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MCAT's confuse me sometimes

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jordews, Oct 19, 2001.

  1. jordews

    jordews Senior Member
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    Sometimes I really don't understand this test, especially in the verbal. Like after I'm done with the test i have a pretty good feel of how I have done, and I am usually about right. Like after the august test I guessed at my scores by the way I felt about the test, and I was pretty much right on. I always hear these stories of people like thinking they did so bad in the verbal, and ending up with 12's etc. Its just wild. Like this one girl took the mcat with me in april, and did well (got a 33, 11V, and English is her second language, explain that one) so she retook it in august for god knows why, and said she thought she had done much worse than the april test. So she gets her scores back, 35. Its insane. And it works both ways. People who think they do well, and end up with lower scores. I really just dont get it. Sometimes it really seems like the test is just assigning numbers randomly, and its always the same people that catch the breaks. Oh well i just wanted to see what you guys think about this, and some of your experiences with it.
     
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  2. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I don't really have much to say on your question, but I wanted you to know that I laughed out loud at the title of the post! :D :D :D
     
  3. lake show

    lake show Senior Member
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    like yeah! -i had to get that jab in :)

    i think you can gauge how well you did, but it all depends upon how other did as well. this august, i had a very difficult verbal section and i thought that my scores would be low. in fact, i guessed the last 8 questions because i ran out of time, but i ended up with an 11. i contribute that to the test being hard for everyone so the "mean" was lower than usual.

    my strategy is to think that you did bad, so when the scores come, it will always look better.
     
  4. jordews

    jordews Senior Member
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    see corleone, I did the same thing as you, and I know my test was really hard as well. I'm pretty sure I got all of the questions right I could, and I ended up guessing on the last 7-8 questions too, I got a 9. It seems that you and I had similar verbal experiences, but yet your score is 2 points higher.. see what I'm talking about? It's really confusing how people who seem to have similar test experiences can have such different scores. It really seems sometimes like they just wildly assign grades. i've got another friend who took the april test and thought she had just bombed the verbal. She came out crying because she thought she had done so bad; she ended up with a 10. Then she retook it in august after preparing a lot more, and felt really good about it. She finished in time, and said she had understood the passages and questions much better etc. and she gets a 9. She said that the august was just as hard if not harder than the april one too, but she was just more prepared for it. its nuts i say!!! I really dont get it
     
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  5. lake show

    lake show Senior Member
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    how you feel doesn't necessarily correlate to how you do. maybe i guessed a bit better than you or i got a few more answers right than you did on the easier sections? who knows, but to think that just because we felt the same after the test should result in the same score is totally wrong. the bubbles we fill in determine our score, not our attitude afterwards.

    now, i'm not saying that the mcat scores are the end all either. i could take it another time and get an 8 or a 13, but this time, i got enough answers right (whether i guessed or not) compared to the average to get an 11.
     
  6. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Yes dews, the MCAT is a wacky thing. I think it's like a lot of tests where if you feel you blew it or blase about it, you do pretty well. It's when you feel you've aced it that can make you nervous. The deal with Verbal is weird. I hate it - always have. Guessing on the hardest section boosted me up into double digits. Do you find yourself often arguing with the test about the best answers? I did this twice and got a 7 and a 9. It's when I really let go and began to understand how the verbal section worked that I was better able to boost my score. I went in with two strategies.. I would work as best I could on the easy to moderate ones, and save the hardest one for last. If the ones I did flowed well, I would have time to concentrate on the last one. However, if I found I was taking my time on the 8 passages, the last one I'd skim over and guess - based on my understanding of how the test worked. I answered the questions on what seemed to be the best MCAT answer, not what seemed like the right answer to me. On this hard passage, many people will miss them and you have to play those odds into your favor. I said, 'Hey, I did the best I could' and I would live with the score I got. I ended up with an 11, and I know that it's due to this method of really understanding the test. And I practiced my ass off in order to get there. Remaining calm during the test is also a huge factor. If you get nervous and start thinking too much and it will kill you. I just saved the thinking for the Phys and Bio.

    Also realize the scoring on the Verbal is lame. Had you gotten five more right, you might have that 11. Just realize, that a 9 is nothing to be disappointed in.

    Andrew
     
  7. jordews

    jordews Senior Member
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    I guess i'd just like to see the breakdown of the verbal scores, and see how they assigned scaled scores based on your raw score performance. I'd bet money that there's no statistical difference between the people making 11's, and the people making 8's. What I mean is that I think the verbal section is so hard that it really lumps everyone together around the mean raw score. I'd be willing to bet that there are a few people that do outstanding, and these are the people with 13-15, there are probably also a few people who do just really bad, and these are the people with the 6 or below, but i bet the difference in raw scores between the 7-11 group is pretty small. The thing is, its so hard that I really dont think it differentiates very well, and tests what it is supposed to. On any given day it seems like X mcat taker might guess a few questions right, and score better than Y mcat taker who happens to guess a few wrong, and this could be the difference between an 8 and an 11.
     
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  8. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    There does seem to be a mystery about the MCAT.

    Here is another thing I have just noticed. In April I tried very hard to write the best I could for the writing sample. Got an "M"

    In August I thought... screw this I'm not even going to try. I wrote 3 short paragraphs without very much creativity. I got an "N".

    So how can not trying lead to a better score???
     
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  9. nashtrash

    nashtrash Member
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    hey if you wanna talk about how weird the writing sample gets--i consider myself a pretty strong writer, and the first time i took the mcat i thought i wrote a really good couple of essays and i got an 'N'--the second time i took it, i thought my writing sample was crap but I didn't really care either way--turns out i got an 'S'!! whats up with that?
     
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  10. Resident Alien

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    I never thought i was bad in writing, and i got a L on the WS. Its those damn examiners who make up some criteria they look for, i guess.
     
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  11. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member
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    In April, I finished my writing samples with about 1 min to spare and didn't really have time to check it for coherency. In a manic fit of desperation (I was sure I had left out key thoughts) I started scratching out random sentences, adding ones between the margins, adding words here and there...

    I got a Q.

    Totally random grading...
     
  12. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper
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    I didn't even finish one of my essays this year! I literally stopped mid-sentence! Both essays were weak. I'm a writer (get paid to do it), so maybe I just felt as if I was performing poorly. I earned an O last year and felt my essays were OK. This year, I was expecting an L. Turns out I earned an N! There really is no logic to it! I was totally baffled. My buddy thought I was insane. He felt happy with his performance. I, on the other hand, knew I bombed it. We ended up getting the same score. I really think the dart scoring system is being used!
     
  13. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member
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    The thing is this: part of how well you'll do on the MCAT is PURE LUCK. Did you know that there are experimental questions on the MCAT? :eek:
    So if you spent a lot of time getting the experimentals right and you rushed through counted questions then you're screwed!! Whereas if you rushed though the experimentals and spent time on the counted quesitions... you're in luck! There are other factors related to PURE LUCK... like if a lot of the topics on the test happen to be subjects you spent a lot of time studying or if they're subjects you find interesting.
     

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