acetylmandarin

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I'm pretty sick of putting this exam off over and over again, wasting my life away studying for something that I'm not even going to take. This will be like the 3rd time I've delayed (but the first time I actually already paid), but there is a good chance I am going to cancel my registration for September 9th.
I've already taken the aamc sample and a couple of the next step exams, and I've done fine on them, but last semester, I had some personal health issues, and I'm still experiencing effects from the medications. I've decided to try and get off of them because of the effects, but I think it's set me back to the point where I should postpone my exam.

Not really sure what I will do about it because I'm now working full time, and I'm not sure how I should approach restudying/retaking exams when the time comes again for me to test.

How would I keep the information fresh over multiple months without rereading my study books? I don't like the idea of passively studying with the few hours I will have free everyday, but it looks like that is what may happen.
I have anki cards, but they are pretty useless/poorly made







EDIT: I haven't fully committed to this. I think I did fairly okay on my practice exams so far, and it pains me to think that I will lose that advantage by delaying. I'm just going to stop with my meds today and see how I feel over the next few days, then maybe I'll try and cram stuff and take the exam on September 9th. I have to get thorugh the section bank and the 2 aamc exams, and hopefully the aamc flashcards, the official guide, and maybe even 1 or 2 more NS exams
 
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workaholic181

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I'm pretty sick of putting this exam off over and over again, wasting my life away studying for something that I'm not even going to take. This will be like the 3rd time I've delayed (but the first time I actually already paid), but there is a good chance I am going to cancel my registration for September 9th.
I've already taken the aamc sample and a couple of the next step exams, and I've done fine on them, but last semester, I had some personal health issues, and I'm still experiencing effects from the medications. I've decided to try and get off of them because of the effects, but I think it's set me back to the point where I should postpone my exam.

Not really sure what I will do about it because I'm now working full time, and I'm not sure how I should approach restudying/retaking exams when the time comes again for me to test.

How would I keep the information fresh over multiple months without rereading my study books? I don't like the idea of passively studying with the few hours I will have free everyday, but it looks like that is what may happen.
I have anki cards, but they are pretty useless/poorly made







EDIT: I haven't fully committed to this. I think I did fairly okay on my practice exams so far, and it pains me to think that I will lose that advantage by delaying. I'm just going to stop with my meds today and see how I feel over the next few days, then maybe I'll try and cram stuff and take the exam on September 9th. I have to get thorugh the section bank and the 2 aamc exams, and hopefully the aamc flashcards, the official guide, and maybe even 1 or 2 more NS exams
Why not take a graded AAMC FL? I would recommend anyone a month out taking one of those.

But in general OP if you're feeling strange from these meds you should postpone until next year.

You can definitely keep studying part time... What I did was I would devote two hours a day to just one subject area, so like bio on Mondays, bio chem Tuesdays, etc. On Saturday I would devote 5 hours to studying all of the content areas, and as the test approached I did an FL every Sunday.

Just an outline of what you could try. People take it while working full time all the time! Good luck.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Why not take a graded AAMC FL? I would recommend anyone a month out taking one of those.

But in general OP if you're feeling strange from these meds you should postpone until next year.

You can definitely keep studying part time... What I did was I would devote two hours a day to just one subject area, so like bio on Mondays, bio chem Tuesdays, etc. On Saturday I would devote 5 hours to studying all of the content areas, and as the test approached I did an FL every Sunday.

Just an outline of what you could try. People take it while working full time all the time! Good luck.
Thanks. I'm just worried because I used TBR, and I felt like that set was beneficial to me. It was very detailed though, and I can't see myself getting through the books again in a reasonable time period. It would be my third time reading through....
 

theonlytycrane

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Reviewing your books over and over is pointless. Get through the section bank and aamc stuff and take it if you feel ready. Delaying again and re-reading the books won't help.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Reviewing your books over and over is pointless. Get through the section bank and aamc stuff and take it if you feel ready. Delaying again and re-reading the books won't help.
If I delayed, what would I need to do for content?
 

theonlytycrane

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Do the section bank asap and you'll see that content review is only useful to a point. Data interpretation / reasoning / critical thinking / timing are most important for test day. Have you done the question packs? The test is way different than a typical college exam.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Do the section bank asap and you'll see that content review is only useful to a point. Data interpretation / reasoning / critical thinking / timing are most important for test day. Have you done the question packs? The test is way different than a typical college exam.
Yeah, I've worked through the physics, chem, and bio 1 section banks. I got 80% on both the bio 1 and chem ones, and 78% on the physics one. I'm almost through the first cars q pack
 

mariposas905

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Yeah, I've worked through the physics, chem, and bio 1 section banks. I got 80% on both the bio 1 and chem ones, and 78% on the physics one. I'm almost through the first cars q pack
Those aren't the section banks...you have done the question packs, which are way easier than the section banks. This is the section bank: Product Detail
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Those aren't the section banks...you have done the question packs, which are way easier than the section banks. This is the section bank: Product Detail
Oh, sorry lol I meant to put question packs

I've only started the chem/phys section bank. I've only done 30 questions or so
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Just took AAMC 1, and not happy with my results (mostly not happy with CARS).

C/P: 130
Cars: 123
B/B: 128
P/S: 126

Total: 507

CARS was a nightmare for me today, and I'm not really sure if my score is accurate or not. During the second passage, my exam froze and I had to reopen it. I lost only a few seconds from this, but then I completely freaked out and thought I had to re-read that passage because the freezing broke my concentration. This screwed over the rest of that section.
Through the rest of CARS, I thought I needed to go back and look over that one passage. I raced through the subsequent passages as quickly as possible, picking the first answer choices that looked correct without considering other choices, skimming through passages with no regards to pacing or anything, panicking the whole way because I thought I was behind.
Basically, the stress of my exam freezing out pushed me over the edge, and I feel like I need to take Xanax now.
I finished the CARS section with 7 minutes left, which means I completely screwed up because I should be finishing that section with 0 minutes left. I messed every passage up.

I'm also surprised by P/S. Don't really know why I scored so low.

Both CARS and P/S were the lowest I've ever scored in those sections. Here are my other exam scores:


I would like to know if you think it's possible for me to have a higher CARS score based on what my other CARS scores have been.


AAMC Material:
Sample exam: Phys/Chem: 78%
Cars: 83%
Bio: 81%
P/S: 81%

Physics/Chem section bank (untimed)(not sure how people normally report this, because it gives you multiple percentages): Biology: 100%
Chem: 74%
Biochem: 65%
Physics: 54%

Chem Q pack: 80%
Physics Q Pack: 79%
Bio 1 q pack: 80%
CARS 1 q pack: 68%


NS half length (took on 6/20):
Total: 505
Physics/chem: 127
Cars: 124
Bio: 125
Psych: 129


NS exam 1 (took 6/29):
Total: 509
Physics/chem:127
CARS:126
Bio: 128
Psych: 128

EK 1 (took on 7/7):
Total: 63%
Chem: 51%
Cars: 66%
Bio: 66%
Psych: 68%


NS 3 (July 11, 2017):
Total: 507
Chem/phys: 127
Cars: 126
Bio: 126
Psych: 128

NS 4 (July 16, 2017): Total: 506
P/S: 127
CARS: 124
BB: 127
Psych: 128
 
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Gilakend

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Just took AAMC 1, and not happy with my results.

C/P: 130
Cars: 123
B/B: 128
P/S: 126

Total: 507

CARS was a nightmare for me today, and I'm not really sure if my score is accurate or not. During the second passage, my exam froze and I had to reopen it. I lost only a few seconds from this, but then I completely freaked out and thought I had to re-read that passage because the freezing broke my concentration. This screwed over the rest of that section.
Through the rest of CARS, I thought I needed to go back and look over that one passage. I raced through the subsequent passages as quickly as possible, picking the first answer choices that looked correct without considering other choices, skimming through passages with no regards to pacing or anything, panicking the whole way because I thought I was behind.
Basically, the stress of my exam freezing out pushed me over the edge, and I feel like I need to take Xanax now.
I finished the CARS section with 7 minutes left, which means I completely screwed up because I should be finishing that section with 0 minutes left. I messed every passage up.

I'm also surprised by P/S. Don't really know why I scored so low.

Both CARS and P/S were the lowest I've ever scored in those sections. Here are my other exam scores:


AAMC Material:
Sample exam: Phys/Chem: 78%
Cars: 83%
Bio: 81%
P/S: 81%

Physics/Chem section bank (untimed)(not sure how people normally report this, because it gives you multiple percentages): Biology: 100%
Chem: 74%
Biochem: 65%
Physics: 54%

Chem Q pack: 80%
Physics Q Pack: 78%
Bio
I also did bad on CARS on AAMC 1. Did 3 points better on CARS for AAMC 2 and all my scores were pretty much lower than yours on the other things (SB, Sample, etc.). I also had a substantial jump in overall score. Study hard on what you missed and hit your weak areas. Then take AAMC 2.

For reference I test 8/18 and have not taken the real MCAT.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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I also did bad on CARS on AAMC 1. Did 3 points better on CARS for AAMC 2 and all my scores were pretty much lower than yours on the other things (SB, Sample, etc.). I also had a substantial jump in overall score. Study hard on what you missed and hit your weak areas. Then take AAMC 2.

For reference I test 8/18 and have not taken the real MCAT.


So another thing, now that I'm working this full time job, I've decided that my score will not change much (disregarding getting lucky/unlucky on test day with familiar/alien material). I only have about 2 hours on weeknights to study, and then weekends. I'll probably be able to finish the bio/psyc section banks (I hope), and then FL2 2 weekends from now.
 
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acetylmandarin

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I also remember there being 2-3 passages in the psyc/soc section on sociology (demographics, minority social trends, etc.) which I never really studied that hard because there weren't really any theories/actual terms to know. I more just assumed I could know the general minorities are treated lesser in society and have to deal with lots of negative things. Do I need a more complex understanding of that subject? I didn't think I'd be able to remember all of the specific minority health disparities/demographic patterns.
 

workaholic181

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Just took AAMC 1, and not happy with my results (mostly not happy with CARS).

C/P: 130
Cars: 123
B/B: 128
P/S: 126

Total: 507

CARS was a nightmare for me today, and I'm not really sure if my score is accurate or not. During the second passage, my exam froze and I had to reopen it. I lost only a few seconds from this, but then I completely freaked out and thought I had to re-read that passage because the freezing broke my concentration. This screwed over the rest of that section.
Through the rest of CARS, I thought I needed to go back and look over that one passage. I raced through the subsequent passages as quickly as possible, picking the first answer choices that looked correct without considering other choices, skimming through passages with no regards to pacing or anything, panicking the whole way because I thought I was behind.
Basically, the stress of my exam freezing out pushed me over the edge, and I feel like I need to take Xanax now.
I finished the CARS section with 7 minutes left, which means I completely screwed up because I should be finishing that section with 0 minutes left. I messed every passage up.

I'm also surprised by P/S. Don't really know why I scored so low.

Both CARS and P/S were the lowest I've ever scored in those sections. Here are my other exam scores:


I would like to know if you think it's possible for me to have a higher CARS score based on what my other CARS scores have been.


AAMC Material:
Sample exam: Phys/Chem: 78%
Cars: 83%
Bio: 81%
P/S: 81%

Physics/Chem section bank (untimed)(not sure how people normally report this, because it gives you multiple percentages): Biology: 100%
Chem: 74%
Biochem: 65%
Physics: 54%

Chem Q pack: 80%
Physics Q Pack: 79%
Bio 1 q pack: 80%
CARS 1 q pack: 68%


NS half length (took on 6/20):
Total: 505
Physics/chem: 127
Cars: 124
Bio: 125
Psych: 129


NS exam 1 (took 6/29):
Total: 509
Physics/chem:127
CARS:126
Bio: 128
Psych: 128

EK 1 (took on 7/7):
Total: 63%
Chem: 51%
Cars: 66%
Bio: 66%
Psych: 68%


NS 3 (July 11, 2017):
Total: 507
Chem/phys: 127
Cars: 126
Bio: 126
Psych: 128

NS 4 (July 16, 2017): Total: 506
P/S: 127
CARS: 124
BB: 127
Psych: 128
I think the biggest thing to take away is how weird stuff can happen that threatens to derail your exam. It's important to go into the exam with the mindset of, if everythings not perfect, you'll be able to pick yourslef up and figure it out.
 
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acetylmandarin

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Since I have minimal time to study now that I'm working FT, should I only review CARS and psych from FL 1? With only about 2 hours a day, I want to be as efficient as possible. If I reviewed the whole exam, it would probably take like 1.5 weeks
 

Ad2b

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I'm pretty sick of putting this exam off over and over again, wasting my life away studying for something that I'm not even going to take. This will be like the 3rd time I've delayed
You and I are quite the team, eh? :) Reading that first line, my heart hurt for you; been there. Would be there save for a tiny little fact. Mine is 9/2, do or die; my accommodations expire this year and if I don't sit, I have to redo the whole entire accommodations package and request it all over again (insert barfing noise).

Like you, I work full time, commute 1 hour each way. Here's what I'm doing/did.

1. Download the audio for Khan for any area that you feel weak in (mine was discrete stuff like weak base/strong acid titrations, etc); load that onto a CD, listen to that on the way into work; 1 hour, easy peasy. In between about every 3rd or 4th audio, I inserted a "SCREW YOU" song (Fight Song by Rachel Platten, Praying by Kesha, etc)

2. At work, I take my lunch by myself, sit in a conference room and review any notes that are old than 3 days; or I take my laptop with me and work on SB questions. Any SB question that I don't exactly understand, I rewrite the graph/tables/charts and AAMC answer explanation, and then I research it on my own

3. At night driving home, CD played again maybe same, maybe different.

4. At home, I have 5 dogs to tend to, chores to do, and give myself about an hour to unwind... unwind is playing a video game or cleaning or anything but work or MCAT.

5. At 8 PM, I do MCAT work. For the next 3 hours, I close my office door, focus on whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing and stop at 11. No excuses, I stop.

This weekend I will take FL 1 on Sat, and review it all day Sunday as well as review and organize any notes; any notes that I no longer need, I set aside (things I know cold). I've attached my schedule for the next 2.5 weeks as a guide.

Be with me. Don't reschedule, don't panic, don't be me, really. WE got this. You are not alone either... though, I suspect being a non-trad sort of feels like that at times.

FYI - having stopped/started/voided/no-showed studying/taking/prepping for the exam, for me, there is no real remembering of stuff; one simply starts over, just at a different point. I think it's easier to just be done. Yerkes-Dodson.

Last, your scores are better than mine :) and you have more time :) YOU GOT THIS!
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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You and I are quite the team, eh? :) Reading that first line, my heart hurt for you; been there. Would be there save for a tiny little fact. Mine is 9/2, do or die; my accommodations expire this year and if I don't sit, I have to redo the whole entire accommodations package and request it all over again (insert barfing noise).

Like you, I work full time, commute 1 hour each way. Here's what I'm doing/did.

1. Download the audio for Khan for any area that you feel weak in (mine was discrete stuff like weak base/strong acid titrations, etc); load that onto a CD, listen to that on the way into work; 1 hour, easy peasy. In between about every 3rd or 4th audio, I inserted a "SCREW YOU" song (Fight Song by Rachel Platten, Praying by Kesha, etc)

2. At work, I take my lunch by myself, sit in a conference room and review any notes that are old than 3 days; or I take my laptop with me and work on SB questions. Any SB question that I don't exactly understand, I rewrite the graph/tables/charts and AAMC answer explanation, and then I research it on my own

3. At night driving home, CD played again maybe same, maybe different.

4. At home, I have 5 dogs to tend to, chores to do, and give myself about an hour to unwind... unwind is playing a video game or cleaning or anything but work or MCAT.

5. At 8 PM, I do MCAT work. For the next 3 hours, I close my office door, focus on whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing and stop at 11. No excuses, I stop.

This weekend I will take FL 1 on Sat, and review it all day Sunday as well as review and organize any notes; any notes that I no longer need, I set aside (things I know cold). I've attached my schedule for the next 2.5 weeks as a guide.

Be with me. Don't reschedule, don't panic, don't be me, really. WE got this. You are not alone either... though, I suspect being a non-trad sort of feels like that at times.

FYI - having stopped/started/voided/no-showed studying/taking/prepping for the exam, for me, there is no real remembering of stuff; one simply starts over, just at a different point. I think it's easier to just be done. Yerkes-Dodson.

Last, your scores are better than mine :) and you have more time :) YOU GOT THIS!
Thanks! It's really motivating to hear that someone else is in the same position. I appreciate this post; I think I'm going to start doing the same with the audio to and from work. I feel like for me, the only subject that I can listen to in the car and take something away from would be psych/soc, so I'll probably listen to the khan academy psych videos again. Perhaps bio would work for this too, but I find that a lot of the bio concepts for me are better learned visually. You have a point though with the discrete concepts being good to listen to while driving.

I may just start staying after work to do my studying, since I usually get stuck in a ton of traffic on my way back. Gotta wait for rush hour to end and save as much time as possible.

You have 5 dogs?! Do you have anyone to help out? I can't imagine 5 dogs running around my house. Well at least you don't have to take care of any kids. That would probably be a lot harder (maybe)
 
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acetylmandarin

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Not good. I just redid the CARS section from AAMC 1 to try and figure out where I went wrong with my reasoning. I spent a lot of time with each passage, trying to think through my reasoning. There were a lot of answers that, in my opinion, were correct. However, according to the AAMC, I was wrong. Even after sitting for a long time trying to figure out why my reasoning was incorrect, I still believe that my interpretations were fine.

I got a 124, so there were probably 2-3 questions that I agreed I originally misinterpreted. For the rest of them, I don't understand why my answers were incorrect. It doesn't help that the AAMC explanations are usually, "This is wrong because we said so." This section is unbelievable.
 
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Ad2b

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What Khan passages are you working? I think they are similar in nature to AAMC and the explanations are typically much better.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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What Khan passages are you working? I think they are similar in nature to AAMC and the explanations are typically much better.
I think I did the Khan Academy CARS passages a long while back
 
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acetylmandarin

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I ended up getting a 510 on FL 2, 128/126/128/128

However, I'm still worried about CARS. During the CARS section, I had to pause and move somewhere else multiple times. I ended up closing the exam after one passage, moving somewhere else again, and then restarting, with a new start on FL 2, but skipping to CARS.

The reason I kept pausing and restarting was because of my stress and anxiety. I can't handle it. Whenever I felt the table vibrating, it bothered me. Sometimes, I could feel footsteps shaking the floor; the vibrations felt like a panicking child scurrying down the outside hallway.

I kept wanting to look at the door of the conference room I was in, because I thought someone was going to walk in on me.

I also kept getting the sense that people were watching me, and I got really nervous and had to stop the exam because of this.

This pausing and restarting happened mostly in CARS, but it also happened in the psych/soc section.

I can't handle stress.

Part of my problem is that if I feel like I'm not in completely perfect conditions, I'm putting myself at a disadvantage. I feel like I can only focus if everything is working out completely 100% perfectly.
 
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soccerlover156

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Damn that sucks.. i don't perform well on practice tests either but i know on the actual thing that ill be in the zone and totally focused. But my focus breaks easily with even the slightest noise & makes me re-read the last 2-3 sentences to get back on track.. so i started studying & doing passages in noisy places like while my roommates are playing fifa to get use to distractions, yea might be late to adjust now but confidence goes a long way bro. Your scores are solid tho i think you'll be fine

However, similar situation FL 1: 129/125/128/123 ; Sample: 61%/81%/74%/83%
Slowly advancing through section bank & have yet to take FL2 ; worse-case take sept 9th void and prepare for Jan! Always room for improvement imo
 
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acetylmandarin

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Damn that sucks.. i don't perform well on practice tests either but i know on the actual thing that ill be in the zone and totally focused. But my focus breaks easily with even the slightest noise & makes me re-read the last 2-3 sentences to get back on track.. so i started studying & doing passages in noisy places like while my roommates are playing fifa to get use to distractions, yea might be late to adjust now but confidence goes a long way bro. Your scores are solid tho i think you'll be fine

However, similar situation FL 1: 129/125/128/123 ; Sample: 61%/81%/74%/83%
Slowly advancing through section bank & have yet to take FL2 ; worse-case take sept 9th void and prepare for Jan! Always room for improvement imo

I have so much trouble maintaining concentration
 
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Part of my problem is that if I feel like I'm not in completely perfect conditions, I'm putting myself at a disadvantage. I feel like I can only focus if everything is working out completely 100% perfectly.
That is unfortunate.

The harsh truth is that you'll never survive medical school, indeed, you'll never make it in medicine or healthcare, if you cannot focus and perform in less than ideal or disadvantageous positions.

The role of the doctor is to be the one at a disadvantage and yet providing a solution. You could have every diagnostic test, scan, and result in front of you, and yet still be forced to give a "best guess." Many times, you have nothing more than your senses, a simple blood test or x-ray, and the patient's testimony. This is far from perfect conditions. If you can't handle hallway noise and people "looking at you," then what more for hospital coding alarms and patients/families actually staring at you, hoping for answers?

You need to be able to learn to summon focus when you need it most.

I want you to be able to take the exam. I want to see you beat the exam. I would love to see you overcome this and become a brilliant doctor. But this sounds very troubling, and truthfully, it sounds like you're experiencing actual anxiety attacks. I can't pretend to know you or what you have going on in your life, but I can sympathize a little. Perhaps after this is over, a little bit of counseling from a professional would go far towards helping you manage your anxiety.

The MCAT is likely to be one of the least stressful stops on your journey in healthcare. No one's life is on the line, and if you need it there's always the ability to retake it up to 7 total times. We can give all the encouragement but it comes down to you pushing through and performing.

My bit of encouraging rationalization: prometric testing centers are generally excellent at controlling noise as much as they can. You are allowed earplugs, they provide earmuffs, and are generally located in office buildings. On Saturdays, it's usually especially quiet. You're given a cubicle and you can guarantee no one is watching you because they will all be focusing on their own exam. It's just you, two pencils, scratch paper, a mouse, and a computer screen.

On Saturday, approach it as if you would void. No pressure if you get it right or wrong because you're going to void. Go in, do your best. And when the score/void screen comes up, really look inside your self and think: did I do so badly that I have no chance of breaking 500? Did I have lots of blanks and guesses? If you can confidently say yes to those two questions, then void. If you think there's a chance you did do well, click score and hope for the best.
 
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acetylmandarin

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That is unfortunate.

The harsh truth is that you'll never survive medical school, indeed, you'll never make it in medicine or healthcare, if you cannot focus and perform in less than ideal or disadvantageous positions.

The role of the doctor is to be the one at a disadvantage and yet providing a solution. You could have every diagnostic test, scan, and result in front of you, and yet still be forced to give a "best guess." Many times, you have nothing more than your senses, a simple blood test or x-ray, and the patient's testimony. This is far from perfect conditions. If you can't handle hallway noise and people "looking at you," then what more for hospital coding alarms and patients/families actually staring at you, hoping for answers?

You need to be able to learn to summon focus when you need it most.

I want you to be able to take the exam. I want to see you beat the exam. I would love to see you overcome this and become a brilliant doctor. But this sounds very troubling, and truthfully, it sounds like you're experiencing actual anxiety attacks. I can't pretend to know you or what you have going on in your life, but I can sympathize a little. Perhaps after this is over, a little bit of counseling from a professional would go far towards helping you manage your anxiety.

The MCAT is likely to be one of the least stressful stops on your journey in healthcare. No one's life is on the line, and if you need it there's always the ability to retake it up to 7 total times. We can give all the encouragement but it comes down to you pushing through and performing.

My bit of encouraging rationalization: prometric testing centers are generally excellent at controlling noise as much as they can. You are allowed earplugs, they provide earmuffs, and are generally located in office buildings. On Saturdays, it's usually especially quiet. You're given a cubicle and you can guarantee no one is watching you because they will all be focusing on their own exam. It's just you, two pencils, scratch paper, a mouse, and a computer screen.

On Saturday, approach it as if you would void. No pressure if you get it right or wrong because you're going to void. Go in, do your best. And when the score/void screen comes up, really look inside your self and think: did I do so badly that I have no chance of breaking 500? Did I have lots of blanks and guesses? If you can confidently say yes to those two questions, then void. If you think there's a chance you did do well, click score and hope for the best.
Thanks, that was encouraging to read. I'll probably take a look at this post again before I go to the exam on Saturday. You are right about my anxiety; luckily, I have at least 2 years before I am in medical school. Hopefully I can get it under control before that time comes