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practice test the day before the MCAT

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by junkct, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. junkct

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    A lot of people say not to take a practice test the day before the MCAT. I was just wondering why this is. I'm going back to school in a couple days and I've saved a couple practice tests, which I wanted to take once per week. However, I'd like to take one on the day before my mcat (since that works out best with my schedule). Bad idea?

    Also, I was planning to do 2-3 VR sections per week. I think timing is my biggest issue, so I really like doing the full test in one go, but many people have suggested doing 3-4 passages everyday instead of 2-3 tests every week. I'm trying to keep my VR score stable or improve maybe a point, so what would be better?

    thanks
     
  2. futuredoctor10

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    It really depends on you. If you think you can handle it go for it. For me, it was much better taking the day OFF the day before my MCAT except for minor review of some content areas and quick practice questions to keep my mind fresh.

    Many people including myself don't take a practice the day before the MCAT because of fears it will drain energy too close to the actual test. Plus, post-test analysis takes a long time too. Trying to do a test + analyze it in one day is alot of hours and for me I didn't want to spend that much time studying/reading the day before the test.

    I think doing the full section tests. Timing is so critical on the exam, and doing mini-sections (3-4 passages at one go) will lose the feel of the real VR.

    If you feel you don't have enough section tests, try to find more OR spread out when you take your VR tests.
     
  3. Steako

    Steako Forgot about D.R.E.
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    Yes, it's a bad idea to take a practice test the day before your test. Think about it, you're taking all these tests, ideally you're getting a consistent score. Then, you take a practice test the day before your test and it's an anomaly and is lower, how do you think that will affect you? Do you really want doubts in your mind before you go into your actual test?

    In addition, you want to be fresh for the test, not tired from taking a practice test the night before.

    I always tell students to not even think about the MCAT the day before.


    You can always practice timing without doing an entire test. Remember, you're doing the test in 70 or 60 minute chunks. It will be more efficient to work on sections where you need help, and you can work on the timing there. Remember that Verbal timing will be slightly different than the science sections
     
  4. SN2ed

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    Always take a break day before your MCAT. Your brain needs rest. Although you might not realize it, taking consecutive tests does wear you out. The last thing you want on your test day is burnout.

    Practice and rest are equally important when preparing.
     
  5. junkct

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    So how soon before the actual test do you recommend taking your last practice test? I did want to take it earlier in the week, but that week is chock-full of exams for me, and I won't be done with exams until thursday night (my test is saturday morning). So I figured doing my last practice test on friday would pretty much be my only option, since that week will be moreso dedicated to school :(
     
  6. SN2ed

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    If you have exams all that week, you should probably reschedule.
     
  7. swamprat

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    i also think its a bad idea. im taking it in january and i plan on taking my last practice test the weekend be4 the test. then i have classes that week, probably will continue to do some broad content review and maybe a few EK verbal sectional exams if i feel i need to
     
  8. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
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    I say take your last practice test 3-5 days before your MCAT.

    I always feel drained after taking one.


    I did do some practice passages the day before to stay warm.
     
  9. junkct

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    yeah, I considered that, except the march date would be during exam time as well (all hail the quarter system) and the april test date is just too late for me (in case I want to retake). And in all honesty I feel ready, pretty happy with my scores and everything.. if I had my choice, I'd take it next weekend and get it done with, so postponing would prob be a bad idea for me.

    I guess I didn't say this before, but I don't have classes on friday, so if I were to take the practice test, it would be on friday morning (probably at 8am since by that time I would've hopefully gotten myself into the habit of waking up at 6 :thumbup:), and then I would take the rest of the day off to relax. Practice tests generally don't take THAT much out of me that I can't reenergize within a few hours, so idk if this makes a difference, but this is what I was thinking. Thanks for the replies!
     
  10. futuredoctor10

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    If this is the case take it in January and get it done!!!
     
  11. SN2ed

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    The problem is no one thinks they're burning out. Then their scores slip. Take the break, especially because of the tests. I don't know how an April test date would be late. Even if you had to retake, you still wouldn't be late. By the way, it's a bad idea to plan for a retake anyway. However, if you're ready, you're ready.
     
  12. junkct

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    yeah, I'm scheduled for Jan 31st.
     
  13. junkct

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    yeah, that's a good point. I think more than anything I just want to be done studying for this darn thing. That and my kaplan online access expires in February
     
  14. Steako

    Steako Forgot about D.R.E.
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    What about talking to professors about the exams? I had an exam the day of my MCAT (Friday testing date), my professor didn't even let me finish my question before telling me I'd take it the next week. However, I do realize it may be a long shot.

    As for the last practice test, I'd say 2 days before is fine.
     
  15. Tekbright510

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    I would not recommend taking a practice the day before the test. There are quite a few reasons why I think you should not. Many, such as burnout and fatigue, have been mentioned.

    Another major reason why I see little sense in doing so is that you may be wasting a practice exam because you probably will not have the time/energy to go over the entire test in detail to see why you made mistakes. You should be doing this with every practice test you take. Otherwise, you will get little benefit from practice exams.

    On the day before, I looked over my formulas, rehearsed my mental and timing strategies and attempted to get some sleep. Your hard work has already been put in by that point.
     

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