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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by yanks26dmb, Jul 29, 2015.
Just out of curiosity, which is harder? How are the same, how are they different?
Why does it matter?
new one is definitely require more time to study, each full length practice takes a full day, plus addtitional biochem and psych, but the test is about your score relative to others, so no one can really compare the two tests.
The old test was also scored relative to others. I think he means to ask about the prepping and testing experience as it relates to the test taker.
would love to hear more opinions
I've actually heard from many people that have taken both that despite the additional length and more subjects, for some reason they thought the test was much easier.
I"m talking about going from a 25 on the old test to a 30-32 equivalent on the new test for many of these people.
I have no personal experience with the new test though as I took the old one.
From what I've read online, I believe that both tests have similar number of questions per section... the new one gets more time per section.. BUT you have MORE sections for the new one. It's definitely more of a endurance test than the older one.
Regards to difficulty... it's the MCAT...
Need I say more? lol
definitely the new MCAT...its more than double the length with added subjects. the first one was like a sprint and this one felt like a marathon lol but prep hard and you will be okay
The main variables here between the new and old test
1) Introduction of psych and sociology section. Those who were good at verbal on the old MCAT, who have good background in these subjects and put in the time to memorize the extensive amount of terms and other info here on this section(and as many have said there are definitely questions that straight up just test terminology in this section) will be at an advantage.
2) Introduction of Biochem section. Those with significant experience in this field will also be at an advantage.
3) Emphasis on research passages and integration. This is maybe the biggest thing. Those with strong research backgrounds, familiar with literature and analyzing data and trying to understand rationale behind experiments will really be at an advantage here. This is one part where you can argue science majors and the typical pre-med might be at an advantage for this test compared to non-science majors and those who are non-trads and late to the game and have less time to get exposed to research.
4) Increased time. This works both ways. Many complain about the test as a whole being longer and how it requires that much more stamina. Fair. But you also have comparatively more time per question on the bio/physics/verbal sections than you did on the old test. One might argue the passages are a little longer or more dense but my gut is that even having said that it doesn't make up for the advantage of having more time on the test per question. Keep in mind how many people on the old MCAT would be like "I just had one passage left if only I had 5 more minutes!". Those complaints can be less frequent now. In particular, for CARS which really was a struggle for some to finish in time on the old test, the added time can really help. Maybe the scale is adjusted for this and harsher than on the old test, but overall those who's specific problem with CARs was simply not having enough time might benefit from this new format.
5) De-emphasis on OCHEM and Physics. Both these topics were more straightforward in how they were tested on the old MCAT compared to the other sections. It's clear the physical science section now involves a fair amount of biochem which wasn't the case before. But I still suspect many of the same principles are tested in rather similar manners from the old to new test. Simply changing the background info behind it and making the problem about heart contraction pressure instead of pressure from pumping a tire while making the calculations the same for both problems is the type of thing that you might see on some of the new PS problems.
So those are the main variables. What I think you'll find is that despite all the claims about this new test being a beast and a half and a whole new level from the old MCAT is that for those who a) have the resources and time to really dedicate a long time for studying b) have strong research backgrounds c) really benefit from not being as crunched for time while testing might be at a slight advantage for this new test. There are definitely others who are at a disadvantage at all who don't have great research experience, who are more likely to get burnt out from a 7 hour test vs 4.5 hour one, and who simply don't have that much time to dedicate to studying the plethora of info on this test amongst other factors. The key thing also to remember is how much this test will change in coming years as the AAMC has a better idea of how to construct it and get it to be what they want it to be.
First of all, there's lots of people saying the new test is easier, but take that with a grain of salt. All of those people probably spent a considerable amount studying between the two tests so hopefully they had an easier time. Objectively speaking, I found the new mcat AT LEAST as hard as the old one if not harder ( and I did better on the new one).
Chem/phys: everyone says that physics gets deemphasized on the new test and it's true that less topics are officially required, but this section wrecked my life! The AAMC FL makes it seem like it's a biochem test with a subtle undertone of applied physical sciences. That's a lie! I did better on this section on the old mcat.
CARS: seems like they forgot how to spell "verbal reasoning" because this is the same thing.
Biology: felt like the old biology section honestly. Just add a little biochem and it's the same.
Psych: welcome to the "Applied Verbal Reasoning" section. Learn your theories, learn your terms, and get ready to be able to make assumptions about them. Sociology is harder than you'd think and it feels like whoever writes this stuff was very excited to prove it.
One advantage is that you do have more time per question. You also have more convoluted passages so that could even out. Overall, it helped me. Depending on the student, the incorporation of ochem into physical science and deemphasis of ochem in biology could help or hurt you.
It makes sense to have more time per question on this exam. You are doing more passages and it takes a toll on the mind. So that extra time help to compensate for the fatigue felt.
Most people say this test requires more studying, and there are definitely more topics, but it also felt like the vast majority of the questions could be answered without additional knowledge beyond the passages.
I would probably say naturally better test takers will perform better on this exam than the old. People that "outworked" their peers on the old MCAT would probably not do as well. That said, I haven't seen too many people that had their percentiles go down from the old exam to the new one.
Hello - I took the MCAT 3 times and here's the breakdown
2013 - 28: 11/7/10
2014 - 28: 12/6/10
2015 - 513 (33-34): 129(12)/124(7)/129(12)/131(14)(psych)
So I was pretty shocked at my Science scores because I was getting consistent 73 percentiles on bio but then all of a sudden it jumps to 93 percentile the next year and I didn't really do anything diff. However I would say adding biochem was good for me because I took a lot of biochem courses and I love amino acid questions so maybe adding a mix of that was an advantage for people like me. For Psych - a lot of people say its like verbal and in many cases it was like verbal but mixed in with lots of questions about definitions and applying concepts that you should know from your studies. Overall I did study for an extra month due to psych and sociology and had to do more practice tests. Verbal score didn't improve much because verbal is exactly the same as before...
This test definitely requires more endurance but in terms of difficulty I don;t think the questions have gotten harder or easier. Maybe the score discrepancy comes from the fact that you are now competing with a smaller pool because its a new test, the scores may be inflated due to lack of data this year, and if you do well on psych that can be seen as a mark booster or vice versa.
Biggest recommendation is to start studying for psych/sociology early and get it out of the way so that you can grind through lots of passages. This applies to everything else as well. Good luck to future writers.