No. Never void your MCAT scores. When you drive to that testing facility on MCAT day, the option of voiding your MCAT score should never be in your head. According to my Princeton Review MCAT teachers, here is the reason why.
When you decided to void your exam, you thought about doing this before even taking the exam. Even if you weren’t actively thinking, “If I don’t do well on the MCAT today, I’ll just void the exam” your subconscious knew it was a possibility. No one goes into the exam and spontaneously decides to void it at the end.
How Medical School admission committees view voiding your MCAT scores.
An admissions committee cannot see whether or not you voided an exam, however, it is not difficult for them to put two and two together and see that at some point in your pre-med years you were studying for the MCAT and did not take it. You would have to either lie and say you didn’t take the MCAT during that time (which could bite you in the butt later), or admit that you voided the exam.
If the admissions committee find out that you did void the exam, you now have to explain to them that you were not confident in your ability to take the MCAT. In order to defend yourself you will have to come up with some kind of excuse. This looks very bad to an organization that is built on integrity and hard work.
Although this isn’t a deal breaker, it certainly does not look good considering that medical schools will have plenty of difficult exams that you won’t be able to void.
Do yourself a favor and DO NOT void!
One could argue: What if you weigh the pros and cons, and decide that ultimately low MCAT scores will look worse than the possibility of Medical Schools finding out that you voided the exam?
First of all, nobody leaves the MCAT thinking they rocked it. It’s a terrible test that messes with your head. Just because you thought you did poorly does not mean you actually did poorly.
Also, a bad MCAT score is not necessarily a bad thing.
A bad MCAT score could indicate a story in your development. Let’s say you do terrible one year and then the next year you fix your mistakes and rock it. Now when you’re facing your interviewers you can explain to them how you picked yourself up, evaluated your mistakes, and killed the MCAT. Here you turned something negative into something positive.
In general, owning up to your mistakes and finding ways to improve is better than a lack of confidence in your abilities.
There is never a legitimate excuse to void your MCAT scores.
What about some weird environmental situation?
Like construction occurring in the floor above you? Do you void then?
You won’t be able to void a brain surgery if there was some kind of awful distraction in the background. Remember, excuses are bad.
My MCAT professor once told me that sometimes test takers will have to put up with noises from construction during their exams. The testing service may offer a voucher to take the exam at another date. Don’t take them. You do not want to risk postponing your MCAT by a significant amount of time because all the seats are filled up (this could be especially troubling if you are taking the MCAT during the summer!)
Also, you will burn yourself out. Chances are you have already pushed your studying to the limits.
Learn to deal with distractions.
This is something that I struggle with, but I’m finding ways to combat this everyday!
My professor also mentioned that sometimes a testing facility gives you the option of adding a note in your score report that you took the exam during some kind of distraction such as construction. Definitely don’t accept this! This looks terrible. Worse than voiding the exam. Can you imagine one of the admissions committee asking you, “So why did you think it was necessary to state that you took the MCAT while there was construction going on next door?”
What about a medical condition?
Here is a paraphrased quote from my MCAT biology professor:
“Never void your score. If you begin having a heart attack during the test should you void your score? No! You get to the damn hospital as fast as possible. Later during your interview and you’re asked why this particular score was so low, you can definitely tell them you had a heart attack, show them your hospital bill, and I promise you they will cross that score off their list.”
Don’t void your MCAT scores, don’t make excuses. Own up to this exam and do your best. If your score is terrible, acknowledge your mistakes and fix them. Instead of making excuses, you will show admission committees that you have grown during this whole process. You are now a better man/woman ready to overcome the rigors of Medical School.
Also, putting the idea of voiding your MCAT scores in your head can affect your performance. If you don’t think you have an out, you will push yourself harder on test day!
Any other questions? Leave a comment below!