The MCAT is an exam that many aspiring doctors have to take in in order to apply to medical school. It is a brutal, almost 7-hour long exam that requires months of preparation and studying. I sat the exam on August 5th and after weeks of waiting for my MCAT results, my scores finally came out today. I am thrilled, excited, relieved and grateful to announce that it went well!
It was a very special moment when I logged into my account to check my scores. My husband was standing beside me at the computer, my children were scrambling around on my lap trying to get a good view of the screen, with my son Caleb shouting enthusiastically, “I want to see mummy’s exam! I want to see mummy’s exam!”
Family members and friends had been praying for this moment. My brother Jonathan had been texting me over the course of the day with funny messages like “drama…suspense…on tenterhooks” as we all eagerly awaited the results. I had decided in my mind before viewing the results that whatever the scores were, I had done my best, I had studied hard and I had given it to God.
This was not the first time I had done this exam. It was actually the third time. The previous two times (in 2005 and 2008), I had a very difficult time with the verbal reasoning section. At the time, I didn’t think my MCAT results were competitive enough to apply to medical school so I decided not to apply. There were moments I felt like giving up on this exam, felt like giving up on medical school altogether.
I am so fortunate to have family and friends who believe in me and who did not give up on me. In fact, they did not allow me to give up on my dream. I remember my husband cornering me in the kitchen one day and asking me if I was sure I didn’t want to do medicine anymore. He didn’t want me to have any regrets. My brother Jonathan also kept encouraging me not to give up and motivated me to keep going. So I revamped my study methods, focused on doing many more practice questions and developed better test-taking strategies than on my previous attempts of the MCAT.
My support networks have been so instrumental in allowing me to focus on my med school dream. I remember countless nights of my husband washing the dishes and helping out around the house while I studied for the MCAT (although he confessed he was happy when the MCAT was over and I was back to cooking more interesting meals than chicken, potatoes and peas almost every night!).
It’s hard to believe that 10 years after my first attempt at the MCAT (back when it was still the paper version), it has finally been conquered! I am ecstatic! I owe it all to my wonderful support networks and to the strength God has given me to keep going and to be confident in my ability. The MCAT used to intimidate me. This time around, when I walked into the exam room, I knew I was going to beat it. I am excited to keep going with the medical school application process. It’s a long process but I’m motivated!!
Whatever dream you may be following, keep at it! You may stumble a few times, you may want to give up, you may wonder if you can really succeed. I believe you can succeed. In fact, I know you can. Be confident, don’t be afraid to fail a few times before that final success comes your way. It will be worth the effort and it will prepare you for even bigger challenges ahead!
Here is the break down of my MCAT results:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: Score 129; Percentile rank of score: 93%
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills: Score 128; Percentile rank of score: 90%
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: Score 128; Percentile rank of score: 87%
- Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior: Score 127; Percentile rank of score: 78%
- Total MCAT Score: 512; Percentile rank of score: 88%
For tips on how to excel on the MCAT, particularly if you are retaking the exam, read my post How to Achieve Success on the MCAT…Lessons Learned from Two Retakes.