Any student who wishes to go to medical school and become a doctor has heard of the MCAT. It’s the SAT or ACT for medical students. It is the standardized test that plays a heavy role in the admissions process for most institutions. Many students how take the MCAT find their scores to be lower than they might have hoped. Sheer logic dictates that 50% of the people who take the exam will score in the lower fift y percentiles. But like the ACT & SAT, the MCAT offers the opportunities for students to retake the exam and improve their scores. This article is for those students. We will look at whether you should retake the exam and, if so, how to best improve your initial score.
The first question that a student must ask is whether or not they should even retake the MCAT Security+ certification. This is not as cut and dry as one might think. Some people might just assume that they should go ahead and retake because they have already banked one score and whatever else they get can only help them moving forward. This is not the case at all. Students who take the MCAT on multiple occasions will be expected to show strong improvement each time. The worst thing that can happen to a student is to take the exam and then receive a lower score the second time around. Admissions offices are more likely to give more credence to the second score than they did the first.
Students who should consider retaking the exam are those who scored much lower than they were expecting. Perhaps they were sick the day they took the exam or had gone through a traumatic event that affected their ability to take the exam. Or perhaps the student was just completely unprepared with regards to what was going to be on the exam and how to take it. Just remember that whatever score a student receives on a retake will likely be held in lesser regard than a student who receives that score on his or her first attempt. In these cases, a reasonable increase could be expected with proper preparation made the next time around. If you scored just a couple points or percentiles below what you were expecting, you are probably better off just sticking with that score and letting your academic record and interview differentiate yourself from the competition.
For students who do choose to retake the exam, take heed of a few tips when going in: 1) Know your weaknesses. Where did you score lowest? These are the areas to take extra care with on practice exams and maybe even take a prep course regarding. If biology was your weakest area, focus heavily on biology. 2) Get into a rhythm. Most students who score lower on the MCAT than they should do so because they struggled with the pace and timing of the exam. They either rushed through certain sections being careless or took long and failed to answer the majority of the questions. 3) Do not stress. It’s an important exam, but it’s not the make or break for your life. There are many doctors who did not obtain an optimal score on MCAT. Admissions offices are still going to look at your criteria as a whole, not just one factor.