MisterTO

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Aug 4, 2017
182
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Hi everyone. DISCLAIMER: I will need to make this post kind of lengthy so if you wouldn't mind reading all of it, I would appreciate it. If not, have a good rest of your day!
I took a Diagnostic (FL 1) back in 5/20/19 and got a measly 486 (125/122/121/118). I took an AAMC FL because it was before I found all these reddit and SDN posts about waiting. Now, HERES MY STORY:

I started "Studying" and when I say studying, I mean I read maybe like ONE EK book (Biochem) and went thru a little bit of KA videos on P/S. Then for the semester, I wanted to do 10 hrs a week. Note, I was only taking 12 credit hours but worked a job as a peer mentor (RA like responsibilities) and an SI for general chemistry. I can say that I went through the ENTIRE Kaplan Organic Chem, HALF of CARS, ENTIRE (minus acid chapter) Gen Chem and ENTIRE Biology Systems EK book and half the P/S doc (don't know why it takes me so long). I also have been inconsistent with 1 or 2 JW passages a day (maybe done 30-40 of em so far). Did not do physics, Bio or Biochem, Psych or CARS. I feel like a ******* for not doing as much content. However, for some reason I don't like memorizing knowing ALL of the MCAT topics... Hindsight is 20/20 on those books. Here has been my plan since the start of Winter break:

Studied for 1.5weeks about 6-8hrs a day (I DO NOT NEED TO WORK, I SAVE LOTS OF MONEY for THIS). I almost got thru the total P/S doc. Have not done any ANKI or anything on all the terms.. For content, my goal is to go thru someone's filled in AAMC Content Outline (156 pages) and supplement with my Kaplan or EK books or Khan. My ultimate goal was to do this and be able to finish my MCAT now so I could work more on ECs, school and jobs during the semester... HOWEVER, HERE IS WHERE MY DAY WENT TO ****
I got a 493 on Kaplan 12/12 (125/123/122/123)
491 on Kaplan 12/17 (124/123/122/122)
AND>>495 on AAMC FL 2 12/24 (126/121/125/123) MERRY ******** CHRISTMAS; silver lining: 1 more in C/P and B/B would increase each by 1... so 2 questions right from a 497.

Anyway, now I want to show you WHY I MISSED QUESTIONS ON MY C/P SECTIONS TO SHOW YOU WHERE MY CONTENT/THINKING LIES (YOU CAN SKIP IF YOU WANT): ***SPOILERS SORT OF... BUT WONT SAY Q NUMBERS***
  1. Added a compound to end of amino acid via peptide formation backwords, making an amino group at CARBOXY end atack carbonyl carbon on compound... DUMB MISTAKE, I KNOW BETTER
  2. Chose wrong amino acid because didn't make conclusion that the compound had parts of a specific amino acid's structure (aa practice)
  3. Thought question asked about looking at a rate with Nitrosyl Chloride as they asked (NO Chloride) not the absence of chloride, knew how to do it but misled me to wrong data, DUMB mistake)
  4. Asked about separation regarding column chromatography, all were similar sizes but I added up molec weights, needed to just do polarity for such small MW differences (LEARNED FROM THIS)
  5. Content that gamma phosphates are the ones that leave when phosphorylating (CONTENT NEW!)
  6. Replaced a phosphorylated aa with another polar aa but needed to mimic a phosphorylation which would be an acidic aa (Simple aa logic)
  7. Cooperation show sigmodial curves (CONTENT)
  8. Had right answer but was not sure, so changed it, what's new (DUMB)
  9. Guess (CONTENT)
  10. pi stacking for GC vs. AT (NEW CONTENT)
  11. Had right answer but chose the opposite of what my mind said, should of wrote it down (DUMB)
  12. Had right answer, switched (DUMB BOY)
  13. Calculting pH with henderson-hasselback, forgot to put negative sign on + log.... DUMB
  14. Set up eq right but didnt know how to square root a 4.9x10-10 or something like that? now I KNOW
  15. Took the O-N bond like bond N=O but I guess the order they had makes it the O to the N so (DUMB SCREW UP)
  16. Wanted answer for 2 mols.. Got correct answer for 1 mol so.... DUMBBBBBBBBBB
  17. Simple molar change that Idk why I did not get correct... DUMB
  18. Physics problem that yeah, should of missed (CONTENT REVIEW)
  19. "
HERE IS MY FIRST QUESTION IN BIO:
I said the answer shows something causes a INCREASE when I KNEW IT WAS A DECREASE... that would have been 1 126 in B/B....
SUMMARY:
I make so many dumb mistakes... I feel like I could have EASILY gotten 9 more right if I was careful... which would have been 129.... I know, hindsight is 20/20... Biochem I prolly could have easily got 127 probably... So what I am saying is that Idk if I NEEDED as much content review as everyone says.. I NEED CARS practice (I HAD NO IDEA WHAT was going on in that section) and for psych I NEED TO MEMORIZE them terms... I know this 495 looks really bad but what do guys think? My gold deadline is tomorrow to cancel but silver deadline is jan 8 for a reschedule.. I still have AAMC Sample, FL 1, FL 3, and FL 4 and Qpacks and SB.... I could improve. My goal is a score around 510 (508-512). which would be a 13-17 point increase... or an 11-15 with 2 more correct answers... ANYWAY, if you made it all the way through this and can give advice to me, YOU ARE A SAINT and I owe you a HUG AROUND THE NECK, THANK YOU
 

Cornfed101

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Aug 10, 2017
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Reschedule. You are not ready. A sub 500 MCAT will close a lot of doors. The AAMC FLs are most indicative of what you will score on the real MCAT, and believe me, you will make the same dumb mistakes on the real thing.

start using Anki, and focus a lot more on doing AAMC questions throughout your content review. Make sure you finish EVERY SINGLE AAMC question before you take the MCAT. I would even recommend doing most of them before spending much more time on FLs. I did the SB and CARS qpacks twice.

read through this

 

KnightDoc

2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
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Hi everyone. DISCLAIMER: I will need to make this post kind of lengthy so if you wouldn't mind reading all of it, I would appreciate it. If not, have a good rest of your day!
I took a Diagnostic (FL 1) back in 5/20/19 and got a measly 486 (125/122/121/118). I took an AAMC FL because it was before I found all these reddit and SDN posts about waiting. Now, HERES MY STORY:

I started "Studying" and when I say studying, I mean I read maybe like ONE EK book (Biochem) and went thru a little bit of KA videos on P/S. Then for the semester, I wanted to do 10 hrs a week. Note, I was only taking 12 credit hours but worked a job as a peer mentor (RA like responsibilities) and an SI for general chemistry. I can say that I went through the ENTIRE Kaplan Organic Chem, HALF of CARS, ENTIRE (minus acid chapter) Gen Chem and ENTIRE Biology Systems EK book and half the P/S doc (don't know why it takes me so long). I also have been inconsistent with 1 or 2 JW passages a day (maybe done 30-40 of em so far). Did not do physics, Bio or Biochem, Psych or CARS. I feel like a ******* for not doing as much content. However, for some reason I don't like memorizing knowing ALL of the MCAT topics... Hindsight is 20/20 on those books. Here has been my plan since the start of Winter break:

Studied for 1.5weeks about 6-8hrs a day (I DO NOT NEED TO WORK, I SAVE LOTS OF MONEY for THIS). I almost got thru the total P/S doc. Have not done any ANKI or anything on all the terms.. For content, my goal is to go thru someone's filled in AAMC Content Outline (156 pages) and supplement with my Kaplan or EK books or Khan. My ultimate goal was to do this and be able to finish my MCAT now so I could work more on ECs, school and jobs during the semester... HOWEVER, HERE IS WHERE MY DAY WENT TO ****
I got a 493 on Kaplan 12/12 (125/123/122/123)
491 on Kaplan 12/17 (124/123/122/122)
AND>>495 on AAMC FL 2 12/24 (126/121/125/123) MERRY ******** CHRISTMAS; silver lining: 1 more in C/P and B/B would increase each by 1... so 2 questions right from a 497.

Anyway, now I want to show you WHY I MISSED QUESTIONS ON MY C/P SECTIONS TO SHOW YOU WHERE MY CONTENT/THINKING LIES (YOU CAN SKIP IF YOU WANT): ***SPOILERS SORT OF... BUT WONT SAY Q NUMBERS***
  1. Added a compound to end of amino acid via peptide formation backwords, making an amino group at CARBOXY end atack carbonyl carbon on compound... DUMB MISTAKE, I KNOW BETTER
  2. Chose wrong amino acid because didn't make conclusion that the compound had parts of a specific amino acid's structure (aa practice)
  3. Thought question asked about looking at a rate with Nitrosyl Chloride as they asked (NO Chloride) not the absence of chloride, knew how to do it but misled me to wrong data, DUMB mistake)
  4. Asked about separation regarding column chromatography, all were similar sizes but I added up molec weights, needed to just do polarity for such small MW differences (LEARNED FROM THIS)
  5. Content that gamma phosphates are the ones that leave when phosphorylating (CONTENT NEW!)
  6. Replaced a phosphorylated aa with another polar aa but needed to mimic a phosphorylation which would be an acidic aa (Simple aa logic)
  7. Cooperation show sigmodial curves (CONTENT)
  8. Had right answer but was not sure, so changed it, what's new (DUMB)
  9. Guess (CONTENT)
  10. pi stacking for GC vs. AT (NEW CONTENT)
  11. Had right answer but chose the opposite of what my mind said, should of wrote it down (DUMB)
  12. Had right answer, switched (DUMB BOY)
  13. Calculting pH with henderson-hasselback, forgot to put negative sign on + log.... DUMB
  14. Set up eq right but didnt know how to square root a 4.9x10-10 or something like that? now I KNOW
  15. Took the O-N bond like bond N=O but I guess the order they had makes it the O to the N so (DUMB SCREW UP)
  16. Wanted answer for 2 mols.. Got correct answer for 1 mol so.... DUMBBBBBBBBBB
  17. Simple molar change that Idk why I did not get correct... DUMB
  18. Physics problem that yeah, should of missed (CONTENT REVIEW)
  19. "
HERE IS MY FIRST QUESTION IN BIO:
I said the answer shows something causes a INCREASE when I KNEW IT WAS A DECREASE... that would have been 1 126 in B/B....
SUMMARY:
I make so many dumb mistakes... I feel like I could have EASILY gotten 9 more right if I was careful... which would have been 129.... I know, hindsight is 20/20... Biochem I prolly could have easily got 127 probably... So what I am saying is that Idk if I NEEDED as much content review as everyone says.. I NEED CARS practice (I HAD NO IDEA WHAT was going on in that section) and for psych I NEED TO MEMORIZE them terms... I know this 495 looks really bad but what do guys think? My gold deadline is tomorrow to cancel but silver deadline is jan 8 for a reschedule.. I still have AAMC Sample, FL 1, FL 3, and FL 4 and Qpacks and SB.... I could improve. My goal is a score around 510 (508-512). which would be a 13-17 point increase... or an 11-15 with 2 more correct answers... ANYWAY, if you made it all the way through this and can give advice to me, YOU ARE A SAINT and I owe you a HUG AROUND THE NECK, THANK YOU
You don't owe me a hug because you're not going to like the advice! Common wisdom is to not take the test until your FLs are at your target. Yours are far away. Your 19 point dissertation on why is irrelevant; you're not there. Hindsight realization that your mistakes were stupid doesn't help you unless and until you show yourself that you can avoid such pitfalls on future FLs, as well as the real thing, when the pressure will be far greater than on a FL. Saying your mistakes were careless so you're going to award yourself the points is pointless (pun intended)!

Only you can know whether you can close the gap in less than a month. Either cancel tomorrow to get back what you can, or keep plugging away to see if you can close the gap, and kiss the money goodbye if you don't. The only meaningful advice I could give you would be to not take the test on 1/23 if your FLs are still below 508 or so the week before (and don't use retakes of FLs you've already seen when making this assessment). You're very unlikely to miraculously see a 5 point jump from your last FL to the real thing. Good luck!!!
 
Jul 18, 2019
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Don’t take it. Points don’t improve by tens. They improve slowly by twos and threes over the span of a couple weeks. They also seem to stagnate for a bit until you can figure out what you’re doing wrong to get the next boost. At least that was the case for me and everyone I know. I think it it be naive to think it would be different for you. In a month, you’ll probably be about 501-505.
 
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MisterTO

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Hmmm...... I do not want to have this exam looming over me for forever. I know a good score is necessary... A march date any good? But I would have school and work.... ugghh too much idk
 

Lawpy

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Don’t take it. Points don’t improve by tens. They improve slowly by twos and threes over the span of a couple weeks. They also seem to stagnate for a bit until you can figure out what you’re doing wrong to get the next boost. At least that was the case for me and everyone I know. I think it it be naive to think it would be different for you. In a month, you’ll probably be about 501-505.

They can improve massively for some people once they mastered content review

Hmmm...... I do not want to have this exam looming over me for forever. I know a good score is necessary... A march date any good? But I would have school and work.... ugghh too much idk

Probably even later unless you start completely overhauling your practice now by focusing very strictly on content review and really making sure you understand the concepts well. You also should do a lot of practice questions in strict time conditions and actively review your answers.
 

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I know how much you want to get this over with, but if you take the MCAT now and receive a score that mirrors your practice exams, you have a pretty high risk of having to retake it. If you really are set on taking it on 1/23, then just don't postpone. You might miss the deadlines, but in the grand scheme of med school costs, this will be a drop in the ocean. If by ~1 week out from the exam, you still don't feel ready, cancel your exam and register for March/April/May.

The journey to med school is a marathon, not a sprint! There's no need to rush taking the MCAT before you need to.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
 

MisterTO

2+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2017
182
121
I know how much you want to get this over with, but if you take the MCAT now and receive a score that mirrors your practice exams, you have a pretty high risk of having to retake it. If you really are set on taking it on 1/23, then just don't postpone. You might miss the deadlines, but in the grand scheme of med school costs, this will be a drop in the ocean. If by ~1 week out from the exam, you still don't feel ready, cancel your exam and register for March/April/May.

The journey to med school is a marathon, not a sprint! There's no need to rush taking the MCAT before you need to.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors

Hi, I rescheduled for March 27... This will give me 3 months instead of 1 month to get to around 510. I will be re-doing content for this month while I am off of school, then the last two months will be practice questions and AAMC material one month before. I also have spring break the week before my exam so plenty of time to get good studying in. Hope this works!
 
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