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Help, do i have time?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by cheesypoofs, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. cheesypoofs

    cheesypoofs Member
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    hello all, yes i am supposed to take the MCAT next Saturday and this summer I haven't had near as much time to prepare. I am trying to finish a Master's degree and to do so I had to do full-time research. Don't get me wrong I have studied, about half way done with 900 page review book. But I am able to have all of next week off to study, do you think its possible? I made a 23 on the test before, but i didn't have a pre-med background so now I have a year of hardcore graduate science underneath my belt. It seems like when I do practice passages i feel even when i don't know the answer it is easier to decipher, than before. Anyhow, i'm 27 so i really want to apply for 2003, not taking the test next week isn't an option. Please any advice? Thanks so much
     
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  3. Focus

    Focus crazy!!
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    Hi Cheesypoofs,

    It depends on how well and fast you can learn the material. I took the MCAT for the first time last April and received a 28. I then went off to a summer medical program and came back with three weeks to study for the August MCAT. I studied over 12 hours a day. I ended up scoring 41O.

    I would say it's not impossible to do well in a short period of time, but it's VERY difficult. Dedication and hardwork is key.

    I strongly believe that if you have a good grasp of the material and can dedicate such an amount of time over the next week, it's possible to get at least a 28.

    My advice is, take a AAMC test now (V or VI), and try to gauge your ability, see where you're at. If you can score about a 25, I think you should dedicate the next week or so doing nothing but studying. If verbal is a downside for you, make sure you do a passage every day until test time.

    Remember that learning the material in the book and understanding the science is only half the battle, the MCAT is also an analytical test and you have to put your science ability to use, so make sure you do problems as well.

    Before you take the test next Saturday, take another AAMC practice, again see how well you do. If you feel that you have a good shot of getting the average of 28, then you're in good shape. IF you have the money to spare, take the exam on Saturday, you never know. Maybe all the science topics they ask are your favorite and strongest topics.

    Should you not feel well about your performance, void your exam. If you're in between, I'd say hold on to the score and submit your application to schools you feel would favor you even if you did bad.

    Aferall, I had a friend who was admitted last year to three medical schools with a 21 MCAT (but she was also Puerto Rican).

    Good luck on whatever you decide to do.

    - Focus

    P.S. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
     
  4. cheesypoofs

    cheesypoofs Member
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    I appreciat your advice, did you say made a 41 on the MCAT? that is awesome. I really want to come up about 4 points to a 27, more would be great but 27 is good for my state school. Know any low tier private schools that might look at dedication and sacrifices and a 3.6 neuroscience graduate GPA more than just the MCAT?
     
  5. Focus

    Focus crazy!!
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    Hi Cheesypoof,

    I don't know too many, but I do know that Medical College of Wisconsin (one of the schools that my friend got into) and the University of Southern California really tries to look at more than just scores. Especially USC, they really try to read your essays and life experiences. I'm sure there are many more, try posting your question in the Pre-Allopathic forum, you will get more responses regarding this issue there.

    - Focus
     
  6. Mike59

    Mike59 Sweatshop FP in Ontario
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    Focus,

    Congrats on your MCAT score! Were you scoring in the 30's on your practice tests the week going into the exam?? I've seen a significant improvement in my score over the last couple of weeks (from 27 up to a 32), but am wondering how much more one can pull it up within the next week?
     
  7. Focus

    Focus crazy!!
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    Hi Mike59,

    I was scoring 34-38 on AAMCs and princeton Diags.

    What did it was the science topics that were on my test form - they were on subjects that I was very strong in. A little bit of luck along with a lot of studying helped me get my score.

    - Focus
     
  8. lady bug

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    Focus, are you an avid reader? I've noticed that the people who are getting the highest mcat scores read a lot. What did you do differently the second time around?
     
  9. Focus

    Focus crazy!!
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    Hi Lady Bug,

    I'm far from an avid reader. In fact, I don't think I've read an entire book since high school (even then I used cliff notes and watched the video of the required reading). What did it for me the second time (i went from 8 to 12V) was that I did two FULL verbal sections a day for two weeks straight. The first week started out slow, but as I read more and more, I came to develop better reading skills and a feel for those type of passages. At the end, I was able to quickly read and understand most of the passages.

    Another important thing was vocabulary. My vocb was horrible and sometimes misunderstanding a couple of words in a passage (or sometimes even 1!) can mess up your entire understanding. So what I did was, after I finished a full length verbal testing, I went through the passages and looked for words that I didn't understand and popped it into dictionary.com, then I made a word document containing those words w/ the definition. I reviewed these words before full length test practices. So my vocabulary built up REALLY fast since I was encountering so many complex, but common words. Below's an example:

    paradigm - model
    genre - painting realistictly
    viligance - being alert
    aesthetic - beauty
    equivocal - uncertain
    idealist - influenced by ideas that is inconflict w/ practical considerations
    overtone - implicit
    nihilism - extreme skepticism that denies all existence
    philanthropy - going for the good of mankind
    ecclesiastical - relating to church
    propriety - being proper
    chastity - Virginity, celibacy
    assimilate - to incorporate
    furor - uproar
    pacifist - belief that disputes can be settled peacefully
    credulous - gullible
    adamant - stubbornly unyielding
    impiety - undutifulness
    impious - lacking respect
    pious - religious, dutiful
    inevitably - impossible to avoid
    allegory - description of one thing under the impression of another


    Let me know if you have any other questions, you may find some of the words to be really common among verbal passages.

    - Focus
     
  10. Mimicat

    Mimicat Senior Member
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    Hey cheesypoofs,

    I feel your agony. I took the MCAT under similar circumstances (no science background at all) in 2000 and got a similar score to yours. Since then I have taken a bunch of undergrad science courses, and am taking the MCAT in what... less than 10 days!!!:eek:

    I have NOT had the time to study/review this summer that I had hoped. Three preschool kids, summer company coming and going, and major house renovations have gotten in the way. I am usually very disciplined, but just couldn't eek out the time I needed. I too am anxious to get the ball rolling - I am much older than you (36 :oops: ) so I will take the exam regardless. I have booked my kids into daycare full-time for the next week so that I can cram in a big way!!!!

    ....now.... if I could just stay off the internet....
     
  11. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member
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    Cheesy,
    Haven't you taken the MCAT like 6 times already? I understand that you don't want to delay, but grinding out yet another 23 on the MCAT's not going to do you any good. Take a full length practice test under timed conditions this weekend and see how you do. If you don't get a 25 or over, I would wait until April to take the test.

    You know, it seems like the MCAT is a MAJOR hurdle for you. I don't understand why you haven't made preparing for it a top priority?!
     
  12. cheesypoofs

    cheesypoofs Member
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    To mimicat, thanks for your empathy, it seems no one on this board can get over the fact i took the mcat 6 times. It really isn't that big of a deal, the dean of admissions at my local state school, said most adcoms don't look at number but the most recent, and he also told me it shows alot of determination. I'm not saying be 27 years old is old by anymeans but I would like to start seeing the end of the tunnel as far as educational goals are concerned. I am impressed with your efforts.

    To racergirl, thanks for your advice, too. Honestly, the first four times I was not prepared, and I did make it my top priority but when the background knowledge isn't there, there is not much one can do, memorizing is fine, but there has to be a strong foundation. so, why four times for me to figure this out, well, i was young and in pre-law originally and with very little studying I made A's and was deemed very intelligent by my professors, I was cocky and thought like everything else in my life a good MCAT score would just fall pretty easily into my lap. Why it took four times to realize this i think i just thought maybe this would be the time. But honestly, this is the first time after 21 hours of hard-core graduate courses i feel like i know my sciences. And it seems if i don't know the answer on practice passage questions that it is not too bad to try to reason out the right answer about 80% of the time. Does this make sense. Also, not one dean at any medical school that I have talked to has ever said anything negative about the amount of times i've taken the mcat. Its not like I am some dummy who is aspiring for unreachable dreams, i am very intelligent and capable.
     
  13. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member
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    I'm sure you are. Good luck!
     
  14. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    I have to agree with racergirl, your first post stated that you have not been able to prepare as much as you think you should, so why are you taking it in August? if you have already sat for it 6 times you really need to kick [email protected]@ on this one. I was under the impression that different med schools look at multiple sittings differently. Some average all the scores, some look at the most recent, etc. Why take it if you *know* that you have not prepared as much as you should? I am sorry but taking the MCAT six times is not the norm for most matriculants, not saying that you will not get in, but with your record you need to make this time count. Also being intelligent is great and very helpful, but you also need to spend time studying for this beast. Good luck!
     

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