Retaking the MCAT – Is It Really Worth it?
Believe it or not, your MCAT score plays an integral role when it comes to creating a stellar medical school application. As it is one of the most important factors for gaining an admission in a top Caribbean medical school, prospective students are advised to study hard to score well in this test. But what happens if your score is too low and fails to meet the medical school prerequisites. If you have to contend with a similar disappointment, consider retaking the MCAT. But is it worth the effort to retest?
Though preparing for MCAT and sitting for 7.5 hours at a stretch is no easy feat, retaking the test can be a great option if your MCAT scores are not up to the mark. Though your academic advisor can give you the best advice, here are guidelines that will make it easier to decide whether a retake is in your best interests.
Think About Medical Schools that You are Applying to
Different medical schools have different admission prerequisites. Prior to deciding to retake the test, it is recommended to carefully research medical schools you are thinking of applying to. If you are considering getting into the top-tier schools and your score is 510, chances are you will have to retake the test to become a competitive medical school applicant. Though there are some medical schools that accept students with an MCAT score of 510 or below, taking the requirements of your preferred schools is the key here. Keep your medical school goals in mind, if your MCAT score is not meeting the admission standards of a majority of medical schools, take the test again.
The difference in Your Practice Tests and MCAT Scores
If you did your best and scored 510 on practice tests and ended up with 512 on your actual MCAT, there is little chance of improvement. But if you secured 523 on the practice test and came out with 500 on your test day, it is strongly suggested to retake the test. Before scheduling your second test, think about some effective learning strategies to better prepare you this time. Good practice tests scores are a clear indication that you have a strong knowledge and testing ability to secure impressive marks on the actual test day. In short, your practice test scores are an important factor that can help you decide whether to retake the test.
Replace Inadequate Study Techniques with Effective Ones
If you have finally decided to retake the MCAT, consider using a different and effective learning strategy to perform better. If you are expecting to score well by repeating your old study patterns and study schedule, you are making a big mistake. By making significant changes to your study schedule and learning strategy, you will definitely be able to improve your scores this time. If your previous MCAT preparation was based on passive studying techniques or lacked practice tests to improve your testing ability, schedule another test date and switch to active methods of learning such as flashcards and practice questions to get a stellar score.
Use a Better Strategy This Time
Many students don’t take the MCAT seriously and don’t bother to set aside a dedicated number of hours to prepare for the test. It is always a great idea to create a study routine and stick to it when it comes to preparing for the MCAT. While some students are expedient and can balance other commitments while studying for MCAT. While some students need a month or two to completely prepare for the test. Though trying to cram in MCAT preparation in your already packed schedule seems like a tough nut to crack, if you really want to become a great physician, you need to work hard in order to succeed.
Are You Committed to the Profession?
The ultimate goal of taking the MCAT test is to separate out applicants who are not serious or committed to becoming a brilliant doctor. Securing a below average score should make you reconsider if you are the right fit for this challenging profession. Are you all set to go to the extra mile, improve your score and deal with the challenges and rigors of the medical school life? Be honest with yourself and if you think you are committed to this rewarding profession, you will surely be able to meet your career goals.
Retaking the MCAT is an arduous undertaking in terms of hard work and expenses. Don’t take this decision casually. Take some time to research and think about all the important things that I have mentioned above. It will help you decide if retaking the MCAT is really worth the effort.