Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
dalabreezy

How Important Is A Cars Score For Medical Schools In General?

Recommended Posts

Hi all, thanks for your time.




I just finished receiving the scores of the 2nd attempt at the 2015 MCAT. I'm a 2015 U of Alberta (Canada) graduate who finished his undergrad with a cGPA of 3.75 (3.77 if you ignore the first year).

My extracurriculars are okay. Not amazing, but not bad either. 

My first MCAT (after 2nd year) I got 11/10/10. Didn't apply with it.
My 2nd MCAT I got 516 -- 131/126/130/129. Applied, didn't get interviews at any 8 of the medical schools I applied to here in Canada. I think my letters of reference and application itself could have been done better.

My 3rd attempt I got 521. 132/126/131/132. Unfortunately I couldn't improve my CARS score, which is the reason I re-wrote it. Several schools here in Canada (especially U of Calgary, likely the one I have the highest chance of getting into thanks to my GPA) solely consider the CARS section of the MCAT in their calculations when inviting students over for interviews.

I have a few months left-- I was wondering if it was worth it to rewrite the MCAT simply to boost the CARS mark, if it meant a significantly higher chance of getting an interview.

Thanks for your help guys. Feel free to also contribute if you think this MCAT mark helps me to some particular American Medical schools

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the schools you're applying to. If they require a high CARS score, then you have to rewrite. However,before doing so, I would highly suggest you read up on the schools to see where you would/wouldn't be eligible for simply because 521 is an excellent score, so don't rewrite unless you have to. 

 

 

thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, thanks for your time.

 

I just finished receiving the scores of the 2nd attempt at the 2015 MCAT. I'm a 2015 U of Alberta (Canada) graduate who finished his undergrad with a cGPA of 3.75 (3.77 if you ignore the first year).

 

My extracurriculars are okay. Not amazing, but not bad either. 

 

My first MCAT (after 2nd year) I got 11/10/10. Didn't apply with it.

My 2nd MCAT I got 516 -- 131/126/130/129. Applied, didn't get interviews at any 8 of the medical schools I applied to here in Canada. I think my letters of reference and application itself could have been done better.

 

My 3rd attempt I got 521. 132/126/131/132. Unfortunately I couldn't improve my CARS score, which is the reason I re-wrote it. Several schools here in Canada (especially U of Calgary, likely the one I have the highest chance of getting into thanks to my GPA) solely consider the CARS section of the MCAT in their calculations when inviting students over for interviews.

 

I have a few months left-- I was wondering if it was worth it to rewrite the MCAT simply to boost the CARS mark, if it meant a significantly higher chance of getting an interview.

 

Thanks for your help guys. Feel free to also contribute if you think this MCAT mark helps me to some particular American Medical schools

I assume you are IP for Calgary and UofA?

 

With your MCAT score, i would definitely re-apply to Sask(strong chance of interview), and maybe Manitoba too?(Not sure how they do GPAs).  Tough your CARS won't budge. I would be open to applying to the U.S. with the 521 MCAT.  If you can't afford the US and/or have no luck, you may have to retake...but I would NOT RUSH to retake now. Re-Apply and see how it goes first in Canada  again etc.

 

I wouldn't retake. You've likely plateuad, and you wouldn't want to risk losing those brilliant science scores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Work on other areas. Your GPA is likely more of a barrier than CARS, especially for UofA (guessing you are IP there too?) 

 

What's your GPA breakdown like? I.e. are your later years much higher? Whats your weighted GPA (for Toronto), if you qualify?

 

It's hard to say, but right now I think building on your non-academics as much as you possibly can this summer is your best bet. Those are worth a lot at UofC, Queen's, etc., and 2-3 months can make an impact if you really try

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume you are IP for Calgary and UofA?

With your MCAT score, i would definitely re-apply to Sask(strong chance of interview), and maybe Manitoba too?(Not sure how they do GPAs).  Tough your CARS won't budge. I would be open to applying to the U.S. with the 521 MCAT.  If you can't afford the US and/or have no luck, you may have to retake...but I would NOT RUSH to retake now. Re-Apply and see how it goes first in Canada  again etc.

I wouldn't retake. You've likely plateuad, and you wouldn't want to risk losing those brilliant science scores.

 

Feeling like I'm plateauing with CARS too. And even if I improve to like a 128 I might drop elsewhere. Just a bummer, all of my practice CARS tests indicated I was gonna crush it. And I'm not one to suffer to exam stress. But hey, c'est la vie.

 

 

 

I think this is what I might end up doing, when you put it that way. Apply with this MCAT mark, and rewrite if I realize that I can't get in anywhere without a 127-128 in CARS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Work on other areas. Your GPA is likely more of a barrier than CARS, especially for UofA (guessing you are IP there too?) 

 

What's your GPA breakdown like? I.e. are your later years much higher? Whats your weighted GPA (for Toronto), if you qualify?

 

It's hard to say, but right now I think building on your non-academics as much as you possibly can this summer is your best bet. Those are worth a lot at UofC, Queen's, etc., and 2-3 months can make an impact if you really try

 

Posted the breakdown above. Any ideas for that 2-3 months of impactful commitment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted the breakdown above. Any ideas for that 2-3 months of impactful commitment?

Specifics don't matter, in my experience. But do as much as you can of things you'll be able to write/speak passionately about. Be diverse, try and cover areas you might be weaker in. Even if you're working 9-5, volunteer 4 nights a week. It's busy, and sure it's not the best way to do things, but any experience that could get you extra points, so give it a shot. 

 

The breakdown helps a bit-you can certainly apply to Queen's with that, and try Manitoba to see if your MCAT is enough (although it might be tricky). I was just wondering if there would be a bigger anomaly, like a 3.2 year or something, that's why I asked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For U of C, CARS is 10% of the pre-interview score and your multiple MCAT re-writes are only one part of the global academic context score which makes up another 10%...your best move here is going to be writing a stellar Top 10/beefing up your ECs if necessary and having strong LORs. 60% of the pre-interview score is your non-cognitive attributes and the remaining 20% is GPA.

 

GPA is sufficient for med school and MCAT should be enough. It will be tougher with the low CARS score but certainly possible as you are IP for U of A and U of C.

 

If you don't get any interviews/acceptances in the upcoming cycle after improving ECs/application writing/more targeted LORs, then consider moving to BC for IP status as well.

 

Read up on the advice found on these forums and watch the application tip podcasts by Dr. Ian Walker on the U of C website. That should help you out. 

 

Lookup the CANMEDS roles and make sure you have meaningful experiences that demonstrate each of these competencies and that you make this explicit/well-understood in your applications.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For U of C, CARS is 10% of the pre-interview score and your multiple MCAT re-writes are only one part of the global academic context score which makes up another 10%...your best move here is going to be writing a stellar Top 10/beefing up your ECs if necessary and having strong LORs. 60% of the pre-interview score is your non-cognitive attributes and the remaining 20% is GPA.

 

GPA is sufficient for med school and MCAT should be enough. It will be tougher with the low CARS score but certainly possible as you are IP for U of A and U of C.

 

If you don't get any interviews/acceptances in the upcoming cycle after improving ECs/application writing/more targeted LORs, then consider moving to BC for IP status as well.

 

Read up on the advice found on these forums and watch the application tip podcasts by Dr. Ian Walker on the U of C website. That should help you out. 

 

Lookup the CANMEDS roles and make sure you have meaningful experiences that demonstrate each of these competencies and that you make this explicit/well-understood in your applications.

 

Wow this was helpful. Had NOOO idea CARS was just 10% of my pre interview score. Dang.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...