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Here's a thought...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dustinspeer, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. dustinspeer

    dustinspeer Who's your daddy?
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    Okay, I am gonna open up a can of worms here. I was thinking to myself last night in my distress over taking the MCAT in the future: What correlation may it have to ACT score? I know there is no direct connection, but I am thinking that those who test well would do well on both, those who don't may require a lot of prep time... Thats my line of thinking, so... What did you guys geton both? Is it roughly equivelant to ACT? And please don't be too mean in the responses that say they have no relation at all. I know this, this is just for fun.
     
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  3. UCMonkey

    UCMonkey Senior Member
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    I'm not sure exactly how the two tests would correlate, if at all, but it seems they should since they both test on subject matter as opposed to a more conceptual test like the SAT. For what it matters, I had a 34 MCAT (10PS, 11VR, 13 BS) and a 31 ACT.
     
  4. none

    none 1K Member
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    I had a 29 ACT, 1370 SAT (770V, 600M), and a 30R MCAT (11V, 10P, 9B). There is definite correlation between the SAT verbal and MCAT verbal. Other than that, I don't know.
     
  5. Dylann FMD

    Dylann FMD Senior Member
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    I have heard before that there is a slight correlation between ACT and MCAT, but mainly it was if you got a 35 ACT, you probably would get a 40+ MCAT, and if you got a 23 ACT, don't expect to get over 30 on the MCAT. For what its worth, I got a 31 ACT and a 39S MCAT.
     
  6. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    I got... 1400 SAT (670V 730M), 28 ACT (I think), 31R MCAT (10V, 12P, 9B) :cool:
     
  7. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I got a 30 ACT, and a 32M MCAT. It looks like there is some correlation here so far.
     
  8. audeo

    audeo Senior Member
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    Jamier,

    you got an M too? M stands out in my MCAT score as well. Getting A's for both the two semesters of college writing resulted in M -_-.
     
  9. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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    nah--i don't buy it. i got a 35 on the ACT but lower than that on the MCAT. c'mon, the MCAT isn't the same type of test! i think that if there's any correlation, it's entirely coincidental. the MCAT more directly tests knowledge--and i know i didn't study enough for it (hardly at all, really--it is a disastrous long story). i came out okay, but i think the points i did get were due to my comfort with taking standardized tests and not my (inadequate) knowledge preparation--i completely believe that a strong background in BOTH basic facts and test-taking is required to do well on the MCAT, but not on the ACT/SAT.

    frankly, if someone only got a 23 on the ACT, a 30 MCAT is extremely optimistic, because while the MCAT does test knowledge, it's still a standardized test. a 23 on the ACT is not too hot, but a 30 on the MCAT is a solid score.

    the bottom line is that the MCAT requires a combination of hard knowledge and strong test-taking skills, while the ACT (or SAT) really just needs good test-taking skills--overall, the knowledge tested on both the ACT and SAT is pretty basic. i can't see how anyone could do extremely well on the MCAT (say, 38+) without a solid foundation of science facts, but this isn't necessary to excel on the ACT/SAT. so, since these are two entirely different tests emphasizing different things, i can't see how there could be a real correlation.
     
  10. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    Seriously! I took three semesters of regular english, and one advanced composition class, only to suffer with an M.

    I don't think that score matters much, if at all, as long as you had a strong performance in the Verbal section. I know for a fact that it didn't affect me, as I was accepted with my lowly M.

    My excuse for the M: Bad handwriting. I know that's what killed my chances. :)
     
  11. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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    SAT Verbal is half vocabulary. I don't think there's too much correlation between it and the MCAT verbal, which is like a speed reading exercise.
     
  12. SeeGulz

    SeeGulz Senior Member
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    I know this is straying off onto a separate topic, but I earned A's in all my english and writing classes and never recieved less than an A on a term paper. I even read the dictionary three times and read grammar books as pleasure reading, including the Harbrace College Handbook. I am now the shamed owner of a "L." :eek:

    Could it be that the wrong score was assigned? I can't imagine writing essays at an "L" level. I know it is the least important test section, but I am very worried that it will overshadow my other scores. Even my advisor asked me if I could fake a foreign accent.
     
  13. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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    The writing section isn't scored based on exactly what is written or how well it's written. Your score is mostly determined by
    whether or not you followed the directions correctly. For example, for a given prompt, I think you have to explain what the prompt means, give an example of where the prompt does not hold true, and then resolve under what conditions the prompt is applicable. If you don't do all 3 of these tasks, I don't care how well your essay is written; it's not going to get a very high score. That said, no one cares about this section. I have had the Dean of Admissions at a large private medical school tell me that they don't even look at it because of the way AMCAS grades it.
     
  14. lilninja

    lilninja Senior Member
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    I don't think that getting a low score necesarily means you are not a good writer. Isn't it true that you mostly just have to address the three tasks? It almost doesn't even help to be skilled at creative writing styles or composition. I mean, it has to flow well, but from the eyes of trained writers, I am sure even some of the highest scoring essays would not be received well.

    I don't think the MCAT verbal section really has much to do with language ability. I agree that it has a lot more to do with speed-reading and information-locating than anything else. When I took the MCAT, I chatted with the guy next to me during the break, and we both admitted to feeling somewhat deficient and weird that even though we considered ourselves to be adept, English-speaking people, we found the verbal section to be quite difficult. Can you imagine the stress for someone who isn't a native speaker?
     
  15. maphilips

    maphilips Member
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    Personally I think there will be a huge discrepancy with anyone who takes both tests because there is at least 4 years between the tests. People change a lot in that span of time. I consider myself a good test taker, but that doesn't show with my ACT 25. Now five years later after studying 2 weeks for the MCAT I got a 32. Still more there is the education you got at your high school vs. college. Different preparations will yield different scores for similar people. Let me know if you think differently. :)
     
  16. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    I think the writing sample scores might be kinda random. I'm a CS major and I almost never have to write essays. But I got an R on the writing sample. Now, if people who have taken lots of writing courses are getting L and M while CS majors are getting R... something has got to be wrong with the grading process. It just doesn't make sense!
     
  17. buglady

    buglady We need more cowbell
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    I agree with csgirl. The writing score is pretty random. My verbal wasn't too hot (I'm retaking the big test in April), yet I received a R on the writing sample. I wish the rest of my scores were in the higher end of scoring range.

    The trick to the writing sample (if anyone cares) is to learn how to be a formulaic-type writer. Follow the directions. Define what the statement says. Describe a situation where the statement isn't true....blah blah blah.

    I knew a guy whose ego was absolutely bruised when he got his practice writing samples back from our teachers at Kaplan. He was offended by the way they graded his essays. I was like, dude, don't worry, the writing sample isn't that big of deal.

    I'm still trying to figure out if the only reason for having the writing section on the MCAT is to show that you can be a non-biased person, follow directions and have a decent knowledge of the English langauge.....?
     
  18. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum
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    Hey, you want to know about how bad the writing sample scoring is? First, look at the distribution graph. This time, there are two humps, with 20% of test-takers getting an M. That is about as sucky a distribution as you can get.
    I am a professional writer/editor with a BS in Biology and English. I keep a roof over my head with my writing abilities. By the way, I had a 710 SAT verbal and a 5 on the AP English exam. Nevertheless, my writing sample scores were N and M, a strange match for the respective 10 and 11 in Verbal.
    Meanwhile, I know a guy who started learning English five years ago, and he got a 5 V and an R in writing. And I edited a secondary for this guy. ARRGH.
    So if you're asking if the writing sample scores are random, my answer is HELL YEAH THEY ARE. They must have Beavis and Butthead grading the damn things. And if the scores differ by more than 2 points, they bring in Peggy Hill to be the final (mike) judge.
     
  19. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I definitely agree with Dtreese. I am 100% sure I followed the "MCAT writing sample formula for success". I did everything like they wanted. Must have been Beavis grading mine, but I always did like Butthead better. ;)
     
  20. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    I wholeheartedly disagree with the 'randomness' of the writing sample. I'm not an English major and the only important English essay I wrote was for my Subject A exam ten years ago. However, I received an R on my first MCAT in 1995, then an S in 1996 and another R this past April, all the while sticking to the formula md2be06 outlined. In addition, I'd make sure to have four or five paragraphs by throwing in some filler at the beginning and end, introducing and closing the essay - and my writing resembles heiroglyphs. If the grading was indeed random, I doubt you'd see this consistency over three tests through 6 years. You can be an outstanding writer, win Pulitzers and what have you, but if you don't follow the prompt explicitly and don't give good examples, then you may not get such a high letter grade.

    Andrew
     

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