MSUSpartan642

GO GREEN!
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
560
10
Michigan
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Its official.

(In my opinion)

AAMC practice tests are no where near the difficulty of the real thing.

Now Im not complaining about how todays test went. I actually think it went ALRIGHT. But there needs to be new AAMC practice tests released cause I just dont think they give us students an accurate picture of the real thing.
 

thebillsfan

Unseasoned Veteran
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2008
778
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Its still the best prep there is, whether its good or not. =/
 

Dr Gerrard

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2009
1,044
1
Status
Medical Student
....and?

People have been saying this since the May test dates, and probably even before too, just didn't pay attention.

The scores still match up though, so whatever.
 

SuperSaiyan3

7+ Year Member
May 13, 2009
356
4
Status
I had a feeling that the AAMC practice tests were lulling students into a false sense of security..
 

BrainBuff

10+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2007
1,397
57
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Therefore taking Kaplan is a good idea. Some of their tests are ridiculously difficult.
 

SuperSaiyan3

7+ Year Member
May 13, 2009
356
4
Status
I just asked the original poster about this.

For those who have taken the real MCAT recently, would you recommend taking Kaplan tests to be ready for the worst?
 

Doodl3s

7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
404
15
NorthEast
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
... ya know... i was just about to start taking the AAMC's... i just recently took kaplan FL 1-3... i was gonna stop at kaplan 6 because i heard they get harder... are we supposed to take those hard ones now?

and btw... this thread is really not the nicest thing for all us ppl who are gonna take it soon to read.
 

confusedliberal

10+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2008
28
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Is the real deal more difficult than AAMC practices because the passages/questions are harder to understand and think through, or because it requires you to have memorized more facts/knowledge...or both?
 

mdwanabe

7+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2009
34
0
Status
Pre-Medical
i agree sparty...

aamc people are so annoying. they do need to up the ante and give us more exams. its just not fair. first of all, 3-10 are not even enough to prepare with. and i agree that they do give you a false comfort. the test i took today (IMO) was a lot more difficult and not as straightforward.

the Official Guide to the AAMC is nice...but there are only a few example passages...c'mon aamc give us something to work with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Suffusion

10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2009
26
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I think whatever the relative difficulties the MCAT will always seem much more difficult.


That being said, I thought the MCAT was a lot more difficult.
 

iheartmcats

5+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2009
48
1
Iowa City, IA
Status
Pre-Medical
well, F me, then. My test is tomorrow, and i've barely been scoring a 30 on those AAMCs. However, it's still encouraging to know that many people did better on the actual test than any of the AAMCs (even on recent tests, from what I've heard).
 
Jun 20, 2009
74
0
Status
Medical Student
They seem easy to some students because they take the exams after studying MCAT prep stuff.

MCAT test prep materal are essentially written based on these exams since they're the only exams you have access to without taking the test where anything you can only take away what you remember in your head (and I believe I had to sign confidentiality agreements not to discuss that too.)
 
OP
MSUSpartan642

MSUSpartan642

GO GREEN!
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
560
10
Michigan
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I will get back to SS3 in a bit. But as to some of the other poster. I think that if AAMC is releasing tests that they say is an accurate representation of the test maybe....just maybe...they actually should be. I mean why couldnt they release one of the other 30 they do each year. Just a thought. I dont mean to complain to much though cause I dont think that today was that bad again. But I think they really need to re think releasing more exams.
 

AspiringDOC2010

10+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2008
176
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
If the AAMC practice exams are not representative of the real exam, I wonder if the scale used in those exams is used for the real exam. Idk. I see people who hit their average, others who score higher than their average, and of course those that get below.
 
Jul 13, 2009
3,678
5
Status
Medical Student
HOLY MOLEY! I was just thinking that! The AAMC tests were WAAAAY easier than the one today. I left there just feeling disappointed in it all.

Also, was it just me, or did the VR passages seem a lot longer than the ones on AAMC tests?
 

215353

Guest
10+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2008
433
1
Status
I agree the current MCAT is a lot harder and more complicated then any AAMC exam but the pre-determined curves are probably a little more lenient because of this. I can't tell you how many times I've read posts where students post their AAMC avgs and they end up scoring relatively close if not right on their AAMC avgs on the real thing.

People who didn't score close to their AAMC avgs on the real thing probably got spooked by the increased difficulty of the current exam and let themselves be mentally defeated...if you can't control yourself during the test-day stress then you are bound to bomb a section.

So although the practice AAMC exams are easier I wouldn't be surprised if most test-takers score around their AAMC avg
 
D

DRIN

Its official.

(In my opinion)

AAMC practice tests are no where near the difficulty of the real thing.

Now Im not complaining about how todays test went. I actually think it went ALRIGHT. But there needs to be new AAMC practice tests released cause I just dont think they give us students an accurate picture of the real thing.
I disagree. I thought they were right on par with the one I took today anyway. But I do think VR was tougher than the AAMCs.

Edit: I think the real test just appears tougher through the use of really long passages with a bunch of useless information as well.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Omni

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2007
765
3
Michigan
Status
Pre-Medical
The AAMC practice test being easier is balanced off with a lesser curve, from what you would find on a real MCAT, no?
 

rockaction

casemed'14
May 3, 2009
1,909
2
Status
Medical Student
Each test has a pre-determined curve. Thus, if it felt hard, it was hard and the pre-determined curve will make up for it.

This is the real MCAT. Of course it felt harder. This was the test where the mistakes you make matter. You enter the AAMCs with a cavalier attitude or at least the security of knowing you can do better next time. But the real MCAT...that makes anyone shake in their boots. So it feels harder, even if it isn't.

I personally found mine to be pretty much on par with the AAMC tests. I actually scored on the upper level of my practice tests. The key was to not freak out and think "oh my gosh, this is so much harder than AAMC 3-10!"
 
Jul 29, 2009
1,005
3
Status
Medical Student
I was completely calm during mcat.

It was nothing like AAMC practice tests lol...if I did not use Kaplan and TPR tests I would have been shell shocked.


AAMC's new guide is good though.

I honestly regret buying all of the AAMC exams...would have just gotten 3-4. The questions are not anywhere near what you actually see...

The hard ones are harder and the easy ones and easier on the real thing
 

RogueUnicorn

rawr.
7+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2009
9,746
1,608
Status
Resident [Any Field]
AAMC is very good for getting a general feel for the MCAT and the content required.. but you should be aware the MCAT is deliberately widely different per administration to make it difficult to prepare for.
 
Jun 27, 2009
141
0
Status
Pre-Medical
... ya know... i was just about to start taking the AAMC's... i just recently took kaplan FL 1-3... i was gonna stop at kaplan 6 because i heard they get harder... are we supposed to take those hard ones now?

and btw... this thread is really not the nicest thing for all us ppl who are gonna take it soon to read.
I'm not sure why you would not take the "harder" exams... Everything you have read on here would lead you to believe that the actual exam is much more difficult than the AAMCs.

By not taking the harder exams you're only exposing yourself to easier material and are just giving yourself a false sense of security. You should be looking for the hardest tests out there, that way there's no chance that you panic during test day once you see an extremely difficult passage.
 
Jun 25, 2009
223
0
The Woodlands, Texas
Status
Pre-Medical
I agree!
AAMC hahaha.

easier easier and harder harder.
I couldn't even follow a couple of those passages today on the real thing, and I was PREPARED.

Nothing new to say except it's true!
 

Doodl3s

7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
404
15
NorthEast
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I'm not sure why you would not take the "harder" exams... Everything you have read on here would lead you to believe that the actual exam is much more difficult than the AAMCs.

By not taking the harder exams you're only exposing yourself to easier material and are just giving yourself a false sense of security. You should be looking for the hardest tests out there, that way there's no chance that you panic during test day once you see an extremely difficult passage.
true that! what i meant to say was that most people were saying that they were hard in a way that was non-representative of the real thing. BUT, i guess now, as you say, the harder the better!
 

Vihsadas

No summer
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2007
5,469
53
An Igloo
Status
Medical Student
I'm not sure why you would not take the "harder" exams... Everything you have read on here would lead you to believe that the actual exam is much more difficult than the AAMCs.

By not taking the harder exams you're only exposing yourself to easier material and are just giving yourself a false sense of security. You should be looking for the hardest tests out there, that way there's no chance that you panic during test day once you see an extremely difficult passage.
It actually depends. Whether or not a test is harder or easier, is one thing, but what is more important is whether a test is harder in the right way.

For instance, the later numbered Kaplan exams are not very good exams for practice in timed, full-length situations. They are very difficult, but that's not the reason they are bad timed-test preparation material. In my opinion, those exams are constructed in such a way that it may cause you think in a manner which is not conducive to answering AAMC type questions. They often convolute the logic, make you make inferences that are dangerous on the real exam, and often test on subject matter that is way out in left-field and has only been introduced in the passage. (The aamc has some interesting and sometimes bizzare passages, but everything is usually based on very basic principles.)

So in my opinion, it is more important to pick tests that require you to use a similar level and type of thought process that you will encounter on the real exam. What those are exactly I'm not totally sure. I found Kaplan 1-7 to be very useful, The TPR Exams up to about 4 are nice, and the Gold standard CBTs often have shorter passages, but they definitely try to trick you in the right way: a similar manner that the AAMC might try IMHO. You'll have to mix and match and see what works for you.

That's not to say that those harder Kaplan exams don't have any use, they just aren't that great for gauging your performance and improving your timed, pressure situation, test taking skills. They are really good for driving home difficult concepts and getting you to really understand the logic and science behind the material.

That being said, the real AAMC exams definitely are harder than the practice tests. IMHO, there is no question about it. Unfortunately, that means that there aren't many tests out there that are good preparation for "question-attack" and "question-timing" skills. Even still, I believe that the AAMC Practices are the best preparation we have.
 

SuperSaiyan3

7+ Year Member
May 13, 2009
356
4
Status
It actually depends. Whether or not a test is harder or easier, is one thing, but what is more important is whether a test is harder in the right way.

For instance, the later numbered Kaplan exams are not very good exams for practice in timed, full-length situations. They are very difficult, but that's not the reason they are bad timed-test preparation material. In my opinion, those exams are constructed in such a way that it may cause you think in a manner which is not conducive to answering AAMC type questions. They often convolute the logic, make you make inferences that are dangerous on the real exam, and often test on subject matter that is way out in left-field and has only been introduced in the passage. (The aamc has some interesting and sometimes bizzare passages, but everything is usually based on very basic principles.)

Words of wisdom.

Couldn't agree with this more. Kaplan promotes logic that is not very productive on an ACTUAL AAMC MCAT. When I switched from Kaplan FL exams to AAMC MCATs, I fell from a 30 to a 25. This only occurred because I purposely made easy subjects harder with the reasoning that I had gained my Kaplan.

No doubt, the real thing will most likely be harder. There's pretty much nothing I can do about it, and I am writing the test in less than 6 days.

I think all I can do is be relaxed, but sharp and focused. Know that this test is not the end-all to your life's problems and that we all share the same inevitable fate: death.

Okay, THAT was really depressing. I didn't mean to go that way but it just happened. But it's true. For example, my friend, who maintained a very prominent academic integrity, obtained a very high score on the MCAT and also succeeded on other categories, and she ended up getting into med school in GERMANY. She was studying there last year.. when she got hit by a truck while riding the bus. Even after all her successes, she passed away and what does that mean???

:(
 

Zona Pellucida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
2,446
3
Status
Medical Student
Take away message:

PS - About the same as the AAMCs with maybe a few extra WTF questions on the real deal.

VR - Actual questions are the same style/difficulty as AAMCs... yet the passages may be a bit longer and the question stems may have a bit more bulk to them.

BS - This section wins "Most Changed" in the MCAT Yearbook. Far less "gimmes", a lot more experiment passages focusing heavily upon molecular genetics. Less biological fact memorization needed. Far more emphasis on thinking correctly in the moment and less on recall. The 'Hard' organic questions are much more difficult than AAMC practices, but there are still a few gimmes mixed in.