Students who wish to become doctors have to the take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). There are a large number of students who are applying for admission to various medical colleges, and their score on the MCAT is one of the main criteria used by medical colleges to admit specific students. Most students spend many hours preparing for the MCAT, yet when the results are declared their scores are lower than expected. In some cases, the student has already applied to a medical college. So, the student who has gotten a low MCAT score will need to find out the options available, and then decide the best option for them.
Figure out the problem
Most students who take the MCAT also complete a few practice tests before they actually take the official MCAT. Hence, prior to checking the options available to the student, they should first compare the practice test scores with their official MCAT score to analyze try to understand the reason for their low score. In some cases, the student will score lower in the exam compared to the practice test because he or she was nervous. There are other reasons like health, personal problems, or stress which could also lower the score, because they caused the student to not fully focus on the exam. Only after dealing with these issues, should the student consider taking the MCAT again.
A student whose MCAT score is low can also consider taking an MCAT tutoring course from a professional tutor who has experience with the whole exam process. Most students find it difficult to objectively analyze their strengths and weaknesses, so the tutor will help them review their MCAT scores and identify the subjects in which the student should focus on. The tutor will also help the student improve his or her study methods so that they understand the subject better. Additionally, the tutor can give the student tips on how to prepare for the exam, as well as mental preparation methods so that stress does not affect their MCAT score the next time.
Know your options
Some students who get a low score on their MCAT can use the underrepresented in medicine (URM) option with their application to ensure that they still get admission to a medical college. For example, in the United States, the number of African American doctors is far lower than Caucasian and Asian doctors when compared to their population, so African Americans are considered an URM. Most medical colleges want their students to be diverse and they realize that a person from an underrepresented population could be are scoring lower on the MCAT due to lack of access to necessary resources and programs in certain areas. So, the URM option can be used for some students to get admission into medical college.
Find ways to compensate
The student who has a low MCAT score can write to the medical college, tell them their score, and ask them if they will consider the application. Only if they agree, should the student apply. If the student has already applied, the student can consider withdrawing the application and saving some money which can be used for applying in the future.
Another option for the student is retaking the MCAT if they believe they are able to fix the problems which resulted in a low score the first time. If the student did not have time to prepare for the MCAT, it is advisable to postpone taking the test for at least a year and use the time to better prepare for the test. You can also work with MCAT tutoring services to help you prepare for your next round of examinations now that you know what you will be facing.