kypreos

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I have been taking AAMC's because I figuered this would be the last attempt for me to take the MCAT and I did NOT expect my AAMC scores to be this low. It is amazing how the way the test asks questions really trips you up. I have recently been implementing SN2's hat trick strategy with good results as I feel more comfident combining different subjects. However I am still not ready for my exam date this friday and since I voided my score in april and I will have my exam scored this time, regardless as I am applying to osteopathic schools and want a score to go with my application. I will also be applying to osteopathic SMP's with a minimum 22 score(in case) and would like to have a score for them because my GPA could use some repair. My question is when do you finally start to break into the 30's. After how many tests does it take? How much practice. I have gone over EVERY single question right or wrong for 6 tests now. I have re-read chapters frequently. I am just curious as to when you finally see 10's in sections. here have been my scores. As you can see I have a few reading comprehension problems I need to work on. I wanted to do this by more practice practice practice with exams and I figuered it would increase for me. Will taking more tests, seeying more problems help? I have also taken 8 FL verbals tests from examkrackers to supplement my reading skill. anyway here are my scores. I know this forumn can have many harsh critics and I am looking for honesty. I am looking for advice to break into the 30's here.

I took them in this order
AAMC CBT 4 -PS 7 VR 8 BS 5(totally ran out of time, guessed on 2 passages. retook untimed without reviewing and got a 7.
AAMC CBT 5 -PS 7 VR 8 BS 8
AAMC CBT 3 -PS 8 VR 5 BS 6
AAMC CBT 6 -PS 6 VR 5 BS 6 this exam just sucked for me, ran out of time in all sections except for bio.
AAMC CBT 7 -PS 7 VR 6 BS 7 ran out of time in verbal
AAMC CBT 9 -PS 8 VR 6 BS 6

So I am not pulling the scores I want. I have done content review. I have a couple of weaknesses like organic kills me but I have a few things I would still like to review here. what do you suggest? will more tests increase my score? should I isupplement with EK 1001 question books in bioi etc? I have been using the hat trick as I mentioned before and I am going to continue to do that. I am just devastated that I am going to have to void my score again, its killing me here. I am thinking of purchasing gold standard tests and starting on those.
 
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RogueUnicorn

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if you aren't cracking 9s with the sciences the FL tests are wasted on you. you need to really, coldly do an evaluation of yourself and your weaknesses, and address them.
 
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kypreos

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if you aren't cracking 9s with the sciences the FL tests are wasted on you. you need to really, coldly do an evaluation of yourself and your weaknesses, and address them.
after every exam I look at my weaknesses and I adress them by reading the chapters from the subjects that really gave me a hard time during the test. iwill this eventually pan out? will I eventually break into the 10's by doing this? I have done soliid content review and at this point I am re reading things but they are sticking better then before however.
 

RogueUnicorn

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it's hard for me to gauge without knowing you and looking in detail your score reports. but the truth of the matter is this - your content review is likely not solid. things shouldn't be "sticking" right now, they should be incredibly boring because you can recite them in your sleep. get the fundamentals down before you do heavy questions.
 

Compass

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My advice:

No more FLs. You are wasting valuable study time with these at the moment.

Instead, take section tests, for each subject 1001 EKs, for example. You want to focus on individual sections, and improve on your major weak points as drastically as possible.
 
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kypreos

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My advice:

No more FLs. You are wasting valuable study time with these at the moment.

Instead, take section tests, for each subject 1001 EKs, for example. You want to focus on individual sections, and improve on your major weak points as drastically as possible.
I was thinking I havent done enough practice. I do not have the EK 1001 books. I have the kaplan books for physical and biological sciences. I am thinking that practice problems will help solidify the info? I have literally read through the chapters 1000 times over. I am thinking your right. thank you for your help.
 
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kypreos

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I have 2 questions for you guys. You have been very helpfull and I thank you. How long should I wait prior to taking a full length exam. Also, I know everyone says if it is too late to reschedule your exam, just go and void for the "experience" of test day. However I have done that already once before and did void. So what happens if I just don't "show up". is my test voided? do schools see it?
 
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I have 2 questions for you guys. You have been very helpfull and I thank you. How long should I wait prior to taking a full length exam. Also, I know everyone says if it is too late to reschedule your exam, just go and void for the "experience" of test day. However I have done that already once before and did void. So what happens if I just don't "show up". is my test voided? do schools see it?
ya, if you don't show up, the test is voided. But I would go back from the second experience. After all you did pay for it. Might as well see it. Its like getting a free full-length.
 

Compass

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I have 2 questions for you guys. You have been very helpfull and I thank you. How long should I wait prior to taking a full length exam. Also, I know everyone says if it is too late to reschedule your exam, just go and void for the "experience" of test day. However I have done that already once before and did void. So what happens if I just don't "show up". is my test voided? do schools see it?
I don't know, but you should go and see how you feel. Do a week of full-out individual passage and generic question practice and reading sections AGAIN. Then do an FL. If you do better, cut down on individual passages and wean yourself back onto FL. Else, repeat until you start doing better. When I didn't get something, I'd read it again and again and do problems related to it until I did do better.
 
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kypreos

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ya, if you don't show up, the test is voided. But I would go back from the second experience. After all you did pay for it. Might as well see it. Its like getting a free full-length.
yeah except you u dont get it scored if you void it lol Im just gonna so as many practice problems as I can from now until friday and see how it feels. If I feel good about it Ill have it scored, if not then Ill just void. The thing that scares me the most is I have already taken one and pulled in the teens(yikes) but I am 100 times more prepared then b4.
 

Longshanks

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yeah except you u dont get it scored if you void it lol Im just gonna so as many practice problems as I can from now until friday and see how it feels. If I feel good about it Ill have it scored, if not then Ill just void. The thing that scares me the most is I have already taken one and pulled in the teens(yikes) but I am 100 times more prepared then b4.
Nevertheless, taking the exam at this point isn't worth it. The practice test results demonstrate that. Simply reading chapters, or re-reading material, isn't going to it. Its a matter of practice. You need to do practice problems, but also look at where are you going wrong. Do you forget concepts? Formulas? Are you understanding the passages? Are you going too slow, or too fast? Do you trust your intuition with questions, or are able to eliminate answer choices due to them being out of scope, or wrong power of ten or units? 6's in VR will get you screened out of any application essentially. Is English a second language?

Personally, I think you need to reassess your fundamentals and understanding of concepts and categorically review content and practice content. A 30 won't magically appear after barely breaking 20s on FLs, no matter how many practice problems or tests you take. Its not a matter of how much you do, that is simply going through the motions and a mistake I've done before myself, its a matter of understanding content, passages, and the nature of the exam and integrating your class knowledge, review work, and own intuition.
 

OPPforlife

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Dude this is what you need to do...if you have time..it seems like you only have days. However, if you void you'll have more time...I took the MCAT August 24th of last year and still got in to my first choice school.

Find a friend or someone that you know who is also appearing for the MCAT. With this person, do about 3 or 4 full length tests (timed). At the end of each both of you should ATLEAST review the questions that you guys missed. If you missed a question and your partner got it right, ask him what his thought process was that enabled him to arrive at the right answer. If he missed one and you got that one right repeat the same process (this will allow reinforcement of concepts that you know well or "kind of" know). If you guys both missed some questions, review the answers together, take turns re-explaining the concepts and the thought processes to each other.

Honestly, this is one of the best ways of learning for about 75% of the population. As long as you and your partner are looking for mutual gain you should both benefit. During these sections, take breaks and remind each other to stay focused. It really is a win win situation IMO. If your partner is doing better than you are, you have a great opportunity to see his/hers thought process first hand. If you are doing better than him, well for one thing it will boost your confidence :thumbup: and it will give you the opportunity to reiterate concepts to your friend thereby reinforcing the material in your own psyche.

Bottom line though man, know one thing you CAN improve on the MCAT. On my first practice test I got a 19...I swear!...then I improved a little...started averaging about 25,26....then I went ape S**T on it and started getting like 33,34's....I didnt cite these numbers to show off...I really did not...I am just saying I know first hand that you can improve your score on the MCAT esepecially for BS and PS
 
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kypreos

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Nevertheless, taking the exam at this point isn't worth it. The practice test results demonstrate that. Simply reading chapters, or re-reading material, isn't going to it. Its a matter of practice. You need to do practice problems, but also look at where are you going wrong. Do you forget concepts? Formulas? Are you understanding the passages? Are you going too slow, or too fast? Do you trust your intuition with questions, or are able to eliminate answer choices due to them being out of scope, or wrong power of ten or units? 6's in VR will get you screened out of any application essentially. Is English a second language?

Personally, I think you need to reassess your fundamentals and understanding of concepts and categorically review content and practice content. A 30 won't magically appear after barely breaking 20s on FLs, no matter how many practice problems or tests you take. Its not a matter of how much you do, that is simply going through the motions and a mistake I've done before myself, its a matter of understanding content, passages, and the nature of the exam and integrating your class knowledge, review work, and own intuition.
yeah I don't think Im even gonna go. I am just gonna do as many practice problems as I can. I do not have problems remembering concepts and or equations. I do have some gaps in content that I am noticing after going over a few of the chapters and redoing some of the chapter quizes at the end. I will be going over the gaps in my content review but I feel that this is not the only weakness I have. I have some problems with understanding what questions are asking me and I often get lost in long passages forgetting the main idea etc. and I think this is because i keep having this "i dont wanna be here I dont wanna be here" feeling that just wont go away. I just wanna get to te end and see my score.
english is a second language. but I have done most of my schooling in the US so i really cant use that as an excuse. I feel like the minute I begin my mcat exam my confidence is shot and I am not attacking the test. I feel that the test is attacking me and kicking the crap out of me actually.
I wont even be registering for the exam until I am hitting the scores that I want. I will be doing more practice problems and start assesing what is wrong with me.
 
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kypreos

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Dude this is what you need to do...if you have time..it seems like you only have days. However, if you void you'll have more time...I took the MCAT August 24th of last year and still got in to my first choice school.

Find a friend or someone that you know who is also appearing for the MCAT. With this person, do about 3 or 4 full length tests (timed). At the end of each both of you should ATLEAST review the questions that you guys missed. If you missed a question and your partner got it right, ask him what his thought process was that enabled him to arrive at the right answer. If he missed one and you got that one right repeat the same process (this will allow reinforcement of concepts that you know well or "kind of" know). If you guys both missed some questions, review the answers together, take turns re-explaining the concepts and the thought processes to each other.

Honestly, this is one of the best ways of learning for about 75% of the population. As long as you and your partner are looking for mutual gain you should both benefit. During these sections, take breaks and remind each other to stay focused. It really is a win win situation IMO. If your partner is doing better than you are, you have a great opportunity to see his/hers thought process first hand. If you are doing better than him, well for one thing it will boost your confidence :thumbup: and it will give you the opportunity to reiterate concepts to your friend thereby reinforcing the material in your own psyche.

Bottom line though man, know one thing you CAN improve on the MCAT. On my first practice test I got a 19...I swear!...then I improved a little...started averaging about 25,26....then I went ape S**T on it and started getting like 33,34's....I didnt cite these numbers to show off...I really did not...I am just saying I know first hand that you can improve your score on the MCAT esepecially for BS and PS
Having a freind with you studying would be nice but I know of NO other pre meds around me and none that are taking the exam as well. Honestly I dont even have 1 friend that is pre-med. All of the premeds at my school where hella competetive and I did not get along with them because they were all about beating you etc. I hated that environment. Thank you and everyone for your encouragement. I will be hitting it as hard as possible.
 

OPPforlife

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Doesn't matter if they are really competitive man, you honestly need to try a FL exam with a partner. Contact your school's pre-med adviser, he will surely give you a contact or two.
 
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kypreos

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Doesn't matter if they are really competitive man, you honestly need to try a FL exam with a partner. Contact your school's pre-med adviser, he will surely give you a contact or two.
ive got nothing to lose maybe ill drop by the ole pre med committee meeting

also does anyone know what are good practice materials? I am thinking one of the EK 1001 books especially the bio. Will that help me break down passages and questions on the real mcat? in other words if I have content review down PAT will this help me sift my way through difficult problems and learn to figure out what the questions are really asking me. Instead of getting the "oh I knew that" after reviewing questions?
 

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You obviously have problems with grammar and sentence structure. This might be because you don't read books or you never took writing classes in college. From this, I extrapolated that you cannot process the trivia from trivial as you read passages and it confuses you.

The test was not made for everyone to get a great grade, that is why you see guys with 3.8-4.0's getting 18's and 23's.

Straight Talk:

You need to read more. I never read a book since 3rd grade until Sophmore year in College when I took Mass-communication. Reading turns on an area in your brain and exercises it that would have remained dormant. Even if its Colbert Nation, Wired, Tranny's with Donkeys; and my favorite, High Times.

I mentioned the above, not only to improve your reading speed and comprehension for MCAT's arduous passages, but to also help you in your future academic endeavors (keep m-w.com bookmarked, i see a lot of words I don't know; hell, I just looked up arduous to make sure I was using it correctly).

Now with that said, pick-up/do the following things:

Figure out what study method works best for you


  • Books with Passage based practice problems: Nova, TBR, TPR HYPERLEARNING (do they have passages?), The Official MCAT Guide
  • with, EK Bio 1001, use it by mixing concepts together and not doing them section by section.
  • Torrent the Kaplan Sectional/FLs
Now this is my selfish plug, this is what got the ball rolling for me into my new interest in reading:

The Forever War

Journey to the Center of the Earth
Great Expectations
Robinson Cursoe

*I told you I started reading late (age: 22)*

If you don't take my advice, I don't blame you. I agree it seems daunting, but you have to understand there is a reason you are not doing well and you need to figure out what it is that is hindering you.


yeah I don't think Im even gonna go.
That is a silly choice. Remember, everytime you do something repetively you become more comfortable with it (just ask porn stars); the more times you take and void your test, when it actually counts, you will be completely zen.
 

Compass

Squishy
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I started to write something and then realized what I should have said a while ago.

My question is when do you finally start to break into the 30's
This is a mentality issue. You are expecting the test to give you 30s for hard work. This isn't how the MCAT works, unfortunately. The question you SHOULD be asking is:

WHY haven't I started to break into the 30s?

You need to take a careful look at yourself, establish your weaknesses, and then break them. I've given you advice about individual subject practice. The thing about the MCAT is that if you don't know something for a practice test, you won't know it afterwards. Your Achille's Heel is a weakness until you solve it. Take the REAL MCAT. Figure out what you DON'T KNOW from that test. Make sure you LEARN IT for your next one. There is no better predictor of what you don't know than to have it rubbed in your face with a real full-length test you are using as a practice run.

After taking the MCAT so many times and feeling depressed at never being able to improve, I can tell you that the MCAT depends on the following:

Content 30% - You need to know the stuff. There's no question about that. You won't solve a random question if you don't know about it.

Critical Thinking 40% - This is the meat. The answers are IN THE PASSAGE. You just need to fish them out.

Mentality 30% - You need to be confident that you know the stuff. I NEVER learned optics/waves in physics. The first time I learned it was for MCAT. Hence I was never sure whether I knew it. This most recent cycle, I forced as much optics/waves down my throat as I could. I learned until I thought I couldn't learn anymore, and then I learned some more.
 

OPPforlife

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After taking the MCAT so many times and feeling depressed at never being able to improve, I can tell you that the MCAT depends on the following:

Content 30% - You need to know the stuff. There's no question about that. You won't solve a random question if you don't know about it.

Critical Thinking 40% - This is the meat. The answers are IN THE PASSAGE. You just need to fish them out.

Mentality 30% - You need to be confident that you know the stuff. I NEVER learned optics/waves in physics. The first time I learned it was for MCAT. Hence I was never sure whether I knew it. This most recent cycle, I forced as much optics/waves down my throat as I could. I learned until I thought I couldn't learn anymore, and then I learned some more.
I agree with this...although I would say mentality is 10% and Critical thinking/thought process is 60%. I think the mentality is really crucial in the first 15-20 minutes of the exam. This is the time period where you either get too excited or start freaking out. Both of these conditions stop you from...well...thinking.
 
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kypreos

10+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2008
281
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Status
Pre-Medical
You obviously have problems with grammar and sentence structure. This might be because you don't read books or you never took writing classes in college. From this, I extrapolated that you cannot process the trivia from trivial as you read passages and it confuses you.

The test was not made for everyone to get a great grade, that is why you see guys with 3.8-4.0's getting 18's and 23's.

Straight Talk:

You need to read more. I never read a book since 3rd grade until Sophmore year in College when I took Mass-communication. Reading turns on an area in your brain and exercises it that would have remained dormant. Even if its Colbert Nation, Wired, Tranny's with Donkeys; and my favorite, High Times.

I mentioned the above, not only to improve your reading speed and comprehension for MCAT's arduous passages, but to also help you in your future academic endeavors (keep m-w.com bookmarked, i see a lot of words I don't know; hell, I just looked up arduous to make sure I was using it correctly).

Now with that said, pick-up/do the following things:

Figure out what study method works best for you


  • Books with Passage based practice problems: Nova, TBR, TPR HYPERLEARNING (do they have passages?), The Official MCAT Guide
  • with, EK Bio 1001, use it by mixing concepts together and not doing them section by section.
  • Torrent the Kaplan Sectional/FLs
Now this is my selfish plug, this is what got the ball rolling for me into my new interest in reading:

The Forever War

Journey to the Center of the Earth
Great Expectations
Robinson Cursoe

*I told you I started reading late (age: 22)*

If you don't take my advice, I don't blame you. I agree it seems daunting, but you have to understand there is a reason you are not doing well and you need to figure out what it is that is hindering you.




That is a silly choice. Remember, everytime you do something repetively you become more comfortable with it (just ask porn stars); the more times you take and void your test, when it actually counts, you will be completely zen.
Thank you for your post. I realize that reading is a difficult thing for me. I ineed to work on it and your right.
I started to write something and then realized what I should have said a while ago.



This is a mentality issue. You are expecting the test to give you 30s for hard work. This isn't how the MCAT works, unfortunately. The question you SHOULD be asking is:

WHY haven't I started to break into the 30s?

You need to take a careful look at yourself, establish your weaknesses, and then break them. I've given you advice about individual subject practice. The thing about the MCAT is that if you don't know something for a practice test, you won't know it afterwards. Your Achille's Heel is a weakness until you solve it. Take the REAL MCAT. Figure out what you DON'T KNOW from that test. Make sure you LEARN IT for your next one. There is no better predictor of what you don't know than to have it rubbed in your face with a real full-length test you are using as a practice run.

After taking the MCAT so many times and feeling depressed at never being able to improve, I can tell you that the MCAT depends on the following:

Content 30% - You need to know the stuff. There's no question about that. You won't solve a random question if you don't know about it.

Critical Thinking 40% - This is the meat. The answers are IN THE PASSAGE. You just need to fish them out.

Mentality 30% - You need to be confident that you know the stuff. I NEVER learned optics/waves in physics. The first time I learned it was for MCAT. Hence I was never sure whether I knew it. This most recent cycle, I forced as much optics/waves down my throat as I could. I learned until I thought I couldn't learn anymore, and then I learned some more.
Yes mentality is a big issue, after spending 5 hours in an exam and then seeying 20 it kinda does a number on you a couple times. I have done content review and as I am going through the chapters I keep thinking to myself "dah, I know this" although it is further solidifying the material, I can't help but think the gaps I have arent large but I know about 80% of whats on this thing. I have to brush up on some stuff and then begin working on my critical thinking as well. Thank you again for your post.

I agree with this...although I would say mentality is 10% and Critical thinking/thought process is 60%. I think the mentality is really crucial in the first 15-20 minutes of the exam. This is the time period where you either get too excited or start freaking out. Both of these conditions stop you from...well...thinking.
lol the first 15 minutes of the exam are my best believe in or not. I start off very confident and then die off after verbal.


ok, I am going to devise a plan for the next month.

a)read about 30 minutes a day. just for critical thinking(any material)
b) 30 minutes of the hat trick
c) 60 minutes of content review brushing up on some weaknesses
d) 60 minutes of EK bio 1001 series.
e) 60 minutes of Ek verbal 101 (I have about 5 FL tests left but I am going to break a few up into individual passages and time them ini 8 minutes)

I am going to try and do as much full length passages as possible and get my read on. I am going to try and work on my critical thinking and see what is going on in my head etc. I am also going to try and boost my confidence.

then in about a month Ill register for the exam a month in advance and start taking full lengths again. This is all tentative but I know with my gpa and EC's If I pull off a good score I have a chance at getting into a school. thanks to everyone who commented in this thread and Ill let you guys know how my progress goes.