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Pros/Cons to spacing out AAMC's

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Dreams01, 05.19.14.

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  1. Dreams01

    Dreams01

    Joined:
    01.07.14
    Messages:
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    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    I am not new to studying the MCAT and have many difficulties coming to finding the right strategy to ace it.
    I am thinking down the road for my exam in August 7 and trying to schedule how I should space out my AAMC's.
    Two possible and popular ways are - 1. 1 month to go, space out all 8 AAMC's (Like Sn2ed) 2. 2 months out, space 1 once a week (Like Spinach's method).
    There are pros and cons to each side of the story, however I have not succeeded myself so I need assistance from experienced others to open my eyes to problems I could face doing either or. I want to be as efficient as possible this time around, and will ask others than go with my gut feeling.

    Thanks
     
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  3. NextStepTutor_2

    NextStepTutor_2 MCAT Tutor Exhibitor 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    04.29.14
    Messages:
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    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN
    Exhibitor
    I tend to push for once a week for a few reasons. First, it gives you an opportunity to set aside your test day and time as that consistent practice test day of the week. This is a physical test as well as a mental one so don't underestimate the importance of getting your body in that optimal testing mode. Taking the AAMCs at the same time and day as your actual test can make a huge impact on how prepared you feel on the big day. In my experience with MCAT prep, I've also found burnout to be a huge issue and not one that many people think about. This test is a marathon and you don't want to risk feeling worn out by the time test day rolls around. This of course varies by person but if you have the time to spread out your practice tests, it would certainly help prevent burnout. I'd also like to point out that simply taking the AAMC tests is not helpful without heavy analysis. You need to know why the right answers are right and the wrong answers are wrong for EVERY question if you want to feel prepared for this test. This is where the critical thinking is built. The act of taking the practice test is only the start of the process. If you don't give yourself enough time to do that for each practice test in its entirety, you could miss out on valuable opportunities to build experience with the test. Finally, there are so many passages and question banks out there that there is no need to cram in practice tests more than once a week. You can be more effective with your time and avoid burnout by doing those between the practice tests.
     
    Dreams01 and clairephillips like this.
  4. clairephillips

    clairephillips 2+ Year Member

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    @NextStepTutor_2 , that was majorly helpful. Thank you so much! Would you recommend that even if there are still major content gaps you are working on filling in?
     
  5. NextStepTutor_2

    NextStepTutor_2 MCAT Tutor Exhibitor 2+ Year Member

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    Definitely. Content and critical thinking are two separate things to work on and the AAMC tests help more with critical thinking and gaining overall experience with the test. In terms of major content gaps, I'd recommend supplementing with a content-heavy set of books. The Berkley Review comes to mind as a set that would be ideal for major content gaps. If you have the time to commit, they are quite comprehensive.
     

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