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MCAT Studying Encouragement

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by TabbyDragon, 01.14.14.

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  1. TabbyDragon

    TabbyDragon 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
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    This is my first post, so please don't eat me...

    I recently started MCAT studying, and I'm trying to stay positive/encouraged/motivated, so I was wondering what good things there are to keep in mind about the MCAT.

    For instance, I was surprised to learn that calculations don't have to be super precise. I would rather estimate than do meticulous calculations anyway, so that's a big relief.

    What other positive things are there to keep in mind about the MCAT? What are some things that aren't really that big of a deal, or maybe some negative misconceptions, etc. Any other words of encouragement are greatly appreciated, also.
     
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  3. orangeblue

    orangeblue 5+ Year Member

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    Frankly I don't necessary think that mneomics are the best encouragement that anyone can give you. I'm not terribly impressed by the APP link either :)
    Get the right materials, get the right books, figure out what you need to change day to day to have the most productive day (sleep schedule, diet, exercise, AM/PM routine), AND plough there. You can PM me if you need more specific advice/encouragement. Happy to share and guide.
     
  4. jazzfragment

    jazzfragment

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    The harder the passage the easier the questions.
     
  5. TabbyDragon

    TabbyDragon 2+ Year Member

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    @orangeblue Thank you for the tips! :) I'm really happy with the books I picked, so that's a plus. What kind of daily schedule did you pick for yourself, just out of curiosity? I've been sick for the past couple weeks, so it's been hard for me to stick to a schedule. All I want to do is sleep. :p

    @jazzfragment Really? I didn't know that; I will keep that in mind. Tips like that are really helpful to me, so thank you. :)
     
  6. orangeblue

    orangeblue 5+ Year Member

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    Again, re: Jazzfragment's comment: You will find that different questions are hard/easy for everyone so I wouldn't get hung up on that. Also as you do more practice passages, you'll realize and hopefully break down your own mental limitations of what's hard/easy passages. What's a hard passage to 90% of people, after you have done enough and practice enough and done good analysis post-test will be easy for you

    For now, I suggest get in sync, Get on a routine and learn to put aside your feelings. Don't expect to be cheery all the time. The truth is that MCAT studying can be dull, boring: learn to monitor your score and do nt' expect fireworks. Just get into a routine. I'm happy to talk to you and give you an overview of my own studying. What's your email? I'd rather do it privately since it has some personal info lol :D

    If you are sick, give yourself 4-5 days off. I think one big mistake that I made was not to have a consistent desginated day off. This lead to "break days" prematurely as I didn't have a scheduled time-off , and the days i didn't feel so hot, I took unplanned breaks, which weren't that much relaxing and instead lead to sad feelings of not studying. Nevertheless, I'm taking time to come up with a good final schedule that includes a lot of practice tests , which is very imp to me.

    I used TBR books and now plan to do TBR passages, TPHR passages alongside practice tests.
     
  7. TabbyDragon

    TabbyDragon 2+ Year Member

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    I've barely started, so it's hard to tell, but I think the hardest passages for me are the ones that require remembering some obscure detail, although I think that would be tough for anyone. ;) It's not so much that I'm not paying attention or something; I just don't remember or know enough. For instance, I graduated last month with a bio degree and I don't remember the word "hygroscopic" being mentioned once in any of my classes. Thanks, school, for failing me. :p

    I had planned to take Sundays off, but since I'm falling behind on my schedule, I may have to switch to studying 7 days a week for a while. Yaaay for being sick...

    Cool, I'm doing TBR too, for gen chem, o-chem, and physics at least. I'm using EK for bio and verbal, and so far I'm happy with it. And sure, you can PM me your schedule if you prefer. :) Thanks for helping me with all this! I really appreciate it. :) My friends are all in the same situation I'm in, so I don't really know someone who knows what they're doing.
     
  8. orangeblue

    orangeblue 5+ Year Member

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    1. It took me a while to get through 1/3 of TBR. I think that Chapters felt long, I was rusty on the material. etc. That's ok. Don't beat yourself over it. Know that this too shall pass and be history.



    2. Set goals and achieve them. Sometimes, when you have an assignment due, you do it despite the conditions b.c the Teacher/Prof has set a deadline.With MCAT studying, you have to set your own deadlines and you have to meet them. You have to pull through.



    3. I felt crummy too as times, and this was b.c of lack of achieving goals that I set. I'd say that set realistic goals and then ACHIEVE them. If you can't seem to reach them, then go back and modify your goals.



    4. Take one day off. a week. Designated day. I didn't set a date and this led to pre-mature breaks, and then feeling bad about taking a break and soand so forth. Productivity leads to productivity.



    5. It's all about habits: Set up a wake time, make it the same every day. Eat healthy (apples, cashew butter for me). Exercise. Sleep at a decent time.



    6. Keep head in a good place: I somehow due to not getting enough done etc. felt into a sick rut. I would obsess about others and even the most stupid silly things that I wouldn't care about, they became important to me. Stay engrossed into the MCAT life. Make good MCAT friends (That's hard at times).



    7. Make a MASTER PLan customized to you. What dates, which tests. It may be take 2-3 - 4 days to make it and then constantly refer to your to-do list

    for today and also know where you are doing overall. It's important to see how and where months of your work is leading up to.It's important to see how what you are doing every day is leading up to a big picture.



    8. Know that this wouldn't be all a fun-journey. There will be times you'll feel terrible, bad, etc etc..but just go on and do the work and trust me, that's the only way to feel good.

    9. Stay in the present moment: Every day is a new day. Every hour is a new hour to be the kind of MCAT test-taker you want to be. Keep moving forward. Don't dwell on the past or work-up by imaging a future.

    10. Get excited, get energetic!

    11. Come back and talk as needed. Lots of supportive people here.
     
  9. TabbyDragon

    TabbyDragon 2+ Year Member

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    I know, TBR is taking me forever. It's helpful, but there's so much!

    I have a plan for one subject a day, broken down for the 15 weeks of studying before the day of the test. I calculated how much I would have to do a day. I take Sundays off and do practice tests on Saturdays. I'll probably do more tests as I get closer.

    Right now, I'm focusing on catching up and getting better. I can't study for more than a few minutes at a time, but I go to the doctor next week, and she'll understand the urgency. :)

    Thank you for the encouraging words! It's great being able to talk to someone who is going through the same thing.

    By the way, any tips for passages? Skim and then answer questions? Go to questions first? Any tips in general are of course appreciated, too!
     
  10. Toadesque

    Toadesque 7+ Year Member

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    The passages can be your friend. Even if you don't know the answer you can sometimes figure it out based on either finding it in the passage or knowing that some of the answer choices are completely irrelevant from what you read in the passage and can be eliminated.
     
  11. TabbyDragon

    TabbyDragon 2+ Year Member

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    Sounds good. I need to work on my speed reading, though. I did some timed passages and didn't do so great. Those walls of text can be hard to skim. But thank you for the tips; I appreciate it. :)
     

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