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[I] > Time: Tue, 31-Oct-2000 02:33:37 GMT
> Hi Rich:
> Your website has been incredibly helpful. I was wondering is it possible to
> transfer from an osteopathic school to medical school. Thanks for your help!!

Yes, but you have to start over as a first year medical student.

[II] Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2000
> Hi-
> How long does it take to get the results from the
> August MCAT?
> Sheryl

2 months, you should have received them by now.


[III] > Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2000 16:40:46 -0500 (EST)
> Subject: Re: mcat
> Thank you very much for your response. I have already sent a letter to the
> MCAT Center in Iowa asking for a regrade. But I was just curious whether you
> had ever heard of cases where some type of scoring error was made on the MCAT.
> For instance, in one of the archived e-mails I read on your website, one
> person talked about his getting 13, 13, and a 3 in VR. It seems pretty
> obvious that the 3 was some type of mistake. However, the person never found
> out what had happened (whether he made a scantron mistake or the computer
> simply graded his Verbal section incorrectly). Nevertheless, I was wondering
> if a mistake is possible, and if it is a mistake on my part (i.e. a scantron
> transfer error), will the MCAT Center tell me that? It would just help me to
> decide whether to take the test again. Thanks in advance for your time. -NP


While I have not heard of any specific cases of scoring errors on the MCAT I
believe it is a fair assumption to surmise that they do occur, but that they
are rare. It is possible for an error to occur through no fault of your own
should your answer key be handled in such a way as to cause the scanning
devise to misread your answer selections.

I do not believe you would be informed of a scantron transfer error.

[IV] > Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 22:47:01 -0800
> Hi: I'd like to start off by apologizing if this is not the correct way to
> contact you (as opposed to posting questions somewhere). I really need some
> advice, and I feel your insight will be priceless. I am a senior at UCLA with
> a 3.92 cumm GPA, 3.94 science. I am phi beta kappa and have volunteered in a
> lab for 20hrs/week for the last two years. I have also begun volunteer work
> in a hospital and a mentoring program for disadvantaged youths. I am majoring
> in biochemistry and am just short of a minor in Spanish linguistics. I just
> received my august MCATs and I'm not sure if I should retake (I will be
> applying in June 2001). V8/PS12/BS10/S I know a thirty is a competitive
> score, but an eight is far short of great. ROCK BOTTOM scores for a retake are
> V8/PS11/BS10 I am confident that I will score a V9/PS12/BS11. I was averaging
> V9-10/PS12-13/BS11-12 on all the AAMC practice tests. HOWEVER, I did study my
> booty off for the august exam and I would dread a retake. I feel I know where
> my weaknesses are for the bio, so that can be improved. Is a one point
> increase in the verbal and bio significant (32)? Should I even risk going
> down to my rock bottom 29? I should also note that I would like to go to a
> top med school, and this may dictate the need for a retake. Thank you so much
> for your time.


If you retake the MCAT, I am assuming it will be for admission in 2002.

If you are not accepted for admission in 2001, you should retake the MCAT,
and an increase of just a point or two can make the difference. Besides, if
you are not accepted for 2001 admission and do not retake, it will not look
good. If you believe you can improve your verbal score than you really
should retake. Right now retaking the MCAT may feel like a royal pain, but
years from now you may be very glad you went ahead with it.

Good luck,
[V] > Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 13:12:39 -0800 (PST)
> Hi Rich,
> I wanted to know what chances you think I have in getting into medical school.
> I'm going to graduate from college with a GPA of 3.3. I know it is low for
> medical school, but my school has a very competitive biology program and I
> think that the B's at my school are equivalent to A's at others. Also, my
> MCAT score is a 27, but I'm planning to retake it in April. I wanted to hear
> a realistic assessment of my chances. I will also be taking a year or two off
> of school so that all four years of grades will be reviewed. In addition, I
> am hoping to either get a job doing clinical research or apply to a graduate
> school to get a degree in public health. I'm not sure which will be more
> beneficial to my ultimate goal of becoming a doctor. I have a few questions
> for you: Do you think that going to a high ranking undergraduate school with a
> competitive pre-med program will be factored into assessing my grades?

Yes, it will.

> What do you think would be a better use of my time before applying to med
> school, working in research or continuing with school?

You need to get your GPA up and get clinical experience. If you go to
graduate school your graduate GPA will be far more important than your
undergraduate GPA. Whatever gets your GPA up and provides you with solid
clinical experience is fine.

> I'm interested in doing both so now it is just a matter of figuring out which
> path to follow. I will appreciate any advice you have to offer.
> Thanks,
> Jo

[VI] > Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2000 09:11:16 -0800 (PST)
>I have a concern dealing with my
> 4-year degree in Pre-Med. I advanced placed out of 23 credit hours and took
> 10 credit hours during summer school so I started my first fall semester as a
> sophomore. Do you think this will benefit or affect me during the application
> process?

It helps; its a positive sign of your abilities.

> Also, by the end of the next semester I will have finished all the
> requirements for the MCAT (2 years of chem, 1 year of physics and biology). I
> know have a 4.0 GPA and maintaing at least a 3.94 wouldn't be difficult for
> the next two years. Do you think this will help me out to do well on the MCAT
> this Spring 2001?

It may, or may not. As you have commented below, the MCAT is a very
different test from the exams given by your professors.

> I am also the top student in my physics I, Organic I, Gen. Chem I and II, and
> Biol I and II since I usually finish studying most or all of the lecture
> material during the summer. I would also like to know how much mathematics is
> on the science tests in the MCAT.

Except for a bare minimum of algebra and Trig and elementary mathematics
(addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), and some use of logs,
there is almost no math on the MCAT.

> I took REA's course test with timed conditions and I made a 12 on the verbal
> and a 13 on the physical science but I used my calculator very often since the
> problems were similar to the problems in my science classes, then I took the
> Princeton Review test given by the Pre-Med Association in my school and I
> scored a 6 on the verbal, 7 on the physical, and 6 on the biological, but on
> this test the physicial science also required me to do only two problems
> mathematically. Is this how the MCAT really is?

REA's practice tests do not resemble the MCAT except in the crudest possible
way. Princeton Reviews materials do, but they may be pumping up the
difficulty level of some of their exams for commercial reasons.

> Why do undergraduate science classes (physics and chemistry)put so much
> emphasis on mathematics if the MCAT doesn't really require a lot of
> mathematics?

Because these courses are not primarily intended to prepare you for the
MCAT. They tend to factual and numerical, while the MCAT tends to be
conceptual and proportional.

> Also, the other seven students did as badly as I did. I and two other people
> had the highest scores, a 19 overall, which makes me think if this test truly
> reflects our real MCAT scores. Why is there such a difference in the two
> scores?

See above.

> Also, do you think that wanting to finish in 3 years is impossible since I
> already have one year worth of credits and I only need two more years.

I am not sure if I understand your question. You could finish in two years,
but if you wished could also extend your matriculation for an additional

> Moreover, most medical schools (LSU Medical School in N.O. and Shreveport)
> only require 90 credit hours or 3 years. Your help will be greatly
> apreciated.
> Sincerely,
> J. C.

> Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 14:20:04 -0800 (PST)
> What I meant was that most schools require you to have at least 90 credit
> hours before going to med school. I advanced placed out of 33 hours and all I
> have to do is go to two more normal years (each worth an average of 30 credit
> hours) to be able to apply to medical school and get accepted.

--------OK, I understand--No, I do not think it is impossible.
[VII] > Time: Thu, 09-Nov-2000 21:40:00 GMT
> Hi, Rich. WOW, your sight is great!! I had a question, I got a C- in Organic
> I and I am presently taking it over. Does that look bad when you take over a
> course? Also, I heard of a school in the Domincan Republic that excepts you
> without an MCAT score. Do you know if that looks good or bad for me to go to
> an off-shore medical school like this when it is time to apply for residency?
> The school is U.S affliated. HELP!!


It looks best if you do well and do not retake. If you make a C-, its a plus
if you retake and make an "A". If you retake and make an B (from a C-) you
may have broke even. If mitigating circumstances are involved, a retake
looks even better. Also, too many retakes, irregardless of your grades, may
hurt your chances.

It is considerably harder to compete for residency, especially competitive
positions, if you are from a foreign medical school.

[VIII] > Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2000 12:25:51 EST
> what does an undergraduate need to get into med school? are there grade point
> minimums, mcat minimums? any where these statistics are noted on the
> internet?
> thanks

The average score of a student admitted to medical school is currently a 3.5
GPA with and a 3.5 Science GPA and MCAT scores of 10, 10, 10. A GPA of 3.2
and combined MCAT score of a 35 would give a student a 50% shot; and with a
combined MCAT score of 28 a GPA of 3.95 would also put an applicant in the
50% category.

Each school sets their own minimums. This information is posted in MSAR.
See: and at

[IX] > Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 16:39:05 EST
> Hi,
> I saw your email address on the mentorship website so I thought I would email
> you w/ my questions, and thought maybe you can help. Well, I was researching
> on my career options and I decided that I wanted to become a doctor. I am a
> freshman at a jr. college in California and I plan to transfer to an
> university next year. I plan to get my bachelors in nursing. I decided nursing
> would become a steping stone towards medicine. Would I be in disadvantage
> later when I apply to MS? What are my chances getting in? I was wondering
> what science classes that you would recommend that I take especially before my
> junior year? I'm not taking any science classes this semester. Does this
> necessarily mean that I would fall behind on the prereq courses for medical
> school? Also, do you have any other suggestions that would help me? Your help
> and answers would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks
> Pam

Hi Pam,
There is a real risk in answering the questions you pose, because with every
question you ask I feel compelled to ask you some questions of my own, and I
am not sure it is possible to reliably answer your questions without a
dialog. In cases like this I believe it is best for you to seek out a
pre-health advisor and meet face to face, so that you can become more
informed concerning the process of medical school admission, and so that
your advisor can learn more about your expectations and plans.

[X] > Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 16:10:30 -0800
> Hi Rich, I cannot afford to go through a prep course and from what I've read
> on your website and on various others, it probably wouldn't be worth it
> anyways. So, I plan on purchasing the Kaplan MCAT Comprehensive Review (pub
> 11/2000) and the Practice Tests from AAMC as well as the Student Manual (which
> I believe AAMC is now selling separately from the Practice Test I). Is there
> anything else I need or that you recommend as I commence my preparation for
> what is bound to be one of the most excruciating days of my life?
> Thanks,
> Deborah

Hi Deborah,

No, in my opinion, that is all you need.

Good luck,


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