Cwc127

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Sep 11, 2007
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My MCAT date is a few months away, and I have had some difficulty in motivating myself to open the books to start studying, and I think I've finally figured out why - nearly everyone scoring over 30 makes some mention that scoring well is really about knowing the test, and that all the information you need is right there in the passage.

Obviously, *some* content review is necessary. I am starting to think that memorizing the necessary equations, and maybe skimming over some BS material would be enough. Everyone seems to work their way through thick review books during their preparation, yet after their exam, they stress how everything was already in the passage, and that perhaps only 10% - 15% of the content they reviewed actually showed up on the exam.


So, again, I feel the reason it has been so hard for me to get started is because I've read from people scoring 30+ that it's not about content - it's about reading passages and interpreting that information, which trivializes the time spent actually reviewing content.

Can anyone comment on this? Is it really necessary to review for 1+ month(s)?
 

CaptainSSO

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Jan 29, 2010
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Yes, it is really needed. Period.
 

NYR56

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Yes, it is really needed. Period.
This.

OP, the reasons you mentioned are why I think it is unnecessary to use anything more detailed than EK but you definitely need to review all of the topics. Even if the answers are in the passage, you need backgroun knowledge to apply a lot of the concepts and to get it done in the time allotted.
 

rafflecopter

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Oct 18, 2008
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The MCAT exposes you to a wide range of topics that may or may not have been covered in your pre-requisite classes. Its for this reason I'd recommend doing at least an EK content review. Even if you generally do well in the subject, its good to review to see if there was anything in your classes you didn't learn that you'll need on the test. I would also recommend starting verbal practice early as developing that skill takes awhile.
 

tennis1234

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same with me...i found it difficult to study for the exam, especially since i was in the midst of a semester worth of classes. I think doing well in the pre-reqs and actually understanding the concepts is the most important thing you can do. The review can be easy as to just brush up on your skills. What I felt about actually studying for the exam was really just getting familiar with its organization and how to manage the clock. I studied intensively for 1.5 months, and felt like I missed out on only few questions b/c i didn't fully understand the intricacies of a concept. I know I would've still had trouble on them if I studied for 6 months. But if you know the concepts of what you're dealing with, answer questions typically becomes a judgement call between two answers that you've narrowed down. And sometimes you just have to guess or you'll waste too much time. Much of the test is just probability, narrowing down two makes your guess 50% as opposed to 25%. There's stuff you won't know on the exam, but you should know all of the major concepts. So when you study, I feel like it's just important to focus on the concepts, organization of the test, and timing. That only works in BS and PS. VR is a different story.
 

dingyibvs

Psych!
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Sep 13, 2007
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My MCAT date is a few months away, and I have had some difficulty in motivating myself to open the books to start studying, and I think I've finally figured out why - nearly everyone scoring over 30 makes some mention that scoring well is really about knowing the test, and that all the information you need is right there in the passage.

Obviously, *some* content review is necessary. I am starting to think that memorizing the necessary equations, and maybe skimming over some BS material would be enough. Everyone seems to work their way through thick review books during their preparation, yet after their exam, they stress how everything was already in the passage, and that perhaps only 10% - 15% of the content they reviewed actually showed up on the exam.


So, again, I feel the reason it has been so hard for me to get started is because I've read from people scoring 30+ that it's not about content - it's about reading passages and interpreting that information, which trivializes the time spent actually reviewing content.

Can anyone comment on this? Is it really necessary to review for 1+ month(s)?
You're getting the cutoff line wrong. Content review is critical for scoring 30+, scoring 36+ is where you need both content review and an understanding of the MCAT.

You'll find yourself having great difficulty understanding the passages and the material they present if you don't have a good foundation of knowledge.
 

dingyibvs

Psych!
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Sep 13, 2007
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This.

OP, the reasons you mentioned are why I think it is unnecessary to use anything more detailed than EK but you definitely need to review all of the topics. Even if the answers are in the passage, you need backgroun knowledge to apply a lot of the concepts and to get it done in the time allotted.
:thumbup: Agree with everything you said.
 

RTP424

Pre-Med
Oct 25, 2009
91
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New Jersey
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Content Review is absolutely necessary to pull yourself to the 30 range, which means you know WHAT is on the test. After that 28-32 range, its really a matter of one of 2 questions per point. This is where HOW to take the test comes in. Looking for subtle clues or narrowing down an answer based on info in the passage is crucial at this point. But going in without the solid concepts and foundations would be suicidal.