Posted for a member
Hello, I hope this question is nuanced enough to gain a response:
I am an older student, married with kids. I did well as an undergraduate (3.93 cum), but took a long time to finish and was a non-science major. After taking science classes, I only achieved a 3.1 BCMP, which I think is mostly due to not knowing how to study properly for "big picture" science courses. I would study for hours and hours and only reached a B level in most classes with one swing (Physics) to a C and a couple swings upward to A's. I was always the last to finish tests or simply timed out.
I am the type of student who can read a page and have to read it many times before the information actually sinks in. This isn't just with science, it is with other things, too (i.e. leisure reading, especially fiction). I was diagnosed with ADD as a child and have shifted into some OCD type habits (i.e. excessive cleaning habits). My point is that I think this is all connected, and sometimes I just get stuck and can't pull myself out.
I am worried that I will not be able to become an efficient enough test taker to succeed in medical school. I only achieved a 24 on the MCAT, mostly because I did not finish any of the sections (including the writing sample which I actually managed to hit the matriculant median on despite some spelling errors which I did not have time to correct, but stared at despairingly as time ran out). I am worried that I will fail Step 1 if only because I do not finish it. I have so much anxiety when taking these kinds of tests that I either panic and don't read the passage portions completely enough or am too deliberate and run out of time. I am willing to work hard to correct this, but don't know how to start to train myself to get better. I have already been accepted to medical school and will start in the fall. I just don't want to fail. I think I will probably be able to do really well on anatomy, biochemistry and memorization classes (I actually scored As in Orgo, Biochem and Calc), but failing board exams will nullify all of that. Do you have any suggestions on self help books I can read, strategies or methods that might help me?
I was thinking about restudying for the MCAT just to improve my test-taking skills and then keeping the new score if I feel I do well (to improve my options for school). But, perhaps I should just take the acceptance I have and work from there? Any thoughts would be appreciated.