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The Official 8/17/2012 MCAT Thread

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by LaurenMarie, 05.19.12.

  1. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Let's all dread this date together! :scared:


    How/when are you guys studying? (i.e. SN2ed, Kaplan, TBR)


    EDIT: I'm attaching simple charts I made to keep track of my progress for each set of passages for the SN2ed schedule. Its helpful to monitor how you are progressing and will show you what areas to work on. ENJOY :)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 05.23.12
  2. docelh

    docelh

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    Started to adjust (i.e., getting my ass kicked) to passages.
  3. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Exactly my thoughts right now! I'm doing the SN2ed plan, so I've barely made a dent. What books are you using?
  4. docelh

    docelh

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    I'm doing a modified SN2 strategy to adjust for the following. I needed a 2-week break after finals. Besides ECs and a little bit of a social life, I have no other commitments beyond MCAT prep. That said, I've concentrated all my EC commitments on one day each week, so it will be an exhausting day. It will be pretty pathetic if I'm not ready for the test in August, but it's a distinct possibility!

    Here's the exact materials I have:

    1. EK 1001: Gen Chem, O-chem, Physics.
    2. EK 101 VR Passages.
    3. TPR Hyperlearning Verbal Workbook.
    4. TPR Hyperlearning Biological Sciences.
    5. TBR: All four science subjects.
    6. 9 past GMAT reading comprehension tests. Given to me by somebody else.


    After taking a couple of of the Physics passages, I clearly understand that while we need to review the science material, it shouldn't be the main focus.

    VR has been pretty humbling in my experience. I've done extremely well in SAT verbal and consider myself a good reader. Experimented with different approaches, settled on one. What's really frustrating to me is that it seems that there is little coherence in what should be the right answer. For some answers, the right answer is justified by what is explicitly in the passage (worded differently). For other right answers, gratuitous statements are made in them that can't be backed up by the text directly or indirectly. Here's an example of a right answer from an EK passage:

    Right Answer: Though state hospital costs compose the bulk of New York's costs, these costs will be relatively unaffected by changing to a competitive system.

    This would have been my preferred choice, however, nowhere in the passage was it conclusively stated or inferred that hospital costs were the bulk of the state's expenditures. So I didn't choose it. Yet I was wrong. And in other questions, they justify the right answer based on direct/indirect support in the passage. Someone shoot me. :)
    Last edited: 05.20.12
  5. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    I know exactly what you mean! I honestly want a 36+, but right now I am pretty convinced that I will get < 30. :scared:

    Oh, and I'm beginning to wonder if at the end of the sn2ed schedule, after starting FLs, if its better to do a full day of EK 1001 before the last 1/3 BR. I mean, those are the last practice passages that we will get.. so shouldn't we nail the concepts before going through those?
  6. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    I'm noticing that a bit too. I've noticed that its (obviously) really important to know the equations like the back of your hand, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what to really focus on other than that. What do you think?


    I've noticed things like that too! VR is stressing me out :help: It seems like I'll never figure out a strategy for it. What approach is everyone else using for VR?
  7. curt656

    curt656 Dinosaur Pre-Med

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    I'm taking 8/17 as well. I started SN2's plan on Monday. Physics has identified itself as a glaring weakness. Good luck to all!!
  8. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Good luck to you as well!

    Physics Ch 1 was a slap in the face to me. I just can't manage my time with all of the calculations. I'm really struggling to be able to "estimate" the value of some of the more complex fractions. That was my problem with Gen Chem ch 1 as well. Do/did you struggle with that as well?
  9. lolcat

    lolcat

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    whats up guys! on day 4 on the sn2ed schedule. so far gen chem has given me problem. org was by far easiest for me (finished passages in <5 minutes and got 2 wrong at most on each.. should of used the rest of the 2 min to look it over lol.. oh well).

    will do bio tomorrow. kind of worried about that. seems like a pain to go over. my VR sucks as well haha
  10. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    I'm doing chapter 1 Bio tomorrow too! We might be somewhat on the same schedule for a little while (I took out all the break days to give myself time at the end to cover any weak points)

    I agree though! Gen chem ch 1 was tough! I had a hard time trying to estimate the more complex fractions. O chem was much better! I'm pretty worried for bio. I took bio 2 years go :scared:
  11. lolcat

    lolcat

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    Lol me too... its been a while since I took bio. Just skimmed over and we're starting with the nervous system.. just great haha. I'm going to stick with BR bio thought instead of EK. I heard EK is too brief.. I'll just read that during my leisure time, and stick with BR for the schedule
  12. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Yeah I read that some people said BR was way too in depth, but EK was too brief. I might focus on EK then supplement with BR. Plus, many people say that EK is sufficient for what is covered on the MCAT.

    Ughh.. I'm just terrified for all of it!
  13. UMDoc2Be

    UMDoc2Be

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    are you guys all applying this cycle? :)
  14. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    I'm applying next cycle. I still have 2 years of undergrad. I'm taking it this summer because I want a FULL summer to dedicate to MCAT studying because I know I won't be able to sufficiently prepare while in school.
  15. lolcat

    lolcat

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    I'll see how it goes with BR. I don't want to get killed.. esp on a Monday lol. If things get rough I'll just switch to EK.
  16. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    So it was not knowing the material well enough that got you? Not the passages? EK 1001 should help with that! I'm hoping that my 2nd 1/3 doesn't discourage me too much. I'm just trying to remind myself that everyone else is facing the same thing.
  17. nycsoul87

    nycsoul87

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    Just set up my study plan and looking to target this date. I will be be using a combination of TBR and EK. EK + audio Osmosis to run through the material once in ~10 days or so and then TBR for a while with last month dedicated to practice exams. We'll see- good luck guys!


    Oh and I am also applying next cycle, like others in this thread I wanted to dedicate an entire summer just to this exam. We got this :D
  18. curt656

    curt656 Dinosaur Pre-Med

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    I am having a problem remembering all the formulas and how to put them together. Projectile motion is something I am really struggling with. With Gen Chem, its difficult to do stoichiometry in my head. Will we be able to use a pencil and scratch paper during the exam??

    I am doing the same exact thing, lol. I just want this out of the way so I can concentrate on my application next summer.
  19. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Yes, I believe they supply scratch paper and a pencil. I have the same issue. I can't do the stoichiometry in my head. I have to keep track of the units on paper.
  20. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Do any of you guys hate Physics as much as I do? Ughh. I just can't stand the subject. It bores the crap out of me. I'm currently working on circular motion and I want to scream. Haha

    How is the studying going for everyone else?
  21. osprey099

    osprey099

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    lol, I enjoy physics, chem, and orgo. But I absolutely hate biology. With physics, chem, and orgo, there's always an explanation and once you understand the underlying principles, the questions become pretty easy. But with bio, it's basically all memorization, which I'm pretty bad at lol.
  22. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Same here. I can do physics, but I just find it hard to stay focused when I don't really care about the subject. On the other hand, I find bio interesting, but I'm ridiculously scared for the bio section. I have the hardest time trying to memorize the terms and it doesn't help that I had bio almost 3 years ago :scared:
  23. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    I'm putting together all of the excel/word documents that I'm using to organize my SN2ed study plan. I attached a few to the first post on this thread. Let me know if you find them useful! :D
  24. nixm01

    nixm01

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    I'm in this category as well and am also doing the SN2ed study schedule.

    Unfortunately, because of it, I do not have time to post much more than this right now! Hopefully when I get caught up (I'm 4 days behind), I can contribute a little more to this conversation because I'm curious as to how everyone else is feeling about this schedule so far and about how many hours per day you're needing to complete everything (assuming you're doing so). The first chapters for GChem and OChem were ridiculously long and required me to take two days to complete so I don't see how we are supposed to go through the entire chapter, review the previous day's problems, complete 2 verbal, and review the previous day's verbal.
    (GChem I am lacking due to being over a year since I've seen it, while OChem is very strong and I was able to get about 80% of all first 1/3 passages correct - but still took me two days to get through the BR material)

    Talk to you soon and good luck to everyone!
  25. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    EK bio is the exact opposite for me. It could be because I took the bio that focused on the molecular and genetic portion of bio almost 3 years ago. Even then I didn't strive to really understand the material. The first EK lesson took me really long to get through, then after that the BR passages on enzymes kicked my ***.

    I definitely agree that this makes the days go extremely fast! I honestly feel that I don't have as much time as I would like to spend on each section.
  26. lolcat

    lolcat

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    thanks for the documents! :)
  27. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    No problem! Check out the link in my signature. I posted some blank answer sheets for the EK 1001 problems. It helps me keep track of which ones I've done.
  28. MD2be1001

    MD2be1001

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm using the TPR books and EK 101 passages for VR. VR is kicking my ass =( gotta step up and kick it in the crotch!
  29. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Don't worry! You're not alone. VR is kicking my ass too. I'm getting 7 pretty much every time :(


    I have the science workbook too! I want to use it especially for topics that I'm weak in. I might wait until after content review though and try to do a lot of it then.
  30. BrianK0220

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    .
    Last edited: 05.27.12
  31. lolcat

    lolcat

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    What day are most of you guys on? Just wondering if I'm on the right track... I had to take a few days off and I'm just starting Day 5 today :(
  32. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    I know this is bad, but I took all of the break days out. I'm starting day 8 for me today which is O chem ch2. I took out the break days in case I fall behind unexpectedly. Bio ch1 took me 2 days because I had to go somewhere the day I was supposed to do it. I'm sure you'll be fine! Just map the rest of the schedule out on a calendar and see what adjustments you need to make to stay on track :)
  33. LuminousTruth

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    For those of you taking the TPR course (or not using SN2ed's schedule), how does your day look hour by hour? I tried to map out what I need to study for by the TPR course but the day to day planning is so inconsistent! How long do you all spend doing the TPR homework? Do you all finish it within one day or spread it?

    Is it better to finish all the assigned HW for one class ASAP? Or spread it through the week? Initially I thought spreading it through the week would be better but all the other sections have a lot less or a lot more that it's really inconsistent to set x days out for this bio, chem, phys, etc.

    I'm getting pretty disorganized - how do your schedule's look?
  34. bpatient

    bpatient Gold Donor

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    So behind on schedule! Also taking it on Aug 17 with TPRH course
  35. osprey099

    osprey099

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    Is it just me or are TBR Verbal passages extremely hard?
  36. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    All verbal passages are hard to me. I'm scoring ridiculously low with EK and TBR :(
  37. osprey099

    osprey099

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    lol yea but personally, I feel TBR is hardest. I'm getting like 3-4 wrong on every passage :(
  38. nixm01

    nixm01

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    Every source of material I have states that we should only know the basic stretches on an IR spec, such as OH, COOH, C=O, etc (which I do). One thing I have never needed to memorize are the specific frequencies in carbonyls of different groups (i.e. ketone, ester, amide, etc.). But on Ex. 2.13 in Section II of TBR Organic Chem, the answer expected us to know that 1750 is specific to only a carbonyl in an ester.

    I'm pretty sure that is not the type of detail we are expected to know for the MCAT, but I wanted to double check to make sure before I just blew it off as another one of their overly ridiculously detailed/hard example questions.

    Any input?
  39. nixm01

    nixm01

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    Also, what about bending frequencies? I've searched the forums and come up with nothing so I assume that is beyond the scope of the MCAT? Personally, we didn't go over it much at all in my organic course (bending).
  40. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    I actually just did that chapter yesterday so I know what you're referring to. I doubt we would have to have that fact memorized, but I think its a good idea to understand why an amide carbonyl would appear at a lower wavenumber than a ketone (for example). I believe that it deals with the relative strengths of the bonds. "The stronger bond, having a higher bond dissociation energy, has a higher energy absorbance." (page 111)

    That's still really confusing to me though. I can't picture why an ester has a higher bond dissociation energy than an aldehyde. The order of the others makes sense to me though (aldehyde > ketone > carb. acid > amide). Any thoughts on this?
  41. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    I'm not too sure about this. The theory behind IR confuses me a bit to be honest.
  42. docelh

    docelh

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    Of the four subjects, Physics seems to be the weakest one for me. TBR content review for Physics is pretty light, but the passages are hard-core. I'm doing pretty well in TBR Gen. Chem. and O-chem. I've decided to study Biology later since there is a lot of content there.

    I'm going to take a break from doing science passages since I need to seriously drill the concepts of Physics & Gen-Chem into me.

    Verbal. I like EK over TPR Hyperlearning Verbal b/c the explanations are more in-depth. That said, some of the answer explanations from both are just ... whack (as in, makes no sense crazy).

    Maybe we should post some of the weirder ones here to commiserate. I'm up to VR Test 4 in EK, and I'm starting to see marginal improvement, but consistency is lacking on my part.

    VR1 = 10; VR2 = 9; VR3 = 9.
  43. nixm01

    nixm01

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    That's a good question...

    You would think that due to the resonance in an ester, the molecule is not able to take on a full C=O double bond such as an aldehyde. This partial C=O bond in the ester would cause it to be longer/weaker/less bond dissociation energy = lower absorbance...
    But it has a higher absorbance than aldehyde, which is pretty much saying that the C=O in and ester is stronger than in an aldehyde, which I don't think is accurate. It must be from some other factor we aren't seeing... Maybe someone else can chime in on this.
  44. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Have you looked into EK 1001 to help you nail the concepts? Also, maybe try doing just 1/3 of the BR passages after you go through a chapter. Then save the rest for later after you get the concepts a little more.

    As for verbal, I am the last person that should be giving out advice. I'm ranging from 6-10 depending on my luck. I'm not sure what to do about verbal. I'm starting to seriously worry.. Most people say that no one really improves significantly in VR :scared:
  45. CardiologyJosh

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    Last edited: 06.06.12
  46. LaurenMarie

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    Right, and I generally pair esters with carboxylic acids. Especially because we learned that esters and carboxylic acids are roughly equal in reactivity. I'm not sure why esters appear higher in the IR spectra. I don't think we should dwell on it. Although, I'm definitely up for hearing other people's thoughts on it.
  47. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    Wow early start! That's great! I'm about a month and a half out from when I plan to start FLs, so I can't help much there. Keep us informed on how they go once you start if you don't mind!
  48. CardiologyJosh

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    Last edited: 06.06.12
  49. docelh

    docelh

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    That's what I got to do. I blew a few passages just to get used to it, and that's just what you got to do. But I can't waste any more TBR science passages until I'm done with intensive content review and EK1001. My TBR science passages improved when I focused more time on the questions than the passage. Also, I take issue with SN2's target of 6 minutes on these science passages... some of them have a suggested 9 minute limit and some have no limit at all. And they're hard ---> 6 minutes is tough!!!

    Verbal. Consistency is killing me. I'll get 1 or 2 wrong on most passages, and then get destroyed by one passage with 4 wrong. But, I recently got three passages done with no errors. My best advice is just make notes at what is killing you and what is helping you. See if there are certain types of questions that you are screwing up consistently.

    Let me just also say that so far, the first passage on the first VR test (EK 101) is by far the hardest one I've seen so far (the bunnies). Seriously, we should post the most bizarre answers from EK/TPR Hyperlearning for constructive advice and moral support.
  50. LaurenMarie

    LaurenMarie

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    I usually try to aim for 7 minutes, but if I pass 7 minutes then I usually don't worry about it. As long as I don't pass 9-10 minutes.

    I have the same problem with verbal! I'll miss 1 or 2 on about half, then get destroyed by the other half of the passages. I don't think its a certain type of question that gets me. I think I just don't get what half of the passages are talking about. I'll think that I totally nailed it, then find out that I had the author's viewpoint completely wrong. Its really frustrating.

    I remember the bunny/animal testing one! "Fusby" lol what?! :laugh: I don't think I did too well on that one

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