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Overcoming MCAT burn-out

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Wahooali, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. Wahooali

    Wahooali The Real Sydney Bristow
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    Hey ya'll,

    I am taking the MCAT in two weeks [gasp, it's getting close]. But I have hit the wall, and am burnt out like none other. And I have tried taking a couple days off...then I'll get maybe a couple days of quality studying in and be spent/toast/dead/frustrated again. And I've tried making myself plow on through and sucking it up...but my scores reflect the fact that I really don't want to be doing this anymore so that is not going to be getting me anywhere. So, now I'm really starting to freak out because yes I have been working steadily for the past few months, but now it is time to practice practice practice and pull it all together and I can't seem to make myself do it! And I'm not where'd I'd like to be yet (close but not quite, so the confident "I CAN do this feeling" has not hit me yet), so I know I have a lot of work left to do, but I'm so burned out I cannot focus for the life of me. And I know the psycho pre-med in me can MAKE myself study and practice for the next two weeks, but like I said that isn't really doing me any good either because my scores are reflecting my burn out and lack of concentration.

    So, my question to you all is if any of you experienced this while preparing for the MCAT, and if so, how you overcame it those last few weeks, and if you have any inspirational stories to share of improving a lot day of or doing well despite your burn out (or anything that might give hope to the scared little MCATers :scared: out there). Thank you so much.
     
  2. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    I experienced that feeling last week after finals ended for me. I had no motivation for the MCAT. What got me back into the swing of things was actually taking practice exams and seeing improvement. The improvement somehow fuels me to study more and encourages me.

    Plus, just remember that there are only two more weeks left. Give it your best and then you can be totally lazy after the MCAT! ;)
     
  3. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    help me too:(
     
  4. felipe5

    felipe5 Fingerpickin' Good
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    hey guys,

    well, if it makes you feel better, there is a whole damn country full of MCAT'ers that are experiencing the same amount of burn-out. As the time starts nearing down, I suggest that you try and curb the franticness (is that a word?) of your study pace....start just concentrating on what you really need work on, and spend some time reviewing the rest in a laid back manner. By all means, don't start freakin' out and panic the week before the test......

    I kind of feel this way about taking a normal test.......ever go into a test you have been worried for/studied for awhile, and about 15 minutes before the test, you look around and see people freakin' out, frantically thumbing through their notes? I find this to be quite detrimental.....sure you could argue that the 15 minutes of panic-study actually help you by reminding you of some equation or something, but I think it works to add stress to the already stressful situation. The best advice is to chill out and relax...you've worked hard already, and the end is near soon!!!! Think of how nice it'll be to do stuff without the massive weight of the MCAT looming above you? Trust me, its sweeeeet:horns:
     
  5. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
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    Make a CD of the most absolutely awesome, rockin', pump you up music that you can find.

    Go for a long drive, walk or run with the music blasting and psych yourself!

    As far as studying goes, just take a practice test every other day to keep in shape. Review the answers you got wrong, but don't freak out. There is no way to know everything. Right now the MCAT is more of a mental endurance game for you if you have adequately reviewed the material.
     
  6. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    I think you should relax for atleast the two days immediately prior to the MCAT. Cramming is bad anyway but more people do poorly because they psysked themselves out and lost it during the exam than because they didn't memorize an equation.
     
  7. canada

    canada Member
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    i took it really easy for the last two weeks. i'd go and study but only for 3 hours and then the rest of the day i hung out with friends and walked around the city.

    i basically got down to 0 hours studying up to the mcat and i think it really helps. you've already been studying for a couple months now and know your stuff. start easing off slowly now.

    the music idea someelse mentioned seems to be a pretty good idea too.

    good luck
     
  8. usmaple

    usmaple Senior Member
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  9. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    Seriously, I remember how tasking on my endurance and mental stability that test was. And Yes, I do remember summoning the inner Psycho Pre-Med within to get me through!

    Take one day to dissappear from society. Go driving, as was suggested above. Take one day to drink yourself into a stupor. Find your partner and suggest having an entire day for a beatle's style "love-in". Anything that will relax you. But what is important is that you have a day to step out of the process and reflect and gain some broader perspective on this whole thing.
     
  10. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    Awesome, and most excellent analogy. I will recommend this to my friends who are going through the process right now.
     
  11. Soccrtrela

    Soccrtrela i survived the 1st qtr
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    Hey Wahoo...

    Don't worry... I was in your shoes last year. Whatever you do, do NOT push yourself past your limit... or else the burn-out will be harder to overcome.

    If I were you, I would take a few days off. Say... until Tues or Wed, you won't even THINK about MCAT... then, when then end of your 3-day break comes around, think about whether you're ready to ease into studying again. If you've been working these last few months, you DO have enough information under your belt to still do well on the exam. If you take practice tests while burnt out, they may only be a source of discouragement, and you CAN DO BETTER than that.

    I'm Greek Orthodox, so the MCAT last year fell on the day before Easter, which is our biggest holiday... meaning that the MCAT was during Holy Week for me. That translates into an entire week of beautiful church services. For me, I felt this was the perfect, sort of methodical, preparation for me... I was very fortunate to have that "built in" to my pre-MCAT experience, since the church services really helped me ease my stress and put the MCAT in perspective of what really matters in life. I'm not extremely religious, but it's amazing what a few hours of quiet time every day before the MCAT can do for you. For all you MCAT takers, think of something sort of methodical activity you can do, whether it's just sitting in a park reading or going on a bike ride, or cooking or whatever.

    If you feel burn out, you must fight it by treating yourself. You need to be 100% mentally healthy when you take this test. Anyway, that's my 0.02....
     
  12. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    "Consider getting a leg massage no more than two days before the marathon."

    Good plan, I will get a great massage two days before I take it.
     
  13. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    LOL :laugh:
     
  14. brats800

    brats800 cheesehead
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    i tapered for all my big athletic races...now i love tapering for tests and finals...just feels so good to relax right before the test and let your head stop hurting ;)
     
  15. MoCookiess

    MoCookiess Hater of Biochemistry
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    My boyfriend is going to love this idea. :D
     
  16. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    One thing that I feel was beneficial about taking the MCAT is that I am a much better test taker in all of my classes. I have become a professional guesser; at which I can BS my essays better, and guess on MC answers within a 50% success range without studying. Expect to get straight A's without effort after the MCAT! ;) :laugh:
     
  17. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    Glad to help and offer a suggestion. Anything I can do to help a another person get an excuse to have a love-in day. ;)
     
  18. Wahooali

    Wahooali The Real Sydney Bristow
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    Thank you so much for the input, I really appreciate it. :) If anyone has anything else to add please chime in.

    And P.S. I'm a marathon runner so it is always nice to find a way to relate it to something I do. Actually wrote my PS about my first marathon and used that theme to describe my interest in medicine.
     
  19. Doctor Octopus

    Doctor Octopus Hospitalist
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    I went and saw The Kids in the Hall perform a live show 2 days before the MCAT. It was so funny that I temporarily forgot about the test. I suggest finding something like this to do.
     

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