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MCAT worries!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MNgirl, Mar 13, 2000.

  1. MNgirl

    MNgirl Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 1999
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    I am getting ready for the last stretch until the April MCAT, but am very frustrated with myself. I graduated in '96 and took the Kaplan and MCAT then, but never applied to med school. Instead of retaking the course this time around, I have been studying for several months on my own with several different books including Kaplan ones. I have taken 3 practice exams and keep getting 8s across the board. Any advice for me? I study about 12-14 hrs a week, practice problems, study my weak pts, but just can't seem to score above 8. Time is the problem with Verbal, but don't know what's going on with the rest..I'm getting worried about the test since it is coming up so soon. I have very good credentials otherwise, but I know the MCAT needs to back me up on everything else. Should I NOT take the test if this keeps up and wait until August? I don't know if I can bear dragging this out even further. I am just killing myself over this and don't know what to do.
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  3. Andre

    Andre Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Houston, TEXAS
    Good luck with MCAT....
    You should realize that unless you score in the 32-35 range, you will not make it into US schools.
    If you would like to learn more about your other option to be an MD, through the Caribbean route w/o MCAT, then call me one weekend @ Home in Houston;
  4. 32-35 is by no means necessary for admission to an allopathic med school. The MCAT is but one (albeit very important) component of the application process. There are plenty of folks in med school now with less thaqn 30 MCATS (somewhere I read this was the average of US matriculants).

    Anything below 8 is BAD [​IMG]
  5. atchoo

    atchoo Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 29, 2000
    Washington, DC
    "You should realize that unless you score in the 32-35 range, you will not make it into US schools."

    This is shameless and grossly incorrect. The average matriculant to US allopathic med schools has about a 29 MCAT and a 3.6 GPA. These numbers are lower for the average osteopathic matriculant. Andre is definitely a recruiter and trying to earn some commission on your deposit to go abroad. Don't listen to this trash...

    I know how frustrating the MCAT can be, but it is an essential part of the US medical school admissions process (for good reason). RAM#48 is right to a great extent -- you need 8's and above on each section. This all really boils down to how bad you want to study medicine. You're going to need more than a month to improve that score to where you want it to be. I would suggest spending the money and taking another course or hiring a professional tutor. It'll be like starting over again -- clean slate. Then after you're done with your intense preparation, take the August MCAT and see what happens.

    It's a long, arduous wait, I know...but I promise it'll be worth it when you find a slip in your mailbox with high numbers on it.

    Good luck.

  6. Yosh

    Yosh Livin' in the WINDY CITY 10+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    NW Indiana
    I get the funny feeling that Andre has some "Vested" interest in people attending Carribean Medical Schools....Is he working on commission? All of his posts are Pro-Carribean...I dunno...he seems a "little" too gung-ho for my liking...I don't trust it.

    People are all individuals...give it your best shot...and NEVER Give UP!!!!

    [This message has been edited by yosh (edited 03-13-2000).]
  7. Tigger Tiger

    Tigger Tiger Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 7, 1999
    Vancouver, BC
    Can you say Andre is a recruiter!
  8. nicolette

    nicolette Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 1999
    Hi MNgirl,
    The MCAT is definitely a frustrating experience. Don't let it get you down. I know it must seem unbearable, but for the next two weeks or so, try to take the focus off of what you are scoring on the practice exams and concentrate on feeling confident about the information that you have learned and already know. This might sound trivial, but the MCAT is more than just a test of verbal & science knowledge. It's also a test of endurance, confidence, and resilience. Feeling confident and secure in what you have studied so far CAN make a difference.

    Your approach to studying seems good. Definitely go over weak points and do problems. Make sure you go over the mistakes on the practice exams THOROUGHLY. It's easy to become a little panicked during the last few weeks and in your attempt to cover all materials, rush through the corrections. However, this is the time to slow down and really peruse the answer explanations. If you got something wrong, ask yourself why you got it wrong-didn't know concept, knew it, but couldn't apply it, and most importantly what you need to know so that you can use this new info on a even remotely similar question.

    As for waiting until August, if you plan on applying this year, don't even think about it. I also think that believing you have the Aug. test to fall back on can hinder performing at your best now. Shake off the doubts and continue studying patiently. It WILL payoff.

    Best of luck to you.
  9. MNgirl

    MNgirl Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 1999
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Thanks everyone for your words of advice- esp. Nicollete for taking the time to address ways to improve on what I'm already doing. I look to this website when I have nowhere else to turn to and appreciate the quick replies when I am so stricken with doubts and anxiety. Andre- do you surf this website looking to ruin the fragile optimism of hopeful pre-med students? Guess what? Contrary to your twisted belief, being a wonderful doctor involves much, much more than high MCAT scores. I think I know of a U.S. med school or 2 who recognize this. I understand that this is an important test, but I would be a fool to take Andre's advice seriously.
  10. Besyonek

    Besyonek Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2000
    I would strongly advise that you not take the MCAT until you are absolutely ready. If that means August, then delay your application for a year. Having to take the test multiple times is to be avoided, if at all possible.

    Anyway, a few observations:

    1. It seems to me that you're not spending enough time preparing -- 12 hrs/wk is only about 90 minutes a day; hardly enough to do a single phys or bio test. I think you should be spending at least 3 hrs/day, especially if you've taken the test already and [apparently] were not happy with your scores. When I took the April 98 test, I spent at least 2-3hrs/day on it during the week and usually 4+ hrs/day on weekends, not counting taking practice tests.

    2. You should be taking more full length practice tests; at least one per week. The MCAT is like a marathon; all-out concentration for an entire day has to be worked up to, much like training for a long race. In all, I took the equivalent of 11-12 practice tests and could see how my scores, and mental stamina improved with each one.

    3. It is very important to take these practice tests under actual conditions -- timed, no distractions, etc.

    4. If you're having trouble with verbal [the most difficult section for most, in my opinion], then one more month of prep will not make that much of a difference. the key with this section is to do as many practice problems as you can and then go back to understand why you missed the questions that you did. I took a prep course (PR) and found their verbal strategies to be extremely helpful. My diagnostic verbal score was a 6, and I ended up with an 11 on the actual test. If you're not a reader outside the classroom, become one, soon.

    5. Don't consider for moment going to an off-shore school. Just work hard and ONLY TAKE THE TEST WHEN YOU'RE READY FOR IT!

    Good luck...

  11. Paul's Boutique

    Paul's Boutique B====D 10+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 1999
    Pomona CA
    Andre, I challenge you to justify your 'claim' that a person cannot get into a US med school unless you have a 32-35.

    Everyone (sans Andre): please disregard 'his' unfounded statement(s). Don't waste your time or energy getting worked up over them (like I just did here!)

    enough... [​IMG]
  12. MNgirl

    MNgirl Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 1999
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    In response to Besyonek about my 12-14hrs of studying a week not being enough... You may be right, I might be able to push in a few more hrs a week, but this works best for my mental sanity. I am married, work full time (2 diff jobs), just bought a house, and try to fit in volunteering when I can. My study hours are usually 2-3 hrs a night 3 nights during the week and 4-5 hrs Saturday and Sunday- not to mention the times I do full-length tests. I have only done 3 full-length tests so far, and hope to do at least 3 more. I agree with everything else you said. What prep class did you take? I'm not sure if I would do Kaplan again.
  13. Hope 2 B A MD

    Hope 2 B A MD Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 26, 1999
    I got into medical school and I had below a 30 on my MCAT! [​IMG]
  14. Besyonek

    Besyonek Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2000

    I took a Princeton Review course

  15. MNgirl

    MNgirl Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 1999
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Hope 2 B A MD,

    If you don't mind sharing- what was your score breakdown? Did you have any scores as low as 8?

    UHSBOUND Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2000
    Tuttle, OK, USA

    Have you ever thought about DO school? Thats where im heading. I got into an allopath school but chose to go DO. It is true that the MCAT averages are slightly lower. Universtity of Health Sciences (UHS), which is where im going, averaged about 8.6 cummulative last year. About 50% of their graduates do an allopathic residency anyways and they have just as high a pass rate (sometimes higher) on the USMLE than most allopathic schools. Maybe its something you should think about.
  17. Stasch@DMU

    [email protected] Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2000
    River Falls, WI
    I am in the same boat as UHSBOUND. I am headed to osteopathic school in Des Moines come August. That school was my second choice and I am super pumped up to go. As for MCAT's, remember, although they are an integral part of your application, THEY ARE ALSO ONLY ONE PART OF YOUR APPLICATION. If you have any questions, please let me know.
    Also, MNGirl, I go to school in River Falls, have you ever heard of J. B. Leighton?? Just wondering.

  18. MNgirl

    MNgirl Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 1999
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Ushbound and Stasch,

    I thought about DO school briefly, but there is no DO school in my stae and because of certain circumstances, I am applying only to schools within my state. Plus, I am doing research under an allopathic doctor and understand that for DO school, you need experience working under a DO dr. Also worried about placement after graduation. Still thinking about it though.

  19. buttercup

    buttercup Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2000
    New York, NY
    Dear MN girl-
    I feel your pain! So far, though, you've got great advice from nicolette and besyonek. I know its hard, but you probably need to try and put in more time doing practice problems, especially in your weak areas. When I studied for my MCATs, I was in the study room 6 hours a day, every day. Now, I admit, thats a little obsessive (I was getting over a bad breakup, and studying was the only thing I could do where I didn't break down crying every minute) but it worked really well! The only thing I can add is that one thing I did to push my verbal up was to read scientific articles a lot! For the month before the test I threw out all other reading material and read "discover" , "JAMA" and "NY times" whenever I could (on the treadmill, during lunch, etc.) It helped me get a 15 on verbal! (and has helped a lot of my MCAT students at Kaplan get their scores up too)

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

    PS. I'd also like to add that Andre's comment on needing a 32 or above...completely false!
  20. 2004guy

    2004guy Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    Goodluck! Youwill do well. When is the test?

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