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Has anybody gone with their natural writing ability to score high?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by rugox, May 16, 2007.

  1. rugox

    rugox 7+ Year Member

    57
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    Apr 30, 2007
    Just as the topic says, has anyone gone to the MCAT test with their natural ability with no additional "studying" for the writing section and did well? I'm asking this because the writing section does not have a definite answer like the other sections and it is basically how you convey your ideas to the reader. I have no idea how you can study for the writing section. I have read about the strategy Kaplan endorses but I got a mixed review of it works and doesn't work. Plus, I don't like following any guidelines when I'm writing. I want to be free to use whatever system of written manipulations to present my ideas depending on the topic. So has anyone taken the writing section entirely on their own style and came up with a good result?
     
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  3. killinsound

    killinsound Physician 10+ Year Member

    907
    3
    Aug 30, 2006
    I used Kaplan's strategy, and I only practiced one essay every... i got an S on the writing sample. I am also not that great of a writer in real life.

    any way you do it, just make sure you complete the tasks clearly.

    the three tasks will almost always be the same, and it's easiest to organize your essay according the tasks.
     
  4. pazan

    pazan 5+ Year Member

    253
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    Apr 12, 2007
    I've been told I'm a good writer (won writing contests in high school, get great feedback on my essays and from higher-ups, etc.), but you have to go with a set strategy on the writing section. They expect you to use a 3 body paragraph approach (as outlined in the prompt), and if you don't you will get marked down. There is freedom in how you integrate your examples into your overall point, but as long as you have the paragraph structure they want (short intro, same, different, to what extent its the same and different, maybe a conclusion) and are grammatically correct, you'll score well.

    I got my 35T today... so take my advice for whatever it's worth. And, you should practice essays with the practice tests (but only if you have the time, they're not as important as the rest of the test). You need to be familiar with the timing and your ability to structure to do well.
     
  5. hazel16

    hazel16 2+ Year Member

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    May 2, 2007
    I got an S on the writing sample. I'm usually a pretty competent writer but I wouldn't have wanted to go into the exam without practicing it first. Because the prompts are essentially all the same, just the topics change, if you have the structure of the essay down you can write it a lot faster. The writing sample is the only section where I was down to the wire on time.
     
  6. karakanvas

    karakanvas 7+ Year Member

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    May 17, 2007
    I went into the test without taking a timed practice essay (figured my verbal and writing skills were strong enough that it would be better to spend all my time trying to bump up the PS and BS scores). I ended up with an O, which seemed low. I'm usually a very strong essay writer, but the combination of being extremely nervous from taking the rest of the test and having to change gears quickly threw me off. I'd recommend practicing a couple of timed runs before taking the real thing, even if your writing skills are top-notch.
     
  7. MDee

    MDee 5+ Year Member

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    Apr 7, 2007
    I got an S on my writing sample and I only did 2 practice prompts before, which one which was graded by my Kaplan instructor, the other by TPR Essay Critique (it was a freebie because they were doing a promotion or something). Since then, I hadn't even looked twice at writing samples. I stuck with Kaplan's method for laying out my essays, too.
     
  8. rugox

    rugox 7+ Year Member

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    3
    Apr 30, 2007
    Hmm, I gather that following Kaplan's strategy will get you at least an average score. When I took a look at some of the written answers, they use quite a bit of examples. I know that examples are essential, but how much do you actually need to satisfy the readers? I mean, what if you can't think of any appropriate examples for a certain topic? I usually bull**** my way through in such circumstances.
     
  9. novawildcat

    novawildcat Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Aug 22, 2005
    I got on the writing section without ever practicing for the writing section once. All I did was follow the directions closely and make clear and logical arguments. My English professors though always said I had a natural talent for writing. Maybe it is something I am just pretty good at doing. Everyone keeps saying that the writing section on the MCAT doesn't matter in admissions decisions, but when you look at the stats, every year the average matriculant has scored on average a P.
     
  10. .surgical.

    .surgical. Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 16, 2006
    out
    I ddin't practice at all, considering that the essay is completely dependent on the prompt and carries very little weight with respect to the rest of the test.

    I scored an R on the writing.
     
  11. pazan

    pazan 5+ Year Member

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    Apr 12, 2007
    The bottom line is it means nothing. If you're a good writer, you won't get a J - N, and anything higher is perfectly acceptable. My T means bullsh!t.... all it does is give my personal statement credibility (anything O and above will do that IMO). So don't stress out, do a couple of a practice prompts, and worry about the VR (which is way more important than the writing section).
     
  12. ssj27krillin

    ssj27krillin 2+ Year Member

    103
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    May 18, 2007
    Syosset, NY
    MDApps:
    I'm a decent writer and i got 4's on all of my kaplan writing samples graded by my instructor and i got an L on the 4/16 MCAT. should i have it regraded?
     
  13. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central 2+ Year Member

    5,454
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    Apr 4, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    MDApps:
    I only practiced one essay, but was made aware to keep the 3 tasks in mind. I got a T with that being the only "strategy" I used.
     
  14. ParvatiP

    ParvatiP Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Jun 21, 2006
    NY
    Nearly the same here. The week before I took the MCAT, I took a full length practice exam and practiced doing the writing section (mostly just to practice taking the full exam because prior I always skipped it). I self-studied and didn't read any strategies on how to write the essay, I just formatted it naturally. I also looked over the prompts for the AAMC tests, thought about them a little, but didn't write anything down.
    I think my writing ability is decent. I actually thought I didn't do so well on the writing section after I took it, but I scored an R.
    Honestly, it's not really worth the time to study for it, IMO, since it isn't really looked at by adcoms. You are better off focusing your energies on the other areas of the test.
     
  15. Jacqui3932

    Jacqui3932 Member 7+ Year Member

    75
    0
    Feb 18, 2006
    Boston, MA
    I earned a 'T,' and I used a combo of my style and the prescribed one. I think that you really do need to follow the outline of what they are looking for to earn a good score, and you also need to add some well thought-out insight to earn an excellent score
     

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