Thursday, July 18, 2013

Should you retake the MCAT?

One of the most important factors in your med school application, whether you decide to attend a Caribbean Medical School or a US medical school is your MCAT score. Most successful applicants score a minimum of 30, but the test is designed to have a median score of 24-25. This means that half of the people who take the test will have a score too low to get into medical school. Most medical school applicants will at least briefly consider  retaking the test, but before making that decision, it is important to consider a number of factors.

The first thing you need to consider is the necessity of retaking the MCAT. If you scored 30 or higher on the MCAT and have a strong application you will have a good chance of getting accepted into medical school. However, if the remainder of your application is poor, even with a great score, your chances of getting admitted are poor. Your time and energy would be better spent, in that case, on improving other areas of your Medical application by gaining clinical experience or volunteering. Another consideration is the likelihood that you will get a higher score. If your MCAT score is within three points of your practice scores, it is unlikely you will improve.
Most re-testers score within three points of their original score, and your score may go down. This is a good reason to seriously consider whether you need to retake the test, particularly since it will require you to invest a lot of time and energy. If you had extenuating circumstances that impacted your score on test day, such as a sickness or personal issues, you will have a better likelihood of doing better the second time. You need to look at how indicative your score is to your ability. If you really think you could do at least three points better or you have a plan to help improve your score, it is probably worth retaking the test. Think about what part of your test preparation strategy you would change. You will be more likely to improve if you have a better strategy, such as taking an MCAT prep course or having a better study schedule. The sub scores will also be an important factor. A sub score below a 7 in any area would be a good reason to retake the test. If you scored low in any section, particularly verbal reasoning, it can cause your application to be rejected.

If you think you will do better the second time and your score is subpar, you should consider retaking the test. However, if you have less persuasive motivations or don’t think you can make the alterations you would need to make to improve your score, it wouldn’t make sense to retake the test. You may want to consider other career options, or take a look at less competitive schools. Remember, once you have your MD, you will likely find work as a doctor regardless of your medical .Caribbean Medical Schools are slightly less competitive and may be a better option to successfully achieve your MD than retaking the exam.


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