Nontraditional Applicant Archives – MCAT Mastery

Category Archives for Nontraditional Applicant

How I Went From 500 To 513 on the MCAT In 4 Weeks

Today we want to introduce you to a future doctor with a really inspiring MCAT success story! His name is Tim Knebel and he's one of the MCAT Mentors on our team 🙂 Enjoy!


Hi I'm Tim and in this article, I want to give you some of my top strategies on how I scored a 513 on the MCAT, even when I was barely scoring a 500 just weeks before my test date.

I hope reading about my insights, my mistakes, and my successes, can inspire you and help you in increasing your own score to a competitive level, no matter how bad you might think your situation currently is. 

I know many premeds are nontraditional students, so hopefully my story can help remind some of them that having a different path to medicine is actually an asset.

It started after graduating high school, when I went to community college but soon dropped out because I had absolutely no academic motivation and was dealing with a lot of personal issues. 

For the next three years I worked, played in a band, and slowly got my life together which eventually culminated in me finding an intense passion for mental health and caring for people.

I also became interested in science for the first time in my life, but the thought of actually being able to study science never crossed my mind. 

Strangely, the thought did cross my mind one day and after several months of thinking about what the path actually meant and whether I could do it or not, I decided that I needed to embark on the path to becoming a physician.

After three years and with no study skills from previous schooling, I went back to community college and started completely from scratch. By scratch, I mean in the three semesters I went to community college (the first time, before dropping out) I got one B and everything else was an F or W. 

I spent 3 1/2 years there and then transferred to UC San Diego for Biochemistry.

If I Can Do It, You Can Do It


The reason I'm sharing all of this is for that stereotypical "if I can do it, you can do it" factor.

I managed to claw my way from being a very dysfunctional person with a nearly incalculably low GPA and no study skills to going to a top university and getting a 513 on the MCAT. 

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From 490 To 511 On The MCAT: His 3 Year MCAT Retake Journey

Imagine taking the MCAT and getting a score so far below your expectations that you can’t find the courage to write it again...

For another three years.

Now imagine for two years within that time, being so scared to take the MCAT again that you deeply contemplate giving up your dream of being a doctor.

This was what Andrew experienced after he first wrote the MCAT in 2017 and scored a 490.

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How To Study For The MCAT As A Non-Traditional Student_v1

How To Study For The MCAT As A Non-Traditional Student

The MCAT is no fairytale. A lot of aspiring doctors put rigorous time, effort, and a lot of focus into studying for it. But it’s an added hardship when you are a non-traditional student and have been far removed from the academic world for quite some time.

Say, your last exam taken was years ago, and you are bound to take your MCAT in a few months. That’s a pretty tough scenario you’ve got there.

Too many premeds on forums dole out tips on how to study, which mostly just involves empty affirmations like “You can do it! Just focus and study.” But we know that’s easier said than done, especially if you have been out of the routine of school.

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How Jennifer Increased Her MCAT Score By 10 Points In Less Than 30 Days

How She Increased Her MCAT Score By 10 Points In Less Than 30 Days

Imagine this...

You take your baseline test at the beginning of your MCAT prep, and you score a 500! Not bad right?

In fact, you're kind of pumped because you have 4.5 months before you write your MCAT! That's a lot of time to improve your score by 10 or more points! Especially since you're investing in a big-name MCAT prep company to help you study...

So you take the exam 4.5 months later, you get your score and you can't believe your eyes when you see that you scored a 501! Just a ONE point score increase from your baseline test!

This is the true story and situation of today's featured top scorer, Jennifer Nedimyer...

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mcat success story - how she increased her mcat score

6 Point Score Increase In the Last Week Before the MCAT

Imagine this. It's the last week before the MCAT and your biggest MCAT prep fear has come true...

You just took a practice exam and you're not scoring ANYWHERE near the score you need to get into the med-school you're aiming for!

What do you do!? This is definitely a scenario that calls for a lot of anxiety and panic.

Well, that's exactly the situation Rachel found herself in...

And in this article, you're going to learn exactly how she managed to take her score from "disappointing" to hitting her target score in less than a week! 

With her MCAT prep insights and strategies, we hope you can replicate her results for yourself and increase your MCAT score significantly in just a week, regardless of how far you are from your MCAT test date!

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Nontraditional Student MCAT Score 514 - MCAT Mastery

A Non-Traditional Applicant’s 514 (91st Percentile) MCAT Success Story

Throughout our ongoing 90+ percentile MCAT scorer research and interviews over the years, we've come across many non-traditional MCAT test takers. 

We find their MCAT success stories especially inspiring because they're often struggling with additional pressures and challenges that the average MCAT scorer doesn't face.

Recently, we interviewed Valentina Viertel...

A graduate student and a stay at home mom who was pregnant for almost her entire journey as she was studying for the MCAT!

In fact, she was 24 weeks pregnant when she took the MCAT!

Not only that, but as you'll find out in her interview below, it had been 5 years since Valentina graduated college and almost 10 years since she took some of the pre-reqs!

The most amazing part? 

Even with all of these additional barriers...

Valentina managed to increase her MCAT score by 19 points and achieve a 514 (91st percentile) MCAT score.

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