Hope for those trying to get past an MCAT score in the teens or low 20's

gettheleadout

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This. I wonder how many times its offered a year???
Probably a good number simply because not all schools/students take it around the same time of year.


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YouNeverKnow22

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Not if you fail! You can take it three times to attempt to pass. If you pass, you can't retake.


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ehh if you fail the step 1 you're pretty much doomed, retaking really won't help (like the MCAT), especially if you want a competitive specialty.
 

gettheleadout

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ehh if you fail the step 1 you're pretty much doomed, retaking really won't help (like the MCAT), especially if you want a competitive specialty.
That's not at all true. Yeah, you're probably not going to score highly enough your second or third try that you'd be competitive enough for a competitive specialty anyway, but it's not like you're not going to match if it takes you more than once.


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YouNeverKnow22

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That's not at all true. Yeah, you're probably not going to score highly enough your second or third try that you'd be competitive enough for a competitive specialty anyway, but it's not like you're not going to match if it takes you more than once.


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What do you mean that's not at all true? If you fail the step 1 at a US med school, you're screwed, yeah you'll match "maybe" depending on how low your score was and other credentials (LORs, Research) and you're looking at very few options for residency.
 

gettheleadout

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What do you mean that's not at all true? If you fail the step 1 at a US med school, you're screwed, yeah you'll match "maybe" depending on how low your score was and other credentials (LORs, Research) and you're looking at very few options for residency.
I mean I think you're confusing failing with never passing. If you fail all three tries then yeah, you're screwed because you can't legally ever be licensed, but a good number of people fail the first time, pass the next as these people still get residencies.


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Drrrrrr. Celty

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What do you mean that's not at all true? If you fail the step 1 at a US med school, you're screwed, yeah you'll match "maybe" depending on how low your score was and other credentials (LORs, Research) and you're looking at very few options for residency.
This is half true. If you fail you're pretty locked out of competitive specialties. However most specialties aren't competitive and most people don't have a good shot at them to begin with.
 

YouNeverKnow22

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I mean I think you're confusing failing with never passing. If you fail all three tries then yeah, you're screwed because you can't legally ever be licensed, but a good number of people fail the first time, pass the next as these people still get residencies.


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Nah I understand, my point is failing the step 1 will severely doom you for residency. Yes you can retake but that doesn't change the fact that you'll probably only be restricted to a few specialties. And a good number don't fail the first time, at least at US med schools, maybe 3-4 in every class. I think we can agree that doing being on the MCAT or Step 1 is not good :laugh:
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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Nah I understand, my point is failing the step 1 will severely doom you for residency. Yes you can retake but that doesn't change the fact that you'll probably only be restricted to a few specialties. And a good number don't fail the first time, at least at US med schools, maybe 3-4 in every class. I think we can agree that doing being on the MCAT or Step 1 is not good :laugh:
It just more or less locks you out of Ro_ds. Everything from Anes to Neuro to Psych to maybe even Gen surgery is still potentially possible.
 

gettheleadout

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Nah I understand, my point is failing the step 1 will severely doom you for residency. Yes you can retake but that doesn't change the fact that you'll probably only be restricted to a few specialties. And a good number don't fail the first time, at least at US med schools, maybe 3-4 in every class. I think we can agree that doing being on the MCAT or Step 1 is not good :laugh:
Well my point about the specialities is its now likely first time failures simply won't hit a score that would ever be competitive for competitive fields anyway, so those fields' views on failing are irrelevant. In any case, 3-4 in every class times 130 med schools? That's a good number. If you mean 3-4 in the country in each class that's WAY off. I know for a fact that a "good number" of people failed last year at my state school.


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YouNeverKnow22

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Well my point about the specialities is its now likely first time failures simply won't hit a score that would ever be competitive for competitive fields anyway, so those fields' views on failing are irrelevant. In any case, 3-4 in every class times 130 med schools? That's a good number. If you mean 3-4 in the country in each class that's WAY off. I know for a fact that a "good number" of people failed last year at my state school.


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I meant per med school.
 

PinknGreenMD

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:thumbup: Best saying EVER. I am going to print this and laminate it! Awesome motivator :D

And... One last thing that I feel I need to mention. It is really unrelated. :rolleyes: But I am going to say it anyway.

One of my professors always says "No one comes to medical school to become a student. You are here to become a doctor."

So fine... You make your awesome A's... Excel and rise to the top 10% of your class. Then what? What about after medical school and residency?? Now you’re not a student competing with others through your exam scores and class grades. What do you have now...?

Oh, now you have real life. Where you have to become successful in your field and be a better doctor than your peers. Not only better in that you know more, but better in that you are able to put what you know to work, be efficient, have common sense, etc. And let’s not forget that a doctor is the ultimate field of customer service. I want to go into Emergency Med, where you are really just a glorified waitress trying to get people in and out and make them feel like you gave them great service (which is actually what I said in one of my medical school interviews, haha).

Some of my peers have never had a job in their life. Ever. Not at Pizza Hut, not at the local mall where they grew up... NEVER. Their resume looks sad... They only have the skills they got from being a student and volunteering. So, what is going to happen when they are not a medical student anymore? Think about it. Their learning curve at work is going to take years to develop. Whereas, people that have had other careers before school will ease right in.

I didn't come to medical school to become a student. I came here because I know that I have the skills to become a great physician. This is a stepping stone to my career. I promise you in 10 years, no one is going to give a crap what my MCAT was, what my medical school GPA was, or what my class rank is. They are going to care that my patients love me and that I am an efficient, capable doctor. School doesn’t teach you that... Those are life skills that you gain through experience, and if you’re lucky are genetically inclined to have.

I urge you guys to look at the bigger picture. I know it is hard from where you are standing right now... But don't ever think that your grades define you. They may open some doors... But you can open the rest by standing out for who you really are. :cool:
 

valkener

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Congrats on getting in! I think many people don't take advantage of the full-length tests at the end of studying. They will basically tell you if you're ready (on average) or not.
 
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I was going through google, hoping to find some motivation and encouragement from getting 3 low scores on my MCAT. I am so thankful I found this forum. I was one of those, who was just scrolling through the comments...reading what everyone had to say. I seriously felt as if I was the only one going through this, I wont go into details with my personal issues, but THANK YOU SO MUCH for this @noshie , @startswithb and @varp45 . You guys and others have sparked bright and ardent fire inside me.
 
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Thank you for this! I posted on her whole thread. Just wanted to specifically thank you too, and here I was thinking I was the only one. Fully motivated now, and good luck with everything.
 
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quick question: you said "Don't do practice tests until you learn the background information because that will just be too frustrating. You need to know this background information as if you will be teaching a class to a bunch of students that don't own a book"
So, how long did you wait until you began taking practice tests within your MCAT studying time frame?

I know everyone is their own individual, but I am just trying to get a sense/idea of how I should organize myself.

Thanks
 
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noshie

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quick question: you said "Don't do practice tests until you learn the background information because that will just be too frustrating. You need to know this background information as if you will be teaching a class to a bunch of students that don't own a book"
So, how long did you wait until you began taking practice tests within your MCAT studying time frame?

I know everyone is their own individual, but I am just trying to get a sense/idea of how I should organize myself.

Thanks
I wouldn't do practice questions or tests until a few weeks before the real exam. I feel like practice questions are really helpful because they are representative of the more highly tested topics, and their explanations can be a great way to learn more about the subject they are testing with that question. However, doing questions too early can be frustrating for people, plus if you don't know whats going on (you haven't studied enough) then the questions are not going to be beneficial because you won't really understand why you got the question wrong or right. I would definitely leave them towards the end.

For instance, if you have a 5 month time line, use the first several months to study in textbooks, then by a month and a half before your exam you can start studying the MCAT prep books for the "high yield" of each subject. About a month before the real exam you can do a practice test and keep studying the MCAT Prep until about 3 weeks before the real exam when you start doing hundreds of questions and reading the explanations to learn more of what they test and how they will be testing it (helps you make a test taking stratagy). Hope this kind of gives you a guide of how I did my timeline. Good luck!
 
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Glad I found this thread, very motivating and encouraging because there are many people who are in a similar situation, thanks for the inspirational stories!
 

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If you have all the background knowledge, it would be more advantageous to study hard and take the mcat sooner than later. Also, many schools are not requiring a set of mandatory prereqs anymore so if you play your cards right and do well on the mcat, you may not need to take any other prereqs.
 

656844

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If you have all the background knowledge, it would be more advantageous to study hard and take the mcat sooner than later. Also, many schools are not requiring a set of mandatory prereqs anymore so if you play your cards right and do well on the mcat, you may not need to take any other prereqs.
Which schools are those? Most schools I'm seeing require the basic sciences as pre-reqs at the bare minimum. I was specifically told by my post-bac program and two medical schools I contacted that my science courses have to be retaken since they're about 10 years old and that my chemistry course sequence was not valid.
 
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Which schools are those? Most schools I'm seeing require the basic sciences as pre-reqs at the bare minimum. I was specifically told by my post-bac program and two medical schools I contacted that my science courses have to be retaken since they're about 10 years old and that my chemistry course sequence was not valid.

you likely need to search program by program....but there are some that use competency based reccommendations without any mandatory prereqs
 

656844

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you likely need to search program by program....but there are some that use competency based reccommendations without any mandatory prereqs
Interesting. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if med schools start changing their pre-requisite requirements to accommodate the new MCAT (i.e. making biochemistry, psychology, and sociology mandatory requirements). For my post-bac program starting up next month, I'm tacking on psychology and biochemistry just to cover all bases. I took sociology in 2003, so I should be good with that.
 
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Over the many years that I have been on SDN, I have seen several threads that give pointers and plans for getting an MCAT score in the 30's. If this is your plan, this thread is not for you. This thread is for those of us that have taken it before and have not been able to get a score that is acceptable for a chance at med school. It's for the pre-meds that just want to get a score that will get their foot in the door and at least get them some interviews. I have been getting tons of messages this past year, and I think I have finally made a decent pep talk for people who need hope and want some guidance in overcoming their poor MCAT score. Hopefully my story and mistakes will help and motivate you. :D

The MCAT is one of the hardest things I have ever had to overcome. It was not easy, there are no quick fixes. My biggest problem was not knowing the material well enough, and it actually took me a very long time to realize that I didn't really know it as well as I thought I did. I was in the midst of getting my Masters degree when I realized that I knew biology very well, but wasn't applying it the correct way to do well on the MCAT. Plus being years out from taking chemistry and physics, I had forgotten all of the basic rules of the subject that are heavily needed (although not really directly tested) for the MCAT.

Although looking at my first 3 MCAT scores (16, 19, 17) it would look like I didn't really study for the test, I was actually studying a lot. However, I wasn't studying correctly. I wasn't organized in my studying, I just kept going through things very superficially. You need to focus on only the MCAT, you can't be taking classes and thinking that you can do it all. Sometimes just focusing on one thing is way more powerful than you would think. I graduated, took a semester off from everything and just studied each day as if it was my full time job. I'm talking like 8-12 hours a day, even on Saturday and Sunday. I know that most people don't have that type of focus for such a long period of time, but when you get to med school you will be studying this way, and when I was in grad school I had to do the same thing or I would have flunked out. So I was already used to it. But also, thinking that this is your last chance to get into med school is something that fueled me a lot. And this may very well be your last chance to prove yourself... Do everything that you can, if you don't you will regret it.
Over the many years that I have been on SDN, I have seen several threads that give pointers and plans for getting an MCAT score in the 30's. If this is your plan, this thread is not for you. This thread is for those of us that have taken it before and have not been able to get a score that is acceptable for a chance at med school. It's for the pre-meds that just want to get a score that will get their foot in the door and at least get them some interviews. I have been getting tons of messages this past year, and I think I have finally made a decent pep talk for people who need hope and want some guidance in overcoming their poor MCAT score. Hopefully my story and mistakes will help and motivate you. :D

The MCAT is one of the hardest things I have ever had to overcome. It was not easy, there are no quick fixes. My biggest problem was not knowing the material well enough, and it actually took me a very long time to realize that I didn't really know it as well as I thought I did. I was in the midst of getting my Masters degree when I realized that I knew biology very well, but wasn't applying it the correct way to do well on the MCAT. Plus being years out from taking chemistry and physics, I had forgotten all of the basic rules of the subject that are heavily needed (although not really directly tested) for the MCAT.

Although looking at my first 3 MCAT scores (16, 19, 17) it would look like I didn't really study for the test, I was actually studying a lot. However, I wasn't studying correctly. I wasn't organized in my studying, I just kept going through things very superficially. You need to focus on only the MCAT, you can't be taking classes and thinking that you can do it all. Sometimes just focusing on one thing is way more powerful than you would think. I graduated, took a semester off from everything and just studied each day as if it was my full time job. I'm talking like 8-12 hours a day, even on Saturday and Sunday. I know that most people don't have that type of focus for such a long period of time, but when you get to med school you will be studying this way, and when I was in grad school I had to do the same thing or I would have flunked out. So I was already used to it. But also, thinking that this is your last chance to get into med school is something that fueled me a lot. And this may very well be your last chance to prove yourself... Do everything that you can, if you don't you will regret it.

The thing about people that score in the teens to very low 20s is that none of them are stupid, they just don't get how to study for this test. It's a crazy thing to ask someone to learn 8 semesters worth of material and retain it, but then they don't even ask them direct questions about it! I used to study with only MCAT prep books, but I never made it past the 20 mark on practice tests. The key to beating this test for me was to relearn the material from scratch. I know, it sounds like a very hard thing to do, and it takes time, but if you are making low scores, there is NO way you will beat this test if you don't.

Many people that took undergrad really learned the information, they have those tiny bits of gold from each subject burned into their mind. In my personal experience, I have found that the MCAT tests your knowledge of concepts, but without the foundation of information for each subject you can't do well on this test. When I took a Kaplan prep course I remember this girl that was making 30+ on all of her practice tests. Every time we would go to class and go over the questions on the practice MCAT that we had problems with, she would always say something like "well of course it's this answer, because blah blah." And I would ask, "well how do you know that??" She knew it because it was a small piece of background information she learned in her chem I or phys I course that I never retained. The rules of the subject need to be learned, and these rules are not in the MCAT prep books.

So where do you start then? You need to first make a list of all of the sections of physics, chemistry, biology and organic. I used the EK and TPR book chapters as my guide. For instance, Physics and Chemistry each have 10 tested subjects. Biology has like 13 if I remember correctly. Then you need to learn each of these sections in a real text book. Even if your MCAT book says it's not on the test, you need to have this background information to actually attempt the tested information. It's not easy teaching yourself all of this material, but you need to read it, and most importantly understand and retain it. Learn the subjects like you are taking a class, then go to the MCAT books and expand your knowledge, then do practice tests. Don't do practice tests until you learn the background information because that will just be too frustrating. You need to know this background information as if you will be teaching a class to a bunch of students that don't own a book!

Most importantly, don't let this test make you think that you are stupid. You are smart, and you need to be a studying machine in order to beat this test. Focus only on the MCAT for about 5 months before taking it. Don't make the mistake I did by taking it hastily so that I could just apply. As you know, a bad score will HAUNT you. Most people do not make over their average practice scores on the real thing. So don't think that maybe if you take it without much studying, you may get a 25 if your practice scores are a 19... It's not going to happen. If you want this bad enough you will do what it takes to get there. If it means you put your life on hold for 6 months, then that's what you have to do. If you don't then you will never be a doctor. Once you realize that, the motivation that comes with it is endless.

I actually never planned on taking the MCAT 5 times. I was set on taking it for the fourth time after I studied very hard for it. I know that I would have made the 27 on my fourth MCAT, but my computer froze and AAMC would not acknowledge that this hindered my score. Well, it did, and the timer was running while my computer was frozen so I lost a lot of time. Although they agreed that this happened, they said that they could not prove that my timer was running for very long. Regardless, they had to get me a new computer because my computer would not work even after the proctor tried to fix it. I ended up with a crappy 22.

The fifth time I took the MCAT I was more than burned out because I never wanted to take it this many times. Also, by then I had been studying for 8 months straight!!! The month before my final MCAT, I lost all focus and started slacking on my studies for a few weeks. I had also started working since I had already received a job because I thought I would not be taking the MCAT again. For me, my pivotal moment came a few weeks before the exam... My boss, a surgeon in the medical school I work at, took me to a 4th year surgery exam on a cadaver with some med students. While I was there, he mentioned to everyone that I was pre med, and then the barrage of advice started coming from the med students... Well, soon after this, one of the students said something about taking the MCAT back when it was the last test on paper, and he had applied in 2006 and got into medical school. I realized that these students were the exact same age as me! I had also taken the last MCAT on paper and applied in 2006... It was the worst realization in my life. I had realized that I had wasted years off of my life by not beating this test once and for all. I would have been a graduating medical student last year. But because of my MCAT score, because I wasn't living up to my true potential, I had given this opportunity away. From that day forward, I worked from 6am-2pm, left for the library and studied until 11pm. I finally had the drive to finish what I started, and I got the score I wanted, a 27!

YOU have to sit down and realize that without this score, you are giving up your seat in medical school, and ultimately years of your life. Just tell yourself that you need to do this, you have to do this, and you will do this the right way.

You need to take a lot of time and become confident in the material, and study it deeply. Do not retake the MCAT until you are absolutely ready, until you have made at least consistently high 20's MCAT scores in practice. If you can't apply this year, that is ok. Taking your time and not rushing into taking the MCAT will make a huge difference in your score. Take this year off and fix your MCAT, then apply next year. I know that is not what you want to hear, but I truly feel that making another poor score will not be beneficial to you.

My many poor MCAT scores have hindered my ability to get interviews greatly. And even though I now have an ok score, I am sure that my past scores are still being looked at and they make a big difference in what the adcoms think of me. Sure, I pulled up my score 10 points from the time I took it 2 years ago, but it doesn't matter. I still made those bad scores, and even though they are now very old, they show my past poor ability and poor judgment of retaking when I wasn't ready. It makes me a risk for any medical school I apply to.

If this is really what you want to do, you CAN do it. You just have to make a plan and stick with it. I don't have a backup plan at all, in fact I never did have one. Even with 3 below 20 MCAT scores and two failed application cycles with no interviews, I always told myself that this was what I was meant to do. You either want to be a doctor or you don't. If you really want to, then do it. Only you are standing in your way of getting into medical school.

MCAT courses are useless. You need to do some heavy self studying, but use a textbook like I said before, and then go on to the MCAT prep. If even a small part of you feels that you will regret not going full force towards medical school and becoming a physician, then you need to stop being your own worst enemy and just bite the bullet and do the hard work that is needed to do well on this test. If you are willing to do anything to get into med school... Well, first start with admitting that you need to start at the most basic level of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. I mean, I had a masters degree in immunology, and going back to undergrad level studies was really difficult for me. But I want to be a doctor, so I was willing to do whatever it took, and I knew that even though I have a higher education than most people studying for the MCAT, I sucked at the material that was tested. Just start at the beginning and move slowly towards your goal. Don't leave any subject untouched. Push yourself and become a studying maniac. If I can do it, I am confident that you can do it! :)

So yes, there is no quick way to increase your score. Its hard work, but again, if you want this you will do whatever you have to. You have the strength to beat this test and show everyone what you're made of. There needs to be at least 7-10 hours of studying a day, 5-6 days a week for 5-6 months. People in our position are more behind than everyone else taking the test, you have to catch up to the basic material and then study for the MCAT. I know it sounds like a ton of studying, but if you want to beat this test to a pulp that will be what it takes.

So stop crying about your scores, and start your long term plan in beating this test. Turn that sadness into anger, anger towards yourself, anger towards the MCAT, anger towards anything that will give you some dedication and motivation to study.

Good luck!!! :luck:

The thing about people that score in the teens to very low 20s is that none of them are stupid, they just don't get how to study for this test. It's a crazy thing to ask someone to learn 8 semesters worth of material and retain it, but then they don't even ask them direct questions about it! I used to study with only MCAT prep books, but I never made it past the 20 mark on practice tests. The key to beating this test for me was to relearn the material from scratch. I know, it sounds like a very hard thing to do, and it takes time, but if you are making low scores, there is NO way you will beat this test if you don't.

Many people that took undergrad really learned the information, they have those tiny bits of gold from each subject burned into their mind. In my personal experience, I have found that the MCAT tests your knowledge of concepts, but without the foundation of information for each subject you can't do well on this test. When I took a Kaplan prep course I remember this girl that was making 30+ on all of her practice tests. Every time we would go to class and go over the questions on the practice MCAT that we had problems with, she would always say something like "well of course it's this answer, because blah blah." And I would ask, "well how do you know that??" She knew it because it was a small piece of background information she learned in her chem I or phys I course that I never retained. The rules of the subject need to be learned, and these rules are not in the MCAT prep books.

So where do you start then? You need to first make a list of all of the sections of physics, chemistry, biology and organic. I used the EK and TPR book chapters as my guide. For instance, Physics and Chemistry each have 10 tested subjects. Biology has like 13 if I remember correctly. Then you need to learn each of these sections in a real text book. Even if your MCAT book says it's not on the test, you need to have this background information to actually attempt the tested information. It's not easy teaching yourself all of this material, but you need to read it, and most importantly understand and retain it. Learn the subjects like you are taking a class, then go to the MCAT books and expand your knowledge, then do practice tests. Don't do practice tests until you learn the background information because that will just be too frustrating. You need to know this background information as if you will be teaching a class to a bunch of students that don't own a book!

Most importantly, don't let this test make you think that you are stupid. You are smart, and you need to be a studying machine in order to beat this test. Focus only on the MCAT for about 5 months before taking it. Don't make the mistake I did by taking it hastily so that I could just apply. As you know, a bad score will HAUNT you. Most people do not make over their average practice scores on the real thing. So don't think that maybe if you take it without much studying, you may get a 25 if your practice scores are a 19... It's not going to happen. If you want this bad enough you will do what it takes to get there. If it means you put your life on hold for 6 months, then that's what you have to do. If you don't then you will never be a doctor. Once you realize that, the motivation that comes with it is endless.

I actually never planned on taking the MCAT 5 times. I was set on taking it for the fourth time after I studied very hard for it. I know that I would have made the 27 on my fourth MCAT, but my computer froze and AAMC would not acknowledge that this hindered my score. Well, it did, and the timer was running while my computer was frozen so I lost a lot of time. Although they agreed that this happened, they said that they could not prove that my timer was running for very long. Regardless, they had to get me a new computer because my computer would not work even after the proctor tried to fix it. I ended up with a crappy 22.

The fifth time I took the MCAT I was more than burned out because I never wanted to take it this many times. Also, by then I had been studying for 8 months straight!!! The month before my final MCAT, I lost all focus and started slacking on my studies for a few weeks. I had also started working since I had already received a job because I thought I would not be taking the MCAT again. For me, my pivotal moment came a few weeks before the exam... My boss, a surgeon in the medical school I work at, took me to a 4th year surgery exam on a cadaver with some med students. While I was there, he mentioned to everyone that I was pre med, and then the barrage of advice started coming from the med students... Well, soon after this, one of the students said something about taking the MCAT back when it was the last test on paper, and he had applied in 2006 and got into medical school. I realized that these students were the exact same age as me! I had also taken the last MCAT on paper and applied in 2006... It was the worst realization in my life. I had realized that I had wasted years off of my life by not beating this test once and for all. I would have been a graduating medical student last year. But because of my MCAT score, because I wasn't living up to my true potential, I had given this opportunity away. From that day forward, I worked from 6am-2pm, left for the library and studied until 11pm. I finally had the drive to finish what I started, and I got the score I wanted, a 27!

YOU have to sit down and realize that without this score, you are giving up your seat in medical school, and ultimately years of your life. Just tell yourself that you need to do this, you have to do this, and you will do this the right way.

You need to take a lot of time and become confident in the material, and study it deeply. Do not retake the MCAT until you are absolutely ready, until you have made at least consistently high 20's MCAT scores in practice. If you can't apply this year, that is ok. Taking your time and not rushing into taking the MCAT will make a huge difference in your score. Take this year off and fix your MCAT, then apply next year. I know that is not what you want to hear, but I truly feel that making another poor score will not be beneficial to you.

My many poor MCAT scores have hindered my ability to get interviews greatly. And even though I now have an ok score, I am sure that my past scores are still being looked at and they make a big difference in what the adcoms think of me. Sure, I pulled up my score 10 points from the time I took it 2 years ago, but it doesn't matter. I still made those bad scores, and even though they are now very old, they show my past poor ability and poor judgment of retaking when I wasn't ready. It makes me a risk for any medical school I apply to.

If this is really what you want to do, you CAN do it. You just have to make a plan and stick with it. I don't have a backup plan at all, in fact I never did have one. Even with 3 below 20 MCAT scores and two failed application cycles with no interviews, I always told myself that this was what I was meant to do. You either want to be a doctor or you don't. If you really want to, then do it. Only you are standing in your way of getting into medical school.

MCAT courses are useless. You need to do some heavy self studying, but use a textbook like I said before, and then go on to the MCAT prep. If even a small part of you feels that you will regret not going full force towards medical school and becoming a physician, then you need to stop being your own worst enemy and just bite the bullet and do the hard work that is needed to do well on this test. If you are willing to do anything to get into med school... Well, first start with admitting that you need to start at the most basic level of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. I mean, I had a masters degree in immunology, and going back to undergrad level studies was really difficult for me. But I want to be a doctor, so I was willing to do whatever it took, and I knew that even though I have a higher education than most people studying for the MCAT, I sucked at the material that was tested. Just start at the beginning and move slowly towards your goal. Don't leave any subject untouched. Push yourself and become a studying maniac. If I can do it, I am confident that you can do it! :)

So yes, there is no quick way to increase your score. Its hard work, but again, if you want this you will do whatever you have to. You have the strength to beat this test and show everyone what you're made of. There needs to be at least 7-10 hours of studying a day, 5-6 days a week for 5-6 months. People in our position are more behind than everyone else taking the test, you have to catch up to the basic material and then study for the MCAT. I know it sounds like a ton of studying, but if you want to beat this test to a pulp that will be what it takes.

So stop crying about your scores, and start your long term plan in beating this test. Turn that sadness into anger, anger towards yourself, anger towards the MCAT, anger towards anything that will give you some dedication and motivation to study.

Good luck!!! :luck:


---THANK YOU!. That is motivating. And most of all, I know that you understand where I am coming from so a "high five! keep going!" means loads more than when Mom says, "Good job hunny..." and I feel like she's really saying that losing your championship sports game senior year doesn't matter --- -oyyyyy.

So, here I am, stay at home MCATer indefinitely, wondering if I'll ever be able to go back to work again or if I've just turned into a stay at home trophy girlfriend. Construction worker boyfriend is working and saying, "Please don't go to work, please stay home, please study as much as you need to, take the time you need! You want this! Do whatever it takes!" He gets it; respect the beast.

Others, like my grandmother, are saying, "You're shooting yourself in the foot. A woman must be able to support herself, we're worried about you." YAH. Well, ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR >> MCAT counts as BOTH.

Noshie, you're right, this is possible, and every time I ask, "What the heck am I doing?" perhaps your thread will pop into my mind and I'll answer with, "Oh, right. Physics. Boo yah." Have to bring some fun into this somehow.

I took the MCAT once before while working full time, scored a 23 with each practice test score below the last, applied late, obviously got in nowhere (had a financial waiver so at least there's that and since I missed the deadlines for my top choice schools I maintained their first impressions of me). I exercise daily, eat right, sleep right, make sure I have at least some social interaction (though minimal) every day just to stay sane....still not very good at answering questions BUT, I'm giving this a damn good shot. Relearning the material and using the MCAT books as prep is a key. I'll take you up on that. I mean really, I've run marathons, graduated with honors, lived abroad, am bilingual (pre-meds with similar characteristics, this is ALSO what it takes to be interesting enough for med schools to want you! This sentence is also for you!).....I'm not dumb. So test, FEFF YOU. I WILL WIN. 27.....come, please...

Because when it comes down to it, this is what I want and you're not standing in my way for the rest of my one life.

But, shoot! This is hard! Just keep thinking - I can. I can. I can. AND I'm not alone in this strategy. This is right. This is right. This is right.

Onward.

"Do not go gentle into that good night."

^^ for those of you not familiar with this poem, google that line. be inspired. hope on with confidence. we will win.
 
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noshie

noshie

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---THANK YOU!. That is motivating. And most of all, I know that you understand where I am coming from so a "high five! keep going!" means loads more than when Mom says, "Good job hunny..." and I feel like she's really saying that losing your championship sports game senior year doesn't matter --- -oyyyyy.

So, here I am, stay at home MCATer indefinitely, wondering if I'll ever be able to go back to work again or if I've just turned into a stay at home trophy girlfriend. Construction worker boyfriend is working and saying, "Please don't go to work, please stay home, please study as much as you need to, take the time you need! You want this! Do whatever it takes!" He gets it; respect the beast.

Others, like my grandmother, are saying, "You're shooting yourself in the foot. A woman must be able to support herself, we're worried about you." YAH. Well, ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR >> MCAT counts as BOTH.

Noshie, you're right, this is possible, and every time I ask, "What the heck am I doing?" perhaps your thread will pop into my mind and I'll answer with, "Oh, right. Physics. Boo yah." Have to bring some fun into this somehow.

I took the MCAT once before while working full time, scored a 23 with each practice test score below the last, applied late, obviously got in nowhere (had a financial waiver so at least there's that and since I missed the deadlines for my top choice schools I maintained their first impressions of me). I exercise daily, eat right, sleep right, make sure I have at least some social interaction (though minimal) every day just to stay sane....still not very good at answering questions BUT, I'm giving this a damn good shot. Relearning the material and using the MCAT books as prep is a key. I'll take you up on that. I mean really, I've run marathons, graduated with honors, lived abroad, am bilingual (pre-meds with similar characteristics, this is ALSO what it takes to be interesting enough for med schools to want you! This sentence is also for you!).....I'm not dumb. So test, FEFF YOU. I WILL WIN. 27.....come, please...

Because when it comes down to it, this is what I want and you're not standing in my way for the rest of my one life.

But, shoot! This is hard! Just keep thinking - I can. I can. I can. AND I'm not alone in this strategy. This is right. This is right. This is right.

Onward.

"Do not go gentle into that good night."

^^ for those of you not familiar with this poem, google that line. be inspired. hope on with confidence. we will win.
It was really nice to read your post. I am glad that you are taking this exam seriously and are making the time to study for it. Many people want to make excuses for why they can't study, and then ask advice about what they should do... If you want to be successful in your goals, you will find a way to reach them, regardless of the obstacles that life has put in front of you. There is always time, if you make the time. There are people that surround you that will take some of your responsibilities off of your plate (like your boyfriend has done for you), if you need it.

Basically, if you are struggling as it is with exams like this, and you don't give this process every ounce of your attention, you are not pushing yourself to the level that is required to do well on the MCAT. When I took the MCAT, the purpose was not to get a really high score, the purpose was to do my best. I felt the same way when I took my USMLE boards during medical school. I never surpassed the average on many of the exams I have taken, but I have always reached my goals. I got the score I needed to get into med school, and I got the scores that I needed to get into an emergency medicine residency. Could I have done way better? Maybe. However, I tried my very very best, and I worked very diligently and studied as many hours in the day that I was awake. Would it have mattered if I did better on these exams? The end result would be the same in my opinion... I was rewarded for working hard, not for slaughtering the exams.

The worst feeling for me is to have doubts that I've done everything I can to reach a goal. It is what pushes me to do everything that I have done. I don't want to be the best or the greatest, but I do want to be an example of persistence and a hard worker. I hope that you also succeed in your MCAT goals. You are giving a lot up in order to achieve them, and I am confident that you will be rewarded for it somehow.
 
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So where do you start then? You need to first make a list of all of the sections of physics, chemistry, biology and organic.
Hello, Everyone!

NOSHI THANK YOU FOR SHARING THAT WONDERFULL STORY WITH US, WISH YOU THE BEST,

I am also about to take the MCAT

You state that we should start with the basic books. what books do you recommend to start with? book titles and Authors would be helpful.

Thank you.
 

Doctor Dream

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Hello, Everyone!

NOSHI THANK YOU FOR SHARING THAT WONDERFULL STORY WITH US, WISH YOU THE BEST,

I am also about to take the MCAT

You state that we should start with the basic books. what books do you recommend to start with? book titles and Authors would be helpful.

Thank you.
Not to speak for noshie but he/she took the old MCAT years ago, not the new one that's out now, so I'd be surprised if they knew what books would be helpful. Check out Exam Krackers 2015 MCAT books. I used their set during my prep and felt they were extremely helpful. They covered all the general content very well, and I think would prove useful if you're looking to start from scratch like Noshie mentioned in their original post.
 
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medicalschoolgirl1234

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I totally understand what you are saying and where you are coming from... However, I truly believe that those of us that take the MCAT and make less than a 20 really don't have a foundation for the material... For these people, you can't start studying for the MCAT by taking a prep course, because most of the time, these prep courses are made for REVIEWING the material. If you don't remember much to begin with, then the prep course will be useless for you... Prep courses, in my own experience, do not teach you the small pieces of information, they assume you already learned this in your college course. They build on what you already should know, and prepare you for test taking. If anything, the best part of a prep course is the test taking tactics you learn in it. Is that worth 2k? Eh. Maybe.

Also, if you have never sat in for an MCAT and received a score that is very low, you wouldn't understand what it feels like being in an MCAT prep course... It's frustrating because you just want to get the material, but you can't. It's like hearing someone try to teach you another language while using a different language. The frustration of not knowing where to start is the worst part. Prep courses usually start with going over passages and taking practice tests. These are great things, but if you just DONT know the material then it will not benefit you at all.

My post was not meant for 99% of the people taking the MCAT... It is meant for the few of us that make scores around and below 20... Sure, for people that are making mid to high 20's scores, MCAT prep would be highly useful... I totally agree with that. :)
I second this assessment of prep courses. I spent the same 2K and the courses did not help me the way I would have wanted because I too lacked the background knowledge to take advantage of the prep review. I do feel like you have to do some major self studying to overcome the hurdles that test preps cant help you jump.
 
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