Lots of students looking to apply in the 2017-18 cycles have expressed concern that their old MCAT scores will make them look like aging tourists when they approach the adcoms. Should you be concerned if you’re applying with a pre-2015 MCAT score?
Will medical schools accept a score from the old MCAT?
We are in the gray zone here, literally. If you look at AAMC’s chart for individual medical schools and which MCAT scores they accept, the color for those accepting both is a murky gray.
In the 2016 cycle, you were in pretty safe territory using a pre-2015 score. There are few, if any medical schools that would have rejected it outright.
Then if you were applying for acceptance in 2017, the ground shifted, but only slightly. Most schools were still using that swath of gray to advise students, meaning they would accept both pre- and post-2015 MCAT results. Only a small percentage of schools turned away students with a decent pre-2015 score—among them, Temple University, Southern Illinois University, University of Nebraska, University of Louisville, Rush Medical College and East Tennessee State University.
In 2018, the number of schools that accept pre-2015 MCAT results drops like a rock. More than half say an outright “No!” when asked about using the old test results, and even those who will consider them make it clear they would prefer newer MCAT numbers.
Still, even for the 2018 year, a large number of medical schools will be accepting pre-2015 numbers. Schools like Rutgers, Stanford and Tufts will look at either pre-2015 or 2015 MCAT results. Other schools who are more lenient about using pre-2015 MCAT scores include Yale, Tulane, Washington University, St. Louis, Vanderbilt, University of New Mexico, University of Minnesota, UC Davis, and University of Florida, Gainsville.
An implicit rule that an MCAT score is only good for three years is guiding a handful of medical schools who accept the older MCAT results. Schools like UC Irvine, University of Arkansas, UCSF, University of South Carolina, Greenville, Virginia Commonwealth will accept the pre-2015 MCAT scores for up to three years prior to a student entering their campus.
There is still hope, but not much!
If you took the pre-2015 MCAT, all is not lost. Assuming your score is in the range for matriculants at the schools where you apply, you should have been able to find plenty who won’t give you a sideways glance when you walk in with old scores.
But 2018 is the last application year when pre-2015 MCAT scores will be accepted at most schools. So if you are planning to take an extra year to pump up your application or get a MPH or to gain other experience, you have to accept that taking the MCAT again is in your future!
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