MCAT & family...how'd you do it?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Ebete, May 18, 2008.

  1. Ebete

    Ebete Senior Member

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    Just wondering how is everyone doing/handling studying fr the MCAT and family. I'm feeling a little tired of it all to be honest; I have been studying for about 7 months now (a couple hrs/day with a few skipped days/week) and as my test day approaches I feel I have forgotten the earlier stuff! Since there aren't enough hours of the day to do everything I had to strech my study schedule to this lenght. Now I feel burned out and still not hitting 30's on my diags.
    Is anyone experiencing this or if you were on the same boat; how did you do it?
    BTW I have a 6, 4 y/o and a 18 month old, oh almost forgot my 33y/o baby:D, who is VERY supportive and patient!

    Thanks ahead!
     
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  3. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.

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    I only have a 2 year old... but I also have another family member that I take care of and a full time job. All I can offer is commiseration. I'm tired, too, and stressed. I haven't even had time to take a diagnostic and my MCAT is 24 days away. I think we just have to do the best we can and make that good enough. As to not yet hitting 30's - go back and look at what you've missed, and see if there's a common thread. Type of problem? Difficulty with a certain kind of memory retrieval (minutia or big concept?) It might help you to focus down on one thing at a time, rather than being overwhelmed... but this is the blind leading the blind.

    I take vitamins. I know for a fact that they help. There's my solid advice. :laugh:

    S.
     
  4. Ebete

    Ebete Senior Member

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    i agree about the vtamins...need to get back into taking them. I am actually considering one of those colon cleansing teas to see if I can maximized all nutrients' intake, crazy uh? My husband thinks so anyway:p
    Thanks and good luck to you.
    Btw how long do you study/day?
     
  5. tsbuqh

    tsbuqh "Great"

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    I am a week away from my test date, and stating to feel some confidence.

    I too started studying back in November. It has been 14 years since I took the classes, so it was slow going at first. I also must admit to a few months where I did not look at the material at all. As you said, you start to forget what you have already studied...

    So here is what seems to be working for me. We planned a vacation for immediately following the exam (when I say immediate, I mean straight to the airport after "pencils down"). My wife and kids went about a week and a half ahead, so I am home alone now. Besides going to work, I am studing all waking hours.

    Many people are quick to point out the negatives to "cramming". However, if you have been working with the material for quite some time, a little concentrated studying may be exactly what you need to pull it all together right before the test.

    Again, the main way my wife and I have accomplished big projects (be it on the house or this time the MCAT) is for her and the kids to go visit family or friends out of town. Important note: they have to go somewhere where there is extra support to help with the kids, so everyone is having fun and you are not distracted by any guilt.

    That is my $0.02, and the end of my study break.
     
  6. Ebete

    Ebete Senior Member

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    I agree with you on going away, its just really difficult for my husband to take the kids to my mother's (1 1/2hr away) without me; the baby is still very much attached since I'm at home with her all day. But what I can do is just take myself away (coffee shop or something) for a good chunk on the weekends, because studying upstairs while hearing my little one screaming for me by the stairs is not pleasant:(Plus I loose sooooo much time going up and down with snaks and interruptions!! I'll try next w/e.
    I had originally planned to take June 13th but I don't think I can pull it all together by then, although still sticking with the schedule for it. I'm just too disapointed at my last score (2weeks ago) on the 4R PS6 V6 B9:(:scared::eek: It got me soooo down I have yet to take another. I just hope I can do it for the July 8th sitting. I'm leaving for vacation on the 9th and only coming back the end of Aug. So you can se why I really need to pull it together asap! I really don't want to spend my summer aattached to the MCAT books while I promised my oldest I wouldn't even tooch a book:eek:.

    Thanks again, and please keep on sharing your situation:)
     
  7. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member

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    Well, it is tough. I have a baby. I am lucky if I get 6 hrs. a night sleep. I don't even bother studying at home any more. When my husband gets home, I do the baby hand off thing and then I am gone, some times till past mid night. My baby is used to this change in shift right from the beginning so, he doesn't cry. In the weekends, I study during the day so we can have some family time. I don't like coffee or coffee shops so, I drive straight to the univ. library that has better hours, atmosphere and free internet. Of course, I pay for parking but it is worrh while for me.
     
  8. LUCPM

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    I also have a 4 year daughter who I babysit 3-4 times a week. I consider time spent with my daughter to be a break and I try to enjoy as much as I can.

    Forgetting the earlier materials....This has also been my problem. I try to make a condensed note for every subject and look at it multiple times a day whenever I get a chance. 5 minutes here and there, but it really adds up. MCAT is not about memorization but knowing certain formulas, etc. on the fly can help you save time and boost your confidence.

    Good luck!
     
  9. nu2004

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    if you can manage to pull it together for June 13th that would be great. July 8 is slightly on the late side, but shouldn't be an app sinker if you are very prompt with your primary and secondaries.

    i took July 13 of 2007 and then took a little too long to complete my secondaries. my AMCAS was verified ~5 weeks after I submitted my primary (at the end of August), so the earliest I was complete anywhere was mid-October. it worked out, but i think i could have improved my chances by getting everything in a little earlier.

    good luck. sounds like your study habits are spot on - i would continue to study in short bursts (~2 hours a day) for the duration, with the exception of days when you take a diagnostic - i think it's a good idea to go back and look over the diagnostic, taking as much time as you need to understand why you slipped up.
     
  10. elderjack21

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    I so don't miss those days of studying for the MCAT...while working full time...while having a family (2nd child was born 3 weeks before the MCAT)...applying to schools...and of course attending pre-req classes at night and on the weekends. It was a tough year and a half for my family and I, but we pulled through it somehow.

    You guys will make it through it and I think that being so pressed for time with so many things going on in your lives will help you with the application process and make you succeed in school as well. When I interviewed, it never really was much of a question when they asked me how I would manage to balance school and family. I just pointed out to them what I had already been doing just to get into medical school and it becomes very clear that you will be able to handle it.

    I feel so lazy now that I took my last class in August, had all my interviews done by November, and was accepted to school....I have just had to work and play with my kids/wife...it has been great. So keep pushing hard and it you will have a respite soon enough...a calm before the medical school storm. Good luck!
     
  11. gman33

    Moderator Emeritus

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    OP - Is it possible for you to get a sitter or day care for a few weeks?
    I would not take the real MCAT until you are consistently scoring in whatever you determine to be your target range. It is going to be hard to raise your scores if you can't get a lot of quality study time.

    Check out the MCAT forums if you need study tips. A prep course might be useful for someone scoring in your range. I didn't take a course, but had success with the Examkrackers books. The score can be brought up, the real problem for you is finding the time to put in the work.

    I can't stress this enough, please do not take the test and hope for the best. Make sure you are prepared and confident you can do well the first time. I'd rather see a late application or wait until next cycle if you are not ready.

    :luck:
     
  12. montessori2md

    montessori2md Member

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    Definitely don't study at home! Unless the kid(s) are asleep : )

    My son was 3 while I was studying, so I didn't have so much of the whining/crying, it was more of the "mommy, I want [insert here]". I went to my workplace to study (closed afterhours and weekends, and there was fridge, stereo, and coffeemaker). If your DH has been taking the kid to mom's and it's stressful for him, maybe You should go to mom's.

    It gets easier when the weather is nice- you can study outside, or DH can take the kids for a stroll/swim/bike ride instead of being cooped up at home.

    I was so stressed about MCAT I came down w/ mono and strep in early may :) Was going through my second round of strep during MCAT end of May, and I managed to score better than any of my practice exams, so there is hope!

    I think taking a few hours to set up "chunks" of material to study helped my focus on my problem areas -someone here once posted that students have a tendency to go to areas they "know" and avoid unfamiliar territory, so I tried to make an effort to spend the most time on the stuff I hated/performed worst on. The emcat site does a good job of pointing out your weaknesses -use that as a study guide. If, for example, it's acid/base chemistry, then you know what to look at the next time you have a spare 15 minutes.

    I am a big advocate of waiting a year if your practice exams are consistently below 24 or so. I know it is nauseating to give up another year, but trying to recover from a bombed exam could very well be worse, and worse yet if you are also fighting a low gpa. Use that year to take more science classes, even if they are online or cc classes, even if you are retaking them.

    DON'T WAIT TILL MIDSUMMER!!! Early interviews are the salvation of non-trad students! I truly believe my early AAMCAS was the reason I landed the interviews I did.
     

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