| PREMED ZONE
> Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 23:04:23
> Dear Rich,
> Thank you for the incredible amount of information you have
put into your
> I am a biology major finishing my junior year at Georgetown
and have just
> taken the MCAT in April. I am interested in taking a year
off in between
> college and medical school, and I was wondering if you could
give me any
> advice about how I would go about it and whether it would
hurt my chances
> of admission. I would like to take the time to gain some
> clinical or research experience in addition to participating
> volunteer program in India. Is it possible, as people often
> undergraduate schools, to apply to medical school and then
> admission for a year after gaining acceptance, or would
it be better to
> simply wait until June of my senior year to enroll in 2003?
> I also have a question regarding required courses for medical
> received AP credit at Georgetown for Physics, such that
I did not have to
> take it for my Biology major. I decided, however, to take
> of Mechanics anyway in order to help me with the MCAT. Do
you know if
> medical schools will require me to take another semester
of Physics in
> spite of testing out of it?
Getting a deferred admission is possible although it may be
you have a very strong record. This would be your best bet. If
you can not,
its not such a big deal. Sounds like you'll be putting that extra
good use. As a result, this should not hurt your chances for
Some medical schools accept AP credits and others do not.
(http://premed411.com/home) for details.
> Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 16:36:15
> Dear Rich,
> First thank-you for your web site. I found it so useful.
I wonder if you
> could give me some information on what kind of response
I can expect from med
> schools given my situation and what kind of MCAT score I
should be shooting
> for. In brief, my undergrad science GPA is about a 3.2 and
> with a major in Biology. I am 28 and have been working in
> this time, doing clinical trials. I took the MCAT in 97
and got a 10-Verbal
> and 7-in the sciences. I have a lot of clinical experience
but clearly lack
> in the GPA department. I live in California now, and really
want to go back
> to medical school, anywhere. I am taking the August MCAT
and want to know
> what I should do with the previous score in terms of sending
them or not and
> what do you think I really need to get on the MCAT to be
> Thanks for any information you can provide.
I'd advise you not to send the previous scores. To be competitive
10's across the board. Because of the 3.2 GPA in the sciences
an 11 in the
physical or in biological sciences would be very helpful.
> Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 01:19:20
> I'm writing about applying to medical school for 2002. I
> from Brown University with a B.Sc. in 96. I majored in Molecular
> which was an major I designed myself, and later served as
the model for an
> official degree program in Computational Chemistry. I was
a pre-med student,
> and I graduated Brown with a GPA of 3.6. I took the MCAT
and got an overall
> score of 40 (15 Verbal, 13 Bio, 12 Physics).
> After working for a software company in New York for a year,
I applied to both
> medical school and graduate school in Computer Science in
1997. Somewhere in
> the high tech rush it slipped my mind how my whole life
I've dreamed of being > a
> doctor, and I succumbed to the trend of the times and entered
> program in Computer Science at the University of Washington,
> there I received a M.Sc. in C.S. in 1999, with a GPA of
> As I've learned more and more about life in the years since
> I have regretted not going to med school. Especially when
I see my father
> is a doctor), and the joy he gets from working with patients.
> So I've decided to follow my life long dream and go to medical
> have heard schools look for students with diverse backgrounds
> track records to enrich the school. I hope I fit the bill
and can get in, but
> first I have some questions about the application procedure.
> Will I have to take the MCAT again, or will schools accept
my current score
> (from August 1995)? Do you know which schools will (Im out
of the country and
> don't have access to the MSAR)? Can I write and convince
some schools to
> my old scores?
> It would be my preference not to take the exam again. I
am in India working
> a project for the World Bank
> until late August, so I will not be able to come back and
prepare to take the
> exam this year. Taking the test next April would delay my
> 2003, and I would really rather not lose another year at
> (By the way, I am currently working in Gujarat, site of
the recent earthquake.
> I really regretted the lack of a proper medical education
during that time.
> Quite often I found myself playing amateur doctor in the
> my pre-med education and my years of experience w/ my pops.
That might have
> been the final thing to convince me I really should become
> Any advice or support you could give me would be greatly
Most schools will not accept MCAT scores from 1995, but with
your record you
may be able to get that to get restriction waived. I'd put the
odds at less
than 10% though.
In the advise and support categories:
Advice--don't phrase it like this ...
> it slipped my mind how my whole life
I've dreamed of being a doctor
...when you go for an interview :-)
Support--if you want to go to medical school you certainly
can. You are obviously
an individual with exceptional abilities.
> Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 17:52:44
> I have a question about the one
year accelerated masters programs available
> for students who want to boost their credentials before
applying to med
> school. In many I have heard that the masters student takes
courses with and
> is graded against med students to show their competence
in medical school
> courses. My question is how competetive these programs are
to get into for
> students with borderline grades around 3.3-3.4 and mcat
scores above 30? How
> much do these programs help if the student does well in
You should be able to gain admittance to most of these programs
credentials you mention.
The effectiveness of these programs various greatly, and I
am not aware of
any independent agency that evaluates them. Some programs do
that can be of some help in evaluating effectiveness, but it
advisable to try to speak with students who have completed the
are interested in, in order to obtain additional information.
> Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 09:44:09
> I graduated with a BS in Biology in 1995 with a science
GPA of 3.0 and an
> overall of 2.5...pretty bad (my last 2 semesters I got A's
& B's). Since then
> I have been working full time as a Firefighter / Paramedic
for a busy City
> Dept. Now that I've gotten a bit older I've decided I absolutely
want to go to
> Med School. I know I can do well at College, I simply didn't
put in the effort
> before. What classes do you recommend I take. Should I just
> classes? 400 level ones, or take some graduate classes.
I plan to take at
> least one semester of Organic even though I took it in Undergrad
> ago). For the MCAT I'm sure I can review the Bio, Physics,
and most Chem
> material on my own. Basically what overall plan of attack
would you recommend
> to someone who is going on 29 and wants to take the most
> Thanks, Russ
The first thing you need to do is regain the knowledge that
over the years, and to take two semesters of physics if you have
not done so
already. You could do this by retaking courses, auditing courses,
study. My advise is to audit. You'd want to take the MCAT when
you get back
up to speed, and when you'd had time to prepare adequately for
Concurrent with this, or subsequent to it, a graduate program
in a medically
related science is your best bet because your graduate grades
apart from your undergraduate grades, and will supercede all
grades. Just taking more undergraduate courses will not accomplish
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 22:06:39 EDT
Subject: I love this site with bunch of questions
I'm becoming a junior this upcoming spring and I didn't know
how to prepare for MCAT or when to take the exam until two days
ago. When I
found out that I have to take the exam in April 2002, I got scared
and I'm still shaking from anxiety. I have a G.P.A of 3.75 and
transferring to CSULB (Cal State Long Beach) this fall to get
my major in B.S
in Biochemistry and minor in B.A in Chemistry. They both have
subjects except B.S in Biochem has three more additional courses,
thought its better to take them both. However, I have no volunteering
experiences, and I haven't done any community work except being
tutor for about a year. I also still haven't taken my physics
classes yet, I
had a year of physics in high school, but that was outside the
U.S; thus I
figured it out that I have to take it again to know the terms
and material in
English. I still haven't taken my organic chemistries yet, basically
taking them this upcoming fall and spring and I'm not planning
to take my
physics until summer 2002, so what should I do? Take the MCAT
2002 or wait for August 2002? Or maybe wait to apply in my senior
year? If I
take the exam in August, I will be finished with my physics,
and Biochem classes. However, If I take it in April, I will be
with my Organic Chems and Biology Classes. What would u recommend?
Unfortunately none of the hospitals or clinics in the area that
now offer volunteering positions dealing with patients or doctors,
offer office work, so I guess I'm not gonna start volunteering
this fall or spring. You might then wonder what was I doing in
the past two
years? Well, I tried to finish all of my general ed in community
I also finished taking my general chemistries and bio classes
classes, so that I would be left with nothing else to take except
division chemistry classes and physics when I transfer to CSULB.
Sorry if I wrote you a novel, I can't help it.
Oh by the way, your site RULES!
Thanks for your comments about my site. Since I've much more
reply to I will not be able to write you a novel in return :-)
answer to your question is simple. Wait till August 2002 to take
You can start preparing for the MCAT over the course of this
year, but you should not take the MCAT until you have taken physics.
> Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 14:53:01
> Hi Rich,
> My name is Jeff and live in NY. I;m applying to MD-Phd programs
> this year and just received my MCAT scores. I got 9PS 9BS
8VR O. My GPA
> is about a 3.9 and I have two pubolications (3rd author)
and one first
> author publication on the way. I have a solid research background
> yrs), and was thinking about a toppish NYC school. The reason
> Ihave been the research business for about 6 years now and
I know from
> experience that where you do your PhD will make or break
> years. Please let me know if I should retake in August.
If you feel that there is a chance of improving your MCAT
scores, then you
should retake in August.
> Statistically speaking do you think I can pull it out in
> months to get at least better than a 32? How much better
do August retakers
> typically do?
Statistically with a 9, 33% increase and 39% decrease
their VR score on
retake. With a 9 in PS its 38% and 38% respectively, and with
an 8 in BS its
18% and 58% respectively. Individual results will vary.
> Tue, 19 Jun 2001 08:52:53
> -0700 (PDT) To: RH@premed411.com Subject: chance for MS
> Hi, Rich--
> Your site is very informative! I know you get many emails,
but I hope you can
> offer me some advice.
> I started my college career as a sophomore because I came
in with so many
> credits attained in high school. I am an English major,
have a 3.7 in my
> university's honors program, and am in a zillion extracurriculars:
> honor society, premed society, symphonic band, pep band
(we travel with the
> basketball teams on tournament trips), a service sorority,
volunteer at a
> hospital, and work as a nursing assistant in a nursing home.
> All of this sounds pretty good so far--but the problem is
my MCAT scores: VR
> 10, BS 9, PS 9. A 28 is decent, but does not guarantee admission.
I DO NOT
> want to retake the MCAT this August; the first time was
traumatic enough!! I
> do not want to go to Harvard or anything, and I already
have a school in my
> home state in mind.
> What are my chances for admission into medical school? Do
I really need to
> retake the MCAT? What other options do I have if I do not
want to retake the
> MCAT in August? Do admissions boards consider extracurriculars
> candidates? Sure, I could've gotten a 3.9 if I'd just studied
all the time;
> isn't consideration given to those who can "hold their
own" while being
> actively involved in their universities?
> Thank you so much! I know I and many others really appreciate
I understand that the MCAT can, and
often is, very traumatic, and certainly
understand why you do not want to retake.
MCAT scores and GPA are the most important
"filters" in the application
process. Extracurricular activities, letters of recommendations,
statement etc. are important but far less so than MCAT and GPA.
Based on the info below (including extracurriculars)
you probably have a 25%
to 40% chance of admission. If you feel that you could get a
30 or better on
the MCAT, (you can make sure your test is not scored if you are
than you should consider retaking, but should only do so if you
motivate yourself to face the MCAT again. A retake where you
do not release
your score, or release lower scores, will tend to hurt your chances.
Short of retaking the MCAT or doing
a great job on your personal statement,
it sounds like there may not be much left that you can do to
odds in the near term.
> Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 12:40:05
> Hey Rich, I am glad that I stumbled onto your site. I am
in the midst of
> panicking and would greatly appreciate it if you could answer
a question for
> me about the MCAT. I just received my April MCAT score yesterday
and am very
> disappointed about my biological sciences score. I took
the Princeton Review
> and had been making 9's and 10's on the practice exams,
but I wound up making
> a 7 on the actual MCAT. My question is whether I should
take it again if I
> wish to go to a state school. I made a 9 in verbal and an
11 in physical
> sciences (I made a R in writing). I have a 3.894 GPA with
a 3.857 science
> GPA. I am a Latin major and have been recognized for the
past two years as
> the outstanding Latin major. I have been active in Circle
K, the largest
> collegiate service organization in the world, have received
numerous awards in
> this club, and have held numerous leadership positions.
I have accumulated
> almost 200 hours of service in three years with this club.
I am also a member
> of Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and Eta Sigma Phi.
I also know that I
> received wondeful letters of rec. Please let me know what
I should do.
> Thank you, Lauren
Except for that BS score you're in good
shape. As is, with all the "good
stuff" you mention, you've got around a one in three chance
If you retake the MCAT and are able
to get a 9 or better on BS while
maintaining your other scores (a 10 on PS would be ok), your
increase to about one in two*. On the other hand, if you were
maintain your scores your chances of acceptance would tend to
Remember that if you do retake and are
not sure if you "made the grade" you
can elect to have your exam NOT scored. No record of your retaking
made part of your application records. But if you retake and
scores, many medical schools will look upon this practice unfavorably.
*Assuming you have some clinical experience.
> Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 17:03:43
> A friend of mine refered me to your website to answer some
of my questions. I
> have found that your site is one of the most helpful of
all the premed sites.
> Well, I recently got my score back from the April MCAT and
was saddened by my
> score (7V,10P,10B and P). I was wondering if applying early
would be more
> advantageous than retaking the test and applying late. I
have a 3.5 science
> and a 3.65 overall GPA with plenty of extracurriculars.
I am a California
> resident but plan on applying to schools everywhere.
> Please help me with some advice! Thanks.
You can apply now, and retake the MCAT later. When your new
scores are sent
your application should be updated. Just to play it safe I recommend
you send a letter (not email) to each school you have applied
that you have recently retaken the MCAT, and that you look forward
your application updated and reviewed in light of this new information.
the way, write a nice letter. It will be added to your application
If you retake, do not have your MCAT scored if you feel you
Either release your scores immediately or elect to have your
scored; do NOT withhold your scores.
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 17:36:10
First of all, thank you for your wonderful
I just got my score(3rd MCAT: 8V, 11P,
10B) and I was wondering if I should
retake mcat next April and apply for 2003. The first time I took
voided; the 2nd time, my score was 9,9,9; I have overall GPA
3.3 and Sci GPA
3.4 at UCLA(neurosci major). I am VERY dissappointed with the
and I want to petition for the 4th MCAT. I'm determined to do
takes to become a doctor. Would it look really bad if I take
MCAT 4 times?
I heard the ad.com. knows if you voided your score. Is that true?
Thank you for your advice.
No, if you void (NOT have test scored) ad.coms do NOT know.
I have heard
positive comments from ad.com members concerning students that
take the MCAT
several times and are able to raise their scores. They are looked
hard working and determined--that's good. While its best to take
once and get accepted. There are many students that try and try
and... get accepted. You are close to were you need to be...