Why Even High-Scoring Applicants May Be Rejected
Updated: May 24
Whether you have one interview or five, you only get one shot at your dream school. You've spent years maintaining an outstanding GPA. You've spent months of intense study preparing for the MCAT. And now it's time for the medical school interview.
At this point, we understand that many applicants feel as though they can relax just a little. They've done great, and the interview is seen as a formality.
Unfortunately, that couldn't be further from the truth.
Data from the 2017-2020 seasons indicates that even high-scoring applicants had a significant risk of rejection. In fact, close to 1 in 5 high-scoring applicants were rejected.
These were applicants with a GPA of 3.79 or above AND who had scored a 514 or above on the MCAT. (This link provides the latest data, indicating the likelihood of medical school acceptance at different levels of GPA and MCAT score.)
Why would such academic high achievers not make it into medical school? Because medical schools are seeking much more than just cognitive skills. In fact, one of the reasons the interview is considered so important is because it is used to measure important non-cognitive skills.
There are a few vital conclusions here.
The medical school interview is NEVER a formality.
You need to prepare.
If you'd like to learn more, here's a podcast episode we did: "The Medical School Interview: More Important than the MCAT and GPA?"
Wishing you all the best,
Rajani Katta MD and Samir Desai MD
Authors of The Medical School Interview
Dr. Rajani Katta is the creator of Medical School Interviews 101, the course that teaches students how to ace their interviews. She is also the author of the best-selling book The Medical School Interview: Winning Strategies from Admissions Faculty, and served as Professor of Dermatology at the Baylor College of Medicine for over 17 years.
Dr. Samir Desai is the author of The Medical School Interview and Multiple Mini Interview: Winning Strategies from Admissions Faculty. He has served on the medical school admissions and residency selection committees at the Baylor College of Medicine and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.