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sendwich

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okay, I have a dilemma here. to take or not to take?????? I started studying for this thing since June but I dont really feel too confident that I'll do a great job tomorrow. I scored okay in the beginning (taking consideration it WAS the beginning part of studying for this monster) around mid-20s. but now, I'm seriously BOMBING this thing: very very low 20s. I'm not sure what the heck I'm doing wrong, and yeah it is kidn of late to be thinking "hm....what can I do now???"

Do I just wing it tomorrow, knowing I'll probably have to re-take it or do I not take it? I feel just really ridiculous...so PLEASE PLEASE....any wise advice here???

thanks!
 

Psycho Doctor

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you could always take it and if you think you really bombed it, void the scores

can you reasonably access how you performd?
 

Groove

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You might as well take it since you paid for it, but if you are making consistent low 20's in your scores on the AAMC tests, then keep in mind that chances are very slim that you will score significantly above this tomorrow. You might by some chance get an exam that has materials that you are more familiar with, but I wouldn't count on it. So, with that in mind, you can do what PsychoDoctor suggests, and try to gauge your performance, voiding your scores if you feel sub par, but if you are unable to do this very accurately, then try to imagine how you would feel having a low to mid 20's score, faced with the prospects of retaking in April. Does having the lower first score bother you that much? If not, then take it anyway, because like I said, you already paid for this thing, and having a lower first score is not the end of the world. Just my 2 cents.
 

DieselPetrolGrl

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dude i dont know
but personally i wish there was no void thing bc i feel like i would use
but i swore to my sister and mother i wouldnt ..they will kill me with looks of dissapointment if i do.

personally like groove said def take ..and if u can do what psycho says..gauge ur performance then decide by bio time
 

Psycho Doctor

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hey dieselpetrolgrl, is your test still on, or has it been cancelled? where are you taking it?

i'm not so thrilled with the void either b/c i'm afraid i won't know whether to void or not
 

MeowMix

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If you were one of my students, and you had consistent low-20s on AAMC and some other (Kaplan, TPR, EK) practice tests, I would advise you to make the decision now to void, then take the test tomorrow (excellent practice).

You make the decision to void now for important reasons. You will not be able to realistically assess your performance on the day of the MCAT. Many people do very well even though they thought they bombed (and vice versa). Having sat through the whole test, you will be tempted to have it scored anyway. Then, getting a low-mid 20s score (which would be predicted based on your practice test scores - some people gain points on the real MCAT, but MOST do not) is demoralizing and useless for most people. There are lots of posters here on SDN who can tell you how miserable it is to wing it and do poorly. Remember, you are competing against people who have worked very hard. You may be smarter, but they may be better prepared. You need to go into the test in the best possible shape.

Without knowing more about you, it's hard to give good advice. Which practice tests did you take? How many? Did you do them all fully timed, at regular MCAT hours? How did you study? Do you have major problems with timing, strategy, nervousness, misbubbling? Major areas of weakness in content knowledge?

Then, what would be different in April (or next August)? Would you have more time to study? Is discipline a problem? Are you OK with applying next year?

This is a very difficult decision. Good luck.
 

strangelight

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So I'm pretty much in the same dilemma...but in my opinion, I would just go for it. You can never really predict what's going to happen on test day, even if you feel like you bombed it. You just never never know...

Even if your scores aren't good when you receive them in October, start studying from then on so that you'll be sure to score well in April. I know I may not score phenomenal tomorrow & I know I could do much better had I more time, but just having the experience of taking it will give me better confidence in April. Anything can go, but it'll help as long as you keep thinking positive.
 

Miss Roxie

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Taking the actual test should be great prep whether you choose to void the scores or not. You should be asking yourself why your scores are going down. Did you go over your old tests and see where the majority of your mistakes were and focus in on your weak areas? Taking the test tomorrow will only help you whether you choose to keep your scores or void them.
 

Psycho Doctor

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hey meowmix...since you seem to know quite a lot about this, let me direct this question to you]

how much does a pioor MCAT score hurt you in the admission process if you retake and get a good score (difference of say a 25 and a 38 or more??)
 

BigLazy

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I thought that if you take it, you can only void the score right after the test without seeing what you got, and the medical school admissions can see that you took it but voided it. If you just don't show up for the test, there will be no sign of you in your record and they refund $100.
 

Psycho Doctor

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you can only void the score right up until just before the last part is collected.

i don't think they ever see you voided it. but it counts a sone of the three times you took it.

i think (not positive though) it's already too late to get your money back.
 

strangelight

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Psycho Doctor said:
i think (not positive though) it's already too late to get your money back.

Nah, you can get your money back if you don't show up for the test, but only $100 of it, so that's $90 down the drain...
 

maishaldan

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MeowMix said:
I would advise you to make the decision now to void, then take the test tomorrow (excellent practice).

You make the decision to void now for important reasons. You will not be able to realistically assess your performance on the day of the MCAT. Many people do very well even though they thought they bombed (and vice versa). Having sat through the whole test, you will be tempted to have it scored anyway. Then, getting a low-mid 20s score (which would be predicted based on your practice test scores - some people gain points on the real MCAT, but MOST do not) is demoralizing and useless for most people. There are lots of posters here on SDN who can tell you how miserable it is to wing it and do poorly. Remember, you are competing against people who have worked very hard. You may be smarter, but they may be better prepared. You need to go into the test in the best possible shape.

Without knowing more about you, it's hard to give good advice. Which practice tests did you take? How many? Did you do them all fully timed, at regular MCAT hours? How did you study? Do you have major problems with timing, strategy, nervousness, misbubbling? Major areas of weakness in content knowledge?

Then, what would be different in April (or next August)? Would you have more time to study? Is discipline a problem? Are you OK with applying next year?

This is a very difficult decision. Good luck.

Very good advice, Meow. Wouldn't have posted; but cannot emphasize the value of tomorrow's experience as a training tool enough! From the tension you feel tonite, to how you handle yourself @ the test center, and during the actual test; this is the real thing. No previous practice test administered by a Kaplan, etc. will be as realistic as tomorrow. It seems that you'll be likely re-taking the thing anyway; so these things won't be new to you when you take it "for real." As for me, I wasn't too prepared the first time; and I went in thinking, "If I'm going down, I'm going down shootin' " When I took it the second time, I honestly did think that the previous experience was invaluable.

Now on voiding: Like I said, I wasn't too prepared; but didn't void. As a diagnostic tool, tomorrow's test will tell you your degree of preparation; and is infinitely more accurate in gauging your performance compared to prep company exams and even AAMC past tests(but maybe less so). You can also use it to gauge how you did compared to this year's applicants. Will the truth hurt, maybe; but I thought the data was more important.

Psycho Doc,: I feel your concern, the only way you could best answer the question of poor MCAT performance hurting your chances in light of an improvement would be to ask admissions officers of the schools you're applying to. Both DO schools I applied to (TUCOM and COMP), said that: 1. An improvement is expected. 2. They give more weight to the more recent sitting whether an improvement or regression . Shoot 'em an email, they have the answers that you want anyway.

For the next time around, I won't repeat the already excellent advice Meow has given; those are the right questions to ask when preparing for your re-take.

Finally, I wish you all the best; may the force be with you.
 

05med05

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Ok,

I see what has been discussed and I am at the point that if I write I will most likely void, since I almost always do more poorly on an exam than in practice, since:

1) I tend to be slower in the exam no matter how fast I go, so I miss questions at the end,

2) I haven't been able to fall asleep this past week before 4am, which, I'm guessing will reflect badly,

3) I'm not where I need to be in terms of preparation (even though I spent the last several @@&$# months preparing for this thing :mad: ). I think what I realized too late on is that since I haven't taken general chem or half of first year physics in a long time that I should have started alot earlier (The advice from the prep centre was that if I took their course and followed their instructions, that it didn't really matter that I hadn't taken the basics in awhile..... :mad: :mad: )

Anyhow, now that I have that off my chest, my question is, will being in a REAL test situation REALLY make much difference for next time, given that a few of my mock exams were written under 'simulated' conditions in the prep course that I took?

Or would it be better to just get my $100 back and not show up?? :(

Thanks!
 

MDtoBe777

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Take it. I'm taking it tomorrow for the first time. My scores haven't been that great but you never know what the MCAT will throw at you. The PS can be brutal, or it can be easy..depending on what they ask and what you are comfortable with. Who knows? Maybe you will do great! If you don't take it, you will never know. Look at the April test...the average was higher than ever (not by much, but a little higher). If you have spent all summer studying you should just take it so it doesn't feel like you wasted the entire summer. Go for it, and be confident!!
 

maishaldan

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05med05 said:
Anyhow, now that I have that off my chest, my question is, will being in a REAL test situation REALLY make much difference for next time, given that a few of my mock exams were written under 'simulated' conditions in the prep course that I took?

Or would it be better to just get my $100 back and not show up?? :(

Thanks!

It depends, if you went to your practice full length tests with the right mindset (seriously concentrating and treating them as the real thing), then there shouldn't be a real difference. The difference will likely be mental; taking the real thing you've been preparing for all summer. At least for me, going through it the second time was a little easier.
 

MeowMix

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You void at the end of BS. The proctor says, is there anyone who wants to void their test, you stand up, hand in your answer sheet, and they write VOID across every one of your answer sheets. The test is never scored. No med school ever knows that you took it. You get no money back. I voided last April because I had only done 1 full-length practice test, had no time to study, knew I could do OK but I needed to do really well. I waited until August and got a 39, which got me into the school I wanted to get into.

If you decide not to take the test, you can mail in your admission ticket etc. and get about half of the $ back.

If you take the MCAT multiple times, each school views it in different ways. Some take most recent score. Some average. Some are more holistic. I don't know enough to say more than that.

Taking tomorrow's exam will be infinitely more realistic than any practice test. #1, the questions are AAMC, not EK or Kaplan or TPR. Very different style. #2, it will take a hell of a lot longer by the time the proctors get done dicking around. Endurance test. It will be great prep for a future test.

The "go for it" strategy is fine if you know that your top-choice schools will take your best score, and if you know that you will be motivated rather than demoralized by a low-20s on the real thing.

I want to add that if you have worked your @$% off studying and you end up with a low-20s score, you can certainly get into med school. However, if you are capable of better, your path into med school will probably be a lot smoother.
 

sendwich

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thank you all so much for your advice. I do think I could have done more prepping for this august monster. I"m going to go in tomorrow doing my best, but going to void it. more than the $$, it feels like a waste to have "anticipated' this thing the whole summer to not take it. I'll be retaking some of the pre-req courses (it's also been a while since I last took them), so that should help a great deal.

good luck to everyone!!!!! :)
 
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