Should You Void Your MCAT Score?

Posted by The PhD Perspective on 12/1/12 10:53 AM

Taking the MCAT can be extremely anxiety provoking!  

With the medical school admissions process looming in the distance, even with intense MCAT prep courses, and the countless number of practice passages you’ve done, fear and doubt can get the better of any of us.  On test day, this may leave you with the feeling that you’ve bombed the exam and completely ruined your future.  There is an option that you may have seen, but didn’t fully understand: the VOID option.  In our post, we’ll tell you what happens if you void your exam, and if it’s the right choice for you on exam day.

What is the VOID option?

After taking your exam, you have the option to VOID.  What this means, is that if you don’t feel confident about your performance on the exam, you can make so that it is like you never took the exam.  In other words, the exam is not scored, and medical schools will not know that you sat for the exam.  Keep in mind, that when you do void your exam, you have used up one of your three chances to take the exam in a single year.  Remember, once you void your score, you can’t take it back.  It really is like those hours in front of the computer never happened.

Should I void?

The choice to void is a personal one and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  There are several things to consider when making this decision

  • Extent of preparation

Really consider how much time you spent in preparation for the exam.  Did you spend a week or two, or were you preparing for several months ahead of time.  Most individuals participate in extensive MCAT prep classes, and work with individual tutors to enhance their knowledge base as well as their test taking abilities.  If you haven’t adequately prepared, then maybe voiding the exam is the way to go.  However, if you’ve spent a significant amount of time and effort preparing, be confident in the work that you’ve put in.  Your MCAT tutors have helped you to navigate the exam, and with their help, you are sure to get a great score on the exam.

  • How was your performance affected

Only you can know if your performance was not what it could be on test day.  Perhaps you were sick, or fear/doubt took hold of you.  If you really believe that you were completely frozen by fear, preventing you from answering questions to the best of your ability and completing exam questions, then voiding the exam is a viable option.  Voiding is not something you should do, if you think that you missed a few questions, or some of the verbal passages were dense and you didn’t like them. 

  • Is there time to take the exam again?

Depending on the time that you take the exam, there may or may not be enough time to re-take the test in order to have it ready to send out to schools.  If there is no time to retake the exam, and you’ve already begun your medical school admission s applications, you realistically cannot take the exam again.

The void option is an escape hatch, but should only be used in case of emergency

Exam day fear/doubt is normal, and should not influence your decision.  However, if you really feel like the fear prevented you from completing the exam and answering the questions,then consider the void option.  But use this option wisely.  Remember, you will have to take the test again, and continue to prepare for exam day.

Good Luck!

Tags: medical school admissions, MCAT