Jul 15, 2009
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I have been reading posts on this site for several months. I registered just now.

I just took aamc practice test 4. I got 17 total,
3 verbal
8 PS
6 BS

I am really devastated. I spent 2 months reviewing science content- Kaplan's mcat premier program book 2009-2010 and did pages 1-775. Basically 800 pages of heavy science review.
I took practice exam aamc 3 got 18/45, which was bad-
then I reviewed all the questions and explanations-
and took aamc 4 hoping to do better- I got 17/45
and people are saying aamc 3/4 are easier than the real thing.
SO I am very afraid.

In all sections- I ran out of time and left 2 passages blank in
physical science, 3 blank biology, and 4 blank in verbal.

I am a slow reader and this has devastated my chance at medical school. What can I do?

I am a rising college senior, which means time's running out.

Should I stop doing aamc tests and get examcrackers or finish the kaplan book???
 
Last edited:

capn jazz

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Woah... you ran out of time for 9 whole passages?!?! That's more than a third of the exam!! You need to work on your timing. There is absolutely no reason to be spending that much time on any passage. If you don't know an answer after a minute, skip the the question and move on. Reading science passages shouldn't take you more than 2 minutes.

I advise you find tons of practice passages and practice them TIMED. Don't touch another AAMC until you get the timing down. Practice 8 minutes for science passages + questions and try to get down to 7 minutes for verbal passages. With practice you'll be fine. Your scores in the sciences are pretty good for missing a full third of each section!

Edit: sources of practice passages: DITCH kaplan. Their book has nowhere near enough practice. Same for the EK content books.

Bio practice: EK1001 bio is the only 1001 book with passages (the others are all discretes).
Chem/Physics: Buy the TPR books - each CHAPTER has 10-14 passages so each book has 100 to 140 passages. It'll set you back $100 plus shipping but it is very, very worth it.

If you can find the TPR Hyperlearning Science workbook, this book is 800 pages and contains hundreds of passages and discretes for all 4 sciences.

verbal practice - EK 101 verbal passages and TPR hyperlearning verbal workbook (contains 72 passages).

Practice makes perfect! Or at least better!

Edit #2: are you staring at problems and having absolutely no idea how to solve them? because if so, then the other ek 1001 books might be useful since they are all discretes, so if you suck at kinematics Qs, for instance, you can do a bunch of those to hammer the concepts in. I still think the TBR books are much better for this though.
 

capn jazz

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:) Just don't give up! Being a rising senior is not running out of time. I just graduated and I'm taking the test on Friday. Tons of people take a year or two off.
 

sshashid87

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Feb 27, 2008
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You basically skipped 1/3 of the test. While the MCAT has a lot of reading, it's doable even for slow readers (i.e. me). I take 4-5 mins to read each passage, but I use EK strategies for answering questions and take only 3-3.5 mins to do all the questions. I got 10-12 practice tests, got a 10 on first mcat VR, waiting on second score...

For PS, BS, make sure you understand all the concepts and how to apply them. Chances are you are doing calcs. for problems that require logic, and spending way too much time trying to verify your answer. Go back and see if you really understand all the concepts on the mcat, borrow other practice passages and do each passage in 8 mins or less and see if you can actually get most answers this way. Did you practice problems as you did content review, or just read? If you just read, you need to learn how to apply them to mcat type problems. Also, understand when it's time to move on from a question no matter how frustrating...I got a question on my second mcat about some ridiculous concept that I never even heard of, but I'm not going to waste more than 1 min trying to guess that answer. For BS, what are you spending all your time on, orgo or bio? Bio has become more critical reading lately, and you need to be relate details back to each other...for VR, practice as many passages as possible...this is the section with the worst curve, and you can't even skip 1-2 questions let alone 60% of the test...keep focused, don't get distracted...use EK strategies and whatever other ppl here suggest...

Don't rush into this test, even if it means you can't apply this cycle. You don't want to get a 15 on the real thing, even if you know you can take it a second time...good luck, look over some other ppl's strategies in 30+ MCAT thread...also, running out of time doesn't happen with med applicants...i took a year off, the avg age of med school student is ~22-24...you're fine
 

PharmacyStud

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I have never used it, but there have been good reviews for the TBR bio book and think that would be a good addition.

The MCAT is something that needs take time to get adjusted to during the first couple of exams, since it is a different type of test combining concepts and knowledge. Just hack out as many passages and practices as you can, the more you do, them ore familiar you will be with the test. On that note, do not exhaust your AAMC tests as they are the best standard for the real thing. Practice with Kaplans, GS, and TPR.

Last note, if I remember correctly, one of the posters here had a 18 on the 1st diagnostic, and got a 43 on the real thing? So, I don't think the position you are in is as bad as you think. Just work hard and you'll be fine :)
 
OP
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Jul 15, 2009
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Thanks! I am thinking of Examcrackers and also the other books capn jazz suggested....I am also reading bloodysergeon's official thread with the threads on verbal topics- it sounds helpful...I just have to apply it and stop obsessing over every question so I can go faster.
 

jkmph

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Teach yourself the art of pacing. Practice with a stop watch. Read similar content in journals, news publications and novels. It sounds like your biggest problem is time. Teach yourself how to manage it.
 

Jayhawker07

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"for VR, practice as many passages as possible...this is the section with the worst curve, and you can't even skip 1-2 questions let alone 60% of the test...keep focused, don't get distracted...use EK strategies and whatever other ppl here suggest..."

What do you mean when you talk about a curve? I guess I don't really understand that part..
 

capn jazz

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The raw score converts to a scaled score via a curve. This is a predetermined curve, not based on how people on your test day do. For instance, the AAMC10 verbal curve was this:

15: 40 Qs right
14: 39 Qs right
13: 38 Qs right
12: 37 Qs right
11: 34-36 Qs right.

It's a super steep curve.
 

Hemichordate

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It means effing up one question can bring you down a whole point
 
OP
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Jul 15, 2009
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I went back over my exam and found that I am missing many content
questions. Actually i had not left passages blank on physical science- only
on bio and verbal, but on a previous test I had blanked PS and VR but not BIO. I did a more thorough analysis and found I am missing content in the two exams I have taken.
SO I didn't leave all sections blank it was just on 2 different tests and my nervous mind grouped it into one.


So I bought EK Content Books.
I already used kaplan for content but it didn't stick so if I read content
again in EK it may sticK???

But I also have practice exams I will do as well.
Also- to speed up on the sections- I am going to read much faster
and read everything once, except there is a confusing phrase then I'll
spend 1-2 seconds rereading, but no more than twice and that rarely.
Hopefully this will help