How would you compare difficulty between section bank and the real MCAT?

Chromatic543

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Mar 21, 2016
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So I have been studying using TBR supplemented wtih Kaplan and EK, and I have taken three TBR FLs and three EK FLs, and I am planning on taking the last EK FL, the scored AAMC FL, and the unscored AAMC FL. I have been gradually improving in my scores, however when I bought the section bank for practice as per recommendation, I am finding it to be quite difficult compared to what I have done before. My problem does not lie in the format (thank you EK), but the difficulty of the experiments, quick data interpretation, and the questions.

My question is how is the section bank compared to the real MCAT? I am only two weeks away from my test and I have three FLs to go, but the section bank is scaring me.
 
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alpha-GTP

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Section bank is definitely more difficult. It's good practice for the most difficult MCAT passages.
 

kamakazi5

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From everything I have been reading lately it seems that most people get two sections that are very much like the section bank and two sections that are a mix with a few section bank style passages. I took the test last Saturday and my C/P and P/S were very much like the section bank in difficulty, if not more so while my CARS and B/B seemed very reasonable with a few somewhat difficult passages. It's completely random.

Honestly, do each section bank a couple of times to get your speed down and maybe even do another EK FL (besides the one you're already planning on). EK seems to be the best at mimicking the section bank in my opinion.
 
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Chromatic543

Chromatic543

2+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2016
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Medical Student (Accepted)
From everything I have been reading lately it seems that most people get two sections that are very much like the section bank and two sections that are a mix with a few section bank style passages. I took the test last Saturday and my C/P and P/S were very much like the section bank in difficulty, if not more so while my CARS and B/B seemed very reasonable with a few somewhat difficult passages. It's completely random.

Honestly, do each section bank a couple of times to get your speed down and maybe even do another EK FL (besides the one you're already planning on). EK seems to be the best at mimicking the section bank in my opinion.
Thank you for your response. Seems like it is not a bad idea to repeat the section banks, from your post. Still seems kind of frightening because I thought EK was hard until I got to these section banks.

1. Do you think I should do passages timed?
2. Should I do it in one-two sittings to mimic MCAT conditions? Or should I do it in multiple sittings?
3. Do you think 9 minutes per passage is good or is too much time?

THANK YOU!
 

mhagerman

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Apr 13, 2016
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Thank you for your response. Seems like it is not a bad idea to repeat the section banks, from your post. Still seems kind of frightening because I thought EK was hard until I got to these section banks.

1. Do you think I should do passages timed?
2. Should I do it in one-two sittings to mimic MCAT conditions? Or should I do it in multiple sittings?
3. Do you think 9 minutes per passage is good or is too much time?

THANK YOU!
I definitely second the notion of repeating the section banks. I did them twice - once about a month out from my test, and once about a week out. It was really helpful to solidify some of the intense reading comprehension that's required of you in these more involved passages.

In response to your questions, I personally didn't bother mimicking the MCAT conditions during anything except practice tests. I think standalone questions should be just that - an opportunity to understand how the most difficult questions are structured. I saved the stress of timed questions for the practice tests, and I don't think my performance suffered for it.
 
Feb 28, 2016
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5
So I have been studying using TBR supplemented wtih Kaplan and EK, and I have taken three TBR FLs and three EK FLs, and I am planning on taking the last EK FL, the scored AAMC FL, and the unscored AAMC FL. I have been gradually improving in my scores, however when I bought the section bank for practice as per recommendation, I am finding it to be quite difficult compared to what I have done before. My problem does not lie in the format (thank you EK), but the difficulty of the experiments, quick data interpretation, and the questions.

My question is how is the section bank compared to the real MCAT? I am only two weeks away from my test and I have three FLs to go, but the section bank is scaring me.
Quick question. Do you do TBR passages at the end of each chapter (the 100 questions)? Did they help somewhat in preparing you for the SB? I haven't gotten up to the SB stuff yet since I'm taking the exam in January, but I've been doing TBR passages and Khan Academy passages, so I'm wondering if TBR helps when doing the AAMC material.