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MCAT Retake – is it worth it?

Learn important information about when and if you should consider an MCAT Retake

Should I retake the MCAT?

A question we get asked frequently! A great question with a lot of potential ramifications. Here are three quick ideas on how to think about it.

Practice tests are a key

What were you scoring on practice tests? This is the most important question you need to ask yourself. Now, if you studied your butt off and you were scoring 510s on practice tests and you came out with a 511 on your test day, you probably don’t have much room to improve. But, if you were scoring 520s on practice tests and then all of a sudden came out with a 510 on your test day, I would say that, absolutely you should retake the test. So really thinking about how you were scoring on practice tests, is essential in understanding if you should  retake the MCAT or not.

How did test day go?

The next thing we often tell people is, what happened on test day? Did you freak out? Did you forget to do a section? Did you leave early? If any of these things happen, then again, absolutely you should retake the test. If there were any sub-optimal testing conditions or you felt like you just didn’t put your best in on that individual day, then yes, retaking the test potentially has a lot of great impact for you.

What are your medical school goals?

The last thing you should think about, is understanding your individual goals. Are you only interested in the top ten M.D. School or are you considering potentially also applying osteopathic schools? You should check out AMC’s data, which gives you a wide range of MCAT scores and where people were accepted to. Figure out what your individual goal is, if you really only wanted to get into Harvard, then yes, if you got a 510 you absolutely have to retake the MCAT. But if you’re more happy with a wider range of schools, then maybe with your GPA and your MCAT, you don’t need to retake the test.

These are all some important things to think about to help you decide if you’re going to retake the MCAT or not.

Sahil Mehta

Sahil Mehta M.D. is an attending physician in the Department of Radiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Founder of MedSchoolCoach. Dr Mehta is one of the world’s experts on medical school admissions having founded MedSchoolCoach in 2007. MedSchoolCoach provides admissions consulting to premedical students in the form of interview preparation, essay editing and general advising. In the past 10 years, he has had a hand in over a thousand acceptances to medical school.

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