Hoooba

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Hey everyone,
I was wondering what methods people use to stay 100% focused and awake during the entire test - practice or actual. I tried drinking some tea before a practice test yesterday but I still felt sleepy during some of the test. I had only slept for about 6 hours the night before though.

Any advice on how much sleep the night before and what to drink to stay focused?

thanks everyone and good luck
 

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Hoooba said:
Hey everyone,
I was wondering what methods people use to stay 100% focused and awake during the entire test - practice or actual. I tried drinking some tea before a practice test yesterday but I still felt sleepy during some of the test. I had only slept for about 6 hours the night before though.

Any advice on how much sleep the night before and what to drink to stay focused?

thanks everyone and good luck
whatever you do, just don't take any sleeping tablets during the exam day!
 

palminator2003

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Get your sleep cycle in sync with the time of your test. It's both that simple and that hard to do. You need about a week to get it in sync. Caffeine and other stimulants only boost you temporarily. You'll eventually crash. When that happens, your scores WILL go down.
 

Turkeyman

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I think I might not do the whole gatorade thing that kaplan says to do during breaks, I used my own method that seemed to help.

First of all, start off with a good breakfast in the morning because this will be the fuel for your PS section. Eggs, toast, whatever but one thing for that I HIGHLY recommend is having oatmeal. Why oatmeal? Low Glycemic index as opposed to things like chocolate and processed sugar breakfast items with high glycemic indexes --> They give you a rush and drop you like an anvil.

Low GI foods like oatmeal(before PS section) and brown rice (during lunch break) are beneficial because they slowly release sugar into your bloodstream, giving you a constant, more composed energy level --> I'd personally eat eggs and oatmeal and not meat before the test.

During lunch, brown rice works (not white rice because that is just brown rice with all the good stuff shelled off) to give you constant energy for the rest of the test.

In between sections and with the lunch and breakfast....BANANA. Very very good brain food...and good for your muscles too. You feel good, you perform good --> I brought 3 bananas with me and ate one before PS, one before VR, and one before BS hahah.

Lastly, apples and water supplemented all of the above...I think fruit and water is a good combo, works better for me than gatorade.

Anyways...yeah...other than that make sure to sleep a lot the night before, and maybe take a walk the morning of test days to energize you (no jogs or other strenuous exercise)

Bleh, that's my 2 cents haha
 

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Turkeyman said:
I think I might not do the whole gatorade thing that kaplan says to do during breaks, I used my own method that seemed to help.
...Bleh, that's my 2 cents haha
Great advice. The best way to stay up for an exam is eat healthy foods...drinking a crap load of Red Bull and sugary cereals is just going to give you a downer later on during the exam.
 

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I think a lot of the energy you need will come from adrenaline while writing the real deal.

Tiredness never crossed my mind all day and this was my eating habit for the day:

Breakfast = Egg McMuffin Meal + OJ + extra Egg McMuffin from McDonalds

After PS = Dipps bar (granola bar + chocolate coating)

Lunch = 2x home made grilled cheeses

After WS = Bottle of powerade, apple

Thats not exactly the most balanced diet for the day, but it worked great for me. I slept a lot the 2 nights beforehand, that might have helped some too.
 

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Hoooba said:
Hey everyone,
I was wondering what methods people use to stay 100% focused and awake during the entire test - practice or actual. I tried drinking some tea before a practice test yesterday but I still felt sleepy during some of the test. I had only slept for about 6 hours the night before though.

Any advice on how much sleep the night before and what to drink to stay focused?

thanks everyone and good luck
8 hours of sleep and a healthy diet the day before and morning of the test.
 

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palminator2003 said:
Get your sleep cycle in sync with the time of your test. It's both that simple and that hard to do. You need about a week to get it in sync. Caffeine and other stimulants only boost you temporarily. You'll eventually crash. When that happens, your scores WILL go down.
i totally agree. i got up at the same time that i planned on getting up for the real test for about two weeks prior. i would then do passages, study, etc to get my mind used to concentrating at that time of the day. as for being tired or sleepy during the test, i wouldn't worry about it too much as your nerves will keep you on your toes.
 

anothertbmember

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Getting sleepy during the real MCAT?

If you are consider it a sign you don't want it/can't do it anyway.
Proceed to voiding your scores.
Walk out of the room with less stress in your future.
 

myodana

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FIRST AND FOREMOST: you HAVE to take at least a few full length, timed exams prior to the real thing, preferably starting as early in the morning as possible. it's like running a marathon - you MUST practice to build up stamina. i took 9 full length exams (all the AAMC, some EK, some Kaplan... they're out there, you can find them). once you are used to the length and timing of the test, you will know how to pace yourself and you won't get wiped out during the test.

the day before the test (august '04) i studied a bit, then took a yoga class, studied a bit more, then STOPPED studying around 8 pm and watched the olympics opening ceremonies. make sure EVERYTHING is prepared the night before the tests, pencils, admission ticket, etc. so you don't have to stress in the morning, and get a good night's sleep. don't go to bed TOO early, because you'll stress and never get to sleep! go to sleep at your normal time or a bit earlier so you'll be rested in the morning.

as for food, i honestly don't remember what i had for breakfast, but i did have a cup of iced coffee, since that is normal for me. don't make any huge changes the day of the test --- just do what your body is used to. during the test i had power bars (or balance bars, i don't remember), and a bag of nuts and dried fruit. it's all energy food. i wouldn't eat stuff like coke, candy bars, etc -- the refined sugar will only give you a quick boost and then you will crash! just like turkeyman said:

Turkeyman said:
Why oatmeal? Low Glycemic index as opposed to things like chocolate and processed sugar breakfast items with high glycemic indexes --> They give you a rush and drop you like an anvil.
hope that helped!
 

karlin009

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What about a redbull before the test and at lunch?? I'm bad...with my load that's the only way I stay up during the week.
 

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Hoooba said:
Hey everyone,
I was wondering what methods people use to stay 100% focused and awake during the entire test - practice or actual. I tried drinking some tea before a practice test yesterday but I still felt sleepy during some of the test. I had only slept for about 6 hours the night before though.

Any advice on how much sleep the night before and what to drink to stay focused?

thanks everyone and good luck
Finish your writing samples early and take a 30 minute nap before the biological sciences section :)
 

45408

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my highest Kaplan full-length score, which was only one point below my actual score, was performed on less than four hours of sleep, and I fell asleep in the parking lot before getting out to walk to the exam. :p

anothertbmember said:
Getting sleepy during the real MCAT?

If you are consider it a sign you don't want it/can't do it anyway.
Proceed to voiding your scores.
Walk out of the room with less stress in your future.
shut up
 

adiddas125

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Prowler,

Your posts are always insightful, and the witty comments make me laugh! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :thumbup:
 

Turkeyman

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anothertbmember said:
Getting sleepy during the real MCAT?

If you are consider it a sign you don't want it/can't do it anyway.
Proceed to voiding your scores.
Walk out of the room with less stress in your future.
That's not true at all

And if you're being sarcastic, it sure doesn't seem like it so don't use that excuse :p
 

dnelsen

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I don't think you will have a problem staying awake for the real thing. I normally need close to 8 hours of sleep a night to function. However, I got a combined 2-4 hours of sleep for the two nights before the test :eek:
(I couldn't sleep due to test anxiety...I wasn't studying)

On test day the adrenaline was pumping and I did just fine. Stress isn't always a bad thing, sometimes it is just what you need (to keep you awake in this case)
 

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Hoooba said:
Hey everyone,
I was wondering what methods people use to stay 100% focused and awake during the entire test - practice or actual. I tried drinking some tea before a practice test yesterday but I still felt sleepy during some of the test. I had only slept for about 6 hours the night before though.

Any advice on how much sleep the night before and what to drink to stay focused?

thanks everyone and good luck
It seems pretty obvious, just get lots of sleep, like 10 hours. Don't tell me you can't do this for one day or before a practice test. The extra sleep is probably more beneficial than last minute cramming. The physiological fact is that if you don't sleep enough you will get sleepy no matter what tricks you try. Try clearing your head and focusing like any smart person will, and drinking water. I don't know what other suggestions there can be unless you want to turn to shady methods.
 

45408

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Shredder said:
It seems pretty obvious, just get lots of sleep, like 10 hours. Don't tell me you can't do this for one day or before a practice test. The extra sleep is probably more beneficial than last minute cramming. The physiological fact is that if you don't sleep enough you will get sleepy no matter what tricks you try. Try clearing your head and focusing like any smart person will, and drinking water. I don't know what other suggestions there can be unless you want to turn to shady methods.
If you're used to 10 hours, that's fine, but don't get more than you're used to, or you'll be tired from sleeping too much (yes, it happens!). I got ~6.5 hours of sleep before the MCAT, because that's all I'm used to getting.
 

babyeva08

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i'm used to being an insomniac...1-3 hours of sleep max. and i've been working on sleeping EARLY (12...) and waking up early to study. but i notice i can't sleep for that long of an amount of a time. i usually wake up around 3 or 4. should i just stick to my normal habits of sleeping??

changing lifelong habits suck...

on that note.. everyone have fantabulous days! and study hard =)