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How close are AAMC practice tests to the real thing?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Knickerbocker, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Knickerbocker

    2+ Year Member

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    I've heard that the AAMC practice tests are closest to the real thing, but how close can I expect? I'm worried that there will be some major surprises or something that would have me scoring a lot lower than what I've been getting on the practice exams.

    I obviously don't expect the same questions to show up, just the same level of difficulty.
     
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  3. geno2568

    geno2568 Senior Member
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    the main difference is that the aamc tests dont have experimental section, and the real mcat does. Also, the real mcat will have more genetics/molecular bio and less ecology/evolution stuff.
     
  4. Knickerbocker

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    By experimental, do you mean types of questions that have never been asked before?
     
  5. Mr. Tee

    Mr. Tee Indentured servant
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    Questions that don't count toward your score. You can miss all experimental questions in a section and still get a 15. Only problem is that you don't know which ones are experimental..
     
  6. Darko

    Darko Senior Member
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    The AAMC practice tests predicted how I did on the MCAT pretty well. Be warned though, different MCATs will different focuses on the physical and biological sections. I've taken the MCAT twice -- one test had a inorganic chemistry slant on the physical section, the other one focused on mechanics. One biological section was genetics-heavy while the other was organ system-heavy.

    If your practice tests show that you have a weakness in an area, and you don't strengthen it, and that area is stressed on the MCAT you take, then you will do worse than you expected. Conversely, if a strength of yours shows up on the MCAT, then you will do better than expected.

    To summarize, the level of difficulty is the same, the overall subject matter is the same, but different tests hone in on different areas.
     
  7. tus

    tus Junior Member
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    You mean same number fo questions for each sections(77,60,77) and some of the questions will not even be marked? so if I get 5 wrongs in verbal and they were all "experimental", I can still get 15?

    Thanks
     
  8. bsimon

    bsimon Junior Member
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    I ended up with about the same overall score on the actual test when compared to the practice one, but my scores on each section differed. In my opinion the practice tests are more well rounded with the material covered whereas the MCAT tends to be more focused on specific areas. For example my bio organic section really focused on genetics and had little to do with systems and physiology. It really just depends on which test you get.

    Good luck!
     
  9. estairella

    estairella Senior Member
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    Yep, you would get 55/55 = 15. Which sounds good, right? But if you get 5 wrong on non-experimental and 0 wrong on experimental, you would get 50/55, which is gonna be a worse score than 55/60 (your "real" score).

    So... experimentals suck.

    And on that note, I hear that's the main difference between the MCAT and practices. The experimentals are often way too hard or way too easy (because we're guinea pigs to test their statistical efficacy), so it can throw you off (especially if it's way too hard).
     
  10. Omyss

    Omyss Member
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    so what defines the "experimental questions" ?? are they just random questions or do they have a specific charactersitic?


    .... wtf is the point of them?
     
  11. Creightonite

    Creightonite Senior Member
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    there is no good way to know which ones are experimental and which not. Just answer all the question to the best of your ability. It may make your head spin a little but it is exactly what MCAT authors are trying to do.
     

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