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tweetiez17

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OK everyone. I have 5 weeks about to get good quality studying in before the May 31st test date.
SO far I’ve gone through all the Kaplan( classroom course books) Physical sciences review material
I’m down to 5 more chapters in Bio and a good chunk of Orgo to get through. Its taken be a while because I’m taking notes on everything so when I go back to review, each chapter is condensed to a few pages of only the important points. I work about 50 hours a week and only have about 3-4 hours a day after work between now and the week before test day to study. I tried to do a practice PS section and that was a disaster:confused:. I think I should do a lot of practice questions ( I bought all the 1001 EK books but haven’t done any really) and AAMC tests. I really need to improve on verbal. I took the Kaplan diagnostic and the free test event and bombed but I really want to do well. What would you all do in my situation?
 

Doc Henry

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Yep, start taking full lengths. The single reason I do not feel ready for my test Friday is not starting full lengths soon enough. My studying wasn't sinking in until I started testing myself...grrr, wish I had figured that out sooner.

Bottom line is that you can't know how you are doing until you test yourself, and then review what you missed until you feel like you wont miss it again. My bio score shot from a 9 to an 11 after just a few tests.

Good luck, there is a huge chance I'll be joining you!

(oh and anyone who reads this, please don't tell me not to take it. I've had that convo more than a few times...not an option!!! but thanks for the concern)
 

lyric

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I also took a Kaplan diagnostic test when I first started studying and I bombed it. Afterwards, I used Exam Krackers (audio and books), which I thought helped and took some more practice tests. Definitely go over practice questions and time yourself to get the hang of it. I ended up studying much less than I had intended to and thought I would never get through the real deal. In the end I did fine and didn't have to retake :).
 
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tweetiez17

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How many full length tests did you all take before the exam?
Also how did you attack the review materials. Just one quick read through? take notes? drill the material in?
 

Bibbed

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Granted I took TPR. My MCAT prep consisted of taking their class, doing most of the assigned problems (but saving some for practice after the class ended), and reading all the chapters in the Princeton review books. I took 4 diagnostics leading during the 5 months I studied; the last about 2 weeks before the real thing.

I took notes during all of the Princeton classes and added to them with anything I read from the book that wasn't covered. However, I tried to make them as skimpy as possible, so I would be re-reading hundreds of pages of notes. Five weeks before the test, I was reading through all of those once every two days. Two weeks before the test I had almost stopped studying completely. I really believe that there isn't much you're gonna learn the last few weeks if you've been studying hard all along. Just don't burn yourself out.

Take a practice test or two, and then just start mentally preparing for the real thing.

I got a 35, btw.
 

disorder

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practice verbal, a lot. practice in high stress situations, because i honestly believe this is the hardest section to do while under stress.
take the AAMC practice tests.
keep reviewing the science stuff, but not as intensely.
 

DrKendrickLamar

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stop writing notes and take exams or practicing individual problems. whatever you missed, go over that material again in your review books. in med school, you are not going to have time to write your own notes over and over again.

for material/equations/concepts that i tend to missed a lot, i just made my flashcards. for example, o-chem involves some reactions, so i just wrote all of those out on individual cards. for chem, i kept missing questions on acids and bases. for phys, i kept missing buoyancy questions. for bio, i constantly forgot the key players of the mitochondria.

good luck
 

DoctorPhud

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I was almost in the same situation as you... Except I had 3 weeks to study. I ended up with a 38T, which was a bit down from my ~40 average in practice tests, but you get the point - it can be done in a short amount of time.

I'll pearoast my '30+ MCAT Study habits???' segment:

1) Your individual scores and composite score

13PS, 12VR, 13BS, T WS, 38T.

2) The study method used for each section

Started studying by taking five or six days to make study notes from the big Kaplan book, chapter by chapter, of major points and things that I didn't remember. About 80 pages of notes, over all.

BS & PS - just studied from those notes and flicked through the Kaplan book. Not enough time to study all of my course notes from the post-bacc again, so identified high yield things I didn't know, and went from there.

VR - Did the Kaplan questions from the big book.

WS - Didn't do any... :-O Had a quick flick through the Kaplan instructions and sample essays, just to get an idea of how to form the essay in terms of flow of concepts. Really didn't care very much about the score - just hoped for an average score. In the exam, was literally typing 10 seconds before the end of both essays :)-O again)

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

Kaplan big book, Kaplan 45, Kaplan book of exams. Did the questions, checked the notes.

4) Which practice tests did you use?

Kaplan big book tests, CD tests (useless... interface is not the same as AAMC and it went really badly for some reason. Scored 30 and 32 o_O)

Limited funds, so only did AAMCs 3R, 5 and 8 in the week of the exam.

5) What was your undergraduate major?

Computer Science

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

Time was short, but I prioritised, took some chances to rest and it came out pretty well. AAMC exams and Kaplan big book exams had me scoring between 36/37 and 41, so it was a pretty good prediction of the final result. Exam conditions really were very congenial, so I can't complain, but nerves will always have a slight effect.

Take breaks when you can. It's a big exam, but getting stressed until you can't study and function will only make your score worse, not better.

The most important thing to realize, I think, was that it actually is possible to learn all the material, by and large. I did the Harvard Health Careers Program, and it covered most of the material. Studying for the Harvard exams was helpful; having the exam three weeks after finals did a lot of good, since it was like an extra few weeks of study of the material before I even began the MCAT preparation. Got hit on the slightly different Organic Chemistry reagents, though, but not enough to care about.

Tip: The difference between a VR score of 12 and 15 is very small. More often than not, you'll actually disagree with the test answer of a question and their reasoning can be screwy. As long as you are getting 12 and over in your practice exams, you're as good as you are going to get.

7) How long did you study for the MCAT?

3 weeks between finals and June 15th.
First week - Made notes from Kaplan big book and did chapter questions
Second week - Studied notes, did Kaplan exams, other kaplan book questions
Third week - relaxed a bit, read study notes through several times, did AAMC exams. Took a rest when I realized that I couldn't learn much more at that point, because I was getting worn out.
 
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