acetylmandarin

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I'm currently working full time while studying for the September 9th MCAT, and I just spoke with my boss about getting time off. He is letting me off on Fridays until my exam, and I can also leave early on some days. This helps, because I have to commute an hour to get to work (and an hour back).

I'm worried about CARS and P/S due to my AAMC FL 1 score, which I just took over the weekend:
Total: 507
Chem/physics: 130
CARS: 123
Bio: 128
P/S: 126

I also thought my biggest weakness was chem/physics, because I don't really feel confident in my ability to do calculations. Apparently, according to my scores on other practice exams, I usually do okay in that section.
Of course, I'm also worried about bio too. I have never felt that confident with the metabolic pathways (self taught them, and I haven't really touched them for awhile), so I'm just worried my weaknesses will show up on my real exam.

Pretty much, I feel like there is more information I should go over for those sections, but due to the fact that my exam is coming up, I also feel like I should triage my efforts on my weakest sections.

I still have this material left to get through:
AAMC psych section bank
20 questions of AAMC bio section bank
Bio #2 q pack
CARS #2 q pack
AAMC flashcards
Entire AAMC official guide
AAMC FL 2


I also think I still have NS exams 2, 5, and 6.


So, what should be the most important material for me to triage?
I need to finish reviewing AAMC FL 1 still, as well as my physics q pack answers.

I have about 3 weekends left where I can do practice exams, and I guess I'll do AAMC FL 2 1 or 2 weekends before my real exam.
Not sure what days/times my boss will let me leave early at this point (will find out tomorrow), but without leaving early, I have about 1.5-2 hours to study per day on weekdays (excluding Friday)



Summary: Should all of the AAMC material be top priority for me to get through? Or are some much more important than others?
For example, I've seen lots of people say its important to do the section bank numerous times.
So would it be more beneficial for me, for instance, to spend a weekend repeating section bank material rather than doing one of my other NS exams?
 
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Gilakend

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I can't fully advise you as I haven't taken the real exam yet but I've been told the Qpacks are recycled questions from the old MCAT and are therefore the least important of the AAMC materials. This excludes the CARS Qpack as that's new.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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I can't fully advise you as I haven't taken the real exam yet but I've been told the Qpacks are recycled questions from the old MCAT and are therefore the least important of the AAMC materials. This excludes the CARS Qpack as that's new.
You're testing in a few days right? What have you done in your final weeks?

And thanks, I'm just trying to gauge what the best plan of attack is since I'm working and probably won't get through everything
 
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Gilakend

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Aug 24, 2012
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You're testing in a few days right? What have you done in your final weeks?

And thanks, I'm just trying to gauge what the best plan of attack is since I'm working and probably won't get through everything
Correct, I test 8/18. I focused on SB then did AAMC 2. I felt the SB helped me tremendously. I scored much better on AAMC 2 and I credit than mainly to my SB usage. In the last few weeks I've been doing a lot of passages and thoroughly reviewing and taking notes over all the AAMC stuff. I feel good on my reasoning skills but I think my content cold be better so currently I spent today and will spend tomorrow hitting some concepts I don't have down 100%, memorizes some final things or just making sure I can recall them such as physics equations, TCA, glycolysis, etc. Tomorrow I'll do some more content stuff, I'll probably spend a good chunk of my day looking at orgo since that seems to be what everyone says to look out for but also going to do some other things that I personally need to hit. Wednesday I plan on doing some passages again from the SB but timed this time and some CARS Qpack timed and if I don't get anything in tomorrow I'll try to get it in Wednesday. Thursday I'm going to try to take it easy. Maybe study lightly in the morning then relax the rest of the day and just try to recharge and get my mind right.

That's pretty much it for my last few weeks. I think the last few weeks are much more personal than the beginning is. At the beginning everyone needs content review, third party practice tests, etc. The last few weeks should be polishing all your skills and hitting your weak areas in my opinion.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Correct, I test 8/18. I focused on SB then did AAMC 2. I felt the SB helped me tremendously. I scored much better on AAMC 2 and I credit than mainly to my SB usage. In the last few weeks I've been doing a lot of passages and thoroughly reviewing and taking notes over all the AAMC stuff. I feel good on my reasoning skills but I think my content cold be better so currently I spent today and will spend tomorrow hitting some concepts I don't have down 100%, memorizes some final things or just making sure I can recall them such as physics equations, TCA, glycolysis, etc. Tomorrow I'll do some more content stuff, I'll probably spend a good chunk of my day looking at orgo since that seems to be what everyone says to look out for but also going to do some other things that I personally need to hit. Wednesday I plan on doing some passages again from the SB but timed this time and some CARS Qpack timed and if I don't get anything in tomorrow I'll try to get it in Wednesday. Thursday I'm going to try to take it easy. Maybe study lightly in the morning then relax the rest of the day and just try to recharge and get my mind right.

That's pretty much it for my last few weeks. I think the last few weeks are much more personal than the beginning is. At the beginning everyone needs content review, third party practice tests, etc. The last few weeks should be polishing all your skills and hitting your weak areas in my opinion.

Well good luck on your exam! Good to know that the SB helped you so much. I'm going to finish that out (just have a little bit of the bio/biochem one, and then the whole psych one), but I don't know if I should repeat it or not, or spend my time doing something else like doing a 3rd party exam.
 

Gilakend

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Well good luck on your exam! Good to know that the SB helped you so much. I'm going to finish that out (just have a little bit of the bio/biochem one, and then the whole psych one), but I don't know if I should repeat it or not, or spend my time doing something else like doing a 3rd party exam.
Definitely the section bank again over any third-party material. I haven't really done it yet, and I won't redo all of it but I've been told you won't remember the answers. Plus it is good just to see how the AAMC is thinking and what information to pay attention to when reading passages


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Gilakend

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Definitely the section bank again over any third-party material. I haven't really done it yet, and I won't redo all of it but I've been told you won't remember the answers. Plus it is good just to see how the AAMC is thinking and what information to pay attention to when reading passages


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Let me clarify, I would be doing the section banks again if I had time but I did not give myself enough time to. From what I've been told it's always good to take AAMC material again to see if you actually retained what you learned.


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Do all the AAMC material if you can squeeze it in. I don't see a point in re-doing section bank as long as you took notes of the concepts you got wrong. They are only representative of a small portion of the actual test and I think your time is better spent reviewing and patching up the content gap you uncover as you are doing the AAMC material. Personally, I ran out of time and didn't even finish the chem/phys section bank and it didn't hurt me too much, so I think one run through it is enough.

Spread out that CARS question pack so you get a little bit of AAMC CARS practice each day over the course of the three weeks.

I also recommend doing a practice test each weekend so you get the timing down and build up the endurance for the actual test.
 
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acetylmandarin

acetylmandarin

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Do all the AAMC material if you can squeeze it in. I don't see a point in re-doing section bank as long as you took notes of the concepts you got wrong. They are only representative of a small portion of the actual test and I think your time is better spent reviewing and patching up the content gap you uncover as you are doing the AAMC material. Personally, I ran out of time and didn't even finish the chem/phys section bank and it didn't hurt me too much, so I think one run through it is enough.

Spread out that CARS question pack so you get a little bit of AAMC CARS practice each day over the course of the three weeks.

I also recommend doing a practice test each weekend so you get the timing down and build up the endurance for the actual test.

I was considering doing the CARS Q pack in large chunks, maybe 4 or 5 passages at a time, since I got stressed out and messed up my timing on the AAMC FL. Just to make sure I can maintain my timing if I come across a stressful passage, but you have a good point. If I do it in large chunks, I will probably run out of CARS material quickly. I also have the official guide CARS stuff
 
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