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Hosnestly lost and discouraged, mcat sadness.

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by ca$$ou1, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. ca$$ou1

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    Hey y'all,

    I won't make this too long... I started studying for the mcat first week of june for my actual scheduled date sep3rd but I took my diagn. test and scored a 475; I was devastated even cried. I've done all my pre- reqs and more, so I went and took the kaplan class for help but not much improvement. I'm studying between 4 to 12hrs a day (I work 2 jobs but they are super flexible ~30hrs/wk). As of now, I've taken 5FL Tests with kaplan and none of them exceed 490 :-(, I know I can do better, I'm not stupid. I reviewed the FLs thoroughly and understand the explanations but while taking them I can't seem to apply my knowledge obviously, or process informations to answer questions correctly. I tried using old materials (TPR, TBR and EK), youtube videos, KA and kaplan's 2015 set nothing so far, but I can't get out of that hole. I sent my application to 6 DO schools already and in the process of doing the aamc's app. I changed my mcat test to sep23rd but I don't know what else to do, how to study, where to restart, I'm lost. I graduated with a 3.56 GPA, lots of work experience and volunteer hours, did one research program with a DO school. I know I really need a good mcat score to cover my GPA cause it's not really that good but this thing is killing me slowly (lost 7 lbs in 3 wks), I won't let it though cause I gotta be a doctor, willing to do everything to improve my score in these 55 days 21 hrs and 32 mins that I have left. I'm reaching out to y'all, please any advice, help, tips, criticism are greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance
     
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  3. zerox117

    zerox117 A joyful heart is good medicine.
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    Hey bud, I know the feeling. Tried studying for this last summer before I took physics and wasn't scoring competitively either. All you can do at this point is your best and slam out a bunch of passages/tests if you're done with content review. And if that's not enough and your score isn't competitive then just study at a rate that won't burn you out for the MCAT in the spring and you'll kill it. The road to success is not a straight line.
     
  4. NonTrad16

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    As always, if you're on the verge of collapse or an actual breakdown, you need to seek help in person, not on a forum. Otherwise...

    First
    : a 3.56 isn't that bad, and doesn't need a GREAT MCAT to make up for it, especially for DO. That said, a Sept MCAT (even a good one) will be trouble for MD... Suggestion: Don't put so much pressure on yourself, but focus on DO if you want to apply this year. Maybe submit one MD app (to get verified) if you somehow think you'll get a stellar score in the end, but understand that you'll be complete late in the cycle and the odds aren't great regardless of your score.
    Second: you need to be able to focus on your MCAT studying while awake/engaged. You are working 30hr/week total between the two jobs? Can you take a leave of absence from one? I studied while taking a course and working PT (~30 hr/week) and I believe the more things you have to juggle, the worse it is for your studying. Even if you work the same number of hours, eliminating the extra thing to organize was helpful for me. Suggestion: Eliminate any distractions you can.
    Third: Test prep company exams are very hard, and not predictive. What're your raw percentages? In my opinion, you're taking way too many exams. You likely have content deficits, which need to be addressed by content review. I took 4 full lengths total over a 3 month period. Popular wisdom on SDN suggested I should take exams, but I was more comfortable with content review (since I hadn't seen the material in 5+ years), and we have limited good tests for the new exam. I got 495-498 on my TPR full lengths, 513 June MCAT. Suggestion: Do more content review, and adjust your study style as needed. If you don't believe taking tons of exams/passages is helpful, don't do it. If you don't feel more confident with every week, change something.
    Fourth (but really, #1): don't allow an exam to take your health. As concerning as it is, there are MANY more high stakes exams like the MCAT in your future if you pursue medicine, and you need to be able to tackle them without breaking. I was sick and couldn't study for a week or so; I felt guilty about it, but I couldn't physically focus. After a week or so to relax and recover, I was able to study with more efficiency and better retention. The MCAT (or any other endurance effort) is about pushing yourself to the brink without going over. Recovering from collapse is harder than fatigue. Suggestion: Take a breather, make a (flexible) plan, and remember that worst case you apply next year. I'm nearly 30, and I'm in a much better position to apply now than when I was out of undergrad.
     
    missy_DO_, ethiopiasurgeon and jb94mg like this.
  5. ca$$ou1

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    Thank you so much and Congrats on your score. I'm planning to take the month of august off from one and focus more on the mcat so I'll work about ~18 to 22hrs/wk. My raw percentage is 30-40% right now :-( with kaplan and yes they are hard. I finished reviewing contents, I guess I'll have to restart that. Any tips on how you scheduled to study for yours? I used videos more for content review because I find them clearer and faster than the books, any thoughts on that? I'm trying really hard to not let it affect my health but It's hard and really think that taking off from one job will help, thx. Do you think I should still take it though I only have 55 days before the actual test? also, you think I should apply to more than 6 DO schools? thanks again!!
     
  6. ca$$ou1

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    Thank you, this mcat is a beast and I'm really not looking forward to taking it twice so I'll give it my all and hope for the best; what can you do... Thanks again for the support :)
     
  7. NonTrad16

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    I used TPR course as a first-pass, watching their lectures and taking notes. I didn't use Kahn because they were too fast for my first-pass: I study taking copious notes. Probably will have to modify habits in the future, but a slightly inefficient method that has worked for me in the past seemed better than some new method...

    Over the course of my studies I reduced each chapter from TPR into several sheets of paper. I then went back through and did questions, and when I realized I didn't understand part of a topic I'd make a further-reduced 'cheat-sheet' for the subject. With each successive reduction I'd also review the step above (when making the notes) to provide reinforcement of topics. Slowly I got down to ~3 pages for Bio, 1 for chem/phys, and a handful for psych/soc (didn't study this one as diligently during the previous months since I assumed everyone would struggle with it similarly... more cramming). I used Kahn videos for topics that wouldn't stick after a pass or three of notes, since I obviously needed a new way to look at things if it still wasn't getting retained.

    That said, you just need to find what works for you. Fast doesn't necessarily mean efficient, and if you're passively watching, or do not pause to take time to make connections between topics, the video's will be underutilized and you likely won't retain the information.
     
    ca$$ou1 likes this.
  8. realba11

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    Keep calm and keep your emotions out of it. It's the best way to think clearly while you study and while you take the test. Take practice tests and WRITE DOWN what you got wrong and review this each day, along with things like amino acids and psychology flashcards. I took the old MCAT twice and didn't get the score that I wanted, now I am studying for the current version. It's because I didn't study the right way but now I am. You can absolutely get the score that you want. Many people on here get scores around 500 on their practice tests for Kaplan and end up scoring really high. It takes time, especially if you have a lot of weaknesses. Many have struggled to get the score that they want (don't view SDN as the standard, please) and many have retaken because they have the right mentality. If you feel you are ready, take it. If not, DO NOT TAKE IT.
     
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  9. Dreamstoo

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    Please don't do this, I agree. I know at least 2 people who took it at least three times. One's a 3rd year MD student after 5-6 attempts of the MCAT and one's an 2nd year resident with 2-3 attempts on the MCAT and never breaking a 25.
     
  10. OrdinaryDO

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    If you are scoring that low you have an obvious deficit of knowledge. You need to do the content review and MAKE SURE you UNDERSTAND it. If you are scoring that low, then you definitely do not need to take it yet. That might sound harsh, but the MCAT is no joke. As for the guy above, everyone has "that friend"; These are rare occurances. The MCAT can only be taken 3 times a year, 4 times in two consecutive years, and 7 times in a lifetime. You want to only take it once, believe me. Do content review, quit taking practice tests, push your test back, and apply next year with more confidence and a good MCAT. Also, don't rely on DO schools as a backup plan. Their acceptance rate is ~10% lower than MD school. If you apply to either program you should apply to every DO school and every lower tier MD school (given you still try to apply and your MCAT score is low). I would push it back, honestly, don't put stress on yourself. I work 40 hours a week, took a summer biochemistry course, and studied for the MCAT and sat for the exam July 18th.

    Don't let a test define who you are, good luck.
     
  11. Dr. Trenb

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    You said you tried to use TBR, TPR, EK, kaplan. Did you buy all their books and go through all of them? Because really, that is a lot of material.
    I suggest you go back to TBR or TPR and use AAMC content list to go over everything.
    Since you really want to be a doctor, you gotta work hard for it, maybe harder than others but that's how it is.
    I suggest you don't rush and take it if you're not ready. Don't repeat the mistake many of us did (including me). There is nothing wrong with taking a year off to prepare.
     
  12. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Did you do TBR physics and chem, cover to cover, reading all the descriptions of each answer?
     
  13. ca$$ou1

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    I didn't do all of them just Kaplan and aamc, I have the old materials for tpr and tbr, ppl told me that the old ones aren't that helpful for the new test so I didn't focus on them.
     
  14. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    If you're having trouble with chem and physics, there is still no better resource than TBR. TPR isn't nearly as good. The trouble is it does cover a lot of stuff they removed from the test, so you'll have to look for what physics material they pulled if you don't want to waste some time. Physics is physics, chem is chem, the test format doesn't change that, but the old material might be slight overkill. Better to overkill than to underkill, IMO, especially with your grades sitting where they are. Unfortunately many of the new MCAT prep materials quite frankly suck, as the test prep companies haven't figured out how best to split their review material and exactly how the test works yet, so all of your new stuff is very likely bordering on garbage.
     
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  15. ca$$ou1

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    Thank you I'll change the way I study and if by that it doesn't work I'll take your advice and postpone it.
     
  16. ca$$ou1

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    Thank you so so much
     
  17. ca$$ou1

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    From what I've seen from the aamc and Kaplan, for the Chem/phys section there are more biochem questions so that's another reason I stopped.
     
  18. PREMEDitated22

    PREMEDitated22 "I am not even supposed to be here" - Lebron James
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    Improve critical thinking and test taking skills. Google it.
     
    #17 PREMEDitated22, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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  19. queenoftheclouds

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    I was where you are, for the most part. I spent a long time doing what I thought was "heavy" content review, and afterwards I took a practice test and completely bombed it. The score was nowhere where I wanted to be, and that alone bummed me out so much that I felt depressed for an entire week and could barely study because my mindset was shot to hell. Important lesson I learned: emotions need to stay out of this journey, entirely. Don't let your emotions dictate your progress. For some of us, it's much slower and we need more time. That's okay.

    For me personally, I believe I studied inefficiently and by trial-and-error, am hoping that the second time around with content review will be much better. My scores were low and I could barely finish passages in the given time and realized I was really uncomfortable and unfamiliar with a lot of topics, which is why passages would take so long. I'm currently in the middle of orgo-content review, and afterwards, plan on rereviewing all of my bio/chem content. I'm using Anki flashcards and building decks slowly.

    I've postponed my August mcat to January to give myself more time. This test isn't a race, and honestly, if you need another year, then so be it. In 10 years when we're all practicing, who cares who finished first?
     
    realba11 likes this.
  20. Prairiepalmeri

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    Maybe you don't have crazy content deficits. Are you really reading the questions? What is your thought process when you go to click an answer?
     

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