Mad Jack

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You really shouldn't have voided all those times. I felt like I failed and got a 35. You should see a psychiatrist about your anxiety, as it seems that is your biggest issue. But you need professional help at this point, as something clearly is up with your anxiety levels. Step 1 is 100x more stressful than the MCAT, so if you don't deal with this now, it'll tank your career anyway.
 
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DokterMom

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@Mad Jack is right on target. The MCAT and when you apply is issue #2. Your anxiety and why you're sabotaging your own life is issue #1.

Take this extra year and master issue #1 while also fixing issue #2 on the side. Don't rush into an August retake as that's too late for this cycle anyway (unless you're planning for DO). So January is fine -- really. (Why did you wait until JULY this cycle anyway? That was also a self-defeating decision.)

But yeah - tackle the anxiety and self-destructive life habits first. You'll need to master those before you'll be able to succeed in medical school. Build strong mental health habits --
 

Goro

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Get yourself to a therapist STAT
[QUOTE="700003, [/QUOTE]
 
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*Please don't quote*

I feel like I've effectively ruined my life. Right now, I've been sitting in the same place for the past three hours, not sure what or even how to go about my life anymore :( so, now I'm here on SDN once more for any answers at all…

I basically screwed up my MCAT and applications…big time. I have an unusual history with this test. During college, I rushed to take the old MCAT quickly so I could forgo a gap year, and ended up voiding because I felt unprepared. To make sure that didn't happen again, I graduated from college early and aimed to use the free time I had (almost 5 months) to properly study for the MCAT, take it early this April and apply to med school on time. I never thought things could go wrong with my plan.

Well, things just did. I took the July test and feel ashamed to say that I voided my MCAT again. I wish I could say it's the second time I voided, but it's not. I have voided the test 3 times now :cryi:

In my defense, I definitely did not plan to void AGAIN on the July test. The reason I did so was because of a very bad test day experience (which you can read about it here http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/just-had-a-terrible-test-day-experience…and-it-screwed-me-over.1213082/)

Lately, I've been feeling like I might have an anxiety/ADHD/fatigue issue that is preventing me from scoring this test. I've been told I have generalized anxiety, but I never got treatment for it. I plan to definitely change that, and will take up CBT, yoga, meditation sessions and perhaps some medication if needed. I will also look into MCAT accommodations for extended time if this situation doesn't improve.

In the midst of all this postponing, I seem to have developed a sort of "procrastinating mentality" and kept pushing off the inevitable. Now, I wanted to apply this cycle, and was so ready to do so. But with my current situation, I'm forced to re-assess my situation.

I wasn't going to void my July test, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I didn't really have a choice. Now, foolishly, I've used up 3 attempts out of my 7 MCAT lifetime limit. I have four left and I'm terrified. Since I've been studying, I could technically sign up for the August 4th MCAT and still apply this cycle to my state schools. I won't void this one for sure.

But I'm worried if this is a good decision. Considering I was prepared to score the July 22 (I got 510 on the scored FL), and sadly couldn't, should I sign up for August 4th to make up for that? And use a 4th attempt? Or should I just call this cycle off as a disaster and take the January one? I'm pretty upset with the second choice though, because I'm already taking a gap year and never planned for another. Now, I'd have to begin med school two years later for what seems to be no good reason.

Please don't beat me up on this…I've done plenty of that myself. I just need to find a solution and a way for me to move on.
Quoted for posterity's sake
 
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Definitely meet with a professional and use this gap year(s) to straighten out the anxiety issue.

Whether or not to take the August MCAT and apply this cycle is contingent on a few things. Is your primary already submitted? If not, then you haven't spent any real money yet so it is fine to take another gap year and take the Jan MCAT. If you already submitted your primary, how is your financial situation? If you have enough money to scrap this cycle and re-spend on a stronger cycle next year, then wait and prepare even more until January while addressing your health issue.

How are your grades and activities? If you consider yourself very strong in those areas AND are struggling financially, take the early August MCAT because you said you've already studied 5 months for the July one and that knowledge should be somewhat fresh.

Whatever you do, make sure to address the underlying mental issue because it will block you from fully achieving what you are capable of. Once you overcome this, you will have a great response for your personal statement or the "greatest challenge" question and will emerge as a better person.
 
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You're not at rock bottom. You have a 3.8 GPA and voiding the MCAT several times is considerably better than getting bad scores. Clearly you're capable based on your practice tests. Like the above posters said, you should see a professional. It will improve your quality of life and help you get past the MCAT mental block. Are you still in school? I know that my school offers free counseling services to students and graduates a certain amount of time past graduation. Best of luck!

Also, the OP specifically said not to quote...why intentionally do it? Seems like a reasonable request to me seeing as this is a personal story.
 

Lawper

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@gyngyn how does the AAMC voiding policy work? Since OP voided the exam 3 times, does it mean they only have 4 more attempts available?
 

Lawper

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Lawper

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The rule is not retroactive.
So this means if the first void attempt had occurred before 2015 (which it looks like from OP's post), this means the OP has 5 attempts remaining because of the April and July voids?
 

gyngyn

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So this means if the first void attempt had occurred before 2015 (which it looks like from OP's post), this means the OP has 5 attempts remaining because of the April and July voids?
That is my understanding.
Otherwise, the folks who took the old test 7 times before there was a rule would be ineligible to take the new one at all.

This is from AMCAS MCAT faq's:
"How often can I take the MCAT Exam?
New limits on how many attempts you have to take the MCAT exam began in April 2015. Remember that you can only be registered for one seat at a time and that no-shows and voids count as attempts.

Single testing year:
  • The MCAT exam can be taking up to three times.
Two consecutive-year period:
  • The MCAT exam can be taken up to four times.
Lifetime:
  • The MCAT exam can be taken up to seven times in a lifetime."
 
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Lawper

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That is my understanding.
Otherwise, the folks who took the old test 7 times before there was a rule would be ineligible to take the new one at all.
This makes sense. Thanks!

OP, I wouldn't lose hope, but I wouldn't apply this cycle. Take the time you need to:

1. Prepare for the MCAT well
2. Find a good testing center
3. Visit the testing center few days/weeks earlier to have a sense of what you're going to expect on test day
4. Avoid causing distractions in test day even if it means controlling your habit of rocking your chair
 
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700003

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So this means if the first void attempt had occurred before 2015 (which it looks like from OP's post), this means the OP has 5 attempts remaining because of the April and July voids?
No, unfortunately, I voided the old MCAT once and the new MCAT three times :bang:so I do have only four attempts remaining. The old MCAT in January (my first attempt) was something I was just not willing to rush because I was getting mid-20s on practice tests. So, I signed up for the June 2015 test, but at the last minute decided on a gap year. I was too burnt out from finals. At the time, I didn't know about the limits, so I thought I would take it for the "experience." In hindsight, I should have canceled. I, then, signed up for this June's MCAT but voided again because I hadn't completed any AAMC materials. It was too late to cancel.

That's why I came into the July 22 exam prepared and ready to score. But, my test day ruined me and I was forced to void. http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/just-had-a-terrible-test-day-experience…and-it-screwed-me-over.1213082/

Now, I'm tired of blaming myself for the results. It is what it is, and I need to move on. I do agree that I have an anxiety issue…it's been like that for a long time. I also agree that I made foolish decisions by waiting to take the MCAT this long…I deserve it.

But I have studied and felt relatively prepared for July…circumstances outside my control ruined my plan. I have a good GPA and ECs. Transcripts and LORs are in. Should I take the August test or not is the question :/
 
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Not having AC in a test center during the summer alone would probably kill a lot of people's concentration. It seems as if OP was doing well in all the practice material. If you are confident you can do well on the exam you should probably take the exam this summer. Taking it in January will probably make you forgot a lot of the stuff you've worked on so far.

If OP was doing really well on practice material under timed conditions would it be a problem for him/her to take it this summer?
 
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gyngyn

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If OP was doing really well on practice material under timed conditions would it be a problem for him/her to take it this summer?
I cannot in good conscience recommend immediate professional help and an imminent MCAT re-take in the same thread.
 

thatwouldbeanarchy

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Should I take the August test or not is the question :/
I also vote no. Test anxiety (and just general anxiety) is something you want to deal with before you take the MCAT again and before you apply to medical school. Based on your practice test scores, you have what it takes knowledge-wise to do well on this exam! But rushing through this process can seriously hurt your chances. Take a step back, seek out help for your anxiety, and give yourself a break! There's no rush.
 
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DokterMom

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I cannot in good conscience recommend immediate professional help and an imminent MCAT re-take in the same thread.
Your anxiety issues are messing with your head, and presumably also with your test performance. You want to get a solid handle on those so they won't interfere again. Maybe (slim chance, but maybe) one little pill (in addition to all the studying you've done) is all it will take to conquer the MCAT. But you want to know this, not hope this going into the exam. You need to know how you perform when medicated and fine-tune both the medication and dosing. It will also help to have some solid self-management and executive function skills in your toolbox so you're prepared emotionally as well as academically.

Write off this cycle! Just do it so you can get out of the pressure cooker and prepare well for next cycle.
 
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Sardinia

@700003 Adcoms don't usually clarify this so a lot of pre-meds don't understand, but medical school for people with test-taking anxiety is like a living hell.

The pre-med curriculum in retrospect was a liberating experience because you got a diversified experience doing volunteering, research, work, and studying. Medical school requires you to be a strong planner, self-initiator, and executioner. Missing anyone of those three qualities will make your time in medical school... miserable.

The reason you should see a professional is because you need to develop the tools needed in order to overcome your anxiety or find out what your anxiety triggers are so you can resolve it. A lot of medical students/adcoms don't explain further why you need to see a professional because they don't want to seem like they are drawing assumptions into your personal thought process. However, medical school is an environment that is heavily performance based compared to other settings. You could be LeBron, but if LeBron got intermittent YIPS after half time then I would look for anyone else to fill out my roster.
 
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wagonwheel23

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I have to applaud you for your self awareness. You wisely voided your exams and have now recognized that you need to invest in your health and well-being before proceeding.

You are not at rock bottom. You are young, have a 3.8 GPA, and are about to seek (I hope!) professional help. If you commit yourself to addressing the blocks you have been facing, you will be far more prepared for medical school then if you were to start in a year. It is better to start older and wiser (and you'll still be quite young...) than younger and unprepared.
 

kegar99

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Hey OP, sorry to hear you've been having such a rough go at the MCAT. Try not to be too hard on yourself, that things a beast, and like you said, you are where you are now, so no sense beating up on yourself too much for what's already in the past and can't be changed.

I agree with what's been said about getting some professional help with your anxiety if it's affecting you like you say it is. Mental health issues can be truly debilitating, and it sounds like that's the number one thing holding you back right now. My guess is that it'll take you longer than just a month to get the anxiety managed, so I would probably forgo applying this cycle, as disappointing as that might be given that you were all mentally prepared to go for it. Another gap year might seem like a huge deal right now, but lots of people start medical school later in life than two years out of undergrad. Finishing med school at 27 instead of 26, or whatever your actual age is, in the long run is not a big deal at all. And having voided 3 times is a much better situation to be in than having bombed the MCAT even once. Plus, if you get your anxiety managed, 4 times should be plenty of attempts to get a decent MCAT score, so I wouldn't worry at all about the 7 time limit. Take a deep breath, keep your chin up, you can do this! Good luck!
 
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Akewataru

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@700003, do you think taking the test in a separate room or stop the clocks breaks (to settle down) would help? After reading both of your posts I think it would. Getting extended time on the MCAT is not easy. The AAMC is down right stingy about granting it. You have to demonstrate that you have received it in the past and show that not granting it would put you at a severe disadvantage. Based on the information provided, it doesn't seem like you would meet either criteria. I could missing something though. In any case, you definitely need to be evaluated by a professional preferably a practice or a practitioner who has experience writing up evaluations for academic reasons and works with college students before you even think about registering for another test.

@Sardinia I appreciated your insightful post. Could you tell me more about it?
 
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What really helped me deal with distractions is studying and taking full lengths in the busy part of my school library. People were coming in and out regularly, but it was a "quiet room".
 
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MareNostrummm

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I wanted to void too after the C/P section and ended up with a 512 on my test.
Next time you retake: as long as you finish all the sections on time DO NOT VOID. If you do not finish one of the sections then yeah you just shot yourself in the foot, but if you can finish with 5 minutes left in each section then please just score it for your sake. Medical school is going to be a constant barrage of tests as people posted above, so it never ends.
 

JustaDO

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A brief glance through your post history suggests your either a troll or someone who is melodramatic with severe anxiety and a inability to look up basic information who rather have things spoon-fed to you, ie how does residency work, what is Interfolio, if its ok to wear sandals to a interview for a lab etc.

Either way, you need to take time off, seek help, mature, and get your marbles in order before you try to continue.
 
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I wanted to void too after the C/P section and ended up with a 512 on my test.
Next time you retake: as long as you finish all the sections on time DO NOT VOID. If you do not finish one of the sections then yeah you just shot yourself in the foot, but if you can finish with 5 minutes left in each section then please just score it for your sake. Medical school is going to be a constant barrage of tests as people posted above, so it never ends.
lol, I agree. I literally felt like I guessed on every answer. I walked out of there feeling like I got a 502 or something. The thing is, I did so many practice tests to where I became quite familiar with that feeling. Usually, the worse I felt afterwards, the better I scored. What test takers have to consider is that the people who write the test have to make the correct answer very difficult to find, you're not going to have the comfort of having the right answer always "look right" or "feel right".
 

Crayola227

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Quoted for posterity's sake
You know, that's actually pretty cruel given what the OP is talking about here.

They're talking about some sensitive mental health stuff.

I know we frequently post for posterity ridiculous crap that's probably instructional to shame people about later, but that doesn't apply here. Quoting for posterity posts from throwaway accounts with a really small number when it's not personally identifying stuff (279 is enough that maybe this poster feels attached their post legacy) is one thing too.

What you did to this poster, I assume you did to be funny. It wasn't.

It's true that you can't expect to post and not have people quote you anyway, and we're all aware that maybe the case. Still, this didn't sit right with me.

As physicians, or wannabes, I think a professional respect for confidentiality should extend to a community of the same. Taking care of our brothers and sisters in the profession is part of the Oath of Geneva.

How would you feel about how you were a jerk in this thread being linked to the real you and the adcom that are here/lurk knowing this? Probably not very good. Use some empathy.
 
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Crayola227

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OP - don't beat yourself up. Just deal with this with professional help. Gap years help your sanity and can be used in awesome amazing ways to not only strengthen your app, but let you develop skills that make you a better person and future physician. They can also be a lot of fun!!! I don't regret my gap year. Even if it had been two years. You might have to go out of state for med school. I had a parent die in med school. I do regret not spending more time with family and friends in my gap year, but not the year. Use this year for a lot of good.

That said, my school had 4 hour exams EVERY OTHER WEEK. There would be like 4 total that would be averaged to determine if you passed or failed a course. Some courses a fail could be remediated without repeating a year. Some would lead to repeating a year!!!

So please, get the anxiety under control. Just going from what you've said in the thread, I think self esteem may be an issue. Go easy on yourself. You're human and we all make mistakes. It's how we move forward that counts. Also, with a 3.8 GPA and all your pre-reqs done, you are clearly very capable academically. Look at the positives about yourself and what good all this can do ultimately in your life.

Also, if you overcome this and use your gap year well, you can see how this can make you a better doctor in the future. Focus on that.
 
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You know, that's actually pretty cruel given what the OP is talking about here.

They're talking about some sensitive mental health stuff.

I know we frequently post for posterity ridiculous crap that's probably instructional to shame people about later, but that doesn't apply here. Quoting for posterity posts from throwaway accounts with a really small number when it's not personally identifying stuff (279 is enough that maybe this poster feels attached their post legacy) is one thing too.

What you did to this poster, I assume you did to be funny. It wasn't.

It's true that you can't expect to post and not have people quote you anyway, and we're all aware that maybe the case. Still, this didn't sit right with me.

As physicians, or wannabes, I think I professional respect for confidentiality should extend to a community of the same. Taking care of our brothers and sisters in the profession is part of the Oath of Geneva.

How would you feel about how you were a jerk in this thread being linked to the real you and the adcom that are here/lurk knowing this? Probably not very good. Use some empathy.
How does someone always find a way to link any activity on this forum with determining your character as a future physician?
No personal identifying information was in the post. This also goes into the whole "don't post things you don't want on the internet forever" realm. Regardless of whether or not I quote it, there will always be an archive of OP's post. Not to mention this is the 2nd identical thread they have posted. Get off your high horse.
 
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MareNostrummm

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lol, I agree. I literally felt like I guessed on every answer. I walked out of there feeling like I got a 502 or something. The thing is, I did so many practice tests to where I became quite familiar with that feeling. Usually, the worse I felt afterwards, the better I scored. What test takers have to consider is that the people who write the test have to make the correct answer very difficult to find, you're not going to have the comfort of having the right answer always "look right" or "feel right".
There's also experimental questions and passages that get dropped. I completely guessed on a C/P passage (4 questions) and could not get several of the calculations to work out, still scored a 128 so I'm not complaining
 

JustaDO

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Quoting for posterity posts from throwaway accounts with a really small number when it's not personally identifying stuff (279 is enough that maybe this poster feels attached their post legacy) is one thing too.
I'm 75% sure that OP is a troll, probably one of the numerous ones banned in the last week, and its becoming more prevalent people are spending greater amount of time doing so, to the point of creating fake websites / twitters to back up said accounts. Thus, post count is irrelevant for the most part.

That being said, if OP wanted help that won't get leaked out, then OP could have:

A. Used confidential consult on SDN
B. Seek professional protected by HIPAA
C. Changed some details around to protect self

OP chose to ask ask on a public forum on a very public site, and as such, whether OP wants or doesn't want quoted is not up to them. Its nothing less then selfish to ask for help that will only benefits one self from everyone else on the forum, but denies these same benefits to others that may benefit too.

Furthermore, doesn't SDN always espouse the search function? Without context for the advice given here, posts like this means nothing to those who actually use said function.
 

mw18

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Medical school and residency are essentially a long series of frequent, high stakes exams (and some other stuff).
Only finished one year, but this is it perfectly summed up. You submit your exam, see your grade, and relax for one night. Then the clock starts for the next test.

Also, if you do end up taking the MCAT again, only void if you left a significant amount questions unanswered. Almost everyone feels like the test killed them. I felt terrible. Then good. Then bad again. Then great the day I got my score. Post-test feelings aren't indicative of performance. But don't take the test until you've gotten control over what is going on. Because even if you do well, the anxiety of medical school will be constant and may be too much for you to take.
 

Lawper

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Plus by now you should know that prefacing a post with "please do not quote" will only result in you being quoted.
That's true

One thing I want to add here which is already in red bold font in another sticky thread in WAMC but applies to the rest of pre-allo (and SDN) as well is that if you don't want your information on the internet, you shouldn't post it on SDN. Moderators are not obligated to delete a post for you just because you posted information that you no longer want available on SDN (aside from very specific exceptions).

You have the option of editing the information out of your post later on and you can ask other members to not quote your post; however, although members are encouraged to be courteous and refrain from quoting these posts, we do not enforce these requests as moderators.

Additionally, all information posted on the internet will inevitably be stored by internet caches, so even if it is deleted from SDN, it will still be very easily able to be found elsewhere on the internet through these caches and often are placed highly in google search results, particularly if they're specific. If you don't believe me, google [**your username** SDN] and look at the first or second page of the search results - you'll find a cache of some thread or post you made.

Remember, internet privacy starts with the user. Make smart decisions about what you post and be aware that once something is on the internet, it's there for good.
 

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Pusheen

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Reasons like what he did easily confirms trolls:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/chance-me-please.1082496/

View attachment 206838

Reverse trolling, rare, but as you proved, can be done.

View attachment 206837

Not a bad job, but you didn't delete far enough. Nice pattern too, you would make a post, tag Goro, Gyn etc, and then delete it.

A effort with 3+ years in the making, not bad.
Those posts don't seem that trollish, just a little clueless. I don't really get as worked up about trolls as most people here do though
 

RN MD 2017

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You go get help and stop making new threads. Hashing it all out on here doesn't usually help.
 

Lawper

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Those posts don't seem that trollish, just a little clueless. I don't really get as worked up about trolls as most people here do though
Troll hunters are rather annoying. Don't see the point of screaming troll and digging up old posts to present a case... i mean why not just report the user as troll and move on?
 

efle

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Reasons like what he did easily confirms trolls:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/chance-me-please.1082496/

View attachment 206838

Reverse trolling, rare, but as you proved, can be done.

View attachment 206837

Not a bad job, but you didn't delete far enough. Nice pattern too, you would make a post, tag Goro, Gyn etc, and then delete it.

A effort with 3+ years in the making, not bad.
This sounds like someone a little uninformed and worried about remaining anonymous. Am I missing some contradiction somewhere that gives them away?
 

JustaDO

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Those posts don't seem that trollish, just a little clueless. I don't really get as worked up about trolls as most people here do though
I think the 1st link, not screenshot, is more then enough to prove a point. OP posts the same thing every year, "I'm going to graduate early, hardcore study mcat" and repeats it the next year.

Troll hunters are rather annoying. Don't see the point of screaming troll and digging up old posts to present a case... i mean why not just report the user as troll and move on?
Why should people waste their time on trolls rather then those that truly need help?
 
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efle

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