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fourth MCAT worth it?


Medase
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So I took the MCAT the third time (Aug 3), studying CARs heavily, and still no improvement on CARS for this one :( (129/125/129/130). This is the second time I took the MCAT this summer, and I still have a chance to take the Sep 14 MCAT. Is it worth taking it a fourth time, third time this summer? I've been studying CARS for the last month just in case my score went below UofT cutoffs, but should I take another chance? I applied to the states and all, but UofT/Mac/Western/Queens is my prime place to be in, just CARS is killing my chances for most of these places rn. If I do take it this Sep 14, I will have no issue with the other sections, and CARS is a blackbox for me (127+ practice scores don't match up with my real scores. Also will taking three MCATs during one summer, 4 in total, flag me anywhere in the Canadian medical school system?

 

My background

First two MCATs: (128/122/128/128) and (129/124/131/126)

OMSAS cGPA: 3.91, wGPA: 3.95

ECs: pretty extensive

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I think if you aren't concerned about your CARS dropping below 124 for UofT, take it again. Schools in Ontario also don't care about how many times you take the MCAT, they all look at your most recent MCAT with the exception of Queen's which looks at your best.

Are you considering applying to Ottawa?

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First, congratulations on your score. Your C/P, B/B, P/S scores are really good! 

I took the MCAT for the 4th time on Aug 2 trying to improve CARS from a 125. I actually got the same score as you last year, where all of my sections were high and ideal but CARS was stuck at that 125. Yesterday, I checked my score and I actually got a 129. This is after getting a 125 on 3 MCATS over 3 years. 

However... I would only re-take it for CARS if:

- you scored higher on practice AAMC exams (127+)
- don't think this score is reflective of what you're capable of - i.e. you usually do really well when you practice CARS/score fairly high on practice exams
- test day did not go as planned or something happened during the CARS section (maybe you got nervous and read faster/more carefully than you normally would, went too slow and didn't finish on time or anything else out of character)
- you have been doing something different in CARS over this past month 

If test day went as it did when you write practice exams or your score of 125 is what you normally get on practice exams (125-127) or you have been practicing CARS the same way over the past month then I would recommend not re-taking it this september. You did really good in all of your other sections. At the end of the day the choice is up to you. You also have the opportunity to re-write it next summer so you can work on your CARS strategy/practice more. This is what I personally needed. I was so burnt out after writing my MCAT last summer I knew it was only going to hinder my performance if I wrote the MCAT for the second time that summer. This summer, I studied all over again for 4 months and practiced 4-6 CARS passages every single day, timed. It was really hard mentally to go through the entire process once again. This time around I changed how I kept track of time and how i read the passage, and it made a big difference (125-->129). I think I got a 125 three times in a row because I kept using the same strategy every year, only did 2 practice passages a day (except on days i did practice exams) and I didn't take the time to go through my right and wrong answers after I did it. I had the mentality that its "just reading" and I would somehow pull through on test day and all the cards would fall in my favour. This year, I did not have that mentality and I took CARS very very seriously. I made sure I had my timing down and I never missed out on doing passages or taking the time to review time. Whatever choice you make will be the right one for you. Good luck!!

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18 hours ago, Trunkate said:

I think if you aren't concerned about your CARS dropping below 124 for UofT, take it again. Schools in Ontario also don't care about how many times you take the MCAT, they all look at your most recent MCAT with the exception of Queen's which looks at your best.

Are you considering applying to Ottawa?

I am not applying to Ottawa, my fourth year GPA slumped down a bit, lowering my Ottawa GPA to 3.89.

 

 

2 hours ago, Britesharpie93 said:

First, congratulations on your score. Your C/P, B/B, P/S scores are really good! 

I took the MCAT for the 4th time on Aug 2 trying to improve CARS from a 125. I actually got the same score as you last year, where all of my sections were high and ideal but CARS was stuck at that 125. Yesterday, I checked my score and I actually got a 129. This is after getting a 125 on 3 MCATS over 3 years. 

However... I would only re-take it for CARS if:

- you scored higher on practice AAMC exams (127+)
- don't think this score is reflective of what you're capable of - i.e. you usually do really well when you practice CARS/score fairly high on practice exams
- test day did not go as planned or something happened during the CARS section (maybe you got nervous and read faster/more carefully than you normally would, went too slow and didn't finish on time or anything else out of character)
- you have been doing something different in CARS over this past month 

If test day went as it did when you write practice exams or your score of 125 is what you normally get on practice exams (125-127) or you have been practicing CARS the same way over the past month then I would recommend not re-taking it this september. You did really good in all of your other sections. At the end of the day the choice is up to you. You also have the opportunity to re-write it next summer so you can work on your CARS strategy/practice more. This is what I personally needed. I was so burnt out after writing my MCAT last summer I knew it was only going to hinder my performance if I wrote the MCAT for the second time that summer. This summer, I studied all over again for 4 months and practiced 4-6 CARS passages every single day, timed. It was really hard mentally to go through the entire process once again. This time around I changed how I kept track of time and how i read the passage, and it made a big difference (125-->129). I think I got a 125 three times in a row because I kept using the same strategy every year, only did 2 practice passages a day (except on days i did practice exams) and I didn't take the time to go through my right and wrong answers after I did it. I had the mentality that its "just reading" and I would somehow pull through on test day and all the cards would fall in my favour. This year, I did not have that mentality and I took CARS very very seriously. I made sure I had my timing down and I never missed out on doing passages or taking the time to review time. Whatever choice you make will be the right one for you. Good luck!!

Thanks for the advice! Honestly I haven't changed my strategy during these past month of studying CARS, just practicing more on focusing on linking details in the passage and main idea (alongside the usual techniques). I might just wait it out and see how this cycle goes. 

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