do well on 4 sections compared to 3 sections. It's simple probability and distribution that dictates this.

 

2. Although bio went from a 10 to a 12, it did so for everybody. Nobody can really argue it's unfair. Everybody needed a 12 (with the exception of SWOMEN, but they've always had the exception). It was simply a function of the competitiveness of the applicant pool.

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Thats kind of  circular logic (leading us back to where we started). If something had to give, then the smae can be said about CARS. Bio decreased to 127 so scratch that, but there were so many test takers, CARS increased to 130. It's the same relative difference as bio 10 to 12. No dif here. 

And the second point doens't hold up unfortunately either. The CARS of 130 is for everyone. The only discrepancy is the 11 VR vs. 130 CARS percentiles. Again, something had to give right? 

 

The bottom line is, Western did a decent job with the cutoffs, and people seem to be arbitrarily mad (minus that one point) about the VR and CARS scores. With the amount of griping we hear on every med forum about VR problems, and the generally decent/high science scores, it's reasonable to think people are self serving when they get mad at VR but not at sciences. 

No nothing had to give on the new MCAT because they only evaluated 3 out of the 4 sections as well as the total score for 3 sections. The percentiles should still be relatively the same. The logic is perfectly fine and not circular at all when you consider it properly. Once again, you cannot use the same logic for CARS because like I said people weren't so much upset with the 130 in CARS. It was the fact that you needed an 11 with the old MCAT and a 130 for the new one , huge difference between the two with respect to percentiles. Why such a huge difference on a section which really did not change at all, other than the fact that it was longer. Why should the other sections match up wrt percentiles when the content changed significantly and on the section where the content and structure stays the same there is such a huge discrepancy. Just based on this fact I don't feel they did a good job at all. They could have altered other things such as gpa or other sections to make the discrepancy between old and new MCATs smaller than what it currently is.

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Honestly, As a Western alum they broke my heart this year with their cutoffs. Not because 130 is an extremely high score but because of the fact that they favoured the old MCAT so much more than the new one by allowing a much lower score. I could live with an extremely high cut off for everyone but I cannot with the inequality between the cut off's for the old and new MCAT. 

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Honestly, As a Western alum they broke my heart this year with their cutoffs. Not because 130 is an extremely high score but because of the fact that they favoured the old MCAT so much more than the new one by allowing a much lower score. I could live with an extremely high cut off for everyone but I cannot with the inequality between the cut off's for the old and new MCAT. 

There was no way to avoid the 'discrepancy'. I'm fairly sure they announced that they were only going to evaluate the 3 sections before applications were due so they wouldn't have known what the score distribution would be like until later.

 

They keep GPA low and VR/CARS high because they believe it correlates better with physician success, as a poster mentioned. So what else are they supposed to do? 130 CARS/12 VR? That wouldn't give them the # of interviewees they needed. They just optimized it as best they could. Realize that the blame here should not be on Western, but rather on the old MCAT which had horribly uneven percentile scores. There was a huge difference between 10-11-12 VR but you could never get a score between those benchmarks. How is that Western's fault?

 

Also, Western is essentially being punished for being transparent about their process. If they were like other schools (eg. Queen's) and just didn't tell us anything, then no one would be here complaining.

 

For all we know Queen's throws darts at a dartboard to select their interviewees. How can you be sure every other school treats the two MCAT's fairly? Is it not a problem that people with 125 CARS got Queen's interviews when *presumably* you still needed a 10 VR? But no, the system is only broken when it doesn't favour you, right.

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