Menu Icon Search
Close Search

About the ads

30+ MCAT study habits???

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by confewshz, 10.05.02.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. confewshz

    confewshz Senior Member

    Joined:
    06.17.02
    Messages:
    110
    SDN 7+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Hello everyone,

    I know this question has been asked a zillion times, but I like to get fresh perspectives. For those who got 30+ MCAT scores(SouthernGirl, beanbean, JScrusader, Samoa, nero, and anyone else who has a 30+ MCAT score), can you post the following information please? It would be greatly appreciated.

    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    2) The study method used for each section

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Thanks guys and congrats to everyone who recently took the MCAT :clap: ,

    confewshz
  2. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

    Joined:
    06.22.02
    Messages:
    942
    Location:
    Planet of the cows
    SDN 7+ Year Member
  3. confewshz

    confewshz Senior Member

    Joined:
    06.17.02
    Messages:
    110
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    LMAO....nah, I wouldnt recommend that. Too bad you didn't have a choice and good thing it didn't appear to affect your test taking ability :) You just reminded me of my test taking experience I had 5 years ago. Never eat beans, rice and a soda during your lunch break. Man when I went back in to take the test, I was so freakin bloated that I felt like I was going to have a heart attack - LOL. I dont know what I was thinking, although it sounded like a good idea at the time :) Needless to say, the latter half of my test taking experience was utterly miserable. Boy have I learned from that experience. I now know to eat a sandwich at the local Wall Street Deli :) Anyhow, thanks for the response qweewq11 and Blitz.

    confewshz
  4. SouthernGirl

    SouthernGirl Senior Member

    Joined:
    08.17.02
    Messages:
    359
    SDN 7+ Year Member
  5. nero

    nero Senior Member

    Joined:
    10.15.00
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Florida
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    10, 14, 13 = 37

    2) The study method used for each section

    call me crazy, but i reviewed all my basic 4 books.....if i was weak in an area, i did practice problems...so if i thought i was weak in archmides' principle, then i would do problems til i was sick of it....same thing for orgo mechs, and chem problems....bio is sort of a reveiw, but get the details down well!


    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    Took kaplan course and used their practice materials, did every
    topical tests. did TPR practice exams, about 3 of them (as close as you can get with all aspects, i loved the verbal), used examkrakers verbal got me up from a 5 to a 10, so i was pleased

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Kaplan and TPR, kaplan only cause it was part of the course, but found that they weren't close to anything, except bio was good

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Bio - genetics, microbio and cell bio was very helpful....had atleast one passage where an advanced level was very helpful,...on rabbit genetics, on viruses, and lac operon.....advanced clases help!..
    physio was not necessary, i had an EKG passage, but it was doable without the class, i'm taking it now and the book said no more than did the passage......i had taken anatomy before the mcat, but didn't find it of any use.....

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    make sure you have all the concepts down well and you can integrate everything, so for example, be able to solve a problem taht involves the circulatory system wired like a circuit...parallel and series

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    started in May....Mid July started tests.......last test one week before real thing, ........didn't do much of anything in august, except practice verbal......took about 10 tests, aamc V was the same as my real score......and VI was 2 points lower than my real score.............but same difficulty.....

    PM me if you want to know anything else, i'd love to help in any way i can.....

    nero
    redcode likes this.
  6. HamOnWholeWheat

    HamOnWholeWheat Senior Member

    Joined:
    08.30.02
    Messages:
    326
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    10V 9P 11B P

    I was a Comp Sci major who went back to school after two years of work in software engineering. I just took the pre-req's at a Community College and studied for the MCAT on my own. I'm definitely not strong in the sciences, as I've just barely got the pre-req's. I think the key to scoring well for me was to immerse myself 100% in the MCAT for two months prior to the exam. August was the first time I've taken it, and I started studying June 15th. But between Jun 15th and August 15th I studied 7-8hrs/day while taking an EMT-B course. Oddly enough, there were about 10 questions on the Biology section that I would've missed had I not taken the EMT course. Who'd have known?

    I studied off of an old copy of the TPR course books from 2000 (a buddy bequeathed them to me). I read each book cover to cover twice and did all the practice passages. I never did a full practice test, and it really hurt me. I didn't finish the PS and BS sections (5 questions left blank on each) because I wasn't used to the pace.

    The key is immersion and repetition. You don't need a review course, and you don't need advanced courses in the sciences to get a 30 on the MCAT. Just immerse yourself in the material 100% and take as many practice tests as possible. Remember, studying for the MCAT should be treated like a full-time job. Force yourself to study 6-8hrs/day for at least two months prior and deevote every single saturday to taking practice tests. It sounds like a lot, but nobody said getting into medical school was easy. Good luck.
  7. Samoa

    Samoa

    Joined:
    02.14.02
    Messages:
    8,054
    Pharmacist Physician SDN 10+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    35P (or 37, depending on how verbal is reported)

    13V 9P 13B

    2) The study method used for each section
    science-reviewed/learned concepts, then did lots of practice problems, physics is my weak area
    verbal-none, this is my area of strength

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    Science-Examkrackers, practice exams
    Verbal-practice exams

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    AAMC III-V, Examkrackers 1b,

    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    extracurricular activities :laugh:

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?
    Check your numbering after each page. I misnumbered an entire column on PS, and while I thought I recovered well, it may have affected my score nonetheless. Perhaps it would have helped if I had taken the second half of physics.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?
    2.5 months of 3-4 hours/day for the April exam, which I didn't take although I felt more prepared for it than I felt in August.
    About 4 weeks of 4-5 hours/week for the August exam.
  8. JScrusader

    JScrusader Senior Member

    Joined:
    08.12.02
    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    FL
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    11 Vr
    12 PS
    12 BS
    R
    2) The study method used for each section
    I would never spend the money for the kaplan course again.

    VR- nothing but practice tests, I scored a 12 on the Kaplan
    diag. so I knew I was ready

    PS- This section gave me the biggest worry, I used
    Examkrackers in conjunction with my Kaplan class
    I relied more heavily on the EK. I also used the 1001
    question series for physics.

    BS- I had just taken Physiology and Biochem 1. I suggest
    doing the same. Orgo was a pain and I didn't pay
    too much attention to it.


    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Kaplan 1-5 and I used the other PS sections on my free time. Also spend the $80 for e-mcat.com. It is definately worth it as it saves you the time of having to drive to your kaplan center for the tests.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Bio w/ econ minor. Econ helped out on the essay and VR section.

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    Take one of the AAMC tests from e-mcat.com and see how you do. You will know what areas you need to concentrate on after taking one.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    I truly believe you prepare for the MCAT beginning in high school. I started studying specifically for the test in early June.
  9. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member

    Joined:
    01.19.02
    Messages:
    1,300
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    [1) Your individual scores and composite score

    Verbal 11
    Bio 11
    PS 11
    Essay S

    Composite score: 33 S

    My Kaplan diagnostic was 22.

    2) The study method used for each section

    Verbal: Lots and lots of passages! Doing lots of passages gives you a good feel for the "MCAT" way of asking and answering questions. Practice some passages using different methods. I found it best to just read the passage critically, as if I was grading it. For me, specifically looking for the main idea of the passage and each paragraph made me get too bogged down in the details.

    Physical Sciences: Reviewed and made sure I knew the basic concepts. Again, do lots of passages! Nova MCAT Physics Review was great. Nova emphasizes understanding the concepts and being comfortable with the mathematical relationships in equations. If you double the charge or halve the distance how does that effect the electical force? Etc.

    Biological Sciences: Reviewed the basic concepts. Cell bio and genetics are good classes to have under your belt. The room was about 95 degrees by the time BIO started, I'm sure i would have scored higher if I wasn't on the verge of heat stroke.

    Essay: I reviewed the AAMC prompts and directions, but I never wrote a practice essay. Thank God the questions weren't related to politics

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    Took Kaplan class. Good instructor. The individual subject reviews were helpful. I did not use Kapaln's verbal method. I used Examkracker's Audio Osmosis and recommend their Verbal strategy. Kaplan has a great library of tests. Their subject tests can be printed out from the website and scored online. I did almost every subject and topical test Kaplan offers.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    I used some of Kaplan's full lengths, AAMC II - IV. Did almost all of Kaplan's topical and subject tests. Probably did a total of about 3000 questions.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Biomedical Engineering (1990) Boston University Post bac for the past year.(UCONN)

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    Set a plan and stick to it. Don't shy away from hard practice questions. Don't do all of your practice questions under "ideal" situations. There was construction in the parking lot behind the Kaplan center and I took practice full lengths in the loudest room. It helps you learn to block out everything but the questions and who knows what types of distractions there will be on the test day. Just keep pushing through the material and eventually your effort will pay off. Lastly, take off a couple of days before the test and don't study! Just do a couple of Verbal passages to keep it fresh. The morning of the test one or two verbal passages over breakfast. This will help you focus. Just don't freak out if you score them and do terrible! Better to get the bugs out of your brain on practice questions than to blow the first two passages on the real thing.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    7 weeks about 4-5 hours per day
  10. confewshz

    confewshz Senior Member

    Joined:
    06.17.02
    Messages:
    110
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Thanks for the responses, everyone. Keep them coming :)

    confewshz
  11. blinx

    blinx Member

    Joined:
    08.28.02
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    vancouver
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    V11 P13 WN B13

    2) The study method used for each section

    V - lots of practice questions cause this was my weakest area (started off at 7's) and i started reading scientific american magazine too
    P - i found PS to be the easiest section so i didn't stress too much on it
    W - thought of arguments for & against random prompts ... as u can see this method sucked
    B - reviewed organic & just did practice tests

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    i just bought some books from Chapters (Kaplan Comprehensive Review, Kaplan Practice Questions, & Kaplan 45)

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    above books & AAMC Materials (Practice items & Exams I-VI)

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    pharmacology & math

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    yep - i'd say u need a 6-8 week period of hardcore study. read through the material over and over for the first 3-4 weeks then write ~3-4 full length practice exams / week in timed conditions

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    8 weeks
  12. WonderBoy

    WonderBoy PGY1

    Joined:
    01.16.01
    Messages:
    713
    Location:
    NY
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    Thanks a lot for your responses guys and congrats on your scores;)

    Keep'em coming we can use all the help we can get.
  13. marcusbrutus

    marcusbrutus Junior Member

    Joined:
    10.05.02
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Canada
    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    VR 11 PS 12 BS 13 WS S = 36S

    2) The study method used for each section
    Practice problems for VR, PS, and BS. I didn't prepare for the writing sample.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    Used old Princeton Review books from 1998 (family heirloom) for all the sections. Never finished them though.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    Never did a practice test; didn't know they existed until a day before the exam...

    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Immunology

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?
    You must savor the PAIN.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?
    Just a little over two weeks. I was doing research and summer school and my summer school exam was on the same week as the mcat...worst summer of my life.

    By the way, are my scores competitive for first tier med schools? How about the top 10? (It doesn't hurt to dream...)
  14. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating

    Joined:
    03.21.02
    Messages:
    778
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 10+ Year Member
  15. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    06.09.02
    Messages:
    4,374
    Location:
    A stone's throw from Central Park
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    My 2 percent of a dollar

    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    10 verbal, 12 physical, 13 bio, R writing, 35 R

    2) The study method used for each section
    verbal-after looking at the princeton review system, i doctored it to my own needs and came up with my own. it all came down to doing LOTS of passages
    physical-brushed up on my physics, taken 3 years before i took the MCAT. not only a matter of remembering the material, but being competent in thing such as manipulating logarithms saves a lot of time
    Bio-TPR was pretty comprehensive. glanced through my first semester O chem stuff (taken 4 years before)

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    TPR for all of it

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    TPR's saturday diags, two of their impossible lettered tests, and a couple old AAMCs

    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Biology and Chemistry

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    get in the habit of reading more than you normally do, it will help exponentially on the verbal. also, even though i got a great score, i think I would have done a little better had I take it closer to finishing o chem and physics. but, its all about CONFIDENCE more than anything. you wanna go in their thinking you're going to take that thing once, and kill it.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?
    ~3 months, 15-20 hours a week maybe
  16. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member

    Joined:
    09.26.02
    Messages:
    172
    SDN 7+ Year Member
  17. Jonkst

    Jonkst Senior Member

    Joined:
    03.20.02
    Messages:
    209
    Location:
    Florida
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    I PM'd you Confewshz
  18. allan120

    allan120 Member

    Joined:
    09.28.02
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    Well, I've taken the test twice, in 8/97 and 8/01:

    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    Aug97: 13-15v, 12ps, 14bs, O = 39O
    Aug01: 11v, 13ps, 13bs, R = 37R

    2) The study method used for each section
    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    Aug97: Used my friends' Kaplan and PR books, AAMC exams, and class notes. Pretty much just read from cover to cover.
    Aug01: Used my old notes from Aug97, used two random prep books from B&N.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Aug97: AAMC I,II,III, whatever came with Kaplan and PR.
    Aug01: The tests in the two prep books.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Biology and Psychology (1998)
    Computer Science (2002)

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    This has probably been recommended in the past, but I recommend taking the practice tests under real-test conditions. That is, on a practice day, I woke up at the time I would wake up on the day of the MCAT, got ready in the same way, etc., and found a quiet place to take the test for the whole day. I followed the exact time periods set for each section and for lunch.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Aug97: I started in June of that summer, studying maybe 2-3 hours, 3-5 days a week. Around the 1st of August, I started spending about 8hrs/day, 5days/wk in the library studying.

    Aug01: I was taking two classes and working, so I had neither the time nor the inclination to study. I started studying around Aug 8, when my final project in my Java class was finished , and studied about 12hrs/day for a week and a half before the MCAT.

    I felt much less prepared for the 2001 MCAT than for the 1997 one. I would discourage cramming for the MCAT if it's your first time.
  19. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

    Joined:
    06.22.02
    Messages:
    942
    Location:
    Planet of the cows
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Allan: after taking the MCAT the first time, did you decide against applying to med school, or did you apply and not get accepted? I am going to start panicking if a 39 isn't good enough to get into med school!
  20. allan120

    allan120 Member

    Joined:
    09.28.02
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    qweewq11:

    I applied, but did not get accepted. The reason? I had barely a 3.0 in my bio/psych double major at Johns Hopkins, and I didn't have many EC's other than a few independent research projects, and no volunteer activities. My personal statement was awful.

    So don't fret, I was just a 39 with some research at Hopkins med school and not much more. (Kung Fu club? Comic book club? What was I thinking?! ;))

    I did not deserve to get in, and that's what happened.
  21. katem

    katem Member

    Joined:
    09.04.02
    Messages:
    89
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    Aug01: 11v, 13ps, 13bs, Q = 37Q

    2/3/4) The study method used for each section /materials used/practice tests taken:

    I took a TPR course over the summer, which was critical because I tend to procrastinate a way too much, and this forced me to spend several hours, several times a week studying. These classes are ridiculously expensive, and you can buy a set fo used books with all the material they will cover, so if you're very self-motivated, save 1000 bucks and skip the class. I'm not sure I would have broken 30 without the structure the class provided, so it was a worthwhile investment for me. I listened carefully in class, read the entire science workbook they gave me, and then spent the two weeks before the MCAT cramming, until I knew every fact on the Kaplan flashcards and the science review cold. I started in June with a 26, and took the PR practice tests and last AAMC test, with scores something like 26, 30, 30, 36.


    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Psych

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    The practice tests always went a lot faster than the real thing, since no time was spent on all the administrative stuff. Do at least one or two tests over the length of the typical MCAT day (i.e. until 5, not 3:30) to build stamina. Do not eat rich, creamy, tiramisu with your lunch!

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Went to clases starting in June, mayeb 2-3 out of class hours/week studying. Studied like hell for the last two weeks!
  22. bad_hombre

    bad_hombre Member

    Joined:
    06.11.01
    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Ontario
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    11 VR, 13 PS, R writing, 13 BS, = 37R

    2) The study method used for each section
    VR-set a time limit for each passage (~9 min) and after that move on, then maybe come back. do the science passages before the humanities ones if you're a bio major when doing mocks. READ A LOT, and FAST
    PS-look at 1/5th of the material everyday monday to friday, repetition is the key
    Writing- Write an essay or two every couple of days under timed conditions. list of topics found on announcement and on website.
    BS-same as above

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    Just the Kaplan Book and the AAMC materials

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    all of the AAMCs, 4,5, and 6 were especially useful, as were the practice items.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Biology (wrote it after my 2nd year)

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    don't let the damn thing intimidate you, after all it's only a test. take the two days off right before it and get outside or play videogames/watch tv, to give your brain a much needed break. It'll really relax you (won't work for everyone).

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?
    6 weeks, more or less 6-7 hours a day, 6 days a week. I was fried by the end of it.
  23. NIYO2K2

    NIYO2K2 Member

    Joined:
    04.10.02
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Michigan
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    THANK YOU GUYS, YOU DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH THIS ALL MEANS TO EVERYONE HERE.

    I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A INCLUDE ONE MORE QUESTION.

    WHAT UNIVERSITY DID YOU GRADUATE FROM???

    THANKS ONCE AGAIN.
  24. confewshz

    confewshz Senior Member

    Joined:
    06.17.02
    Messages:
    110
    SDN 7+ Year Member
  25. exigente chica

    exigente chica

    Joined:
    05.28.02
    Messages:
    1,330
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Wow, thanx for the tips everyone, you all rock!! Great job on the MCAT:clap:
  26. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

    Joined:
    06.22.02
    Messages:
    942
    Location:
    Planet of the cows
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Hey Chica,
    How does one pronounce the name of that Latin singer Thalia?

    Is it "TALLl-ya," or "Ta-LEE-ya"
    :)
  27. Sicamic

    Sicamic Junior Member

    Joined:
    10.16.02
    Messages:
    16
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    13V, 13P, 14B, T, 40C on the Aug 2002 MCAT.

    2) The study method used for each section

    Read through study books twice for each section, took detailed notes on everything I didn't feel I knew well, read those notes twice, highlighted everything I still felt I didn't know well, and grilled those until I felt decent. That was all done from 2.5 months before to 1 month before. I then started taking practice tests, and filled in info I missed on the tests from books and notes. For Verbal and writing, I just relied on reading a fair amount and the practice tests.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    I borrowed a Kaplan big review book from one friend and borrowed all the Kaplan review individual books from another. I found it very useful to cut pages out and paste them in my own personal notes.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    MCAT 3 - 6, kaplan practice tests, all borrowed from people.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Anthropology & Religious Studies

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    I found it very useful to get the hardcore studying in before i took any tests, and then filling in missed info after tests was key. I would also strongly advise stopping all practice testing about a week before, and a couple of days before, get plenty of sleep and RELAX!!! The idea is to solidly have the info incorporated well before the test and use the last few days to refresh yourself on formulas, names, and whatnot - don't majorly cram and stress right before the test, as it is entirely counterproductive. And DEFINITELY don't pull out your flash cards at the test - people will make fun of you :), and more importantly, the one extra fact you have an iota of a chance of looking up right before you see it on the test is not worth the extra stress you are causing yourself by not taking the breaks to relax.

    I would not recommend taking a course, b/c if you are resourceful and disciplined, you can save yourself $1500. But, if you know that you need someone to take care of the discipline for you, then the money may be worth it. I personally did the studying while working a 40 hour a week job, and while it was a pretty miserable summer, it is definitely do-able. SO spend the cash if you feel you need to, but otherwise I think the main thing the courses offer is structure, and if you can do it on your own, don't waste the money - as ffar as materials go, there are a lot of pre-meds out there, and most of them are more than happy to get rid of their materials once they are done with the exam. I also thought that the Kaplan tests were convoluted (sp?) and not very representative of the MCAT itself - I think the MCAT practice tests were the way to go, and much more helpful than the Kaplan. The MCAT is not as out to trick you as the Kaplan people seem to think.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    2.5 months, all the time, unfortunately. I have a 40 minute commute on the T, and I studied every day.

    Good luck everybody - fight the pre-med instinct to stress, and if you have any more specific q's about study strategies, feel free to drop me a line - I'm a tutor, and despite the cutthroat attitude of some, I'm much more interested in helping people out with this you-know-what-ing test.
  28. DrBravesgirl

    DrBravesgirl Surgeon for a year

    Joined:
    06.04.02
    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    chicago
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    10 Vr
    11 PS
    11 BS
    Q (up from a 27Q in april)
    2) The study method used for each section
    Took Kaplan course for the April test

    VR- used PR 2002 prep books, and went over my old Kaplan stuff..also used the practice tests that came with my PR materials

    PS- I used the PR 2002 books again, and also used Nova's Physics book. Both really helped and prepared me. Did tons and tons and tons and then even more practice tests.

    BS- Used PR again, along with Kaplan, and revisited my old cell bio and molec bio books. in hindsight, the biochem book i'm using now (voet, voet, and pratt--i'm taking it this semester) probably would have helped a lot, too, but it worked out fine


    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Kaplan 1-5, all of the PR practice passages, PR practice tests A-D, old AAMC materials.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Cell/Molecular Biology with a minor in Sociology..but I've taken a buttload of English classes, and that totally helped me with the writing sample.

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    Study, study, study...it is a miserable time in your life..all you do is study while your friends have fun, but trust me--in the end, when you get that first (and hopefully more!) acceptance letter, it is COMPLETELY WORTH IT! and don't let anyone tell you you can't pull your score up..you definitely can. I re-took this august, and it's october, and i already have an acceptance

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    I feel as though I began my freshman year, what with all the bio and chem stuff thrown at me right away..but in truth, I began studying in Jan. for the April exam, and in early June for the Aug. exam..about 5-6 hours, at least 5-6 days a week.
  29. kidlove

    kidlove New Member

    Joined:
    10.11.02
    Messages:
    134
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    gosh..you guys did well on this test.

    Congratulation to all of you..even it's late...but still :)
  30. dpark74

    dpark74 Senior Member

    Joined:
    08.29.02
    Messages:
    270
    SDN 7+ Year Member
  31. Lebesgue

    Lebesgue Senior Member

    Joined:
    10.16.02
    Messages:
    176
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    31Q

    11 V 10 P 10 B WS Q

    2) The study method used for each section

    Verbal - Practiced with the maximum volume of study materials I could find. Get used to reading quickly, the key is practice. I also found that reading the passages with the intent of immersing myself in them helped greatly. This helped the most on the really obsure passages which I think are the key to getting a good score.

    Physical - Reviewed lots of concepts in textbooks and concentrated on Kaplan 1-5/6 tests, and AAMC 2-6. The upper level Kaplan tests 6 and higher (12 by now) are simply misleading in their demand for rigorous equations. The amount of computation on those tests are that which you just won't find on the MCAT. I also used a buddy's Princeton notes which were a little better. Strike a balance.

    Biology - Reviewed old O-chem flashcards and took a Biochem course over the summer before the August test which helped synthesize my O-chem and Biology quite a bit.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    Kaplan. See above.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Kaplan. See above.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Mathematics

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    Relax and be excited at the chance to show what you know. (try not to be nervous, there's no advantage to it :) ) No matter how you think it will help, don't study the day prior. See a movie, relax, and try to get some sleep.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Standard Kaplan summer course, with roughly 6 hour days. I would recommend starting earlier (Jan) by reviewing concepts and ideas before you feel a time crunch. Also, if you take a prep course with practice tests, do the whole test including the writing sample to get the feel of the day. I saw some people blowing off the writing sample and I think their scores suffered. Take as many practice tests (besides the standard Kaplan Saturday tests) as possible after you think you're about 60-70% prepared on all the basic material. (i.e. if you haven't seen O-chem in 3 years taking a practice test only verifies what you don't know, and doesn't teach you much). Make sure to go over all your answers, correct or incorrect. This is the best learning experience since you may have got a question right for the wrong reasons.
  32. confewshz

    confewshz Senior Member

    Joined:
    06.17.02
    Messages:
    110
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Thanks everyone for your great advice. I now know how to most effectively structure my MCAT study schedule. Have fun everyone.

    confewshz
  33. Mike59

    Mike59 Sweatshop FP in Ontario

    Joined:
    11.19.01
    Messages:
    1,086
    Location:
    The inner-net
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    The MCAT is an enigma. I didn't prepare for the writing sample at all and made an S.
  34. osar92

    osar92 Senior Member

    Joined:
    12.08.02
    Messages:
    198
    Location:
    on L&D
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 10+ Year Member
  35. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

    Joined:
    04.28.02
    Messages:
    2,797
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    12V 12P Q 10B

    2) The study method used for each section

    Studied kaplan review books and did practice Qs.. took TONS of practice tests.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    For review... mostly Kaplan.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Like... all of them! All of Kaplans... all of PRs and all but the first 3 AAMC.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Math

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    I recorded how many hours I studied (I think this is REALLY important) and made it a goal to study at least 200hrs before test day. I started three months before and tried to study 3-6 hours a day, everyday. In the end I studied like 220hrs.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    see above
  36. Freakingzooming

    Freakingzooming Senior Member

    Joined:
    12.31.02
    Messages:
    574
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    I'm disturbing the flow in this. But how in the jebbus do you guys have the time be studying 3-4 hrs a day? I volunteer, work, research, have just three classes, TA.. and I don't know if I have 3-4 hours to spare a week.

    Did you guys take some time off from school?
  37. lady bug

    lady bug

    Joined:
    01.03.02
    Messages:
    578
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Its all about making priorities and sticking to them. I've had to cut down on some ECs that I really enjoy, workout less, maybe not sleep as much....its all about sacrificing and compromising your time for what's most important. Just gotta keep thinking of the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
  38. Freakingzooming

    Freakingzooming Senior Member

    Joined:
    12.31.02
    Messages:
    574
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    But yo, don't you feel sorta lost at the same time? all this studying, hard work, and you're even guaranteed a 1 in 4 chance of getting in? Med school is like the show biz, you can do the right things, have the Asian work ethic, have the right attitude.. but you really don't have a guaranteed chance of succeeding?

    Am I'm the only one disappointed in the possibiltiies?
  39. tidbit218

    tidbit218 Member

    Joined:
    12.28.02
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Berkeley, California
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I devoted basically all of last summer to the MCAT, but I felt it was worth it even before I got the scores. I was taking introductory bio at the same time, and it was the easiest A+ ever, since I was learning all the material for the MCAT anyway. To be an optimist, I felt studying for the test was a great overview of the undergraduate coursework and that I learned a lot of the subjects better a second time through. Also, I think most posters would agree that becoming a doctor is worth the effort.

    Anyway, as for the rest of my info...

    12 V, 14 P, 13 B = 39R

    Verbal studying: I read A LOT and did practice problems. I work pretty fast, so I never timed myself, but I can see how that would be helpful.
    Science studying: I reviewed through the class lectures (didn't read the books much) and did lots of practice problems.
    Writing: I haven't seen too many people talk about writing, but I really tried to catch up on my current events - I listened to a lot of NPR on my commute. Practicing is harder, since it's difficult to grade yourself, but it definitely helped me.

    Materials: I took the Princeton Review class, so I used their stuff. We also did some AAMC tests as part of the class.

    Chemistry major at UC Berkeley

    I studied three months before the test. I had three hours classtime per day and spent probably another 4-5 hours doing practice problems. I was working in a research lab, so I practiced during downtime, while my experiments were running or whatever. A couple weeks before the exam, I started doing problems in test-size chunks, just to get used to the format.

    I can't say that prepping was fun, but I got into a routine, so it wasn't as bad as it sounds. I can't imagine doing it during the school year though - I guess just start early and stay focused. Good luck everyone. :)

    Elizabeth
  40. birdie

    birdie Senior Member

    Joined:
    11.19.02
    Messages:
    249
    SDN 10+ Year Member
  41. mecute

    mecute Member

    Joined:
    02.13.03
    Messages:
    107
    SDN 7+ Year Member
  42. Sharky

    Sharky Shark

    Joined:
    07.29.01
    Messages:
    823
    Location:
    Shark World
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    ALL YOU GUYS ARE GENIUSES.
  43. soonerpillow

    soonerpillow Dime-a-dozen schmuck

    Joined:
    03.12.03
    Messages:
    3,671
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    11V 12B 9P WN
    32N

    2) The study method used for each section

    I read the reviews for each section, then did some (not many) practice passages.


    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    I used the comprehensive Kaplan Review book for everything (but not the course)

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    The one that came in the Kaplan review book.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Microbiology

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    Do a whole lot of practice passages to get in tune with the style of questions they ask. Use common sense as much as possible when answering questions (don't outsmart yourself).

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    about 1.5 hours/day for 10 weeks. I don't think I studied enough, though. I'm doing a lot more practice problems this time.
  44. BushBaby

    BushBaby Nipplelina

    Joined:
    01.09.02
    Messages:
    3,024
    Location:
    New York
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    This time? this time for what? You are retaking with a score like that? Can I have your old score?
  45. soonerpillow

    soonerpillow Dime-a-dozen schmuck

    Joined:
    03.12.03
    Messages:
    3,671
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Yeah, I'm retaking.
    I just love studying for that test. :D
    like I said, I don't think I studied as much as I could have (i.e. I really do think I can do better.) and my score is a little below average for some of the schools I want to apply to. especially the Physical Sciences and Writing Sample.

    I did the same thing in high school with the SATs and ACTs. I like to take them until I feel I've beaten them (into submission).

    Oh, and sure, you can have my old score. :laugh: I'll just contact AAMC and have them transfer them to you. I'm sure they won't mind (although there will probably be a fee, for both of us :laugh: )
  46. BushBaby

    BushBaby Nipplelina

    Joined:
    01.09.02
    Messages:
    3,024
    Location:
    New York
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    uhmm.....exactly what planet are you from? :laugh:
  47. soonerpillow

    soonerpillow Dime-a-dozen schmuck

    Joined:
    03.12.03
    Messages:
    3,671
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I'm actually from a planet where PV, in fact, does not equal nRT (we have negative temperatures (K), so if your ideal gas law was true, we would have negative volume). That's why the MCAT study material is just so darn fascinating.:laugh:
  48. sunflower79

    sunflower79 tired member

    Joined:
    03.26.01
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    lost in space
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    10v, 12p, 14b, S

    2) The study method used for each section

    I took 6 weeks off work during the summer and just did two subjects every day, like a hermit.

    For all sections I just did a lot of passages and looked at answer keys THOROUGHLY to see where I went wrong. I took notes on mistakes I tended to make. For science sections (P, B) I read one TPR chapter, then did all corresponding passages. That way you nail the subject matter. Used college texts only to supplement stuff I didn't understand.

    V- learned to circle key words, annotate
    P- listed formulas on "study sheets" by topic
    B- study sheets, wrote key ideas down (only the stuff I didn't already know), used old biochem flash cards to memorize amino acids
    essay- looked at MCAT announcement book, chose prompts at random and wrote outlines (NOT entire essay, I didn't have time). Read the paper regularly/listened to NPR.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    TPR, see above

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    TPR

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    bio

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    nah. If you're slacking even now, stop everything else you're doing and hit the passages! Forget the prep course texts.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    6 weeks, 12 hrs/day w/breaks.

    good luck!
  49. care bear

    care bear pink fuzzy user

    Joined:
    10.31.02
    Messages:
    919
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    34-36 Q

    13-15 V 10 P 11 B WS Q

    2) The study method used for each section

    Verbal - didn't study verbal. just completed verbal section of practice tests. but i'm weird. i liked the sat.

    Physical - cried a lot. i still don't really get physics and chem. i was completing prereqs at the time, so that might have helped. but a week before the test, i was still getting 7 on physical practice test. i went to blockbuster, rented a lot of movies i had seen before, and made hundreds and hundreds of flashcards. i spent hours just sitting there and going through them. or i took walks and looked through them. a few days before the test, i took practice test and was ok. i just needed to memorize!!

    Biology - read through the kaplan book. i am a bio major. i was completing orgo prereq at the time also.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    Kaplan mcat comprehensive book. i also bought their online thing (science edge?) but almost immediately returned it. not worth $$.
    and used the AAMC tests. they *are* worth the $$!
    oh and i bought an arco(?) test book. it was ok.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Kaplan and bought AAMC tests.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    molecular bio and political science

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    you gotta find your individual study strategy. everyone is different.

    ooh- and one thing i forgot to anticipate was not being able to fall asleep the night before! i was so nervous! so it might have helped if i had planned for that and slept a lot the previous nite, or gone to bed super super early.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    2.5 months, about 1 hour each day and then took practice tests on weekends sometimes . to be honest, i really should have studied a lot more. i have a really short attention span. . .
    the week before the test i put in more like 3-4 hours a day.

    hehe. . . just thought i'd share my story. . .goes to show everyone really is different. goood luck!!! can't wait to see the april mcaters sharing their own success tips in a few months :)
  50. Wrigleyville

    Wrigleyville Fugitive Tech Consultant

    Joined:
    01.06.03
    Messages:
    1,385
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    11V 13B 13P

    2) The study method used for each section

    I bought one of those giant MCAT review books, and cut it into the individual subject sections to make carrying it more manageable. I read through the each section, and then went back and read it again while taking notes. Then I reviewed the notes.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)

    I think it was Kaplan

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Just the ones at the end of the subject matter sections.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Chemistry and Philosophy

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?

    Study a couple hours at a time, don't try and cram everything in at once, and practice test taking if you have problems with standardized tests.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    ~2 hours a night for a month.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

// Share //

Style: SDN Universal