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Does anything predict the real MCAT accurately?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by nothing123, May 10, 2008.

  1. nothing123

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    So I've been reading the threads for the past few administered MCAT's and it seems like many of the sections on the real thing are harder than anything the test-takers ever encountered. But I thought AAMC was a failry accurate predictor, no? If it's not, maybe taking harder practice tests and passages is actually a better way to prepare for the real thing. What are some of the most challenging practice materials out there? I heard Berkeley Review was fairly difficult, maybe Princeton and Kaplan diagnostics in respective sections?

    I dunno...
     
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  3. Vihsadas

    Vihsadas No summer
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    The AAMCs are an accurate predictor of your score. The thing is that "difficulty of test" does not correlate to scaled score in MCAT land. You could get the hardest test you've ever seen and still get the same scores that you were getting on practice tests because the scores are curved.
     
  4. What up doc

    What up doc FLASH

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    i hope ur rite v...because i found the bio section on today's test to be RE-donk-u-lous-ly harder than any AAMCs....and id be happy with a 10...


    also, WHY DO YOU EVEN STUDY CONTENT??? is what i wanted 2 ask myself...all those hours spent memorizin hormones, enzymes, tissue layers blah blah blah blah...WASTED!!!! **** YOU MCAT!!! BURN IN HELL YOU DEPRAVED MOTHER****ER!!


    okay...sorry
     
  5. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
    Rocket Scientist Physician Pharmacist Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    welcome to the club! I joined last August 20th.

    Now, you know the real MCAT. Come back and beat its a$$ !!!!
     
  6. supafield

    supafield Dream Big

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    wrote in 2006....
    The day went perfect... and then came my bio section which always was a 10 for me it seemed... never too strong but always worked out the same way..... not today... it was the most convoluted unrepresentative piece of garbage I had seen... I still got a 9.... useless however in Ontario...

    If it's any consolation I felt like I walked out with a 6
     
  7. BerkReviewTeach

    BerkReviewTeach Company Rep & Bad Singer
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    You read my mind! Everyone comments how hard the real test is as if it's a surprise. Two things to consider.

    (1) As Vihsadas pointed out, AAMC predicts your score quite accurately, but it does not intend to simulate difficulty. I also tend to think that AAMC practice exams are more difficult that people let on, but because you get to see the answers after the fact, the exam seems easier upon review.

    (2) The exam has been VERY predictable since the CBT came into effect. There will be moreorless five reasonable and two WTF passages in each section. Most of the passages have been recycled, so the exam cannot be any harder than it has been in the past. And more than anything, it has calculations!

    So here comes my rant. I'm not sure why so many prep companies explicitly state that there aren't many calculations, because it is misleading. I agree that only a few of the questions involve calculations, but those calculations eat up time and throw people for a loop. If you are slow on the calculation questions, then you are at risk for running out of time on the rest of the exam. I think that is the major reason why people freak out on the exam.

    {{warning: self-congratulatory comment on the way}} This is where we (BR) have made a conscious effort to change our course since the CBT came in. We added a math on the MCAT in-class component that entails three two-hour skills lectures. And low and behold, after reading how hard each PS exam is on SDN, I hear differently from our students. Very rarely does anyone say it's difficult and no one runs out of time. I believe the only difference is that our students walk in mentally expecting that calculations could be stumbling blocks and that they are equipped with a bunch of math tricks and approaches to the usual suspects.

    So to answer your question as to our exams being difficult, I guess that's the way people see them. It's the way people see the MCAT too. So, what I tell our students is that AAMC exams are great for getting your score. For getting familiar with the style, they should focus on our exams, but not worry so much about the score. Although the score is actually good predictor, we suggest they do our tests first, so the scores they get don't indicate where they will be come test time.

    So to answer your question, and please realize that I'm in a weird mood at the moment. I am a bit upset that so many people are being bamboozled by the MCAT test prep industry on the whole. There is NO REASON why a student who spends $2K to $8K for a commercial preparation course should walk out of the MCAT feeling like they weren't prepared. Every session we inherit a few students who are taking us after taking one of the corporate programs and it never ceases to amaze me how unaware of the exam nuances they are. The MCAT is a test that measures your ability to take a test.

    Now that venting felt good... please forgive my scatter plot of a post.
     
  8. nothing123

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    I was actually referring to the practice passages contained in the Berkeley Review set, I've heard they can be quite challenging. I actually have an older edition of the entire set but have yet to dive into them yet. Have the questions changed much in the books? As I understand it, people like the Berkeley Review books because the difficulty prepares them for no real shock on the real thing.
     
  9. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
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    I can tell you after doing most of the ochem that their passages are hard! I think harder than what I saw on the real one at least for the ochem. I think they are helping me learn to "think" better and work my way through the questions.

    I still would love to take the class but I am on the wrong coast!
     
  10. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV

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    I scored a 32 (12V,12B,8P) on all of the AAMC practice tests I took. I scored a 33 (12V, 13B, 8P) on the real thing. So for me they were very accurate.
     
  11. physics junkie

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    Another myth I kept hearing is that you don't need to memorize formulas for the mcat and any formula you need will be given to you. Not true!
     
  12. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna

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    you are the first person ive ever heard say that.
     
  13. Vihsadas

    Vihsadas No summer
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    Then I guess that makes me the second... ;)

    That is really great. After hearing so many MCAT stories and the testimonials of friends and SDNers, I'm convinced that my main advantage on the PS section was that I barely had to do any paperwork because I had practiced and become very proficient at estimation techniques, and "MCAT math" (Just enough math to narrow down the answer choices). Thus, I knew all of the types of calculations I would have to do (and there were MANY) stone cold so most of it could be done in my head. The fact that TBR offers a 'skills' tutorial is awesome.
     
  14. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna

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    wow. amazing how you can hear two totally different things. guess it all depends on the test huh?
     

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