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Concerned about MCAT diagnostics score

Marionette4033

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May 17, 2020
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So I will be a junior in the fall and just took my first MCAT diagnostic exam but got a pretty low score of 500. I am about to take an online prep course but I am not sure if I should wait until after I have taken more courses such as physics, psych, and soc. Any advice or thoughts? Thanks for your time.
 

GreenDuck12

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So I will be a junior in the fall and just took my first MCAT diagnostic exam but got a pretty low score of 500. I am about to take an online prep course but I am not sure if I should wait until after I have taken more courses such as physics, psych, and soc. Any advice or thoughts? Thanks for your time.
A 500 is a decent score for someone to have prior to studying for the exam. If you haven’t been actively studying the material or have practiced the format, those two factors help illuminate that score. That being said, you have your work cut out for you as the mean for admitted applicants is a 511.3. Have you completed all of the prereqs besides p/s? Do you plan to take p/s in the next year? When do you want to take the mcat?
 

GreenDuck12

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Many folks take the mcat without having taken psychology or sociology, so that doesn’t concern me much. Physics is a subject that some premeds pick up really quickly or struggle with. I wouldn’t plan on taking the mcat until all of the science prereqs are completed. If you are not aiming to take the mcat at the end of the summer I would not take the prep class now. Like all things, if we don’t practice the material we tend to forget 80% of it relatively quickly.
 
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Marionette4033

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May 17, 2020
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Many folks take the mcat without having taken psychology or sociology, so that doesn’t concern me much. Physics is a subject that some premeds pick up really quickly or struggle with. I wouldn’t plan on taking the mcat until all of the science prereqs are completed. If you are not aiming to take the mcat at the end of the summer I would not take the prep class now. Like all things, if we don’t practice the material we tend to forget 80% of it relatively quickly.

Yes I agree, but I am only doing this prep course to begin and mainly to review content; the bulk of my studying will still be working on AAMC/ NextStep practise exams.

Edit 1. Also I have taken AP Physics in high school and many of the topics seem very similar with exception of a few such as fluid mechanics so I was thinking the course should be a good review.
 

JimKimSlim

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Feb 5, 2020
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Yes I agree, but I am only doing this prep course to begin and mainly to review content; the bulk of my studying will still be working on AAMC/ NextStep practise exams.

Edit 1. Also I have taken AP Physics in high school and many of the topics seem very similar with exception of a few such as fluid mechanics so I was thinking the course should be a good review.
I never took the introductory physics sequence in college, since I had AP credits for those. With that being said, self-teaching physics was not easy because the type of problems they ask is different from what you would expect from a physics test (knowledge-based vs calculation-based). However, with KA, I was able to relearn everything; it took only a month.
 

KnightDoc

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Yes I agree, but I am only doing this prep course to begin and mainly to review content; the bulk of my studying will still be working on AAMC/ NextStep practise exams.

Edit 1. Also I have taken AP Physics in high school and many of the topics seem very similar with exception of a few such as fluid mechanics so I was thinking the course should be a good review.
Absolutely no need to stress over a low score on a diagnostic offered by a prep company. Remember, those "free" tests are not designed to help you out -- they are designed to sell you prep courses, and are notoriously, unnecessarily difficult in order to give you a low score to benchmark against to show improvement after taking the course, as well as to help the company meet any score improvement guarantees they might offer.
 

Marionette4033

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May 17, 2020
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I never took the introductory physics sequence in college, since I had AP credits for those. With that being said, self-teaching physics was not easy because the type of problems they ask is different from what you would expect from a physics test (knowledge-based vs calculation-based). However, with KA, I was able to relearn everything; it took only a month.

I took AP Physics in high school as well, but unfortunately I think I need to retake 1 year/2 semesters of college-level physics for some reason. Same reason I had to take calculus 1 again despite finishing calculus 3 while at my high school. As I am reviewing more physics, a lot of it is coming back to me and I feel a lot better now.
 

Marionette4033

New Member
May 17, 2020
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1
26
  1. Pre-Medical
Absolutely no need to stress over a low score on a diagnostic offered by a prep company. Remember, those "free" tests are not designed to help you out -- they are designed to sell you prep courses, and are notoriously, unnecessarily difficult in order to give you a low score to benchmark against to show improvement after taking the course, as well as to help the company meet any score improvement guarantees they might offer.

Yes, now that you mention it, it makes a lot of sense. My instructor even talked to me and admitted the diagnostic scores can be kind of deflated. This occurrence makes sense since they probably want to ensure that you have improved on the actual MCAT so that you can't ask for a refund of their expensive courses. I am feeling less stressed over it right now. I think it was just the initial fright that seeing the 500 gave me. Thanks for your response!
 
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