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Mcat Tip For Writing Section

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by AntGod22, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. AntGod22

    AntGod22 Senior Member

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    Here's a little tip for everyone, I used it in april when I took the MCAT. BUY eraseable ink pens to use on the writing section. Helped me out since I am a total moron when it comes to writing essays. When im finished with them I always write things incoherently and I have to go back and fix things. Much easier and neater to erase then to put a line thru it and then a little ^ mark.

    Good luck everyone
    Anthony
     
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  3. Doctortobee

    Doctortobee Senior Member

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    I second that!!
     
  4. laviddee

    laviddee Senior Member

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    here's another tip that helped me on the writing. i think the readers get impressed with this stuff.

    i had bought a while back, time magazine's 100 most influential people of the century. read their stories and use their life examples when backing up your arguments.

    and you don't have to read em all.. just the ones you're interested in.
     
  5. Green912

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    Here's an online link to read about those 100 people.

    Time's 100
     
  6. dara678

    dara678 Hello Kitty Fan

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    Just a quick thing about the eraseable pens ... they smear a lot, so it might end up looking messy...
     
  7. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker

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    I think combining the two proposed ideas is the best way to go. Writing about the 100 best erasable ink pens and their stories might just prove to be the trick that elevates all of you to T-dom.
     
  8. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker

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    Or maybe write about the 100 most famous people that use erasable ink pens... the possibilities are endless.
     
  9. wgu

    wgu Senior Member

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    Haha! infinite

    Thanks for the 100 people idea (and link), that is pretty creative.

    The first time I heard of eraseable pens I thought they were the most superior writing utensils, but Bic MVPs were horrible. They smeared and didn't fully erase. Are there suggestions for better brands (like ones that work)?
     
  10. Green912

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    Don't feel locked in by "assumed" definitions in the MCAT prompt.

    for example (from the 2002 MCAT announcement):
    "An understanding of the past is necessary for solving the problems of the present."

    1. The past: you can use 1000 years ago or last week.
    2. Problems: social, ideal, political, military, personal.

    PS. don't forget that the 2002 announcement contains the 10 prompts that AMCAS will choose from. Give yourself a leg up and look at em.
     
  11. Lavndrrose

    Lavndrrose Senior Member

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    You guys are so nice...thanks for all the tips. :)

    Here's one: I just bought those really thick #2 pencils so I could spend less time filling in bubbles. It's funny...these pencils are made for pre-schoolers but hey...I'm gonna try it if it's gonna save me some time. :D
     
  12. Mike59

    Mike59 Sweatshop FP in Ontario

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    Green,

    Do you know if AAMC chose from this list verbatim for the April test? Seems like a small list in comparison to the monster list published in last years announcement.
     
  13. Green912

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    Hmmm I think Kaplan lied to me. I was reading their review of the April test and they stated that the prompts were found in the 2002 announcement. Well they're not! In fact the announcement states that the test's prompts "may be similar to those listed below".

    Thanks for asking. I was planning to prepare examples for those prompts. I guess there are no easy short cuts.

    KAPLAN
     
  14. Mike59

    Mike59 Sweatshop FP in Ontario

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    Can any April 02 MCAT'ers please help us out by letting us know if any of the 10 prompts from the AAMC announcement were actually used in the April administration?
     
  15. Angeliqua

    Angeliqua Senior Member

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    I took it in April, where is the list? Which part of the announcement? I will check it out and let you know if our prompts were on there. Also, since I am re-taking this Saturday I would like to see them!
     
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  17. Mike59

    Mike59 Sweatshop FP in Ontario

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  18. Rapid Decomposition

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    I took in April, and those are definitely not it. I think there is some larger list somewhere where the ones in April might be found. The ones we had were a lot more open even than these; for example, I think one of our statements was "Progress complicates and much as it simplifies" or something like that. Yeesh. Maybe that's why I only got an N. :D
     
  19. Angeliqua

    Angeliqua Senior Member

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    Thanks Mike59! I have forgotten the specific topic/wording of the essay and I could be confusing them with some practice topics I wrote on prior to the April test...but I am 95% sure the topics were permutations of:

    Scientists should seek to confirm theories or hypotheses rather than to refute them.

    Local governments should be allowed to govern free of federal interference.

    Therefore, if my memory serves me correctly, it is safe to assume that the topics listed on the announcement are very similar in subject matter to those appearing on the actual exam. Basically, the test question may just approach (and thus ask you to approach) the topic differently than the way it is asked in the announcement, but the subjects are consistent with those listed. If anyone from the April test has more insight or better memory, let us know!
     
  20. Angeliqua

    Angeliqua Senior Member

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    hmmm....RD, I think you are right about the "progress" topic. Oh well, take my advice with a grain of salt, everyone!
     
  21. Tweetie_bird

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    also don't forget--

    take about 5 mins to do the writing part.

    next 7-10 should go to first para.
    next 7-10 should go to second para.

    And keep the bulk of your time for the last paragraph because you really have to work HARD to tie the first two together. Don't start thinking that "I have a good essay and I need to elaborate etc" while you are taking away from the GRAND FINALE. The grand finale really pulls the entire essay together, and if you don't spend sufficient time on it, no matter how good your first two paragraphs are, it may not look "as good." My kaplan profs always mentioned how good my essays were and I really owe it all to realizing that i needed MUCH more time on the last paragraph.

    Just my 2c. :D
     
  22. Tweetie_bird

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    i also wanted to mention that during your lunch break you should keep a list of 20 or so prompts on you that you haven't read before. And during your lunch, try doing a "prewrite" in your head for each prompt.

    Like for eg, if a prompt went like this:

    "If A exists, then B always occurs"


    Then I would think:
    "When does A always lead to B? why does it lead to B? What are the examples where it leads to B."

    "When does A NOT lead to B? What are some examples."

    "Tie the two together: What are the reasons A leads to B, and when are the exceptions?"

    Does this even make sense? I would not take more than 2 mins to think about each prompt and it's example, and then move on. You are only trying to get your mind active..to start thinking "examples" ...and once you're in that mindset, thinking about the examples during the real thing won't be so bad.
     
  23. Pinki

    Pinki Sassy Member

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    Actually...about the pens. I thought about that idea before I took the April MCAT and emailed AAMC two weeks prior, they told me back then NO ERASABLE PENS. Take that for what it is...straight from the AAMC's mouth.

    Another tip: when citing examples, it's good to show a breadth of knowledge. Only use one example from US history and only one from recent history. I wrote about a NAFTA provision (US, recent) and about Queen Jane of England (not US, not recent) in one essay.

    Finally, legible handwriting is ESSENTIAL! Imagine how many essays the readers are having to plow through - make it easier on them. I gave myself an extra couple of minutes to slow down and write extremely legibly.

    For what it's work, I received an S!
     
  24. Lavndrrose

    Lavndrrose Senior Member

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    No erasable pens? :(
     
  25. Tweetie_bird

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    I actually have an AAMC contact person that we can ask about the erasable ink question. Are any of you interested in me asking and making sure? If so PM me.

    Tweetie
     
  26. lady bug

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    How would they even know unless they scrutinize everyone's pens and have a big "pen check" before the writing sample? That sounds absurd.
     
  27. AntGod22

    AntGod22 Senior Member

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    well i definitly wrote last april my two essays in eraseable pen, I got a M for that section so its not like it was voided.
     

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