YITB536

2+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2015
28
2
The Lone Star State
Status
Pre-Medical
Have y'all ever taken a practice FL and felt uncomfortable with 90% of the answers? At the very best, 3 maybe 4 slam dunk "oh for sure" I got that one right, while everything else was eh..? This happened to me today, and somehow got a 502 on the NS FL 2 (CP 124, CARS 125, Bio 127 Psych 126).

I'm not sure how to interpret this. I glossed through the exam and saw a lot of "dumb mistake" questions. There were for sure a couple content weaknesses, but for the most part not too bad. In the next two days, I'm going to thoroughly review all the questions, right and wrong. But I'm scheduled for September 23, so I'm wondering if I should spend a day or two to review the topics I feel really uncomfortable with before doing more FL exams, or should I just keep swimming forward?? I've only taken the NS diagnostic and NS FL 1.

Thanks y'all!

NS Diagnostic: 495 (CP 122, CARS 124, Bio 125, Psych 124)
NS FL 1: 500 (CP 124, CARS 125, Bio 127 Psych 124)
NS FL 2: 502 (CP 124, CARS 125, Bio 127 Psych 126)
 

NextStepTutor_3

MCAT Tutor
Vendor
2+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2014
263
162
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Pre-Medical
Hi, great question! First of all, I definitely think it's a good idea to take a couple of days and go over the 2-3 content topics that you're least confident in. You didn't mention when you'd taken the previous two tests, but I assume it was pretty recently. Even with your real exam coming up, it's best to not take practice tests too close together! It tends to be exhausting, and it doesn't leave much time for improvement between tests. Also - and this is more important - even if you didn't miss a lot of content-based questions, it sounds like there might still be topics that you don't feel great about. If you're really nervous about any specific content areas, reviewing them thoroughly can give you confidence that helps on the entire exam, even if that topic never ends up being tested at all. I call these "panic topics." If any of your weaker "panic" areas happen to be high-yield (acid-base, circuits, fluids, amino acids, etc.), reviewing those would be even more helpful.

As for the score, it's definitely possible to feel iffy about it and still come out with a 502. Personally, I don't think our tests have a lot of "easy points" - type questions (which I think is great, but could explain how you felt). And feeling uncertain about answers is just part of the MCAT in general. For example, it's so common to see questions where the subject matter is entirely new and the question is difficult to interpret, but the incorrect answers don't make scientific (or logical) sense. In cases like that, you might feel really unsure that the correct answer is right, but know that the incorrect ones were wrong. And that's all you need! When you look through the test, just ask yourself how many correct answers were straight-up guesses and how many had solid reasoning behind them. If many were guesses, you might've gotten lucky. If you correctly worked through most of them but just didn't feel great about it, you should feel more confident that even in these "uncertain" cases, you knew enough to get the answer and likely would in the future. And of course, make a casual list of the types of "silly mistakes" you made - they often aren't that silly/dumb, and people tend to make the same ones over and over. Might as well get those quick points :)

Hope this helps! This answer isn't really specific to Next Step tests, but of course, I'd love to hear outsiders' perspective on this too. And good luck!
 
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YITB536

YITB536

2+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2015
28
2
The Lone Star State
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi, great question! First of all, I definitely think it's a good idea to take a couple of days and go over the 2-3 content topics that you're least confident in. You didn't mention when you'd taken the previous two tests, but I assume it was pretty recently. Even with your real exam coming up, it's best to not take practice tests too close together! It tends to be exhausting, and it doesn't leave much time for improvement between tests. Also - and this is more important - even if you didn't miss a lot of content-based questions, it sounds like there might still be topics that you don't feel great about. If you're really nervous about any specific content areas, reviewing them thoroughly can give you confidence that helps on the entire exam, even if that topic never ends up being tested at all. I call these "panic topics." If any of your weaker "panic" areas happen to be high-yield (acid-base, circuits, fluids, amino acids, etc.), reviewing those would be even more helpful.

As for the score, it's definitely possible to feel iffy about it and still come out with a 502. Personally, I don't think our tests have a lot of "easy points" - type questions (which I think is great, but could explain how you felt). And feeling uncertain about answers is just part of the MCAT in general. For example, it's so common to see questions where the subject matter is entirely new and the question is difficult to interpret, but the incorrect answers don't make scientific (or logical) sense. In cases like that, you might feel really unsure that the correct answer is right, but know that the incorrect ones were wrong. And that's all you need! When you look through the test, just ask yourself how many correct answers were straight-up guesses and how many had solid reasoning behind them. If many were guesses, you might've gotten lucky. If you correctly worked through most of them but just didn't feel great about it, you should feel more confident that even in these "uncertain" cases, you knew enough to get the answer and likely would in the future. And of course, make a casual list of the types of "silly mistakes" you made - they often aren't that silly/dumb, and people tend to make the same ones over and over. Might as well get those quick points :)

Hope this helps! This answer isn't really specific to Next Step tests, but of course, I'd love to hear outsiders' perspective on this too. And good luck!

Thank you so much for the feedback! I guess I just need a different strategy for post FL review, because often times as I go through each question I
Hi, great question! First of all, I definitely think it's a good idea to take a couple of days and go over the 2-3 content topics that you're least confident in. You didn't mention when you'd taken the previous two tests, but I assume it was pretty recently. Even with your real exam coming up, it's best to not take practice tests too close together! It tends to be exhausting, and it doesn't leave much time for improvement between tests. Also - and this is more important - even if you didn't miss a lot of content-based questions, it sounds like there might still be topics that you don't feel great about. If you're really nervous about any specific content areas, reviewing them thoroughly can give you confidence that helps on the entire exam, even if that topic never ends up being tested at all. I call these "panic topics." If any of your weaker "panic" areas happen to be high-yield (acid-base, circuits, fluids, amino acids, etc.), reviewing those would be even more helpful.

As for the score, it's definitely possible to feel iffy about it and still come out with a 502. Personally, I don't think our tests have a lot of "easy points" - type questions (which I think is great, but could explain how you felt). And feeling uncertain about answers is just part of the MCAT in general. For example, it's so common to see questions where the subject matter is entirely new and the question is difficult to interpret, but the incorrect answers don't make scientific (or logical) sense. In cases like that, you might feel really unsure that the correct answer is right, but know that the incorrect ones were wrong. And that's all you need! When you look through the test, just ask yourself how many correct answers were straight-up guesses and how many had solid reasoning behind them. If many were guesses, you might've gotten lucky. If you correctly worked through most of them but just didn't feel great about it, you should feel more confident that even in these "uncertain" cases, you knew enough to get the answer and likely would in the future. And of course, make a casual list of the types of "silly mistakes" you made - they often aren't that silly/dumb, and people tend to make the same ones over and over. Might as well get those quick points :)

Hope this helps! This answer isn't really specific to Next Step tests, but of course, I'd love to hear outsiders' perspective on this too. And good luck!

Thank you so much for the detailed feedback! I'm glad to know that my situation isn't an anomaly. Hopefully your suggestions can get me closer to the 510 goal!
 
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