The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Podcast 89: Admissions to Medical School Without the MCAT

Today, Dr. Mehta focusses on how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the 2020/2021 application cycles!

Every year there are about 22,000 seats in US medical schools with around 50,000 applicants. About ⅓ of those students take the MCAT between March and June. Those students cannot take the MCAT now.

[1:38] How schools will be able to judge applicants that did not take the MCAT.

Most medical schools will accept the same amount of students as normal. Schools have already started to think about this, with many saying they either will not consider the MCAT at all or they will consider students without an MCAT score. Schools mainly judged applicants on GPA and MCAT scores. They also considered your interview, extra curriculars, etc., but these two were the main factors. MCAT gave schools the ability to standardize.

[4:10] How to make sure your application shines without the MCAT

Your GPA is going to play a bigger role. If it is very strong, go ahead and apply, but if your GPA is weaker and you were planning on relying on the MCAT score to boost you, it might not make sense for you to apply this year. If you have a high GPA and plan to apply, how you craft yourself is going to be even more important because schools are going to be looking at people more holistically. Schools are not going to be able to cut off applicants as “well” as they used to, so your personal statement and the overall crafting of your application is going to be even more important than it used to be.

[7:45] What to do if you’ve taken the MCAT already and were relying on the second test date to boost your score and be more competitive.

If you’re going to apply, the reality is that the lower score will be on your application. If you already have an MCAT score, it is going to be submitted. How deeply your score is going to be considered is based on each school, and may even be based on each admissions reviewer.

[8:58] Positives and negatives of schools not considering the MCAT.

You really have to be a great applicant this year to stand out. If you have a low GPA, a lot of people with high GPAs are still going to be applying and you have to consider that. Don’t think this application year will be easier because schools are not considering the MCAT. This is a chance to make your application stand out more holistically and really think about what would make you a good applicant in the eyes of admissions reviewers.

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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