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Hard Decision... Advice Helpful

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by HCHopeful, 09.28.14.

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  1. HCHopeful

    HCHopeful 2+ Year Member

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    So, I studied using TBR (Physics, Gen Chem, and Bio) and I recently finished the 2 months of content review. I studied no Organic as I am taking it now. I fully expect my biological sciences score to be lower than what many would want. I just wanted to state that before getting into this.

    Alright, I recently took a Kaplan MCAT and AAMC #7. Here are the breakdowns.

    Kaplan MCAT: 29 (12/9/8)
    AAMC #7: 28 (10/10/8)

    My verbal ranges from 9-11, so those scores are pretty indicative. The Biological is right where I would expect, given my lack of O-Chem knowledge (literally have taken one test in O-Chem 1), and Physical basically shows the best and worst case scenarios. I averaged a 10.75 during my Berkeley Review studies in Physics and Gen Chem combined, so I'd expect my score to hover around the 11 mark in PS (I was one question away from an 11 on AAMC #7).

    I AM OKAY WITH GETTING A 30 (or even a 29).

    Just wanted to make that known. I have a 3.89 GPA with a 3.95 sGPA. I wish to attend UNMC and ONLY UNMC. I am a Nebraska resident, so a 30 is more than competitive.

    My question is this: I am scheduled for January 23rd, but I have the option to reschedule for November 7th. If I reschedule for November 7th, is it realistic to expect a 2-3 point increase in a month's time of studying?

    My biggest weaknesses right now are test fatigue and Organic (33/52 on BS on AAMC #7; 13 of the misses were Organic). I don't see one semester of Organic at my college helping all that much, as we hit most of the MCAT related material in the 2nd semester.

    I am extremely torn between taking November 7th and having the option to retake or waiting until January. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks everybody.
     
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  3. nolookpass

    nolookpass 5+ Year Member

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    Why don't you study Orgo using Berkeley or Princeton Review? You have over a month.
     
  4. HCHopeful

    HCHopeful 2+ Year Member

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    I guess I'm just not confident in teaching myself something like that. I actually tried using TBR, but I found it assumed some basic knowledge.
     
  5. nolookpass

    nolookpass 5+ Year Member

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    I wouldn't recommend taking the MCAT without knowing some organic. Sometimes the bio section can barely have any organic and sometimes it can have 3 passages of organic. It's really a crap shoot.

    I would recommend studying some of it on top of your reviewing you will be doing this past month. It'll help for the semester as well. You can use Berkeley or Princeton Review. If push comes to shove you can probably disregard the last two chapters of Berkeley.

    Anyway, take the exam in November, if you're in an area where there are seats open for January. See how the November exam is and if you aren't confident just register again for January (assuming seats are open around you, in general most people are having trouble finding seats). However, I would typically recommend you to take the exam in January since you'll have ample time to prepare, but I understand it's a different situation now since the exam is changing (I'm in a similar situation).
     
  6. HCHopeful

    HCHopeful 2+ Year Member

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    Yeah, the not knowing Organic came into play on AAMC #7. Three of the passages were Organic, so I knew my score would be a bit low.

    The January situation in my area is peculiar. All of the 23rd dates are filled in my closest town, but others are available in the state. All of the other January dates are open now, though. I am just a little afraid to reschedule for November and not score well and then not even have the option to retake.

    I thank you for the advice regarding Organic. I imagine it couldn't hurt to go through TBR Organic over the next month even if I don't comprehend everything. Even getting 3-5 more questions right is immensely helpful.

    I thank you for your advice. I'm just trying to find out if a 30 is realistic. Right now it seems more like a "best case scenario." I'd much rather see it be a middle-of-the-road scenario.
     
  7. nolookpass

    nolookpass 5+ Year Member

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    You're already registered for January 23rd. I for some reason didn't see that and assumed you registered for November 7th already. This would've been much easier if you were registered for November 7th.

    So if I were in your position, I'd just study till January. You finished most of your content review already which is great. 13 questions wrong simply in Orgo means you need to study orgo though. Sometimes you get lucky on test day and there isn't much orgo, but it's better to study it.

    Did you finish all the Berkely passages in Physics, Chem and Bio? If not do all of those. I guess your situation is a little different than most since you are set on one specific school and according to you a 30 is more than sufficient. But if you study till January consistently you are going to score ridiculously high and with your stats you can get into a lot of great schools depending on if you are willing to venture out of Nebraska, which seems like where you want to be.
     
  8. HCHopeful

    HCHopeful 2+ Year Member

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    I haven't done the 3rd Phase in TBR books, yet. That's only because I'm trying to decide what's best at the moment.

    I guess what scares me about January is being able to retain all of the content for that long. I started studying at the end of July, so I'm a bit wary of taking that much time. I don't mind studying for three more months, but I just don't know how to do it effectively, honestly.

    Truly, even if I score a 35+, I will apply early decision to UNMC. I am a Nebraska resident born and raised and wish to do rural care.

    I definitely see the great side about January (mainly way more study time), but I am wary of expecting myself to retain all of this information or reviewing effectively for 3+ months.
     
  9. nolookpass

    nolookpass 5+ Year Member

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    So, study organic (as sufficiently/fast as you possibly can) on top of reviewing everything you've done so far + whatever practice problems/tests you plan on doing. It's definitely a tough task, but try. Gauge how you are doing on these questions/if you are getting better at orgo, and if you are hitting around your target score. As you do all this keep in mind the last date to reschedule to the November exam (should be on the aamc website, google it). If you are doing well, which is around your target score reschedule for November (hopefully seats are open). If not, take it in January 23rd, or reschedule for the 8th which is around 2 weeks beforehand.
     
  10. HCHopeful

    HCHopeful 2+ Year Member

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    I was planning on doing just that, but then all of the November 7th spots were filled. They just recently added more seats, so there are a few available, but I don't think I have long until those are filled up, unfortunately.
     
  11. nolookpass

    nolookpass 5+ Year Member

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    I'm going to assume you are taking the exam in Nebraska. I'll also assume spots are easier to get in Nebraska, so just hope luck is on your side. If anything it's really not the end of the world, you can just move the exam to an earlier date in January. 2 extra months shouldn't be too big of a deal.
     
  12. HCHopeful

    HCHopeful 2+ Year Member

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    You're right. I'm sure it will all work itself out in the end. Just doesn't feel that way right now ;) Thanks for all of the advice, though! Very grateful.
     

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