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How much time between FL and review?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Ad2b, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Ad2b

    Ad2b SDN Gold Donor
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    I just got a pukey score (again) on a Kaplan FL ... wondering how much time to put in between it and review?

    Start review now? Wait until tomorrow? Do another FL on TH?

    testing 9/12

    CP: 65%
    CARS: 80%
    BB: 55%
    PS: 55%

    (won't mention that I'm at a beach resort, sitting on a balcony, the families across the yard are whooping it up and I'm hungry) ... no excuses!!
     
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  3. bee17

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    I tried to review mine the next day, so I could remember how I felt about certain passages. I wouldn't wait longer than a few days at most.

    EDIT: I saw that you are considering reviewing immediately. Please don't do that to your poor brain! Go eat dinner and relax a bit. The MCAT will be there tomorrow, and you probably won't benefit much from review when you're mentally exhausted.
     
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  4. Ad2b

    Ad2b SDN Gold Donor
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    how long then before another FL?
     
  5. bee17

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    I would spend tomorrow reviewing and testing yourself on weak points. Then you could take another FL the day after tomorrow, or you could wait a little longer if you need to do more content review.
     
  6. Ad2b

    Ad2b SDN Gold Donor
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    Thank you, Bee17 - I'm missing easy points; nothing that catastrophic, just stupid things (and psych theories ... dear lawdy) :smack:
     
  7. bee17

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    It happens to all of us :)

    Enjoy your vacation a bit. I wouldn't take more than 2 FLs a week, maybe 3 if you're really trying to get them in. 7 hour tests take a lot out of you and take a while to review properly. If you are testing 9/12, I would take the AAMC FL soon (maybe next week) so you can get a feel for AAMC material.
     
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  8. OrdinaryDO

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    I don't understand why people ask this questions--it all depends on YOU. When you take a full-length you should always review the material thoroughly and efficiently. Do not rush through it and do not over work yourself or you will just waste your time. You have to know how long you can keep focused and when you should take breaks. Some people can study 8 hours straight with no breaks, some people can only go 30 minutes, it all has to do with how you feel about it. Do the full-length, review it thoroughly, then fix your weaknesses and THEN move on to another practice exam. You do not have to depend solely on full-length practice tests, either, you can do half-length or section practice tests..you could even do individual passages on Khan Academy. Find what works for YOU. No one else can help you with this.
     
  9. Ad2b

    Ad2b SDN Gold Donor
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    Asking for suggestions from those who have gone down this road before me is not unreasonable. In fact, as often as I offer advice, I like to get some once in awhile. ;)

    It's called perspective. Something that will serve me well in my life.
     
  10. OrdinaryDO

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    Call it what you want. I have already studied and taken this exam and I can tell you every person is different. I never said it was a bad thing to ask around and get some ideas, but in the end the questions you are asking are going to depend on YOU and only you.
     
  11. ElectricNoogie

    ElectricNoogie MCAT enthusiast

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    @OrdinaryDO is correct, to an extent. Each student is different in learning style, energy, stamina, strengths, weaknesses, etc... However, in my experience (and if this weren't true, none of the test prep companies or other educational institutions would exist) there are some standards to prepping and studying for this very standardized exam.

    I usually tell my students to avoid any in depth review the day they take their practice test. It may have been possible when the exam was 3 sections and ~4.5 hours to do so within a day, but now it's just not. Not if you want to get the most out of your exam score and to learn from it.

    It's a 7+ hour exam, so after you are done, score it. If you want to click through quickly seeing if there was any one passage you struggled with or a Q you were unsure of, fine. However, do not begin any in depth review. You brain needs time to decompress from the exam in order to properly analyze your performance.

    The next day is usually ideal to begin analysis and review. Two or more days you run the increasing risk of forgetting what you were thinking, or what led you to a particular guess. It is normal, especially early in your studies, for it to take as much if not more time to full review your FL exam than it did to take it. First you need to review ALL Q that you got wrong and ALL Qs you guessed on, right or wrong. Then you need to determine if your mistake was content or MCAT-related. Keeping track of this info either on paper or on computer will allow you to quickly identify trends, good or bad, and spot trouble areas.

    The most important part of your review is what we call the "Lesson Learned." In your own words, WHY did you get the Q wrong. The more specific you can be, the more useful your Lesson Learned Journal becomes. You will do this for all 4 sections, which may add up to 1.5-2 days of review.

    At the end, you will have a list of topics you need to 1) review content 2) do an MCAT style practice passage on or 3) both. This focused homework will occupy much of your time until your next practice test.

    Early on in your studies (6-8 weeks out) a FL a week is likely fine, if not too much. Once you are < 6 weeks out, you can do a FL a week. I would advise strongly against ever trying to do more than 2 FL a week. It's not impossible, but its all about quality, not quantity. You can fill in the days between FL exams with passage practice, content review, section practice, videos, etc..... You do not want to burn out and you should be taking 1 day off per week throughout your studies. Even in med school, I managed to find at least a half day off a week where I could relax and prevent myself from going crazy.


    TL, DR: A minimum of 2 days between FL exams to really get your greatest benefit from each exam you take.

    Hope this helps, good luck!!!
     
    #10 ElectricNoogie, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
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