Apr 23, 2020
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Hello, I am taking the MCAT in August and I have been studying, but I'm not sure how I should keep studying from here. I started with a diagnostic exam of 492.

Kaplan 7: 6/11: 123/126/126/126 (501)

Altius 1: 6/18: 126/124/126/130 (506)

Altius 5: 6/25: 127/125/126/129 (507)

My goal is 512 minumum, but I'm not sure where to go from here. I go over my exams to see what my mistakes were, I have the AAMC banks/exams that I'm going to start early-mid July, I have 8 more Altius exams, use Anki, and I'm working on UPlanet as well.

I seem to be consistently stuck at 126 on B/B and I'm not sure how I need to improve. Some of my mistakes are content, but others are not understanding the passage.

My CARS score is due to reasoning within the text. 10/16 questions I missed last exam were due to this, how do I fix this? Or any other advice?

I'm also open to any other advice for the other sections or just support in general. I'm getting really stressed about this I don't have a friend or advisor for the MCAT who can help me on this, so help me out please! Thank you!
 

KnightDoc

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Hello, I am taking the MCAT in August and I have been studying, but I'm not sure how I should keep studying from here. I started with a diagnostic exam of 492.

Kaplan 7: 6/11: 123/126/126/126 (501)

Altius 1: 6/18: 126/124/126/130 (506)

Altius 5: 6/25: 127/125/126/129 (507)

My goal is 512 minumum, but I'm not sure where to go from here. I go over my exams to see what my mistakes were, I have the AAMC banks/exams that I'm going to start early-mid July, I have 8 more Altius exams, use Anki, and I'm working on UPlanet as well.

I seem to be consistently stuck at 126 on B/B and I'm not sure how I need to improve. Some of my mistakes are content, but others are not understanding the passage.

My CARS score is due to reasoning within the text. 10/16 questions I missed last exam were due to this, how do I fix this? Or any other advice?

I'm also open to any other advice for the other sections or just support in general. I'm getting really stressed about this I don't have a friend or advisor for the MCAT who can help me on this, so help me out please! Thank you!
My advice would be not to freak out until you at least take the AAMC sample exam, because the third party exams are deflated in order to scare you into buying help from them. CARS is the most difficult to improve in a short period of time, since it tests reading, comprehension and reasoning skills that are built over a long period of time. Even so, third parties just don't accurately replicate how the real thing will go, so, take the tests for practice, but ignore the scores.

507 on Altius is in range for a 512 on the real thing, and you have over a month to go, so I think you are probably fine. Come back after you take one AAMC exam, and we can reassess if you aren't close to 512 then. Good luck!!!
 
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First of all, that’s a huge improvement from a 492 on your diagnostic, which is no easy feat. I know nothing about Kaplan FL’s, but I know a lot about Altius FL’s. In my case, Altius CARS and P/S felt very different from AAMC materials. However, it concerns me that you’re struggling with Altius C/P and B/B because I felt that their C/P and B/B were spot on. In fact, I averaged 131 and 130 on Altius C/P and B/B, respectively, and I got 131 and 130 for each section on the actual MCAT. Your scores show me that you’re still lacking on the definitions. Analyze your mistakes and make sure to review so that you feel 100% confident about the concepts you missed. With thorough review and analysis, I’m sure you’ll achieve 512+ on the test.
 
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Apr 23, 2020
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My advice would be not to freak out until you at least take the AAMC sample exam, because the third party exams are deflated in order to scare you into buying help from them. CARS is the most difficult to improve in a short period of time, since it tests reading, comprehension and reasoning skills that are built over a long period of time. Even so, third parties just don't accurately replicate how the real thing will go, so, take the tests for practice, but ignore the scores.

507 on Altius is in range for a 512 on the real thing, and you have over a month to go, so I think you are probably fine. Come back after you take one AAMC exam, and we can reassess if you aren't close to 512 then. Good luck!!!
I took AAMC sample and I got a 509. 127/127/127/128. I'm one month away, hoping for 512-515. Should I reschedule?
 
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PigsHaveWings

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Tough choice. You will probably be close to that score in the next month, if you are stuyding fulltime. Are you in a gap year or senior ? Most people studying full time manage to increase their score by 2 points in the last month.

If you dont give the exam in august, it will get very difficult to get interviews for this cycle.
 

KnightDoc

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I took AAMC sample and I got a 509. 127/127/127/128. I'm one month away, hoping for 512-515. Should I reschedule?
Nope. You are already in range, and you have a full month to improve. Each section has a confidence interval +/- one point, so you theoretically could have received from a 505 to a 513 on the sample, depending on the particular questions asked. If you study the explanations for both the correct and incorrect responses, and see normal improvement over the four FLs, you will be scoring above 512 by the time you get to FL 4.
 
Apr 23, 2020
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Tough choice. You will probably be close to that score in the next month, if you are stuyding fulltime. Are you in a gap year or senior ? Most people studying full time manage to increase their score by 2 points in the last month.

If you dont give the exam in august, it will get very difficult to get interviews for this cycle.
I'm taking a gap year, so I don't have to worry about interviewing/retaking until next year. I'm just taking it now to give myself time to retake if needed (but I'd really rather not).
 

KnightDoc

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I'm taking a gap year, so I don't have to worry about interviewing/retaking until next year. I'm just taking it now to give myself time to retake if needed (but I'd really rather not).
Then you can definitely push back to September with no penalty if you think more time will be beneficial.
 
Apr 23, 2020
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Nope. You are already in range, and you have a full month to improve. Each section has a confidence interval +/- one point, so you theoretically could have received from a 505 to a 513 on the sample, depending on the particular questions asked. If you study the explanations for both the correct and incorrect responses, and see normal improvement over the four FLs, you will be scoring above 512 by the time you get to FL 4.
How should I study aside from reviewing the test? (And is there a good way to review?) I'm working through AAMC sections banks, q packs, UWorld and Anki flashcards, plus I'll review the concepts I missed on my exam. I'll be studying full time, and the higher my score the better (obviously).
 

KnightDoc

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How should I study aside from reviewing the test? (And is there a good way to review?) I'm working through AAMC sections banks, q packs, UWorld and Anki flashcards, plus I'll review the concepts I missed on my exam. I'll be studying full time, and the higher my score the better (obviously).
509 says that you are probably good on content, so it sounds like you are using all the right materials and doing all the right things. UWorld explanations are way better than AAMC's, but I am going over both, for all questions, whether I get them right or not. I'm not even using Anki. The only other suggestion I would have would be to buy more FLs from another company (Altius, NextStep, etc.) if you run out of material and still have time left.
 

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So what I generally recommend is folks work through 3rd party materials before transitioning to AAMC. If your test is in September, I would save your remaining AAMC exams till you are 5 weeks out. In the meantime, use UWorld to take simulated half mcat exams (2x59 question sections using CP and CARS one day and BB and PS another). Take a day or two in between each half mcat to thoroughly review. Be sure to practice timing and your strategies.
 
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