MCAT in less than a month...What should I focus on?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Jumb0, Sep 28, 2014.

1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
1. Jumb0 2+ Year Member

233
92
Aug 24, 2012
USA
Here are my full length scores so far, in the order in which I took them:

• AAMC 3 (CBT) = 33 (10,12,11)
• AAMC 5 (CBT = 33 (10,12,11)
• AAMC 4 (R) = 33 (11,11,11)
• Kaplan 1 = 32 (9,12,11)
• Kaplan 2 = 34 (10,11,13)
So my average is a 33 with a mode of 33. I would be really happy with a 33 on the real thing, but I don't think these scores are good enough. The way I see it, if you want a 33 on the real deal, you should be averaging a 35 on full lengths. I'm taking the exam on October 25th.

As you can see, my physics average is lagging behind the others. It is definitely my weakest point. I have memorized the formulas, but I am just slow at doing math, so I barely ever finish physics on time. I always feel rushed and end up having to guess on a few. Verbal is solid. Biology knowledge is solid. Organic chemistry, on the other hand, is a bit of a weakness. I haven't taken the time to memorize all the common reactions and reagents...I'm still able to average 11+ on BS though because it is mostly biology, which I am good at, and I have enough orgo intuition to do reasonably well on the few orgo passages that come up. It's just the occasional trivia question of orgo that trips me up i.e. whether a certain reaction will proceed with Markovnikov or anti-Markovinkov regioselectivity, etc...

So what would be the highest yielding use of my time:

A) Work on Physics
B) Memorize Orgo reactions
C) Master the things I'm already good at (VR and Bio) in order to get super high scores in those that will make up for deficits in other sections

?

Thank you

3. wuhsabeeBEARS. BEETS. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. 5+ Year Member

289
209
Jul 29, 2011
I could be wrong, but I thought alkenes / alkynes are no longer tested on the MCAT? So this includes Markovnikov/anti-Markovnikov reactions, too, right?

4. Jumb0 2+ Year Member

233
92
Aug 24, 2012
USA
Yeah, you're right about that I suppose...But I mean questions similar to that, where you either know it or you don't. Sometimes you can't predict products unless you know exactly what a certain reagent does. For example, I no longer remember what species PCC is able to oxidize...or the location of common peaks on Carbon NMR...or which groups are ortho vs. meta directors....or what the hell a Wolff Kishner reaction is....Should I definitely take some time to remember these things? Or can I bank of using my intuition and hoping the passages give me what I need? I feel like Orgo is a low-yielding subject. It likely won't account for more than 15 problems on BS...and chances are only like 1 or 2 of those will be trivia type problems where you can't use intuition + passage.

233
92
Aug 24, 2012
USA

6. John BusterSDN Bronze DonorBronze Donor 2+ Year Member

168
165
Sep 2, 2014
If you can afford it, I would get the MCAT Self-Assessment Package and do those problems. They're helpful for figuring out what you're weak on and what you could improve on.

Also, make sure you keep your verbal brain sharp.

7. ScarlettZoe

1
0
Sep 29, 2014
MDApps:
MDApps:
If you have just taken the MCAT, please do not discuss any specifics of the exam or link to sites where such discussions will take place!
SDN wants you to know that the AAMC routinely reads this forum. SDN has a strict TRUSTe privacy policy and does not release information to other organizations. However, the AAMC can and will use subpoenas to force SDN to release member information.

Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
8. Jumb0 2+ Year Member

233
92
Aug 24, 2012
USA
Thanks, Scarlett. I am aware of this rule. I'm not asking anyone to tell me what to expect on the exam. I just want some help in formulating a study strategy that will optimize my time given my current weak-points.

9. fatimany 2+ Year Member

237
63
Sep 4, 2014
Its normal to fluctuate one point in a section as you do practice tests since each test is different. More importantly, you have yet to do the most recent AAMC practice tests such as test 7,9,10, and 11. You should keep doing practice tests and at this point, the most valuable thing to do would be to go over your answers thoroughly and identify your mistakes. A score of 9 and 10 likely means your content knowledge is good.

10. valkener 5+ Year Member

592
42
May 17, 2010
USA
You should be doing the remaining AAMC practice tests and then review them thoroughly. If you do it right you can spend 2-3 days on a single test to make sure you understand absolutely everything and can repeat similar but modified problems.

11. ortnakasOMS-IV 2+ Year Member

2,219
2,475
Jul 23, 2013
Agreed. Practice tests > content review. Go through each question and figure out why you got it right or wrong.