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Just bombed AAMC FL 2

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RocuROMANium

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I got a 503. Last week I got a 510 on FL 1 and two weeks ago my total % for the prep sample test was 80%. At this point I have taken 9 practice exams and I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. All sections went down except for C/P.
I have done all of the AAMC material (except for FL’s 3 and 4) and I’m going through it again. I don’t know what else to do. I feel like I did worse probably because I don’t have anymore new material or maybe I’m just burned out. Any advice? I’m definitely trippin right now.
 

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Take a deep breath. Walk away, completely away, for a day. Don't think about the MCAT at all. Come back rested and look back at FL2. Assess whether you lack information or were interpreting their questions correctly.

If it's material, break out whatever tool works for memorizing material. Some love Anki, some love review books, some love KA videos. Do you.

If it's that you're not interpreting questions correctly, then I highly recommend you invest in TBR science books and read EVERY answer explanation to every question. They are the only ones I found to address how to read and interpret questions.

One bad test is not the end of the world. It might have been a bad day. Had you gotten 517 (up 7 instead down 7) would you have said "I'm set. I'm good?" Probably not. Don't let an outlier throw you off. Take FL3 and see where you're at.
 
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Dr.Gains

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Take a deep breath. Walk away, completely away, for a day. Don't think about the MCAT at all. Come back rested and look back at FL2. Assess whether you lack information or were interpreting their questions correctly.

If it's material, break out whatever tool works for memorizing material. Some love Anki, some love review books, some love KA videos. Do you.

If it's that you're not interpreting questions correctly, then I highly recommend you invest in TBR science books and read EVERY answer explanation to every question. They are the only ones I found to address how to read and interpret questions.

One bad test is not the end of the world. It might have been a bad day. Had you gotten 517 (up 7 instead down 7) would you have said "I'm set. I'm good?" Probably not. Don't let an outlier throw you off. Take FL3 and see where you're at.
I've also heard that FL2 is the hardest AAMC FL.


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RocuROMANium

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Take a deep breath. Walk away, completely away, for a day. Don't think about the MCAT at all. Come back rested and look back at FL2. Assess whether you lack information or were interpreting their questions correctly.

If it's material, break out whatever tool works for memorizing material. Some love Anki, some love review books, some love KA videos. Do you.

If it's that you're not interpreting questions correctly, then I highly recommend you invest in TBR science books and read EVERY answer explanation to every question. They are the only ones I found to address how to read and interpret questions.

One bad test is not the end of the world. It might have been a bad day. Had you gotten 517 (up 7 instead down 7) would you have said "I'm set. I'm good?" Probably not. Don't let an outlier throw you off. Take FL3 and see where you're at.
Thank you, I appreciate the help and advice. That score was crushing so I had to go bike it off. Yea I think I’m going to take tonight and tomorrow off and regroup Sunday to see what happened.

It’s not typical that my content is lacking so I’m sure I was badly misinterpreting passages. I am taking the real deal on 6/28 so I don’t think I’m going to have time to look at TBR. I’ll update this thread with my FL 3 and 4 scores and God willing that was just an anomaly.
 
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DrStephennmnm

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I've also heard that FL2 is the hardest AAMC FL.


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It's hard but the MCAT is a standardised exam, so the relative difficulty has no impact on your score. The practice exams also get more and more predictive in terms of how you will do on the real thing.
 

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A more difficult exam will have a bigger curve no?
The scores are based on percentiles, not based on how many problems you get wrong. If it's harder, then everyone would do worse, and the percentile stays the same.

I think the OP just had a fluke, but I wouldn't discard the FL2 score when you're calculating your final AAMC FL average, since it is fairly predictive of your score on the actual test.
 
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RocuROMANium

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The scores are based on percentiles, not based on how many problems you get wrong. If it's harder, then everyone would do worse, and the percentile stays the same.

I think the OP just had a fluke, but I wouldn't discard the FL2 score when you're calculating your final AAMC FL average, since it is fairly predictive of your score on the actual test.
Yes to the percentiles, I have no excuse for that low of a score. It’s weird, that was my lowest score since my first FL and I have taken 9 practice exams so far. I was scoring 507 to 509 on my NextStep exams which are supposedly deflated and then I got a 510 last week on AAMC FL 1 so I definitely felt like I was heading in the right direction. After reviewing FL 1 thoroughly, I felt good about it because I could see where I could add a few points to my CARS and C/P sections. Yea, well, now maybe you can see why I’m so shocked.
 

Dr.Gains

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Yes to the percentiles, I have no excuse for that low of a score. It’s weird, that was my lowest score since my first FL and I have taken 9 practice exams so far. I was scoring 507 to 509 on my NextStep exams which are supposedly deflated and then I got a 510 last week on AAMC FL 1 so I definitely felt like I was heading in the right direction. After reviewing FL 1 thoroughly, I felt good about it because I could see where I could add a few points to my CARS and C/P sections. Yea, well, now maybe you can see why I’m so shocked.
What was your breakdown of FL2?

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Yes to the percentiles, I have no excuse for that low of a score. It’s weird, that was my lowest score since my first FL and I have taken 9 practice exams so far. I was scoring 507 to 509 on my NextStep exams which are supposedly deflated and then I got a 510 last week on AAMC FL 1 so I definitely felt like I was heading in the right direction. After reviewing FL 1 thoroughly, I felt good about it because I could see where I could add a few points to my CARS and C/P sections. Yea, well, now maybe you can see why I’m so shocked.
At this point, analyze all your mistakes thoroughly. We’ve all been there, especially with CARS (you thought you bombed it but got a good score and the other way around). However, if you get a low score again on FL3, then I would start worrying more, since that will bring your AAMC FL average down a lot.
 
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Dr.Gains

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FL 1: 127/124/130/129
FL 2: 127/123/128/125

I have no idea what happened with P/S too. I think that was my lowest ever score.
Check how much you got right vs wrong in P/S. I think the scale is more harsher in FL2.

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RocuROMANium

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What are you doing to address your sub 125 CARS score?
Last week I focused on CARS more by practicing at least two passages a day. I finished the 2nd qpack last week and this week I will redo the 1st qpack since most people say to stick only with AAMC material in the last couple of weeks. It has been 2 months since I have done qpack 1 so I have forgotten a lot of it but I’m still aware that my familiarity with it causes some inflation. I’m really trying to focus on the AAMC’s logic.
 

Dr.Gains

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Last week I focused on CARS more by practicing at least two passages a day. I finished the 2nd qpack last week and this week I will redo the 1st qpack since most people say to stick only with AAMC material in the last couple of weeks. It has been 2 months since I have done qpack 1 so I have forgotten a lot of it but I’m still aware that my familiarity with it causes some inflation. I’m really trying to focus on the AAMC’s logic.
That's the way to go. Don't touch any 3rd party material this close to your date. Drill AAMC logic into your mind. Make sure you review FL1 and FL2 extensively. I think you are in a good spot for 512-515 given this was an outlier.

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RocuROMANium

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That's the way to go. Don't touch any 3rd party material this close to your date. Drill AAMC logic into your mind. Make sure you review FL1 and FL2 extensively. I think you are in a good spot for 512-515 given this was an outlier.

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I’ll get back to you on FL 3 and 4. Last week I was concerned with a 510 being too low and this week I’m just hoping I can get there again.
 
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GreenDuck12

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I’ll get back to you on FL 3 and 4. Last week I was concerned with a 510 being too low and this week I’m just hoping I can get there again.

Score drops on FLs are normal. Unfortunately so are 6 or 7 point drops on test day. Just keep learning from your errors and let the one test go.
 
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deleted1034695

FL 1: 127/124/130/129
FL 2: 127/123/128/125

I have no idea what happened with P/S too. I think that was my lowest ever score.

Hey!! So I went from a 123 go 126 in CARS overnight basically by changing my strategy. I used to do what everyone else does I think with the whole only read the first paragraph, look at the questions, than do everything else. I found that was really not helping both time wise and I would get a lot of questions wrong because I was more so skimming the passage. I recommend reading the whole passage and then answering questions without having to go back or flagging questions and going back. It helped me pick between 2 answer choices, and when I flag questions I usually get them right when I go back to them. Good luck!!
 
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RocuROMANium

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Hey!! So I went from a 123 go 126 in CARS overnight basically by changing my strategy. I used to do what everyone else does I think with the whole only read the first paragraph, look at the questions, than do everything else. I found that was really not helping both time wise and I would get a lot of questions wrong because I was more so skimming the passage. I recommend reading the whole passage and then answering questions without having to go back or flagging questions and going back. It helped me pick between 2 answer choices, and when I flag questions I usually get them right when I go back to them. Good luck!!
Ha that's funny that you mention the bold. One of the things that I have discovered this week was that I was reading the entire passage but then for every single question I would immediately refer back to the passage to find the answer instead of just relying on my memory of what I just read. No wonder I was running out of time by the 3rd or 2nd to last passage. So this week I have been reading the entire passage and answering the questions with my gut instinct, unless the question forces me to refer back to the passage, and not only have I been completing passages on time but my score has been much better.
 
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deleted1034695

Ha that's funny that you mention the bold. One of the things that I have discovered this week was that I was reading the entire passage but then for every single question I would immediately refer back to the passage to find the answer instead of just relying on my memory of what I just read. No wonder I was running out of time by the 3rd or 2nd to last passage. So this week I have been reading the entire passage and answering the questions with my gut instinct, unless the question forces me to refer back to the passage, and not only have I been completing passages on time but my score has been much better.
Nice fam!! Good luck with the MCAT.
 
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RocuROMANium

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AAMC FL 3 score: 508 (128,125,129,126)

I managed to raise every section from FL 2 but I don’t know why my P/S score has been so low for my last 2 tests. Before this I was averaging around 128-129.

My new CARS method worked better except that I felt better about it than a 125.

I’m still disappointed overall though. One more practice test to go.
 

Dr.Gains

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AAMC FL 3 score: 508 (128,125,129,126)

I managed to raise every section from FL 2 but I don’t know why my P/S score has been so low for my last 2 tests. Before this I was averaging around 128-129.

My new CARS method worked better except that I felt better about it than a 125.

I’m still disappointed overall though. One more practice test to go.
Are you using Anki and the 300/86 pg doc for P/S? I think that's where you can raise your score by a few points for sure.

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GreenDuck12

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AAMC FL 3 score: 508 (128,125,129,126)

I managed to raise every section from FL 2 but I don’t know why my P/S score has been so low for my last 2 tests. Before this I was averaging around 128-129.

My new CARS method worked better except that I felt better about it than a 125.

I’m still disappointed overall though. One more practice test to go.

The link between PS and CARS makes sense to me since the PS section seems more and more like a content specific CARS section than the other two sections of the exam.
 

RocuROMANium

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The link between PS and CARS makes sense to me since the PS section seems more and more like a content specific CARS section than the other two sections of the exam.
Yea, but it’s weird, my CARS score has typically been between 123-126 but P/S scores were pretty good at 128-129. My FL1 P/S score was a 129 and now I have received a 125 and 126 respectively. That’s a pretty steep drop
 

GreenDuck12

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Yea, but it’s weird, my CARS score has typically been between 123-126 but P/S scores were pretty good at 128-129. My FL1 P/S score was a 129 and now I have received a 125 and 126 respectively. That’s a pretty steep drop

IMO, the PS section evolves over the course of the FL exams as FL 1 is more of a memorization test while the other FLs tend to emphasize close reading and reasoning skills within a particular context. CARS and PS are the two areas I spend the most time working with students on because there are so many layers to how questions and answers are structured and worded. Spend some time going in depth on the questions and answers. See if you can pick up some patterns.
 
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RocuROMANium

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IMO, the PS section evolves over the course of the FL exams as FL 1 is more of a memorization test while the other FLs tend to emphasize close reading and reasoning skills within a particular context. CARS and PS are the two areas I spend the most time working with students on because there are so many layers to how questions and answers are structured and worded. Spend some time going in depth on the questions and answers. See if you can pick up some patterns.
You make a good point, in fact, I remember feeling like I did 2 CARS sections for FL 2. For these past 2 FL’s, the PS sections have been half only-words passages and half graph-based and I do feel like I’m more prepared for the graph-based ones because they’re more similar to the science sections. I will work on those wordy ones, thanks.
 

RocuROMANium

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AAMC FL 4: 511 (127,127,131,126)

Its a good send off score so I’m happy. Man that P/S section was the hardest yet. I feel so much better about CARS now too.

The plan is to review tomorrow, take Saturday off and take the real thing Saturday.
 

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Amazing B/B score. If I were you I would review any last minute C/P concepts, you might be able to snag in extra point there. And go over the 86 page K/A briefly. If the real thing hits your strengths I think you might be in striking distance of a 515. People have crammed for the P/S section and have been successful with a 130+. I certainly think you can do it. Rest well and best of luck to you on game day. You've made it this far, you can do it!

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GreenDuck12

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Nice improvement! I agree with the poster above. Make sure you do something fun and relaxing before test day - maybe practice getting to the testing center and finding where to park.
 
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RocuROMANium

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Amazing B/B score. If I were you I would review any last minute C/P concepts, you might be able to snag in extra point there. And go over the 86 page K/A briefly. If the real thing hits your strengths I think you might be in striking distance of a 515. People have crammed for the P/S section and have been successful with a 130+. I certainly think you can do it. Rest well and best of luck to you on game day. You've made it this far, you can do it!

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There is an 86 page document now?
 

Dr.Gains

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There is an 86 page document now?
Yes, 86/100/300 KA doc. I'm not sure if I can link it here but if you Google it, you should see a post from reddit. I've heard many people say it was just as good as the 300 pg doc that scored well in that section.

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RocuROMANium

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Yes, 86/100/300 KA doc. I'm not sure if I can link it here but if you Google it, you should see a post from reddit. I've heard many people say it was just as good as the 300 pg doc that scored well in that section.

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Much appreciated!
 
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RocuROMANium

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Well boys and girls, I took the real deal at 0630 yesterday morning. I was a nervous wreck the night before and I got only 3 hours of sleep, which apparently is pretty normal.

I feel pretty good about C/P and P/S. I’m worried about CARS because half way through I noticed I needed to pick up my pace which got my adrenaline going again and then I got incredibly hungry which was pretty distracting. I ate as much as I normally would at that point but I guess all of that adrenaline raised my metabolism and I just burned through my breakfast. B/B was tough because the passages were heavy on convoluted pathways and so I barely finished on time. Typically, I have around 8-10 minutes left. As a result, my adrenaline was pumping pretty heavy for B/B too.

Anyways, what’s done is done and now I begin the journey of letting go of the daily stress of studying for hours on end for 6 months straight. Thank you to everyone who gave me advice or just read this thread with a special thanks to @Dr.Gains and @GreenDuck12 for the encouragement. I will update this thread with my exam score when I get it in 2 weeks.
 
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GreenDuck12

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Congratulations! It's a pretty great/terrifying feeling knowing that you have finished the MCAT. I cannot tell you how many students I have tutored over the past 2 years that ended up not taking the exam or have continually pushed the test date back. Make sure you take some time to celebrate; it's a big accomplishment. As the nerves start to creep in over the next two weeks just remember that all the work that you put in and that you were riding an upward trend when you took the test. Best of luck to you!
 
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strugstofunc

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Love this thread!! In terms of difficulty, would you say that the real test day was similar to AAMC FLs? Or are the AAMC FLs not as hard? I take my test in a few days time so I’m just trying to gauge.
 

RocuROMANium

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Love this thread!! In terms of difficulty, would you say that the real test day was similar to AAMC FLs? Or are the AAMC FLs not as hard? I take my test in a few days time so I’m just trying to gauge.
I believe the real exam is just as difficult as any of the FL’s, it just depends on your strengths. I found FL’s 1 and 4 to complement my strengths and FL 2 exposed my weaknesses. I feel like the real exam was similar to FL 1 so hopefully my score reflects that.
 
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RocuROMANium

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Well damn...I got a 507 (127,125,128,127). Pretty disappointing but I really don’t want to retake this Godforsaken exam. I’m not sure what I’m going to do...
 

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@DT III Were you planning on still applying this cycle? I feel like, on MCAT alone, you're a good applicant for DO and some MDs depending on your state of residency if you're from the US.

I can't say for sure though. I haven't applied yet, but I'm going off of what I've seen from previous posts and school websites.

Don't feel completely discouraged! Your chances of medical school are still in your favor, regardless of if you choose to retake or not.

I'm kind of in the same boat. I take my official exam this Saturday (6/18) and I've scored FL2-4: 509, 507, 507. With an average of 508, I'm expecting to do just that on the exam and don't know if I should retake that or not.

In the end I truly will just weigh my prospects and if I'm satisfied with the school list I can produce -- assuming I don't get a subsection score lower than a 125, which with CARS is if-y for me as I range from 124-125 -- then I'll apply and not retake.

You should be proud regardless of what your score is. I know that's way easier said then done, but don't sell yourself too short on how far you've come.
 
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RocuROMANium

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@DT III Were you planning on still applying this cycle? I feel like, on MCAT alone, you're a good applicant for DO and some MDs depending on your state of residency if you're from the US.

I can't say for sure though. I haven't applied yet, but I'm going off of what I've seen from previous posts and school websites.

Don't feel completely discouraged! Your chances of medical school are still in your favor, regardless of if you choose to retake or not.

I'm kind of in the same boat. I take my official exam this Saturday (6/18) and I've scored FL2-4: 509, 507, 507. With an average of 508, I'm expecting to do just that on the exam and don't know if I should retake that or not.

In the end I truly will just weigh my prospects and if I'm satisfied with the school list I can produce -- assuming I don't get a subsection score lower than a 125, which with CARS is if-y for me as I range from 124-125 -- then I'll apply and not retake.

You should be proud regardless of what your score is. I know that's way easier said then done, but don't sell yourself too short on how far you've come.
Thanks for the kind words. Yea I'm going to apply with a well researched list because I can't retake this year anyways, my son will be born in late August/early September.

Go and slay the dragon my friend. Good luck, I hope you kill it.
 
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strugstofunc

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Congratulations!! That's waaaay more exciting and worth your time than the MCAT. Thank you! I appreciate it :)
 
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Calizboosted76

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Thanks for the kind words. Yea I'm going to apply with a well researched list because I can't retake this year anyways, my son will be born in late August/early September.

Go and slay the dragon my friend. Good luck, I hope you kill it.

I am in a similar boat as you! I scored a 506 (127-123-129-127) cars kicked my ass on the real test. I’m a reinventor and have a steep upward trend so I am taking a shot at it this cycle because I honestly don’t know that I could improve my cars score that quick. I dealt with an event the previous night where I was woken up in the middle of night and forced to evict someone that’s living with me. So I’m sure that effected my scores as well.

Good luck with your cycle OP!
 

RocuROMANium

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I am in a similar boat as you! I scored a 506 (127-123-129-127) cars kicked my ass on the real test. I’m a reinventor and have a steep upward trend so I am taking a shot at it this cycle because I honestly don’t know that I could improve my cars score that quick. I dealt with an event the previous night where I was woken up in the middle of night and forced to evict someone that’s living with me. So I’m sure that effected my scores as well.

Good luck with your cycle OP!
Haha yea that could have something to do with it!

I’m designing a much smaller school list than I initially intended to create because of my low MCAT score. I’m only going to apply to schools where my score is at least above their 10th percentile and they take a large percentage of OOS applicants which, obviously, is a small list. However, if I don’t get in this cycle then I will retake that Godforsaken exam and if my score is vastly improved then I will still have a lot of schools that I can apply to without being a reapplicant.

It’s hard for us reinventors to figure out what to do a lot of the times because we don’t fit into any traditional student molds. Like will medical schools look at me as the 3.05 cGPA applicant, the 4.0 postbac applicant, or somewhere in between? I don’t know.

Good luck to you too!
 
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El-Rami

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Your AAMC FL average was 508, so 507 is about right on the real thing. Your score will be +/- 2 points from your average.
 

RocuROMANium

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Your AAMC FL average was 508, so 507 is about right on the real thing. Your score will be +/- 2 points from your average.
Oh yea, I know. What I mean when I say I'm surprised is that the real exam felt just like my FL 1 and FL 4 practice tests. I felt pretty good about it actually so I was expecting a 510-512. I really thought C/P and P/S was relatively easy and that I was going to land a 129-130 on them but I guess reality landed on me instead.
 

MyOdyssey

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Well damn...I got a 507 (127,125,128,127). Pretty disappointing but I really don’t want to retake this Godforsaken exam. I’m not sure what I’m going to do...

What did you use for third party materials? How many months did you study for the exam?
 

RocuROMANium

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What did you use for third party materials? How many months did you study for the exam?
Kaplan for content review, Khan academy for initial CARS practice, NextStep for practice exams and then all of the AAMC material.

I studied for 3.5 months before my exam was cancelled. Then, I took 3 weeks off and didn’t study at all. Scheduled my exam and studied for a month and a half before the real deal.
 
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