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Dirty Trickery!

superdevil

planning my escape
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  1. Medical Student
Anybody got advice on overcoming the amoral, godless, heathen, infernal, trickery of the harder MCAT questions? Advice on that whole "being a good test taker" thing would be appreciated

you know what just pisses me right off? when you do a TPR passage or problem, get it wrong, and then when you look up the answer in the back, the bastards have the onions to preface their explanation by saying "This one was pretty tricky," or "This question presupposes some knowledge on B-cell diversity as a function of genetic recombiantion," etc.....why don't they just say "The purpose of this question was to f*** with you, the weary test-taker. Thanks for all the $cash$, Sinecerely, The Princeton Review."

anyway...test-taking strategies...well, some oldies-but-goodies seem to be: if there are two "right" answers, they are both wrong; if two answers in one of the science sections are equal but opposite, chance are, one of them is right; if a question just seems unbelievably difficult, don't guess A or B, as the test writers like to "reward" the students who carefully read through all of the answers without just jumping on the first thing that looks good (superdevil chuckles quietly).

hopefully some of that crap is useful. later.
 
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Cerberus

Heroic Necromancer
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Dec 13, 2001
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  1. Attending Physician
TPR is bad for ones self confidence. I started taking the PS section of TPR C and ended up saying "**** this" (i think i was on a path to another 8 or lower). I will slowly work out the passages one at a time now and try to focus on the way they make their tests tricky. I hate you TPR.
 

superdevil

planning my escape
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thanks for the warning, cerb. TPR Test Book A-D currently sits at my house, unused. if its that hard, i think i'll just spare my confidence the injury and ignore it altogether. my last TPR diag (albeit 4 weeks ago) put my PS score at a 5, but when i took AAMC's 4R last week, i was one question away from a 10. there's making a test hard, and then there's being stupid. TPR is stupid. i'll stick with AAMC tests and just keep reading the review book/making flashcards/randomly yelling swear words at passers-by. you know, the usual. ;)
 

Cerberus

Heroic Necromancer
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Dec 13, 2001
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  1. Attending Physician
Originally posted by superdevil
thanks for the warning, cerb. TPR Test Book A-D currently sits at my house, unused. if its that hard, i think i'll just spare my confidence the injury and ignore it altogether. my last TPR diag (albeit 4 weeks ago) put my PS score at a 5, but when i took AAMC's 4R last week, i was one question away from a 10. there's making a test hard, and then there's being stupid. TPR is stupid. i'll stick with AAMC tests and just keep reading the review book/making flashcards/randomly yelling swear words at passers-by. you know, the usual. ;)

Some people have said that they are useful because they help you with the "hard" questions that are on the MCAT. Personally, I just find them demotivating.
 

R_C_Hutchinson

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Originally posted by Cerberus
Anybody got advice on overcoming the amoral, godless, heathen, infernal, trickery of the harder MCAT questions? Advice on that whole "being a good test taker" thing would be appreciated:)

quick, "my finals just finished," (inebriated) advice:


-in any questions that offer two directly opposing answers, the anser is usually one of the opposing choices

-in any questions that offer absolute answers (categorized by "always" "never" or "categorically") the correct answer is most often not those answers

-in any questions at the beginning of a group after a passage, don't re-evaluate your initial knee-jerk reaction

-in any questions at the end of a group after a passage, thouroughly re-evaluate your knee-jerk reaction

-if you dont know a rule/equation/law, use direct relations (ie if you feel a factor would detract from the requested total, take it to the -1 power (divide by it), if you feel a factor would increase the requested total, take it to the 1 power)

-if you have no idea hat's going on, rely on units; see what you need to do to convert units given to units required and make the necessary conversions

-trick questions can generally be identified and dealt with by out-of-context simplicity (for example, if you've just gotten to the last problem in a very hard passage and it seems ridiculously easy, be very very cautious)

-beware the passage that has 7 questions, 6 of which were plug-n-chug or rooted in very basal knowledge. In other words, be wary of that #7. the reason for this is intuitive: the MCAT is designed to differentiate applicants, not lump them together; hence a problem set of low difficulty has very little value- it will only be included in the test if it can set a boundry between aware, informed takers and those coasting through, hence one hard (very hard) question is to be expected, especially on the passages where all the other questions are easy.

-on a bit more sublime level: realize that all questions on this dreaded test were written by human beings looking to create a test not based in simple memorization; this means that often the answer that seems least likely if you just read through the answer list (especially at the end of a hard section) will be the correct answer in an attempt to create a "trick" question at the end of a section of questions related to a passage or at the end of a section of questions that are "not related to a passage"

*** most importantly, remember its just a test. its one step in your life, not the culmination of it***

hope i helped,
time for a my favorite toast:
"to what comes next"

:)
 
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