Dismiss Notice
SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

MCAT RETAKE TIPS

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by together, Oct 28, 2000.

  1. together

    together Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2000
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear All,

    I plan to retake the MCAT in April 2001. I scored 7,8,8,R the first time around but had a tough semester which limited my preparation time. This time around, I will take a light academic load and prepare extensively for my retake. Any suggestions for study techniques that have helped increase scores at least somewhat significantly -- say, 5-6 points? Thank you!

    Together

    "It never meant as much as it does right now"
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2000
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    kaplan and princeton review are costly programs to help you study for the MCAT. they can be helpful in improving your score if you really do a lot of practice tests and work on areas where you are weak. i took the kaplan course and they were really helpful with teaching how to pace yourself with the test. i scored only 2 points higher than my first practice test, but I could have worked harder with areas where I needed help.
     
  4. together

    together Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2000
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Vietcongs,

    Thank you for your reply. I have already taken Kaplan review and found the materials they offer much more useful than the content-review courses. Howvever, I do want to bump all my scores up (who doesn't?) a little in each composite. How to do this likely depends on how well I am prepared with respect to content. Right? Also, "they" always say to "read, read, read" and you'll be well prepared for verbal reasoning. I read all the time -- Nature, Scientific American, The Economist, Neuron, etc. -- and still only managed a 7 on VR. What gives?

    Together
     
  5. healthydawg

    healthydawg Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2000
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    howdy

    i took the MCAT twice...four years apart! i'm one of those people who didn't get in the first time around, went off to do a bunch of interesting life things, and have now come back to get the med thing going again.

    here's my biggest piece of advice: take as many pretests as you can. take half sections, whole sections and whole tests. simulate the testing conditions as well as you can. take the breaks, use a similar room... the first time i took 13 or 14 (!) whole tests before i took the real thing and a bunch of added sections too. as for how i got all those tests, i just asked as many people as i could to share stuff out of their review books. (speaking of books, flowers used to be the best - i'm not sure who's good now.) yes, testing this way is severely depressing at first but as you go through it, you learn your weaknesses and can improve them. plus, on the fateful day, you pretty much know what's going to happen.

    test! test! test! as for kaplan or princeton or whatever, they do help...kaplan was good (i took it) and columbia is good for learning basic stuff. but i attribute my relative success (at the test anyway) to, you guessed it, practice tests.

    finally, before you ask...

    1st time 33 (a few poor grades and no exp. kept me out)
    2nd time 30 (ouch, but i was out of school already...still decent though)

    good luck!
     
  6. Hmmrstrength

    Hmmrstrength Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2000
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey what's up,

    I gave this advice to someone else so I apologize to the people who read the other post. I took Kaplan in the winter in prep for the April MCAT. When the test roled around,I thought I was ready. My last Kaplan exam was a 34 and last AAMC higher(don't remember the score just know I was happier). I got into the test and honestly the stress was much greater than I could have predicted. The proctors had their intracacies, you had to bubble in before each section(sounds stupid but it increased my stress), everyone around you was as stressed or more than you, and the test environment was new. You can't simulate these conditions in your practices, so I do think just familiarizing myself with the actual test day helped.

    But additionally, my study tactics changed and this most definately had a significant effect. ( I paid the 200 to retake Kaplan, but did not focus as much on their library materials) First, I found two extremely dedicated individuals to study with and help motivate me. These individuals had connections of their own and were able to get the other testing prep course practice tests. Because I had studied in the Winter for April, I was able to refresh quickly, and I additionally knew where I had minor deficiencies, allowing me to correct them. We sat down together the last three weeks and took full length after full length, reviewing each one after completion. We even pulled two a days 2 or 3 times. By the time the test came around, sitting for an entire test did not seem traumatic or long. This was by far the most significant change and I think the biggest difference.

    Oh yah, one other thing. I was a habittually slow reader, but very accurate. During the April MCAT, I only finished 7 passages and got an 8, but during the August MCAT I finished with a proctor timing error and got an 11. I think their were 4 major differences. 1st I realized that in order to get a high verbal score, one had to finish. Regardless of what testing companies tell you this is the key. 2nd I realized I had got into the habit of underlining and circling much too much stuff, partly because of Kaplan. If you look at my practice passages from before the April and before the August MCATs, the August passages are significantly less marked up. This helped my speed. 3rd when you answer questions, don't spend a significant amount of time on any one question. Sounds basic, but I bet if your anything like me you'll be spending more time on questions that you are unsure of than you thought. 1 of 2 things will occur if you just put down your first incling, you'll get it right or wrong. The key here is that I found that first vague incling on ambiguous questions was more often than not right, but the speed allowed me to get to the rest of the test. 4th don't get involved in semi-interesting passages or passages on subjects you have random outside knowledge on. Skim them. These passages can be completed 5-7 minutes and allow you to get through that ****ty philosophy passage they eneavitably throw your way.

    1st score in April 29 L (8v, 10P, 11B).
    2nd score in August 36 R (11v, 13P, 12B).

    Anyway, I hope my ramblings were helpful to you and any others interested.

    Late.

    [This message has been edited by Hmmrstrength (edited 11-01-2000).]
     
  7. Jacky

    Jacky Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2000
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    1
    To the poster above: Great job!! Reading your experience (battling with this exam) was inspiring. It was refreshing to hear your story and how you made the appropriate changes for success. I commend you on your refined approach and willingness to help others through what you've learned!
     
  8. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2000
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    To all you guys who get 30+ on the MCAT, good for you, and good luck with your future career. Remember that there are some of us who cant hardly get in the mid 20s no matter how hard we study. Maybe this whole idea of becoming a doctor is too far out of my reach.I have everything else going for me, my grades (3.8 at a good private college), my research (3 years) and volunteer experience, excellent recommendations, but my ****ing MCAT sucks ass! Pray for me.
     
  9. van1192

    van1192 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Together,

    First of all don't give up it is very possible to get a higler MCAT score. I took the test twice the first time after taking the Kaplan review course (24). I noticed that all of my friends that took priceton review did much better than the people who took Kaplan. For the second test I took the princeton review and found it to be a much better course. Princeton offers six full length test which follow the actual test situation. Second, make sure you take a princeton course that offers the Hyperlearnign text. Some don't and therefore are very similar to Kaplan. The hyperlearning course is much more in depth. I also found that princeton also taught test taking skills which is extremely helpful for the verbal section. After the Princeton Review I scored a 38 a fourteen point increase. I didn't study any harder I just found the material much more helpful.

    There is one thing that you have to remember is that verbal is a time short test. This means that an averager reader will not be able to finish the test. There are ways around this problem but it takes a lot of practice. I scored a 13-15 on verbal and I promise that I didn't read more than half of any passage. I mapped the passage and trust me this really works. I scored an 8 on verbal the first time. The only thing I did was change my approach to the test. If you are like me you already have all of the information in your head. All I had to do was learn how to apply it to the test.

    Gook luck and don't give up!!

     
  10. together

    together Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2000
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0

    Thank you all for your helpful advice! I wish you all great success with your careers!

    Thanks again,

    Best wishes,

    Together
     

Share This Page