Oct 14, 2020
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Hey Y’all, I need some advice and this is going to be a long post so thank you to those of you who read the whole thing lol. I started studying in late May of 2020 in the hopes to take the MCAT in late July but when July came I did not feel prepared to take it so I pushed it back to January 25th, 2021. Honestly, I didn’t study the amount I should have in the fall semester and I regret that now but some studying is better than nothing I guess. I have been studying hard since mid December. I am just disappointed about the fact that my scores have barely moved and at this point they are nowhere near what I want to get (510+). These are the breakdowns for all the FL’s I have taken:

NS diagnostic: 489 (122/119/121/127)

NS1: 499 (125/124/124/126)

NS2: 501 (124/127/125/125)

NS3: 500 (125/125/125/125)

NS4: 501 (125/124/126/126)

AAMC FL1: 496 (124/124/124/124)

NS5: 502 (125/124/126/127)

NS6: 501 (125/126/123/127)

AAMC sample: (36/59, 40/53, 39/59, 45/59) ~ 502 ( I felt really good when taking this and I am disappointed that I got around the same score I have been getting)


I watched a bunch of KA videos back in the summer when I did all my content review and I am doing Milesdown Anki (bc I have started AAMC material I have not been keeping up with them recently), I also have UWorld (I have about 830 Qs left). I have started a little bit of the AAMC material as well

I guess my main question is should I push my exam back? and also how can I bring my score to where I want it to be? I want to take it in January because I am on break so I don’t have to worry about classes (I have also been studying since May so I kinda just want to get it over with). My spring semester is gonna be pretty hard and I don’t want to compromise my GPA but I also don’t want to slack off on MCAT prep to the point that my scores get even lower. Should I just risk it and take the exam on the 25th and hope for the best? Do y'all think that it's possible to go from 502 to 510 in less than 2 weeks?

I am incredibly disappointed with how I am doing and I honestly don’t know what to do anymore. PLEASE lmk if you have any advice/tips or if you have been in the same position as me. THANK YOU!
 

GreenDuck12

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Taking the exam when you are unprepared is a terrible decision. You’ll dig yourself in a hole by having a low score on your record. IMO you are not ready to test. 1-2 point bumps on test day happen. 5-8 point bumps do not. Your AAMC scores are near 500 which is much too low. Studying for two months may be sufficient for some but it appears you need more/better prep - which is fine!

My advice: don’t waste time with arbitrary deadlines. Set a plan to study for the score you want and put in the work. Take the test when you are in the best possible position to do well.
 
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Aug 16, 2019
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A ~8 point score jump is probably not realistic in that time frame. As was said above, take the test when you’re ready, otherwise you’ll just have to retake.

I studied for the MCAT for over a year part time, so I get how exhausting it is and the desire to just be done with it. But you really don’t want to have to retake it. What kinds of questions are you getting wrong? Content, or reasoning? Content is much easier to fix by drilling and Anki, reasoning will likely be helped with doing practice qs, specifically AAMC material. I found KA passages really useful as well, for CARS especially, and they also helped me solidify B/B knowledge.
 
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Oct 14, 2020
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A ~8 point score jump is probably not realistic in that time frame. As was said above, take the test when you’re ready, otherwise you’ll just have to retake.

I studied for the MCAT for over a year part time, so I get how exhausting it is and the desire to just be done with it. But you really don’t want to have to retake it. What kinds of questions are you getting wrong? Content, or reasoning? Content is much easier to fix by drilling and Anki, reasoning will likely be helped with doing practice qs, specifically AAMC material. I found KA passages really useful as well, for CARS especially, and they also helped me solidify B/B knowledge.
I don't think its the content that is getting me. I am really bad at reading comprehension, I read the passages and I think I got the right information to answer my question but I end up getting it wrong. I don't know how best to fix this as I also have trouble with timing. So, I really just need to find a way to do better for that. Do you have any advice on how to fix reading comprehension?
 
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Oct 14, 2020
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Taking the exam when you are unprepared is a terrible decision. You’ll dig yourself in a hole by having a low score on your record. IMO you are not ready to test. 1-2 point bumps on test day happen. 5-8 point bumps do not. Your AAMC scores are near 500 which is much too low. Studying for two months may be sufficient for some but it appears you need more/better prep - which is fine!

My advice: don’t waste time with arbitrary deadlines. Set a plan to study for the score you want and put in the work. Take the test when you are in the best possible position to do well.
Do you have any prep advice that has worked for you? I feel like I have done everything but nothing is helping and I want to make sure I have the score I want to apply in this cycle.
 
Aug 16, 2019
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I don't think its the content that is getting me. I am really bad at reading comprehension, I read the passages and I think I got the right information to answer my question but I end up getting it wrong. I don't know how best to fix this as I also have trouble with timing. So, I really just need to find a way to do better for that. Do you have any advice on how to fix reading comprehension?
For timing issues, if they are mostly related to comprehension, my advice is to slow down and do practice questions untimed right now. Don’t even worry about how long it takes you until you improve your comprehension.

As far as reading comprehension, more practice problems will likely help. For me, the AAMC material (section banks in particular) was most useful, because no other prep material has logic exactly like them. Do you review your practice exams/questions? Make sure you review every single question, even the ones you got right. Identify exactly where the information was in the passage, and make sure you can explain to yourself/a friend why the answer is correct, and why the other answers are wrong. Once I started doing this, I improved a lot.

Hope some of this helps! You got this.
 
Oct 16, 2020
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Do you have any prep advice that has worked for you? I feel like I have done everything but nothing is helping and I want to make sure I have the score I want to apply in this cycle.
For timing issues, if they are mostly related to comprehension, my advice is to slow down and do practice questions untimed right now. Don’t even worry about how long it takes you until you improve your comprehension.

As far as reading comprehension, more practice problems will likely help. For me, the AAMC material (section banks in particular) was most useful, because no other prep material has logic exactly like them. Do you review your practice exams/questions? Make sure you review every single question, even the ones you got right. Identify exactly where the information was in the passage, and make sure you can explain to yourself/a friend why the answer is correct, and why the other answers are wrong. Once I started doing this, I improved a lot.

Hope some of this helps! You got this.

Re: reading comprehension, practice is absolutely key. If you're struggling with getting information out of the passage, one technique than can be helpful as you review is to mentally rehearse what it would have been like to get it right—that is, after you review a passage (maybe not immediately after, give it a little bit of space, on the order of an hour or two or maybe a day), practice doing it the right way. That can help you consolidate some of the lessons that you're reviewing. I also strongly agree with @SunMouse that it's important to understand why the wrong answers are wrong, especially for answer choices that involve going back to the passage or interpreting the passage incorrectly. Good luck!!
 
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