Nov 22, 2013
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I'm 100% serious here, if I could like time myself taking practice MCATs in conditions where I'm not in 100% mental stability, like alarm clock in the middle of the night where I'm a little sleep deprived, or maybe when I'm hungry, or (inspiration from that "weirdest though in your head during the MCAT thread) when I need to go use the restroom, IN ADDITION to realistic comfortable conditions, do you think that'll train myself to get the best score possible in any condition of inadvertent and unexpected stress on the day of the MCAT?

Like imagine if I could get a high score even when I'm sleep deprived or really hungry/thirsty, I could do exceptionally well during times of comfort.

Or am I just looking too deep into it on my journey of maximizing my prospective MCAT score?
 

Captain Sisko

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I thought about doing this for a few of my 23 full length practice exams. The closest i came was taking old style full lengths from pre-cbt days (think aamc 6) and once taking a practice after a long day at work. I think they were largely useless from a practical standpoint. i learned what I could have guessed at before doing them: my score goes down when I'm tired and I get a lower % correct further into an exam. Applying lessons learned, I got a lot of sleep the week before the big day, and tried to perk up between sections by stretching and jumping around.
 

music2doc

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Why...? Don't add stress unnecessarily. Take it under standardized test-like conditions. If crap comes up, use that stress to get you ready for if similar things happen on exam day but don't intentionally give yourself a disability. That's just wasting a practice exam.

As for the immediately previous post... don't do 23 practice exams. Take 10 or so of the best quality and spend your time improving things. Beyond about 10 and you'll start to burn out. Save the 2,000+ study question stint for Step 1. Also, don't start studying for Step 1 right after your MCAT....
 

mcloaf

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What happens if he gets kidnapped by ninjas and they take him to Syria to take the mcat?
It will make for a good secondary essay about overcoming challenges.
 

Captain Sisko

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Why...? Don't add stress unnecessarily. Take it under standardized test-like conditions. If crap comes up, use that stress to get you ready for if similar things happen on exam day but don't intentionally give yourself a disability. That's just wasting a practice exam.

As for the immediately previous post... don't do 23 practice exams. Take 10 or so of the best quality and spend your time improving things. Beyond about 10 and you'll start to burn out. Save the 2,000+ study question stint for Step 1. Also, don't start studying for Step 1 right after your MCAT....
Don't knock my method - it worked for me and I'm not certain I'd have scored what I did without it. I'm not advocating anyone else should do what I did, but in my circumstances (long term, low level studying) it was ideal.
 
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To be honest, I did something similar (though not quite as extreme) in that I would take occasional practice tests in the middle of the living room of my house, with people generally nearby and talking to/around me. I don't know that it necessarily helped me all that much, but I was scoring 31-35 on practice tests and managed a 37 on the real deal. However n=1 here and you are probably far better off just practicing in normal test conditions as there is no reason to believe there was a real correlation between my practice conditions and my score. As for being burned out: I took around 17 practice tests, and definitely noticed myself fading towards the end, but it worked out and I probably would not have scored as high if I had taken less (I was also a long-term, low level studier).tl;dr- it may work, but you're better off doing things the traditional way in all likelihood
 
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Anicetus

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Drink a TON of water, and start the exam the moment you feel you need to urinate and don't use your ten min breaks for the entire exam.


That should eliminate your bathroom worries.
 

Harpsx

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Frankly, it may be a waste of a practice test...especially doing it while sleep deprived/hungry. Just prepare yourself so those things don't happen.

But "extreme" (lol) testing conditions is no joke. My MCAT room was definitely like 100 degrees (summertime, sunlight, no ventilation, several computers running)...everyone was sweating in their chairs while doing the test, and to top it off my computer shut off in the middle of the biology section.
 

Goro

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No, knowing the material will give you the best test score.


I'm 100% serious here, if I could like time myself taking practice MCATs in conditions where I'm not in 100% mental stability, like alarm clock in the middle of the night where I'm a little sleep deprived, or maybe when I'm hungry, or (inspiration from that "weirdest though in your head during the MCAT thread) when I need to go use the restroom, IN ADDITION to realistic comfortable conditions, do you think that'll train myself to get the best score possible in any condition of inadvertent and unexpected stress on the day of the MCAT?

Like imagine if I could get a high score even when I'm sleep deprived or really hungry/thirsty, I could do exceptionally well during times of comfort.

Or am I just looking too deep into it on my journey of maximizing my prospective MCAT score?
 
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Captain Sisko

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No, knowing the material will give you the best test score.
Maybe knowing the material will get a person a score good enough for your school, but to score mid thirties and above you need to go beyond that. You need to know how to apply the material, to synthesize and use it in situations you've never seen before. The mcat is a thinking and reasoning test. Memorizing material will only get you so far.
 

Goro

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In other words, know the material. there's a difference between memorizing and applying.

Maybe knowing the material will get a person a score good enough for your school, but to score mid thirties and above you need to go beyond that. You need to know how to apply the material, to synthesize and use it in situations you've never seen before. The mcat is a thinking and reasoning test. Memorizing material will only get you so far.
 
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Even better, save it for the real MCAT. Nothing hones concentration better than adversity. ;)
 

rolliespring

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Frankly, it may be a waste of a practice test...especially doing it while sleep deprived/hungry. Just prepare yourself so those things don't happen.

But "extreme" (lol) testing conditions is no joke. My MCAT room was definitely like 100 degrees (summertime, sunlight, no ventilation, several computers running)...everyone was sweating in their chairs while doing the test, and to top it off my computer shut off in the middle of the biology section.
:eek: what happened later?
 

Harpsx

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:eek: what happened later?
After a second of "that did not just happen" shock, I found the proctor and he tried fixing the computer but ultimately I had to move to a new one. My test started back up exactly where I left off but I finished the biology section with only 2 minutes to spare vs my normal 15-20 minutes. I was pretty happy with my score so ultimately that + the hot room were probably only marginal distractions...which is why the OP shouldn't worry too much about working under extreme conditions ;)

(I was really mad at the testing center though..computer probably shut off cause it overheated!)
 

rolliespring

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After a second of "that did not just happen" shock, I found the proctor and he tried fixing the computer but ultimately I had to move to a new one. My test started back up exactly where I left off but I finished the biology section with only 2 minutes to spare vs my normal 15-20 minutes. I was pretty happy with my score so ultimately that + the hot room were probably only marginal distractions...which is why the OP shouldn't worry too much about working under extreme conditions ;)

(I was really mad at the testing center though..computer probably shut off cause it overheated!)
Wow.... glad you finished on time and didn't have to retake.
 
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my advice dont be so extreme, try training maybe with a little noise but thats about it. I had no distractions during my exam. I didnt do as well as I planned because i took it a week after my finals and 2 days before leaving for a summer research program and I was stressed out because of other things. try assimilating test day conditions as much as possible and you'll be fine. the ideal number of practice tests is ~10
 

BlueLabel

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Maybe knowing the material will get a person a score good enough for your school, but to score mid thirties and above you need to go beyond that. You need to know how to apply the material, to synthesize and use it in situations you've never seen before. The mcat is a thinking and reasoning test. Memorizing material will only get you so far.
Aggressive and totally unwarranted response. But yeah please continue to lecture and belittle AdCom members who are gracious enough to spend some of their precious free time on this site.

Ha, we don't need them anyway! Not when we've got the wisdom and experience of Captain Sisko around!!!
 
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Maybe try to take in in as close to the same conditions as test day. Like set up a quiet area, same time as your scheduled exam, or heck, have a set of clothing you wear just to take it. It'll create memory associations to help you remember on test day. "Oh, it's 8:00 am. I should be doing physical sciences now."
 

Captain Sisko

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Remembered what my momma said about not saying not nice things.

My opinion, blue label. Didn't claim anything else.
 
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inycepoo

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Aggressive and totally unwarranted response. But yeah please continue to lecture and belittle AdCom members who are gracious enough to spend some of their precious free time on this site.

Ha, we don't need them anyway! Not when we've got the wisdom and experience of Captain Sisko around!!!
That wasn't even aggressive lol. You should know what true aggression is on these forums. tsk tsk. :naughty:
 

BlueLabel

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Remembered what my momma said about not saying not nice things.

My opinion, blue label. Didn't claim anything else.
Nice edit.

That wasn't even aggressive lol. You should know what true aggression is on these forums. tsk tsk. :naughty:
You're right, "aggressive" was a bridge too far. But the poster expressed a clear disdain that should never be shown to people on the inside of the admissions process. Without them, and of course helpful contributions from med students and others further along in medical training, pre-allo is a wasteland of pre-med neuroticism, solipsism, and myopia (cf. OP). We should welcome and encourage the contributions of folks like Goro who obviously don't need to be here, not lecture them about how their school isn't "good enough". That's just ridiculous and obscene. Although Sisko may have had a valid point to make, the attitude and presentation in which it was packaged made it completely unacceptable.

I realize you're being lighthearted but I really do feel like this is something worth taking exception to.
 

Captain Sisko

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Nice edit.



You're right, "aggressive" was a bridge too far. But the poster expressed a clear disdain that should never be shown to people on the inside of the admissions process. Without them, and of course helpful contributions from med students and others further along in medical training, pre-allo is a wasteland of pre-med neuroticism, solipsism, and myopia (cf. OP). We should welcome and encourage the contributions of folks like Goro who obviously don't need to be here, not lecture them about how their school isn't "good enough". That's just ridiculous and obscene. Although Sisko may have had a valid point to make, the attitude and presentation in which it was packaged made it completely unacceptable.

I realize you're being lighthearted but I really do feel like this is something worth taking exception to.
To be fair I didn't say his school wasn't good enough, but without starting a battle royale it's well known that goro is at an osteo school. I don't have their stats but I'd put money on their 90th percentile mcat being lower than mid thirties. I also think that as much as we want to debate goro's contributions to pre-allo (see deleted post... oh wait nvm) he probably hasn't taken the mcat and can't really comment in this thread.
But to your point, he is volunteering his time. I shouldn't have been so aggressive, which i kind of was with that little swipe. Still though, I had a message in that post that went beyond goro's shot from the hip response.