Improvement on MCAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by rxfudd, Feb 24, 2001.

  1. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Messages:
    1,343
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I'm taking a series of practice MCATs over the next 8 weeks and have found that I am improving VERY slowly from test to test (about a point every test). Did anyone else who has taken the actual MCAT notice the same type of improvement? How did your test scores change throughout your practices and then on the real thing? Anyone start out low and show linear improvement to a decent score?

    And how the hell do you do well on the verbal???? I can't seem to get above about an 8...
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. MAAT

    MAAT Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,398
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I've had similar results...improving slowly test after test. However, aside from Kaplan and Princeton, I have found that most of the test prep books are flawed. The sample questions presented are not the same as in the AAMC practice MCAT's. And when I say "not the same" I mean they are different in either content, difficulty, or both. I think the AAMC practice tests are the standard to go by to predict your possible score on the real thing.

    I think the key to analyzing your results on practice tests from other sources (non-AAMC) is just to see how comfortable you feel. Is taking the test getting easier for your (even if you score is not going up)? It should be.

    Also, on the sciences section it has helped me to figure out which particular areas I need more work on. For example, it seems Redox Tables appear on many practice MCAT's. I wasn't so hot on that topic before I started taking tests so I dragged out some old chemistry books and now I'm a redox superstar.

    After I take a full practice test (fully-timed, starting at 8 a.m., close to real thing as possible) I then go over each and every answer...even the ones I got right. As I'm taking the test, I put a small question mark next to the questions to which I'm not totally positive about to be sure that I review exactly why I got it right/wrong. For the questions where I'm totally guessing, I circle and be sure to learn that topic.

    I'm rambling now. Study hard. Cheers.

    [This message has been edited by mpp (edited 02-26-2001).]
     
  5. Mossjoh

    Mossjoh Mayo Clinic-PGY2

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2001
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mpp-
    Do you think the AAMC practice tests are like the real MCAT or are the Kaplan tests more like it? I found the AAMC tests easy and the Kaplan hard.
     
  6. gower

    gower 1K Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    The AAMC practice tests are real tests that have been given in past years. That is why they are the best to practice on.
     
  7. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Messages:
    1,343
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Mossjoh: I hear this constantly reiterated by people taking Kaplan tests. Although I have not yet taken the actual MCAT, it seems that the Kaplan philosophy is to give a super-hard test so that the real thing will seem a little bit easier (just look at their grading scale for evidence of this - you can get half wrong on bio and phys sci sections and still get an 8). It appears to me that this could have negative consequences for most premeds - I don't know about you, but after studying for a very difficuly course and then taking a really easy test (on really hard material), I find that I second-quess myself at the time of the exam. This will hopefully not happen at the MCAT.

    Although it will probably not help much for taking the upcoming April test, after taking the MCAT, I will have taken 6 Princeton Review practice tests, 6 Kaplan practice tests, 3 Peterson's Gold Standard practice tests, and 3 AAMC practice tests (III, IV, and V), all under test-simulated conditions. After the real thing (April), I will report how each compared to the real thing for the benefit of those taking the August test.

    [This message has been edited by rxfudd (edited 02-26-2001).]
     
  8. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,398
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Mossjoh,

    The Kaplan tests may be a bit harder but the RAW SCORE to SCALED SCORE table is a bit more lenient than on the AAMC practice tests. The AAMC tests better be similar to the MCAT since they are (except for test I) actual previously administered MCAT exams. However, I am not so sure if the RAW SCORE to SCALED SCORE table given in the AAMC booklets is the actual table used (none of them go above 12). I think the most important thing is to get comfortable with the style of the test and to pace yourself so that you can complete everything in the time alloted.

    rxfudd,

    I'll do the same...report how I felt these review tests compared. On top of the Kaplan, Princeton, Peterson's and AAMC tests I've taken, I've also tried the ARCO and REA tests. Neither of these are very good on the physical sciences...very different from the style of questions on the AAMC practice tests. I do like the ARCO Reading Comprehension passages as they seemed quite difficult and I think practicing with more difficult material can't hurt.

    If anyone feels that they need more practice with the reading comprehension sections, you can always use GRE practice books. The Reading Comprehension sections are very similarto MCAT. I get these books from my local library. They also have DAT, LSAT, GMAT, OAT, and VAT books and they all have reading comprehension sections that can probably help you prepare. In the least it should improve reading speed. Good luck. Only 54 more days til the test.
     

Share This Page