Jun 19, 2013
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Hello all,
I was wondering if anyone had any tips on achieving that 35+ score. I have taken about half the AAMC tests and have gotten 35s on all of them (I know scores tend to deviate +-2 from the practice exams). Seems like I hit my plateau though. With less than a month before my exam, anyone have any tips on what would be the most efficient and best way to study for me right now?
 
Jul 12, 2013
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Here goes my first post: From my experience, if you're at the 35 mark you need to go back and go over every single question in the practice exam. At that level, every question makes a difference (especially VR). What I did was take a practice exam, then the next morning go through it section by section, up to 2hrs per section. For each problem, you write down whether it was correct or incorrect, and write your thought process for reaching the answer you got. If incorrect, rework any relevant equation, etc. and write how you now understand why the correct answer is in fact the correct answer. Think about any possible shortcuts to reach the answer faster, and look up any of the facts you don't remember (for BS and PS). This was a modified method of what Kaplan had in their course.

I first heard about sdn while studying for the MCAT this summer, and it proved to be immensely helpful. Good luck on the exam!
 
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Swagster

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Any score in the >35 range I believe comes down to luck and test taking skills. There will be questions that no amount of studying will expose you to and to get them right you have to think linearly, focus, and not get stressed out. This only comes from practice and intense analysis of how you attacked questions like it in the past. Figure out what tricks work for you. Honestly, the only tricks that stuck for me were the TBR ones, but they were pure gold during the exam. I am convinced that the time I saved using their shortcuts helped me have plenty of time for the questions I needed to reread multiple times to fully get. Get fast and avoid careless errors on the routine questions so that you can buckle down on the ones that separate the 12s from the 15s.
 

BestDoctorEver

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Any score in the >35 range I believe comes down to luck and test taking skills. There will be questions that no amount of studying will expose you to and to get them right you have to think linearly, focus, and not get stressed out. This only comes from practice and intense analysis of how you attacked questions like it in the past. Figure out what tricks work for you. Honestly, the only tricks that stuck for me were the TBR ones, but they were pure gold during the exam. I am convinced that the time I saved using their shortcuts helped me have plenty of time for the questions I needed to reread multiple times to fully get. Get fast and avoid careless errors on the routine questions so that you can buckle down on the ones that separate the 12s from the 15s.
I agree that getting in the high 30s in that test is not easy. It appears that there are a lot 35+ in SDN, but in reality only 5% of test takers got 35+.
Hello all,
I was wondering if anyone had any tips on achieving that 35+ score. I have taken about half the AAMC tests and have gotten 35s on all of them (I know scores tend to deviate +-2 from the practice exams). Seems like I hit my plateau though. With less than a month before my exam, anyone have any tips on what would be the most efficient and best way to study for me right now?
You are fine... continue to do what you are doing to maintain or increase such good practice scores... A 35 will make you competitive at 95%+ US MD schools MCATwise.
 

EMDO2018

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http://www.education.com/reference/article/effects-heredity-environment-intelligence/
I read this article the other day, and was surprised that genetics plays such a big role in intelligence. I don't think you need to be super intelligent to be a physician, maybe if intelligence was a 1-10 scale you would need to be maybe a 6 or 7, then the rest is just hard work. One thing that is interesting is kids who were adopted at birth, had a IQ that was closer to their biological parents instead of the adoptive parents. Also the article suggest genetics determines a spectrum of what your intelligence can be, then environment determines where you fall on that spectrum. After studying for the MCAT, I can say there was definitely a point where I reached a limit on how many concepts I could remember and remember well, so extra studying became redundant. People who score 35+ on the MCAT I think are just naturally gifted and have a genetic capacity to learn and retain large amounts or concepts in a short amount of time.
 
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jetsfan1234

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http://www.education.com/reference/article/effects-heredity-environment-intelligence/
I read this article the other day, and was surprised that genetics plays such a big role in intelligence. I don't think you need to be super intelligent to be a physician, maybe if intelligence was a 1-10 scale you would need to be maybe a 6 or 7, then the rest is just hard work. One thing that is interesting is kids who were adopted at birth, had a IQ that was closer to their biological parents instead of the adoptive parents. Also the article suggest genetics determines a spectrum of what your intelligence can be, then environment determines where you fall on that spectrum. After studying for the MCAT, I can say there was definitely a point where I reached a limit on how many concepts I could remember and remember well, so extra studying became redundant. People who score 35+ on the MCAT I think are just naturally gifted and have a genetic capacity to learn and retain large amounts or concepts in a short amount of time.
Not sure how you made the jump from IQ score to MCAT score.

Edit: I scored above a 35, and I would say the #1 most important thing is to pay attention and work hard in your pre-requisite classes. It's hard to make up for lost time later on.
 

EMDO2018

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Not sure how you made the jump from IQ score to MCAT score.

Edit: I scored above a 35, and I would say the #1 most important thing is to pay attention and work hard in your pre-requisite classes. It's hard to make up for lost time later on.
I paid attention and worked hard in my pre-req classes too. A lot of people do. Most will never reach 35+.
 

jetsfan1234

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I paid attention and worked hard in my pre-req classes too. A lot of people do. Most will never reach 35+.
When you were taking your classes, did you really attempt to understand the concepts on a deep level? Or did you rely on memorization of formulas and such, in order to get a good grade?

I agree there is an element of luck involved in getting 35+, but if you have a deep understanding of the scientific concepts presented, I believe there is no reason you should not be able to get a 12 on PS and BS.
 

BestDoctorEver

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When you were taking your classes, did you really attempt to understand the concepts on a deep level? Or did you rely on memorization of formulas and such, in order to get a good grade?

I agree there is an element of luck involved in getting 35+, but if you have a deep understanding of the scientific concepts presented, I believe there is no reason you should not be able to get a 12 on PS and BS.
I disagree with you. Hard work, test taking skills and paying attention in your prereqs will 'unlikely' get someone 35+ in the MCAT. As much as people in SDN don't want to admit it, one need a certain level of 'intelligence' to get these scores (35+)... I think 28 to 32 is doable from an average Joe as long as verbal is not a hindrance. There is a reason that only about 5% of test takers score 35+. Getting 12+ in PS/BS is not that easy as you put it.
 
Jan 4, 2014
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If your goal is to get over 35, then I suggest you to review the AAMC practice tests you've done so far before you continue with the next one. While reviewing, do a detailed analysis of what kind of questions you are consistently getting wrong, in what content categories and skill categories. If you find yourself lacking on content-based questions, then use this one last month to really sit down and memorize and comb over your wearknesses. However, if your errors are from non content-based, critical thinking questions, then you should review your thought processes while doing the question and why you didn't grasp the right concept/logic the question was testing.
 
OP
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Jun 19, 2013
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I ended up with only a 35, but thanks anyways everyone for all the advice. Hopefully it'll be good enough
 
Jan 3, 2014
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I got in the high 30's on my MCAT. I spent a semester studying before I took it, basically doing 90% MCAT and practice passages, 10% content review. I used the all of the AAMC and TPR tests. I did all of my practice tests Friday through Sunday mornings, and left the rest of the week towards review and a handful of passages. Don't be afraid to reuse tests if you run out. I was able to balance it with a full course-load as well as my EC's. I did well in my pre-reqs, but they did not prepare me at all for the material on the exam (except for physics and organic). It's all about test taking ability rather than textbook knowledge, so the moral of the story is to do all the problems/practice tests you can get your hands on.

In the meantime, make sure you are solid on content if you are consistently getting around 35s and also that you watch out for questions which can be easily answered by the passage. In terms of verbal, I have no advice because that was really hard for me!
 

ArmDoc

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i believe you just have to see which areas are you weak on and put more emphasis on those areas.