Reflecting on MCAT prep and making sure I don't make the same mistakes for Step 1

2018throwaway

Probationary Status
Jul 1, 2017
7
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So I didn't do terrible on the MCAT, but I'm certain I did not maximize my score because of a few common shortcomings I've noticed while reflecting on my study experience

1.) Reading/reading comprehension- I don't believe my reading skills are the strongest. I'm a slow reader (passages took me like 4 minutes) and I don't always grasp the text on the first go. This was reflected in my low CARS score (128) although I never really worked on CARS too

2.) Memorization/Study strategies- My study habits were not great. It took me like 3+ months to get through 1 set of review books. This was partially due to procrastination and in the end, I only really had like 1-1.5 weeks to really look over the material to memorize (although I understood all of the content)

3.) Self-learning and memorization- Ties in with #2. For the MCAT, I had to learn anatomy, cell bio, genetics, etc on my own because I never took those courses (not a bio major). Also I never learned the psych and soc material well when I took the class. At least on practice tests, those were the areas that were mostly killing my score.

AFAIK, the step 1 is single question format, so I don't really have to worry about #1.

I've heard medical school teaches to the boards? Would I not have to worry about #3 then?

What are your tips for #2? I think I have a really good memory, I just don't know how to put it to good use

I know I'm not a medical student yet but I want to keep these in mind because changing habits will take a lot of time.
 

bashwell

5+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2013
1,934
1,951
Status
Resident [Any Field]
So I didn't do terrible on the MCAT, but I'm certain I did not maximize my score because of a few common shortcomings I've noticed while reflecting on my study experience

1.) Reading/reading comprehension- I don't believe my reading skills are the strongest. I'm a slow reader (passages took me like 4 minutes) and I don't always grasp the text on the first go. This was reflected in my low CARS score (128) although I never really worked on CARS too

2.) Memorization/Study strategies- My study habits were not great. It took me like 3+ months to get through 1 set of review books. This was partially due to procrastination and in the end, I only really had like 1-1.5 weeks to really look over the material to memorize (although I understood all of the content)

3.) Self-learning and memorization- Ties in with #2. For the MCAT, I had to learn anatomy, cell bio, genetics, etc on my own because I never took those courses (not a bio major). Also I never learned the psych and soc material well when I took the class. At least on practice tests, those were the areas that were mostly killing my score.

AFAIK, the step 1 is single question format, so I don't really have to worry about #1.

I've heard medical school teaches to the boards? Would I not have to worry about #3 then?

What are your tips for #2? I think I have a really good memory, I just don't know how to put it to good use

I know I'm not a medical student yet but I want to keep these in mind because changing habits will take a lot of time.
Don't worry, Step 1 isn't like the MCAT. Step 1 success is a lot more correlated with time and effort, in my opinion. Meaning the more time you spend on learning and understanding subjects for Step 1, then the more likely you'll do well. It's a "fair" test in that respect.

For study strategies and memorization, consider things like spaced repetition. See DocOssareh's videos for a general overview of other various strategies for med school, (though I don't agree with everything he says). Check out Firecracker and Anki (e.g., Bros deck) if you really want. In the end, you have to find what works for you.

That said, most people recommend UFAP (i.e., USMLE World, First Aid, Pathoma).
 
May 18, 2017
108
65
Buenos Aires
Status
Medical Student
perfect a study method. make sure it is an active one. i personally love feynman. I also use pomodoro method to not go insane when studying.
Become familiar with and used spaced repetition to know how often to review. you can do this with anki or form your own "algorithm"
Uw and FA will be the backbone of your prep. anottate your FA. In addition I used lecturio and dabbled in pathoma to clean up topics. Again try to annotate everything into one place (FA). makes it easier to review. Check out the sources people recommend before buying, it really is about individual preference and in the end an individual experience (the prep).

it is a effort = success test so take your time with it and you will do well.
 
About the Ads