georgia_boy1

5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2014
1,023
428
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
2 questions. First question: I'm about to start the AAMC section banks: Should I do them timed or untimed?

Second question: I just finished the 2 bio qpacks and chem pack with these scores respectively: 78%, 89%, 81%. Are these good scores on the qpacks?

Thanks for the help!
 

Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
593
433
Status
Medical Student
First question: I'm about to start the AAMC section banks: Should I do them timed or untimed?
Always timed. Being able to answer a question after 5 minutes of thoughtful consideration is useless in the face of the timed MCAT (1 min per question), and can lead to a false confidence about understanding.
Can you give any reason why timed would be a good idea? I'd like to hear it if you do, I'm always open to new perspectives.

Second question: I just finished the 2 bio qpacks and chem pack with these scores respectively: 78%, 89%, 81%. Are these good scores on the qpacks?
Does it matter? Your score on the Qpack is inconsequential AS LONG AS you do the proper review afterwards. That is where the value lies.
  • Going back over every question in detail, both the ones right and wrong
  • Examining every answer choice. Why is each answer wrong, and which is the right answer right, and how can the question or answer be modified to make each answer choice correct
  • Listing out your errors in your error logs and monitoring for discernible patterns that can be remedied
The best indicator of your performance on the MCAT comes later, when you do your AAMC FL 1 and FL 2 under simulated testing conditions.
 
OP
G

georgia_boy1

5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2014
1,023
428
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Thanks for the help! I had read somewhere else on here that some people were doing the SBs untimed but can't remember their reasoning. Makes sense though to do them timed. How far out should I schedule my AAMC FL 1 and 2 before my test? I plan on taking the test in late January on one of the first test dates.
 
About the Ads

Ad2b

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2014
2,875
2,691
Status
Pre-Medical
I did them UNtimed and accommodated. That way, I could check my answer right then and there, screen shot/print the full question stem and the passage and write my own notes. It took me about 8 hours for each SB but I felt after done, that I had the material down solid.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eljefemdfuturo
OP
G

georgia_boy1

5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2014
1,023
428
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
@Ad2b Thanks for the advice! I guess if I am able to get through the rest of the qpacks quickly, I could try that method first and then go through a second time, treating it like a practice test.
 

workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
1,292
818
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
@Ad2b Thanks for the advice! I guess if I am able to get through the rest of the qpacks quickly, I could try that method first and then go through a second time, treating it like a practice test.
I did time them, but ultimately you gotta decide if your timing is an issue (is for a lot of people) or if you want to really take the time to start picking up the intricacies the MCAT throws at you. Either way the above poster is right, reviewing these materials is so so important.

For what it's worth, your precent correct in the q packs are pretty good. You're likely in a decent place right now, just keep working, reviewing problems you struggle with, and you'll be in good shape.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ad2b and Zenabi90
OP
G

georgia_boy1

5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2014
1,023
428
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
@workaholic181 Thanks for the advice! I've never really felt like timing was a huge issue for me. I utilize the strategy of picking which passages to do first and which ones to skip (really only 2 or 3 passages I save until later) which has actually helped my timing and accuracy. I think I'm going to focus on the intricacies of the MCAT and what harder passages look like first and then go back through them timed in a couple months.
 
  • Like
Reactions: workaholic181

ladymiresa

2+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2015
128
157
St. Louis, Missouri
Status
Pre-Medical
I did the SB and Qpacks untimed, but that's because I never really had an issue with timing and I liked being able to do one passage and then review all the answers before moving on to the next passage. If I waited to see the correct answers until I'd finished the whole pack, I wasn't in the right frame of mind and didn't review the question as thoroughly as I should've!

Also, you're qpack scores are very good.
 
OP
G

georgia_boy1

5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2014
1,023
428
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I did the SB and Qpacks untimed, but that's because I never really had an issue with timing and I liked being able to do one passage and then review all the answers before moving on to the next passage. If I waited to see the correct answers until I'd finished the whole pack, I wasn't in the right frame of mind and didn't review the question as thoroughly as I should've!

Also, you're qpack scores are very good.
Thank you for the advice! I plan on purchasing the NS strategy and practice books for mainly timing practice and just more passages to do in general while I work through the SB. I went through the qpacks a lot faster than I thought I would so now I'm trying to figure out how to practice more without using up all of the AAMC material before November or December.
 
OP
G

georgia_boy1

5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2014
1,023
428
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Sorry to bump this but wanted to get some advice on my SB scores. Just finished Bio/Biochem section bank in 3 days by doing 1 passage at at time but doing it timed so that I wasn't giving myself 20 minutes to finish a passage. I also gave myself 1 minute to answer each discrete question. I would then review each question. For ones I got right, I would make sure my thought process adequately matched what the answer description was to prevent false confidence. For ones I got wrong, I would analyze my thought process, compare it to the description, and see where I went wrong. Overall, I scored 76%. Does anyone know if this can be compared or related to success on FL? Also, is there anything else I need to add to my SB review strategies?
 

Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
593
433
Status
Medical Student
Your process is perfect, ignore the score. It's impossible to correlate because you have learned so much AFTER your detailed review that you would most likely score higher when faced with a similar question in the future.

That being said, 76% is pretty good, as you can only go up IMO. AAMC FLs still remain your best predictor of MCAT success.
 
About the Ads