nona1

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For those who are finished w/both... since both seem to have much bearing on future outcomes, just curious to hear which was more personally grueling? Which you felt you had to study for more intensely?
 

klubguts

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i found studying for the MCAT to be very grueling....don't know if i'm an ideal example, as a nontrad i really had to study ALOT in order to do well on the MCAT (took physics and bio courses about six years before the MCAT). While step 1 is a tough exam, i studied for about three weeks and it was all material i had learned in the previous two years so it didn't seem as bad...plus there was no verbal reasoning section (that always kicked my butt). For me, the MCAT was the harder exam to prepare for and to take. It may be that the first two years of med school really helped fine tune my study habits so that i was more efficient, who knows? Just my 0.02. Good luck if you are taking either of these bad boys.
 

Jalopycat

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The MCAT is a joke compared to the USMLE. There is no comparison between the basic science material of the MCAT and the highly advanced detail of the medical school curriculum that goes into the USMLE questions.

I think the previous poster is correct when he mentioned study skills. By the time you take the USMLE, you've locked into your study style where, when you take the MCAT, you're still figuring out what works best.
 

scootad.

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I thought the MCAT was more difficult than the USMLE. They are very different types of exams. The MCAT is far more conceptual. It requires a deeper, layered understanding of the material, while Step 1 is almost all memorization (but tons of it).
 

AJM

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IMHO, the MCAT was absolute cake compared to Step 1. There's really no comparison, actually. The tests are on two totally different levels.

But then again, I've always been much more of a conceptual person, so that could be why I thought the MCAT was easier. I'm also a "crammer", and you can't cram for Step 1 given the sheer volume of information you have to know, so it forced me to completely change my study habits to study for the exam.
 

Bevo

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AJM said:
IMHO, the MCAT was absolute cake compared to Step 1. There's really no comparison, actually. The tests are on two totally different levels.

But then again, I've always been much more of a conceptual person, so that could be why I thought the MCAT was easier. I'm also a "crammer", and you can't cram for Step 1 given the sheer volume of information you have to know, so it forced me to completely change my study habits to study for the exam.
haven't received my step 1 score back yet, but I think that step 1 is a much harder exam to prepare for.

but also that the 2 exams are different and aim to test different things.

Step 1 is more about manipulating 2 years worth of basic sciences and having it integrated.
MCAT - I hated it and did hoorrrrribly on it, with reasons. But I didn't think the mcat was harder.

I feel that if I could study back then (for the mcat) the way I studied for the usmle now, I prob would have had a much higher score on that damn test.
 
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nona1

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AJM said:
IMHO, the MCAT was absolute cake compared to Step 1. There's really no comparison, actually. The tests are on two totally different levels.

But then again, I've always been much more of a conceptual person, so that could be why I thought the MCAT was easier. I'm also a "crammer", and you can't cram for Step 1 given the sheer volume of information you have to know, so it forced me to completely change my study habits to study for the exam.
I'm a conceptual crammer myself, but was hoping to hear Step 1 was better than the MCAT... :(
 

Bevo

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yesh, you're at least 2 years away from the test.

Step 1 is more about how you study during the school years. Why worry about something you can't control anyways.
 

trouta

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USMLE was much harder in terms of material and was much more grueling. I studied way harder for that test than I did for the MCAT (which showed in my scores).

It sucks to keep having one gate-keeper exam after another in this profession.