Retaking the MCAT
Retaking the MCAT-How to Avoid It and Why
Good MCAT score and a high GPA is a necessary combination if you wish to study in top medical schools of USA or Canada. Thus, preparing well for the test is necessary if you wish to score high in the first attempt itself. However, if you do not fare well in the first try you can consider retaking the test. But retaking any examination has its pros and cons and MCAT is no different. Moreover, rarely do candidates’ scores increase by more than 3 points if they retake this test. Thus, if you want to take the test again you should be sure that your score will increase by at least 3 points. Some of the points you should take into account when you retake the MCAT are discussed in the following section.
When Should You Retake the MCAT
The primary point to remember when repeating the test is that you should be sure that you will fare better than your previous MCATs. If by chance your score decreases in the subsequent MCATs then you will lose out on medical schools that you could have applied to with your older test score.
Another important point to remember while applying in medical schools is your GPA. The top medical schools of the USA require candidates to have a GPA score of 3.0 and above. Thus, if your GPA is not high enough no matter how many times you take the MCAT, your admission application will not receive its due consideration.
Finally, you should think about take a second attempt if you scored less in the previous MCAT due to unforeseen circumstances like illness or some other personal problems. If you feel that these problems have adversely affected your score and these problems are not going to affect your subsequent MCAT, then you can retake the test.
Moreover, there are some points to remember when you retake the test. Some of those points are discussed in the following section.
When can You Retake the MCAT
In a single year you can appear for MCAT for maximum 3 times. You can select to ‘void’ your MCAT after you have completed the examination. If you check the ‘void’ bubble then your MCAT will not be scored. This will allow you to appear for the test again. But, remember if you wish to retake the test you will have to register for it again.
Moreover when you retake the test ensure that you score at least 8 points in each section of MCAT. Most medical schools while considering your admission application will take into account your sectional scores as well. Thus, an overall high score is not sufficient. Your score should be such that it reflects your expertise in each section of MCAT. This is a very important point to remember when you retake the test. Although, there is no rule regarding how many times you can appear for MCAT, it is better to ace it in the first attempt itself. Thus, some points to help you fare well in the first try for MCAT are discussed in the following section.
How to Do Well in the MCAT
When you prepare for MCAT you should consider the first attempt to be the final one. Proper preparation is of vital importance if you wish to fare well in test. Some points to remember while preparing for MCAT are as follows:
- You should make a study plan where you should allot sufficient time to study and prepare each section of MCAT.
- You should plan your daily routine after allocating sufficient time to studying for the test and you should strictly adhere to this routine.
- If you are not confident in preparing for MCAT on your own then you should enroll in a preparatory course.
- When you take practice test, ensure that you time yourself. This will give you a feel of the time constraints that you will face during the actual MCAT.
- You should try and make your study interesting so that your enthusiasm does not decrease over time.
- You should practice a lot. MCAT is an examination that requires you to memorize a number of things. You can do so only with a lot of practice.
MCAT is an examination that tests your knowledge of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Organic Chemistry, Verbal and analytical skills. Thus, preparation is the key element that will prevent you from retaking the test by ensuring that you fare well in the first attempt itself. Hence, prepare well and then appear for the examination so that your first attempt is your final one!