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Hey all --
I decided to take NextStep's diagnostic test w/ no prep and got a 495 (122/125/123/125). I've read that it's inflated below 500 and also that it's accurate between 495 and 500, so I'm wondering if people thought this test was alright or if I should take a different diagnostic. I will admit, I spent longer than allowed on the C/P and B/B sections.
My combined program only needs a 503 to admit me to medical school so my question is: will it take a lot of studying to turn this NS 495 to a 503 on the real thing? (Note: they require a January 2021 test date and I have not taken Biochem, but I finished all other prereqs.)
I'm phrasing it this way because I want to take 18 credits this fall semester and I'm doing a 1hr commute so I likely would have less time to study. Due to my program being accelerated, I have to fit all the undergrad courses I'm interested in into a compressed schedule. I also don't really want to shell out money needed for the MCAT study programs my friends are doing. If I do need to really push myself to reach 503, I'll drop my extra course and start studying in earnest. I'm already planning on getting UWorld, the Kaplan books, and the AAMC stuff.
 
Aug 18, 2019
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That should not be hard. 503 is achievable.
C/P: do practice problems and learn content that way.
B/B: Know your content, and learn how to answer scientific passage. So focus on what the study is trying to prove, know your variables. Look for patterns, cAMP goes up, PK goes down, etc.
P/S: download Miles down anki card, do Uworld practice quesitions.
I was weak in CARS, I just got my score back. 513-(129/125/130/129). So I hope that helps. Good luck to you!
 
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KnightDoc

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Hey all --
I decided to take NextStep's diagnostic test w/ no prep and got a 495 (122/125/123/125). I've read that it's inflated below 500 and also that it's accurate between 495 and 500, so I'm wondering if people thought this test was alright or if I should take a different diagnostic. I will admit, I spent longer than allowed on the C/P and B/B sections.
My combined program only needs a 503 to admit me to medical school so my question is: will it take a lot of studying to turn this NS 495 to a 503 on the real thing? (Note: they require a January 2021 test date and I have not taken Biochem, but I finished all other prereqs.)
I'm phrasing it this way because I want to take 18 credits this fall semester and I'm doing a 1hr commute so I likely would have less time to study. Due to my program being accelerated, I have to fit all the undergrad courses I'm interested in into a compressed schedule. I also don't really want to shell out money needed for the MCAT study programs my friends are doing. If I do need to really push myself to reach 503, I'll drop my extra course and start studying in earnest. I'm already planning on getting UWorld, the Kaplan books, and the AAMC stuff.
No way to really tell until you have AAMC FL scores, but I have some bad news for you. If you didn't take some sections under actual test conditions, your 495 is totally worthless and is indicative of nothing, regardless of what you might have read about how representative it might be. For you, it's only representative of what you might score on the real thing if you had extra time.

If you have one shot, do or die, and you're figuring the target score is so low that you will hit it with little or no preparation, you are playing a dangerous game with your future, and you'll have no idea whether or not it worked out until it's too late to fix it if it doesn't. Good luck with that.
 
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Without Biochem, the MCAT will be rough. You'll probably be able to skate by through self-learning biochem, and you only need to get 126s/125s to hit your target score so it should be very doable. It's really important that you study as if you're trying to get the highest score you can instead of reaching a target score and then settling.

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Jul 15, 2020
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No way to really tell until you have AAMC FL scores, but I have some bad news for you. If you didn't take some sections under actual test conditions, your 495 is totally worthless and is indicative of nothing, regardless of what you might have read about how representative it might be. For you, it's only representative of what you might score on the real thing if you had extra time.

If you have one shot, do or die, and you're figuring the target score is so low that you will hit it with little or no preparation, you are playing a dangerous game with your future, and you'll have no idea whether or not it worked out until it's too late to fix it if it doesn't. Good luck with that.

Are you alright? I don't think my post had anything to warrant this rather abrasive response: "Totally worthless and indicative of nothing". Even if I got a 0 on those 2 sections because you believe an extra 30 minutes warrants that (122/123->118) my score would change to a 486 and still be low. Not to mention you disregarded my other 2 section scores under test conditions, which I guess you believe are still "worthless". I understand your next part about not aiming for a 503, but dang, there are better ways to challenge my view.
 
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That should not be hard. 503 is achievable.
C/P: do practice problems and learn content that way.
B/B: Know your content, and learn how to answer scientific passage. So focus on what the study is trying to prove, know your variables. Look for patterns, cAMP goes up, PK goes down, etc.
P/S: download Miles down anki card, do Uworld practice quesitions.
I was weak in CARS, I just got my score back. 513-(129/125/130/129). So I hope that helps. Good luck to you!

Thank you for your response! I really needed to know how to study so I appreciate these tips. Did you use the 300 pg P/S doc? I was gonna start content review from there. Your score is so good, I'm envious!
 
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Jul 15, 2020
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Without Biochem, the MCAT will be rough. You'll probably be able to skate by through self-learning biochem, and you only need to get 126s/125s to hit your target score so it should be very doable. It's really important that you study as if you're trying to get the highest score you can instead of reaching a target score and then settling.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors

I have Biochem lined up for this fall! The way the program works is that we all only finish Biochem a month before the MCAT test date, which means I'm not expecting to do well on B/B, unfortunately. I see my logic has been flawed and I should aim higher, but I am glad to hear it should not be difficult to achieve above a 503! Thank you :)
 

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Are you alright? I don't think my post had anything to warrant this rather inflammatory response: "Totally worthless and indicative of nothing". Even if I got a 0 on those 2 sections because you believe an extra 30 minutes warrants that (122/123->118) my score would change to a 486 and still be low. Not to mention you disregarded my other 2 section scores under test conditions, which I guess you believe are still "worthless". I understand your next part about not aiming for a 503, but dang, there are better ways to challenge my view, especially with a rather passive-aggressive "Good luck with that."
Sorry for offending you! Your reaction is not warranted. I was merely trying to point out that the value of the FLs is to give you a metric to benchmark yourself and your progress. The whole point of your post was to ask how realistic it was for you to go from a 495 to a 503 given what your schedule is going to look like in the fall.

If you "cheat" on the FL (and taking extra time on any section is "cheating" unless you have a MCAT extra time accommodation), then the score you receive will indeed be worthless and not indicative of anything (garbage in; garbage out). I don't think the extra time warrants moving your score to a 486. In fact, I have no idea what your score would be. The point is, neither do you, so asking if you can go from a 495 to a 503 is irrelevant, because you might or might not be at a 495 now. For the record, if your score right now was a 486, the answer would be you need a hell of a lot of work to get to 503!!!

Finally, "good luck with that" was not meant to be passive-aggressive. It was meant to be sarcastic. It was meant to be a helpful warning that aiming for the bare minimum rarely works out. Truly, best wishes.
 
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Sorry for offending you! Your reaction is not warranted. I was merely trying to point out that the value of the FLs is to give you a metric to benchmark yourself and your progress. The whole point of your post was to ask how realistic it was for you to go from a 495 to a 503 given what your schedule is going to look like in the fall.

If you "cheat" on the FL (and taking extra time on any section is "cheating" unless you have a MCAT extra time accommodation), then the score you receive will indeed be worthless and not indicative of anything (garbage in; garbage out). I don't think the extra time warrants moving your score to a 486. In fact, I have no idea what your score would be. The point is, neither do you, so asking if you can go from a 495 to a 503 is irrelevant, because you might or might not be at a 495 now.

My reaction? I honestly think I responded well to your original statement that called my first attempt as worthless. I understand your points and I see why you view my post as inaccurate much better from this comment. I actually do have a time accommodation due to my anxiety disorder, so thank you for pointing that out. Therefore, I think I'm going to continue to assume my 495 stands.
 

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My reaction? I honestly think I responded well to your original statement that called my first attempt of hours of test taking as worthless. I understand your points and I see why you view my post as inaccurate much better from this comment. I actually do have a time accommodation due to my anxiety disorder, so thank you for pointing that out. Therefore, I think I'm going to continue to assume my 495 stands.
Absolutely -- if you have extra time, then there was no need to point that out in your OP. Yes, in that case, your 495 is valid. I still strongly advise that you aim for the best you can do, not just 503. In my experience, people who do that invariably fall just a little short more often than not.
 
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Absolutely -- if you have extra time, then there was no need to point that out in your OP. Yes, in that case, your 495 is valid. I still strongly advise that you aim for the best you can do, not just 503. In my experience, people who do that invariably fall just a little short more often than not.
I was basing it off of the typical time, because I'm unsure of how much additional time the MCAT allots. Thank you and I will take your advice to aim higher and plan on falling short a bit.
 

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I was basing it off of the typical time, because I'm unsure of how much additional time the MCAT allots. Thank you and I will take your advice to aim higher and plan on falling short a bit.
Did you already receive your accommodation? If so, it should tell you exactly how much extra time you will receive. If not, don't assume you are going to receive it. They are really tough about granting them!!
 
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I did have the 300 page P/S, Here's something I did personally. I printed out the official MCAT content list. I made multiple tabs on One Note with those list as the main goal. I literally tried to find all the relevant information for each type concept, and tried went to Uworld for practice questions. I did this for 15 days. It improved my practice scores significantly. Keep working hard, don't get discouraged. I promise, whatever amount of work you put into it. It will pay off!
 
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I have Biochem lined up for this fall! The way the program works is that we all only finish Biochem a month before the MCAT test date, which means I'm not expecting to do well on B/B, unfortunately. I see my logic has been flawed and I should aim higher, but I am glad to hear it should not be difficult to achieve above a 503! Thank you :)

Actually, this should make B/B the easiest section for you! Typically, the material you learn in undergrad biochem is much more than you need to know for the MCAT, and I'm assuming you're going to be studying for your biochem final, which means you won't have to spend much time focusing on MCAT biochem.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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I did have the 300 page P/S, Here's something I did personally. I printed out the official MCAT content list. I made multiple tabs on One Note with those list as the main goal. I literally tried to find all the relevant information for each type concept, and tried went to Uworld for practice questions. I did this for 15 days. It improved my practice scores significantly. Keep working hard, don't get discouraged. I promise, whatever amount of work you put into it. It will pay off!
I've heard about looking at the official MCAT content list, but I didn't think of personally organizing information to them. It sounds like a lot to do, but the pay off clearly seems worth it. Thank you so much for the encouragement and tips! I really appreciate it! c:

Actually, this should make B/B the easiest section for you! Typically, the material you learn in undergrad biochem is much more than you need to know for the MCAT, and I'm assuming you're going to be studying for your biochem final, which means you won't have to spend much time focusing on MCAT biochem.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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Huh, I always assumed because I would have less time to prep for Biochem, I would be weaker in that section! But this does make me feel less stressed, thank you!
 
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