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First MCAT score vs Actual MCAT score

camd2b

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Hello!

Was wondering how different your first MCAT Score (first practice test with no/little preparation) usually compares to your actual MCAT Score after alot of preparation??

Thanks
 

gujuDoc

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I'd take a look through all the 30+ thread responses cuz they've said it in there but in general with most of my friends who've taken the test, the test score went up roughly 12-14 points from the first diag without studying.

Most people I know who scored a 23-27 that put maximal effort into studying (max effort may be 3 weeks for some an 4-6 months for others) got a roughly 12-14 point increase resulting in a score of 35-37+. Most people who put minimal effort into "effective" studying or who studied hard core but did not correctly figure a strategy that would work for them only went up by a 4-5 point increase.

That's what past experience with premeds around me have shown to prove.

The avg for first diags without any studying is usually 14-16 range and most people go a good 12-14 points to cut late 20's and early 30's near where I live. Hope that helps some.

Also do a search for past score release threads because a lot of the info you seek can be found on there.
 
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MirrorTodd

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I got a 22 on my first practice test. How much do you people think I will improve? How much should I improve? Let's say "for argument's sake" that I have a 3.0 GPA. What score should I be going for in order to get an acceptance? It could be a top-tier school or one of the lower tiered ones, not caribbean though. I know that "GPA" is low but I still have a chance to improve. :smuggrin:
 

BigRedPremed

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I got a 22 on my first practice test. How much do you people think I will improve? How much should I improve? Let's say "for argument's sake" that I have a 3.0 GPA. What score should I be going for in order to get an acceptance? It could be a top-tier school or one of the lower tiered ones, not caribbean though. I know that "GPA" is low but I still have a chance to improve. :smuggrin:

Assuming you're not a URM, you should be aiming for 30+. As you probably know already, the national average for matriculants is approx. 3.6, 30. Since your GPA is lower, your MCAT should be higher than a 30 to compensate.
 

starseeker

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I got a 22 on my first practice test. How much do you people think I will improve? How much should I improve? Let's say "for argument's sake" that I have a 3.0 GPA. What score should I be going for in order to get an acceptance? It could be a top-tier school or one of the lower tiered ones, not caribbean though. I know that "GPA" is low but I still have a chance to improve. :smuggrin:


If you put the time into it you can improve a whole lot. I took the test last April and got a horrible 18Q (I try to forget about this moment). When I got my scores back I had 6 weeks to study for the August test and I brought my score up to a 27P which isnt very high but I was very happy with it considering I only studied for six weeks. Just study hard and dont let anyone tell you that it cant be done. I'm a witness it can be. Good luck to you :D
 

midn

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Okie doke, I took my first TPR diagnostic and scored a 25. I'm actually pretty proud of my score considering that I barely knew any physics and very little chem. I scored 11-7-7 (BS-VR-PS). Apparently, TPR tells us they want us above a 20 by the third test, so it looks like I'm in good shape.

I heard TPR's diagnostics were harder than the actual test; is this true? The VR was brutal since the passages were awfully difficult to read. I'm kind of behind on my TPR material, but do you think it'll be possible for me to score around 35-37? How much will I have to apply myself?
 
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gujuDoc

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Okie doke, I took my first TPR diagnostic and scored a 25. I'm actually pretty proud of my score considering that I barely knew any physics and very little chem. I scored 11-7-7 (BS-VR-PS). Apparently, TPR tells us they want us above a 20 by the third test, so it looks like I'm in good shape.

I heard TPR's diagnostics were harder than the actual test; is this true? The VR was brutal since the passages were awfully difficult to read. I'm kind of behind on my TPR material, but do you think it'll be possible for me to score around 35-37? How much will I have to apply myself?

25 is very good for an initial diag. People who start with early 20's generally end up with 35+ scores and see a 12-14 point increase. Almost all people max out at a 12-14 pt increase with maximal studying efforts and minimally go up about 4 pts from the first diag. So starting out with a 25 is good. And by maximal studying I mean also practicing a lot too. Also, AAMC tests tend to be a better predictor of scores and generally show an increase in scores.
 

tch001

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26 (first TPR diagnostic) -> 34

+4 VR
+3 Physics
+1 Bio

Beware of the myth that if you scored +25 on your first practice test, you're going to automatically score +35 on the real thing. I worked my butt off and still managed to only increased by 9 points. However, I was very very happy with my score, so I can't complain :) Good :luck: to everyone studying!
 

gujuDoc

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26 (first TPR diagnostic) -> 34

+4 VR
+3 Physics
+1 Bio

Beware of the myth that if you scored +25 on your first practice test, you're going to automatically score +35 on the real thing. I worked my butt off and still managed to only increased by 9 points. However, I was very very happy with my score, so I can't complain :) Good :luck: to everyone studying!

Its not necessarily a myth. What I was saying when I said that was that if you put maximal effort as in you really look to see what you are doing wrong and identify your weaknesses. A lot of people don't identify proper methods for reducing their weak points and making them strong points but most people who do and have done so in the past have shown an increase within that 12-14 point range of increase from first diag to the actual score. Heck take a look at the 30+ thread. So I guess its not only my area.
 

estairella

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Vr: +1
Ps: +3
Bs: +2

Only a 6 point increase?? Obviously, you're one of those people who put in minimal studying like gujudoc suggests! ;)

Me -
PS: +5
VR: +3
BS: +3

PS. For the uninformed, the best Anastasis could've hoped for is a 10 point increase. That's just the limit of her abilities.. that or the test is out of 45, I forget which. :laugh:
 
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I haven't taken the MCAT yet, but I took a practice test and this is what I scored:
VR- 12 (goal: 12 or 13)
BS- 7 (goal: 10-11)
PS- 5 (goal: 10)

Granted, you should keep in mind that as far as the prereq's go I have only had general chemistry and a semester of bio so far.....
 

Anastasis

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I haven't taken the MCAT yet, but I took a practice test and this is what I scored:
VR- 12 (goal: 12 or 13)
BS- 7 (goal: 10-11)
PS- 5 (goal: 10)

Granted, you should keep in mind that as far as the prereq's go I have only had general chemistry and a semester of bio so far.....I'm "saving" most of my prereqs until I'm almost done with my degrees since they are not part of my majors.
Kickass verbal, DKM. Looking at that, the rest should come up with studying (& Physics... really? No Physics yet?) . :) Good luck!
 

gujuDoc

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I haven't taken the MCAT yet, but I took a practice test and this is what I scored:
VR- 12 (goal: 12 or 13)
BS- 7 (goal: 10-11)
PS- 5 (goal: 10)

Granted, you should keep in mind that as far as the prereq's go I have only had general chemistry and a semester of bio so far.....I'm "saving" most of my prereqs until I'm almost done with my degrees since they are not part of my majors.

You got the hard part covered: the verbal.

The rest should be easier to get up because its easier to practice and study for the science sections then it is for the verbal. If you start with a 7 and a 5, then bring those up to your goals or even higher shouldn't be a problem if you put in maximal study efforts. With minimal study efforts most see a 4 pt increase or so and with maximal efforts (i.e. correctly identifying how to make weak points stronger), you'll do better. In this case, it just seems you haven't had the course work yet. Get in the course work and study the material. Take practice tests and review them including right answers and you'll do very well.
 

gujuDoc

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Only a 6 point increase?? Obviously, you're one of those people who put in minimal studying like gujudoc suggests! ;)

Me -
PS: +5
VR: +3
BS: +3

PS. For the uninformed, the best Anastasis could've hoped for is a 10 point increase. That's just the limit of her abilities.. that or the test is out of 45, I forget which. :laugh:

She didn't take Kaplan or a course. Actually she started out with a 35 or so on her first practice test so going from a 35 to a 41 isn't going to make much difference. Her first practice test was also an AAMC test. My point is about Kaplan and TPR test as initial diag to final deal being an AAMC test.

She's a stastical anomoly to a certain extent because very few other people I know (qofquimica is one) start in the mid 30's on their first diag.
 

midn

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I haven't taken the MCAT yet, but I took a practice test and this is what I scored:
VR- 12 (goal: 12 or 13)
BS- 7 (goal: 10-11)
PS- 5 (goal: 10)

Granted, you should keep in mind that as far as the prereq's go I have only had general chemistry and a semester of bio so far.....I'm "saving" most of my prereqs until I'm almost done with my degrees since they are not part of my majors.

I think you are shaping up to get an excellent MCAT score when you are done reviewing relevant material. VR contains much of the critical reading skills needed to tackle harder sections in BS and PS so as soon as you get the general knowledge down, I think you'll do fine.
 

gujuDoc

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Only a 6 point increase?? Obviously, you're one of those people who put in minimal studying like gujudoc suggests! ;)

Me -
PS: +5
VR: +3
BS: +3

PS. For the uninformed, the best Anastasis could've hoped for is a 10 point increase. That's just the limit of her abilities.. that or the test is out of 45, I forget which. :laugh:

P.S. My refernece is to cases in which people are starting in mid 20's or lower, not people in mid 30's as mentioned previously. THose cases of people who start with a mid 30's score are more likely to see very little increase because the fact is there's only so much you can increase once you've hit a threshold since its stastically harder to go from a 35-40 then a 26-31 because 35 to 40 requires less room for error then 26-31.
 

Anastasis

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She didn't take Kaplan or a course. Actually she started out with a 35 or so on her first practice test so going from a 35 to a 41 isn't going to make much difference. Her first practice test was also an AAMC test. My point is about Kaplan and TPR test as initial diag to final deal being an AAMC test.

She's a stastical anomoly to a certain extent because very few other people I know (qofquimica is one) start in the mid 30's on their first diag.

Oh yeah - maybe we should add what company the practice test that you used as a diagnostic came from. It was AAMC 3r (I *think* - it's been awhile).
 

gujuDoc

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Oh yeah - maybe we should add what company the practice test that you used as a diagnostic came from. It was AAMC 3r (I *think* - it's been awhile).

Yeah cuz 3R is significantly easier then TPR or Kaplan initial diags or tests in general. AAMC tests are all better then TPR tests and Kaplan tests but especially easier then doing a diag with no studying at all under one of the test prep companies.
 
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estairella

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Yeah cuz 3R is significantly easier then TPR or Kaplan initial diags or tests in general. AAMC tests are all better then TPR tests and Kaplan tests but especially easier then doing a diag with no studying at all under one of the test prep companies.

I agree that 3R is easier, but as for the other AAMC tests, they are much more like the actual AAMC test than Kaplan/TPR. So... if you're basing 12-14 point improvement based on Kaplan/TPR diagnostics, then really, people have only improved maybe 8-10 points in terms of actual AAMC test prowess.

If you look at my 3R (which I took 1 week after diagnostic of Kaplan FL), I "only" improved by 5 points on my final MCAT.

I guess there should be a scale as a guideline...
Kaplan/TPR: 12-14
AAMC (other than 3R): 8-10
AAMC 3R: 4-6

:D
 

gujuDoc

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I agree that 3R is easier, but as for the other AAMC tests, they are much more like the actual AAMC test than Kaplan/TPR. So... if you're basing 12-14 point improvement based on Kaplan/TPR diagnostics, then really, people have only improved maybe 8-10 points in terms of actual AAMC test prowess.

If you look at my 3R (which I took 1 week after diagnostic of Kaplan FL), I "only" improved by 5 points on my final MCAT.

I guess there should be a scale as a guideline...
Kaplan/TPR: 12-14
AAMC (other than 3R): 8-10
AAMC 3R: 4-6

:D

The bolded part, my friend, is precisely MY POINT!!!!
 

gujuDoc

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The bolded part, my friend, is precisely MY POINT!!!!

I'd like to add to the post I made above.

The 8-10 pt increase is what TPR and Kaplan are shooting for. By making their tests more difficult at first, I believe they are serving a 2 fold purpose.

1. They want to really assess people's strengths and weaknesses in terms of content and not just in terms of the test itself.

2. They want to meet the guarantee they promise of a 8-10 pt increase and by making it more difficult it proves true.

Trozman,
As you pointed out there is probably a 4 pt discrepancy between what the averages would be if they started with AAMC vs. TPR and Kaplan. I believe that is possible because past trends have shown that minimal studying led to a 4-5 pt increase from initial TPR/Kaplan diags but only 1-3 pts within range of the AAMC scores. This was true for my case too as well as several other people I know. So in effect I do believe you have a point and agree with every bit of it. But this is based on my personal experience of what I witnessed with myself and several former classmates as well as the SDN community!!
 

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I haven't taken the MCAT yet, but I took a practice test and this is what I scored:
VR- 12 (goal: 12 or 13)
BS- 7 (goal: 10-11)
PS- 5 (goal: 10)

Granted, you should keep in mind that as far as the prereq's go I have only had general chemistry and a semester of bio so far.....I'm "saving" most of my prereqs until I'm almost done with my degrees since they are not part of my majors.

Just wait until you have to take o-chem and you start having nightmares with arms and legs growing out of a ring and you are trying to change the arms to make a different molecule while trying to remember the mechanism of the reaction and then trying to take the molecule with 6 different functional groups on it and name it and then having a nightmares with the same molecule with trying to figure out how to synthesize it.
 

EMH

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Just wait until you have to take o-chem and you start having nightmares with arms and legs growing out of a ring and you are trying to change the arms to make a different molecule while trying to remember the mechanism of the reaction and then trying to take the molecule with 6 different functional groups on it and name it and then having a nightmares with the same molecule with trying to figure out how to synthesize it.

That's funny cause O-chem definatly gave me dreams too. I even vividly remembered a part of a lecture that after the exam I realized "oh wait that was a dream." Cost me a few points on the exam.
 

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13 to a 36.
13 was before I had taken alot of biology. My second practice test was a 17.
+ 14

17 --> 31

Ps +5
Vr +3
Bs +6
my heros!!!

I hope that I improve like you guys did. I got a 16 on a diag. and I felt my heart drop to my feet. Thanks for posting all of your scores, I for one was really feeling badly about it and was wondering if there was a chance for much improvement or if scores didn't really change much.
 

AAhopeful

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Just wait until you have to take o-chem and you start having nightmares with arms and legs growing out of a ring and you are trying to change the arms to make a different molecule while trying to remember the mechanism of the reaction and then trying to take the molecule with 6 different functional groups on it and name it and then having a nightmares with the same molecule with trying to figure out how to synthesize it.
hahaha, I experienced the same thing in o. chem and physics. Not really nightmares but I just couldn't get it out of my head. I would be dreaming about the lectures at night, eh, just remembering that gives me goosebumps.
 

DropkickMurphy

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Just wait until you have to take o-chem and you start having nightmares with arms and legs growing out of a ring and you are trying to change the arms to make a different molecule while trying to remember the mechanism of the reaction and then trying to take the molecule with 6 different functional groups on it and name it and then having a nightmares with the same molecule with trying to figure out how to synthesize it.
It's funny because allegedly a dream is how the guy who discovered the chemical structure figured it out.
 

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+ 14

17 --> 31

Ps +5
Vr +3
Bs +6

Supafield, Congratulations on our massive score increase!! what exactly did you do differently that enabled you to get a much higher MCAT score??! Please share your schedule, study strategies and skills, and anything else you did to help. I got a 17 on my exam and will be retaking it again, but this time I MUST score higher in the 30's like u. Please share your action plan and everything did (even down to that smallest study task)!!
 

Dreamstoo

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Supafield, Congratulations on our massive score increase!! what exactly did you do differently that enabled you to get a much higher MCAT score??! Please share your schedule, study strategies and skills, and anything else you did to help. I got a 17 on my exam and will be retaking it again, but this time I MUST score higher in the 30's like u. Please share your action plan and everything did (even down to that smallest study task)!!

Person hasn't posted in about 4.5 years, you may not get a response.
 
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