virilep

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hey guys, I know you all are studying your asses off and trying to learn as much as you can. I did the same thing three times... it sucked. but finally the damn thing paid off. anyhow. people as me what I did differently the last time I took it and other than studying and taking practice tests and stuff, the following really helped me out.

starting, whenever u want. try to go to sleep at a fixed time. Even on the wkend. like let's say latest of 1am. then as time gets closer and closer. ( I did it on a bi-weekly schedule), go to sleep earlier. like the first time I was all nervous the night before and it took me forever to go to sleep. but the last time I was so tired I passed out. a week before the test, make sure you're sleeping at 9 and waking up at 5. I know this sounds crazy, but after u wake up the morning of the MCAT and feel all refreshed, you'll know what I mean. So like 2 weeks before, go to sleep at 10 and wake up at 6. and the week before 11 and 7. Whatever u want, but I feel like this is something you have to work on and can't really wait until the last week to adjust. I know the advice is coming early. but just something to contemplate. Also... I took practice tests every other week at the actual test site in the same room. We had ours on campus so it gave me a comfortable feel for the whole room and taking the tests at the table and stuff. I know this might sound a lil over done. but honestly, wouldn't you do anything for one or two points more? it makes the world of difference. alright, holla if u got questions.
 

Kiroro

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Thank you for the great advice!
I'm going to take the MCAT on campus too, and was thinking about doing what you said. However, I'm not sure if the room is open on Saturdays.... I guess I'll go check this Sat.
 

NRAI2001

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virilep said:
hey guys, I know you all are studying your asses off and trying to learn as much as you can. I did the same thing three times... it sucked. but finally the damn thing paid off. anyhow. people as me what I did differently the last time I took it and other than studying and taking practice tests and stuff, the following really helped me out.

starting, whenever u want. try to go to sleep at a fixed time. Even on the wkend. like let's say latest of 1am. then as time gets closer and closer. ( I did it on a bi-weekly schedule), go to sleep earlier. like the first time I was all nervous the night before and it took me forever to go to sleep. but the last time I was so tired I passed out. a week before the test, make sure you're sleeping at 9 and waking up at 5. I know this sounds crazy, but after u wake up the morning of the MCAT and feel all refreshed, you'll know what I mean. So like 2 weeks before, go to sleep at 10 and wake up at 6. and the week before 11 and 7. Whatever u want, but I feel like this is something you have to work on and can't really wait until the last week to adjust. I know the advice is coming early. but just something to contemplate. Also... I took practice tests every other week at the actual test site in the same room. We had ours on campus so it gave me a comfortable feel for the whole room and taking the tests at the table and stuff. I know this might sound a lil over done. but honestly, wouldn't you do anything for one or two points more? it makes the world of difference. alright, holla if u got questions.
Taking a practice test in the testing site is a good idea. :thumbup:
 

cfdavid

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Great advice. I'll be doing that for sure, as my biggest concern is being able to fall asleep. It's a huge factor since if you go in mentally fatiqued, you're screwed.
 

musiclink213

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just out of curiosity, how do you know what room the test is going to be in? i signed up to take it a campus next door to my uni, but i have no clue what building, let alone the room.
 

NRAI2001

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musiclink213 said:
just out of curiosity, how do you know what room the test is going to be in? i signed up to take it a campus next door to my uni, but i have no clue what building, let alone the room.
U mean u don't have aamc inside connections?
 

juniper456

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cfdavid said:
Great advice. I'll be doing that for sure, as my biggest concern is being able to fall asleep. It's a huge factor since if you go in mentally fatiqued, you're screwed.
honestly, if you're having trouble sleeping, ask your doc for something to help you sleep. it may sound a bit extreme, but a couple of months of taking sleeping pills isn't going to kill you. just make sure they're not habit-forming. try ambien. :thumbup:
 

aamartin81

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juniper456 said:
honestly, if you're having trouble sleeping, ask your doc for something to help you sleep. it may sound a bit extreme, but a couple of months of taking sleeping pills isn't going to kill you. just make sure they're not habit-forming. try ambien. :thumbup:
It will however kill any sex drive... so you might want to rethink that approach.

Adam
 
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virilep

virilep

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glad i could help u guys.. i know i went through hell and back...
 

Kazema

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Getting a lot of sleep all week before the test will attenuate the affects of a night of tossing and turning the night before. I remember I got like 9-10 hours every day (going to bed no later than 9:30 pm) all week the week before. The night before I went to bed at 9 but didn't fall asleep until 3 am. I was pretty pissed about that but I found I really wasn't that tired when I walked into the testing room for PS, and in fact I was up until 3 am playing hold'em the night after I took the test too. I credit that to the combination of so much sleep before that night and the adrenaline rush all day the day of the test.

So basically I'm just agreeing with virilep. Adjust your sleep schedule well in advance - that way, even if you can't fall asleep the night before it won't hurt you too much.

EDIT: Oh, I also agree about scouting out your testing site. I went to my testing room the day before the exam and sat in it reading the WSJ from cover (...?) to cover. When I walked in the next day I was totally calm because it seemed like a familiar situation.
 

palminator2003

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From what I was told at a large test prep company is that your performance will correlate to the amount of sleep you get 2 nights before the test. So, if you test on saturday, be sure to get full sleep on thursday night. Having your sleep cycle matched up with exam conditions definitely helps too. I adjusted my cycle the week before the MCAT and felt great throughout the day. I had foresworn caffeine for months and didn't even need to use my bottle of coke that I brought (just in case). So, if you're still reading this when I'm posting it, GET TO BED! :sleep: :sleep: :sleep:
 

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One other word of advice for everyone out there worrying about not falling asleep and being alert on test day. Get in the habit now of waking up early, and by early I mean 5:30 to 6:00 everyday except Sunday (even though were studying all the time we still got to have one night of fun and a day to sleep in and relax, this does wonders for your stress levels). Also, get in the habit of strenous exercise four times a week no later than 6:00 pm. You might think this is cutting into your study time but thirty minutes of simply jogging four times a week will get you sleeping better at night, and clear your mind of all the bs thats floating around in it after studying for 5 hours. I have a friend who scored a 33 his first time and he works out all the time. He also partys like a rockstar, but is now in med school and still works out religously. I cant stress exercise enough. I used to be an average student who didnt ever study hard and slept in all the time. I changed my ways and wake up at 6:00 everday and work out in the mornings or evenings. By working out I mean lifting weights and running about 10 miles a week.

I now make 4.0's, sleep very well at night and am doing very well on my practice MCAT exams and it has been three years since I have had physics, general Chem and O Chem class. I just cant explain how much of a difference working out makes. You just dont get stressed out about stuff. So anyway, if you guys start exercising now, the friday before the MCAT you will have no problem going out, running 3 miles the afternoon before the test, releiving the stress your feeling about the test and sleeping like a baby. So to reiterate, START WORKING OUT NOW. Your mind and body will thank you for the rest of your life.
 

kcernak

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When do you guys think we should start altering our sleep schedule? What time did you guys wake up on test day?
 

tank you

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i think sleeping at 9 is crazy, i dont think i could even do it, no matter how hard i try. did u guys stop drinking caffeine? i drink coffe from starbucks almost every day.
 

jigglyboo

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I've been trying to adjust my sleep schedule as well, but i got fawked over. I tried taking generic sleeping pills OTC. Woke up early and did a 3 mile run. 8 hours later, i break out in a rash all over my body! eep! I couldn't sleep the whole nite cuz i was itchy. Next day i was sore from working out and itchy. Due to some sleep deprivation, i'm sick now. Sucks big time.

Lesson of the day: if you try anything to help for the Mcat 1 or 2 weeks prior... try it NOW! Or else, u don't want to find out that ur actually allergic to something (especially FOOD). Also WHen u go to the testing site to practice your tests, you might want to check out where all the bathrooms are. You don't wanna wait in line during the 10 min break and realize u wont get to relieve yourself.
 

Economist

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I don't think sleep is as big an issue as everyone makes it out to be. I had a lot of trouble sleeping the week of the MCAT, and only got 3 or 4 hours the night before the test. But when you sit down and start taking it, adrenaline takes over and you have the energy you need.

I agree that it's important to get in the habit of getting up early, but don't go crazy if you can't fall asleep before the test. Your body's stress response will carry you through just fine. Like a previous poster said, I actually couldn't sleep the night after the test, either. Your system just gets so revved up.
 

musiclink213

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Holistic said:
... Also, get in the habit of strenous exercise four times a week no later than 6:00 pm. You might think this is cutting into your study time but thirty minutes of simply jogging four times a week will get you sleeping better at night, and clear your mind of all the bs thats floating around in it after studying for 5 hours. I have a friend who scored a 33 his first time and he works out all the time. He also partys like a rockstar, but is now in med school and still works out religously. I cant stress exercise enough. I used to be an average student who didnt ever study hard and slept in all the time. I changed my ways and wake up at 6:00 everday and work out in the mornings or evenings. By working out I mean lifting weights and running about 10 miles a week.

I now make 4.0's, sleep very well at night and am doing very well on my practice MCAT exams and it has been three years since I have had physics, general Chem and O Chem class. I just cant explain how much of a difference working out makes. You just dont get stressed out about stuff. So anyway, if you guys start exercising now, the friday before the MCAT you will have no problem going out, running 3 miles the afternoon before the test, releiving the stress your feeling about the test and sleeping like a baby. So to reiterate, START WORKING OUT NOW. Your mind and body will thank you for the rest of your life.
but you gotta be careful if you work out too hard. i skate a lot and do a bunch of off ice training, and i've seen a lot of people push themselves further than they should. that leads to injuries, which is not good. because of my skating, my hip is constantly throbbing gand my back is always sore, but i wouldn't have it any other way since i love the sport. but there are people who wouldn't be able to deal with the pain. so to all those people planning on working out, yes it's great, but don't over do it unless you know what you're doing. because it's kinda hard to sleep at night when everything hurts. i have to sleep with a special pad on my matress for my back. and i still sometimes have problems. but i agree that the lower stress levels and sense of accomplishments is worth it.

why i drag my ass out of bed at 6 am to skate for half an hour in a freezing cold rinkand risk coming to class late, i have no clue. but i love it. my grades are better when i'm skating then when i'm not. there's nothing like doing homework at the rink while you wait to get the feeling back in your feet.
 

juniper456

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aamartin81 said:
It will however kill any sex drive... so you might want to rethink that approach.

Adam
who has time for sex? take the pills.