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May 27, 2019
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I’m nervous to take my first AAMC full length practice test tomorrow...
Today I've just been reviewing some biology flashcards that I made, some psych/soc flashcards that I made, studying the Michaelis-Menten graphs and Lineweaver-Burk plots for each of the different types of inhibition, and I'm about to do some studying of my biochemistry flashcards.

Is it normal to feel this way?

This summer I’ve been doing a lot of content review and studying with Princeton Review and doing a lot of AAMC practice problems. I’ve also made my own flashcards using quizlet and have been utilizing Kaplan flashcards as well.
 
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couldbeawinchester

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For the best discussions about the MCAT, go to the premed forum, but yes, it's normal to feel nervous about taking a full length. Trust yourself and BREATHE.
 
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May 27, 2019
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For the best discussions about the MCAT, go to the premed forum, but yes, it's normal to feel nervous about taking a full length. Trust yourself and BREATHE.

Even though I’m taking a full length tomorrow, I haven’t done a lot of content review since it’s too much to do in one day before I take the practice test...

I hope it will be okay. I’ve done a lot of the AAMC practice materials though
 
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Definitely normal to feel nervous going into a practice test. No matter how prepared you feel, the first AAMC FL practice exam is the first time you actually find out how you're doing, and if you're on pace to hit your target score, which has pretty large implications.

Just be confident in your studying and realize that each time you take a practice time, it'll get easier, and each time a practice test gets easier, the actual exam will too.

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It's a good way to gauge where you're at and find out which section needs more work. Doon't be afraid to use one or two FL's to gauge where you're at. What you should be more concerned about is how you are going to use those FL's and review them at your advantange.
 
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May 27, 2019
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Definitely normal to feel nervous going into a practice test. No matter how prepared you feel, the first AAMC FL practice exam is the first time you actually find out how you're doing, and if you're on pace to hit your target score, which has pretty large implications.

Just be confident in your studying and realize that each time you take a practice time, it'll get easier, and each time a practice test gets easier, the actual exam will too.

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Thank you for the advice and words of encouragement. I’ve been scoring in the 60s and 70s on most of the AAMC practice materials.

I’m continuing to try and improve and practice to where I can maybe get 80% or better on some sections
 
May 27, 2019
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My MCAT test is in a a little over a week and I’m so nervous. A few weeks ago I took my first AAMC full length practice test and I got a 490 on it (mainly because I did make some stupid/dumb/careless mistakes on questions that I should’ve gotten right and there was some content that I didn’t know).

Ever since then I’ve been doing a lot of rereading of my notes, making study guides for all of the science sections, and have nearly finished going through all of the practice resources on AAMC. The main things I have left is just is the four AAMC practice tests that are left (3 full lengths and and the sample)

I also made a document of all the questions I missed on the full length practice tests and went through them individually to understand where I went wrong and topics that I needed to focus on. I’ve also had a private tutor helping me with corner review this summer and that has been helpful.

I’m taking a second full length AAMC practice test this weekend. My target score for the MCAT is a 501. I’m nervous because I hope to see improvement from my 490 score that I got a few weeks ago.

Studying for the MCAT this summer has been a lot and at times I’ve struggled with missing or write questions (due to not understanding how to apply the content, second guessing myself/overthinking the question, or doing process of elimination and getting down the the last two answers and choosing the wrong one)

I just hope that I can hit that 500 hump
 

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Hold up... you’ve taken one practice FL exam, scored a 490, and are taking the real deal in a week? You need to reschedule that. You’re not prepared to take the exam. Full stop. A 500 is not sufficient for med school admissions.
 
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GreenDuck12

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I’m in a pipeline program and it requires a 501..
Thats good info to include in your post. What happens if you miss the mark on this attempt?

From a Tutor’s perspective a 490 is not close to a 500... that’s a big gap to close in a small amount of time.
 
May 27, 2019
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Thats good info to include in your post. What happens if you miss the mark on this attempt?

From a Tutor’s perspective a 490 is not close to a 500... that’s a big gap to close in a small amount of time.

I’m hoping that reviewing all of my mistakes on the full length test and doing more content review doe the subjects I was weak on and doing, tutoring for physics and bio/biochemistry in the 3 weeks since my last practice test will show in my performance on this second practice test I take this weekend

If I don’t get the score in the fall I can retake it in January. It’s not a requirement for the program that I take the test this fall

I’ve just done so much content review this summer (I’ve done through all of the Princeton Review books, have done the vast majority and nearly all of the AAMC practice resources other than completing all of the full length practice tests). I should also note that I did biochem all by myself with the help of a tutor and YouTube videos without having taken the class

It’s been very stressful and heard for me to have done all of this work this summer and for it not to reflect on my practice test score.... I’ve been trying to stay positive and keep going but it’s been hard
 
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GreenDuck12

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Generally, I don’t recommend sitting for the test when one is not scoring near their target score. I can absolutely sympathize with where you’re at having completed content review. That being said, content review is only one piece of the puzzle. The MCAT is 1/3 content and 2/3 critical thinking, reading, and reasoning. A 490 practice score indicates significant deficits in content knowledge and test taking reasoning. Reviewing mistakes is fine but practicing is better. Happy to offer more advice but I understand if you just want to move forward with the test.
 
May 27, 2019
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Generally, I don’t recommend sitting for the test when one is not scoring near their target score. I can absolutely sympathize with where you’re at having completed content review. That being said, content review is only one piece of the puzzle. The MCAT is 1/3 content and 2/3 critical thinking, reading, and reasoning. A 490 practice score indicates significant deficits in content knowledge and test taking reasoning. Reviewing mistakes is fine but practicing is better. Happy to offer more advice but I understand if you just want to move forward with the test.

I showed my tutor my results and she thinks that I may be having trouble applying the knowledge to the questions. My highest section is psych/soc (124). Then CARS (123). Chem/phys is a 122 and bio/biochem is a 121. I really want to do well on the psych/soc and CARS sections. I’ve also been doing a lot of work on the science sections since I want my scores to improve on those sections as well

I’ve been trying to work on test taking techniques such as only highlight transition words and key phrases. I also identify the topic of the passage and the question types (implicit, explicit, 2x2, Roman numeral, etc). I’ve been noticing too that sometimes I miss questions by not honing in/interpreting details that were in the passage..

Should I see how I do when I take a second full length practice test this weekend?
 
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What you described above are strong indicators that you are not yet ready to take the MCAT. I get that pushing the test back after preparing for so long is disappointing, I did it myself. In hindsight, it was the best decision I could’ve made. It gave me time to critically evaluate my approach thus far, make changes, and ultimately achieve the score that I wanted to end up where I am.
 
May 27, 2019
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What you described above are strong indicators that you are not yet ready to take the MCAT. I get that pushing the test back after preparing for so long is disappointing, I did it myself. In hindsight, it was the best decision I could’ve made. It gave me time to critically evaluate my approach thus far, make changes, and ultimately achieve the score that I wanted to end up where I am.

With the science sections at the time I didn’t know as much content as I do know and I didn’t prepare as much to take that full length that since I got overwhelmed when trying to study everything the day before I took it... I know these are all contributing factors that affected my score
 
May 27, 2019
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I hope it works out, best of luck to you.

Do you recommend any study strategies?

I’ve noticed that sometimes I can forget things- like I’ll see a topic in a passage or question and recognize it but can have difficulty recalling details on the topic/subject. Even after having read the chapter in the review book and taken notes

I’m so scared and just stressed out and feeling very overwhelmed and even possibly discouraged about this test...
 

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Being scared and stressed is normal during this process but you still have to think clearly and make good decisions.

There are plenty of strategies I could suggest for content retention but none that will have a significant impact in a short timeframe. For reference, I typically recommend my students follow a 4 month prep schedule with the first 1.5 months being content review, the next 1.5 months being content practice and strategy prep, and one month of intensive AAMC prep. It worked well for me and has worked well for my students. While content knowledge is important, it is not possible to memorize your wat to a high a score - to a 501 it’s possible but takes time.
 
May 27, 2019
51
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Being scared and stressed is normal during this process but you still have to think clearly and make good decisions.

There are plenty of strategies I could suggest for content retention but none that will have a significant impact in a short timeframe. For reference, I typically recommend my students follow a 4 month prep schedule with the first 1.5 months being content review, the next 1.5 months being content practice and strategy prep, and one month of intensive AAMC prep. It worked well for me and has worked well for my students. While content knowledge is important, it is not possible to memorize your wat to a high a score - to a 501 it’s possible but takes time.

At this point all I can do is just continue to review flashcards and see how I do on the second full length practice test this weekend. Really actually try my best and try to use good test taking strategies and try to avoid too many simple errors since they add up. I think I also need to work on confidence while answering questions and to not second guess/change my answer on questions

This evening is when I really started to stress about my test date. Another thing is I’ve been going through my flashcards and know a lot of the content, yet I continue to miss some practice questions
 
May 27, 2019
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Have you done the AAMC Section Bank?

Yes!! Those were the hardest practice questions for me but I made a document of all of the questions I missed on each section bank section and thoroughly read the explanations. I also have a private tutor so I’m going over some of the questions that have let to do (about 10-15 questions in the bio/biochem and chem/phys sections). The bio/biochem is my lowest section..
 

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Yes!! Those were the hardest practice questions for me but I made a document of all of the questions I missed on each section bank section and thoroughly read the explanations. I also have a private tutor so I’m going over some of the questions that have let to do (about 10-15 questions in the bio/biochem and chem/phys sections). The bio/biochem is my lowest section..
What were your % scores in each section
 
May 27, 2019
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What were your % scores in each section

57% bio/biochem (83 out of 100 questions complete)
60% in the chem/phys (88 out of 100 questions complete)
69% in psych/soc (93 out of 100 questions complete)

My averages on the biology question packs and chemistry question pack were a lot better than these scores (above 70%). I did the question packs and then the section banks and my confidence took a hit a lot when I saw the difference in level of difficulty between the question packs and section banks
 

GoPenguinsGo

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Hmm I'd strongly suggest waiting to take your MCAT until each section is above 70% on the SB before taking the real MCAT. Sub 70 often indicates inability to deal with dense research passage interpretation (theres a lot of those on the real thing).
 
May 27, 2019
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Hmm I'd strongly suggest waiting to take your MCAT until each section is above 70% on the SB before taking the real MCAT. Sub 70 often indicates inability to deal with dense research passage interpretation (theres a lot of those on the real thing).

Yeah the bio/biochem section bank has a lot of research/experimental design heavy passages

And I have struggled reading graphs correctly and data tables
 

GoPenguinsGo

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Yeah the bio/biochem section bank has a lot of research/experimental design heavy passages

And I have struggled reading graphs correctly and data tables
You need to fix that before taking the real exam. The MCAT is very heavy on those and failure to read and understand an experiment will be death on the exam.
 

KnightDoc

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What are some strategies that you suggest? I have made flashcards on the organic chemistry techniques and some biology lab techniques.

But even though I have made flashcards on reducing SDS PAGE, native SDS PAGE, and non-reducing SDS PAGE, I still struggle with these questions. Do you mind going over the main things for each of these and what an electrophoresis gel would look like for each one?
Is that all? I thought you said you had a private tutor! :cool:

Honestly, and I don't mean to pry and don't want you to reveal anything that might compromise your anonymity, but you previously said you need a 501 for a "pipeline" program. Is this for a MD school? I only ask because, from the nature of your questions, the level of your anxiety, and your reported performance to date, I don't see how you are in a position to survive medical school, even if you somehow get through this exam.
 
May 27, 2019
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Is that all? I thought you said you had a private tutor! :cool:

Honestly, and I don't mean to pry and don't want you to reveal anything that might compromise your anonymity, but you previously said you need a 501 for a "pipeline" program. Is this for a MD school? I only ask because, from the nature of your questions, the level of your anxiety, and your reported performance to date, I don't see how you are in a position to survive medical school, even if you somehow get through this exam.

I’ve studied the lab techniques but I don’t have to have anyone on here tell me since that’s a lot. I just wanted to make sure my main idea of them matched with how someone else understands them... Also I’ve been doing the best I can to study... I haven’t had a lot of guidance other than a private tutor that I meet online with every few weeks on Zoom. And I’m undergrad I worked hard in organic chem and all of my science class and I have above a 3.7 cumulative GPA and above a 3.6 science GPA....

I don’t think this one exam should define me. If anything it’s showing my weakness which is hard for me since this is the first exam in my life that I’ve struggled with
 
May 27, 2019
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I took a practice test a few days ago and got a 493 on it. My target score is a 501 for my pipeline program.

Subsection Breakdown:
Chem/phys: 122
CARS: 122
Bio/biochem: 124
Psych/soc: 125

I admit that I didn’t finish some of the CARS questions since I ran out of time. I also felt so winded/energy drained during the first two sections

My test date is set for this Saturday but I can still do an emergency cancellation and get a full refund.

Reasons why I’m hesitant to cancel:
I’m don’t want to keep having this test hanging over my head
I might score a little better than a 493
If I do have to retest in January, I’ll know what the test is like having taken it for the first time this fall

Reasons for canceling:
Am I too far away from my target score?
I feel like I need more practice on chem/phys and CARS
I want to take the test when I feel ready and ideally I only want to take it once
I haven’t practiced with the new shortened format (only just the standard full length format)
I haven’t practiced with a mask on
 
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