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Need some major advice/optimism...!

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by squirrel33, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. squirrel33

    2+ Year Member

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    So I take the MCAT in 10 days...and my practice scores are NOWHERE NEAR where they should be...not to mention the fluctuation within each section: :scared:
    PS VR BS Tot.
    AAMC #3 6 9 6 21
    AAMC #4 8 5 8 21
    AAMC #5 8 8 7 23
    Kaplan#2 7 8 9 24
    AMMC #7 8 6 8 22

    I decided not to cancel my MCAT because if anything, I'll just void it if my practice tests do not improve by then...
    However, I'd really like to improve by my test date (8/19) because I am way too burnt out to have to keep studying during school in order to retake it again. Although, I'm kind of seeing that I might have to anyway :/

    I'm begginng to take a practice test everyday now (started two days ago) from 8am-1pm (my scheduled test time) and I'm focusing on the material in which I think I did the worst on during the practice test.

    If anyone has any suggestions, or even some optimism right now... it would be greatly appreciated.

    My GPA is a 3.85, which doesn't match my MCAT scores at all...

    Thank you all,

    -Squirrel
     
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  3. kehlsh

    kehlsh Medic Commando
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    STOP. WASTING. VALUEABLE. AAMCS.

    seriously, if you are scoring that low, you must be struggling with content.

    Read books through and do the applicable problems before wasting valuable resources.
     
  4. PippFan14

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    Hey- yeah my test is in a few weeks but I know how you feel.

    Couple weeks ago I started with a 22 and I was surprised (even though I hadn't finished content review) because I thought I would be doing better.

    One thing you need to realize, that I did is that this is a READING exam. Really. For me, I thought okay I can jump straight to the questions but it turns out thats not really how it works. So I started to passage map and right now I'm at a 30 (still haven't completely finished reading everything- but..).

    If you believe that you know most of the material but aren't applying it correctly- slow down and analyze why you miss stuff, go back to that chapter in your book, skim it and do some practice on it. Then come back and solve it on the practice exam and see if you get it right.

    Remember, a few concepts can get you really far so remember to read properly. Also if you need to, slow down for VR because that has also really helped me.

    Don't give up. :) Develop a strategy and perfect it.
     
  5. Hotshy

    5+ Year Member

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    Don't take your actual MCAT and don't take anymore AAMC practices. I would start from the very beginning.

    It would be best to reschedule your MCAT in like January and begin studying for it October and do a full and thorough content review.
     
  6. BeancheBlanco

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    If you are getting below a 10 on the aamc science practice tests (especially the older ones) I would suggest you stop taking practice tests. Go through all of the content again very carefully. Go through the EK 101 passages to improve your verbal. Once you do all of that, take a practice test and see where you stand. If it looks good, you should start taking more tests (not every day though). Take a test and then spend the next couple days going over your weaknesses.

    If you are taking the mcat in 10 days, I would suggest you just void your score and sign up for a later date so that you can go through all the content again. The chances of you getting a score higher than your aamc practice tests is very slim.

    The most important thing you have to keep in mind is that your aamc tests are EXTREMELY valuable. Once you take all of them, you basically have no other means of truly gauging your improvement or skill level. It's also, by far, the most useful practice.
     
  7. squirrel33

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    Thanks for the comments,

    PippFan- I think you brought up an important issue that I'm experiencing difficulties with: reading.
    I definitely don't take time to read the passages efficiently, due to fear of running low on time. There have been several times where I have ran out of time with one passage left. Although, I've noticed careless mistakes that could have been prevented by slowing down to understand the passage and the questions. I've tried mapping before, but it seemed to slow me down and it tends to be either too general or too detailed. Any advice on how to construct a good map? Or any other techniques that you noticed helped you to improve?

    Kehlsh/BeancheBlanco/Hotshy- Yeah, at first I figured I might as well take all the AAMC tests I could since I only have ten days left. But seeing how I will most likely need to retake, it would be a good idea to not waste them. Thank you for that advice.
    Would taking my test and voiding it, and then reschedule when I'm ready be my best option? - The only other choices I suppose would be to have it scored and take it again, or just cancel it entirely until I'm ready...
     
  8. plzNOCarribbean

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    take it from me, I was an idiot in january and took the MCAT when I clearly was not ready. I had thoroughly finished content review, and after going through all the tests my avg was a 26. I ended up getting a 21 on the real thing, so clearly your not ready. I am taking the MCAT again in september, and I can tell you how big of a difference it makes when you go through content review 2 or 3 times. Each time you learn something new or get a better understand/different perspective of each topic. Although I am retaking because of verbal, I feel like I have learned a lot more in the sciences this time around. Your scoring 6,7, 8, and 9's on the sciences, which clearly needs to improve. I suggest you Do NOT take the test and cancel if you can, or just take it to get a feel for what the test is like and then void. You can't go into this thing expecting a miracle......
     
  9. Quester

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    How long have you been studying, Squirrel?
     
  10. tn4596

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    in 10 days...dude it would be lucky if u hit 30...
    save aamc for ur future mcat. review content more. put more time (3 months is average prep time) into it. aim for 35+.
     
  11. squirrel33

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    Roughly three months...however, I took an intensive three week summer course in July which forced me to hold off on my MCAT studies...so I suppose closer to two months..

    I do need to review content more, but the test itself seems to be an issue-timing is huge. I'll often find myself answering questions half way through my thought process so I can get through all of the passages.

    I've accepted the fact that I'll likely void next week, unless I feel I did superiorly well...although the chances of that don't exactly to look too good right now! :-/
    I've also heard that voiding is not suggested unless you're extremely ill or didn't finish a section. However, my practice scores seem to translate comparatively to a situation in which I would seem to be ill or unable to finish a section.. ha..

    My other concern is that I'm slowly burning out and school starts again in two weeks. I've yet to give myself a break in quite some time... to add MCAT studying with my school load and know that I still have this over my shoulder until January or sometime next spring is going to be quite the burden...
     
  12. DrDotooMuch

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  13. hellome123

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    I'm in the same boat as you with similar scores and signed up for the 8/18 test. I'm considering canceling the test and continuing studying for Jan test (even though I really want to take it before school starts)
     
  14. Quester

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    Ditto that. I got low 20s when I took one of the AAMCs last week and I thought I could really pull it off with 2 weeks of studying and it's been alright, but I've also been pretty sick lately (perfect timing, eh?) and distracted from time to time (applying for jobs for fall, etc). So I think I'm just gonna stop doing all practices and go take the test (8/18 as well) and void it. It's really unfortunate that I put myself through this, but lesson learned.
     
  15. Quester

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    Don't you want to just take it as an experience?
     
  16. hellome123

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    I keep reading (and heard) that it wasn't a good idea to void unless some unfortunate thing happens during testing.
     
  17. Quester

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    Yeah, I read that too. But you already paid for it and it's already too late to cancel to get $120 refund. The thing is, if you consistently score in low 20s right before the actual test date, I don't see myself jumping to 30+
     
  18. SN2ed

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    That's true if your practice scores are within range. When they're as low as the OPs, it's a bad idea to get your test scored.
     
  19. DrDotooMuch

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    Alright squirl. I realized my previous post didnt help you too much and I realized after studying that you could use a helping hand and some good honest peer to peer advise. Many have already given it to you, but I will attempt to really break it down.

    Preface: Stop taking AAMC practice test.

    1. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE THIS ATTEMPT SCORED. Doesn't matter if you cancel it, move it, or void it. You don't want to risk a bad score. Trust me. It doesnt matter if your parents put pressure on you, like mine do. Its up to you. Its your application and you dont want any unnecessary blemishes on it.

    2. Sign up for Jan test date.

    3. Buy Princeton Review prep books for all subject. If your scoring low 20s. TPR books really really break it down. Dont waste your time or money on ExamKrackers (review books) for now. Those books are really short and are a good review for people who already hold it down and go fist to fist with this test.

    4. While your at it and knowing that you want to go to med school and are going to incur $100,000+ in debt. Might as well buy EK 1001 question in Physics, G. Chem, Bio, and Verbal. They not like the MCAT passage based questions. Instead they are 1001 freestanding questions. But I dont care what people say "EK 1001 are for loosers who dont know their stuff." Some of the questions in those books are F**king tricky. They really help bring to light things you dont know. GET THESE BOOKS.

    5. BUY OFFICIAL AAMC material. I bought official AAMC "MCAT practice questions." They are basically passages extracted from real MCAT examinations. They tell you the right answer and the percentage of examines who correctly answered that question. Its really great. ONLY USE THIS AFTER A SOLID CONTENT REVIEW AND EK 1001 BOOKS.

    Plan to murder the next test. Just because you haven't risen to the occasion this time around doesn't mean you can't. Because you can. And I believe in you. If I believe in you then you should believe in yourself.

    Do a solid 1.5-2 months of content review from TPR books. Finish all (EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER) from those books. And know them so well that you can reference pages and recite some sentences word for word of the top of your head. Do the passages at the end of the chapter after you finish the chapter. And follow up on every chapter the next day by drilling a little EK 1001 on that chapter.

    Hope fully you forget the AAMC practice tests by then. So you can reuse them.

    You'll find you way after this....

    Good luck. See you on the other side...
     
  20. hellome123

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    Thanks for the advice! I needed that advice as well. How would you recommend studying as you said during the school year along with a full course load?
     
  21. Sonic3

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    OP,

    I'm in pretty much the same boat as you.. I have a 3.9, but I have also been scoring in the same range. I am going to void this test and study for the January test. I'd rather take the time to get it right. Also, now that I am done content review, I can continue to keep doing practice problems, etc.

    Does anyone have any advice for those who have already done content review, but are looking to do better and practice for the January test?
     
  22. DrDotooMuch

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    Yeah I actually do. Make sure you don't take more than 2 hard ass classes and study for the MCAT.

    1. The key to doing this successfully is start early. If you would have spent 2 months on the MCAT just studying MCAT over summer instead spend 3-3.5 months over the school year.

    2. Treat the MCAT like another class. Be very very planned. Allocate a "lecture period" for the MCAT. In this lecture you should follow a self made syllabus and should be no longer than an actual class period. You teach your self a couple chapters a lecture and assign yourself homework for those chapters due before the next lecture. You do the homework at a time other than the lecture time just like you do with any class. THIS IS CONTENT REVIEW. You can also set up chapter you are more comfortable with on weeks you have class midterms. That way you fly through the lecture and the assigned problems quicker and have more time to study for your looming test. Do everything in pencil so it can be erased and redone if needed.

    3. Include in your self made syllabus FullLength tests as a midterm is scheduled in a regular class. The best thing about this method is that you can plan your FLs around other midterms. DO NOT TAKE AAMC FLs UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE GOOD CONTENT REVIEW. When you do start doing FLs you should have a strong content knowledge. Spend your "lecture" periods carefully reviewing the FLs and solidifying weak points in content knowledge.

    If you have run out of things to do. Spend lecture periods doing official AAMC material.

    Just like teachers. Your syllabus should be rigid. My teachers never change the syllabus and almost always ad-hear to the syllabus. You should too.


    If you have the same range of scores you content is not strong enough. Do a better content review.
     

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