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MoosePilot

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Why does everyone think that with studying, they're going to get a 35? If that was the case, a 35 wouldn't be very competitive.

If you're asking what your chances are and you haven't taken the MCAT, please don't assume you'll get a 35+ unless you also got around a 1500 on the SAT. Take a diagnostic test and then you'll know the neighborhood you're looking at. If the average is in the high 20s, then that should tell you something.
 

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Yes it is pretty presumptuous. I am also annoyed by people who talk about how good they are or did in every other post.
 

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Studying does make a huge difference if the problem is one of poor science preparation or poor test-taking strategies. It's less effective if the problem is with critical thinking skills, which take longer to develop. I don't think that one's SAT scores have anything to do with it.
 

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There have been a few 30+ MCAT posts, and the common denominator was that those people worked really hard to prepare.
 
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QofQuimica said:
Studying does make a huge difference if the problem is one of poor science preparation or poor test-taking strategies. It's less effective if the problem is with critical thinking skills, which take longer to develop. I don't think that one's SAT scores have anything to do with it.
Really? I do. I could be wrong. I think that there's a set of skills that basically falls under "standardized test talent". For the SAT/ACT, that's enough. For the MCAT, you have to combine that with a real knowledge of the material.

testing skill alone = low 30s
knowledge alone = low 30s
testing skill + knowledge base = mid 30s on up depending on how much of each and luck on test day

My opinion only, but it's rare to find the folks who got low SAT and high MCAT, where find the low GPA high MCAT crowd to be almost the norm (not really, but lots of us).
 
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cfdavid said:
There have been a few 30+ MCAT posts, and the common denominator was that those people worked really hard to prepare.
That's because that's definitely a factor. However, to get 35+ takes more than just preparation in my mind. There's an amazing difference between 31 and 35+ in my opinion. This is all my opinion, I can't say that too much, but I think some people will just plain top out in the low 30s or even the high 20s. It takes some natural test taking ability to push into the high 30s up.
 

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MoosePilot said:
That's because that's definitely a factor. However, to get 35+ takes more than just preparation in my mind. There's an amazing difference between 31 and 35+ in my opinion. This is all my opinion, I can't say that too much, but I think some people will just plain top out in the low 30s or even the high 20s. It takes some natural test taking ability to push into the high 30s up.

I think it is possible to get a 35 if you study and without having had a super high SAT. That is if you put your heart and soul into studying for the MCAT and train your self to get used to the standardized style of the test through numerous passages from workbooks and numerous practice tests.

I knew a girl that a 31 after having 12 on her first diag and went up 19 pts.

A guy whom I know that is now in med school, was not always the smartest person. He had 8 F's believe it or not, when he was younger, it took going to the navy and getting straightened out for him to get very disciplined and study hard to get straight A's for 90 credit hours after getting out of the navy. Yes that's 3 years worth of work. In that time, he also spent like 3 months studying for his MCAT for like 30 hours a week full time in the summer and got a 37N.

I also know someone whom once had a 2.6 gpa in undergrad but is now 39 and learned how to critically think not because he was some naturally good test taker, but because work experience taught him something. He got a 35 without studying for the test at all.

And then I know a girl that sat in the MCAT 3 times before taking the real deal and really studied seriously this past summer and 34. Guess what she barely has a 3.0, and only has had a 4.0 in the last 2 yrs' cuz 8 yrs ago she didn't do so hot at her undergrad.

So don't make presumptions that studying won't allow you to do well on the MCAT. All of the above exemplifies my point that studying can pay off. And that there isn't always a correlation between SAT and the MCAT


P.S. test taking skills can be learned through practice from diagnostic tests and workbooks, in learning how to get used to the MCAT style. That is not something that can't be learned cuz if you do enough practice you get used to to the time limits and learn to use strategies of test taking and how to approach problems, etc.
 
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gujuDoc said:
I think it is possible to get a 35 if you study and without having had a super high SAT. That is if you put your heart and soul into studying for the MCAT and train your self to get used to the standardized style of the test through numerous passages from workbooks and numerous practice tests.

I knew a girl that a 31 after having 12 on her first diag and went up 19 pts.

A guy whom I know that is now in med school, was not always the smartest person. He had 8 F's believe it or not, when he was younger, it took going to the navy and getting straightened out for him to get very disciplined and study hard to get straight A's for 90 credit hours after getting out of the navy. Yes that's 3 years worth of work. In that time, he also spent like 3 months studying for his MCAT for like 30 hours a week full time in the summer and got a 37N.

I also know someone whom once had a 2.6 gpa in undergrad but is now 39 and learned how to critically think not because he was some naturally good test taker, but because work experience taught him something. He got a 35 without studying for the test at all.

And then I know a girl that sat in the MCAT 3 times before taking the real deal and really studied seriously this past summer and 34. Guess what she barely has a 3.0, and only has had a 4.0 in the last 2 yrs' cuz 8 yrs ago she didn't do so hot at her undergrad.

So don't make presumptions that studying won't allow you to do well on the MCAT. All of the above exemplifies my point that studying can pay off. And that there isn't always a correlation between SAT and the MCAT

You're totally confusing the correlations I'm talking about. You mentioned all of these people's GPAs, but none of their SATs (or other standardized tests).

I'm not saying that there is a perfect correlation between other standardized tests and the MCAT. However, I do believe people who are not good testers will have a very difficult time approaching total improbability of exceeding a 34 on the MCAT.
 

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MoosePilot said:
You're totally confusing the correlations I'm talking about. You mentioned all of these people's GPAs, but none of their SATs (or other standardized tests).

I'm not saying that there is a perfect correlation between other standardized tests and the MCAT. However, I do believe people who are not good testers will have a very difficult time approaching total improbability of exceeding a 34 on the MCAT.

My point is that if you take enough diagnostics and learn the style and learn to get used to it and see what you may have initially been doing wrong, you can learn to adapt yourself to MCAT style and be prepared for the test.

Oh and by the way none of the above people had good SAT's. Which was my other point, if you read my post more carefully.

So that correlation is not of any relevance.
 
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gujuDoc said:
My point is that if you take enough diagnostics and learn the style and learn to get used to it and see what you may have initially been doing wrong, you can learn to adapt yourself to MCAT style and be prepared for the test.

Oh and by the way none of the above people had good SAT's. Which was my other point, if you read my post more carefully.

So that correlation is not of any relevance.
Ok, two of your examples meet my criteria (greater than or equal to 35) and I'll tell you straight out that I don't believe someone who doesn't excel at standardized tests got a 35 without studying at all.
 

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MoosePilot said:
Ok, two of your examples meet my criteria (greater than or equal to 35) and I'll tell you straight out that I don't believe someone who doesn't excel at standardized tests got a 35 without studying at all.

Ok maybe the example you are talking of didn't meet that criteria. But the guy whom taught my MCAT class with like several failures from his youthful years, after studying his life away for 3 years plus MCAT didn't get what he got by getting a good SAT score which I know for a fact that he didn't.

But rather by studying like 30hr/week.

He also did a lot of outside reading which dramatically helped his verbal and then adjusted himself to getting used to the style of the Verbal by analzying books with essays in them for their main point and attitude of the author.
 

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I've already seen a big difference in how strategy can really help out. I took the MCAT 10 years ago, and got a 28 (10V, 9P, 9B). I had this attitude like, "It's just a standardized test. Not much you can do to prepare." So, I studied from textbooks, did a few practice AAMC's, and that's about it. I did study, but I was doing crap like long stoichiometry problems from texts etc. I didn't have a clue (my own fault). I didn't practice verbal at all other than the few practice tests, and I didn't even bother to analyze what I did wrong.
I had NO timing skills when it came to the real deal (again, my own fault due to my attitude at the time), and I remember scrambling at the end to fill in a bunch of C's, so I could finish. How dumb.

So, just practicing your timing alone should help improve. Verbal is truly an art. For the sciences, I think that getting used to the passages, and sorting through what they are really asking, can help in a big way.

Who knows though. I take the MCAT this April, and I really hope it will pay off. But, at the very least, timing, and confidence will improve from hard preparation. I hope that's worth a few points anyway.
 

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cfdavid said:
There have been a few 30+ MCAT posts, and the common denominator was that those people worked really hard to prepare.
That was the common denominator that got talked about in those posts. Moose's point, with which I and others agree, is that there is another common denoinator that most folks choose not to emphasize: nearly everyone who scores very well on the MCAT is a very good test taker (and, arguably, very intelligent).

It is beyond presumptuous to operate on the assumption that, because your GPA is good and you are going to study hard, you will achieve a score that many other people whose grades are good and who study hard find to be unattainable. It is foolish. You need to have realistically achievable (though still high for you) expectations, so you can tailor your actions toward maximizing the likelihood of reaching your (reasonable, let's hope) goal. As the moose guy says, if you didn't crank a 1500 or so on your SAT (or maybe a bit lower than that if you took it before 1996, when ETS made the scale friendlier), you have no particular reason to believe you can outperform just about everyone you know on the MCAT. Take that practice test, and see where you are right now. Assume that twelve points improvement relative to an actual AAMC practice test, or maybe fifteen from someone else's (e.g., TPR's), is the practical upper limit for self-study or a prep course. (I am assuming you can achieve with self study the sort of improvements my best students see, somehow, in a full TPR course. I believe a full course -- anyone's -- may increase the upper bound on improvement; you may disagree, and I may be wrong. I'm sure it increases the expected value of students' improvements, but that may be primarily by promoting a rigorous approach to study, which we are assuming regardless. Hard to say, as all the data, including AAMC's, show only correlation rather than causation, and are seriously flawed by selection biases. But I digress.) And remember, too, that not everyone reaches that upper bound -- not even all the people who study their butts off.

Shrike
TPR physics, verbal, bio
 

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One clarification to the above: I said practical upper bound. There will always be outliers, and they're the ones people remember and talk about. Yes, you might be one, too. You might improve twenty points. Hell, you might improve thirty. But probably not.
 

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<gulp> Guess I'm your outlier, then, Shrike and Moose. I didn't score anywhere near 1500 on the SAT. :oops: My SAT score is respectable, but nothing to write home about; it's nowhere near as good as my MCAT score. I have attributed this to the fact that I didn't study for the SAT at all, and I studied like crazy last summer for the MCAT. Though admittedly, my evidence for stating that one's SAT score doesn't correlate with one's MCAT score is completely anecdotal, and has a sample size of one, namely me. :p :laugh:
 
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QofQuimica said:
<gulp> Guess I'm your outlier, then, Shrike and Moose. I didn't score anywhere near 1500 on the SAT. :oops: My SAT score is respectable, but nothing to write home about; it's nowhere near as good as my MCAT score. I have attributed this to the fact that I didn't study for the SAT at all, and I studied like crazy last summer for the MCAT. Though admittedly, my evidence for stating that one's SAT score doesn't correlate with one's MCAT score is completely anecdotal, and has a sample size of one, namely me. :p :laugh:
I'm curious what your SAT score is. I just posted 1500. I didn't get that high either. I just did well enough on that and the ACT with little enough effort to know that I was a good test taker. Why would I get a higher SAT/ACT score than friends who I knew from constant contact in an academic team setting knew more than I did? I decided it was standardized test scores. I went through 6th grade with a sub 1.0 gpa, yet still consistently scored in the 99th percentile on standardized tests.

Being a good standardized tester is not generally enough to get you a really high score on the MCAT, but not being a good standardized tester is usually enough to keep you from getting a high MCAT. If you think otherwise, feel free to post your SAT or ACT then your MCAT score. Enough samples and I'll be proven wrong.
 

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You know what, I'm going to give you one more case of why I don't completely agree with your correlations.

I know someone in my highschool years, whom I found out is here at USF med school now. Anyhow, when I knew him like 6 yr's ago, he had just come from India to America, so his English was very poor and he did not do so well on the SAT. In fact, I don't believe he even got a 1270 which was the minimum to get a full 100 % bright futures scholarship.

Guess what, he got a 35 through hard work through his college years, on his MCAT and got into med school just fine.

Yes to some extent there is truth that there is skills needed to learn how to take the test. However, if one puts their soul into it those skills are things that can be learned through practice tests and noticing patterns in how the tests are written and learning how to accomodate through the time period. The same can be said about the SAT/ACT. Many people don't really prepare for the SAT which is why they do horrible. Because most people know they can get in some university with a sub par score. But most premeds study harder for the MCAT because it is much harder to get into a school unless you have the magic number 30 or near there.

Furthermore, I would like to point out that the two tests can't be compared also because of the way they are scored. One is scored on how many you get right vs. wrong, where points are actually taken off for wrong answers, while the other is based on how many you got right in comparison to those whom had the same form as you. So it really depends on how everyone with that form did relative to one another to determine your score.

Even the best standardized test takers didn't just magically have that skill. It was something they developed from a young age because they read many books at a younger age and in the process developing their reading comprehension skills. No I'm not saying it can be learned over night how to take a standardized test. But with several months of practice tests and verbal tests and reading a lot of outside reading and teaching yourself how to critically think about the story while going and seeing what you were getting wrong on practice passages and workbooks etc. While training yourself to get used to the time limits and endure the 8 hr long test, I think a person can do it.

The key is not what you got on your former standardized tests sooooooooo much as how focussed you are.

I noticed that many people have told me this, and this is true of my self too, but......

Many people have a tendency to let their mind drift on and not be able to endure the length of the test. So really what it comes down to is staying focused 100% of the time.
 

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chicagomel said:
Big deal if somebody thinks they can score a 35 -- let them think it. It might make them study harder if they have a goal in mind. It's their business.

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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The Indian tester - his score wasn't lack of testing talent, but an unfamiliarity with language. Those two things are intimately connected, but I think distinguishable.

You can believe whatever you want. I think studying does determine your score on the MCAT to a huge degree. Much more so than the SAT. I just think your testing ability is going to contribute to your maximum.
 

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MoosePilot said:
Being a good standardized tester is not generally enough to get you a really high score on the MCAT, but not being a good standardized tester is usually enough to keep you from getting a high MCAT. /QUOTE]

I'd say test skills will get you as far on the MCAT as they would on something like the SAT. As long as you've got some bare minimum competence with the material, it's all about being able to use it. My score didn't reflect the depth of my knowledge, that's for sure - but it reflected the amount of time I spend with a #2 pencil in hand, and was a dead-on match for my SAT scores.

But then, I believe that test-taking skills can be learned. You can't memorize them off a list, like you would with endocrine hormones or something, but you can figure them out with enough practice. It's not like people are born with the scantron gene. :smuggrin:
 

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MoosePilot said:
You can believe whatever you want. I think studying does determine your score on the MCAT to a huge degree. Much more so than the SAT. I just think your testing ability is going to contribute to your maximum.

testing ability improves with practice. nobody is born with a super ability to take a multiple choice tests. as you learn more strategies and styles, you can become a fine test taker. can you prove that test taking ability is congenital? And I know a lot of American native english speakers who have trouble with the verbal section, so "unfamiliarity with language" isnt much of a factor.

I was scoring in the low 20s when I took my practice mcats, not because that I didnt know my material, but more due to my burgeoning test taking ability. I ultimately got a score in the 30s and got into a US allopathic school.

Current mcat students: practice, practice, practice...this will help you to manage time, quickly identify wrong answers, quickly find the correct answer...ultimately letting you acheive a good pace without losing accuracy. Good luck EAS!
 

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ASDIC said:
testing ability improves with practice. nobody is born with a super ability to take a multiple choice tests.
I suppose there's a nature/nurture problem regardless whom you look at, but once people are old enough to start taking tests, some really are very good at it without practice. The people who do ace the SAT haven't all prepped for it. Those who do do very well without preparation are, according to the moose guy (and I agree) the ones who can reasonably expect the great MCATs. The rest can hope, but not expect, to do very well.

My own experience is, like so many others' not-terribly helpful single data points, only mine, but it is consistent with the suggestion that SAT and maximum MCAT are correlated. (unprepped SAT 1580, back when the test was hard; unprepped MCAT 36S; semi-prepped MCAT 38T)
 

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Just adding my scores, make what you will.

PSAT - 970, SAT 1250, MCAT 35+
 
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Sunflower189 said:
MoosePilot said:
Being a good standardized tester is not generally enough to get you a really high score on the MCAT, but not being a good standardized tester is usually enough to keep you from getting a high MCAT.
I'd say test skills will get you as far on the MCAT as they would on something like the SAT. As long as you've got some bare minimum competence with the material, it's all about being able to use it. My score didn't reflect the depth of my knowledge, that's for sure - but it reflected the amount of time I spend with a #2 pencil in hand, and was a dead-on match for my SAT scores.

But then, I believe that test-taking skills can be learned. You can't memorize them off a list, like you would with endocrine hormones or something, but you can figure them out with enough practice. It's not like people are born with the scantron gene. :smuggrin:
Well, there are some knowledge things I tend to class under "superior standardized test taking skills". Reading comprehension is not something that most people pick up in college, in my experience. Maybe that's not true of non-science majors or not true of other people, but most of my reading comprehension was set before I started college.

Knowledge based stuff, like formulas, anatomy, physiology - those are the skills that help determine your score, but fall outside standardized testing talent.
 

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gujuDoc said:
You know what, I'm going to give you one more case of why I don't completely agree with your correlations.

I know someone in my highschool years, whom I found out is here at USF med school now. Anyhow, when I knew him like 6 yr's ago, he had just come from India to America, so his English was very poor and he did not do so well on the SAT. In fact, I don't believe he even got a 1270 which was the minimum to get a full 100 % bright futures scholarship.

Guess what, he got a 35 through hard work through his college years, on his MCAT and got into med school just fine.

Yes to some extent there is truth that there is skills needed to learn how to take the test. However, if one puts their soul into it those skills are things that can be learned through practice tests and noticing patterns in how the tests are written and learning how to accomodate through the time period. The same can be said about the SAT/ACT. Many people don't really prepare for the SAT which is why they do horrible. Because most people know they can get in some university with a sub par score. But most premeds study harder for the MCAT because it is much harder to get into a school unless you have the magic number 30 or near there.

Furthermore, I would like to point out that the two tests can't be compared also because of the way they are scored. One is scored on how many you get right vs. wrong, where points are actually taken off for wrong answers, while the other is based on how many you got right in comparison to those whom had the same form as you. So it really depends on how everyone with that form did relative to one another to determine your score.

Even the best standardized test takers didn't just magically have that skill. It was something they developed from a young age because they read many books at a younger age and in the process developing their reading comprehension skills. No I'm not saying it can be learned over night how to take a standardized test. But with several months of practice tests and verbal tests and reading a lot of outside reading and teaching yourself how to critically think about the story while going and seeing what you were getting wrong on practice passages and workbooks etc. While training yourself to get used to the time limits and endure the 8 hr long test, I think a person can do it.

The key is not what you got on your former standardized tests sooooooooo much as how focussed you are.

I noticed that many people have told me this, and this is true of my self too, but......

Many people have a tendency to let their mind drift on and not be able to endure the length of the test. So really what it comes down to is staying focused 100% of the time.
Are you serious? That is one of the most confusing/counterproductive arguments I've ever heard. To say that ACT/SAT and MCAT scores aren't correlated is pretty ridiculous because they are both correlated with intelligence. You can always say, I know a really smart guy that made a 25 on the MCAT or I know a guy with a 1000 SAT and a 35 MCAT, but there is always some crazy story about people who don't prepare for one and then work much harder on the other. Preparation obviously must be taken into account, but the fact that most people prepare much more for the MCAT than the SAT doesn't suggest the correlation isn't there. How about this: There are 2000 people, 1000 made a 1500 on the SAT and the other 1000 made an 1100. Both groups are now taking the MCAT. You have the opportunity to wager on which group will have the higher average score on the MCAT. Would you say you don't have enough information to make a wager? Because I think any rational person would bet everything they have on the 1500 SAT group.
 

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I don't really understand why it bugs you, MoosePilot. You took the MCAT, what, 3 times? And you improved 5 points as you progressed? Obviously, it wasnt an increase in innate intelligence, it was a result of 1. learning better test taking skills and 2. more time spent studying. I think people SHOULD believe that studying will help them score better, because it will result in greater knowledge for the MCAT, but more importantly, greater confidence as they head into the MCAT. Sure, some people are setting themselves up for failure, but not all of us are...
 

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SanDiegoSOD said:
I don't really understand why it bugs you, MoosePilot. You took the MCAT, what, 3 times? And you improved 5 points as you progressed? Obviously, it wasnt an increase in innate intelligence, it was a result of 1. learning better test taking skills and 2. more time spent studying. I think people SHOULD believe that studying will help them score better, because it will result in greater knowledge for the MCAT, but more importantly, greater confidence as they head into the MCAT. Sure, some people are setting themselves up for failure, but not all of us are...

This is my point exactly.

Moose,

Not everyone is saying they will get a 35. But you know what, never say never, cuz it is possible to do really well if you put everything into it.

I will tell you that my friend whom got a 37N on the test studied for several months like a full time job in the summer and still thought he failed the test and almost voided it.

Guess what through reading several philosophy and essay books and analyzing them to help his verbal and from doing workbooks and practice tests a lot went up by 14 points from his first diagnostic score with 13's in sections.

You are right about one thing, that it does involve test taking and analytical skills, but I disagree that it is correlated with SAT.

I think it is correlated with how much one puts into reading comprehension skills which can only be learned through reading.

The reason many nontrads do better than younger folks are cuz in their experience away from school they learned to read a lot of different things and developed greater analytical skills that came through the work place more than by anything else. Those skills were developed over time.

For more traditional students those skills were often things we should have learned as a child, which is why when you talk to people whom have read a lot and took advanced programs in younger age, you will find they do better.

But this is not an innate thing. It was developed through reading comprehension.

This argument reminds me of the tortoise and the hare story.
 

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One reason I'm a little uncomfortable with folks who link the SAT/ACT with MCAT (some folks actually have formulas, though I'm not accusing you of this, Moose), is that you're comparing apples and oranges.

Though they're both standardized tests, the SAT/ACT are _apptitude_ tests whereas the MCAT is a _content_ test. This means that the SAT does not test your knowledge of particular areas, but tries to predict your ability to learn such things.

What I think this means is that if you do poorly on the SAT/ACT through no outside fault (hangovers, poor English, etc.), the odds of you nailing the MCAT are pretty reduced. But if you do great on the SAT/ACT, this is an indication that you have the _aptitude_ to do well on the MCAT. Whether or not you do comes down to practice, prep and loads of study.
 

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well i got a 1540 on my SAT and a 18 on my mcat.... :p i relied on my good test taking skills for the mcat..bad idea..you do have to be a good test taker, but you have to know the material. this time i am studying my a** off for the mcat..see if it makes a difference, which im sure it will...so my opinion, high SAT has nothing to do with a high MCAT..no correlation whatsoever.. :thumbdown: which sucks...
 

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One other reason as to why I would not correlate ACT/SAT to MCAT is because of the nature of the way they are graded.

The SAT is graded in such a way that if you get a question wrong then you get points wrong for it. However, the exchange rate is that there is no bell curve to be graded on.

On the other hand, with the MCAT you know there is always going to be only a certain percentage of people who get a certain score because it is all relatively dependent on the people whom take your form of the test, since you are graded against your peers.

So therefore, at any given time it will depend not only on how much you know and how much you have good test taking skills but also on some degree of luck that your form is graded easier than the other forms. What i mean by this is that generally more difficult forms get graded a bit easier than forms that are easier, because people may tend to get a lesser percentage of correct questions on something that is tougher. Therefore, the score of someone with a harder form may be graded a bit differently than that of someone with an easier form.
 

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gujuDoc said:
One other reason as to why I would not correlate ACT/SAT to MCAT is because of the nature of the way they are graded.

The SAT is graded in such a way that if you get a question wrong then you get points wrong for it. However, the exchange rate is that there is no bell curve to be graded on.

On the other hand, with the MCAT you know there is always going to be only a certain percentage of people who get a certain score because it is all relatively dependent on the people whom take your form of the test, since you are graded against your peers.

So therefore, at any given time it will depend not only on how much you know and how much you have good test taking skills but also on some degree of luck that your form is graded easier than the other forms. What i mean by this is that generally more difficult forms get graded a bit easier than forms that are easier, because people may tend to get a lesser percentage of correct questions on something that is tougher. Therefore, the score of someone with a harder form may be graded a bit differently than that of someone with an easier form.
If you are joking, it's pretty funny that you fooled everyone for so long. If not, that's one of the dumbest arguments I've ever heard. Here's a correlation: If your MCAT score correlates with your posts on this thread, you definitely scored below 30 and probably below 25.
 

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willthatsall said:
If you are joking, it's pretty funny that you fooled everyone for so long. If not, that's one of the dumbest arguments I've ever heard. Here's a correlation: If your MCAT score correlates with your posts on this thread, you definitely scored below 30 and probably below 25.

Wow you are a total ass, and as per my score, that is none of your concern. I assure you it in no way correlates with your opinion of my posts.

But I do believe reading comprehensive skills can be learned with a lot of reading and do help a great deal in this test, in addition to understanding material.

Believe it or not, many of the people I know whom have gotten 35+ will tell you the same thing.

As per SAT/ACT correlation, well you can say whatever you want but you know what, the two tests are graded in a totally different manner and one is based on bell curve while the other is based on a totally different system.

Second off, as someone else pointed out, one is sole aptitude, while the other actually requires aptitude and understanding and that is a fact.

He11, just look at Nena's post. By far she falls into Your and Moose's category of a 1500 plus SAT. Yet, I don't see her score anywhere near the national average.

I really have to wonder why it makes any such difference to people like you and Moose about what others hopes are. You all already took the MCAT and passed, so why don't you just go on with your damn business and application process and leave the people whom are currently studying for the MCAT and what not alone. Frankly, I don't see what makes you guys think you are sooooo much better than people based on one numerical score

If you were in my homeland, your MCAT score would look pathetic, because where I'm from that test is nothing compared to what they give you. Frankly, if you want a correlation of intelligence. I'll give you a correlation of intelligence. A true correlation of intelligence is far better seen in a system where there is no multiple choice bull**** but a you really know it or you don't know it written test. If you want correlations of intelligence try testing for 3 days straight just to pass college and get a degree through some very hard national exams. Try learning how to learn all these things like math that you use fancy calculators and computers for with the use of tables and lack thereof technology. Then I'll give you some credence. But as far as I'm concerned I don't believe there is any true complete correlation between standardized testing and intelligence with the kind of testing systems they used here. There are people whom have been on this board with lesser scores than most, and still did very very well once they got to medical school and in many cases at the very top of their class through hard work. So don't give me that bull**** of yours.

Frankly, I don't see what it is to you or to your buddies Shrike and Moose what others hope to achieve. Go mind your own business and do your thing and let others do theirs.

As per Moose and Shrike,

Shrike, if you aren't applying to med school, why are you worried about what other people think of the test and about getting so high? Do you feel you have something to prove? What about you Moose? What is your problem with other people hoping to achieve a good score? As someone pointed out it took you three sittings on that test to get a 36.

One more thing to Withall,

I have known at least 4 or 5 nontraditional students in the past year that got a 34+ as well as personally know the woman whom got the 43S. With the exception of the last case, the others were not always stellar students.

In fact some of them barely had a 3.0 because at my age they were not as studious etc. etc. nor did they do extremely well on their MCAT. However, life experience contributed a great deal to focus and learning true analytical skills in the workplace. As a result, when they came back to school they did much better and got both high grades and high MCAT scores. The one person whom has had 3 interviews in florida, barely had a 3.0 because she failed some classes from 8 yrs before, but as a nontrad got a 4.0 and a 34 on her MCAT. Another guy, had a 2.6 as a business major, but got a 4.0 in his sciences at an age of 39, and a 35 on the MCAT. There are other stories similar to that one, and the one thing they all have in common is that time and age contributed to better focussing skills and analytical skills. So don't tell me my arguments are false. Because what I say is what I've seen from personal experience talking to students in my area, not stuff I just made up out of the likes of an over imaginative mind.

As per the SAT and MCAT. Well first off, let us look at a couple of things. If you want to compare MCAT to any highschool entrance exam, it is better correlated with the ACT which actually has a science section. SAT, however, is totally aptitude based. And I'm not the only one whom has seemed to point that out to you and others on this board. MCAT however is aptitude plus test taking skills plus knowledge of science classes, etc.

Second off, I was told by my former MCAT teacher and TPR test center that the MCAT was graded in such a way that you are graded against the people whom have your form of the test. So looking at the scenario of a difficult form of the test vs. easier form of the test, if the group of students with harder form of the test get say only 50 right vs. those with the easier form getting 65 out of 77 right, then the curve for the test with the harder form is set based on the number of questions that were correct. Overall scales are set by adjusting scores of the different tests at the end. At least this is what others told me last summer at the Tampa Princeton review test centers.

Therefore, you are never going to see a very high number of people whom are at any of the extremes. However, that does not mean that studying won't pay off and that the possibility of getting a high score is diminished. Several of the cases that I have known have done exactly that, taken several practice tests and done their workbooks til they understood each and every passage and it quite dearly paid off.
 

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willthatsall said:
Are you serious? That is one of the most confusing/counterproductive arguments I've ever heard. To say that ACT/SAT and MCAT scores aren't correlated is pretty ridiculous because they are both correlated with intelligence. You can always say, I know a really smart guy that made a 25 on the MCAT or I know a guy with a 1000 SAT and a 35 MCAT, but there is always some crazy story about people who don't prepare for one and then work much harder on the other. Preparation obviously must be taken into account, but the fact that most people prepare much more for the MCAT than the SAT doesn't suggest the correlation isn't there. How about this: There are 2000 people, 1000 made a 1500 on the SAT and the other 1000 made an 1100. Both groups are now taking the MCAT. You have the opportunity to wager on which group will have the higher average score on the MCAT. Would you say you don't have enough information to make a wager? Because I think any rational person would bet everything they have on the 1500 SAT group.

Absolutely not true at all. My brother got a 1560 on his SAT, but if he was to go sit in on the MCAT today I don't think he would get a 35 easily because of his own laziness to care about studying. As I said in my other really long post, you want a correlation of intelligence, then try living in India for awhile, then you'll see just how hard things can really get. Standardized tests in this country are nothing compared to what people like my father went through at indian institute of technology.
 

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Look, I've been posting on here for quite a while now, and I think most people would agree I'm not a troll. I'm just trying to figure out how you can even say some of the things you say and not be joking. A lot of your statements are totally ridiculous. I know you make long posts and you probably lose your train of thought, but do you even read some of the stuff you write before you post it? Things like, "My brother got a 1560 on the SAT and probably wouldn't get high on the MCAT if he took it right now because of laziness and lack of studying." Are you serious? That's such a terrible argument. What does one person being lazy have to do with a correlation? I assume you realize that a correlation doesn't mean that every person with a high SAT will get a high MCAT. It means that, on average, a person with a higher SAT will score higher on the MCAT. Sure, if one person with a low SAT prepares far more for the MCAT than a person with a high SAT, the person with the low SAT might very well score higher on the MCAT. Again, that's not a valid argument against a correlation. It's an isolated case that explains one particular instance. A better assumption is that over a large sample of test takers, preparation will be fairly constant. To say you don't think that people with an SAT of 1500 score better on average than people with an SAT of 1100 is unfathomable to me. Would you agree that people with an SAT of 1500 are, on average, more intelligent (or at least better test takers) than those with 1100? And if so, wouldn't you imagine that people who are more intelligent (or at least better test takers) tend to do better on the MCAT? Again, how much someone prepares will not throw off this correlation because over a sample size of 50,000 or so people, you have to assume it will even out. I don't see how you can disagree with this logic. And what are you talking about bell curves for? Stuff like that just blows my mind as to how it is even close to being relevant. Not only is it not relevant, but which one of these tests isn't on a bell curve? So you are saying that most people make an 700 or a 1500 on the SAT, but only a few make a 1000? Or are you saying that everyone makes either a 35 or a 15 on the MCAT, but not many people make a 25? I think if you check the statistics you will find that both of them present a nice bell curve. Again, not that it has anything to do with the discussion that was taking place.
 

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I'm saying that it was explained to me by several people at my university that your overall score is dependent on how others with your test form do, because you are scored against those whom take the same form as you do to determine what your scaled score will be which is also why they tell you to guess since there is no penalty for wrong answers, the sense of point deduction. So they take the number of questions that you got right in a section of the test and compare it with how others who had the same form of the test did in that same section. Then they give you your scaled score by how you did in comparison to the rest of the people. Why do you think there are slight differences in what the AAMC practice exams consider a 9 vs a 10. This is the reason why one practice test has a 66 out of 77 as say an 11 while on another practice test it may be a 12.

The other thing my MCAT teacher told to me, and also proven by examining the scaled scores of the practice exams........is that to go from a 8-9 or a 9-10 in a given section is a question of getting 4-5 questions more right. But to go from a 12-13 or 13-14 is a question of getting 1 or 2 more questions right.

But to get back to the point. Final score is determined by competing with everyone in the test center. The ladies at my test center even pointed out that we would be competing with each other.

SAT on the other hand, is competition and scaled to an extent. however, its means of being graded are based on a set number of questions as being the determining factor between say a 700 and 800. That is not the case for the MCAT. A 60 out of 77 could be a 12 on one test for instance, but be 13 on another test administration.

For instance if you get a question wrong, you get like 2 points off for each question that was wrong. I believe that's the way it was years ago when I took the SAT. But that was a long long time ago and SAT format has changed since then.

You still clearly don't understand what I mean about MCAT scores and bell curves.
 

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First of all, it is widely believed that the MCAT curve is already set before it is administered, so your information is not totally accurate. All of the questions have been used as experimental questions in previous administrations and the statistical information from the previous administrations is used to determine the difficulty of the sections. So the scales for a test are basically set before the MCAT is given. This explains why the average biological sciences scores have risen nearly a point over like 10 years. Also, the average cumulative score for the April administration is always about a half a point to a point higher than for the August administration. If the curves were determined according to how people do compared to the other people taking the test at that time, the average score would always be the same for each administration. And again, the SAT is set up in much the same way; the score distributions of both the MCAT and the SAT surely exhibit bell curves. Secondly, I still don't understand how any of that impacts the argument of a correlation. Things like how the tests are scored and whether or not points are deducted for incorrect answers have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not there is a correlation. The reason I think you are joking is because you continue to spew random ideas that have no relevance and pretend it is a convincing argument.
 

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gujuDoc said:
But to get back to the point. Final score is determined by competing with everyone in the test center. The ladies at my test center even pointed out that we would be competing with each other.
You really think that your final score on the MCAT is determined by competing with everyone in the test center? So the MCAT is scored with a sample size of like 100, and every test center is re-centered to have the same score distribution? You probably think you made a 20 because the rest of the people in your testing center just happened to do really well, right? You have got to be kidding me. If the ladies in your test center said that, they are morons right along with anyone who believed it.
 

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willthatsall said:
You really think that your final score on the MCAT is determined by competing with everyone in the test center? So the MCAT is scored with a sample size of like 100, and every test center is re-centered to have the same score distribution? You probably think you made a 20 because the rest of the people in your testing center just happened to do really well, right? You have got to be kidding me. If the ladies in your test center said that, they are morons right along with anyone who believed it.

Well I only pointed out what was told to me. If I'm wrong well I don't really know, but I was told exactly what I told you. So excuse me for living. But no is isn't random BS that I made up, this is exactly what was explained to me by both people at TPR and other students whom took the MCAT.

So if you want I'll ask again because that was what I was told last summer.
 

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gujuDoc said:
Well I only pointed out what was told to me. If I'm wrong well I don't really know, but I was told exactly what I told you. So excuse me for living. But no is isn't random BS that I made up, this is exactly what was explained to me by both people at TPR and other students whom took the MCAT.

So if you want I'll ask again because that was what I was told last summer.
I doubt more than one person told you that because it is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. The fact that you believed it goes a long way towards explaining the idiocy of most of your statements.
 

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willthatsall said:
I doubt more than one person told you that because it is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. The fact that you believed it goes a long way towards explaining the idiocy of most of your statements.
You know what, you are a total ass. I'll assure you that is what was told to me by several students where I live. If you don't believe me that is fine.

I really don't give a damn.
 

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gujuDoc said:
You know what, you are a total ass. I'll assure you that is what was told to me by several students where I live. If you don't believe me that is fine.

I really don't give a damn.
People say a lot of stupid things, it doesn't mean you have to believe them. Let's set up a scenario: There is a testing center on the campus of Duke with 100 people and a testing center with 100 people at a state university. On test day, the people at Duke have much higher raw scores on the MCAT, but they get the same scaled scores as the people at the state university testing center because the scores are determined by competing with others at the testing center. I assume you see the problem with that without having me explain it. I'm still not sure why you even brought up your bad information about how the MCAT is scored. It has nothing to do with the original topic. There's no way you scored above 25 on the MCAT with the reasoning and logic you have shown in this thread.
 

gujuDoc

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willthatsall said:
People say a lot of stupid things, it doesn't mean you have to believe them. Let's set up a scenario: There is a testing center on the campus of Duke with 100 people and a testing center with 100 people at a state university. On test day, the people at Duke have much higher raw scores on the MCAT, but they get the same scaled scores as the people at the state university testing center because the scores are determined by competing with others at the testing center. I assume you see the problem with that without having me explain it. I'm still not sure why you even brought up your bad information about how the MCAT is scored. It has nothing to do with the original topic. There's no way you scored above 25 on the MCAT with the reasoning and logic you have shown in this thread.

You know I don't give a damn about what you presume to think you know about me or my scores. As far as I'm concerned that is none of your business.


One more thing, there is a greater sample size than a 100 with a particular form of the test because some of the same forms are given at multiple test centers.

When the hurricanes happened in 2004, our MCAT was put off by 2 weeks for multiple test centers across the state each with about 100 or so students taking the MCAT there.

I'm talking like more than 10 test centers.

There were also only 4 forms of the test which had not yet been administered.

So really the distribution of the number of students with a particular test form is much higher than 100.
 

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Oh my god, you guys are all making my head spin! I am just thankful that none of you were the ones who wrote and scored the MCAT. :laugh: :scared:

Here is my understanding of how the tests are scored: normally, for each administration, you are scaled against everyone else taking the test at that time, not just at your test center, but everywhere in the country. willthatsall has a good point that it would be meaningless to only scale you against your fellow test-takers at your center or even in your state, but if you're being compared with 30-odd thousand people nation-wide, then it makes more sense that this would be true.

That being said, the people who took the postponed Aug. test in Florida numbered only about a couple of thousand. They were not scaled just against each other, but rather against previous testtakers from the year before (the booklets even said 2003 on them). I am sure of how these testtakers were scored, because the AAMC sent an email explaining this.

Finally, I would like to end by saying that in the whole scheme of things, your SAT score is irrelevant at this point if you're already in college. I agree that there would logically be a score correlation greater than zero, but it sure isn't anywhere near one. So my advice to all of you who have yet to take the test, is to not worry about how you scored on the SAT, stop reading these academic arguments on SDN, study hard for the MCAT, and go for the best score you can get. Good luck to all of the April test takers. :luck:
 

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Since this is nerds on the net, I wanted to give the biomolecular argument against the "innateness" of talents. (& therefore, defeat negativity, elitism, & defeatism)
Nobleist Eric Kandel & other Nuero types have elucidated molecular basis for the plasicity of the human brain. The key player is the NMDA receptor. Unlike most receptors that are either ligand OR voltage gated the NMDA receptor is both ligand & voltage gated. Therefore, the activation of surrounding nueron or the rapid firing of the same neuron will qualitatively change the effects of the release of neuro transmittor.
One of these effects is the activation of transcription factors leading to the growth of new neural connections. The heavy use of neurons literaly leads to the rewiring of the brain.
So Practice, Practice, Study & more Practice leads to higher scores by rewiring the brain.
OK talent still exists. The kid who got 1600 on the SATs can also practice etc. but there is a biological basis for the importance of perseverance.
 

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gujuDoc said:
The SAT is graded in such a way that...there is no bell curve to be graded on.
Where did you get this idea? The SAT is a standardized test just like the MCAT, which means that it is standardized to the test takers taking the test any given year. I.e. it is on a curve.
 

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gujuDoc said:
But to get back to the point. Final score is determined by competing with everyone in the test center. The ladies at my test center even pointed out that we would be competing with each other.
:laugh:







:laugh:



















:laugh: :laugh:
 

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I'm glad someone else is here to laugh. I've always heard that if you argue with an idiot for long enough, people will confuse who is the idiot. It makes me feel better to see that at least some people realize the stupidity of gujuDoc's comments. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but if your statements in this thread are an indication of your mental capabilities, you shouldn't be allowed in any med school.
 

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willthatsall said:
I'm glad someone else is here to laugh. I've always heard that if you argue with an idiot for long enough, people will confuse who is the idiot. It makes me feel better to see that at least some people realize the stupidity of gujuDoc's comments. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but if your statements in this thread are an indication of your mental capabilities, you shouldn't be allowed in any med school.

Look if I misunderstood how the MCAT was scored. Excuse me for living. I was only going by what the hell was told to me by other people. Not by some made up presumptions on my part. Ok. Forgive me for gods sake for making the mistake of believing people whom I thought were credible since some of them happened to have gotten 34 and above.

Anyhow, I'll assure you my mental capacity is well capable of handling med school. And you are nothing but an idiot looking for trouble because you are going to find out when you are in med school people don't take too kindly to gunners. And right now that is what you are coming off as. That and a total ass.


I'm going to leave this thread before you get me any fired up with your pathetic insults that you throw my way since you have nothing better to do with your time.
 

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gujuDoc said:
Look if I misunderstood how the MCAT was scored. Excuse me for living. I was only going by what the hell was told to me by other people. Not by some made up presumptions on my part. Ok. Forgive me for gods sake for making the mistake of believing people whom I thought were credible since some of them happened to have gotten 34 and above.

Anyhow, I'll assure you my mental capacity is well capable of handling med school. And you are nothing but an idiot looking for trouble because you are going to find out when you are in med school people don't take too kindly to gunners. And right now that is what you are coming off as. That and a total ass.


I'm going to leave this thread before you get me any fired up with your pathetic insults that you throw my way since you have nothing better to do with your time.
Are you in med school or have you already been accepted? If not, maybe the admissions committees aren't so sure that you are capable of handling med school. I didn't say you made anything up, but just because someone says something doesn't make it worth repeating. For instance, if someone had told me something so obviously incorrect (the MCAT being scored relative to the people in your testing center), I would have known they were wrong even without knowing exactly how the MCAT was scored. The fact that you couldn't figure out why that is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard suggests that you aren't a great thinker. And that is only one of the many stupid things you have argued in this thread. Things like bell curve, for example. I am pretty sure that you don't really understand what a bell curve is. Doesn't make you a bad person, but bringing it up out of context to try to support an argument is pretty stupid. And just the whole idiotic argument you made, making points that don't support your argument and stuff like that, really blew my mind about what you were thinking. I don't know if you just don't understand what a correlation is or if you just have poor logic and reasoning skills and can't decide which points will strengthen your side when you are trying to form an argument. You sounded so incoherent and ridiculous I really thought you could be joking after reading a few posts. I'm not sure how any of this makes me a gunner, I'm not worried about being the best at all. Unless I misunderstand the definition of gunner, nothing that I have said would suggest that's what I am. In all seriousness, though, I really think from arguing with you on this thread that your ceiling on the MCAT is probably less than 28-30, maybe far less.
 
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