Re-taking MCAT after submitting AMCAS & beginning to receive secondary app invites

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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:57 pm

Re-taking MCAT after submitting AMCAS & beginning to receive secondary app invites

Post by applicant21 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:06 pm

Hi! I applied for the 2021 cycle. I was supposed to take my MCAT in April but due to COVID it got pushed back to May...then end of June...I finally took it end of June and received my scores today. However, I submitted my AMCAS apps early on so that they would be in. I got my scores back today and did better than I was expecting, after the way I felt walking out of the testing center that day. I got 505 (125/125/129/126). However, my psych/soc section is usually better by at least 2 points so I'm definitely bummed about that but pleased with my bio/biochem section.

Anyways, I've started to receive secondary app invitations from schools but am considering sitting for the exam again because I believe that if I do more *timed practice*, I will perform better. The date I am looking at is Aug 14. However, I'm concerned that if I retake the exam, my application may be put on hold until I get my scores back and during that time, interview slots will be given out. Or, in the event that I don't do as well, that will reflect poorly. Is my score competitive, and should I retake the exam in August? Also, any information on the status of secondary applications if there's a new pending MCAT exam would be greatly, greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance & good luck to all my fellow applicants! :)
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 7:25 pm

Re: Re-taking MCAT after submitting AMCAS & beginning to receive secondary app invites

Post by NS_Tutor_Nancy » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:33 am


So a lot of different factors go into the decision to retake or not. You've already applied this cycle, so you're already invested in seeing it through. A 505 is not a really competitive score, I believe the average MCAT score of accepted medical students is around 510-511. That's not to say that individuals with a 505 don't get into medical school, it depends on the competitiveness of the schools you applied to (for example did you only apply to schools like Harvard and NYU with average MCATs of 518-520) and the rest of your application. If you were looking for your MCAT score to make up for a not so great GPA or lack luster activities, this isn't a score that will help you out there. However, if you have a really strong application otherwise, that could maybe help some schools overlook a not so great MCAT score.

As far as whether or not to take the MCAT again, I'd say it depends. August 14th is only a month away. There is no point in retaking the exam if you are going to get the same score. If you were taking practice exams and getting consistently higher scores and then just flubbed on test day, then taking it again could be a good idea. Or if you are really going to kick it into high gear and dedicate a significant portion of your time over this month to studying, then maybe retaking it could be a good idea as well.

As far as whether a school will put your application on hold when they see you are retaking the MCAT or if they will just make judgements based off your current score until they get the new score, that's a bit more of a grey area that could depend on the specific medical school. I'd recommend calling the admissions office of the schools that you applied to and just ask them what the school's policy would be in the event you decide to retake it.

I hope this helps and good luck!
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