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MCAT study -- 4 more days -- need some help here!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by limit, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child 10+ Year Member

    570
    1
    Jun 21, 2000
    New York City
    Hi guys, this may seem like a wierd post but it's sincere and I could use some advice if anyone is willing. I'm taking the MCAT this saturday; I started studying 1 week ago.

    So far I've went through random passages from the aamc tests 3,5, and 6, just doing one passage at a time and such. (I also have the Kaplan book in my arsenal). I started off a bit rusty getting 3-4 wrong per passage (yes, sometimes in the 5-question passages). Now I've got it down to about 1-3. Some passages I don't waste time doing I just study the solutions and move on.

    Anyways, I will have the rest of today, thursday late evening, and all of friday to prepare. I've taken upper level classes such as biochem, micro, pchem1&2, so I feel like I have a good command of the material but the way the questions are presented is a bit shocking in some cases. How do you guys think I should budget the rest of my time? Just keep doing passages like I've been doing? Concentrate on any one specific section?

    Here's the prime reason I'm concerned. I'll go through a passage, get a few wrong, learn my mistake(s), then the subsequent passages all seem to just transmogrify (especially similar topics from diff tests). so I'm not utilizing specifics that I've just learned and seemingly sometimes even make similar mistakes. This make sense to anyone?

    Thanks
     
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    3,398
    15
    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I think the best practice is to take several full-length exams in a timed environment. Also, try to use transmogrify in your writing sample.
     
  4. Wednesday

    Wednesday Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    684
    9
    Aug 12, 2001
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by limit:
    <strong>I've taken upper level classes such as biochem, micro, pchem1&2, so I feel like I have a good command of the material but the way the questions are presented is a bit shocking in some cases. How do you guys think I should budget the rest of my time? Just keep doing passages like I've been doing? Concentrate on any one specific section?

    Here's the prime reason I'm concerned. I'll go through a passage, get a few wrong, learn my mistake(s), then the subsequent passages all seem to just transmogrify (especially similar topics from diff tests). so I'm not utilizing specifics that I've just learned and seemingly sometimes even make similar mistakes. This make sense to anyone?

    Thanks</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">This makes sense to me. Well, I don't really understand taking the test with only one week of exposure to it, but that is my personal bias. Apparently plenty of people do it and do well, especially people good at standardized tests. Since you have waited until the last second, I am assuming you are one of these lucky few.

    Anyway, the thing that stuck out for me in your question was that you are concerned about the specifics you learn from each test and how they aren't being used in subsequent tests. The thing is, the MCAT is about how you think even more than what you know. You can know all sorts of random upper-level bio facts and still not do well on the MCAT. Most of the random info required for the questions (at least the passage questions) is in the passage. Outside knowledge is from intro level science classes so isn't supposed to be too detailed.

    The reason people take so much time preparing for the darn thing is that 1. maybe they need to review all those intro level science concepts they never got and 2. you have to practice taking the test.

    Usually I'd say that you should relax on Friday. Maybe you should. But you really might want to do an entire test once, or at least do each full section once. To get an idea of how much time they don't give you! I don't know what two days can do, but I would say that practicing the actual test, not the answers is what you need to do.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Elysium

    Elysium Not Really An Old Beaver 7+ Year Member

    2,014
    4
    Dec 5, 2001
    Austin
    Don't feel too bad. I've been theoretically been studying since Jan, but that's really a joke. It's only been in the last 2 weeks that I've really been getting after it.

    The fact that I have an Orgo II test tomorrow is very tragic. Tragic.

    Anyway, I think you should keep doing passages and figure out the way the MCAT approaches things (especially the verbal). I think the reason that so many science types f-up the verbal is that they try to reason their way through the questions. Can't do that. It's got to be intuitive, I think.

    Personally, I think you'll do fine on the PS and BS section given your level of coursework. Again, I would just hit the passages in all the sections.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child 10+ Year Member

    570
    1
    Jun 21, 2000
    New York City
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Elysium:
    <strong>I think the reason that so many science types f-up the verbal is that they try to reason their way through the questions. Can't do that. It's got to be intuitive, I think.
    Good Luck!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'd have to agree that verbal is really the passage I fear the most, and many people probably should as well. The passages are rather unpredictable and impulsive (ie, the picasso passage in AAMC V just blew me away, it sounded like a pleonastic term paper I once wrote). I try to watch out especially for the passages that deal with philosophy and the humanities because those writers tend to overuse rhetoric to somehow proove their intelligence to the rest of the english community. Some multiple-choice tips I once learned included imagining the right answer before looking at the choice: I've noticed a recurring theme in that taking such guesses led me to find my guess as the incorrect Choice A (the first one we see and I assume many people fall into the trap when they are pressed for time).

    I continue to get at least 1-2 wrong per verbal passage, a luxury I know I won't have if I want to shoot for double digit scores, so I guess its still a big "feel it out" deal with regards to the verbal -- noticing the type of wrong and right answers usually presented and such.

    To the rest who posted thus far, thanks for the encouragement -- it actually does help calm the nerves for anyone who is reading these replies.
     
  7. Forensic Chick

    Forensic Chick 10+ Year Member

    380
    0
    Jan 29, 2002
    California
    Elysium,

    I feel you!! I have on o-chem midterm on Friday... Good luck.

    I am also taking the MCAT on Saturday and I also haven't studied much over the past months. I figure that there's no way in hell that I'm going to cram everything into the next couple days, so I'm just going to work the crap out of the practice tests I have and hope for the best. I finished all the pre-reqs but gen chem was taken back in '99/'00 and hasn't been revisited since.

    Study, StUdY, STUDY!! :)
     
  8. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child 10+ Year Member

    570
    1
    Jun 21, 2000
    New York City
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Forensic Chick:
    <strong>Elysium,

    I feel you!! I have on o-chem midterm on Friday... Good luck.
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Yes, let me add I'm very sympathetic with both of you for having such a tough exam the day before, I hope it doesn't tap your exam energy. Personally I don't know how your schoos don't come down hard on the professor for such ponderously absurd scheduling, isn't it in their best interest that you do well on your MCAT?
    Good luck!
     
  9. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    844
    4
    Feb 27, 2001
    Columbus, OH
    I feel your pain! It feels like I haven't hardly studied at all and I've got quizzes and lab reports due at the end of the week. Plus, I'll have a nice, phat physics quiz waiting for me when I return from the weekend on Relativity and all that carbunkle. I know exactly how you feel. I bought that Examkrackers Verbal book and I think it's pretty good. It can be read in one day easily. It's pretty thorough regarding what you need. Although, the last time I did a verbal I scored a 4. It was a fluke, however, because I consistently score 8's and 9's in that section. My problem was some noisy a$$ people in the library playing with their phones. I know I won't have people playing with their different phone ringers during the MCAT. So, the 4 was a fluke. My beef is with the PS section! I'm totally tripping out on this stuff! I can't remember any of the simple, Physics I equations! I feel like I'm screwed in that section! :( I consistently score like 4's and 5's on the practice using the Kaplan books. People say those are harder than the real thing. I sure hope so. I'd sure like to add 3 points to my PS if that's the case. Anyways, I just wanted to post to let you know you're not alone with respect to school work or study time. In fact, I just seriously started studying within the last few weeks because school has kept me so busy. I guess that's the trade off. Oh well...there's always the August test! PEace
     
  10. Hoo\/er

    Hoo\/er if($profit){replicate();} 10+ Year Member

    207
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    Feb 10, 2002
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by limit:
    I'd have to agree that verbal is really the passage I fear the most, and many people probably should as well. The passages are rather unpredictable and impulsive (ie, the picasso passage in AAMC V just blew me away, it sounded like a pleonastic term paper I once wrote).</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I remember that passage while I was taking TPR. Ouch is all I can say. Ouch.
     

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