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  1. #1
    lburna_7 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Does low MCAT score = fail Comps/steps???

    Okay, this is obviously a question for some of the older students who might have somewhat of a well informed opinion. I was recently accepted to Ross with a 21 MCAT score (9V 5P 7B). Honestly, I am not a great standardized test taker. I think there are a few factors that led to my low MCAT score but I won't get into them.

    I think I have the dedication and determination to do well at Ross. However, I am concerned about my standardized test struggles (24 ACT as well). I don't expect anyone to be able to give me a straight answer here...but for someone that struggles with standardized tests, is there any hope that I can pass the comps/steps?

    Obviously there will be fewer distractions on the island and I think with my future on the line, I will have motivation to succeed like never before. I am just worried that I am setting myself up to fail. I would love to hear some opinions.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by lburna_7; 01-28-2009 at 02:15 AM.

  2. #31
    BrendaB_MD is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Mistaken

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    The correlation between the MCAT and USMLE is well known. Do a search on Medline and you will find several journal articles that establish this relationship. It is a statistical correlation and not a deterministic physical law. Thus, you will find exceptions to the rule; however, on average, people who do well on the MCAT do well on the USMLE.

    Further, the relationship between the USMLE and MCAT makes sense. One would expect that people who are able to master one body of knowledge (biology, physical sciences, etc) and perform well on a standard test would be likely to repeat this feat with another body of knowledge (medicine). Thus, even though the content of the exams is different, we would expect those who have good learning skills and test taking skills to do well on both.

    There are other things that interfere with test scores such as illness, family problems, etc. Unfortunately, one would also expect those who those who had the misfortune to experience these things in the past to be more likely to experience them again. Once again, it is not a physical law and there will be exceptions.

    Having a low MCAT does not doom you forever; however, on average, the odds are against you. Those with low stats need to think very carefully about whether they have identified and solved the problem that caused their low performance. Otherwise, med school is likely to be a very expensive disappointment. That said, there are people who make this transition successfully. However, I think it is best to get the kinds worked out before starting med school.







    Quote Originally Posted by MDwantbe View Post
    DOing BAD on the MCAT , does NOT mean you will do bad on the steps. Thats none sense. people that tell you otherwise, well, turn the other cheek and walk away . THERES many things tested on the MCAT that is not tested on the STEPS. HECK 65 to 70 percent of the MCAT material is not on the steps (that includes physics, verbal and some of the chemistry, WHATS LEFT? ORGO AND BIO

    I DID PRetty well on the MCAT, so im not baised.

    There are two parts when taking a test, 1) having some test taking skills, and 2) knowledge of the material. Test taking skills, can be enhanced through practice and critical thinking, while knowlege, well u better know the material. Having knowledge with poor test taking skills, can throw you in some trouble, best way to avoid that, is to practive on analysing things quickly ---that can be done thro-- practice and interpreting charts, data, etc quickly.

  3. #32
    kofi129 is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrendaB_MD View Post
    The correlation between the MCAT and USMLE is well known. Do a search on Medline and you will find several journal articles that establish this relationship. It is a statistical correlation and not a deterministic physical law. Thus, you will find exceptions to the rule; however, on average, people who do well on the MCAT do well on the USMLE.

    Further, the relationship between the USMLE and MCAT makes sense. One would expect that people who are able to master one body of knowledge (biology, physical sciences, etc) and perform well on a standard test would be likely to repeat this feat with another body of knowledge (medicine). Thus, even though the content of the exams is different, we would expect those who have good learning skills and test taking skills to do well on both.

    There are other things that interfere with test scores such as illness, family problems, etc. Unfortunately, one would also expect those who those who had the misfortune to experience these things in the past to be more likely to experience them again. Once again, it is not a physical law and there will be exceptions.

    Having a low MCAT does not doom you forever; however, on average, the odds are against you. Those with low stats need to think very carefully about whether they have identified and solved the problem that caused their low performance. Otherwise, med school is likely to be a very expensive disappointment. That said, there are people who make this transition successfully. However, I think it is best to get the kinds worked out before starting med school.
    Brenda,
    By your analogy about 98% of all carib medstudents should not be doing well on the STEPS since most of those people were not accepted to stateside schools. On the same token almost everyone that gets accepted to US schools would defineitely pass the steps on their first time and may never fail a class since they did well on the MCAT. Almost all medschools have attritions and that includes the US schools with excellent test scores. I'm quite sure schools like Harvard, Yale etc have attrition rates as well. By your estimation, should we say your chances of doing well on the steps will represent how well you did on your MCAT, afterall you're down here with us. Look here, stop trying to kill other people dreams, and if someone wants to come to the carib and indebt her/himself in the hope of becoming an MD, let them do that and stop being a doomsday prophetess. We're here because of the combination of bad grades/MCAT score and no other reason, period.
    Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what delights you most, to value what is precious in your sight…..****** à Kempis

  4. #33
    BrendaB_MD is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Killing dreams

    My intent is not to kill dreams. People should keep their dreams; however, they should insure that they are well prepared so that they maximize their probability of success before taking out huge loans.

    The relationship between MCAT and USMLE is not an analogy. It is a correlation. It is kind of like the relationship between height and weight. On average, taller people weigh more. But, you will find people who are 5'6" who weigh more than people 6'1". It is much the same with MCATs and USMLEs.

    Having low MCATs does not necessarily mean you will fail, but the lower your MCAT, the lower your odds. On average, US students have higher MCAT scores and grades and have higher USMLE pass rates and USMLE scores than carib students. Thus, the relationship holds. You are correct that there is attrition at US schools but it is nowhere near the attrition rate at carib schools. It is unusual for a student to drop out of a US program; however, something close to 40% of carib students fail.

    Just because your MCAT is not sufficient didn't get admitted to a US school does not mean you do not have the skills and knowledge required to complete medical school. Indeed, the students at SGU prove this: the average MCAT at SGU is something like 28 and they have a 83% pass rate on the USMLE. While the pass rate is respectable, it is lower than US schools as you would expect given the lower MCAT. Still, students in this range have a high chance of succeeding. The interesting question is, at what point does a low MCAT indicate that you have a low chance of success?

    One way is to compare MCATs at other carib schools along with attrition rates and USMLE pass rates. This will give a very rough indication. SGU has the best MCATs and the best pass rate. What happens when we go to schools with lower MCATs?

    The admission stats at Ross are somewhat lower than SGU and, based on the data from the ECFMG, the pass rate at Ross is about 67%. And that is 67% of the students who make it through basic sciences, pass the comp and take the USMLE. We all know that the attrition rate at Ross is quite high.

    Now, what about students with MCATs of 20-21? What are their chances of success? Am I a dream killer to encourage these students to take out large loans? Here is the trend:

    US studnets:
    Average MCAT > 28
    attrition rate ~ 1%
    USMLE pass rate: 93%

    SGU:
    Average Mcat ~26
    attrition rate: 10%?
    USMLE pass rate: 83%

    Ross:
    Average MCAT: 24?
    attrition rate: 30%
    USMLE pass rate: 67%

    SMU:
    MCAT not required (make your own assumptions)
    attrition rate?
    USMLE pass rate: 33%

    So, much as the research shows, there is a correlation between MCATS and medical schools success. A student with MCATs of 28 who barely missed getting in a US school and attends SGU has a high probability of success. But, at some point, a low MCAT begins to be a predictor of failure. I am not sure where the exact point is, but it is clear that students with lower stats have a higher probability of failure. Based on the rough guide above, those with MCATs of 26 or higher (SGU students) are likely to do well. Those with MCATs much below this are not likely to succeed.

    Nothing will kill dreams more quickly than failing out of med school and being saddled with 50k of nondischargable debt. Students with really low MCATs need to think carefully. I am not saying they can't succeed, but they should not be lured by 'getting in'. Getting in means nothing. The schools are happy to take your money and let you take the gamble. Students in this category need to think very carefully whether they are likely to succeed. If they can satisfy themselves that they have addressed the issues that led to performance problems in the past, then they are likely to defy to odds. However, students should not be lured into going to med school just because they got accepted. Acceptance to a carib school is not an endorsement of your chances of success. Rather, it is an endorsement of your ability to pay.

    I am all for following your dreams; however, you also need to look beyond the impulsive response of "go for it" and look at the risks involved. For some students, these are substantial.










    Quote Originally Posted by kofi129 View Post
    Brenda,
    By your analogy about 98% of all carib medstudents should not be doing well on the STEPS since most of those people were not accepted to stateside schools. On the same token almost everyone that gets accepted to US schools would defineitely pass the steps on their first time and may never fail a class since they did well on the MCAT. Almost all medschools have attritions and that includes the US schools with excellent test scores. I'm quite sure schools like Harvard, Yale etc have attrition rates as well. By your estimation, should we say your chances of doing well on the steps will represent how well you did on your MCAT, afterall you're down here with us. Look here, stop trying to kill other people dreams, and if someone wants to come to the carib and indebt her/himself in the hope of becoming an MD, let them do that and stop being a doomsday prophetess. We're here because of the combination of bad grades/MCAT score and no other reason, period.
    Last edited by BrendaB_MD; 02-08-2009 at 05:40 AM.

  5. #34
    DEQNY85's Avatar
    DEQNY85 is offline Elite Member
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    Brenda, where are your cited sources for al the numbers you are providing or are you randomly pulling them out of your head?

    Stop worrying about other people and what choices they make.
    Ross Graduate- 2012
    PGY1- Surgery Prelim

  6. #35
    kofi129 is offline Member 510 points
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    Brenda,
    If you're using the 10yr report that says SGU has a 84% first time pass rate, you may not be accurate as those numbers are combine for the number of schools in a particular caribbean Island. The time that research was done most of the schools in carib Island were not yet 10yrs old yet and some schools have improve their scores since that report. Life is full of chances and if you're in the Carib schools, be it SGU or Ross, means you couldn't get into the US schools. I don't care if your MCAT scores was 42 or 12, you were never US material and thats how you ended up here just like the rest of the Carib students. Like you said, there are always exception to the rule and every individual thinks they're the exception. You'll never know what your capabilities are until you try. If everyone was afraid of failure, nothing in this world will have been achived. Whatever you see around you was done by people who tried time and time after failures to perfect what you see. No one says it's going to be easy to become a doctor, you become a doctor base on the amount of time you put into studying and mastering you basic sciences and clinical rotations. The US schools don't do it any different than the carib schools and those that fail out, do so because they didn't study hard enough or don't have the mental capability to do the program all together. I don't think anyone in the US (or Carib) schools just go to lectures, come home, put away their books and go take exams when the exam day comes and pass. If you did poorly either on your MCATs or grades, you'll know what you did wrong and be prepare to correct that. As they say, you can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results
    Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what delights you most, to value what is precious in your sight…..****** à Kempis

  7. #36
    medic300107's Avatar
    medic300107 is offline Supermedic Moderator 9446 points
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    i believe i saw those as the usmle pass rates for the past 15 years and SGU was at 84.4% and Ross 69.7%

    US MD 1st time pass rate (the one that counts) was 95%
    US DO 77%
    Average Carib 71%

    While this would worry some lets look at Ross for the past year, not 15
    1st time pass rate 91%, if you maintain over 2.5 gpa in basic sciences 97%(better than some US schools)
    Take Meharry for instance, LCME fist time pass rates around 80%
    A pdf of the LCME letter to Meharry from their reaccreditation in February of 2006
    http://www.mmc.edu/sacs/documents/LC...b_2006_2_8.pdf

    So no there is not a direct correlation to MCATS and USMLE, there is a direct correleation with effort put forth in Basic Sciences and USMLE. The people with higher MCAT's just have to put in a little less effort to get there, that is all. Some of them are just really good test takes, and may suck in clinicals. There may be a trend, but this trend is FAR from the rule. It's individual.


    here is the link to Ross pass rates from their website
    Answer

  8. #37
    MDwantbe is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    BRenda

    yes in terms of --test taking skills there is a relationship btwn the two (but its not as simple as that), however you have to also realize and know that many people that do bad on the MCAT- its because they struggle with the verbal section or they lack the knowledge of the material --which in both cases-- can effect their test taking skills.

    Now dont come here and tell me that those that struggle on the verbal section will have problems taking the steps..

    you might say: """oh there is a correlation btwn those that struggle on the verbal section (hence sometimes the not so great MCAT score bec of the bad verbal score) will also struggle on the steps (which has no verbal section)" GIVE ME A BREAK.

    You have to know something, contents play a major role on yor test taking skills, IF you dont know your material as your taking a test ---than for OBVIOUS reasons you will get nervous and mess up ur "test taking skills" all in a second.

    SO those that struggle on the MCAT bec they lack some physics knowledge, also means THAT they will do bad on the steps bec of some correlations "(charts u reasearched from god knows where) ur telling us about??? HAHA.. come on, like i said 70 percent of the mCAT IS not even tested on the steps, i know people in real life and on valuemd that had low MCAT scores and PAssed their steps.

    Basically know this:

    There is much more to a low MCAT score than just plain "test taking skills", which that in itself is effected by many other factors such as those that i mentioned above.
    Last edited by MDwantbe; 02-08-2009 at 05:37 PM.

  9. #38
    hopelessMD is offline Senior Member 49 points
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    I hope there is no verbal on USMLE, I got a 3 on mcat verbal while 13s on other 2 parts lol .

  10. #39
    BrendaB_MD is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    The evidence.....

    While your opinions on this subject are interesting, the evidence is more convincing....

    A meta-analysis (see below) that surveyed all the evidence from 23 studies shows that there is a correlation between MCATs and USMLE scores. The relationship is not strong (r = 0.6, which means that MCAT 'explains' about 33% of the variation in USMLE scores) but is statistically significant (95% CI, 0.50-0.67). So, there is definitely a correlation; however, there is a lot of scatter about the trendline. Your destiny is not determined by your MCAT; however, on average, a fairly substantial body of evidence shows that those with poor MCATs tend to do worse. I would value this evidence based on numerous studies more highly than people's opinions.

    One can argue that the results from US studies are not generalizable to carib students. I am sure that many of you will develop theories as to why these results don't apply.


    --------------------------------------------------

    Unique Identifier
    17198300
    Status
    MEDLINE
    Authors
    Deleted as per nonsensical valueMD policy.

    Title
    The predictive validity of the MCAT for medical school performance and medical board licensing examinations: a meta-analysis of the published research.
    Source
    Academic Medicine. 82(1):100-6, 2007 Jan.
    Abstract
    PURPOSE: To conduct a meta-analysis of published studies to determine the predictive validity of the MCAT on medical school performance and medical board licensing examinations. METHOD: The authors included all peer-reviewed published studies reporting empirical data on the relationship between MCAT scores and medical school performance or medical board licensing exam measures. Moderator variables, participant characteristics, and medical school performance/medical board licensing exam measures were extracted and reviewed separately by three reviewers using a standardized protocol. RESULTS: Medical school performance measures from 11 studies and medical board licensing examinations from 18 studies, for a total of 23 studies, were selected. A random-effects model meta-analysis of weighted effects sizes (r) resulted in (1) a predictive validity coefficient for the MCAT in the preclinical years of r = 0.39 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-0.54) and on the USMLE Step 1 of r = 0.60 (95% CI, 0.50-0.67); and (2) the biological sciences subtest as the best predictor of medical school performance in the preclinical years (r = 0.32 95% CI, 0.21-0.42) and on the USMLE Step 1 (r = 0.48 95% CI, 0.41-0.54). CONCLUSIONS: The predictive validity of the MCAT ranges from small to medium for both medical school performance and medical board licensing exam measures. The medical profession is challenged to develop screening and selection criteria with improved validity that can supplement the MCAT as an important criterion for admission to medical schools.
    Publication Type
    Journal Article. Meta-Analysis.



  11. #40
    MDwantbe is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Now Brenda, your thinking just one way, like George Bush LOL, REMMBER HIM??, your not understanding what we are saying, now why would you do that??



    Yes those results (lets just say those results are accurate) show some minor correlations, however, like i said, there are many factors you have to consider when some one takes the MCAT, and these factors can change when lets say some one takes the USMLE (in terms of whats tested on the mcat and usmle (like verbal) and actually knowing the contents for the usmle But not for the MCAT), SO those results dont mean a whole lot, bec many things that are tested on the MCAT (such as verbal) can SAY NOTHINGGG on your ability to do well on the USMLE.



    These results your showing us can be accurate in terms of them being conducted, but you dont quite yet understand that they are quite baised.


    If you are still confused, please ask, ill be more than happy to help you..

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