Shredder

User
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2004
3,907
4
Status
Medical Student
there was one for 30, so i figured i would start one for this. and would you mind telling your diagnostic progress? dont be shy, be proud...
 

NotShorty

~Mr. Bright Side~
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 8, 2003
491
6
The tip of America's wang
Visit site
Status
40+ MCAT study habits?

Psychological suicide and a set of dice. Statistically, it won't happen for anyone who reads this thread. Anyone who can do it wouldn't dare share their secrets.

Try something attainable, like self-fellatio. :thumbup:

NS
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,976
47
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Either you can do it, or you can't. Not likely that you can boost your score that high without natural ability.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
18,915
4,165
Florida/Fellowship
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
Shredder said:
there was one for 30, so i figured i would start one for this. and would you mind telling your diagnostic progress? dont be shy, be proud...
lol, my advice to all of you MCATers is that you stop posting these silly threads instead of studying. ;)
 

virilep

What can Brown do for u?
15+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2004
1,563
5
37
Visit site
Status
NotShorty said:
40+ MCAT study habits?

Psychological suicide and a set of dice. Statistically, it won't happen for anyone who reads this thread. Anyone who can do it wouldn't dare share their secrets.

Try something attainable, like self-fellatio. :thumbup:

NS
hahahha that's awesome
 

virilep

What can Brown do for u?
15+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2004
1,563
5
37
Visit site
Status
there are no such study habits. the statistical probability is way too low for you bid on making a 40+
 

stoleyerscrubz

Registered User and Stuff
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2004
1,087
3
48
NY
Status
Medical Student
I am taking bets for the MCAT. If you score 40+ I pay 4 to 1. minimum bet is $500.
:luck:
 

Kazema

In a kingdom by the sea
15+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2004
1,850
4
Status
Medical Student
Seeing as how 40 > 30, I expect that everyone who got a 40+ already posted to the 30+ thread.
 

inthe4cast

What's in the 4-cast?
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2005
90
1
Status
Drink 20 oz of Listerine before and between each section of the MCAT. :eek:
 

jeffsleepy

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2002
334
0
Visit site
Status
1) Actually learn the material in your classes; everything on the MCAT you should've already covered.

2) Take a course if you're lazy or you like to procrastinate and can't manage your time.

3) Be good at standardized multiple choice tests.

4) Practice and pray.


I'll take that bet scrubz ;)
 

Pinkertinkle

2003 Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2003
5,004
80
Status
Attending Physician
Kazema said:
Seeing as how 40 > 30, I expect that everyone who got a 40+ already posted to the 30+ thread.
I think the advice of the 30+ scorers isn't quite good enough for this fella, he only wants to hear what the 40+ has to say, and he's not gonna bother reading through that thread to find the 40+'s.
 
OP
Shredder

Shredder

User
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2004
3,907
4
Status
Medical Student
jeffsleepy said:
1) Actually learn the material in your classes; everything on the MCAT you should've already covered.

2) Take a course if you're lazy or you like to procrastinate and can't manage your time.

3) Be good at standardized multiple choice tests.

4) Practice and pray.


I'll take that bet scrubz ;)
thanks for a non wisecrack comment jeffsleepy. to those pointing out statistics, its sad that you let those determine your goals. may you live a mediocre life. yes 40 is greater than 30, but someone scoring that high would be exponentially more likely to post on a 40+ thread than a 30+ where advice would get lost among the sea of other posts. yes tinkle, it would be a nuisance to sift through those countless pages of 30+ posts reading about not partying every weekend, attending classes, and sleeping the night before the mcat. thats not the kind of information i sought in making this thread, which is supposed to be serious mind you all. if you want to start a 35+ thread, go right ahead, but this is not that and still has a right to exist.

if you really want to know, the fact that half of the accepted applicants to top 10 schools on mdapplicants score 40+ worries me.
 

Pinkertinkle

2003 Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2003
5,004
80
Status
Attending Physician
What information do you seek besides that which tells you to work hard? I am confident that the 40+ scorers do not have a magic formula for obtaining such scores.
 
OP
Shredder

Shredder

User
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2004
3,907
4
Status
Medical Student
oooh okay so youre telling me that people who score 30+ and 40+ probably approached the test the same way and studied similarly, right? in addition, theyre probably about the same caliber of applicants. thanks, ill keep that in mind!

look, on a more serious note: what kind of detail should be gone into while studying (dont say 100% detail into everything, that is impossible), how was performance on practice tests compared to the real one, how many practice tests were taken, what did you find the hardest topic to be, how many questions can be missed...must i go on?
 

MWillie

On the wards
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2004
766
0
37
Chi Town
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Shredder said:
oooh okay so youre telling me that people who score 30+ and 40+ probably approached the test the same way and studied similarly, right? in addition, theyre probably about the same caliber of applicants. thanks, ill keep that in mind!

look, on a more serious note: what kind of detail should be gone into while studying (dont say 100% detail into everything, that is impossible), how was performance on practice tests compared to the real one, how many practice tests were taken, what did you find the hardest topic to be, how many questions can be missed...must i go on?
In fact, I think that is correct. I am quite sure that people who score in the 30s and 40s approach the test in the same way, but the one's who score in the 40's have a talent for test taking or get lucky. I also think that at 37 and up the MCAT is no longer used to distinguish applicants, i.e. if it's 39 vs 41 = look at EC's rather than choose the higher MCAT. This is my experience after applying and getting acceptances, including at top ranked institutions. I also do meet the qualifications for posting in this thread.
 

NotShorty

~Mr. Bright Side~
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 8, 2003
491
6
The tip of America's wang
Visit site
Status
Shredder said:
if you really want to know, the fact that half of the accepted applicants to top 10 schools on mdapplicants score 40+ worries me.
:rolleyes:

If you're worried, you're not one of them. 40+ is not a goal, it's a lifestyle.

For each top 10 school that would require you to get a score that high, there are a few dozen pretty damn good and less expensive schools that would be tickled pink with 30+.

Not to mention that quite a few of those applicants that are worrying you are totally blowing smoke up your @ss. Not all of them, but quite a few. Don't believe everything on the internet. Yes, that may or may not include this post. :laugh:

NS
 
  • Like
Reactions: peudamour

Kazema

In a kingdom by the sea
15+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2004
1,850
4
Status
Medical Student
MWillie said:
In fact, I think that is correct. I am quite sure that people who score in the 30s and 40s approach the test in the same way, but the one's who score in the 40's have a talent for test taking or get lucky. I also think that at 37 and up the MCAT is no longer used to distinguish applicants, i.e. if it's 39 vs 41 = look at EC's rather than choose the higher MCAT. This is my experience after applying and getting acceptances, including at top ranked institutions. I also do meet the qualifications for posting in this thread.
Agree totally.

A 40 is totally unnecessary unless you've got a horrible GPA, like...someone I know...yeah...and wouldn't get any interviews otherwise.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
18,915
4,165
Florida/Fellowship
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
Shredder said:
thanks for a non wisecrack comment jeffsleepy. to those pointing out statistics, its sad that you let those determine your goals. may you live a mediocre life. yes 40 is greater than 30, but someone scoring that high would be exponentially more likely to post on a 40+ thread than a 30+ where advice would get lost among the sea of other posts. yes tinkle, it would be a nuisance to sift through those countless pages of 30+ posts reading about not partying every weekend, attending classes, and sleeping the night before the mcat. thats not the kind of information i sought in making this thread, which is supposed to be serious mind you all. if you want to start a 35+ thread, go right ahead, but this is not that and still has a right to exist.

if you really want to know, the fact that half of the accepted applicants to top 10 schools on mdapplicants score 40+ worries me.
My previous post was in dead ernest. If you want to do well on the MCAT, however you define that, hanging out in this forum and fooling around like this is not going to get you to your goal. (Re-read your own signature, shredder!) And Kazema is correct; check the 30+ posts and you will find several that are 40+. You will also find that their study habits depend on the individual and his/her background; I studied physics in excruciating detail and didn't study organic at all because those were my respective weak and strong points. Other people have different study plans because they have different backgrounds and needs. There is no "secret" that people who scored 40+ know but that you lack.

I realize that continuing to respond to you is likely an exercise in futility, because you are going to continue to search for some kind of a "true path" to scoring a 40 like it's some kind of medical school admissions holy grail. But for anyone out there reading this who is still semi-sane, it is NOT necessary to score a 40 on the MCAT in order to get into a top medical school. It's icing on the cake if you can manage it, but IT IS NOT NECESSARY. Most people who are in medical school did not score a 40+ on the MCAT, but guess what, they still got into medical school. So just concentrate on doing as well as you can, and don't psych yourself out or worry about what other people are doing.
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2003
2,336
6
Status
Attending Physician
Choose your parents carefully.
 
  • Like
Reactions: peudamour
OP
Shredder

Shredder

User
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2004
3,907
4
Status
Medical Student
QofQuimica said:
(Re-read your own signature, shredder!)

You will also find that their study habits depend on the individual and his/her background; I studied physics in excruciating detail and didn't study organic at all because those were my respective weak and strong points. Other people have different study plans because they have different backgrounds and needs. There is no "secret" that people who scored 40+ know but that you lack.

you are going to continue to search for some kind of a "true path" to scoring a 40 like it's some kind of medical school admissions holy grail.
yes..i should take my signature more into consideration sometimes, but you cant miss opportunities to learn potentially valuable advice that may help you. study habits also depend on the situation of 30+ scorers, but that thread is still there. everyone can give a "depends on such and such" type of answer, what doesnt depend on something else? theres no one secret formula, but all of the secrets pooled together would definitely be helpful. and theres nothing wrong with shooting for 40--its a good benchmark to measure progress toward, like a 1500 on the SAT to compare it to another standardized test. just because a 40+ thread isnt statistically as pertinent to most SDNers doesnt mean it is any less valid. as for necessity for admissions, of course its not necessary, just like a superb gpa isnt necessary, but it would still give an added boost to your status as an applicant, and i dont see why that is such an evil thing. you can get into med school with a 30+, but getting into good schools takes more than that, and some people do want more than to get in just anywhere.
 

Shrike

Lanius examinatianus
10+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2004
646
4
too far south
Status
stoleyerscrubz said:
I am taking bets for the MCAT. If you score 40+ I pay 4 to 1. minimum bet is $500.
:luck:
I accept. I will probably not be taking the April test; more likely August, perhaps April next year, because I am not good enough to do it without studying and I probably won't have time this spring. But when I do, I will take the bet, deposit the money with some neutral party (as will you, I hope), and attempt to prove that it is reasonable, under some circumstances, to expect a score that good. Whether it is reasonable to care about it, or to work toward it it as a be-all goal, is yet another matter.

(I want to make it clear, to Q and all the others, that I do not think that it is reasonable to care about this stuff: it is not necesssary for getting in anywhere, and I suspect the incremental points around and above 40 don't even help much. More importantly, anyone aspiring to be a doctor darned well ought to have better things to do with his time, particularly as there ain't gonna be a lot of free time once you get to med school. I'm into it because it is fun for me; I am, as others have noted, not exactly normal.)

Shrike
TPR (lots o' stuff)
38T and counting
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
18,915
4,165
Florida/Fellowship
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
Shredder said:
yes..i should take my signature more into consideration sometimes, but you cant miss opportunities to learn potentially valuable advice that may help you. study habits also depend on the situation of 30+ scorers, but that thread is still there. everyone can give a "depends on such and such" type of answer, what doesnt depend on something else? theres no one secret formula, but all of the secrets pooled together would definitely be helpful. and theres nothing wrong with shooting for 40--its a good benchmark to measure progress toward, like a 1500 on the SAT to compare it to another standardized test. just because a 40+ thread isnt statistically as pertinent to most SDNers doesnt mean it is any less valid. as for necessity for admissions, of course its not necessary, just like a superb gpa isnt necessary, but it would still give an added boost to your status as an applicant, and i dont see why that is such an evil thing. you can get into med school with a 30+, but getting into good schools takes more than that, and some people do want more than to get in just anywhere.
I didn't mean to suggest that you shouldn't have lofty goals. Nor am I in a position to be criticizing anyone for wanting to aim for a 40 (with the possible exception of Shrike :smuggrin: ) But I do believe that one's goals should be contextually reasonable based on the rest of his/her application. If you don't need the 40 to balance some other inadequacy on your application, why not spend your time doing other things, like volunteering, research, or shadowing, that will greatly strengthen your application and make you a more well-rounded applicant? Because the top medical schools care about those things, too. Applicants with high MCATs are a dime a dozen at top medical schools; you won't stand out that way. What makes you stand out are the nonacademic intangibles. Bottom line: if you are a traditional student with excellent grades, you will be fine with a score in the 30s or possibly even the high 20s, regardless of where you want to go. (Think about it: if 34 or 35 is the average at the most prestigious schools, and several people who go there have 40s, then some others must have scored in the high 20s and low 30s to average it out, right?)

Again, my best suggestion to you is still the same: stop hanging out at SDN for the next two months until you take the test, and study so that you can do the best you are capable of doing. You already know what you have to do to earn a high score. You need to go out now and do it.

Good luck to you, shredder, and everyone else taking in April. :luck:
 

lfesiam

Regional Guy for Hire!
10+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2005
956
3
Status
Resident [Any Field]
a friend of mine got 42S his freshmen year at UPENN, no joke, the kid is a genius or something.
 

DarkFark

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2005
634
0
35
Status
Medical Student
Shredder said:
if you really want to know, the fact that half of the accepted applicants to top 10 schools on mdapplicants score 40+ worries me.
MD Applicants is NOT a representative sample of people getting into medical school.

For the combined 2004 administrations, a score of 40 or above was 99.5 percentile.

~60000 people taking the MCAT x .005 = 300 40+ scores.

Looking at my handy copy of the US News rankings, I can see that the total enrollment of the top 10 schools is 6,027

Therefore, even if EVERYONE who got a 40+ score made a top 10 school (and we know that isn't the case), at most, 5% of people enrolled at those schools had scores that high.

The MCAT is important, but not that important. Moreover, once you get past a 35ish, diminishing returns over the admissions power of each additional point really starts to set in.

Relax and do the best you can.
 

DarkFark

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2005
634
0
35
Status
Medical Student
Chr147 said:
i've always wondered about those people who say they scored a 43 or 42 or whatever. according to the aamc website, no one scored above a 42 in 2004?

http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/examineedata/combined04.pdf

:(
I was wondering about that myself. I think it's possible a couple of people did score higher but they just rounded the %-ile off to 0 for simplicity's sake. I personally havent met anyone with a score that high since the top verbal was 13-15 (so anyone who got above a 12 verbal could claim a 15).
 

Chr147

Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2005
37
0
Status
yea u're prob right, since the percentiles only round off to the tenths. but i dunno, a few people could have scored those scores. but i see quite a number of people claiming those scores here, so i was just curious.

maybe it was from another year...
 

pseudoknot

Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2004
2,925
6
41
Hershey, PA
Status
Attending Physician
I can't believe I'm replying to this thread, but note that the percents in that table are only given to one decimal place, so <0.05 would round to 0.0. Thus there could have been up to 61,973*0.05*0.01=30 people achieving scores of 1-5 or 43-45. Or there could have been zero. We do not have enough information to determine this. Write to [email protected] if you really care, and let us know what they say.
 

Phil Anthropist

SDN Moderator
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2004
5,131
4
Visit site
Status
jrdnbenjamin said:
Thus there could have been up to 61,973*0.05*0.01=30 people achieving scores of 1-5 or 43-45. Or there could have been zero. We do not have enough information to determine this. Write to [email protected] if you really care, and let us know what they say.
Well it's definitely not zero. This very subject was debated awhile back. And someone already did what you suggested:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=1661766&postcount=1

In fact, I was one of the nine individuals lucky enough to score a 43 in 2003. :thumbup:










Okay, no I didn't. But maybe I will! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight :rolleyes:
 

truethat

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 3, 2005
41
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Sorry to revive this thread if anyone is offended by it.

I think one good reason why you wish to pursue a 40+ score, more than for acceptance purposes would be scholarships. Some schools will really dish out serious dough to retain some students who score in the 40+ range. In that sense, wishing a 40+ range makes lots of common sense I think. I would love to not only get accepted but get a free ride scholarship for having an outstanding score plus an overall good profile.
 

fi0ri

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2005
18
1
Status
truethat said:
Sorry to revive this thread if anyone is offended by it.

I think one good reason why you wish to pursue a 40+ score, more than for acceptance purposes would be scholarships. Some schools will really dish out serious dough to retain some students who score in the 40+ range. In that sense, wishing a 40+ range makes lots of common sense I think. I would love to not only get accepted but get a free ride scholarship for having an outstanding score plus an overall good profile.
Another good reason is so you can make fun of all the people that got a 39.
 
  • Like
Reactions: peudamour

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
18,915
4,165
Florida/Fellowship
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
truethat said:
Sorry to revive this thread if anyone is offended by it.

I think one good reason why you wish to pursue a 40+ score, more than for acceptance purposes would be scholarships. Some schools will really dish out serious dough to retain some students who score in the 40+ range. In that sense, wishing a 40+ range makes lots of common sense I think. I would love to not only get accepted but get a free ride scholarship for having an outstanding score plus an overall good profile.
I think that people greatly overestimate the importance of having a super high MCAT score. Most of the time, my MCAT score does not ever come up at interviews, or if it does, the interviewer will mention in passing that it's very impressive. But it's not like they see that 43 and realize on the spot that I must be god's gift to their medical school. :laugh: My feeling is that once you hit the mid 30s range (35+), you are already so high above the mean that another point or two on the test isn't going to make much difference one way or the other for admissions or scholarship purposes. Yes, I've been offered some scholarships, but so have people with MCAT scores much lower than mine. Plus, you have to consider that since I'm a non-trad who is merely months away from earning my PhD (yay!), that I have a lot more ECs than the average applicant, just because I've lived ten years longer. I have ten years of research, work, and teaching experience, for example, not just a semester or two like the typical college applicant has. THOSE are the kinds of things that I feel set me off the most from the pack. My MCAT score is just icing on the cake.

In all seriousness, what my MCAT score has been the MOST useful for is to give me credibility with my MCAT classes. I've been able to convince some of the skeptics that maybe, just maybe, the Kaplan strategies DO work if you give them half a chance. ;) :cool:
 

truethat

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 3, 2005
41
0
Status
Pre-Medical
QofQuimica said:
I think that people greatly overestimate the importance of having a super high MCAT score. Most of the time, my MCAT score does not ever come up at interviews, or if it does, the interviewer will mention in passing that it's very impressive. But it's not like they see that 43 and realize on the spot that I must be god's gift to their medical school. :laugh: My feeling is that once you hit the mid 30s range (35+), you are already so high above the mean that another point or two on the test isn't going to make much difference one way or the other for admissions or scholarship purposes. Yes, I've been offered some scholarships, but so have people with MCAT scores much lower than mine. Plus, you have to consider that since I'm a non-trad who is merely months away from earning my PhD (yay!), that I have a lot more ECs than the average applicant, just because I've lived ten years longer. I have ten years of research, work, and teaching experience, for example, not just a semester or two like the typical college applicant has. THOSE are the kinds of things that I feel set me off the most from the pack. My MCAT score is just icing on the cake.

In all seriousness, what my MCAT score has been the MOST useful for is to give me credibility with my MCAT classes. I've been able to convince some of the skeptics that maybe, just maybe, the Kaplan strategies DO work if you give them half a chance. ;) :cool:
Hi qofquimica, so you believe the scholarships you obtained were due to your research experience and not your MCAT? the people with scores lower than yours you mentioned also had extensive research experience? thanks.
 

Nutmeg

Green globule
Gold Donor
15+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2003
30,336
13,778
Under the microscope
Status
Non-Student
Shredder said:
thanks for a non wisecrack comment jeffsleepy. to those pointing out statistics, its sad that you let those determine your goals. may you live a mediocre life. yes 40 is greater than 30, but someone scoring that high would be exponentially more likely to post on a 40+ thread than a 30+ where advice would get lost among the sea of other posts. yes tinkle, it would be a nuisance to sift through those countless pages of 30+ posts reading about not partying every weekend, attending classes, and sleeping the night before the mcat. thats not the kind of information i sought in making this thread, which is supposed to be serious mind you all. if you want to start a 35+ thread, go right ahead, but this is not that and still has a right to exist.

if you really want to know, the fact that half of the accepted applicants to top 10 schools on mdapplicants score 40+ worries me.
WTF??? If your goal is to get into a top 10 school, then set your goal as getting into a top 10 school and get over this ridiculous notion of making some number of the MCAT your goal. First off, MDApplicants is severely skewed, and if you can't figure that one out, you're really going to have to adjust your mathematical reasoning. Second, a 40 on the MCAT and $3.50 will get you a premium cup of coffee, and maybe land you an interview to teach for Kaplan or TPR--that's all I've gotten. I have a 40T, and I'd bet you a few thousand dollars that Harvard would not admit me. I'd wager I can't even get into UCSD. Wanna take that bet?

If your goal is to get into a top 10, there are many things you can do to improve your chances. Assuming you can get a 35+, whatever effort you would feel the need to make to get up to 40+ would be much better spent improving your GPA, getting better LORs through better ECs, or even taking a moment to enjoy your youth before you get buried under med school homework.

Cheers and good luck.

*Edit: Sorry, didn't realize this thread was ancient. Ignore this post.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
18,915
4,165
Florida/Fellowship
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
truethat said:
Hi qofquimica, so you believe the scholarships you obtained were due to your research experience and not your MCAT? the people with scores lower than yours you mentioned also had extensive research experience? thanks.
It isn't any one thing. Having a good MCAT score will open doors for you in the sense of getting the schools to take a serious look at your application. But in and of itself it won't earn you a scholarship, or even an acceptance. There has to be more to you than just a good set of numbers. This is even true (maybe especially true) at the state schools, at least here in FL.

As far as other people doing research are concerned, not necessarily. But they all have some quality that the school is looking for beyond having excellent numbers. It might be research experience like in my case, it might be URM status, it might be a history and commitment to work in rural areas, it might be extensive volunteer work, etc. When you go on your interviews, you will find out that some of your fellow applicants are truly remarkable people. I have met fellow applicants who have been members of professional music groups and even symphony orchestras, who have played professional sports, who have worked as nurses or other professionals before applying to medical school, who have helped build houses or public health infrastructure in third world countries, and so on. They have done all of this AND earned high GPAs and MCAT scores.

Again, I can't stress enough how poor of a strategy it is to rely heavily on your test score in the application process. It's nice to have a great MCAT, but that alone won't get you where you want to go. Applicants would be better off having a 35 on the MCAT and great ECs than they would be having a 45 and just the bare minimum for ECs.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
18,915
4,165
Florida/Fellowship
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
Nutmeg said:
*Edit: Sorry, didn't realize this thread was ancient. Ignore this post.
lol, I was just going to tell you that this kid Shredder has already taken the MCAT and applied. :p
 

MoosePilot

Y Bombardier
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 26, 2004
11,735
3
45
Unfathomable
Status
Medical Student
QofQuimica said:
I think that people greatly overestimate the importance of having a super high MCAT score. Most of the time, my MCAT score does not ever come up at interviews, or if it does, the interviewer will mention in passing that it's very impressive. But it's not like they see that 43 and realize on the spot that I must be god's gift to their medical school. :laugh: My feeling is that once you hit the mid 30s range (35+), you are already so high above the mean that another point or two on the test isn't going to make much difference one way or the other for admissions or scholarship purposes. Yes, I've been offered some scholarships, but so have people with MCAT scores much lower than mine. Plus, you have to consider that since I'm a non-trad who is merely months away from earning my PhD (yay!), that I have a lot more ECs than the average applicant, just because I've lived ten years longer. I have ten years of research, work, and teaching experience, for example, not just a semester or two like the typical college applicant has. THOSE are the kinds of things that I feel set me off the most from the pack. My MCAT score is just icing on the cake.

In all seriousness, what my MCAT score has been the MOST useful for is to give me credibility with my MCAT classes. I've been able to convince some of the skeptics that maybe, just maybe, the Kaplan strategies DO work if you give them half a chance. ;) :cool:
I mostly agree with Q, but she's also had enormous success in the application process (judging from the non-trad thread), so I think it helps. It might not come up in talks, because what can you say that's interesting about it, but I'd bet it came up when they were deciding to interview you and when the adcom met after your interview.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
18,915
4,165
Florida/Fellowship
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
MoosePilot said:
I mostly agree with Q, but she's also had enormous success in the application process (judging from the non-trad thread), so I think it helps. It might not come up in talks, because what can you say that's interesting about it, but I'd bet it came up when they were deciding to interview you and when the adcom met after your interview.
I don't mean to suggest that it doesn't matter at all. I'm sure that your MCAT score comes up plenty as well. But like I said, once you hit that mid-30s range, you've about maxxed out the usefulness of your MCAT score in terms of improving your application. It isn't the end-all, be-all key to medical school applications that some people seem to think it is. The MCAT is just one piece of an application that needs to be strong all around. You can't possibly tell me that you really believe that any school would pick me over you merely based on our MCAT scores. :rolleyes:

When it does come up as an interview topic, it tends to come up in interesting ways. Sometimes it's asked as a pedagogical issue: What skills do I teach my students to raise their MCAT scores? How do test prep courses improve people's scores? Or somewhat related, a broader philosophical discussion: Do I think it's possible for anyone to score 40+ on the MCAT? Why do some students with really good grades have poor MCAT scores? And sometimes it's just a curiosity: What did I do to score that high? Am I a naturally good test-taker? I've been told once or twice that the person had never seen a score that high. (I hadn't, either, though I've had several students hit the mid to high 30s over the years.) But no one has ever suggested that I deserve an acceptance, much less a scholarship, because of my MCAT score alone. It's always my MCAT score AND this or that accomplishment.

Am I making any sense to you guys? The MCAT *is* a piece of the picture, but it's only one piece, not the whole picture.
 

emack

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2005
122
2
36
Canada
Status
Medical Student
Shredder said:
look, on a more serious note: what kind of detail should be gone into while studying (dont say 100% detail into everything, that is impossible), how was performance on practice tests compared to the real one, how many practice tests were taken, what did you find the hardest topic to be, how many questions can be missed...must i go on?
Level of detail: as much as you can cram in! But seriously, it doesn't need to be 100%. For example, I gave up on really understanding much organic chem, and decided to cut my losses and just memorize what seemed to be the most common reactions.

Performance on practice tests: worse scores than on the real thing. I did 3 or 4 AAMC practice tests, and kept scoring 12s. I think the stress of the real test made me more paranoid about double-checking every answer, which I didn't usually bother with for practice ones.

Hardest topic for me: organic chem, some biology. Never having taken physiology, I had to teach myself the bare minimum of cardiac and renal stuff from a Princeton Review book. The hardest one to do on the real test was the writing sample. I didn't (couldn't) practice much ahead of time, and figure I'd be okay, having had some past experience with demand writing. I have to admit I got a bit pressed for time & ideas.

How many questions can be missed: variable. Answer every single question. When you don't know, try to narrow it down as much as possible. Even if you're staring at a question you're sure you have no clue how to answer, you can probably rule out at least one or two options.

Other important study strategies I used that may or may not already have been mentioned elsewhere:

-Practice doing scientific notation calculations quickly & accurately. You won't have time to double-check everything. Also practice quickly converting between all those measurement prefixes (you know: milli, micro, kilo, mega, etc.). I tend to automatically convert everything into scientific notation for calculations so I can forget about the prefixes, and convert back to the appropriate units for my answer at the end.

-Practice reading passages quickly and not for detail. All you want to know on the first go-through is what's there, so you can go back and find it quickly depending on the questions.

-Keep track of units, especially for physics questions. If you know, for example, all those relationships between Pascals, Newtons, kilograms, Joules, etc., then knowing which formula to use will be much simpler.

-Know the vocabulary! Even if you think a given subject might be a lost cause, even having an idea of what the most basic terms mean will help you get through a lot of questions. For me, this would probably have applied to anything to do with magnetism (*yawn*).

-Don't study too much. The law of diminishing returns applies to MCAT studying. Do what you normally do. I tended to study 3 afternoons or so each week. In the last week before, I started studying some evenings too.

-Don't panic! Don't stress! Don't let it ruin your life! While there are disadvantages to having to take it again, unlike a lot of other things you do in life, you can easily get a second chance at this (or third... or fourth... :) ).

Anyway, following this strategy, on my first attempt at the MCAT a couple of years ago, I got a 41R. Some of you probably won't believe me, but I don't really care. You're the ones looking for advice. ;)
 

Twitch

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2004
1,450
2
127.0.0.1
Status
Medical Student
emack said:
Practice reading passages quickly and not for detail. All you want to know on the first go-through is what's there, so you can go back and find it quickly depending on the questions.
Do you think this strategy applies to both science passages as well as verbal passages? A lot of people here seem to agree with EK's strategy which says to avoid going back to the passage for VR passages. For science passages I concur with you. For VR, I'm not convinced.
 

MoosePilot

Y Bombardier
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 26, 2004
11,735
3
45
Unfathomable
Status
Medical Student
QofQuimica said:
I don't mean to suggest that it doesn't matter at all. I'm sure that your MCAT score comes up plenty as well. But like I said, once you hit that mid-30s range, you've about maxxed out the usefulness of your MCAT score in terms of improving your application. It isn't the end-all, be-all key to medical school applications that some people seem to think it is. The MCAT is just one piece of an application that needs to be strong all around. You can't possibly tell me that you really believe that any school would pick me over you merely based on our MCAT scores. :rolleyes:
Well, I don't think you'd have to be accepted just on your MCAT, because you've done many impressive things. The PhD you're about to finish up is pretty darn amazing! However, I do think that even if you compared me vs. a candidate just like me, but with a 42 or 43 MCAT, then the hypothetical candidate would be more successful. My score is great, but that score is almost unmatched in any given year. Being at the very top makes you stand out, which is always good.
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2003
2,336
6
Status
Attending Physician
I feel like my MCAT score really opened a lot of doors, and reinforced the "good" version of my academic credentials. No way would I have had ~14 interview offers without it. And that was just a 39.
 
OP
Shredder

Shredder

User
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2004
3,907
4
Status
Medical Student
emack said:
Level of detail: as much as you can cram in! But seriously, it doesn't need to be 100%. For example, I gave up on really understanding much organic chem, and decided to cut my losses and just memorize what seemed to be the most common reactions.

Performance on practice tests: worse scores than on the real thing. I did 3 or 4 AAMC practice tests, and kept scoring 12s. I think the stress of the real test made me more paranoid about double-checking every answer, which I didn't usually bother with for practice ones.

Hardest topic for me: organic chem, some biology. Never having taken physiology, I had to teach myself the bare minimum of cardiac and renal stuff from a Princeton Review book. The hardest one to do on the real test was the writing sample. I didn't (couldn't) practice much ahead of time, and figure I'd be okay, having had some past experience with demand writing. I have to admit I got a bit pressed for time & ideas.

How many questions can be missed: variable. Answer every single question. When you don't know, try to narrow it down as much as possible. Even if you're staring at a question you're sure you have no clue how to answer, you can probably rule out at least one or two options.

Other important study strategies I used that may or may not already have been mentioned elsewhere:

-Practice doing scientific notation calculations quickly & accurately. You won't have time to double-check everything. Also practice quickly converting between all those measurement prefixes (you know: milli, micro, kilo, mega, etc.). I tend to automatically convert everything into scientific notation for calculations so I can forget about the prefixes, and convert back to the appropriate units for my answer at the end.

-Practice reading passages quickly and not for detail. All you want to know on the first go-through is what's there, so you can go back and find it quickly depending on the questions.

-Keep track of units, especially for physics questions. If you know, for example, all those relationships between Pascals, Newtons, kilograms, Joules, etc., then knowing which formula to use will be much simpler.

-Know the vocabulary! Even if you think a given subject might be a lost cause, even having an idea of what the most basic terms mean will help you get through a lot of questions. For me, this would probably have applied to anything to do with magnetism (*yawn*).

-Don't study too much. The law of diminishing returns applies to MCAT studying. Do what you normally do. I tended to study 3 afternoons or so each week. In the last week before, I started studying some evenings too.

-Don't panic! Don't stress! Don't let it ruin your life! While there are disadvantages to having to take it again, unlike a lot of other things you do in life, you can easily get a second chance at this (or third... or fourth... :) ).

Anyway, following this strategy, on my first attempt at the MCAT a couple of years ago, I got a 41R. Some of you probably won't believe me, but I don't really care. You're the ones looking for advice. ;)
haha...thanks, first time im visiting the mcat forum since getting my score back though. fell short by 3 due to verbal neglect, and yeah im eternally pissed. good to see my thread revived though, not sure how that happened heheh. anyway i think 40s worth it for bragging rights alone. practical benefits be damned. and dont say it doesnt impress!

im starting to feel like an sdn geezer
 

emack

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2005
122
2
36
Canada
Status
Medical Student
Y_Marker said:
Do you think this strategy applies to both science passages as well as verbal passages? A lot of people here seem to agree with EK's strategy which says to avoid going back to the passage for VR passages. For science passages I concur with you. For VR, I'm not convinced.
It's hard for me to articulate how I attacked the VR section. I didn't use any study guides or anything for it, so I don't know whose strategy mine most closely mirrors. VR was one of my best sections; I got a 14.

I guess I probably read the VR passages more slowly, because one does need to get a sense of the overall themes. However, just as with science passages, don't get bogged down on individual words you don't understand. VR question sets often include one or two about, for example, the point the author is trying to make ("What is the author's theme?" "How would the author most likely respond to the statement that... ?"). Many questions are about details, though, which I think definitely do warrant another, closer look at certain parts of the passage.

A big advantage for VR is the ability to read very quickly. I found I often ended up reading a passage 3 times before being satisfied with all of my answers. Being able to do this quickly means you can slow down as much as you need to on individual questions or to stare at one sentence for 3 minutes until it makes sense to you.

Good luck!
 

basfan2000

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2005
66
0
Status
Medical Student
My highest AAMC practice test score was 39 (on both 7 and 8), but I wasn't doing well in verbal at all -- the best I could ever manage was a 12. In the days prior to taking the August MCAT I was getting frustrated that my biology was slipping - from 15 to 13 to 12. I got so frustrated that the day before the test I hit my head really hard with my fist... it still hurt about a month after the exam. But what do you know, I got a 42 overall, 15 in verbal. I was completely floored. But even now, I still grimace about the one question that prevented me from getting a 15 (most likely) on PS instead of a 14; a stupid easy physics question...

Of course, I wouldn't advocate any physical violence, self-inflicted or otherwise. But I guess it helped me focus! (I have a hard head.)

As for VR, I read as slow as possible, and answered quickly. Measure twice, cut once?