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30+ MCAT Study Habits- The CBT Version

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by omegaxx, Feb 18, 2007.

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  1. pazan

    pazan 5+ Year Member

    253
    1
    Apr 12, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score: 35T (13 PS, 11V, 11 BS)

    2) The study method used for each section: Read and took typed notes on a subject, then did about 8 - 10 passages for that subject. By the end I had 65 pages of typed notes on every possible topic covered on the MCAT. I read them about 5 times the week before test day. I really recommend it... it beats going through 1000+ pages of material in the MCAT prep books.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc): Berkeley Review class + books + tests.

    4) Which practice tests did you use? AAMCs (P,V,B) - 3 (Took it before I really started studying and got a 29), 8 (33: 11, 11, 11), 9 (34: 11, 9, 14), 10 (33: 11, 10, 12). I took 4 Berkeley Review tests but the scale really isn't accurate -- They were also much harder than the AAMC tests.

    5) What was your undergraduate major? Psychobiology and Neuroscience. Neurosci classes really helped, especially the ones that emphasize molecular biology and development.

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us? Study at your own pace and focus completely during the practice tests. There is no magic formula that will get you a great score. You need try new things and find what works for you. Once you're comfortable and set with a strategy, good things will happen.


    7) How long did you study for the MCAT? January I studied on and off... barely kept up with the material from class. February and March I studied almost every day for 2 - 3 hours, sometimes more. I finished all of the review materials about 10 days before April 12 and found that was more than enough time to review. By about April 8, I just wanted to take the damn test! April 12 couldn't come soon enough and I was so eager/excited about taking the real thing it was almost fun (almost....).
     
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  3. mhwetsch

    mhwetsch 7+ Year Member

    7
    1
    May 20, 2007
    I wish there were some concrete answers that I could give to help you out, but honestly at that level of detail I really think what works will vary person to person. English is my first language so I think I would be overstepping my bounds to start preaching about what you should do to bring your score up. I do feel confident in suggesting that you do a bunch of VR without grading...it will make you focus on keeping a solid pace and passage mapping rather than scores. The whole point is to get to a place that makes you feel confident and solid, the bottom line is how many VR sections have you done....I would almost bet there is a linear relationship between # of practice sections taken and final score on the MCAT. Don't get down on yourself and keep pushing.

    That being said....I do remember really wondering how the heck people actually mapped and what exactly they were writing. So the following is a word for word translation of one of my passage maps from this morning's practice section....

    society - from our wants
    government - restrain bad desires

    society from want of community
    government above tyranny
    becomes too complex

    Government - replace moral virtue
    protection of property

    most protection least expense

    legislative

    elections

    Thats it....I think the whole point is that it is borderline meaningless for anyone else but me. Even reading it now I can't remember what some of that stuff means. It was just the bare minimum to keep it straight in my head for the time I was answering the questions, nothing more. I guess I stray from Kaplan in that I don't entirely ignore detail because too many times I have been frustrated by questions that require detail to answer. Through trial and error I have sort of developed a feel for what type of questions the test asks, so while reading a little light goes off that I am looking at something that seems prime to be a question and perhaps I'll jot down a word or two to cement it in my head.
    In the end all I can say is that pure practice is the only thing that will really provide the "feel" that helps improve your score. I think the most challenging part of VR is the emotional stress of trying so hard and getting terrible scores....I would literally just lay face down on my floor after getting worked by a VR section. I believe that if you take 10 VR sections in any manner....you can't help but improve....and I argue that knowing why you missed ambiguous question X really won't increase your rate of improvement significantly. So skip the stress of looking at depressing scores, keep practicing and keep trying to improve your technique. If you think about it "trying to get an 11" is a pretty abstract goal...how do you practice "getting 11's" What is the action of "getting an 11" From my perspective goals are things we can directly pursue, "2 VR sections a day" is a goal, "more thorough passage mapping" or "8 min a passage" is a goal. A higher score will be a result of achieving your self defined goals. I think this may have been a bit of a tangent, sorry, I hope at least some of this was relevant...keep working hard and good luck!

    Matt
     
  4. njmedstudent87

    njmedstudent87 5+ Year Member

    78
    2
    May 14, 2007
    I have a few questions for those lucky few who have a score of 37 or above on the MCAT.

    1. How long did you study?

    2. Did you use college textbooks or just study books (EK, Kaplan, etc.)?

    3. How did you prepare yourself for the verbal section?

    4. What study method did you use? (like how many hrs. a day, etc.)
     
  5. SuperHiro

    SuperHiro Attending 10+ Year Member

    5,259
    37
    Apr 12, 2006
    Beantown
    1. How long did you study?

    -about 30-40 hours a week. I reduced my credit hours to give myself more time.

    2. Did you use college textbooks or just study books (EK, Kaplan, etc.)?

    -Didn't touch my college textbooks because kaplan notes condensed everything I need.

    3. How did you prepare yourself for the verbal section?

    -Massive amounts of Kaplan problems

    4. What study method did you use? (like how many hrs. a day, etc.)


    -Notes up to about a month before the exam. Practice problems throughout that time period but started focusing more on problems within a month before exam. Two weeks before exam I focused on practice exams.

    I haven't been to the MCAT forum in a while but aren't there quite a few threads that answer your question?
     
  6. PTWoB229

    PTWoB229 New Member 5+ Year Member

    13
    0
    May 7, 2006
    Wow, this is actually my first post on SDN. I haven't had my scores for even a month yet...so I still remember looking for help, or experience from folks that had already taken the test. I thought I should reciprocate.

    1. How long did you study?
    I started studying about 14 months before the real thing. I had taken a year of physics and g-chem, plus a semester of bio at the time. But I had taken them all about 5-7 years earlier. When I started studying I began with the exam krackers and used it to brush up with the material. I did that for about 8-10 hours a week from 14 to 8 months out. Then I took a break and didn't study too much for a month-and-a-half. I finished up with a Kaplan class and was studying for about 10-20 hours a week during that period (though close to the test that number shot up).

    2. Did you use college textbooks or just study books (EK, Kaplan, etc.)?
    I typically used study books, but, when material was too foreign (I was taking O-chem while I was studying which was challenging) I would use text books as references.

    3. How did you prepare yourself for the verbal section?
    It depends on how much time you have. Spending a decent amount of time reading and increasing your ability to read challenging articles helps (I'm a fan of the Wall Street Journal). Though when it came down to it I enjoyed Kaplan's focus on timing, and the EK's focus on forming a mental image of the author and trying to perceive how they would interpret things.

    4. What study method did you use? (like how many hrs. a day, etc.)
    I believe I already covered this above, in question 1.

    I hope my meandering thoughts were of some use. Best wishes and good luck.

    Blue Skies...
     
  7. Coclean

    Coclean Field Rat 5+ Year Member

    80
    1
    Oct 24, 2006
    Togo
    Bumping with the original set of questions...

    Also, anyone taken the paper test, then the computer test and recommending major study changes?? I studied for the paper test 5 years ago and got a score I was happy with...studying anew these days and wondering what I should change.

    Questions:

    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?
     
  8. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    1,713
    2
    Feb 23, 2007
    I took the paper test too, but I didn't realize that the computer exam used a different question bank.

    1) 11P-11B-10V-R

    2) I took it pretty much cold. The MCAT is more of a "forest" exam (as opposed to a "trees" exam, such as those seen in medical school). If you can intepret what you were supposed to learn, then you'll do well.

    3) The only section that I prepared for was verbal. I went through EK verbal passages once. Great practice IMO.

    4) None other than those mentioned in 3).

    5) My last degree was in criminal justice. Many years prior, I had completed UG degrees in biochemistry and microbiology.

    6) Relax.

    7) Long enough to read EK verbal passages once.

    :luck:
     
  9. Booter008

    Booter008 10+ Year Member

    145
    0
    Feb 27, 2007
    Erie
    What exactly did you mean by this?
     
  10. BrokenGlass

    BrokenGlass 2+ Year Member

    1,403
    7
    Jan 12, 2007
    I am 30+. My age that is, not my MCAT score.
     
  11. burningsky

    burningsky 5+ Year Member

    111
    0
    Sep 10, 2006
    Detroit, MI
    MDApps:
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    34Q VR:10 PS:12 BS:12 WR:Q

    2) The study method used for each section

    Reading and notetaking, Practice tests, Flashcards

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

    Examkrackers study package, 1001/101 question books, 16 mini MCATs, Practice Tests

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    EK 1-3, a few Kaplan tests, AAMC 3-10

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Biology

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

    Study hard, take a lot of practice tests, don't procrastinate

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    5 months, 3-4 hours a day, 2-3 times a week
     
  12. hotdog003

    hotdog003 2+ Year Member

    19
    0
    May 30, 2007
    My daughter got 2250 on SAT and she wants to do premed at an expensive private school (48.5K/yr) as opposed to inexpensive instate school.
    Assuming she puts in a lot of effort for undergrad and MCAT, is it likely that she will get high score for MCAT? Is there a corelation between SAT scores and MCAT scores?

    There is another reason behind this question. If she has potential of getting a good score in MCAT, I tend to think that she can go to in state public school and save some hard earned money (for me) which can be used to fund Med school.

    Any comments?
     
  13. SketchLazy

    SketchLazy 5+ Year Member

    776
    2
    May 16, 2007
    Jesus H. Christ! That's like a 750 for each section! Kids are so smart these days. Unfortunately the MCAT is a very different test from the SAT and is more consuming than the SAT is. Just because someone does well on the SAT doesn't mean they will do well on the MCAT.

    But more importantly, college is a crazy place that drastically changes people. There is no guarantee that your daughter will remain a pre-med while in college. The school that might be better for her is not the the school that has a better pre-med program, but a school that offers more of a broad range of opportunities that your daughter can explore. Everyone is guaranteed to change majors at least once so the better school is probably the most diverse one, not necessarily the one that costs more. Ultimately, if she does decide to stay a pre-med, the most important things are her GPA, her activities outside of school and her MCAT score, which private or public, a school will not teach you how to take. Maybe if you told us what schools they are, people could chime in on the experiences they had there.
     
  14. hotdog003

    hotdog003 2+ Year Member

    19
    0
    May 30, 2007
    schools are: UC berkeley, UCSD, Arizona State University, Duke.
     
  15. SketchLazy

    SketchLazy 5+ Year Member

    776
    2
    May 16, 2007
    All of those are excellent schools that will be great preparation for your daughter, if she does decide to go to medicine. I went to UCSD as a transfer and I thought the experience overall was great. The difference between quality of education will probably minimal. Duke and UCB have huge reputations so that might add a little bit to her application when she is applying to medical school but seeing as how those are all great schools, it'd be hard to quantify the advantage. Has your daughter visited all the schools? Ultimately, when she has such good choices, it might just come down to which one she likes better. If she stays pre-med, the most important things are GPA, MCAT, and ECs which are mostly up to her, more than the place where she decides to go.
     
  16. whoisthedrizzle

    whoisthedrizzle 2+ Year Member

    wow those are some wicked 30+ MCAT habits
     
  17. SketchLazy

    SketchLazy 5+ Year Member

    776
    2
    May 16, 2007
    Oi. Oi. Oi. She's the one that started it.
     
  18. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    bumping for the May folks-please contribute!
     
  19. Barts

    Barts Member 10+ Year Member

    216
    0
    Apr 19, 2006

    1) Your individual scores and composite score: 38P (13 PS, 12V, 13 BS)

    2) The study method used for each section: Studied one topic (BIO, CHEM, OCHEM..) for about 2-3 hours each night. Practice test on Sunday.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc): EK complete study package and AO.

    4) Which practice tests did you use? AAMC and EK.

    5) What was your undergraduate major? Biology

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us? Start to study early and take your time-don't put off preparing and then try to cram. I just don't think most people would have much luck with that.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT? About 3-4 months.
     
  20. ICanDoThis

    ICanDoThis 2+ Year Member

    176
    0
    May 5, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score: 36R (11 PS, 11 V, 14BS)

    2) The study method used for each section: relied extensively on Kaplan materials, both books and kaptest.com subject/topical tests. Tried to target my weakest areas toward the last 2 weeks by looking up hard topics in old chem/physics text books.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc): Kaplan class, Examkrackers (a little bit)

    4) Which practice tests did you use? AAMC and Kaplan

    Kaplan 1 28-Feb 34 10 11 13
    2 24-Mar 35 11 11 13
    3 5-Apr 39 11 14 14
    4 31-Mar 33 10 11 12
    5 3-May 37 11 12 14

    AAMC 3 16-Apr 35 10 12 13
    4 18-Apr 32 10 10 12
    5 20-Apr 36 11 12 13
    6 24-Apr 35 10 13 12
    7 26-Apr 36 11 12 13
    8 28-Apr 34 10 12 12
    9 1-May 33 11 11 11
    10 5-May 32 10 9 13

    As you can see, my trend was going down for the last 3 AAMC's:scared:...but I didn't let it get to me. I tried to keep a positive attitude going into the test (banishing all negative thoughts). I think that helped a lot! :laugh:


    5) What was your undergraduate major? Biology

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us? Take practice tests and tackle those hard/pesky topics, even though you are probably more inclined to ignore them!! Start early, taper off towards the last week.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT? January to May
     
  21. mvenus929

    mvenus929 10+ Year Member

    6,319
    1,062
    Jul 6, 2006
    MDApps:
    Physician
    1) Your individual scores and composite score: 36R (12 PS, 11 VR, 13 BS)

    2) The study method used for each section: No particular method. I studied about a lecture a day out of the EK books until about two weeks before the exam, then did practice tests constantly. I was also studying for my genetics, organic chemistry, and physiology finals the same week as the exam, so that helped keep information for the BS section fresh. The last week, I also listened to AO whenever I got free time.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc): EK complete study package and AO.

    4) Which practice tests did you use? AAMC (CBT 3 and CBT 10) and Gold Standard (1-10), plus the princeton and kaplan diagnostics

    AAMC 3R (Nov 3) - 31 (9P-12V-10B)
    GS-1 (Feb 3) - 27 (8P-9V-10B)
    GS-2 (Feb 17) - 25 (7P-8V-10B)
    GS-3 (Mar 10) - 26 (8P-9V-9B)
    Kaplan Diagnostic (Mar 17) - 26 (8P-7V-11B)
    GS-4 (Apr 6) - 26 (8P-11V-7B)
    Princeton Diagnostic (Apr 9) - 27 (10P-7V-10B)
    GS-5 (Apr 28) - 26 (9P-8V-9B)
    GS-6 (Apr 29) - 26 (8P-9V-9B)
    CBT 3 (Apr 30) - 33 (11P-9V-13B)
    GS-7 (May 1) - 25 (7P-7V-11B)
    GS-8 (May 2) - 25 (7P-7V-11B)
    GS-9 (May 5) - 26 (7P-7V-12B)
    GS-10 (May 7) - 27 (9P-8V-10B)
    CBT 10 (May 9) - 33 (11P-9V-13B)

    So, GS exams aren't all that accurate, and the CBT (AAMC) tests are moderately so, and definitely the closest to my actual exam score.

    5) What was your undergraduate major? Biology

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us? Really go over your exams. In the last week, since I wasn't making any progress, I started to take notes on the questions that I missed, writing down what the concept was, and why I missed it. I then went through and studied those concepts, including practice problems, until I understood them.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT? About 5 months, stressing studying heavily at the end more than the beginning.
     
  22. Swiperfox

    Swiperfox 2+ Year Member

    98
    0
    Mar 8, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score: PS 13 VR 13 BS 12 (38Q)

    2) The study method used for each section: I divided my time into three phases. In the first phase, I focused on reading/learning the content (and for verbal, learning how to read the passages and recognize wrong answer types untimed). I would mark all the correct answers before I started, then go through trying to figure out why the wrong answers were wrong. I Covered the EK set of books twice (doing the problem sets and exams after the second read). After this I took my first exam.

    During the second phase I focused on content mastery through discrete problems. I read through the kaplan books, but spent the majority of my time doing the workshops + discrete tests. My goal was to make problem solving as fast as possible. For the writing section, I started watching the history channel for example ideas, and prewriting using AAMC's posted list of prompts (find it on their website). For verbal, I started reading Scientific American and The Nation for practice, and did timed single passages and passage pairs using the online kaplan VR section tests (and reviewed my mistakes thoroughly). Make a set of note cards for everything you cannot remember on the first try, and try to review them once a week. In addition, I wanted to start getting used to taking the exam, so I took one AAMC at the end of every week.

    During the third phase, I would alternate between an individual kaplan section test of each type and essays(split up throughout the day), and single sitting full length every day (kaplan FL). At the end of the week, I would take one AAMC full length instead of the kaplan.

    I tried to give myself one day "off" per week (to do homework), studying between 5-8 hours per day on "on" days.

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

    4) Which practice tests did you use? Every AAMC CBT, and about 5 kaplan Full lengths (2-6)

    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Mechanical Engineering

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us? Set goals for everything and aim high. I bought myself a giant whiteboard and pasted it up in my room. Then, I wrote out what score I wanted, and what I was going to do every day to get there (every chapter I would read, every test I would take, every day!). Once you finished something, check it off or put a smiley face. It definitely helped to see all those smiley faces on the board as fatigue started to set in. Also, pick a reward for after the test to focus on.

    If you are going to follow my study plan, take one week off in between phases, and one week completely off before the test. Do not even try to review before you walk in, the most you can do is read a magazine.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    like I said, 5-8 hours per day, 6 days a week (sometimes 7), for the entire fall academic semester.
     
  23. Dawktah Rawkah

    Dawktah Rawkah Stone Cold Chillin' 10+ Year Member

    109
    9
    Jun 14, 2007
    Californy
    1) Your individual scores and composite score: (almost identical to Swiperfox : 38O (13 PS, 13V, 12 BS) My kaplan diagnostic was a 24 (9-8-7)

    2) The study method used for each section: see below in my overblown explanation

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

    4) Which practice tests did you use? AAMC and kaplan

    5) What was your undergraduate major? Psychology & Music

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

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT? About 3-4 months.

    MY STUDY HABITS etc

    Lemme tell you a nice little story about a cute magical test named "MCAT" ... (let me first backup) I am a post-bac and originally a psych/music major. During 2006 i took a year or o-chem, bio, physics and gen chem and really busted booty b/c as my pre-health counselor says, "as a postbac one must absolutely show an upward trend in grades" etc. ... having just learned the basics, mcat studying was a giant review of recent material.

    Next, I took a full Kaplan course (two nights/week) that was scheduled around the april dates even though i was planning for the May 11 test - (had to jerry rig things a bit w/ kaplan to maintain online access for the last few weeks by "switching courses" in the middle ... had to fight w/ them to let me do this). After going through all of the kaplan material and classes, that left me w/ about 4-6 weeks to get down and dirty w/ my weak spots and take two full lengths/week under "normal" conditions (beginning sharply at noon, in a library/cafer or Kaplan center etc. so that i wasn't sitting at my own desk wearing sweatpants, two seconds away from my own kitchen/bathroom etc.) I set up a calendar for the last five weeks and stuck to it (i.e. kaplan #4 on tuesday 4/15 @ noon, AAMC #8 on friday 4/18 @noon ...) Creating a fixed schedule helped keep me in check b/c by nature i'm incredibly lazy and undisciplined. i highly recommend doing some of the AAMC tests early on to get a feel for them. save the last few (7,8 & 9) for the end b/c they are most similar to the real deal ... but even then, the real thing was very, very different. i recall kaplan's syllabus not scheduling them in until way too late imo.

    During the Kaplan course, i really tried to stay on i w/ their syllabus - reading the chapters before the class, doing the previews and then doing the reviews after class. after a few weeks of trying to do ALL the kaplan stuff, i began doing just the "required" items and not all of the "highly recommended" stuff b/c it was taking more time than i had. I will admit that i never really got too into the Q bank, i stuck mostly w/ subject tests and topical tests.

    I had gotten the EK subject books, Audio Osmosis cd's and Verbal 101 before starting kaplan in january, but i didn't really get into to them until i was finishing up w/ the kaplan content review (end of march). I did however, listen to audio osmosis in the car - as much as i could tolerate w/out driving off the road to end the pain - starting in january ... over time i managed to make it through all the cd's about 2-3 times. in particular, the bio cd's are useful b/c it's more knowledge review, whereas the physics stuff requires more concentration than one should be diverting while on the road.:) But after going through all of the kaplan content books, i started to read through the EK content books and do all of the review questions - i even made a cheesy little score sheet to write down my answers and then went back to the ones i got wrong and tried to guess again, then check the explanations etc. At this time i also started going over 20-30 kaplan flashcards/day and weeding out the ones i had down ... sadly, this was way less than half even after a finishing all the content review. i kept them in general sections (bio, chem, etc.) but shuffled them up so the sub-topics were all mixed up. After i had officially read all of the kaplan books once, i felt like my full-length scores went up a bit - and i wasn't missing things b/c i simply had no clue ... i began to see where i was weak and take note of it ... i made a two lists:
    1) stone cold memorization list (i.e. hormones in endocrine system, kinematics eqns, etc)
    2) weak topics list (i.e. circuits, kidney function etc.)
    as i reviewed each full length i filled these in. and in the last few weeks devoted time to busting them out.

    From end of January up until the exam i was putting in anywhere from 20 to 40 hours/week including all the hours in kaplan course, doing the online stuff and reading all of the kaplan chapters which took ages. After the kaplan classes stopped, i continued w/ 20-30 hours including one or two full lengths/week for the last four weeks (reviewing those suckers also took forever) and reading through all of the EK subject books at least once.

    The EK books were an easier read - especially since they have pictures and i had listened to AO a bit by the time i got to them. they cut away some of the extra junk found in kaplan while still hitting the obscure items that pop up on discretes.

    For verbal, i tried doing one/two passages a day timed, from the EK 101 passages book starting in february. i jumped ship on this pretty early (mid-march) and just started doing the kaplan online verbal sections ... i was on and off w/ these but after my verbal started dropping on the last few AAMC tests i went a bit nutty and took as many of the kaplan VR sections as i could handle in the last two weeks (one/two every other day ... reviewing all the q's i got wrong, noting any trends etc. and really trying to understand the thought/idea being tested by each) i'll say that my percentages stayed the same on these (70-80%) but something must have happened b/c i got a 13 on the real thing ... or i just got really, really lucky:)

    Verbal is by far the most disheartening b/c it depends so much on your level of energy/focus at that given moment. so while practice over time is key, you can still bomb a verbal section at any point no matter how much time you've put in ... making one feel like all the practice is a waste. all i can say is Hang in There! Towards the final weeks, the only strategy that continually worked was the kaplan "predict/match" thing ... passage mapping helped sometimes but also broke up the continuity and took a lot of time ... EK's "main idea" thing seemed pretty vague but their strategy of looking over answer stems/questions to see what's there helped out occasionally. honestly, just looking over the q's i seemed to struggle w/ helped the most. also practicing the full vr sections began to extend my concentration time.

    MOST IMPORTANT MCAT STUDY TIP - diet and exercise and New Age hippy living... sucks, but true. i hate to sound like Jared from Subway, but stepping my personal habits up a bit made a huge difference. i told myself it was only for a few months and that i was putting my whole future on the line w/ this mcat thing so it was time to get hardcore. i thought of it like some sort of mcat-induced trim-spa program ... i went to bed early and got up early, switched from coffee to green tea in the afternoon. natural food bars instead of snickers. i switched from roast beef sandwiches for lunch to salads. and yes, every day i pined for some tasty satisfying food and got tired of chewing and chewing like some billy goat but i noticed huge improvements in my studying efficiency and attention span - especially in the afternoon/evenings when i was putting in the most time. i did sets of sit-ups and push-ups in between chapters. going thru all this material is a huge pain in the keister, feeling tired and rundown all the time just makes it worse ... it's a short few months so ya gotta bring it on all levels. load up your netflix queue w/ inspirational movies like Karate Kid, Rudy, Enter the Dragon, Braveheart, Flashdance, Footloose, Gladiator and Revenge of the Nerds ... Get Pumped!!!

    So put down the carne asade super burrito/meatball sandwich and go make yourself a salad! stock the fridge w/ celery and carrots and eat them instead of twinkies and bon bons. EVERY DAY that you study also go for a run, take a walk, hit the gym, go swimming, shot some hoops or play guitar, etc. ... do some kind of physical/non-mental activity. Find a nice honey to give you a massage every now and again, it will work wonders. trade her/him for help on her homework if you have to ... bust out that yoga mat and burn some incense. meditate! free your mind and you mcat score will follow!:p concentrate on relaxing when you are not studying. learn to let go of sh*t ... let go of questions that take forever, let go of the sucky last section and incomplete essay, let go of the crappy verbal score on your last full length two days before you go in for the real deal. let go of your hygiene and let go of that stack of dirty dishes ... Focus always on the question you are currently attacking. guess and move on. stick and move, stick and move.

    mcat was by the most stressful academic thing i've had to deal w/ so far in my life ... it was like finals week for months on end culminating in one crazy day under the hot neon lights of Thomson Prometric ... it's super important to take care of yourself and learn to handle stress ... there's lots more coming.

    My apologies for the long reply, hopefully some of this info helps. I'm sure you're going to do awesome. feel free to hit me up w/ any other questions.

    Take Care,
    d r
     
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  24. beepbloop

    beepbloop ASA Member 10+ Year Member

    93
    1
    Jun 15, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score: 42Q; 14 VR, BS, PS. My Kaplan diagnostic was a 31.

    2) The study method used for each section: Go over old notes (mainly in physics, gen. chem.), Kaplan course, books.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc): Kaplan books and my old notes.

    4) Which practice tests did you use? AAMC and Kaplan

    5) What was your undergraduate major? Psychology

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us? Simmer down now. This is a beast of a test--I spent 6 months absolutely miserable, studying ALL the time (my family laughs about me sitting on the couch at parties, flipping through my flashcards). When push comes to shove, however, your most important tools are timing know-how and relaxation skills, both of which you gain by taking full-lengths. Honestly, I don't really feel like the Kaplan classes helped that much. It was the materials they offered that really helped me. So the take home message is to take as many full-lengths as possible :thumbup: ! I ended up taking 13 total, all of the AAMC's and 5 Kaplan's (I think).

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT? December to May: 6 months.
     
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  25. Inuranic

    Inuranic 5+ Year Member

    945
    3
    May 31, 2006
    1) Your individual scores and composite score:

    Total = 31P
    PS - 11, VR - 10, WS - P, BS - 10

    2) The study method used for each section:

    I listened to Audio Osmosis almost every morning while I worked out for ~5 months (I work out 5 days a week for about an hour each time).

    PS: This section I had to prepare the most for. I didn't decide to go for medical school until halfway through the General Chemistry sequence, so I didn't study hard in class - or at all. I had to relearn almost everything. Also, when I took the MCAT I had only taken Physics I. This meant teaching myself Physics II. I used EK for self-taught Physics and Chem review. I also tutored General Chemistry the semester before the MCAT.

    VR: I didn't prepare at all for this. Every practice test I took was 10 or above. I like to read and have always been good in English (I took 20 CLEP credits of the subject so I have yet to take a college English class, and I don't plan to).

    WS: Again, didn't prepare at all for this. I believe I got a P because I didn't use strong enough examples in my second essay. I was kicking myself for this as soon as I left the test, but then realized hey - it's the writing section, who cares?

    BS: I used EK books and tutored Organic Chem/Bio students. I also worked really hard in my biology classes and my Orgo classes, so I only had to do light review because I drilled it into my brain.

    3) What materials you used for each section:

    ExamKrackers, Audio Osmosis, AAMC Practice Tests, some Kaplan/PR practice tests in 2006 (a year before I took the test).

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    AAMC for when I was really studying, I fooled around with PR/Kaplan to see where I was at before I got into it (I don't really count these tests).

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Individualized Major in Behavioral Biology.

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

    Take all the pre-req classes before you take the MCAT and take them seriously. The physical science section was my best section because I had to put all my time into it. Relearning General Chemistry and teaching myself Physics II was a HUGE TIME AND ENERGY DRAIN. I was not able to really get into BS stuff because I was always trying to figure out electricity or optics or acid/base chem. Fortunately for me, Organic Chemistry is one of my favorite subjects of all time, and I think Bio is really easy. I'm stumped as to why I only got a 10 on the real thing in the Bio section - practice exams were usually around 11 or 12, and I felt like I destroyed that section coming out of the test. I find it hilarious that I got an 11 in the PS on the real thing because I only scored that high once on a practice exam, and on my second to last practice I got like a 7 or 8. I thought I absolutely failed that section. C'est la vie.

    The semester before I sat for the test I took Organic II and Physics I, and tutored Gen Chem, Orgo, and Bio kids. The tutoring was perfect because I could review for the test, get paid, and get a good EC. I think that was one of the best decisions I made, and I recommend this to others. The best way to learn something is to teach it.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    I don't know how to answer this. My Mom heard I had to take the MCAT to get into med school and she got me a cheap review book for Xmas '05, 1.5 years before I had to take the test. I started flirting with the test then, but really studied hardcore from January to May 2007, so about 5 months.
     
  26. nata723

    nata723 7+ Year Member

    193
    3
    May 4, 2007
    Hello! I hope this advice helps someone. Good luck to all and do not give up! It all pays off in the end!

    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    PS: 15
    BS:14
    VR: 11
    WS: S
    Total --> 40S

    (...although my practice AAMC's hit a plateau two months before my MCAT, with an average of 33-34. They didn't really improve until my actual MCAT, but that's because my verbal dropped 1 or 2 points one month before the exam!)


    2) The study method used for each section

    Verbal - It's all about confidence and believing in yourself. If you get a low score on practice tests, don't let it get you down and don't dwell on it. And don't go on overkill, either; this section takes not just practice or study but rather quality time. Do it when you're feeling at the top of your critical thinking skills, to boost your practice test scores so it'll give you confidence.

    Physical Sciences - This seemed like a lot of plug and chug. Become very familiar with the formulas and do a lot of practice problems with them, because once you know how to use them, that's all there is to those questions - plug and chug in many cases. Then, it's also becoming familiar with the passage topics. There are many commonly used passage topics to test the concepts - vibrations and waves, Newton's laws, the electric current through the body, etc. Also, realize that not all of the info in the PS passages is necessary for the questions (the given formulas are sometimes not used at all). And, if you get to a question and you don't remember studying about it, don't panic...it's likely that it's in the passage somewhere.

    Biological Sciences - This section was difficult because once you get past the memorization of the facts, which help you on the discretes and some passage questions, the other questions are sometimes a little subjective. On the practice AAMC's, I found several questions on each BS section that I didn't believe to have a definite answer. I couldn't even find the answers in the practice materials. So, the BS is about getting used to what they're looking for in those subjective questions. This comes, of course, with practice...


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

    For the first two months of studying, I took notes on all the Kaplan materials and did all the review questions at the end of the chapters. The third month, I did the same with the EK material...they gave a lot of insights and really good tricks to remember things. The fourth month, April, I stopped studying and just took tests and online practice quizzes and topical tests. I remember thinking I wish I had integrated more testing and less studying into my preparation time before that last month. The MCAT is a lot about developing test strategies and knowing what kinds of questions they ask, just as important as it is to know the material. So, perhaps it was unnecessary to review both the Kaplan and EK material. Overall, I found EK more useful as far as review material, but Kaplan was great with the online tests and quizzes.

    Verbal - Kaplan was quite useful; their verbal section tests were more MCAT-like and their scores more accurate than the EK 101 Passages. I didn't really end up using the EK 101 book... their passages were sometimes too easy a read and the questions too open-ended. Kaplan's online practice materials would've been enough.

    And the ExamKrackers verbal method didn't help me, but I think that's because I didn't use it correctly. My score in verbal dropped one or two points one month before my MCAT, when I started using the EK method. For verbal, get one method and stick to it from the beginning; don't change horses in the middle of the stream, especially for verbal, and so close to the exam! And if you have no "method" but your score is still good, then I'd stick to that, unless you have a while before your MCAT.

    PS - EK was really good; their chapter material and review questions hit the really important topics. And the questions were MCAT-like and of good difficulty. Kaplan, however, was not as satisfactory... they include too many useless details. USE EK FOR THE MIRRORS AND LENSES SECTION! Their trick for mirrors is great. EK gives a lot of interesting ways to remember things, whereas Kaplan just gives you a lot of info and you have to try to learn it all without mnemonics or tricks or anything.

    BS - After the basic studying of Kaplan and EK materials, I started doing passages and found that useful for this section, especially for those "subjective" questions.


    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    8 of the 11 Kaplan full-lengths and all 8 of the AAMC's. And a word of warning -Kaplan's scores at the high end of the scale are not accurate...I'd be getting a 37 on the Kaplan and the day after, a 32 on the AAMC test. Generally, Kaplan had an inflation of 3 or 4 points compared to my AAMC averages (36-37 vs. 33-34).

    Many students say tests 8, 9, and 10 of the AAMC's are most like the current MCAT. I agree that they required more application of concepts, not just regurgitation of facts.


    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Biomedical Engineering and also Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology


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

    As I said, my tests hit a plateau at 33-34 two or three months before my real MCAT. But, I kept studying and THAT is what really shows on the MCAT! So, just keep going; it all pays off! :D

    Practice as many tests and passages as you can; they are just as important if not more so than just studying the materials. Integrate both studying and test-taking into your preparation time.

    I also kept a log of the hours I spent each day studying for the MCAT, and I wrote what I had studied that day. That way, I could see my progress tangibly.

    Also, I recommend the "stopwatch" method...set a goal for each day, like 6 hours, and count with a stopwatch only those minutes you're actually studying. Stop it for any bathroom breaks, phone breaks, etc. Once you reach your goal, the rest of the day is yours.

    Also, the day before the exam, don't take any tests! I took a Kaplan full-length that day and scored much much lower than ever... the day before the MCAT is the most stressful, but once you get past that, the actual MCAT day is not bad at all. Once you get to the test center, you see everyone is as tired as you are, and then it just becomes another test.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    I started the Kaplan course in October, once a week. But, I really started studying in January. By February, I was putting in perhaps 15 hours a week. That more or less continued until May 16. But, I also took a much lighter load that semester - 13 credit hours only.

    Please feel free to ask me any questions! And best of luck to everyone!:luck:
     
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  27. Manyac86

    Manyac86 5+ Year Member

    59
    0
    May 6, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    41S - 13 phys, 13 verbal, 15 bio, S writing sample

    2) The study method used for each section

    Physical - started with a 7 on TPR diag - I'd say I was perfect or near perfect on my practices on chemistry as I approached the MCAT. I was not quite as good at physics. I'd say I spent most of my time just doing a lot of problems in weak areas, minimal memorization. I used TPR for this. I'd say 13 was high side of average for me.

    Verbal - started with a 9 on TPR diag - I did a lot of passages. A lot! I did all TPR questions in verbal and did maybe 30% of the examkrackers 101 passages. Some strategies I used. Don't skip around - just do each passage in order. I didn't highlight. I did take notes on key pts. I think near the end I got better at kinda just picking that right answer when there's 2 left, can't really explain it except its all in the little details of the passage. 13 on the real thing was slightly higher than average and was higher than almost all of my practices (I got a freak 15 once)

    Bio - started with a 9 on TPR diag - I did a lot of reading for bio, it really did seem like a memorize a lot of crap test. After tests I'd find problem areas and read about them. A lot of questions for Ochem. I think i've always had a mental block against OChem (my only B's in college) and at first I used to panic a bit at the site of Ochem passages. However eventually I realized that the MCAT tests such minimal Ochem that there really is no reason to panic (also maybe a year of biochem helped, damn my major which is kinda like advanced ochem). Also worked on problem areas here. I have no idea how I got a 15 on this section. I thought it was hard and I thought I knew that I got at least 2 questions wrong, probably more (may 16). Guess that everybody else struggled with this too. I think I was averaging a 13/14 in this section before. 15 was better than any practice.

    Writing - I got an S on my first practice test (TPR diag) so I decided to not practice after that. A few weeks before the MCAT when I started doing the writing section again to just get used to doing full tests. I would like to say that I am a pretty well read person. Also I think that I got lucky on the essay prompts on the real thing. They were very personal statements about average peoples' lives and I decided that I would not pick random historical examples but just use rhetorical people. It seemed to work out ok.


    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    I used TPR - did all the questions and read all the books.
    Did first 3 TPR practices and all the AAMC's except 5 and half of 3 (long story).
    Used Examkrackers a little - used Examkrackers 101 passages but sometimes it made me cry. The night before the test I was doing sets of 2 passages and I just bombed a set. Maybe 4 wrong out of 12 questions. I really was not sure how I was going to approach the test until probably the night before. I had been just looking through the passages for answers but when using Examkrackers I found it better to look at passages less and use other factors more. In the end I went back to my old techniques and I just looked back for any questions I was uncertain of. Typically I finish verbal with less than 30 seconds left on practices and on the real thing that was about the same - I thought my actual MCAT had very straightforward verbal While PS and BS were a bit harder than normal.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    Err see #3. First 3 TPRs and almost all the AAMCs.
    TPR diag 25
    TPR #2 - 30
    TPR #3 - 33
    Err buncha AAMC's between a 35 and a 39. 38 was my last full practice test. I'd say my usual range was 11-13 phys, 11-12 verbal, 12-14 bio with a few higher random scores.
    Luckily on the real thing I did well on every section. 41S (cracked 40 for the first time)

    5) What was your undergraduate major? Biochemistry and math minor. I'm pretty sure my biochemistry class got me 1 more question right on the MCAT, or at least made me sure about a detailed type question that I probably would not have known otherwise. Also plenty of bio classes definitely helped on the confidence. Also about math. I've always been good at calculation, arithmetic etc, so I think where other people don't like calculation questions I do like them (no mental block) and can do them quickly

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?
    There's no true technique except that studying helps. Put in as much time as you can. You'll find what works for you.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT? From mid October to mid May (7 months). Approxmately 10 hours a week from mid october till mid may. Then at the beginning of May, two weeks or so prior to exam, I decided to do minimal studying for finals and pull maybe 50 hours a week on MCAT. Man this almost sounds like an EC!
     
  28. vicinihil

    vicinihil Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    1,583
    3
    Aug 12, 2004
    I'm sure we have more from the folks that just found out their score!
     
  29. littlealex

    littlealex little tiny alex 7+ Year Member

    2,104
    7
    Apr 5, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score: 10V, 14PS, 12BS, 36O

    2) The study method used for each section:
    I studied the hardest for verbal, and hell, I got the same score on all of my verbal practice tests and the real thing. I used the EK method and the EK101 book; I did ALL of the EK101s. Then again, my score stayed the same after it all, so whatever I was doing was probably wrong.

    PS: I studied off of the EK books again. I had previously studied the PR books and learned the material relatively well. However, i felt that the PR books are too complicated and the unnecessary material just makes me nervous. I more or less memorized the EK books and I think that helped me out. I'm also big on the idea of intuition. I study the equations, the relationships, the behavior of the molecules, etc until I can get an intuitive feel for how it all should behave. This often leads me to the right answer.
    --I edited the last sentence because I feel it misleads the readers from what I'm really trying to say--


    BS: Biology is just memorization. I first studied the EK books but felt like I needed more. After finishing the EK Bio, I reviewed the PR books and focused on the area not covered in EK. Don't dwell on these sections, just go through them and get a good idea of what they're trying to teach. As for Orgo, hell, it gave me my only C+ in college, and I just couldn't bring myself to learn it for the MCAT. I went through the EK Orgo once, and skimmed it again the night before the test. Luckily it only showed up on two passages and I knew enough to get by. Damn orgo I hate orgo orgo sucks I will never learn orgo if I could help it it is useless seriously who the **** cares if I can add syn hydrogens to some obscure sticks and letters drawing. Phew, okay I'm good now.

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

    EK books for all, then TPR for biology. AAMC has materials?

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    AAMC 4R to 8R. I'm poor, they're all the ones I had.


    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Biophysics. Yeah you probably don't know what that is.

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

    FOCUS when you study, and learn the material well. I studied for about 8 hours a day, but I really only focused for about 5 hours. Solitaire stole the rest of my time. If you focus very hard on the material, you should be able to prepare for this test in about 4 weeks.

    As I suck in verbal, I can't really give tips on it. The best tip I got from my girlfriend that improved my score from a 7 to a 10 in a year is that "Its a reading COMPREHENSION test. If you read the passage and understand it, you'll do fine." Stop trying to figure out tricks for verbal. Read the passage and do your best to understand it. Tricks can only help you understand passages, it can't do it for you.

    As for the two science sections, just internalize the material. If you truly understand the sciences, its actually pretty unlikely to get lower than a 10. On an AAMC full length, you should not miss more than 10 questions. If you're missing more than 5 questions because YOU DON'T KNOW THE MATERIAL, you should go back and really focus on your weak sections. There are no magical pills here either. Study, take notes, and learn. EKs are great here because they're really short books. Starting off, I spent 1 day learning each of the 4 EK science books (takes about 12 hours a day). After that I went back to focus on my weak sections. Memorize the EK books, and you'll get a 10 on each on the science section.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    In all honesty i studied for about two weeks. I was an idiot and scheduled my test 2 weeks after graduation. I thought I would be hardcore and awesome and just study during the semester, but that didn't happen. I was lucky that I have relatively solid knowledge of the basic subjects.

    Day 14 to 7 before the test: Memorize the EK books, review TPR biology book.
    Day 7 to2 before the test: Take 1 practice test a day, 6 practice tests.
    Day 1 before the test: Was going to relax, but freaked out and did 4 verabl passages. Got a 12 on my last verbal passage. Then I went out and got a 10 the next morning. I should had just watched a movie that day...
     
  30. DiscoDoc

    DiscoDoc Till I Collapse 2+ Year Member

    148
    0
    Jun 26, 2006
    Grenada, West Indies
    Including all known lanthanides and actinides? :p
    (Simpsons joke) :laugh: Kick-gluteal score, congrats.
     
  31. Ailleurs

    Ailleurs 7+ Year Member

    316
    38
    Jan 8, 2007
    wow it seems like you're the ONLY one who used the Barron's MCAT (maybe overexaggerating but it seems like it...).

    Well kudos to you! i'm tempted to go out and peruse the barron's mcat now... they used to be the best thing for SAT and SATIIs.. :D
     
  32. mdc1027

    mdc1027 2+ Year Member

    40
    0
    Jul 6, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    PS 12, Verbal 11, BS 14, WS Q
    37Q Overall

    2) The study method used for each section

    Started out by quickly reading the Kaplan New MCAT book during my intersession, but did not take notes or the practice tests.
    12 weeks prior I started EK and followed the study schedule they provided.
    Anything that I did not understand I used old text books, old notes, internet sources, and EK 1001 questions to strengthen.
    Supplemented everything with EK Audio Osmosis, listened to them after reading each lecture and while at the gym (about 7 hours a week)

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

    See above

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Kaplan's 2 CD Companion Tests
    EK 1
    AAMC 3, 8, 9, 10

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Biology with a chemistry minor

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

    Take it seriously - It's one of the biggest hurdles to getting into med school, and you need to do your best.
    Take lots of practice tests - Even if you know the information, it can be difficult if you can't deal with the format and the wording of the test on the real thing.
    Relax on the days going into the test - Don't become overwhelmed by studying up to the last minute cause your mind will blank on you.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Casually for about 6 months prior (just reading)
    Seriously for 12 weeks prior (taking notes, practice tests, etc) for up to 6 hours a day.
     
  33. TRanger

    TRanger 7+ Year Member

    50
    0
    May 30, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score

    10-PS 13-VR 12-BS 35Q

    2) The study method used for each section

    I used Kaplan's New MCAT Premier Program 2007 edition for the physical sciences and Organic Chemistry. For more physics studying I looked at Princeton Review's big book they come out every year *can't remember name*.

    I didn't study at all for verbal, and biology except during the practice tests I took. (I felt very confident in those two areas) Writing I never even took it for the practice tests I just brainstormed once just to check if I could think of ideas fast enough.

    I had the Kaplan flashcards that you can buy (not the ones they give for class) but only glanced at them twice. They just didn't seem to beneficial to me. I also had an old Gold Standard book I found at a garage sale for $1. I spent a night reading and studying out of it before going to bed and even though it was about a decade old it still seemed like it was relavent... I just didn't have enough time to really give it a good read through after the Princeton and Kaplan books.

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

    See above...

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    I went to Kaplan's free tests they hand out twice during a semester (they're diagnostic tests I think). Plus I took one free full length practice MCAT in the Kaplan book I bought, and took the tests included in the Kaplan 2 New Practice Tests. From Princeton's Review I took one of their tests that I got from their book (it was online) and an old test I got from a Princeton Review diagnostic two years ago. Finally the day before the test I took the free AAMC test offered online.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Biomedical Science

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

    Know your weaknesses and spent most of your time on them. If you find the way you're studying isn't helping don't be afraid of trying something else. Take every test you can get a hold of.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Honestly the Biological Section I might as well say that I studied for it all during college... taking tons of premed courses helps with that.

    I took a Princeton Review practice test two years ago got a 26. I then waited until January this year and took another practice test from Kaplan (their diagnostic) and got a 30... that got me cocky since I hadn't studied. So I didn't study like I should have until March came around and I took another practice test from Kaplan and received a 23. I was shocked and scared knowing that my May 31st test was coming up... unfortunately I had finals also with graduation coming and couldn't study until the second week of May. So for two and a half weeks it was pretty much me studying all the time using the big Kaplan book then Princeton Review. The last week of that two in half weeks was just me taking tests in the morning and studying how to do each question and knowing everything around the question I could the rest of the day. (looking it all up in Kaplan/Princeton Review/old textbooks) Honestly that last week of cramming helped me more than anything.

    I only wish I could've taken more of the AAMC tests. I just didn't think about it untill it was really too late to do anything.
     
  34. vicinihil

    vicinihil Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    1,583
    3
    Aug 12, 2004
    bump...post in here you high scorers!
     
  35. TarHeel55

    TarHeel55 Dreaming of Blue Turtles 7+ Year Member

    163
    1
    Aug 30, 2005
    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    14 V
    13 PS
    13 BS

    40S

    2) The study method used for each section
    Repetition, repetition, repetition. It was only after I had gone over each subject area three or four times that the practice problems started to click.
    About three weeks before my test date, I did one full-length exam every two or three days.

    I also took a Kaplan MCAT review course. For me, the best part of the course was access to the Kaplan web-based syllabus. It has tons of practice material.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    I studied from the Kaplan and Examkrackers books, and the Nova MCAT book. For me, it was helpful to study each subject area from multiple books, because the books tended to complement and reinforce one another. Also, multiple books were a key to my unnovel study strategy, repetition repetition repetition.

    I HIGHLY recommend the Nova MCAT physics book to anyone who feels shaky about physics. Physics was easily my worst subject in college... my college physics grades were absymal. The author, Garrett Biehle, does a great job of pointing out common conceptual errors that beginning physics students make. His explanations of basic physics concepts are clear and witty and helped me get past much of my longstanding physics confusion.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    I did all of the section tests in the Kaplan online test bank, and five Kaplan full-lengths. I also did AAMC CBT 8 and 9.

    There are a number of threads on the scoring of the Kaplan full-lengths. I was skeptical of how well my Kaplan full-length scores would predict my performance on the real thing, partly because the Kaplan curves are extremely generous. I scored 35-36 on the AAMC practice tests, and 36-39 on the Kaplan full-lengths.

    What was your undergraduate major?
    Philosophy

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?
    The main reason I am posting is that I want to encourage everyone who feels shaky or uncertain about their science abilities. I was a humanities major at a university that is known for its science and engineering school. Throughout college, I felt grossly inadequate about my ability to do science. I tore my hair out over calculus and calc-based physics, made terrible grades, and quickly concluded that I did not have the native talent to do anything that remotely involved the exercise of quantatitive skills. If you feel at all the way I did... that you are not super-brilliant at math and science and that the MCAT is therefore an insuperable hurdle... PLEASE dispel such worries and have confidence and hope. As many others have said in this forum, focus on the basic concepts, give yourself plenty of time to do lots of practice problems, and review each subject area several times. You will be fine.

    I'd also stress the points made in post #601 about getting plenty of exercise and eating well. Make time to do cardio workouts and weight-training. Exercise will do wonders for your overall well-being while you are in study mode.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Roughly six months, one to five hours a day.
     
    rnarepliCase(y) likes this.
  36. nshams

    nshams 7+ Year Member

    117
    1
    Apr 22, 2007
    posted twice
     
  37. nshams

    nshams 7+ Year Member

    117
    1
    Apr 22, 2007
    I'm a bit surprised considering my score is ok but not good; but a couple of people have IMd me asking about my study methods. So here goes :):

    1) Your individual scores and composite score:

    Total = 31N
    PS - 12, VR - 9, WS - N, BS - 10

    I think my diagnostic was about a 26 or so.

    2) The study method used for each section:

    PS: I'm a Chem major so I was all right on that part of PS. But I barely scraped by in Physics in undergrad - I bought NovaPhysics (recommended to me by phoenix1 - THANK YOU SO MUCH!!) & EK 1001 Physics & worked through a whole bunch of those problems. I studied a good 2 weeks for this section.

    VR: I didn't spend time studying for this 'cus I started studying about 2weeks before taking the exam & my diagnostic was 10VR but terrible sciences. I don't know how much you can improve VR in 2weeks; I didn't have time to find out.

    WS: I didn't prepare for this @ all - just threw down whatever I could during the exam time & it totally shows in the N score I got.

    BS:I started listening to old Physiology lectures on Saturday when my MCAT was scheduled the next Thursday. I also worked a bunch of EK Organic Chemistry 1001 questions but started working those on the Sunday before the exam. DEFINITELY do not recommend this rushed study method to anyone 'cus I went in feeling REALLY badly prepared (especially 'cus I was more of an Inorganic Chemistry person than an OChem person). I'm taking the test again on July24th & I've already started studying for this section.

    3) What materials you used for each section:

    ExamKrackers 1001 Questions: Physics & Organic Chemistry, Old Biology lecture audios from Physiology class

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    AAMC practice tests 7-10 & GoldStandard tests (10 of them bought off ebay for $50.00 - the PS sections on GoldStandard are fantastic for review; I did some of the BS & it was good stuff; VR I didn't touch).

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Chemistry

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

    Here's my biggest recommendation about MCAT preparation - under no circumstances should you stay awake till 12:00 the night before (I was up studying some biology stuff & it was a BAD BAD BAD idea) - 9VR was the result. I think even if you can scrape yourself together in PS & BS, VR is the section that's going to get hit worst 'cus you need to be able to focus well for reading the passages.

    I also took just two full length MCAT practice test all @ once:
    AAMC 10: 33 - 12 PS 11 BS 10 VR
    AAMC 7: 33 - 13 PS 10 BS 10 VR (I think)

    The rest of my practice tests, I did piece by piece & that wasn't too smart. I would recommend to EVERYBODY that you should take more full length exams (even if they're not AAMC) just to build up stamina.

    Oh yeah: one of the (few) things I felt I did totally right for preping for this test: don't waste your time reading passages in PS or BS. MOST of the questions, you will be able to answer from the test itself. Do pay attention to the figures & numbers though.

    How long did you study for the MCAT?

    About 2weeks hardcore studying (5hrs/day * 7days/week). I have the attention span of a fly so I'm really happy for being able to pull that 5hrs/day off. 4weeks of preparation if you can give about 4hrs/day should be plenty.

    I have a bad GPA so my MCAT just isn't going to cut the mustard & I have to retake; but if my GPA was better, I wouldn't feel too bad about applying to state schools with my MCAT.
     
  38. qtrlifecrisis

    qtrlifecrisis Left of the middle 5+ Year Member

    106
    0
    Dec 17, 2006
    Questions:

    1) Your individual scores and composite score:


    PS: 12 VR: 11 BS: 13 WR: Q Composite: 36Q

    2) The study method used for each section


    PS: Practice problems and section tests, concept review from course books.

    VR: Practice, practice and more practice. Records of the kinds of questions I missed and why I missed them. I was too nervous to actually apply the strategies I'd learned on test day, so I'm ecstatic with my 11. I scored a 7 on my diagnostic, and steadily improved with practice. I found that my score dropped whenever I skipped verbal practice for a couple days, so I tried to do at least three timed passages everyday.

    BS: Memorized through diagrams, as I'm a visual learner.

    WR: Wrote only two essays I think. Used Kaplan strategy, modeled essays on the ones available at e-mcat.com

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


    PS: Kaplan course and course books, reviewed problem areas as indicated by AAMC test feedback.

    VR: ExamKrackers 101 - entire book, hated Kaplan's strategy, didn't get around to using their practice material.

    BS: same as PS

    4) Which practice tests did you use?


    Kaplan 1-6, AAMC 3-10
    Practice test average was around a 37. Lowest AAMC - 33, Highest AAMC - 39. They say you score between +/- 3 of your practiceaverage, turned out to be true for me.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?


    Economics

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


    Practice in realistic conditions, on a desktop computer in an isolated part of the library instead of on your laptop in your room. Time ALL your practice tests, and stick to the 10 minute breaks.

    Take the test soon after you've finished all the pre-med prereqs.

    Take time off to study for this! If you take a prep course, make it your priority for the term, and try your best to keep up with it.

    Don't stress yourself out! Build a supportive environment for yourself, and don't talk to other pre-meds who are studying for the test..i.e. stay off SDN!


    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Hmm...my Kaplan course started in Jan, but I started studying for real only in March for my May 25 test.
     
  39. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc 10+ Year Member

    13,873
    31
    Feb 21, 2004

    Thanks for the advice, but you crack me up with your paragraph on most important tip. I could just see a movie of all that happening in fastforward with eye of the tiger playing in the background. :laugh: :laugh:
     
  40. olemissbabydoc

    olemissbabydoc Baby Doctor Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    16,335
    5
    Jul 27, 2006
    Between "there" and "there"
    MDApps:

    I'm music/psych too and didn't know there was another one in the world! Great info/tips and thanks for the inspiration! :)
     
  41. RPedigo

    RPedigo Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    Code:
    Section                     Score                 Percentile
    Verbal Reasoning 	    11 	                  82.6 - 94.1
    Physical Sciences 	    14 	                  97.6 - 99.7
    Writing Sample 	            T 	                  99.7 - 99.9
    Biological Sciences 	    14 	                  98.4 - 99.8
    Total Score 	            39T 	          98.9 - 99.3 
    
    2) The study method used for each section
    In general, I just did material review. When I took diagnostics, I absolutely made sure I combed through each of the questions thoroughly after I took the exam. I looked at why I got each question right (what my train of thought was that led to the correct answer) and why I got each question wrong (what trap answer I chose, what was wrong with that answer, or perhaps I was missing a vital science concept that led me to choose incorrectly).

    For verbal, one of the best things I can recommend is to bring out a terrible quality in people: arrogance. A lot of people read the verbal passage and get confused by a line or some syntax, stop, and go back to read it again, and lose their entire train of thought. Most questions are main idea-- the chance that the small piece you missed is going to be tested on is very small. So if you read arrogantly, and you don't understand a line, you'll just assume that the author sucks and it's not worth comprehending it. This will actually make most people more effective in verbal.


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

    Physical sciences
    • The Princeton Review, Physical Sciences
    • MCAT Pearls

    Verbal reasoning
    • The Princeton Review, Verbal Reasoning

    Biological sciences
    • The Princeton Review, Biological Sciences
    • MCAT Pearls


    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    • AAMC CBT 3-10
    • The Princeton Review, all CBT diagnostics

    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Chemistry.

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?
    • Don't study 8 hours a day for a month, study 2 hours a day for 4 months
    • Don't just look at what you got wrong, more important is usually what you got right
    • :luck:!


    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?
    Took The Princeton Review course over one summer, then studied 1-2 hours a day consistently during the quarter that I took the test.
     
  42. wongb18c

    wongb18c Lucky dumb med student 5+ Year Member

    113
    0
    May 13, 2007
    FL
    RPedigo,

    If I remember correctly didn't you take the May.25th 2007 MCAT? Also, didn't you feel that you didn't perform very well, although I could be mistaken.

    Congrats on your acceptance to med school btw...
     
  43. RPedigo

    RPedigo Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member


    You do remember correctly, I did take the May 25th administration, and was close to voiding. I was pleasantly surprised that my real score fell within my AAMC diagnostic range.

    haha... didn't get into medical school yet, but I appreciate the support quite a bit.

    And if your username is referencing a certain engine... I used to have a 2001 Acura Integra Type-R (before it got stolen)
     
  44. Flaxmoore

    Flaxmoore StealthDoc 10+ Year Member

    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    11PS, 12VR, 10BS, P WS, 33P.

    2) The study method used for each section

    PS-
    I got a 12 the first time I took the MCAT, so this section was far from a concern. I studied the Kaplan Premier book, took notes, and then reviewed with the AAMC and Kaplan exams.

    VR- I got a 9 the first time, so this needed some work. Lots of review passages and developing my own technique for the exam helped.

    BS- My worst from '03, an 8. I audited OChem as a review, took extra Bio classes, and worked through the Kaplan books.

    WS- I wasn't too concerned. I just wrote to the prompt and that was a guaranteed P.

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

    PS-
    Kaplan, AAMC
    VR- Kaplan, AAMC
    WS- Kaplan
    BS- Kaplan, AAMC

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Same as above, the Kaplan and AAMC exams.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Biology

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

    Relax, and go slowly on the studying. Cramming will kill you. :luck:

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?


    4 months, 2-3 hours per day.
     
  45. PreMedMommy

    PreMedMommy 7+ Year Member

    568
    1
    Jul 27, 2005
    Oklahoma
    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    32Q
    VR 10
    BS 11
    PS 11
    WS Q

    2) The study method used for each section
    I heavily used EK. I had about 4 weeks to prep, so I just really concentrated on covering all their lectures.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    EK for review, AAMC practice (paper) tests

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    I used the AAMC 4-6

    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Physics

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?
    If you learn ANYTHING from me, let it be this:

    GIVE YOURSELF MORE THAN 4 WEEKS TO PREP FOR THE TEST

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?
    4 weeks-ish


    Due to my time constraints, I tried to cover about 4 sections a day and take one practice test a week. I had Audio Osmosis continually in my car CD player. I took the May 31 MCAT. I had taken a very difficult spring semester that prevented me from studying heavily while in school. (O Chem 2, Electrodynamics, Multi-variable Calc, Differential Equations, and Genetics) I maybe fit 2 or 3 sections in during the semester. So after finals were over the first week of May, I really hit the books and studied all day everyday from the time my daycare opened to the time it closed, at which time I was too busy being Mommy to really study much. It was wearisome trying to get it all in. Literally, my brain would get so tired that I could not hardly concentrate on anything, but still I had to force it to. So, DO NOT PILE ON DIFFICULT CLASSES THE SEMESTER BEFORE/OF YOUR MCAT, so that you may spend your time a little more wisely than I was forced to do. I was trying to keep C's off my transcript rather than prepare for one of the biggest exams of my life.
     
  46. crunchymilk

    crunchymilk 2+ Year Member

    204
    0
    Jul 6, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score (may 31st test)
    33P
    VR 9
    BS 14
    PS 10
    WS P

    2) The study method used for each section
    Went to the Kaplan classes, didn't study much outside of class (I should have) until I finished the semester.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    Just the Kaplan test. I only skimmed one AAMC test (short on time)

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    Kaplans, I took 4 total. Went from a 22 diagnostic to a 26, then a 31, then a 34, then a 35

    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Biology

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?
    Give yourself lot's of time. The best advice I can give is to teach this stuff. I taught organic chemistry (kind of like a TA) for a year and nailed the orgo stuff, that's probably why I did very well on biology. I also tutored a lot for biology and chemistry and that helps. To teach something you have to really really know it.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?
    little less than 3 weeks, I procrastinated, totally my fault, wish I would have given it more effort. About 2 hours a day.

    My advice would be to be calm. I never was stressed about this test. I had a calm over me. People would always ask me if I was nervous and I would say no, not at all. Relax. Put the work in. If you're religious, put your trust in God.
     
  47. nomoreplz

    nomoreplz just bustin' chops. 2+ Year Member

    339
    0
    Jul 9, 2007
    MDApps:
    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    40R
    VR 13
    BS 14
    PS 13
    WS R

    2) The study method used for each section
    First, I took a Princeton Review course. I teach for them, and therefore it was cheap. And I ended up with AMAZING teachers. So the classes in everything helped.

    Verbal was naturally easy for me - I only did what we did in class and took practice tests, then reviewed what I had missed. I never did my "homework" or studied in any other way for verbal.

    Physics is by far the hardest subject for me, so I listened in class, took notes, and did every single practice problem assigned to me. At first, I couldn't even finish the PS section; it took me 3 diagnostics before I could.

    For biology, I read all the review chapters in our massive TPR bio review book. I did about 1/2 the assigned homework. Then I read the entire bio section again 3 days before the exam. Best thing I ever did.

    Chem is also easy for me, but I studied like woah and did tons of practice problems for gen chem. Ochem I pretty much ignored. I read the chapters but didn't practice.

    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    The princeton review materials & diags; AAMC diags

    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    Both TPR's and a ton of AAMC. I don't remember the numbers. I took a ton, though.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Plan II/Microbiology

    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?
    Study right the first time. Don't ever "plan" on being able to take it again, or "fix it" if you mess up. If you put all of your energy into doing it right the first time, you will do well. Take less class, work less, take it in the summer - do whatever you have to do.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    My class started in May and ended right before the August test - I took the last paper version in 2006. So I was in class for a long time, but I didn't get serious until about 6-7 weeks away from the test. I lived with two friends who were also studying for it, which definitely helped to keep us focused.

    Good luck to all!
     
  48. BrokenGlass

    BrokenGlass 2+ Year Member

    1,403
    7
    Jan 12, 2007
    I wanna be just like you when I grow up!
     
  49. drlook

    drlook 2+ Year Member

    35
    0
    Jul 14, 2007
    Yay, I finally get to post!

    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    36R
    VR 10
    BS 13
    PS 13
    WS R

    2) The study method used for each section

    I took a Kaplan class which started in October and ended in March, but I took the May 31st MCAT. I graduated in 2005 and work full time in clinical medical research, so I had to spread my studying out. I would say I really didn't start to study outside of my Kaplan homework and class until February.

    First, I did content review. I used Kaplan's foundational review booklets, and made a detailed study guide - I basically took notes on top of the FR booklets and used the study guide I made as reference for corrections and also read those study guides for a quick review before taking practice tests.

    Every week I would review and practice questions on a particular biology, chemisty, orgo and physics topic. I would also do at least two verbal practice section tests and one WR section test (two essays). Then I would take a practice test once a week. At the beginning, I took them untimed and with notes. Then progressively (every two weeks) I would begin to take the sections timed and without notes. When it was two months prior to testing, I increased the number of practice tests and decreased the amount of time I spent studying content. Make sure to take all the AAMC practice tests. Those are more important than the Kaplan tests.

    My practice test ranges for VR was 9-12, BS was 10-13 and PS was 10-13. My best cumalative score on a practice was a 36.

    The five days prior to the exam, I RELAXED. I took a couple of days off of work before my MCAT. I slowed down on the practice tests. My advise - DO NOT TAKE PRACTICE TESTS IN THE THREE DAYS PRIOR TO THE TEST. It will BURN YOU OUT. Trust me. I also advise all of you to FREAK OUT at least once. Have your mental breakdown at least three days before the test, get it over with. Once you've been through that, slept on it, you'll wake up the next day relieved you've cried your eyes out thinking your going to fail the test and resigned just to take it. I reviewed content only three days before the test - so reading through my study guides and doing the Kaplan flashcards. I would also look through old WR sections and outline an essay or two.

    DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE VR SECTION!! Do AS MUCH practice as possible and always always make sure you understand the explanation to your wrong answers.

    The day before and day of the test: Stop studying the night before by 7pm. Make yourself a nice dinner, have a drink, watch a movie. PACK DRINKS AND SNACKS FOR THE MCAT. This sounds stupid, but it worked for me. I made myself some iced tea and edamame. When I took the test, I was relaxed, awake, and during the breaks I stepped out, snacked and drank a little, and I felt energized and mentally focused. I never dreamed I would actually get 13s on my science sections - i had only done that once before on an untimed practice test. But I know I achieved it because of my state of mind during the day of the MCAT and nothing else. We are all smart enough to earn 15s, it's really just about our mindset the day of the test. I feel the MCAT is merely testing how you act and think under extreme pressure.

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

    I took the Kaplan course (which I highly recommend; loved my teacher, loved the students, loved the study books and guides). I also used Examkrackers 1001 questions in VR, bio, physics, chem and orgo. Every time I reviewed a topic, I did the questions on the topic in the examkrackers book. Really really helped. I also took AAMC CBT tests 3-10.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Kaplan and AAMC

    5) What was your undergraduate major?

    Neuroscience

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

    It's more important you make sure your relaxed and prepared the day before the MCAT than reviewing content and practicing. The day before won't make a difference in how much you know; but it will in how focused you are. ANd don't underestimate the difficulty and importance of the VR and WR sections.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Took class from October to March one class a week. Did homework (3-4 hours of work a week) until February. Starting in February, studied 6-8 hours a week. Starting in April, studied at least 2-3 hours a day (with one or two days of the week taking a break). Three weeks before the test, a solid 3 hours a day with no breaks. Took test on May 31st.

    GOOD LUCK GUYS!! IT'LL BE OVER SOON!!
     
  50. kstreet

    kstreet 7+ Year Member

    190
    2
    Jan 29, 2007
    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    So, I took the MCAT twice
    First time in April 2006, I received PS7 VR10 BS10 P for a 27P
    Second time in June 2007, I received PS10 VR14 BS11 S for a 35S

    2) The study method used for each section

    The first time I took the exam, I studied through a Kaplan course. The problem was that I half-assed it and didn't even attend all the classes. The one good thing I did do was attend all the practice exams. In retrospect, those practice exams were probably the only reason why I even was able to score 10's in two of the sections. So let me say this: PRACTICE EXAMS ARE KEY and honestly besides the textbooks that I paid for, that portion was probably the most worthwhile use of time.

    The second time around, I decided to study on my own. I quit my lab job and devoted about two months to really put effort into the MCAT. This time around, I bought every single CBT from the AAMC. I also had a set of Examkrackers books as well as Audio Osmosis.

    I read through most of the examkrackers and listened to most of the audio osmosis. More importantly, I did every single AAMC CBT. Even MORE importantly, I reviewed what I got wrong, and why I got it wrong. This was KEY. Again, PRACTICE EXAMS ARE KEY.

    SDN MCAT forums were also of great help. I probably printed out every single thread of their study section and read through each and made notes while commuting or sitting on my bum. Google and Wikipedia were also great resources to look up a topic I was unsure of.

    PS is the best section to make your largest improvement. It contains the largest room for error and contains material that you KNOW will be on the exam. Again, my PS scores aren't exactly stellar, but they'll do. The reason I was so weak on PS was because I simply suck at PS. I ran out of time at the end and made a few guesses on about 5 or 6 questions that I was unsure about. Again, the margin for error is greatest on this section. If you know all the equations and have a basic understanding of each topic that may be on the MCAT, you can at least score a 10.

    VR is at the same time the hardest and easiest section. Easiest because it contains absolutely no calculation (at least for me that makes it easier), hardest because it requires the same focus as the other sections and ten times the intensity of that focus. The way AAMC tries to trick you is either through strange phrasing in the question, confusing/reasonably similar answers, or through a passage that is itself intense or a combination of all. The best advice I can give you is to do all the AAMC CBT verbal sections and when you do them, to maintain that sense of focus. Seriously, pretend that the verbal section is the actual test. You'll start to notice similar patterns in those "gotcha" questions that the AAMC oh so loves to put everywhere. One more thing about VR, you have to love to read or at least put up with large volumes of reading and be able to digest it. Both Kaplan and Examkrackers have their own little formulas on how to do it. The only real part of either that I chose to follow was the "five second rule". Prior to each passage, have a little zen moment to yourself for five whole seconds and forget about the passage you just did. I have no clue if it actually did anything, but apparently it may have helped. Oh yah, there's a luck factor involved. I know for sure that on a few questions that it was down to two choices. I went with my gut and so should you (if your gut tends to be correct).

    EDIT: Oh, one other very important factor that I was prepared for was the length of the passages. The CBT's mirror almost everything on the actual MCAT EXCEPT the length of the passage. Expect passages to be a few paragraphs longer than on the CBTs. The only reason I knew this was through reading other people's experiences on the MCATs of April and May.

    BS is similar to PS in that you definitely know certain material will be on the test. The difference is that there's a lot more minute detail involved for some of the questions as well as more actual "reasoning" involved in extracting information from the passage. They will definitely test you on things you've never even though about (for example, I had a passage on the sweat glands of goats); the great thing is that all the information you will ever need to answer those passage based questions will usually be in the passage in the tables and figures. The memorization that is required are usually for the more esoteric questions the AAMC may ask. It may involve hormones, DNA structure, the Hardy-Weinberg equation, a multitude of things. The best you can do is look through the AAMC MCAT pdf that lists every single possible topic that will be tested. Print that out, and notate every single topic. If you don't know what the topic is about, look it up. Oh, also Orgo isn't such a heavy focus anymore so just understand the basics (eg. sterics, SN1, SN2 etc..)

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

    What I used...

    Kaplan Biological Sciences Review Notes from 2006
    Kaplan Physical Sciences Review Notes from 2006
    Exam Krackers Bio, Chem, Phys, Orgo, Verbal all from edition 5
    NOVA MCAT Physics
    Organic Chemistry as a Second Language
    SDN MCAT Study forums
    The Internet

    Each was an excellent resource in it's own way. I highly recommend NOVA Physics and Orgo as a Second Language if you're like me and aren't so great in those respective subjects.

    4) Which practice tests did you use?

    Every single AAMC CBT
    Practice Test 10 - CBT
    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 45 87% Practice Test 10 - CBT
    Monday, June 11, 2007 39 98% Practice Test 10 - CBT
    Monday, June 11, 2007 33 63% Practice Test 9 - CBT
    Friday, June 08, 2007 44 85% Practice Test 9 - CBT
    Thursday, June 07, 2007 83 58% Practice Test 7 - CBT
    Wednesday, June 06, 2007 36 69% Practice Test 8 - CBT
    Friday, June 01, 2007 122 85% Practice Test 6 - CBT
    Thursday, May 24, 2007 49 94% Practice Test 7 - CBT
    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 125 87% Practice Test 4 - CBT
    Thursday, May 17, 2007 1 2% Practice Test 6 - CBT
    Wednesday, May 16, 2007 42 81% Practice Test 6 - CBT
    Thursday, May 03, 2007 32 80% Practice Test 5 - CBT
    Monday, April 09, 2007 39 98% Practice Test 5 - CBT
    Monday, April 09, 2007 46 88% Practice Test 4 - CBT
    Wednesday, April 04, 2007 46 88% Practice Test 4R
    Tuesday, March 20, 2007 52 87% Practice Test 4R
    Tuesday, March 20, 2007 57 74% Practice Test 3 - CBT
    Friday, March 16, 2007 44 85% Practice Test 3 - CBT
    Wednesday, March 14, 2007 44 85% Practice Test 3R
    Tuesday, January 30, 2007 61 79% Practice Test 3R
    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    That was literally how I did the practice tests. Some of em I did in one sitting, some of em I did section by section up until June 15th.

    The reason so many of em are so high was because I went through em again. :smuggrin:
    So don't think I'm a genius or anything.

    5) What was your undergraduate major?


    Biology and Political Science

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

    Drink some Earl Grey tea on the morning of the test. If you are NOT a morning person, do your best to schedule the test in the afternoon. I took mine at 1:30pm.

    Do your best to relax. I remember sitting at the desk to get my finger scanned for identification purposes 1 minute before the test. The lady at the desk took my hand and said "wow, you're not trembling at all, you seem very cool."

    I replied "You gotta be."

    You don't want your fingers to tremble. Go into the test with the right state of mind. Seriously, think of this test as something you can beat, as something you can destroy. The feelings you have after the test are usually inevitable (everyone feels a bit down after the test, I know I did), but go INTO the test with a feeling that you can kick ass.

    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

    Off and on for about 2 months (maybe 1 or 2 hrs a day)
    Semi-hardcore for about 3 weeks (3-4 hrs a day)
    Hardcore for about 2 weeks (did the majority of my practice exams during this period)
     
  51. ChePibe

    ChePibe 5+ Year Member

    285
    0
    Jul 18, 2007
    MDApps:
    1) Your individual scores and composite score
    June 2007: PS 14, VR 9 WS P BS 13
    August 2003: PS 12 VR 10 WS P BS 12
    2) The study method used for each section
    Review and practice. Rinse and repeat until clean
    3) What materials you used for each section(Kaplan, TPR, Examkrackers, AAMC, etc)
    Kaplan Online and Examkrackers CSG and VR101
    4) Which practice tests did you use?
    Kaplan FL 1-9 and AAMC 3-10
    5) What was your undergraduate major?
    Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry
    6) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us?
    Trust your first instinct, it is usually correct. Also try not to burn yourself down with too many practice tests towards the end. I believe that is what happened to me since I scored way lower than my average.
    7) How long did you study for the MCAT?
    3 months
    Good luck to everyone studying for the beast.
     

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