MCAT

Why Getting into Medical School is Harder Than Ever

 Why Getting into Medical School is Harder Than Ever

The new MSAR data from the 2018-2019 cycle is live, and it shows higher average MCAT and GPAs for most medical schools, compared to the prior cycle, meaning that admission has become even more competitive.

In the graph below, we’ve outlined the changes in MCAT, GPA, and index scores over the last few cycles. We also provided the average changes for each category.

How to Avoid the Pre-Med Blues

How to Avoid the Pre-Med Blues

Sky blue. Robin’s egg blue. Turquoise. Cerulean. Navy. Denim. Teal. Periwinkle. Aquamarine. Some of these Crayola crayons are fancier sounding than others and some hardly seem blue at all (looking at you Periwinkle), but in the end, they’re all blue.

As the admissions committee drafts a medical school class, it also uses an array of colors. Admissions committees believe in the value of diversity, not just the usual skin colors but also a diversity of perspectives, majors, and backgrounds. The class needs only so many “typical pre-meds” (or blue crayons),

Moral of the story: if you’re blue like everyone else, you’ll have a harder time getting selected.

The 5 Necessary Factors for Getting Into Medical School

The 5 Necessary Factors for Getting Into Medical School

By: Rob Humbracht

Getting into med school is simple.  Just get A’s in all your classes, ace the MCAT, devote hundreds of hours to community service, take lots of leadership positions, get published in a leading medical journal, and learn to speak and write about your accomplishments eloquently.  Ta da.  You’re in.

Oh, right.  You’re a human being.  There are only 24 hours in a day, and at least four of those should probably be devoted to sleeping.  How do you decide how to spend your time if your end goal is medical school?  How do you make sure that you’re in the coveted 40% of all applicants who get in each year and not one of the many qualified students left out in the cold?

The 10 Biggest Myths About Getting into Medical School (Part 1)

The 10 Biggest Myths About Getting into Medical School (Part 1)

By: Ryan Kelly

In our work with pre-meds, we hear all kinds of crazy claims. About 95% of the time we hear one of the above phrases, what follows is false. No, you don’t need 400 hours of shadowing to get into medical school. No, it doesn’t help to finish college in three years. And when you get a rejection letter, you shouldn’t call the medical school and plead to be given a second chance.

5 Most Common MCAT Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

5 Most Common MCAT Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

By: Ryan Kelly

5 Most Common MCAT Mistakes, as explained by a professional MCAT instructor.

“Las Vegas is a great place to take your MCAT.”

This unusual tidbit was the first of many surprises when The Savvy Premed sat down for an interview with MCAT instructor Levonti Ohanisian. In addition to scoring well himself, Levonti serves as an MCAT teacher at UCSD Extension.  While he teaches all subjects, some of his best advice is how to approach the test as a whole.

Six Essential Lessons for Getting Into Medical School (Part 1)

Six Essential Lessons for Getting Into Medical School (Part 1)

By: Rob Humbracht

"Nobody gets into medical school these days."  I hear this statement a lot, and I understand where it comes from.  When you see scores of well qualified candidates - brilliant classmates, selfless neighbors, hardworking siblings - apply and get rejected, it's easy to think, "there's no way I can get in."

You can.  The acceptance rate to a US medical school (MD) in 2015 was 41%

Medical School Admissions Offices Have “No Idea” How to Use the New MCAT Score

Medical School Admissions Offices Have “No Idea” How to Use the New MCAT Score

"We have not figured out what's a competitive MCAT score."

A wonderful, tell-it-as-it-is workshop at the UC Davis Pre Health Conference, led by Dr. Ann-Gel Palermo, an admissions officer from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, contained that gem of a quote above.  It shows that admissions offices are taking a “wait-and-see” approach to the new MCAT.  They’re not sure precisely what the new MCAT measures and how to use it to select a class.

Highly Recommended: Too Much To Do, Not Enough Time

Highly Recommended: Too Much To Do, Not Enough Time

I’ll never forget a student who once asked - in all seriousness - whether she should try to study more for her MCAT by cutting her sleep from seven hours per night to only four.  With three more hours per night, she reasoned, she could get some quality studying done!  Wasn’t this the solution to her problems?

Update: How to Convert Old MCAT Scores to New (and vice versa)

Update: How to Convert Old MCAT Scores to New (and vice versa)

Back in April 2015, we posted about the New MCAT scoring and the numbers according to the AAMC. Now that the scores are out we’ve updated our conversion charts for you.

Shocker: the scores translate pretty well.  The overall median from the old MCAT (a 25) translates almost exactly to the median of the new MCAT (a 500).  The middle of the scale on each subject of the old MCAT (an 8) roughly translates to the middle of the scale on each subject of the new MCAT (a 125).