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Is it enough?

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by shoppe, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. shoppe

    shoppe Member
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    After reading many advices on the "Attention 90+ PCAT people", I notice many of you started studying for the pcat at least 2 months in advance. Sure there are few exceptional people in there but I'm worry that I won't have enough time to study for PCAT. My semester is wrapping up so I have stopped trying to study for it since beginning of Nov. I will only have roughly 6 weeks from dec. 12 to Jan. 20 to study for the Jan. 21st PCAT. I plan to do some intensive studying like 8 hrs a day everyday til then. But then it's around Christmas time which means there will be lots of temptations! I know i'm nerve wrecking but i seriously doubt my chance of getting a decent score. Ok, so let's suppose I study 8 hrs a day/5 days a week (just like working full time!), do you think it is enough time? Also, I don't know if I try to study all subjects an hour or more everyday for 6 weeks or should I just focus on 1 subject a week? What would be an effective strategy to cram in all these materials? What have works for you?
     
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  3. ndearwater

    ndearwater SDN Donor
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    If you retained a moderate amount of info from your pre-requisites, 6 weeks should be ample in my opinion. I, of course, went mad and studied for months ahead of time but it wasn't really steady, continuous study.
    I had the same plan to study 40 hours a week over summer and it didn't quite happen until the end. Set realistic goals for studying for the PCAT. Give yourself a good 3 days after finals to recover from all the studying you've already been doing in class and then hit the review materials. :)
    You have 6 weeks and 5 subjects. Here's my tentative plan for you to do what you want with....
    Week 1: Study the subject you are the least comfortable with. Study 8 hours per day Monday through Thursday making progress through each portion of the overall subject. On Friday, go back, look at your progress and spend the day reviewing the areas of that particular subject that gave you the most trouble.
    Week 2, 3, 4, 5: Study 1 subject weekly in a successively "easier" order. Save your best subject for last because you probably need the least amount of time there and if something comes up or you missed some days, you got through the major points early on.
    Week 6: Go through all your notes, outlines etc. from what you've studied and review. I think we tend to study what we're good at because it makes us feel smarter but spend that week reviewing what's hardest for you!
    This is what I did and it worked well for me. Alter it however you need to. If you feel you need significantly more time in Quantitative, spend 2 weeks on that and squeeze Reading and Verbal into 1 week by itself. These are just suggestions- sorry for the long post!
    It can be difficult to organize all the material into a "studyable" format. Take notes and make little outlines to review later. Hope this helps!
     
  4. SearsTower

    SearsTower Membership Revoked
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    Don't study at all so you can rely on your own inherent reasoning.
     
  5. shoppe

    shoppe Member
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    ndearwater

    wow that's more than helpful! heheh Now I just need to make an attentive schedule for EACH DAY for each week on each section. heheh I made out the schedule for the biology week and it goes something like this

    Day 1-Cells
    Day 2-11 systems
    Day 3-Plants
    Day 4-Bacteria and Viruses
    Day 5-animals
    Day 6-test
    Day 7-speed

    I don't know Chemistry well enough to organize it into a coherent unit. Does anyone have any idea?
    hehe I find it easier to make a "good" schedule than to stick with it. Thus, as you can see, I spend all day "planning" on what im going to study rather than actually study the materials!!! heheh
     
  6. Brock1385

    Brock1385 Keepin my fingers crossed
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    Wow! What a helpful peice of advice. The last time I checked pretty much everyone here was attempting to give advice that was atleast somewhat beneficial, you smartass.
     
  7. SearsTower

    SearsTower Membership Revoked
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    Why are you so mean to me, Brock?
     
  8. inocenciotj

    inocenciotj Junior Member
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    Whew! That's a lot for a week. I'd spread it out to two weeks; it might help you retain more; or perhaps do the same routine twice in two weeks? But... whatever floats your bloat!
     
  9. shoppe

    shoppe Member
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    hehe I only have 6 weeks to study 5 sections. As nearwater advised, i plan to study 1 section each week and review on the 6th week. I'll probably do a lot of speed testing that week. heheh Do you or anyone know ways to organize chemistry into 5 or 6 coherent units so that I can study each day?
    Also, I think Chemistry will take 1.5 week because there's organic. As for reading, I think I just take a lot of test every morning for 6 weeks and read an article or something each day. heehe


    I hope this thread will help other people who want to know HOW TO STUDY FOR PCAT IN 6 WEEKS. :)
     
  10. inocenciotj

    inocenciotj Junior Member
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    Well, if you can do it, good luck 2 ya. But I think you should be able to stretch some here and cut some there. I mean really. Do you really need a whole week for verbal? Or reading comprehension? There's no real quick way to study for that, except for studying some rootwords here and there... things like those are developed through time and experience. Perhaps you could do a little here and there w/ verbal/reading as opposed to dedicating a whole week to it? What you are tested on in those sections is just so broad.

    However, with bio/chem/math, you can be sure that whatever you study for has more definite possibility of being on the test. Just my two cents worth I guess.
     
  11. sandyliu113

    sandyliu113 LuLuInNC
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    I was also in similar situation. I first took PCAT in June 2005 and made composite score of 67 and was really bummed, because I studied a TON for it. For the October 2005 PCAT, I used a different strategy and got composite of 95.

    Here's what I did. I knew that my only real chance of improving my score was to improve my Chemistry and Biology. My strongest suit was in Quantitative. Even though, I used the Kaplan guide, I found that information overload didn't really help me on the exam.

    What really helped me was spending a few weeks reviewing using Cliff Notes for Chemistry, Biology, Organic Chem and Calc I. Then, 1 or 2 weeks before the PCAT, I did lots of practice problems from Kaplan, Petersons, Harcourt website and timed myself. Even though I didn't do stellar on the practice tests, I was able to practice budgeting my time wisely on each of the problems. If I knew that If I was stuck on 1 problem, I learned to mark it, move on, and then come back. This paid off in Chemistry and Quantitative

    I learned a nifty trick with Reading Comprehension that helped me improve 20 points. Skim the questions first so that you know what types of answers you are looking for, and then read the passage. That really helped me focus my reading to find answers to the questions.

    Hope this helps!
     
  12. eric.noland

    eric.noland Junior Member

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    I don't know what kind of person you are, but in classes I retain a lot just by listening. So when I took the PCAT I honestly only studied for about 3 hours. I got a 91 composite. It jsut depends on if you need a lot of study time or not.
     
  13. eric.noland

    eric.noland Junior Member

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    I got good news for you... there is hardley anything on bacteria or viruses on the PCAT
     
  14. shoppe

    shoppe Member
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    Oops.. I forgot. I think I only have 5 weeks instead of 6 weeks, which freak me out because now.. I have less time to actually STUDY! :(

    My plan is to study day and night 10 hrs a day but i doubt it will happen. Once After Christmas sale starts, i'll be .. GONE! ... at least for 5 hrs. :oops:
     
  15. highlyfavored

    highlyfavored obligated to serve God...
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    Do you not have problems with concentrating for long hrs like that? I know my attention span is not that long. :rolleyes: Wish it was! Do you have a "secret" for staying focused for 8hrs while studying?
     
  16. Serenity Now!!!

    Serenity Now!!! DOIN' the Damned thing!
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    I studied for two hours straight and took a 15 min to 1/2 hour break between sessions. I cant concentrate that way for 8 hours...I doubt if many people can honestly do it either. It worked well for me (99% composite, No Joke!!). Also I think alot of people go overboard studying topics that wont come on the test. These tests repeat questions so you should already have an idea of the types of questions that will be asked
     
  17. shoppe

    shoppe Member
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    I can study for 8 hrs with break in between but not for 10 hours. Then again, around the holiday, I cant' shut many people in my life out. That would be terrible but oo I feel so bad.

    Serenity

    YOu studied for 2 hrs for the PCAT? Or you meant just in general? How did you do on PCAT?
     
  18. Serenity Now!!!

    Serenity Now!!! DOIN' the Damned thing!
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    Ahem, Bio 99. Reading 95, Verbal 97 Quant 92, Chem 99 Composite 99 Writing 4. 1st time test-taker
    I surprized myself...I was one of those whose test got postponed b/c of Wilma and then got a 1 percentile when Harcourt goofed. All im waiting for is for my wife's scores to come in and hopefully we'll be good to go. And by 2 hrs I mean If im sitting down to study I set the timer for two hours and I dont get up until the times up. I started studying at the end of August for the 10/22 exam. In hindsight it was overkill but i'd rather be overly prepared thad underprepared
     
  19. starsweet

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    I'm just curious, do you know whether you received the same test that was given October 22? I was wondering if Harcourt gave the same test in November.
     
  20. Valencia

    Valencia Junior Member
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    Congrats!!! When did you get your score back? I’m still waiting for my score.:scared:
     
  21. Valencia

    Valencia Junior Member
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    No, it is not the same:mad:
     
  22. Serenity Now!!!

    Serenity Now!!! DOIN' the Damned thing!
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    Im not sure I heard someone froma previous thread who said they were similar but I couldnt tell since I didnt take the 10/22 exam. Bye the way Valencia my wife is in the same boat as you...We both took it on 11/12.I got mine on Monday i'll hope that you guys get yours today :thumbup:
     
  23. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member
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    I agree with earlier poster - don't spend a lot of time on the verbal/reading unless you have a reason to think those sections would be a problem (i.e. English is not your first language, you hate to read, etc.) My opinion is that it is very important to spend some time taking practice tests, and don't save that until the very end. The first few ones I took I did horribly at, but it really helped me learn how to pace myself for the actual test. I then used the practice tests to point me where I needed to go back and study, pulled textbooks back out, and reviewed the specific points I was confused on. And remember that there will always be some sort of question on the test that you don't know, but they are also testing you on your ability to think through and eliminate options.
     
  24. Valencia

    Valencia Junior Member
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    What school are you applying for?
     
  25. usi

    usi
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    Shoppe,
    With the time is taking you to write and read this thread, you could be learning a couple of more facts that could be on the test.
    If you think like this everytime you catch yourself slacking or procrastinating, you will do better! ;)
    GET TO WORK!
     
  26. DHG

    DHG Senior Member
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    Whatever you do, at least spend 30 mins per day doing math practice. I think a little bit every day would be better than a 6 hours per day at the end. Set aside 30 min/day to do math practice problems without a calculator. I wish I had done this. The Biology and Chemistry, if you did well in your pre-reqs, should come back to you with a little reading and review... but math practice and getting speedy doing that long division without a calculator will only improve with daily practice. The math part is equally about endurance AND speed. It's not that hard, but you need to be quick with it. You have less than 1 min per math problem. And there are a lot of problems.

    Everyone studies/learns differently, but if it were me, I'd plan to do 30 min a day math practice problems for the entire 5 weeks. In addition to the 30 min/day math practice, I d spend 1-2 hours/day, about 4 days/week...doing a week's worth of review on Chemistry and Biology each, pulling out old tests and quizzes, skimming important chapters in my books. After that first two weeks I should have a pretty good idea what my weak points in Bio/Chem are, so I'd spend the next two weeks reviewing those weak points, continuing to do the 30 min/day of math. THen the last week I'd sit down the first day and make a big outline/plan of what I was going to study that week, trying to get a good overview and doing practice tests. Again continuing with the math practice 30 min/day... And then I'd take the day before the test totally off and relax. :thumbup:

    I don't think anyone needs to cram for 10 hours per day for 5 weeks before the test. It won't work. If you did OK in your prereqs and were interested enough in the material to retain it... then you don't need that much study to be prepared for the PCAT.
     
  27. toscogo

    toscogo Member
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    You are spending too much time on SDN !! Hit the books, remeber this site can get addicitive!!
     

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