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MCAT retakers

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by ericali, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. ericali

    ericali Member
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    For those of you who retook the MCAT and did better the second time: how did you keep up your morale studying for it the second time round? I know I abolutely have the ability to score 30+ very reasonably, and I have good study habits, but right now I just feel so demoralized after not improving at all on VR and BS since my first diag when I took the August MCAT. I worked so hard, and it didn't do me any good on two sections. I'm pissed and am apprehensive about going through all that process all over again. I took some diags a few weeks ago and did reasonable on those, and am suspecting somehow that those are easier than the real test.

    Also-- schools that screen primaries-- does anyone know if they screen based on MCAT too? I got all the secondaries from all the screening schools after they received my MCAT score. Does that mean I don't need to be so pessimistic about being rejected on the basis of my wishy washy MCAT? I believe that the MCAT is really my Achilles heel, as I think I have good EC, good grades, and I am not shy about talking and am passionate about medicine so I should do well IF I get those interviews. I am just afraid to be rejected all over post-secondary because of the MCAT, even though I received all the secondaries I'm supposed to receive.
     
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  3. DrBuro

    DrBuro Senior Member
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    Whatever got you interested in medicine in the first place should be your focus when you study. Think about that glorius day when you see your score of 45 and put the past behind you.

    Since you are doing poorly on VR and BS, I'm guessing you have trouble with reading comprehension. Read books like theres no tomorrow. It will not completely make up for your weakness, but you will definitely start to understand passages clearly.

    Your MCAT and GPA are the primary factors for being granted an interview, so keep taking the MCAT until you beat the crap out of it. If you really don't want to take it again, there's always the carib or the DO route. Good luck my man.
     
  4. sscooterguy

    sscooterguy Senior Member
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    Ok, here's my story: Scored 29 first time around. One point from the golden score. My GPA at UMichigan 3.4, so I had to get in the 30's. Studied my ass off the first time around, and was broken realizing I had to do it all over again. (first time was in april, second was august of application year)

    First of all, you're instincts are telling you something, so think and see if you really really want to do medicine. Everyone is an emotional rollercoaster from MCAT throughout medical school, believe me. You will question your decision even at times in your clinical rotations when it should be the most fun. In any case, if you overcome the anxiety, and decide if you want serve in medicine, train for about eight to ten more years, then read on.

    I set goals for myself. I made a calendar and daily schedule. I told my friends I loved them, and that I would see them in 2 months. I chose 4-6 different places to try out for studying where there would be less MCAT takers around...all MCAT students do is bitch about the exam and how hard medical school is or they tell you how easy it is and how many interviews they have already gone on. In any case, from those places, I chose a few to zone in on studying and minimize socializing and I concentrated.

    I always brought my NY Times or Life magazine. Verbal was a weakness, so I did tonnes of passages and read ALL THE TIME. I would read a variety of things from the paper. I would always read the whole first section of NYTimes, and then randomly chose articles from the other sections, especially culture, arts, travel, and the sunday NYTimes magazine. I would never allow myself to go back and reread something when I realized I zoned out, to "teach myself a lesson". After every few paragraphs, I would take 4-5 seconds, literally, and summarize what I just read in one brief sentance and list 1-2 details in my head. Then I would continue until I finished. At the end I would take 10 seconds to summarize the passage, list 2 important details/characters, and also list author bias or make a projection. This is exactly how verbal as well as the science sections are on the exam. You don't have time to reread, you don't have time to doze off, you need to work like a machine. The bulk of my score improvement was from first increasing reading ACCURACY and PRECISON and then later on SPEED. I would alternate between reading my paper (which was more supplement) reviewing and using strategy, doing blocks of passages and going over answers to find out exactly why they were correct/wrong/what I was thinking (this was majority of study time). My science scores improved with only minimal to moderate review of science material, as most passages want you to gather information and make projections from the passage any ways.

    In the end, I went from 29 to 35, got several interviews, ended up having to decide amongst 2 highly ranked schools. Good luck. Make sure you want to SERVE (I use this word for a reason) in medicine. If you do, and alterior motives (family expectations, financial gain, social status) are not your major driving force, then buckle down, you're in for a long ride. However, I will be all over after 6-8 weeks of studying (of which in reality only 3-4 weeks are hardcore). Take a day a week and just go over passages, and answers, then treat yourself to a movie and sleep. Good luck.

    sscooterguy
     
  5. DrBuro

    DrBuro Senior Member
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    Good story man... encouraging to say the least.
     

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