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Difficulty of Kaplan diagnostics compared to the MCAT?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by an aspiring doctor, May 15, 2014.

  1. an aspiring doctor

    an aspiring doctor

    Dec 13, 2013
    I know this question may be fairly common however I would like to get a consensus from people who took the real MCAT in the past years. I have taken all the Kaplan full lengths except for 9, 10, 11 and I have taken AAMC 3 along with the Self Assessment Package. I am under the impression that Kaplan full lengths have much harder passages and questions than the real MCAT. Is this how you feel? Is the real MCAT easier than Kaplan full lengths 1-6 because I thought those were very difficult compared to AAMC 3. Should I be concerned that those questions and passages on those Kaplan full lengths (particularly the Physical Science Section) seemed hard to me? I have not yet taken any of the other AAMC full lengths such as 7 and 8 which I have been told are better indicators. I am not certain on what to believe in regards to the MCAT's difficulty. :bang:
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  3. Styrene

    Styrene medical student 2+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2013
    New York
    Disclaimer: These are just my ideas. I have no idea if I'm actually correct--in fact, I don't think anyone on here knows exactly.

    From what I've gathered, each MCAT administration is different, so there is no set difficulty. If you buy the Official Guide, they briefly describe the standardization and curving process, and essentially, any given question is weighted with respect to how many test takers answered that question correctly when that question was an "experimental" question that did not count towards the final score. I assume the compilation of passages and questions for each MCAT administration is a randomized, computerized process, thus meaning that one MCAT administration on one day at one test center could include, in theory, 144 questions, all of which were answered correctly by 15% of test takers. This would mean that an effectively low raw score (percent correct) could lead to a nice scaled outcome. In this case, the test could seem extremely difficulty, but it wouldn't matter. Another example: one of my friends just scored a 37 but scored an 11 on verbal, even though the verbal seemed very easy to him. We then would assume that he may have gotten only 4 verbal questions incorrect.

    All this such that if one discusses the difficulty of the MCAT in reference to the ease with which test takers can score, for example, >90% of questions correct, then the difficulty may fluctuate wildly. But this sense of the word difficulty doesn't make a difference when considering the scaled result.

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