MCAT difficulty

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mossjoh, Mar 29, 2001.

  1. Mossjoh

    Mossjoh Mayo Clinic-PGY2

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    For those who have already taken the MCAT last year, and maybe for those who have had Kaplan and taken their full length practice tests, how closely to those match the difficulty of the real exam? I've heard so many different things, including that the MCAT is easier than Kaplan, harder than the Kaplan tests ect!!!! Lets see if we can clear this up!

    Thanks


    Mossjoh
     
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  3. yes

    yes Junior Member

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    I found the science sections on the real MCAT easier than the Kaplan full-lengths; maybe a little less based on knowing obscure facts and more on application. (I didn't run into nearly as many questions on the real MCAT where I had to flat out guess like on the practice tests) I did two points better on each of the science sections than on my best section scores on the full-lengths. Verbal and writing sections are comparable.

    v.
     
  4. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    I would agree exactly with the previous poster. All in all, my total score went up about 2 points from my ave. practice test score (I went up 1 point each on Bio sci. & phys. sci.). I think the Kaplan verbal tests are either right on, or sometimes a little bit easier. The writing -- the way the samples are done are the same as on test day, but as for grading, it just depends on your Kaplan grader.

    [This message has been edited by lilycat (edited March 29, 2001).]
     
  5. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel

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    Can we keep this thread going? I need some validation with only 3 weeks to go [​IMG]

    Spang
     
  6. MAAT

    MAAT Senior Member

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    The reason you are getting such mixed views is because it is such a personal question, requiring interpretation.

    Personally, I didn't find Kaplan to be harder or easier, but I did find them to be different. The real test wasn't as hung up on formulas and equations (although you had to know those) It was more application, which I didn't think the Kaplan test did a good job of showing. Score wise, I was in the same boat as Lilycat.

    Spang -- relax. Deep breathing. Meditation. Nothing anyone says to you here is going to help you three weeks from now. It is too late to change how you are studying. Know that you are doing all you can. Work on your stamina and confidence. I'm sure you will be fine.

    Good luck.

    MAAT
     
  7. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    How about the validity of AAMC Practice Tests 3-5? I took AAMC 3 and thought it was relatively easy, but I don't want to get overconfident. How do these tests compare with the real one?
     
  8. eddievh

    eddievh New Member

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    I found this site a couple weeks ago but this is the first time I felt I could help out. I took the MCAT last August after doing the Kaplan course all summer. I remember frantically asking the same question that you are asking. The consensus among my friends was that they did 2-3 points better on the MCAT than they averaged on their practice exams. My experience was about the same. I thought the VR was easier on the MCAT but apparently so did everyone else because I got about the same score as I had on my practice exams. After the first AAMC practice test I figured a perfect score was in reach and then after test II I considered finding another profession but on average the practice tests were about the same difficulty as the real thing. The actual test focused less on formulas and more on content of the passages. My overall score ended up being about 2 points higher than my average on the practice exams.

    Since I'm at work with nothing to do I'll give you my tips for the test for what their worth. I remember being desperate for any information I could get my hands on.
    IMO the best preparation is doing as many practice tests as you can. The last 2 weeks I spent about 4-5 hours/day doing the section tests and any other tests I could get my hands on. Unfortunately I think a major key to the MCAT is being familiar with the format and the way they ask questions. Take as many practice tests as you can!

    My other advice is to relax. I know this is easier said than done but the test isn't as bad as it is made out to be. You can't really cram and so if you put in the time preparing you have nothing to fear(except of course doing poorly and ruining the rest of your life). Do anything you can to relax the night before and DO NOT STUDY. It won't do any good and might only serve to psyche you out. I remember shaking during the first few passages on VR before I finally settled down. That is not a good thing. The test isn't that bad and if you've done the Kaplan tests every saturday then you are more than ready. While I was studying I remember fluctuating between thinking I was a genius to wondering if I'd learned anything in my last 16 years of school. If you are feeling like this then I think you are normal. Just try and convince yourself that you are going to do your best and whatever happens happens. Forgive me for my random collection of thoughts but I just remember being desperate for any MCAT info before I took the test so I hope this helps someone. If not at least you got to practice your VR skills. Good luck to everyone preparing for the test. Only a few more weeks and it'll all be over.
     
  9. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member

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    Does not being able to use a calculator make it noticeably more difficult?
     
  10. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    I, too, would like to know how the difficulty of AAMC tests 3-5 compares to the real thing. Additionally, how do the AAMC VR and science practice items compare wrt content and difficulty.

    I just got finished taking the princeton review in class tests (A-D) and the science workbook and found them to be really damn hard. VR sections were about 80-90 lines long (about 800-900 questions) and the science questions (particularly bio) seemed extraordinarily difficult. It was almost not worth doing because I felt like I was guessing on over half of the questions. Anyone else have a similar experience with these tests?

    [This message has been edited by rxfudd (edited March 30, 2001).]
     
  11. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    firebird, not using a calculator probably helps a bit - when you have to make the mental calculations, you question it a bit more than if you had a calculator spitting out the answer. Not only that, the calculations are always quite simple (put EVERYTHING in scientific notation and estimate). If you find you are calculating something for too long, you are probably doing it wrong.
     
  12. I planned to do all of the practise tests A-D. However, I did practise test A last weekend, and I put that book under my bed. I don't think I will ever wanna see that book again. I know D is the hardest, but even A was ridiculously hard for me. I think I am going to do just AAMC exams.
    Good luck on MCAT.
     
  13. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    I took tests A-C...by the time I got to test D, I was ready to put myself under my bed. Good to hear that others concur.
     
  14. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel

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    I did the same thing with TPR A-D. I am taking the Kaplan class but also using some TPR books I bought on eBay. I scored a 23 on the Kaplan's first diagnostic, a 26 on AAMC V and a 27 on Kaplan's MCAT I.

    After I took TPR A and got a 20 I too was looking around for somewhere to shove that thing. I know Kaplan's last four practice tests are thought to be harder than the real thing and I'm trying to keep that in mind.

    I'm planning to take AAMC III and IV Easter weekend and maybe just hit passages from the Flower's book and TPR's VR workbook in the interim.

    Won't be long now!

    Spang
     
  15. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    TPR Practice Tests A-D are very difficult, and I've only glanced at them! Are they even worth the effort, or do they just end up making you suicidal?
     
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  17. moo

    moo 1K Member

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    I agree. TPR A-D are extremely difficult and not worth doing. I only do the PS sections on those tests.
     
  18. Mossjoh

    Mossjoh Mayo Clinic-PGY2

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    Hey everyone, thanks for the replies, your helping me to feel more confident in this stressful yet exciting time. I've been doing really well on the Kaplan full Length Practice Tests, and I just pray that carries over to the real MCAT. :)
    I hope tings are going well for everyone else. I've been scoring 30 on the Kaplan tests (Full Length #1 and #3), so lets hope when that envelope comes in June from the MCAT, I will open it and see the same or better! (Keeping my fingers crossed until then)

    Mossjoh
     
  19. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel

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    praying4MD-"Suicidal" is a pretty strong word; I might choose, instead, "homicidal." [​IMG] Can you kill someone by jamming a book in their arse (sideways)?


    [This message has been edited by Spang (edited March 30, 2001).]
     
  20. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    Spang: I don't know if it's possible to kill someone that way, but I think I'll try it on my MCAT proctor come April 21. Whaddya think?
     
  21. mtritt2

    mtritt2 Member

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    Just a few weeks left, huh? Its good to see everyone else is going through the same thing. I personally find it hard to get motivated when I'm studying for midterms as well. Luckily, my 21st birthday is 6 days after the test! Talk about being able to celebrate!
     

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