workaholic181

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Hi everyone,

I have taken 5 full lengths so far and have 5 more to go (1 kaplan, 1 TPR, and the 3 AAMC ones) plus the section bank still. Out of the five exams I've taken in the following order I've scored

TPR Demo: 502 125/125/125/127
Next Step Free Exam: 510 127/127/128/128
Kaplan FL1: 509 127/128/127/127
TPR FL1: 504 125/127/125/127
Kaplan FL2: 513 129/127/128/129

I was really hoping to score 515+ on the actual MCAT this september and I'm worried about how inconsistent my scores have been. I know the AAMC FL's are the best representation but I wanted to save them for closer to exam day. Should I take one now and see how I do? I'm still about 40 days out from the exam right now though so I think I still have a decent amount of time.

I've finished content review about a month ago for reference and have just been taking two practice exams a week and reviewing them as well as the AAMC question packs and other practice.

If anyone can give input especially on how they were doing on kaplan and princeton examsms and how it translated to the real exam that would be super helpful. I've seen some bad remarks about these two companies so I'm considering scrapping the last two exams from them and using a different company like Altius or EK.
I took my first AAMC FL about a month out and found it hugely beneficial in terms of narrowing my studying. Honestly the third party exams don't do a great job of replicating the real thing. Only AAMC can give you that and I personally feel as though having time to go over all your material again with the idea of how it could look on the real thing is a good thing.

The general consensus is that the third party exams are a little harder than the real thing; most people tend to score worse on them than the AAMC and the real MCAT.

If I were you I would be feeling pretty good where you are as you've scored well on some of them. Honestly you only dipped when you took TPR. This is because all these exams are super different and again, not really indicative of the real thing other than time and general material covered. I'd take an AAMC FL sometime this week, I predict you'll get over 512.
 
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kris400158

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From reading around, a 513 on a Kaplan exam is fantastic. I would suggest (like the above poster) taking an AAMC FL as soon as you could to get a better picture of where you are.
 
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I took my first AAMC FL about a month out and found it hugely beneficial in terms of narrowing my studying. Honestly the third party exams don't do a great job of replicating the real thing. Only AAMC can give you that and I personally feel as though having time to go over all your material again with the idea of how it could look on the real thing is a good thing.

The general consensus is that the third party exams are a little harder than the real thing; most people tend to score worse on them than the AAMC and the real MCAT.

If I were you I would be feeling pretty good where you are as you've scored well on some of them. Honestly you only dipped when you took TPR. This is because all these exams are super different and again, not really indicative of the real thing other than time and general material covered. I'd take an AAMC FL sometime this week, I predict you'll get over 512.
I think you're right on target and ready to take an AAMC practice exam. Then review it to see what content you should be reviewing this last month before you sit for the MCAT.
Good luck!!
 
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freedoctor17

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I took my first AAMC FL about a month out and found it hugely beneficial in terms of narrowing my studying. Honestly the third party exams don't do a great job of replicating the real thing. Only AAMC can give you that and I personally feel as though having time to go over all your material again with the idea of how it could look on the real thing is a good thing.

The general consensus is that the third party exams are a little harder than the real thing; most people tend to score worse on them than the AAMC and the real MCAT.

If I were you I would be feeling pretty good where you are as you've scored well on some of them. Honestly you only dipped when you took TPR. This is because all these exams are super different and again, not really indicative of the real thing other than time and general material covered. I'd take an AAMC FL sometime this week, I predict you'll get over 512.
Alright thanks for the advice! I was a bit worried because TPR ones were really difficult for me. I feel like they're longer and trickier than the other companies I've used and I was guessing way too often for my comfort. I'll probably take AAMC FL1 this Saturday then and go from there. I did find it weird that most people recommended saving them till right before the exam since it seems like that would not leave you any time to review.

From reading around, a 513 on a Kaplan exam is fantastic. I would suggest (like the above poster) taking an AAMC FL as soon as you could to get a better picture of where you are.
That's great to hear! Boosts my confidence a bit :) I was getting wrecked by princeton and I've seen people saying if you do well on those the real one won't be nearly as bad but didn't see as much on kaplan. I'll take AAMC and focus my reviewing from there.

I think you're right on target and ready to take an AAMC practice exam. Then review it to see what content you should be reviewing this last month before you sit for the MCAT.
Good luck!!
Thanks!
 

foucault

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So I just finished my AAMC FL1 and scored a 519 on it. Considering my other practice exam scores I'm worried that I'm getting my hopes up too high. Plus from what I've heard the real thing is much harder... How have y'all done on the real thing compared to the AAMC FL's? Were they actually representative?

My individual scores were 131/128/130/130 (CARS was a bit surprising as I expected to do better in that section than B/B).

Either way I'll be reviewing it thoroughly this week and working on my mistakes but I'm getting kinda confused on how confident I should be in these scores as I took all these exams within 3 weeks and have ranged from 502-519
I think you're on a really good path to 515+. Take the FL2 a week or two out, and if you average the two scores, that will be a good approximation for the baseline score you're expected to get.

AAMC FL2 is a bit harder IMO than FL1.

n=1 but I got a similar score to your AAMC FL1, a few points lower on FL2. on the real thing, I ended up getting +2 points better than my AAMC average, with a better-than-expected BB ha :)

good luck!
 
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foucault

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If you can, try to also hit the Section Banks and other AAMC materials (official guide, sample test, index cards) in this last month and watch all of the Khan Academy P/S videos on 1.5x speed if you have time
 
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freedoctor17

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If you can, try to also hit the Section Banks and other AAMC materials (official guide, sample test, index cards) in this last month and watch all of the Khan Academy P/S videos on 1.5x speed if you have time
Awesome thanks! I have already done the official guide and am planning on doing the section bank a week before AAMC FL2 and the sample test week out from my exam (don't wanna worry about actual scores that week to mess with my head). I have the index cards but haven't touched them yet but hopefully will get through them before the exam. I spend lots of time in a research lab during the week so may not have time for Khan though I could watch some videos between reactions. I have watched a lot of their psych and soci ones already so will try to watch more in my free time.
 
M

Marcos95

I'm pretty sure you are in a good place. The full lengths are very indicative and it seems like you don't have much content gap you need to patch up. Just continue to practice CARS!
 
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freedoctor17

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I'm pretty sure you are in a good place. The full lengths are very indicative and it seems like you don't have much content gap you need to patch up. Just continue to practice CARS!
Any suggestions for more CARS practice? I've done the question packs already and I don't really like the Khan CARS, of the couple I've done they didn't seem similar enough to AAMC style.
 
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@freedoctor17

Outside of AAMC material, I feel like TPR CARS workbook and in-class compendium come closest to the question packs. I didn't like the inference needed from Examkrackers - their line of reasoning for CARS may very well end up hurting you on the real thing for taking inferences too far.
 
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freedoctor17

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How is CARS on AAMC FL 2 for most people? I just finished that practice exam and I suddenly get a 132 on CARS which is normally my lowest section. Though I guess it switched with Psych which decreased to a 128 though I ran into a lot of new terms on this one so will have to review those.
 

Zenabi90

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Before you use more resources, what is your process for CARS practice?
 

freedoctor17

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Before you use more resources, what is your process for CARS practice?
So far it's been just doing timed practice passages during content review then after I finished content review just the cars section of the practice exams under testing conditions. I review all of them pretty thoroughly as well.
 

Zenabi90

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So far it's been just doing timed practice passages during content review then after I finished content review just the cars section of the practice exams under testing conditions. I review all of them pretty thoroughly as well.
Have you noticed any trends in the questions you have a hard time with or get wrong?
 
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freedoctor17

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Have you noticed any trends in the questions you have a hard time with or get wrong?
I'll have to go back and take a look at the types of questions from AAMC FL 1 but from what I can remember it was a mix of types. A few detail ones where I might quickly scan through and only get part of the answer, or a inference one where I can't really fully understand their logic... once I finish reviewing this one I'll look back and compare though, thanks for the idea! Didn't think of doing that.
 

Zenabi90

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I'll have to go back and take a look at the types of questions from AAMC FL 1 but from what I can remember it was a mix of types. A few detail ones where I might quickly scan through and only get part of the answer, or a inference one where I can't really fully understand their logic... once I finish reviewing this one I'll look back and compare though, thanks for the idea! Didn't think of doing that.
You're welcome. That's often the missed step in item analysis when one goes back over their previous FLs and passages. We always try to figure out why the answer is correct and the other choices are wrong, but we seldom try to actually think why WE got it right or wrong.

The day after an FL, I will go through the questions and try to grade it between 1 (very easy) to 5 (very hard) in difficulty, and also take note of which ones I had to guess on, whether it was 50/50 guess, 1:3, complete guess, etc. After, I will go through each answer choice, figure out why it was right/wrong, how could I modify the question to make the answer choice right/wrong, and also what kind of question it was.

Then I have a running spreadsheet for each catagory (CP/CARS/BB/PS) of all my mistakes. Headings for 1. Topic/Concept, 2. Difficulty level, 3. Did I guess?, 4. Question type with depth of reasoning (surface, medium, deep), 5. Reason for incorrect answer (content error, didn't read Q/A properly, ran out of time/rushed, etc).

More often than not, you will find a trend or a few trends that will help you fix it. Content error is the simplest to correct, running out of time/rushing can be corrected by better time management, etc. It's a lot of time, but it can help elucidate things that aren't immediately clear to you.
 

Zenabi90

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General consensus is sample exam is easier than either FL 1 or FL 2.

Going off of a reddit calculator, you're looking at a 129/128/128/130 estimated for an overall 517.

I'd say what you've learned is not to take your MCAT on less than 7 hours of sleep.
 

freedoctor17

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General consensus is sample exam is easier than either FL 1 or FL 2.

Going off of a reddit calculator, you're looking at a 129/128/128/130 estimated for an overall 517.

I'd say what you've learned is not to take your MCAT on less than 7 hours of sleep.
Oh wow I thought it was a lot worse than that, felt like I scored more of a 511~512 range compared to exam 1 and 2. Normally I wouldn't have but my family got home from a long vacation yesterday night and I really didn't wanna push back my schedule since my exam is in a week!

Thanks for all the help, I can't wait for this to be over haha
 
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freedoctor17

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Any last minute advice with 4 days left till exam time?!
 
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Zenabi90

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Any last minute advice with 4 days left till exam time?!
Eat properly, exercise lightly, sleep properly, relax, drive the route to the test center a couple of times. I'm taking on Saturday in the LA area. Best of luck to us.
 
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freedoctor17

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Eat properly, exercise lightly, sleep properly, relax, drive the route to the test center a couple of times. I'm taking on Saturday in the LA area. Best of luck to us.
Nice, Good Luck! You doing much studying these last couple days? I've finished all my practice exams so I've just been reviewing my notes on the mistakes I've made so far and I have this Kaplan Quicksheets thing with short content summaries.
 

Zenabi90

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Nice, Good Luck! You doing much studying these last couple days? I've finished all my practice exams so I've just been reviewing my notes on the mistakes I've made so far and I have this Kaplan Quicksheets thing with short content summaries.
Nothing heavy. Focusing on mental recovery right now. Going through my error logs, and doing my amino acid/physics formula review. Also the AAMC flashcards. The plan is that by mechanically writing out my amino acid table and physics formula sheet every day, I can just dump them out on the scratch paper during the tutorial time period so I don't have to worry about recall later. Someone posted that you can use the tutorial period to write out the physics formulas on scratch paper.
 

freedoctor17

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I have the Amino Acids ingrained in my head after my biochem class lol. Physics is a different story but of all three AAMC exams I never found myself needing an actual complex formula. Always something simple like the formula for power, or an optics equation, or just something that can be figured out with units.

That sounds like a good idea to be safe though, I'm gonna pick out like 10ish major formulas and do something similar.
 

freedoctor17

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Also I'm a little confused on how this works. Even though we'll be testing in different parts of the country are our exams the same? Like will everyone who tests this saturday have the same exam? I don't get how else they'd be able to evaluate the exams otherwise.
 

Zenabi90

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Also I'm a little confused on how this works. Even though we'll be testing in different parts of the country are our exams the same? Like will everyone who tests this saturday have the same exam? I don't get how else they'd be able to evaluate the exams otherwise.
I don't get paid enough to worry about that haha. It's one of those things I can't control, so why bother stressing over it.

If you're really interested, AAMC has it posted on their official website, and there's a chapter in their Official Guide. It's basically like the SAT/ACT from high school. Everything is "equated" meaning they calculate how you did vs your exam's estimated difficulty and then each section is assigned a score from 118-132 based on their super secret math process. I guess. That's just what the Official Guide says anyway.
 

freedoctor17

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That's good enough for me for now haha, I'll figure it out after the exam to keep me busy while freaking out waiting for scores XD I just keep looking for ways to procrastinate now that it's so close.
 

Zenabi90

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That's good enough for me for now haha, I'll figure it out after the exam to keep me busy while freaking out waiting for scores XD I just keep looking for ways to procrastinate now that it's so close.
No kidding. These last few days are the hardest. I figure I'm just gonna spend Friday on mental and physical well being. Work up a good sweat, eat some comfort food, and marathon The Office or Parks and Rec. Just like training for a marathon, nothing but warm-ups these last few days.
 
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Could I ask, how did you end up doing on the exam, especially in comparison to the sample exams? Was it what you were expecting, or quite different?

I am hoping to save the actual exams for closer to my exam date, but I have such varied scores in Kaplan that I don't even know where I stand.
 

Zenabi90

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Could I ask, how did you end up doing on the exam, especially in comparison to the sample exams? Was it what you were expecting, or quite different?

I am hoping to save the actual exams for closer to my exam date, but I have such varied scores in Kaplan that I don't even know where I stand.

Is this directed towards me?
 
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