Jul 16, 2009
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Hey so Im just starting to study for the MCAT and was wondering what you guys might have got on your (1)first practice exam, (2) your final or last practice exam before the MCAT, and finally (3) your actual MCAT score. Also, any and all advice pertaining to how to improve scores will be appreciated.
 

ksmi117

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First practice test - 30, highest practice test - 37, final practice test - 33, real deal - 40. My best advice to improve on scores:

PS - Don't read the passages. Look at the graph and skim. Read the questions then go find the answers.

VR - I can't be much help here, sorry.

BS - While doing practice stuff or even just reading content review stuff, try and make sure you understand WHY things are happening. The MCAT tests your ability to deduce reasons for experimental outcomes which makes it hard for those used to just memorizing biology stuff. For this, practice is all you can do. When you are reading stuff, go slowly and ask yourself probing questions about the material. That way when the tests asks the same type of questions, you'll already have an answer in your head.
 

Hemichordate

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First practice test - 30, highest practice test - 37, final practice test - 33, real deal - 40. My best advice to improve on scores:

PS - Don't read the passages. Look at the graph and skim. Read the questions then go find the answers.

VR - I can't be much help here, sorry.

BS - While doing practice stuff or even just reading content review stuff, try and make sure you understand WHY things are happening. The MCAT tests your ability to deduce reasons for experimental outcomes which makes it hard for those used to just memorizing biology stuff. For this, practice is all you can do. When you are reading stuff, go slowly and ask yourself probing questions about the material. That way when the tests asks the same type of questions, you'll already have an answer in your head.
Did you take a prep course?
 

Jayhawker07

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Apr 14, 2009
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I personally find that when doing VR it helps me to actually read the passage to myself under my breathe. By actually speaking the words as you read it seems to help you focus and retain the info. I know that if I sit and just read all the passages in my head I find my mind starting to wander off and I don't know what I've just read, so actually saying it keeps my brain focused on it. Plus it seems as though I can remember the details better and do less searching in the passage while answering the questions.
 

dragon529

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I heard the PS nowadays are more passage oriented..? So I think spending 1-2 minutes reading the passage first is a good idea.
 

Jayhawker07

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I just took a FL and on one of the PS passages I somehow didn't realize that I hadn't scrolled down all the way so I only read half the passage (I realized later and went back and looked during my analysis and I had missed a graph and an explanation about a 2nd experiment). BUT none of the questions had anything to do with the 2nd experiment or graph. Sometimes they throw in information that isn't needed to answer the questions. So I think it's really a personal choice whether to read the whole passage first or not. I do, but I haven't had any trouble with timing so far. It's just what works best for you!
 

ksmi117

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I just took a FL and on one of the PS passages I somehow didn't realize that I hadn't scrolled down all the way so I only read half the passage (I realized later and went back and looked during my analysis and I had missed a graph and an explanation about a 2nd experiment). BUT none of the questions had anything to do with the 2nd experiment or graph. Sometimes they throw in information that isn't needed to answer the questions. So I think it's really a personal choice whether to read the whole passage first or not. I do, but I haven't had any trouble with timing so far. It's just what works best for you!
This is why I suggest just skimming first. PS passages have SO MUCH extraneous information. I think it's better to get a feel for the passages, look at the questions, and then read what you need to. By no means, do I mean that you should answer the questions without reading the important parts of the passages. You just don't wanna waste all your time on the unnecessary parts of the passage.