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Plateauing??

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Cerberus

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I am starting to feel like the MCAT q's I am missing are due to my own stupidity and not lack of knowledge. This is really frustrating because it makes it harder to improve. I did TPR passages from their "in class compendium" all week (given i did them mostly while traveling to and from crew practice and while traveling the 10 hours to florida, ergo my mind wasnt totally there) and seemed to be missing 1 to 2 per passage. The problem was that the ones I was missing were the ones that didnt really seemed to be based as much on scientific knowledge as they were on test taking skills.

*edit* the spelling of "plateauing" looks wrong but I checked it at dictionary.com and it was right.

*editII* I see no reason for the above edit, perhaps I didnt sleep enough this week.

*editIII* the above edit was also unnecesarry - as is this one*

*editIV* I think I need a nap
 

An Yong

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I found myself plateauing also... it seems to me that once you hit above ten on each section its really hard to improve. Mainly because, as you pointed out, getting above 10 means you can only miss like 1 question per passage... which by itself is really difficult to do. What really scares me is the verbal because my scores fluctuate the most in that section AND its not exactly something you can study for like in physical sciences or biological sciences.
 

farley is god

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Originally posted by An Yong
its not exactly something you can study for like in physical sciences or biological sciences.

I find that to be the most difficult part about it. It's hard to motivate myself to study when it seems like there's no more room in my brain left for learning.
 

DD214_DOC

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I forget the actual term for it, but we went over this in a psych class. Learning is not linear. Let's assume knowledge comes in units. Initially you spend one hour to acquire 5 units of knowledge. You're happily studying along getting a 5:1 ratio of knowledge per hour studying. Eventually, however, this will "plateau" and you will begin to only acquire 3 units of knowledge per one hour studying.

A few weeks pass and you're getting 0.25 units of knowledge per hour studying. You guys can probably imagine what the plot of this would look like.

If you want an example, consider playing the piano. Everyone can become pretty decent at playing the piano after roughly investing the same amount of time. I think the average time invested to become proficient in any skill is 10 years, but I'm not certain. To become truly great, the echlon of that area, would require MANY MANY years total. After 10 years, it takes much longer to see any improvement in your skill compared to when you first began.

This is why the people who score really high on the MCAT are typically just good at taking exams, and perhaps a little lucky. A few, however, have probably studied a year or more in advance.

The moral: it's probably futile to study months in advance for the MCAT because eventually you will stop learning efficiently. Concentrate more on actually taking the test than trying to memorize material for it.

This is also why I haven't started studying yet. I'm gonna hit the MCAT books starting tomorrow, though, and nail the eMCAT practice exams in a couple weeks. I will probably do fine.
 

farley is god

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Originally posted by JKDMed
I forget the actual term for it, but we went over this in a psych class. Learning is not linear. Let's assume knowledge comes in units. Initially you spend one hour to acquire 5 units of knowledge. You're happily studying along getting a 5:1 ratio of knowledge per hour studying. Eventually, however, this will "plateau" and you will begin to only acquire 3 units of knowledge per one hour studying.

A few weeks pass and you're getting 0.25 units of knowledge per hour studying. You guys can probably imagine what the plot of this would look like.

If you want an example, consider playing the piano. Everyone can become pretty decent at playing the piano after roughly investing the same amount of time. I think the average time invested to become proficient in any skill is 10 years, but I'm not certain. To become truly great, the echlon of that area, would require MANY MANY years total. After 10 years, it takes much longer to see any improvement in your skill compared to when you first began.

This is why the people who score really high on the MCAT are typically just good at taking exams, and perhaps a little lucky. A few, however, have probably studied a year or more in advance.

The moral: it's probably futile to study months in advance for the MCAT because eventually you will stop learning efficiently. Concentrate more on actually taking the test than trying to memorize material for it.

This is also why I haven't started studying yet. I'm gonna hit the MCAT books starting tomorrow, though, and nail the eMCAT practice exams in a couple weeks. I will probably do fine.

Good luck with that strategy.

Also - hilarious unofficial FAQ hahaha :thumbup:
 

confewshz

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Cerb, I have not used it yet, but some people have said that the "Kaplan 45" book is good for those who have reached their "plateau" with other materials. There is a new 2004 edition out to (dont know the different betwene that and the prior 2002 edition). Anyhow, it may help.
 

superdevil

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yea, what JKDMed is saying is absolutely true. i don't know the psych term for it either, but in econ its the "law of diminishing returns."

public service announcement (directed at cerb):

if you only miss 1-2 per passage on the alternate-universe-difficulty crap TPR puts out when your "mind wasn't totally there," that bodes well for you. chill. you're starting to sound like the academic hypochondriacs on JKDMed's Unoffical FAQs. i'm sure you'll keep improving (even if its not exponentially) and my predicted cerb MCAT score: 35.

there, how's that? ;)
 

Cerberus

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Originally posted by superdevil
yea, what JKDMed is saying is absolutely true. i don't know the psych term for it either, but in econ its the "law of diminishing returns."

public service announcement (directed at cerb):

if you only miss 1-2 per passage on the alternate-universe-difficulty crap TPR puts out when your "mind wasn't totally there," that bodes well for you. chill. you're starting to sound like the academic hypochondriacs on JKDMed's Unoffical FAQs. i'm sure you'll keep improving (even if its not exponentially) and my predicted cerb MCAT score: 35.

there, how's that? ;)

Well I certainly hope for a 35 and fully admit that I am in neurotic premed mode. You just must realize that I am only in neurotic premed mode because um... i enjoyed the last few years of college :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 
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