Hey Guest! Check out the 3 MCAT Study Plan Options listed in the 'stickies' area at the top of the forums (BoomBoom, SN2ed, and MCATJelly). Let us know which you like best.

Also, we now offer a MCAT Test-Prep Exhibitions Forum where you can ask questions directly from the test-prep services.
SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

1 MONTH TO TEST DATE - advice please??

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by lostnconfused, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. lostnconfused

    lostnconfused 5+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Hi everyone!

    I have my MCAT scheduled for about a month from now and I am (no surprise) behind on my intended study plan. I would love some input and advice from those who have already taken the test on what I should do from here.

    So here's my situation as of right now:

    I have gone through most of the content review with the exception of OChem. I have only gone through about half of Berkeley Review's OChem (/finished 1 of the 2 OChem books).

    I am hesitant to start practice exams because I have barely started practice passages.

    So right now my game plan is this:

    I am going to spend 1 week finishing OChem content review and going through PR's science workbook + EK's verbal passages. I doubt I'll be able to get through everything but I think 1 week is the max. I can afford on practice passages.

    Next, I was going to spend the next 3 weeks doing practice exams. My biggest question is this - how tangible is it to do about 6 practice exams/week or 1 practice exam/day? My goal is to get through at least 18-20 practice exams in 3 weeks. Does that sound crazy and completely impossible?

    Inputs greatly appreciated - thank you in advance!!
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. NextStepTutor_1

    NextStepTutor_1 Next Step Test Prep Tutor Exhibitor 2+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    SDN Exhibitor
    Yes, taking that many practice tests in 3 weeks is impractical. I think your game plan in general sounds ok. Finish up the ochem chapters while doing A LOT of TPR practice questions (frankly, the latter needs to be a bigger focus at this point if you've been lacking with practice up to this point).
    Then you have 3 weeks (or maybe less) to do all 8 AAMC practice tests. That is doable, and it is a must.
    I think you should aim for 2-3 per week while working on the weaknesses you found in your post-test analysis in between test taking.

    Overall, you sound rushed. In a month, I think you'll be able to get the practice you need to be ready for the test, but because of the limited practice you've had thus far the next month will have to be extremely practice intensive.
  4. kinipela

    kinipela 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2014
    I suggest doing a practice test NOW and see where you stand. But yes, 1 practice test a day + reviewing the test will be difficult. You should give yourself some time to review your test, then focus on your weak areas (reread if you have to, do practice questions, etc.) and then take another practice test. Rinse, wash, repeat.
  5. JohnFe

    JohnFe Paranoid Member

    Dec 2, 2012
    If possible, delay your test date. I allowed myself one month and half (after content review) to solely practice on passages, full length exams, and AAMC tests.

    If not, grind like hell.
  6. lostnconfused

    lostnconfused 5+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Well, I spent an entire day doing practice passages from TPR science workbook and have found it really helpful - in terms of both review and also discovering my weaknesses and strengths. But with that said, it's still ~ 900 pages.

    I think I'm going to continue with this for a couple more days.

    For those that have already taken the exam or gone through practice exams - about how many practice exams does it take to get comfortable with the test? Not that I'd think most people would ever feel completely comfortable taking the test, but to hit at least a low 30s range.

    Thank you everyone for all your input! And for those that responded above, I will definitely keep what you guys have said in mind. :)
  7. soccerfeet

    soccerfeet 2+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2014
    I took about 12 practice test in 14 days about 2.5-0.5 weeks before the test. give yourself a few rest days before the test where you just look over equations. its exhausting, but well worth it. I feel like that many tests is what made test day less stressful
  8. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 5+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2012
    hSDN Member
    hSDN Alumni
    So you've basically done nothing as of now. Content review is only as useful as the practice passages you've done. If you haven't done any practice passages, you haven't done any content review yet. Reading, while necessary to learn, is insufficient for the MCAT.

    You have one month left to do all the practice passages and full lengths.
    popopopop likes this.
  9. valkener

    valkener 5+ Year Member

    May 17, 2010
    The best advice is to take the MCAT when you are ready. That means taking an accurate average towards the end (2-3 Full-length AAMC's) and seeing if you get the score that you need.
    j9260 likes this.
  10. stitchattack


    Jul 31, 2014
    Taking that many tests within 3 weeks does sound a bit like overkill. You also don't want to wear yourself out right before the test. I think doing 2 tests a week is very reasonable because you can take the test then spend the next day reviewing the test. In between test days, you can just practice using the prep books. When you go over content with TBR, do you do practice at the end of each section? I would consider that practice if you do because TBR Phys/Chem passages are pretty good and harder than AAMC imo. You can split your week up by doing FL and practicing with the passages so you're not taking a FL every day and wearing yourself out.
  11. cakes99


    Jul 31, 2014
    I'm wondering how good of a gage are my AAMC tests that I have taken. I've done three now and I'm scoring from 30 -33. What do you think would be a reasonable expectation of the real test? I'm taking MCAT on the 25th of October.
  12. NextStepTutor_1

    NextStepTutor_1 Next Step Test Prep Tutor Exhibitor 2+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    SDN Exhibitor
    @cakes99 - so you're averaging around a 31.5?
    I'll talk about this in only a general sense because you're hijacking someone else's thread, but it's important information.
    The predictive power of your AAMC practice test average naturally increases with the more tests you take. I'd say 3 is the minimum in using the scores as a prediction of how you may do on the real thing (your average is never 100% perfect in predicting your score come test day).

    Your AAMC practice test average will be the best predictor of your score, but again that's not the same thing as that average being exactly the score you get on test day. Take as many AAMC tests as you can.

    Good luck!
    cakes99 likes this.
  13. lostnconfused

    lostnconfused 5+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Hey guys! Thank you for all of your advice and input, much appreciated!!

    It's been about a little over a week since I made this post. Here's a little update...

    I have completed about 70% of PR's chem, physics, and bio passages in the science workbook (amounting to about 50-70 passages/subject) - but have yet to touch ochem!! I just completed my first practice exam today - AAMC #7. Hit 9's all the way across (with a total of 27).

    Unfortunately it is much too late to reschedule considering the nearest available test site is states away.

    T-2.5 weeks til test date. Call me crazy, but I'm gonna grind like hell and cross my fingers and hope for the best! :)
  14. Gauss44

    Gauss44 5+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2012
    1. Reduce your number of practice tests.
    2. Work AAMC VR passages and study them. They have their differences from EK 101.
    3. Substitute Examkrackers chapters for whatever material you haven't gotten to yet. They are the most concise out of all the MCAT prep companies.
    4. Get a tutor if necessary to speed things up. Wyzant is a great place to look because there's no commitment and you can choose who you want.
    cakes99 and lostnconfused like this.

Share This Page