I got a 491 mcat score. Asking for advice to improve my score

M

mitrieD

I studied for 4 months and about 5 hours a day for the mcat and I got a 491, which is like a 19 on the old Mcat :scared:. I'm pretty devastated. The materials I used was the Exam Krackers book set, and the EK 1001 physics and Cars. I think the problem is that I only took one FL practice exam (from EK). I got a decently higher score on that compared to the real Mcat (I avg. 125 in each section for the EK exam). Maybe that practice exam was easier. I can't apply to podiatry school with this score.


Anyways I'm asking for advice. I just purchased the TPR psych and soc book (Psych and soc was my lowest score) as well as the Official Guide to the Mcat Exam book for the practice problems as well as to keep up with all of the topics that I will be tested on.

I don't know if I should go through EK again and just study more? Or maybe I should take more practice exams. I should probably do both. I can't really afford to shell out for all of the TPR text books, and I don't know how much more effective the Kaplan 7 book set is compared to EK.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I can really use the advice.
 
OP
M

mitrieD

what did 4 months of studying include if you only took 1 fl?
I spent a lot of time in physics EK 1001 and practiced chem. Those were my weakest subjects at the time. Ironically PS was my highest score on the Mcat. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
 

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I don't think the content of any prep company is sufficient to conquer the MCAT. As @HopefulPilot said - it's the FLs that get you to a higher score: content is one thing, mastering how to apply content is another
 
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mitrieD

I'd suggest following a structured study plan. Several posted on here. The plan needs to include all topics and multiple fl's. I don't think you need to buy new study material.

If you're not self motivated, I suggest forking out money for a in person prep class.

What was your ek %'s?
My ek %'s from my practice exam?
 

GrapesofRath

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what did 4 months of studying include if you only took 1 fl?
Reviewing content isn't studying for the MCAT. Studying for the MCAT is doing as many FL's as you can and thorough analyzing them. That's where the crux of the problem lies entirely.
 
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M

mitrieD

Reviewing content isn't studying for the MCAT. Studying for the MCAT is doing as many FL's as you can and thorough analyzing them. That's where the crux of the problem lies entirely.
I really hope you're right because I'm going to be focusing a lot more on practice exams this time around. I can't do the same thing twice and expect different results. Its so unfortunate how there are relatively so few exams available.
 

GrapesofRath

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I really hope you're right because I'm going to be focusing a lot more on practice exams this time around. I can't do the same thing twice and expect different results. Its so unfortunate how there are relatively so few exams available.
EK, AAMC and Next Step have to be your focus. Getting a 491 though also reveals your content and background knowledge was sorely lacking. You have to focus alot better in terms of coming up with an effective study plan and learning the material efficiently and in a timely manner.
 
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mitrieD

EK, AAMC and Next Step have to be your focus. Getting a 491 though also reveals your content and background knowledge was sorely lacking. You have to focus alot better in terms of coming up with an effective study plan and learning the material efficiently and in a timely manner.
Is Nextstep just content review like Kaplan or EK?
 

StudyLater

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You still haven't told us what you actually got on the EK exam.

There's something else really wrong e.g. with your ability to comprehend what you're reading or your ability to critically think about a problem under time constraints if you actually knew your content and got this score.

Did you run out of time on the real thing? Was there something that really popped out at you when you took it that indicated you were screwed?
 
Jun 6, 2015
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You still haven't told us what you actually got on the EK exam.

There's something else really wrong e.g. with your ability to comprehend what you're reading or your ability to critically think about a problem under time constraints if you actually knew your content and got this score.

Did you run out of time on the real thing? Was there something that really popped out at you when you took it that indicated you were screwed?
This. The point of taking FLs is that you get to simulate test conditions and get used to working under stress. Without timed practice, you may get a question right when you work it out, but if you are pressed for time, you may be screwed. The other point of FLs is, like everyone else said, to make sure you can think about a topic in a new way. The MCAT is designed to give us unfamiliar scenarios and force us to use basic knowledge to reach the correct answer. Also, do you employ strategies such as process-of-elimination or emergency guessing? Part of any multiple choice standardized exam is not so much getting a definite right answer that you are 100% sure of, but getting rid of things you know are obviously wrong and then making an educated guess.

Also, you need to do at least a handful of FLs (fully timed, simulated, even if you can only do them at odd times of the day). For subjects you are weak in, timed sectional exams and practice passages are also great, but FLs prepare you for the experience of the test while the sectional tests/practice passages help you with conceptual thinking and filling content gaps in a targeted area.
 
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M

mitrieD

You still haven't told us what you actually got on the EK exam.

There's something else really wrong e.g. with your ability to comprehend what you're reading or your ability to critically think about a problem under time constraints if you actually knew your content and got this score.

Did you run out of time on the real thing? Was there something that really popped out at you when you took it that indicated you were screwed?

Sorry... okay I got a 51 % :( (PS: 25/59 - CARS: 31/53 - Bio:32/59 - Psy/Soc: 30/59)
The psy/soc on the EK was bogus and only had terms from their own study books. The actual Mcat had like 1-2 terms from EK. Thats why I just bought the TPR book.

I did not run out on the actual exam. I really think my critical thinking skills are the culprit, but I could be wrong. I just felt like I studied the content of the subjects too much for me to not know the knowledge. Not sure how I can improve my critical analysis for this exam. I'm sure that's everyone's problem though.
 
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Which hormone is responsible for feeling of satiety?

A) Leptin
B) Glucagon
C) CKK
D) Melatonin
E) Two of the above
 

StudyLater

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Btw isn't it CCK? Not CKK.

(smartass correction for the day: check).
 

FutureMrDr

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i think so, that way cholecystokinase makes more sense for the abbreviation.
 
Jul 20, 2014
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I got a 19 on my first MCAT. Studied for 4 months at 8 hours/day (with a 1 day break per week). Took it a second time and got a 23. About to take it a 3rd time (after I finally learned how to truly study for the MCAT, which sometimes takes a little longer for some people).

Don't let it get you down.

Persevere.colorado-coaching-obstacles.jpg
 
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Oh, and my biggest problem was that I focused too much on content, when I really needed to be focusing on developing my MCAT test-taking skills. You'll be fine, just keep at it.
 
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Jul 29, 2014
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Which hormone is responsible for feeling of satiety?

A) Leptin
B) Glucagon
C) CKK
D) Melatonin
E) Two of the above
I would've totally gotten this wrong...Leptin is definitely involved, glucagon actually causes feeling of hunger...its Glucagon LIKE peptide (GLP) that causes satiety, but I did not know CCK causes feelings of satiety...in retrospect it makes sense
 
OP
M

mitrieD

I got a 19 on my first MCAT. Studied for 4 months at 8 hours/day (with a 1 day break per week). Took it a second time and got a 23. About to take it a 3rd time (after I finally learned how to truly study for the MCAT, which sometimes takes a little longer for some people).

Don't let it get you down.

Persevere.View attachment 195671
Oh, and my biggest problem was that I focused too much on content, when I really needed to be focusing on developing my MCAT test-taking skills. You'll be fine, just keep at it.

I'm in the same boat. I spent 80/20 content/test taking of my time studying the first time around. I can't make that same mistake this time. What study materials are you using for your third time around?
 
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I'm in the same boat. I spent 80/20 content/test taking of my time studying the first time around. I can't make that same mistake this time. What study materials are you using for your third time around?
I used Altius.
 
Jun 19, 2015
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As others have said, you need to do a lot more practice. Make the most out of the practice, though, by using each FL as a way to find your weak areas. Take the time to go through each problem you got wrong, and identify the weakness in your understanding that made you get it wrong. Then review that concept and practice with specific questions from your college textbooks or EK 1001's. Also look at questions you got right, because you will get some right for the wrong reason.

If you approach it this way, each successive FL you should get fewer and fewer questions wrong, because you're filling in your knowledge/understanding gaps. And then you should do much better on your next MCAT. :)