bioislife

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Hello,

Honestly, if you started freaking out and you knew that it wasn't happening with CARS, then I think you made the right decision to void. It's one of the toughest decisions to make and I can understand your pain because I've been there before.

Before I give advice, how were your practice scores looking like leading up to this exam?
 

Zenabi90

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Jul 14, 2017
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I think you need to take a step back.

You've posted so many threads and it's clear you're simply not in the right mindset for the MCAT or the applications process.

You're in a bad place mentally. A 10min power outage should not have derailed you that badly. Your decision to not only "half-ass" the CARS section but the rest of the remaining exam shows a lot about your current attitude and lack of perseverance.

Medicine might not be for you. You need to detox. Log off of SDN (literally log off), take a step back from medicine related things. Put all your MCAT materials in a cardboard box, throw the box in a corner of your closet, and do something else for the rest of the year. Get a job, any job, not medically related at all. Get a new hobby, enjoy a social life. Get some life experience and perspective.

Then on the first Sunday of the new year, Jan 7, take out that cardboard box, blow the dust off, look at it, and ask yourself if you're ready for the hardships of MCAT prep, taking the MCAT, applications, secondaries, interviews, 4 hard years of school, several years of residency, possibly years of fellowship, and a lifetime of continuing medical education and patients who will either love you, ignore you, or sue you.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Oct 20, 2014
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I think you need to take a step back.

You've posted so many threads and it's clear you're simply not in the right mindset for the MCAT or the applications process.

You're in a bad place mentally. A 10min power outage should not have derailed you that badly. Your decision to not only "half-ass" the CARS section but the rest of the remaining exam shows a lot about your current attitude and lack of perseverance.

Medicine might not be for you. You need to detox. Log off of SDN (literally log off), take a step back from medicine related things. Put all your MCAT materials in a cardboard box, throw the box in a corner of your closet, and do something else for the rest of the year. Get a job, any job, not medically related at all. Get a new hobby, enjoy a social life. Get some life experience and perspective.

Then on the first Sunday of the new year, Jan 7, take out that cardboard box, blow the dust off, look at it, and ask yourself if you're ready for the hardships of MCAT prep, taking the MCAT, applications, secondaries, interviews, 4 hard years of school, several years of residency, possibly years of fellowship, and a lifetime of continuing medical education and patients who will either love you, ignore you, or sue you.
yeah you're right. I've decided to give up on long term goals for now. I will try again in the future, but probably not as soon as January. I'll probably forget most of what I've learned, but whatever. I don't feel like trying to maintain what I know until the next test date in January. I'm too burned out.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Oct 20, 2014
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Hello,

Honestly, if you started freaking out and you knew that it wasn't happening with CARS, then I think you made the right decision to void. It's one of the toughest decisions to make and I can understand your pain because I've been there before.

Before I give advice, how were your practice scores looking like leading up to this exam?
.
 
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theonlytycrane

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Mar 23, 2014
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sorry to hear ^ I know you've studied hard.

Go hard and re-take asap or give it a break. You really have to go into the test with the mindset of not voiding/re-taking. Any hint of that will make giving up an option.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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sorry to hear ^ I know you've studied hard.

Go hard and re-take asap or give it a break. You really have to go into the test with the mindset of not voiding/re-taking. Any hint of that will make giving up an option.
Yeah, I totally agree. As soon as I let it get into my head that I was going to void, it just made me completely give up. After a passage or two of doing this, I kind of wanted to not give up again, but then threw in the towel anyway after I realized I probably wouldn't have time to fix errors.

So as people have advised, I think it's best I take a little time off. I could retake in January, but I don't know how I'd keep practicing, seeing as I don't have any practice material left. It might be best for me to take time off, and then start again at some future point in time. Hopefully I don't forget alot. I guess I can just skim through everything for content review again at that point?


I've also been itching to read some books for pleasure, so I think I'm going to do that in my time off. I'd rather my brain not become a potato, so the least I could do is try and implement some active reading strategies while I am reading to help me with CARS. Maybe I can improve my critical reading skills and prevent some of the anxiety I have in this section. I've learned to kind of like philosophy stuff. Even though it can be difficult to understand, it's interesting to read about people's views on reality/religion.

Do you have any active reading strategies or book recommendations that you think could be helpful for me?
 

Zenabi90

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Jul 14, 2017
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yeah you're right. I've decided to give up on long term goals for now. I will try again in the future, but probably not as soon as January. I'll probably forget most of what I've learned, but whatever. I don't feel like trying to maintain what I know until the next test date in January. I'm too burned out.
You'd be surprised at how much is retained. I'm 5 years removed from undergrad and I managed to retain most of the general concepts from the science portions, all that's left is the nitty gritty details.

I do have to learn Psych/Soc from scratch because that wasn't a requirement back in 2012.

Verbal strategies haven't changed since 2012 so I didn't need much there, just adjusting to the new timing.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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You'd be surprised at how much is retained. I'm 5 years removed from undergrad and I managed to retain most of the general concepts from the science portions, all that's left is the nitty gritty details.

I do have to learn Psych/Soc from scratch because that wasn't a requirement back in 2012.

Verbal strategies haven't changed since 2012 so I didn't need much there, just adjusting to the new timing.
Aren't you a medical student?
 

Zenabi90

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Oh cool. Well good luck. You've been very helpful on this forum
I try. I figure we're all in this together, and while we compete for spots, no one will understand the struggles we go through except for ourselves.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Acetyl... what's going on? Haven't been following your posts. Are you taking the test soon or nah?
I took it on Saturday, and the power went out during CARS. Then I voided the exam
 

Ad2b

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I took it on Saturday, and the power went out during CARS. Then I voided the exam
I was thinking about you and wondering how it went. From watching your posts, I saw the anxiety amping up; it felt to me like you were getting lost in the chloroplasts of the trees vs. seeing how the chloroplasts affected the overall forest. The reasoning behind the answers in SBs, etc seemed to be around *that* specific question, not the overall concept.

Last year about this time, I voided my exam. That kick to the gut, the feeling of failure, the utter feeling of defeat... sucks. At least it did for me.

As people above me suggested, I left SDN/reddit/blog and went enjoyed life. Put all my MCAT books, materials notes, note cards, flashcards, post-it notes, school books/notes/binders away in a closet in a plastic tub (or 2). Put it all away where I couldn't see it.

And I think I cried... kind of wondering if that void, last year, was the end; the sign to stop. For a few months, I kind of thought so. Well, actually, for a few days I thought so. Who in their right mind wants to go through that, again?!

As the dust settled, however, and I got a great contract through the end of the year, within a few days of that, I heard that whisper again, "Med school." Pushing it back to the corners of my mind because the voice wasn't really loud, I went to hockey games, movies, read books, watched TV, caught up with friends and lived my life. About 3 months after that void, I took a tub out. Looked at it, carefully put it back, and lived. About a month after that, I took it out for good.

A void does not mean failure. A void does not mean defeat. It might and it could but it doesn't have to unless YOU say it does. So don't let it.

Let the void settle. But, I'd ask you to do this: write down all the thoughts about how you felt, what you thought were your weaknesses AND your strengths. Then put that away with all of the books/notes, etc. And walk away. Give yourself until Feb or so, even set a calendar appointment on your iPhone or smartphone or what have you for a "pick a date" in Feb. On that date, the appt should read, "Ready or nah?" If it still feels like nah, then you know. If you feel wishy-washy, then it's NO. If the answer is "oh hell yah" then, go.

I'm really sorry to hear it went like it did on Saturday. And I hope that whatever decision you make long term is based on that time, not today or tomorrow or next week.

My best to you, Acetyl!
 
Sep 13, 2017
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Dear Acetyl, I too took the MCAT on September 9th in Baltimore and experienced the power outage as well, in addition to an earlier technical difficulty with the center being unable to reboot my initial exam. I have taken steps to report the incident to the AAMC; the excess distraction of the proctor attempting to sort out the issue combined with the heightened anxiety of students taking the exam compromised the integrity of the exam per AAMC guidelines and was not in line with standard procedures. There is a form you can complete to report the incident to the AAMC and there may be a possibility for recourse of some sort. If you google "MCAT TEST CENTER CONCERN FORM" you can complete it and upload it to your MCAT registration page (there is also a link for form on page 25 of the "The MCAT® Essentials for Testing Year 2017"). All forms need to be submitted no later than 5 calendar days from the date of the exam (which would be Thursday 9/14/17), at the very least I would contact the AAMC so that you will have some sort of documentation to lend your advisers and schools you will be applying.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Oct 20, 2014
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I was thinking about you and wondering how it went. From watching your posts, I saw the anxiety amping up; it felt to me like you were getting lost in the chloroplasts of the trees vs. seeing how the chloroplasts affected the overall forest. The reasoning behind the answers in SBs, etc seemed to be around *that* specific question, not the overall concept.

Last year about this time, I voided my exam. That kick to the gut, the feeling of failure, the utter feeling of defeat... sucks. At least it did for me.

As people above me suggested, I left SDN/reddit/blog and went enjoyed life. Put all my MCAT books, materials notes, note cards, flashcards, post-it notes, school books/notes/binders away in a closet in a plastic tub (or 2). Put it all away where I couldn't see it.

And I think I cried... kind of wondering if that void, last year, was the end; the sign to stop. For a few months, I kind of thought so. Well, actually, for a few days I thought so. Who in their right mind wants to go through that, again?!

As the dust settled, however, and I got a great contract through the end of the year, within a few days of that, I heard that whisper again, "Med school." Pushing it back to the corners of my mind because the voice wasn't really loud, I went to hockey games, movies, read books, watched TV, caught up with friends and lived my life. About 3 months after that void, I took a tub out. Looked at it, carefully put it back, and lived. About a month after that, I took it out for good.

A void does not mean failure. A void does not mean defeat. It might and it could but it doesn't have to unless YOU say it does. So don't let it.

Let the void settle. But, I'd ask you to do this: write down all the thoughts about how you felt, what you thought were your weaknesses AND your strengths. Then put that away with all of the books/notes, etc. And walk away. Give yourself until Feb or so, even set a calendar appointment on your iPhone or smartphone or what have you for a "pick a date" in Feb. On that date, the appt should read, "Ready or nah?" If it still feels like nah, then you know. If you feel wishy-washy, then it's NO. If the answer is "oh hell yah" then, go.

I'm really sorry to hear it went like it did on Saturday. And I hope that whatever decision you make long term is based on that time, not today or tomorrow or next week.

My best to you, Acetyl!

wow, thanks for the post.

"I was thinking about you and wondering how it went. From watching your posts, I saw the anxiety amping up; it felt to me like you were getting lost in the chloroplasts of the trees vs. seeing how the chloroplasts affected the overall forest. The reasoning behind the answers in SBs, etc seemed to be around *that* specific question, not the overall concept."

You're saying, based on my posts here on SDN, I was being too overly meticulous with this? I've always been like this for some reason. Especially when I was younger, people in my classes would get mad at me for asking too many questions about things. I guess I never did ask great questions; they were usually about minute details. That's why I stopped asking questions in high school and college. I suppose I went back to this behavior with SDN since this was online, and I couldn't see people getting angry at me asking too many questions.

I felt that asking about small details would allow me to get into the material as extensively as possible so that I could maximize my benefit and learn. I'll have to see if I can try a more general approach next time. It'll be hard since my prior behavior seems to be ingrained in me.
 

Ad2b

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with SDN since this was online, and I couldn't see people getting angry at me asking too many questions.

Not angry, Acetyl, not at all. And asking questions is never wrong. ALWAYS ask!!

It was more that I sensed you were getting into the chloroplasts of the trees vs. seeing the forest and understanding that the chloroplasts help build the forest.

The MCAT is about big picture for the most part and the ability to reason out and think; at least to me.
 
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Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
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Not angry, Acetyl, not at all. And asking questions is never wrong. ALWAYS ask!
Absolutely always ask (after you use the search function a few times). You might not be the only one with that question, the others are just too afraid to ask. Or never thought to ask.

But the point is big picture vs small details. There's no questions small details are important. There are several questions on the MCAT that you simply can't answer without details like the pka of amino acid side chains, or the isopropyl group pattern on H1 NMR. Those are very nitty gritty details.

However! You can master the small details, but its the big picture stuff like integration, critical thinking, and lateral thought processes that will determine success on the MCAT. That's why they provide passages and multiple questions, instead of a purely discrete-type exam.

You got caught up aiming for perfection in the details when in reality, looking at the grand scheme of things, looking at the bigger picture, you just need to output the best effort you can put out in that moment with whatever circumstances are given you.
 
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