aet818

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Aug 6, 2016
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For Kaplan full length 2 on CARS I missed 8 questions and got a 128, on full length 3 I missed 8 and got a 127 but also got six more questions right on the psych/soc yet still ended up with the same section score as full length 2. I understand that it's based on some sort of curve, but isn't this a little weird? Does anyone know exactly how this scoring works?
 

austintr

5000 candles in the wind
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May 21, 2014
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For Kaplan full length 2 on CARS I missed 8 questions and got a 128, on full length 3 I missed 8 and got a 127 but also got six more questions right on the psych/soc yet still ended up with the same section score as full length 2. I understand that it's based on some sort of curve, but isn't this a little weird? Does anyone know exactly how this scoring works?
I don't know exactly how the Kaplan scoring works, but if you're only missing ~8 questions a section on a Kaplan test, you're likely going to do well on the real deal. Kaplan is known to have pretty deflated scores, which I believe is attributed to their "money back guarantee". Scoring over 505 consistently on Kaplan tests seems to correlate with high (>514) scores on the test. There's a guy on Reddit that has derived some sort of magical equation to help predict scores based on practice tests, and his method is impressively accurate. Over presumably dozens of test takers, he's predicted scores within 2 points >70% of the time and within 1 point nearly 50% of the time. The main correlation he has found is that a greater number of FL's yields higher MCAT scores (duh). Also, taking a few Kaplan tests, a test or two from other companies, and the AAMC scored and unscored seems to be a solid strategy.

Basically, I wouldn't worry much about your Kaplan scores (I know it's hard...it gets even harder after test day before scores are released). It seems like you're doing really well on them considering Kaplan is notoriously difficult and deflated. Good luck!
 
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aet818

2+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2016
12
0
I don't know exactly how the Kaplan scoring works, but if you're only missing ~8 questions a section on a Kaplan test, you're likely going to do well on the real deal. Kaplan is known to have pretty deflated scores, which I believe is attributed to their "money back guarantee". Scoring over 505 consistently on Kaplan tests seems to correlate with high (>514) scores on the test. There's a guy on Reddit that has derived some sort of magical equation to help predict scores based on practice tests, and his method is impressively accurate. Over presumably dozens of test takers, he's predicted scores within 2 points >70% of the time and within 1 point nearly 50% of the time. The main correlation he has found is that a greater number of FL's yields higher MCAT scores (duh). Also, taking a few Kaplan tests, a test or two from other companies, and the AAMC scored and unscored seems to be a solid strategy.

Basically, I wouldn't worry much about your Kaplan scores (I know it's hard...it gets even harder after test day before scores are released). It seems like you're doing really well on them considering Kaplan is notoriously difficult and deflated. Good luck!

Thanks a lot man! Yeah I've been really confused about the Kaplan scoring cause I can't seem to get above 128 for a section score and my recent scores went from a 508 to a 505 to a 509 yesterday so I'm having trouble gauging exactly where I'm at. I want to be in the 512-515 range and the test is two weeks away which is making me nervous. Do you happen to know how I could find that reddit post?
 

austintr

5000 candles in the wind
5+ Year Member
May 21, 2014
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Yeah, I think the bottom line is that Kaplan is difficult and the scoring is weird. But, a lot of people still recommend taking their FL's and whatnot. I took solely Kaplan tests, then AAMC material before the test and I feel like those were sufficient. The main advantages of FL's in my opinion are to hone your timing, prime your nerves, help identify areas for improvement, and generally get you in that test-day mindset. By the time you've done 5 or 6 FL's, the actual test is literally just something you've done several times before, but with different questions. Seriously, with those Kaplan scores, barring any weird test-day disasters or anomalies, I bet you're very happy with your score by the time it's all said and done.

Also, here are the reddit links:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Mcat/comments/4il6yt/mcat_prediction_equations/? - Original thread, I think
https://www.reddit.com/r/Mcat/comments/4seau7/back_at_it_again_with_the_mcat_prediction_data/? - Follow-up thread with more info

There's also another thread where he gives a visual breakdown of how people score as they take increasing numbers of FL's and it's pretty interesting too. I couldn't find that one this time around though.
 
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aet818

2+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2016
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@austintr Thanks a lot man! This is very reassuring. Just one last question. Do you know if this Kaplan scoring trend is just a result of the new MCAT or has it always been this way? I'm asking because I know a couple people who did Kaplan practice tests and review for the old MCAT and their scores were mainly in line with what they got.
 

austintr

5000 candles in the wind
5+ Year Member
May 21, 2014
523
649
Probably the library
Status
Medical Student
@austintr Thanks a lot man! This is very reassuring. Just one last question. Do you know if this Kaplan scoring trend is just a result of the new MCAT or has it always been this way? I'm asking because I know a couple people who did Kaplan practice tests and review for the old MCAT and their scores were mainly in line with what they got.
I don't really know too much about Kaplan and the old MCAT, unfortunately. I do know that the data this guy was using has been solely from the new MCAT. The way I look at it is that the MCAT is ~30% knowledge base, 20% confidence, and 50% critical thinking. If you lack one of these components, even if it is a result of the test day jitters, inability to focus, no sleep, etc., it's gonna impact your score somehow. So there are outliers both ways when it comes to practice scores and test day scores. Some people will get 518's on their AAMC FL, then a 506 on test day. Others will get ~500 on Kaplan tests and 520 on test day. It's hard to say anything based off of 2-3 test takers, obviously because of the sample size.

But just study hard, take practice tests like they're the real thing, and try to remain as calm as you can come test day. This sounds easier said than done, and it is, but I think the thing that helped me most on test day was that I went into it not considering the gravity of the situation. It is an important test. Probably the most important many people have taken up to this point. But if you let that get to you and you're constantly worrying about it, it will be detrimental to your performance. At the end of the day, it's just a test. No one's life is on the line, and if you don't do well, you can always retake it (even though that sucks), It's largely mental.