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has anyone found the MCAT easy?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Premed315U, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member
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    Has anyone who has studied a lot for the MCAT found the real exam easy? After practing thousands of questions, when you took the actual test, did you remember previously seeing the same questions?

    If you found the test easy, how long did you end up studying for it?
     
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  3. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    I wouldn't say it was easy, but I did feel prepared for it. I thought the PS section was a lot easier than the Kaplan practice tests I had taken. My advice would be to take as many full-length proctored practice tests as you can. The problem a lot of people have is actually finishing the test. You can get a lot right, but if you don't finish two or three sections, you're screwed. Pacing, pacing, pacing. That's key.

    One thing that I think I saw on nearly every practice exam, as well as my actual one, was a passage on Cystic Fibrosis. They seem to love that topic. This is not to say go and learn everything you can about CF; like everything else on the MCAT, you can answer with the info they give you in the passage.
     
  4. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member
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    Coalboy, how many hours would you say you prepped for the MCAT? How many practice tests did you do? Were your practice test scores similar to your real scores?

    I'm procrastinating about taking a full length. I think I'll start it in 1 hour. yuck
     
  5. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    I studied full-on for a little over two months (June-Aug). I was working full time, so it wasn't like I was studying night and day, but ususally, if I wasn't at work, I was at Kaplan or elsewhere studying. I did 6 full-length practice tests, and my best score was the same as my actual score, which made me happy. It would have sucked to have done better on the practice tests.
     
  6. nochaser

    nochaser Senior Member
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    I thought the MCAT was easy, and bombed big time. I only studied for like 3 1/2 weeks before the Aug. test, and my score shows this. I have much more respect for the rigorousness of this all too important test. I am currently studying for the next MCAT as if it were a class I need to get an A in this semester.
     
  7. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    The MCAT is a very tough exam.
     
  8. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member
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    Like Coalboy, I studied from June-Aug while working full time... so most of my off-work time was spent studying (2-3 hours a day when I worked, maybe 5-6 on my days off... I locked myself in my room or the library and told my friends I'd see 'em on Aug. 19th), or at Kaplan, or taking practice exams (I took 11 exams, Kaplan's plus AAMC III, IV, and V) I didn't really see word-for-word ??s like those I had studied, but there were similar topics tested. I felt fairly prepared, but I put in a lot of time effort. My exam was certainly not a breeze, but I wasn't freaking out too much about the level of difficulty b/c I kind of knew what to expect. The MCAT is not an easy exam for most (unless you are naturally gifted that way), and for the most part, your score reflects how much serious prep you do.
     
  9. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    I thought the April 2001 exam was relatively unchallenging. It was my third go, so maybe I was used to it. You have to realize that the subject matter on all three portions is not really that difficult, it's the time limit that hinders you. If you had 3 hours per section, it'd probably be pretty easy to score a 40. They pretty much ask the same sort of questions in each administration, except for the somewhat pure trivia ones. And since you asked Coal about studying habits, it was easiest for me to take a course as I worked 9-6 days, so a majority of my studying came from the 7-10 o'clock M-Th Princeton review courses and doing passages every spare chance I got. Good luck.

    Andrew
     
  10. irongirl

    irongirl Member
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    Easy? Are you crazy? I managed to get exactly the score I was aiming for, but I studied off and on for an entire year. I went through two review books. I took notes on one of the books and did my best to memorize them. I also wrote down every equation I came across and memorized them. The test itself takes over nine hours and getting about 60% right on one of the science sections will land you in the 80th percentile. I don't think anyone would call it easy, but you can get a good score if you're willing to study really hard.
     
  11. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Well, the studying part is an onus, but I would't say it was exorbitantly difficult to do so - just time consuming. The test itself was is usually fairly straightforward. I know many people who have memorized for this test as irongirl has, but I think gaining a larger perspective on the whys and wherefores of the concepts may be more beneficial during the test.

    Andrew
     
  12. derisivewords

    derisivewords Member
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    I took the August MCAT, and started studying for it in early June. Actually, my "studying" during that month consisted of going to Kaplan classes and occasionally reading over some of the science review sections they give you, usually while drinking beer, then going out to get even more trashed. I was working f/t too, and I didn't really start studying hardcore until July really. And then I only put in a few hours a day. Come August however I was doing practice problems up the wahzoo. Did very well -- I must've sold my soul in a dream and the Devil took that as a deal.

    Actually, it's all about actively engaging with the text. Believe it or not, I found that writing music reviews and yelling at other people on internet forums prepared me quite a bit, as it got me trained in that critical, deductive thinking mode. Reading dense-as-arse philosophy like Wittgenstein's "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus" helps. To this day I don't know wtf he's talking about tho'.
     
  13. derisivewords

    derisivewords Member
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    Oops forgot to answer the q. I didn't find the test terribly difficult at all, really. Could be because I've gone through hellish courses like Fluid Biomechanics and read hellish texts like Wittgenstein "for fun" haha.
     
  14. cheech10

    cheech10 Member
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    I actually thought the test was easy. As a previous poster said, the biggest obstacle is the time limitation. Fortunately, I've always finished tests very quickly, and for each of the science sections I finished with 20 minutes or more to spare. My friends from school are as smart or smarter than I am, but I did better than they did because I was faster. So, I think the MCAT is very strongly skewed to the advantage of those who write tests quickly.
     
  15. I, for one, found the MCAT (considered arguably the hardest exam one can take) to be a bucking freeze!!!

    As always, i'm providing my humble opinion whether it was solicited or not. here it is: nothing can be gained from this question. so although it is technically a question because it solicits information, it is a rather pointless one. pointless questions deserve no answers...mercy is for the weak...the questioner deserves no mercy!! Off with their heads...! Aaaaggghhhhhhh
     
  16. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member
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    Cheech and Caveman, what did you end up getting on the exam? During the MCAT, did you think it was easy and did your score reflect this? Or, while you were taking the test did you think it was hard but then you surprisingly got an amazing score?
     
  17. ok those questions are more practical.

    you can find info on people's mcat scores if you want with the search function. use that search function for any other questions you have about studying for the mcat or whatever before posting because you might not need to wait for posts; there may be a load of info written on that topic weeks or months ago.
    secondly, nobody should be able to tell how they're doing on the mcat. you should be unconscious like T-Mac shooting a fade-away. you can't stay in the zone very long if you keep reminding yourself that you're in the zone. prepare, and your practice tests WILL mirror you actual performance, unless you choke like Penny Hardaway after being traded from the Magic and losing that media hype that kept his game intact.

    PS you already knew that your practices will mirror you actual mcat didn't you...so i'm not sure i've helped you really..but i have entertained, and that's the purpose of this board. if you want real help, use that search function like i done told ya boy.
     
  18. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member
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    Premed - I think that the people who found the exam to be easy were the ones who were prepared for the exam (familiar with format, time restrictions, and types of questions asked.) There is a lot of myth associated with the MCAT. I didn't think the test was a total breeze, it made you think (at least a little bit), but it wasn't so hard that I was pulling my hair out either. I managed to score double digits across the board, and I had a good feeling when I walked out of the exam room that I had gotten a 33+ (based on previous exams I had taken in preparation for the real thing.) When the scores came back 2 months later, I did even better than I had expected. I think that if you are well prepared (studying however much you need to, some only need a little review, others need to set aside some major time, plus taking as many practice tests you need to to feel "ready") you will find the exam to be very managable. :)
    Also, like Andrew said, focus on the "big picture" kind of stuff. I hardly used any equations on the MCAT. I found that on my version of the exam, principles and concepts were more heavily weighed than calculation type ?s.
     
  19. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member
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    For those who did very well by practicing a lot of full length tests, which tests (besides AAMC) did you find most helpful? i.e. did you prefer Kaplan bookstore tests, or the Flowers and Silvers tests, or Kaplan/PR prep class tests? How many full lengths did you end up doing?
     
  20. in case some people are funny (weird not haha) enough to believe i was serious about finding it a 'breeze,' i should make a special note: I was being sarcastic!! <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
     
  21. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member
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    Premed - I took 11 or 12 full lengths (a bit excessive now that I am looking back...) before the real exam (Kaplan and AAMC III, IV, and V, and a few by the Berkeley review.) I found that the AAMC ones were most like the real thing. I didn't use the other two that you mentioned so I can't comment on those, hopefully someone else can fill in their opinions about those.

    And... like Caveman said, do a search about MCAT prep, there have been literally tons of threads on the topic, and I am sure that you can find a ton of useful information that way too.
     
  22. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member
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  23. cheech10

    cheech10 Member
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    Like I said, I think it comes down to speed and time constraints. I only studied by myself (with the Flowers and Silver book at first, but I didn't like it and switched over to the Kaplan review book, which I found much better) over the summer, and I was working in a research lab from 9 to 5, so I didn't have that much time to study. Speed is everything in this test, especially in verbal reasoning. On the other hand, maybe the new 2003 MCAT format won't be so bad as far as time for the verbal section goes. As for scores, I was pleasantly surprised. I was worried for weeks, because it's percentile based and you can't really extrapolate from your feelings after the test to what your score is. I ended up with 40R (V12, 14B, 14P), but up here in Canada, it means a lot less than it does for you guys. Good luck when you write it!
     
  24. cheech10

    cheech10 Member
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    Oh and as for practice tests, I did the full length one in the Kaplan book, and a few half length diagnostics, but I really thing you should do more if possible, especially the AAMC ones. I just couldn't afford to buy any more practice tests.
     
  25. i kinda was poking fun jessica. but purely for entertainment value (showbiz). i know you're more than able to understand my witless sarcasm. :cool: :p :cool: :p :p :cool: :p :cool:
     
  26. VC15

    VC15 MS4
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    I found the verbal on the difficult side but the sciences were easy. I had completed TPR Diagnostics 481-484 plus AAMC IV and V beforehand. Just do lots of practice tests (timed) and you'll get used to it...
     
  27. cheech, how much less could it "mean?" that's ridiculous that it "means" less in the first place. btw, how the Hell do you guys in canada do so well on the mcat???
     
  28. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member
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    Caveman - you wanna take this outside?? ;)

    (being a sarcastic person myself, I can completely understand where you are coming from... )
     
  29. cheech10

    cheech10 Member
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  30. brandonite

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  31. altaskier

    altaskier Altaholics Anonymous 92'
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    Easy??? Try tough!
     
  32. altaskier

    altaskier Altaholics Anonymous 92'
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    Yeh, the people who write it!
     
  33. altaskier, you know--in canada what you just said means that everyone who takes it finds it easy. they define "write" very differently.
    PS. tell your brother Sean in orange county I said hi.
     
  34. BCgirl

    BCgirl Member
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    Caveman,

    That reminds me of a post on TPR a while back. Someone asked why Canadians say stuff like, "I wrote the August MCAT".

    What do you guys think? Is it a Canadian thing? I know that I say that and I'm Canadian.

    Premed -- I agree with what some others have said. I think it all depends on your level of preparation for the MCAT. I wrote :) the August 2001 MCAT. I began reviewing (very lightly) in May. I got a bit more into it in June and then in July and August I basically worked (research 9-5) and studied (a couple hours after work, a couple on Sat, and all day Sunday). I had a week off at the end of July and stayed at my parents' house while they were away. I was all alone so I basically studied 24/7. Then I had the week off before the test. I felt well prepared and confident during and after the exam (I wasn't that confident during verbal though). I think it's all about putting in the time and doing mock exams like test day.

    Good luck!! :)
     
  35. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    To "write" an exam is a British thing, so countries with heavy British roots (e.g. Canada) seem to say that. That's my understanding, anyway. I spent five months in London, so I'm pretty used to it. A while ago, I heard it once in a Barenaked Ladies song ("What a Good Boy" from "Gordon"), and was a bit confused.
     
  36. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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  37. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel
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    Do Canadians also "make" A's? I "get" A's (sometimes) and I notice that in the south people tend to say that they "made" an A...same/diff for Canada?
     
  38. BCgirl

    BCgirl Member
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    CoffeeCat

    I "get" A's. The "make an A" sounds kinda weird to me, but maybe it's just because I don't say it. Maybe that's another difference... my fellow Canadians, do you make or get your grades?
     
  39. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    Oh how very strange. There I was thinking that nobody could possibly discern my Canadianness (Canadianity?) based on my speech patterns, but I've been an open book all along. Because I wrote the MCAT too, dagnabbit. But I got As, rather than made them. Or rather Cs, Ds, and Fs, at least in high school.
     
  40. brandonite

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