Monkeymaniac

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I've never taken the test before, but I've frequently heard of people who ran out of scratch papers and had problems with it. How many pages of the paper do we get for the entire exam (I suppose that they are letter-sized two-sided blank)? Do we get them at once before the test, or are they distributed before the each section?
 

cliffhuxtableDO

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at my testing center we got a booklet of 4 pages and you had to use each page completely before they would give you another one. it's more than enough.
 

Monkeymaniac

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at my testing center we got a booklet of 4 pages and you had to use each page completely before they would give you another one. it's more than enough.
Thank you for the information. So by that, did you mean four sheets of papers or 2 sheets of papers with 2 pages on each sheet?
 

RogueUnicorn

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they gave me enough to slighly offend my conservationist sensibilities.. at my center they gave you a packet that you can exchange for a new one whenever you wanted
 

NYR56

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As the others have said, you get plenty, don't worry. You should be practicing using as little scrap paper as possible because it slows you down.
 

Vihsadas

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Also, if you're using it for math, make sure you're rounding like mad for MCAT math.
Deeefinitely.
FWIW, depending on how you prepare for exams, you shouldn't need more than the 4 sheets anyway. Alot of the math (can and should!) be done in your head.
 

RogueUnicorn

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Deeefinitely.
FWIW, depending on how you prepare for exams, you shouldn't need more than the 4 sheets anyway. Alot of the math (can and should!) be done in your head.
i could not disagree more. writing these down will prevent stupid errors
 

NYR56

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i could not disagree more. writing these down will prevent stupid errors
I guess it depends on the person but I have to disagree with you. First of all, if you do make a careless error, the chances of it appearing as an answer choice is relatively low. They often pick their answers for making common mistakes with the material, not for mathematical errors. On top of that, the math is very basic and writing it out will drastically slow you down. I'd much rather have the extra 15 minutes on PS to recheck questions with hard concepts than to go through writing out trivial math.

I'd suggest NEVER using scrap paper on the practice tests and questions so you get practice doing the math in your head. On the real thing use it if you need but keep it to a minimum.

Of course, if you've made the mistake of relying on a calculator for every little thing since grade school, this might be hard to change in a couple of months.
 

RogueUnicorn

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Errors of omission (particularly of zeros) or sign flips can EASILY occur with rushed math, and can often appear in the answer choices. If jotting down some numbers while doing the limited math present slows you down enough to affect your test completion, then truly this is the least of your worries. I also am not a big fan of leaving 10-15 minutes to recheck - leaves one vulnerable to a sort of Kotov syndrome as it is not enough time to do a thorough check through everything.
 

NYR56

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You might be right about that, actually. Jotting down a few numbers shouldn't slow you down but you most certainly should not be doing the math totally out on paper, which would be the case if you're running out of scrap paper.

As for the extra time, I thought it was perfect with the "mark" feature. Instead of wasting my time on one question and rushing for the rest of the exam, I knew I'd have extra time at the end to come back and didn't stress about it. The key is to practice with this strategy on the AAMC tests and ensure that you don't fall for that Kotov trap. Overall, it drastically reduced my stress while taking the exam since I never needed to race against the clock.
 

NYR56

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Pencils, at least at my testing center, but does it really make a difference?