What do you think it takes to meet Med School standard MCAT scores?

If you plan on taking the MCAT in the future, you’re probably concerned about what you need to score at minimum to ensure that you’ll be considered by your favorite medical schools. 

I covered that in a recent video:

First, you need to understand what medical schools are doing with your MCAT scores. Med schools have minimum mandatory cutoffs - you need to meet this cutoff score to even be looked at.

For most schools, the MCAT cutoff is in the 504-505 range - that is what you need to score at minimum to ensure that your awesomeness will be considered (extracurriculars, personal statement, GPA, etc.) Lower tier schools might be slightly below this for their cutoff, say around 502-504.

You shouldn’t shoot for this score however, you’ll want to aim to score at least in the 80th percentile which is around 510 to have plenty of space between your score and the cutoff, and also to show schools that you are an elite test-taker. Test-taking skills matter to...

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Can you get into medical school with a 'D' or an 'F' on your transcript?

I’ve had a few questions from some students who have been concerned that their med school dreams are hopeless now because they got an “F” or “D” early on in their pre-med careers.

A lot of them feel like there’s literally nothing they can do to overcome it, but in this video, I explain that you absolutely can! Because I did it - I overcame an “F” that I got freshman year because I didn’t take my calculus course seriously.

 

If you did a similar thing - you still have a chance to make it - but you’ll need to start making some drastic changes in how you do things.

Mainly, you need to recognize that it is your fault that you got a bad grade. If you blame the teacher, or a hard test or anything else that you can’t control, then you won’t be able to TAKE CONTROL. Acknowledge that your current approach to studying just isn’t working - you’re still not getting the consistent As that you need to pull...

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5+ Lessons About Pre-med and Getting into Medical School: Part 5- It’s easy to rationalize

People sometimes feel that I’m abrasive, harsh and that I’m one-sided about things.

We rationalize what we do when we don’t invest.

It’s not about buying a course. How many of you don’t spend on time working on yourself? How many of you know that you have glaring weakness but don’t put in any time to work on it because you rationalize?

It’s super easy to justify and rationalize your inability to do what’s required of you - whether it’s in investing in yourself monetarily or in terms of time or in the analytics.

I have a student who told me that he takes the time to analyze what he does every semester - and that was how he got better at studying.

He’s investing in himself by analyzing himself and being critical at himself. He smiles in his face, wait until he turns around and laugh at how stupid he’s been.

How do you give a hundred percent?

I had someone ask me how do you give a hundred percent - because he was...

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5+ Lessons About Pre-med and Getting into Medical School: Part 3-We always think we have a unique problem

Have you ever felt like you’re all alone with the struggles you’re going through - that no one else has ever experienced the challenges you have faced as a premed?

Although that feeling is perfectly normal, it can make it harder to find the help that you need to overcome your problems and reach out for guidance.

People are scared of letting the whole world know their problems because:
They fear other people judging them and seeing that they have some weakness,
Everyone thinks that their problem is unique, that their situation is something that no one else has been through or it is something that nobody has ever encountered before.

We’re scared to ask out loud.

But, guess what: your problems are not unique.

Do you have money problems? I did too - my financial problems were always on my mind as a premed, I was broke most of my undergrad and didn’t have the money for basic things sometimes like books.

Do you come from a family or go to a high school that...

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Don't Worry: Learn how to Handle Medical School Rejection

As the winter rolls on, many premeds are rolling into their final semester. But their final exams are the least of their worries. At the top of their mind instead, are their med school applications. While many med schools send out their decisions before the holiday break, others wait until January, February, or even March. Depending on where you’ve applied, you might not hear a peep from admissions offices until well into the spring semester.

 

A large portion—somewhere around 40%—of med school applicants will be accepted into at least one of the schools they applied to. But most will be rejected. Rejection in the highly competitive Type A environment of premed can feel like pit viper poison. But it’s not lethal, and it might actually work out better for you in the long run.

 

If you wind up with only rejections at the end of this application cycle, don’t worry, you’re in good company. One Redditor on R/Premed recently described a...

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Should You Use Anki or Flashcards For MCAT Prep?

I’ve received a bunch of questions about Anki, the popular flashcard app that a lot of students use for studying for exams and for the MCAT.


Last weekend, I actually had a long discussion with one of my students about flashcards and the merits of Anki for MCAT prep. I covered this in my email newsletter last weekend, but I’ll recap it for you here on the blog:

For those of you who are in my course The 5 Pillars of Studying Less & Getting Better Grades, you know how I feel about Anki. For those of you not enrolled, let me fill you in real quick:
  • Anki is an online flashcard software that has some nice little features
  • However, I DO NOT recommend you use them, ESPECIALLY for the MCAT because the temptation to use someone else’s flashcard deck is way too strong
  • 99% of people do not know how to effectively flashcard and think that having 5 million flashcards is something to brag about


In our discussion last weekend, my student and I were laughing as he showed me...

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How To Deal With Parents Who Don’t Support Your Med School Dreams

Many students feel guilty for going to college while their family is struggling. Making it worse, their family constantly reminds them of how bad they are struggling and how they feel abandoned and like the student doesn’t care about them anymore. Then when the student comes home for the holidays, everyone says “you’ve changed… you talk different, like a braniac… you talk about all this success your having at college, but we are out here working for real… you need to get a job… you need to be here more often… why are you wasting your time in the books?” Anybody ever hear something similar?

 

Everyone’s life is their own, and the best thing you can do for your people is better yourself.

 

A perfect example of unwarranted family pressure comes from a pre-med student I worked with a couple years ago. She was a bright student, but she was sabotaging herself so she was struggling in the classroom. Her...

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Can The MCAT Make-up for A Bad GPA?

It depends, but in some cases, you can be like Aladdin and go from street rat to prince with a little help from the (MCAT) genie! If you’ve spent 4 years goofing around, or you worked hard but couldn’t get the right strategies together to get those A’s, then you might be forced to rummage through the med school garbage for admissions scraps.  Many students think that taking more classes is the key to getting off the streets and into the palace. Not so fast! GPA stands for grade point average, keyword being average.  It took you 4 years to create your current crappy GPA and it’s not going to improve overnight after a few classes.  If you GPA is really bad, it could take 4 years or longer to make it competitive. You might also think that a post-baccalaureate program is a great option, which it can be, but it will cost you upwards of $50,000 and 2 years of your life in most cases.

 

3 Things You NEED To Know About The New MCAT

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5 Ground Rules For Selecting A Pre-med Advisor, Coach or Mentor

As Sophocles said, “No enemy is worse than bad advice.” Take a second and write that down, because it is some of the truest words you will ever read, and something that many pre-meds don’t understand.

I see so many students running in a thousand different directions, none of which is getting them closer to medical school, and in the end, they can’t figure out why they never made it. “I did exactly like Dr. A said… Mrs. B told me I would definitely get in if I did X… The dean said all I had to do was improve Y.”

How many of you have friends who have said similar things? The reality is, there are a lot of people out there claiming to be pre-med advisors, but they simply don’t have the expertise to help you.  The wrong advisor could be intentionally, or more commonly, unintentionally leading you to your doom. So, I thought I would take a few minutes and lay out some ground rules for selecting your mentors and...

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A KFC Fry Cook and a Boy Genius Apply to Med School

A KFC Fry Cook and a Boy Genius Apply to Med School …

Ask any doctor or medical professional how they became a doctor, and they’ll tell you a different story every time. Premed programs bring together some of the most interesting and diverse peer groups because people from all across the socioeconomic spectrum hear the call to pursue one of the world’s most noble professions.

Take, for example, Franco Jin. His parents moved to Utah from Argentina when he was 12. By the time he was a senior in high school and all his friends were applying for college, he thought he might be content keeping his job frying chicken at KFC.

“I was pretty happy working at KFC,” Jin told the Salt Lake Tribune. “They would let me eat all the chicken I wanted, no complaints.”

But then he got what many young people need: a gentle push in the right direction. Thanks to a pilot program that connects college students with high school classrooms, he heard about the...

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