LizzyM Score: How to Beat the Odds and Get ACcepted
For those of you who plan on applying to medical schools this coming cycle, you may have come across the LizzyM or other med school chances calculator.
What is the LizzyM Score?
The LizzyM is a med school chances calculator that was created by contributor LizzyM on the blog Student Doctor Network. Using your GPA, MCAT score, and ethnicity, the LizzyM plots your numbers in relation to demographic data from the AAMC Data Grid of Accepted Applicants to generate a score that estimates your chances of getting accepted to various medical schools.
In theory, using med school calculators like LizzyM scores are a good starting point to assess your reach and safety schools. For example, using the LizzyM scores, you can create a list of schools within range of your score, and expect these schools to more-or-less grant you an interview.
However, while the LizzyM scores are quick and useful, you should take them with a grain of salt. Just because a school is beyond range of your predicted score, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply!
In fact, the authors of Cracking Med School Admissions know numerous individuals at top medical schools who do not have the highest MCAT scores and GPA. If they had listened solely on a “chances of getting into medical school calculator”, they would not be where they are today.
A Medical school acceptance calculator, like LizzyM, only takes into account your MCAT score, GPA, and ethnicity. Other Med School Chances calculators take “state of residence” into account, but they don’t have as much data and are thus may not be as robust as the LizzyM Score.
What the Med School Chances Calculator Doesn’t Take Into Account
The LizzyM Calculator doesn’t take into account key qualitative aspects of your application. The Cracking Med School Admissions team truly believes these other factors are important!
Important Qualities the Lizzy M Score Doesn’t Take Into Account:
- Undergraduate institution: A GPA at one school is not equivalent to the same GPA at another schools. Medical schools take this into account. Additionally, some schools such as Boston University and Wellesley have grade deflation policies while other schools are notorious for having grade inflation.
- Major: Similar to your undergraduate institution, not all majors are equal in difficulty. In general, engineering majors are considered “harder.”
- Home state, other places you’ve lived, and the location of your undergraduate University: Medical schools think about whether you will matriculate to their school or you randomly checked the box and applied to their medical school. Therefore, if you have any location affiliation, it is a factor into receiving an interview. This is especially important with State schools, such as the University of California schools. In fact, UC Davis Medical School asks what affiliations you have with Northern California.
- Personal Background and Life Experiences: All your life experience enrich your medical application and show who you are as a person.
- Strength of Extra-curricular activities: Medical Schools look at the depth and impact of your extra-curricular activities, including your research experiences. Some students have multiple publications prior to applying to medical school while others have done humanitarian aid in the poorest corners of the world.
- Strength of Medical School Letters of Recommendation: We’ve had students who have had their letters of recommendation from nobel prize winners. What your letter writers say and how prestigious their reputations are in medicine matter to the admissions committee. Read our blog post on: How to Ask for a Medical School Letter of Recommendation.
- Leadership & Teamwork: How well do you work with others and have you led organizations in the past? These are all important aspects of being a physician leader that are especially important to the top medical schools.
- Most importantly, your essays! Medical schools carefully look at what you write in your primary application. This includes your personal statement, AMCAS work and activities, and secondary essays.
In short, the LizzyM score calculator and other med school acceptance calculators only, well…calculate! While they may plot your GPA into their algorithm and generate a quick reference, they won’t process the uptrending theme and narrative of how your grades improved over time due to persistence. Still, they can still be valuable tools to help narrow down the list of medical schools you will apply to.
How to Beat the Odds
Is your LizzyM Score too low? Don’t fret!
As an anecdotal aside, the author of this blog post went ahead and plugged his numbers into the LizzyM calculator, with a resultant score of “59.” Decent, but nowhere outstanding, and not at all in correlation with where he currently goes to medical school in California.
The Cracking Med School Admissions team can help you get accepted into medical schools even if you your stats (GPA / MCAT scores) are lower than the median.
We were also worried about not getting into medical school because some of our stats were “too low.”
Year after year, we help students with low scores get into medical school. How?
- Captivating stories throughout their application
- Personal statements full of convincing stories about why you will be a fantastic doctor
- A strong, cohesive application
- And many move techniques we’ve learned over the years that we’ll share with you throughout the application process…
Contact us and we can work with you to help optimize your medical school applications today!
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