How tough is MCAT?

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Agent47

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I'm freshmen in college. I'm just curious how exactly the toughness of MCAT is! How long do u have to study to get 30+ score? When should someone start studying for MCAT? ...I'm freshmen ...and i was thinking to start studying for MCAT. Do u think it's too early to start or it's good to start early?....Please reply

Thank you, Need you opinion!:)
 

Pansit

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I'm freshmen in college. I'm just curious how exactly the toughness of MCAT is! How long do u have to study to get 30+ score? When should someone start studying for MCAT? ...I'm freshmen ...and i was thinking to start studying for MCAT. Do u think it's too early to start or it's good to start early?....Please reply

Thank you, Need you opinion!:)

To me the test is such a crapshoot. I am a pretty hard-working student, and to do well in class you just have to work hard and you will get the A's no doubt. You study for 4 months on the mcat, get above 30's on practice tests but if one thing goes wrong on test day then your screwed for that test day...especially in verbal. If hard-work is the only factor that equates to success on the mcat than I will tell you that the test is not too diffucult and is doable, but never ever tell yourself that you have the test mastered because only one thing goes wrong and you are done. good luck...study hard and most importantly is to study effeciently.
 

Funky

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well, getting a perfect score on the mcat is just like trying to lick your elbow. it's rumored that people have done it before but nobody ever does it.
pansit said it well. since it involves critical thinking, it makes the test all the more harder
 

killinsound

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If you were given all the questions straight up and not in passage/critical thinking form, this test would be a breeze. However, deriving information from passages is what makes it challenging. Verbal is always going to be a huge crap shoot.
 

Anastasis

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For now, I would suggest do well in your classes and "learn" the material, not just memorize. Then, some time in your junior year start prep for the MCAT. I think 2-3 months of prep is plenty if you know your stuff. Critical thinking is as important as knowing the material.
This is very good advice.

I went back to school to take my prerecs so I had all the courses on the MCAT (with the exception of Physics I and Chem I&II) within a year of taking the MCAT. Basically I treated those courses like MCAT prep and made sure I REALLY REALLY knew my stuff. Then in the spring I started studying everyday for about 1 - 1 1/2 hrs and a practice test every 1 -2 weeks (reviewing the answers when I was done). Now the truth is that it really depends on your test taking abilities/critical thinking skills. I have friend who followed a similar schedule and couldn't break 30 whereas I ended up doing really well. It's all about finding a study schedule that works for you.
 

Schaden Freud

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Well, the MCAT's tough. A good deal of how you do on the MCAT will reflect your natural abilities (over which you have arguably no control at this point). What you can do now is to study bio, chem, and physics to the point where you really understand those subjects. This is different from merely doing well on the tests. You should be able to explain the material to other people (try to be a TA or tutor for one of these classes). In addition to the pre-med courses, take some philosophy or formal logic- this may help on the verbal reasoning.

I'm freshmen in college. I'm just curious how exactly the toughness of MCAT is! How long do u have to study to get 30+ score? When should someone start studying for MCAT? ...I'm freshmen ...and i was thinking to start studying for MCAT. Do u think it's too early to start or it's good to start early?....Please reply

Thank you, Need you opinion!:)
 

chemolupusMD

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I am studying for the mcat now, and when i was a freshmen i ask the same question to my premed adviser. She told me to freshmen and sophemore year to try to get the basic classes, you know, ur chems, bios and phys. But what she told me is really key is to keep reading, ALL THE TIME! not only for your science class, to read more increase your reading speed and your understanding. So good luck with ur college carrier. :D
 
F

Foghorn

You can try using MCAT material as a study supplement for the science classes you are currently taking or will eventually take.
 

novawildcat

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On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hardest) I would give the MCAT about a 7. The verbal section on tests like the GRE are MUCH more difficult. The GRE subject exams also make the MCAT look like a joke. The MCAT isn't easy, but it isn't rediculously difficult.
 

Tired Pigeon

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For the physics/chem/bio sections, just try to learn as much in your prerequisite courses as you can. If you get a good foundation, a lot of it will come back to you when you're reviewing in the months leading up to the test.

For the verbal, the people I know who did best on this section are people who read a lot beyond stuff that was required academically. Find things that interest you and read books/articles about these topics in your free time.
 

Morpholino

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If you have grasped the material in your introductory science classes, studying for the MCAT should not take more than 2-3 months. Don't kill an entire year of college just for the MCATs -- I'm sure you'll have something better to do with your time!

Since there is so much variability on test day, just try your best and see what comes of it.
 

akinf

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I'm freshmen in college. I'm just curious how exactly the toughness of MCAT is! How long do u have to study to get 30+ score? When should someone start studying for MCAT? ...I'm freshmen ...and i was thinking to start studying for MCAT. Do u think it's too early to start or it's good to start early?....Please reply

Thank you, Need you opinion!:)

If you have seen James Bond: Casino Royale, think back to when he was being tortured by Le Chifre after the poker game and that's what the MCAT is like.
 

LeafNinja

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I am a freshman and I am actually having tons of fun studying for the MCAT. Because I am learning physics/chem/math and the same time, I can actually answer a lot of questions and apply what I know from class. It really inspires me to learn more and do well.
 

MSKalltheway

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I'm freshmen in college. I'm just curious how exactly the toughness of MCAT is! How long do u have to study to get 30+ score? When should someone start studying for MCAT? ...I'm freshmen ...and i was thinking to start studying for MCAT. Do u think it's too early to start or it's good to start early?....Please reply

Thank you, Need you opinion!:)

I'd say just worry about your pre-reqs for the next two years or so. If you work real hard to get a great GPA, not only will you be on your way to getting into a medical school (maybe even good or great one) you hopefully have done well in the classes which teach the material for the MCAT. If you do well, re-studying all this material will be a waste of time for the most part...then that 2-3 months or prep will be much better spent on practicing the exam questions and mastering its style as opposed to reviewing ~32 credits worth of material.

Don't worry about the MCAT so much now, although its great you are figuring out what you have to do to score well on it. Focus on your classes and doing well from the start of undergrad. Believe me, you'll have plenty of time later to worry about, and have tons of fun with the MCAT.
 

EMH

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Don't sweat it, just stay up late the night before and cram some.
 

Krisss17

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This is very good advice.

I went back to school to take my prerecs so I had all the courses on the MCAT (with the exception of Physics I and Chem I&II) within a year of taking the MCAT. Basically I treated those courses like MCAT prep and made sure I REALLY REALLY knew my stuff. Then in the spring I started studying everyday for about 1 - 1 1/2 hrs and a practice test every 1 -2 weeks (reviewing the answers when I was done). Now the truth is that it really depends on your test taking abilities/critical thinking skills. I have friend who followed a similar schedule and couldn't break 30 whereas I ended up doing really well. It's all about finding a study schedule that works for you.


This is in essence what it is all about...CRITICAL THINKING. You (meaning the OP) need to know your basic sciences, but more importantly you need to know how you would apply the information that you learned.

What I would suggest as you go along your studies is when you are studying a particular concept in one of the four basic sciences (chemistry-organic and inorganic, biology and physicis) that you try to think of how you would apply it. It'll help you as you go along as well as when you take the MCAT. Since you are also in the beginning of your undergrad, look to see if you have a critical reading class...it'll help you delve deeper into passages, especially the verbal portion.

And another important thing is to learn how to pace yourself...take a mix of classes and classes that you will have some enjoyment. You want to do well on your prereqs, and if you are coming to a pre-req which you know will be more time intensive, don't overload on other time intensive classes. I'm not saying to take just one science class per semester, but if you take two science classes with their respective labs, make sure that the other two classes that you take are providing you with enjoyment and an easy "A" to you.

Krisss17
 

SunshineNYC

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I'm freshmen in college. I'm just curious how exactly the toughness of MCAT is! How long do u have to study to get 30+ score? When should someone start studying for MCAT? ...I'm freshmen ...and i was thinking to start studying for MCAT. Do u think it's too early to start or it's good to start early?....Please reply

Thank you, Need you opinion!:)


Unlike you, I had NO clue that I wanted to go to medical school until after I graduated from my undergraduate institution. I had to spend two years doing post-bac work and working and then I spent a whole summer dedicated to taking the MCAT and I did well, scoring a 30R, 10's in each sub-category.

My only suggestion really is to focus solely on the MCAT before taking it. If this means taking a year before going to medical school, then I suggest it. Work for a year in a hospital or related field and take a prep course as early as possible. I did a Kaplan course and did some hours of private tutoring. While this may or may not have helped a lot or a little, it didn't hurt and I was of the mindset that this was the ONE and ONLY time I was going to do this and so it better be done right. I think a lot of people struggle while in the midst of pre-med courses to study for MCATs properly. I also suggest taking a biochemistry course and finishing both semesters of physics before taking the MCAT. I think it would help. I really believe that my score would have been at least 2 or 3 points higher had I taken biochemistry.

Take as many full-length tests as possible because it really builds up your stamina, which is a major factor on a test like this. You will learn how to stay focused on one thing for so long. It was definitely good that I took at least one practice test a week, sometimes two, because my test was over 12 hours long with all of the craziness and interruptions that occurred. It was horrible, but in the end I came out okay.

Enjoy undergrad now and don't worry about the MCATs until after college is my advice. Good luck.
 
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