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Scared!!

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Scorching, May 15, 2007.

  1. Scorching

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    Hi.. I'm a 32 nontrad hoping to apply this summer.. and am scheduled to take MCAT in about a month.. (June 15th)

    My problem is I just can't make myself study. I've practically forgot the materials I've studied so far since I didn't touch the book for like a month and a half.. and I've only got a month ahead of me... But I CAN'T make myself study. :scared:

    I get hot flushes and chills... as I sit to study... get so nervous about the materials I'd have to relearn... So I just end up reading novels and what nots instead of studying. :( and get so disgusted with myself.. for squandering the precious hours away.. been doing that for about a month and a half.. and thought it's about time I come out of it ... but it's like i'm under a spell or something :eek:

    Does anyone feel like that?
    Any advice?
     
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  3. menaniac

    menaniac Moxious!
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    Have you been out of school for the last 10 years with no prep or review for the MCAT? If so, I can see why you might be apprehensive! Have you taken a review class or audited the relevent classwork, or are you going in cold? Can't give good advice 'till I know more of where you're coming from...more background=better advice/pep-talk!
     
  4. Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    I agree with menaniac, we need a little more background here to give good advice. I'm also 32 and taking the dreaded MCAT tomorrow! When was your last class? Maybe you need some motivation and should delay your mcat and take a review course to give you structure.
     
  5. aimster

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    I would recommend a course if you haven't taken one to give you confidence. Then just focus on your weakest areas (one at a time).
    When I would start freaking out, I'd just take practice tests to distract me and then review what I missed.
     
  6. Scorching

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    Wow.. thanks..
    Graguated in 1998 in elementary education.. worked with children with special needs.. went back to school for pscy grad program...(to fulfill my psych undergrad level courses) in 2004 got accepted in 2005 left the program after a few months started community college ever since then until the december of 2006 when i was done with chem12 org12 phy12 and bio12.

    So.. technically I should have the contents fresh in my mind but MCAT I found MCAT thing a bit different from the school thing.. In my ignorance, I chugged along with text books in my preparation for a couple of months since February.. and I for the past about two months.. I've not touched the book..
    Well.. technically I've attempted but each time I found myself instead reading novels.. or going to the movie theater....

    There's my story...

    I feel so stupid that I just wasted away all the hours I could have studied...
    that I was so stubburn as to stick to the textbooks instead of the prep books... I'm just totally not liking myself.. .

    Someone told me that I'd never make it to the medschool since I lack perseverence.... as much as I hated the remark.. thesedays.. I'm can't help but ... :( ...
     
  7. Scorching

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    Wow.. thanks..

    Graguated in 1998 in elementary education.. worked with children with special needs.. went back to school for pscy grad program...(to fulfill my psych undergrad level courses) in 2004 got accepted in 2005 left the program after a few months started community college ever since then until the december of 2006 when i was done with chem12 org12 phy12 and bio12.

    So.. technically I should have the contents fresh in my mind but MCAT I found MCAT thing a bit different from the school thing.. In my ignorance, I chugged along with text books in my preparation for a couple of months since February.. and I for the past about two months.. I've not touched the book..
    Well.. technically I've attempted but each time I found myself instead reading novels.. or going to the movie theater....

    There's my story...

    I feel so stupid that I just wasted away all the hours I could have studied...
    that I was so stubburn as to stick to the textbooks instead of the prep books... I'm just totally not liking myself.. .

    Someone told me that I'd never make it to the medschool since I lack perseverence.... as much as I hated the remark.. thesedays.. I'm can't help but ... :( ...
     
  8. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. Emdee Jaydee
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    Scorching: I'm absolutely there with you. Fancy that, but I'm 32 as well, and am taking it on June 15th too. I've also had a similar problem. I was supposed to take it in mid-April, but wasn't getting enough MCAT studying done, and orgo II seemed to be taking too much time. So, I rescheduled for May 31st since my finals would be over on May 8th. BUT, orgo II took up all my time (and procrastination from studying (i.e., Tivo) took up the rest of it), so that by the time May 8th came around, I hadn't looked at an MCAT book in a couple of months and had fogotten a lot of it (even though I'd taken all the prereqs within the past year and a half!).

    So, I was finally studying like a maniac, 10 hrs a day for five days straight, and then two days ago realized that there was no way I would be prepared, so I postponed it to June 15th. I'm not allowing myself to postpone again, but I would suggest you might consider changing your date to mid-July if you can't get yourself in gear soon. The thought of walking in to take the MCAT and not being prepared is terrifying. Don't do it.

    Granted, changing your date to mid-July definitely won't help you study. Since I changed mine from May to June two days ago, I've only managed to study 6 hrs a day instead of 10, and my concentration has definitely been a little sketchy.

    So, while mine is not a success story, you might wonder how I even got from almost no MCAT studying to 10 hours a day. I needed a radical change since I'd fallen into really easy and evil habits. I needed to get out of my apartment, away from my Tivo, away from family and friends, and stop internet surfing. Even SDN can be evil. So, I rented a place out of town for three weeks to concentrate. I've never even turned on the TV here. And there's nothing to do when I want to procrastinate other than stare at a wall (which I do), or go on SDN (which I try to limit - but it's been hard the last two days). Or take my dog for a walk. My advice is to mix things up. Change your schedule/location. Move in with your parents for a few weeks if that might do the trick.

    Also, make a schedule and stick to it. I have the EK books, and for those first five days I studied 10 hrs a day, I forced myself to get through 3 chapters a day. No excuses. And I always rewarded myself if I met my goals. Use whatever you like. But be careful if it's something that might pull you back into old habits (like my problem with TV). Or, if none of the above work for you, sign up for a Kaplan or other course and take it in August. It's a big chunk of change, but I think it'd be worth it if you think it will keep you to a schedule and get you to study. And, since the scores are only a month turn-around, you'll be late, but if you do well it shouldn't be a deal-breaker. Or, do your best to prepare for June, and if you bomb it, re-take in August. But I wouldn't recommend taking it in June if you never get your nose back into the book. Since you're 32 I understand you probably don't want to wait another year to apply. Imagine that if you don't get started studying now, that you'll have to. That might help motivate you.

    Anyway, I'm going to stop procrastinating myself right now since I've only studied 4 hours so far today, and I've decided I have to hit 8 hrs a day until the June 15th MCAT. GOOD LUCK.
     
  9. Scorching

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    Thank you all :)

    and all the best to you Lshapley tomorrow!!!

    Sending you much :luck: to your ways...

    may the guiding angel be with you tomorrow.. you'll do great!!

    will pray for ya tonite! Lshapley
     
  10. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. Emdee Jaydee
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    Also, I have one more observation to make. I think that deciding to start over and go to med school is a huge undertaking. We understand it can be a two year process just to get to the application stage. And it's not so hard to keep the motivation up to get there as everyone tells you that you're crazy. We set our goals and rose to the challenge of proving them wrong and realizing our dream. But when you're on the brink of being "done" and will have this huge yawning gap of a "glide year," it can suddenly take the wind out of your sails. While this is absolutely what I want to do, the closer I get to the "end," the more I start to doubt myself and if I can cut it. I'm also not looking forward to a year of possibly going back to my old profession to make ends meet until med school (fingers crossed). I'm guessing other non-trads probably have the same feeling, but I can't be sure. Regardless, that's why I think this last step, studying for the MCAT, is so much harder.
     
  11. Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Hey Scorching,

    I would definitely recommend that you delay your MCAT and cough up the bucks for an MCAT prep course. I took one starting in January and it really helped keep me on track. If necessary, I might also suggest that you enroll in a postbac if you are having motivation issues past that. You might just need to put yourself in an environment with other people who are also prepping for med school. I don't really know. Anyways, from what I have read in your posts you seem like you need to structure (as I do!) in order to make this work.

    Thanks for the kind words. I'm heading off to bed now, the MCAT is at 8am! PM me if you have any other questions!

    lee
     
  12. Scorching

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  13. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. Emdee Jaydee
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    I wish you luck too Lshapley!
     
  14. samwise2

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    Hello,

    I understand that nervous feeling and it is no fun. What helped me was making a study schedule and literally crossing off each day when I studied to give me a sense of accomplishment. It also helps to talk to friends about being nervous, like you are doing on SDN. But also, probably in person would help too. I also think that exercise would help.

    The other thing is maybe there is someone you can talk to about feeling nervous, like a personal coach or a counselor. You might not need that many talks but maybe 1 or 2 would help you think about modifying your behavior so you procrastinate less.

    Just know that I too am almost 32, and was really stressed about the MCAT and didn't do as well as I'd hoped, and I am happy to be in med school for the coming year! It can work out. Just put in the time, and if you're having trouble doing that, try some of the things I mentioned above. Good luck to you!:)
     
  15. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. Emdee Jaydee
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    Samwise: You were really nervous and didn't do as well as you'd hoped on the MCAT and yet you're at UCLA med school? I hope I "don't do that well"! Congrats!
     
  16. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    At this point and until you get your anxiety under control, cancel that MCAT test date. You will not do yourself any favors by taking that test if you are not feeling confident and thoroughly prepared. Put the test off, get your nerves together and set a new date.
     
  17. menaniac

    menaniac Moxious!
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    I would second this advice. I was 35 when I took the MCAT. I was in your shoes, getting low 20's on practice tests, and didn't know where to start to improve. Studying didn't seem to help. I signed up for Kaplan review ($1500), and believe me, its easily the best money I've ever spent (other than the money I spent for an Interfolio subscription, but that's another story...). Improved my score 11 points in 3 months. The MCAT is more of a test of reasoning and synthesis than fact regurgitation. Knowing how to take it, how to read the passages, and even just what they're asking is REALLY important. The score you get on your MCAT as a non-trad can literally make you or break you, depending on how you do. You can have a stellar GPA, and great letters, but if you bomb that one test you will be SOL, most likely. This isn't said to make you more nervous, merely to underscore its importance to your potential future. Its definately worth the time delay and cost to vastly improve your score, and maximize your chances of getting interviews, and ultimately accepted. The monetary cost for the prep classes are a drop in the bucket compared to what a medical education will cost. The structure and materials that you are given can really make a difference. That being said, the classes only work if you are willing to put in the effort to actually do the work that they give you. There is no magic bullet for aceing the MCAT. Its a really hard test, taken by the best of the best. The only way to do well is to work really hard, and practice, practice, practice. You can do it.

    I know its hard to listen to all the people who tell you you can't. If its something you want badly enough, let those words be a motivator to pick up the pace, and prove them wrong. There are plenty of examples here in the non-trad forum of people going beyond other's expectations to achieve their dreams. You can be one of them, but you have to get your act together and press on! Don't go into this half-hearted, though. Its a tough road, and this is just the beginning. If its what you really want, though, go for it and don't let anyone stop you. Use whatever resources you can to focus and succede! Luck to you...:luck:
     
  18. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    See, you can't be scared of this test. You're not alone, though.

    A large part of success on the MCAT is confidence, and that comes with preparation. I STRONGLY would advise a prep. course for you. If nothing else, a large part of what they teach is strategy and the psychology of the test. I really think you'd benefit from some MCAT desensitization. With appropriate preparation, you'll do as well as anyone. Good luck!
     
  19. Scorching

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    Gee... thanks... all!!
    for your time, encouragements, advices, and well wishes..
    =)
     
  20. Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Good luck, Scorching!
     
  21. Static Line

    Static Line America's Guard of Honor
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    Keep thinking about the job you hate going to day in and day out. Perhaps if you feel backed into a coroner you'll get it together. Worked for me. You have to dislike your job or its dead end future for this to work though which I was 2/2
     
  22. chopstick1

    chopstick1 Member
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    i know what you mean, I just started med school at 33. same deal as you. it's hard to keep driving on with studying, job, school, family...etc. but it has to be done. try making a mcat study schedule...ex. today I will finish "physics velocity section", tomorrow take the test for it, then start another piece. ...etc. having something on paper will help keep you on tract. I took the kaplan course, did ok but did better the 2nd time just studying with the kaplan books. so try to buy a used set and study on your own. the kaplan tests are pretty good. good luck!!
     
  23. Scorching

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    thax for the listening ears and pats on the back! :D


    My plan thus far is to get myself together and study for the June 15th..
    The next ten days to wrap up what I've studied and what I've forgotten.

    Instense re-learning grueling 10 days of minimum of 10 hours per day studying to maximum of 14 hours of studying. with 7 hours of sleep a day and cut an hour or two if necessary.

    Beginning June I plan to take the practice AAMC test every other day. Devoting the rest of the hours on reviewing the contents and analyzing the incorrects and corrects of the test result.

    I'm thinking.. no one ever died of studying like mad.. so study till i drop it shall be.

    If until the 14th of June, or around, if I'm not breaking 30, I plan to reschedule the test. If none are open, I'll take the test on the 15th. As I write my 'when I'll reschedule' plan out why do i get this nagging feeling that that ain't right?!? that I should just reschedule the test now:confused:

    Maybe.. I'll just give myself about 10 days to re-learn and take the exam to decide on my test date.

    Thouh everything else is uncertain.. I choose to study till I know the true meaning of agony!! :p
     
  24. IUgrad

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    Yes, I know how you feel. I think it is due to the overwhelming amount of things to study. I felt the same kind of anxiety at first (actually still do). What really helped me feel like I was making progress was to sit down and break down the material into sections, whether it be by lectures in Kaplan/EK books, or by the sections as determined by e-mcat site, then making a schedule in Excel of when I planned to do each one. It makes it much more manageable and less overwhelming I think.

    I know what you mean about forgetting things you just studied. I studied Bio Lec 1-3 just in January, and I took a practice test over the weekend to find I can barely remember most of the details now. I guess the key is keeping it fresh in your mind as you go by taking notes or making notecards to review. I am now thinking of pushing my test back since I am getting stressed out about my lack of improvement and everything I've forgotten. :(

    Good luck!
     
  25. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. Emdee Jaydee
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    It's gruelling, but if you can actually pull 10 hours of studying a day you can do it. I'll admit though, those last 2 hours of a 10 hour study day aren't very productive. I usually leave the easiest subject for me (bio) for the end of the evening when my attention wanders. No use trying to do Chem or Physics when my mind isn't sharp.

    I'm using the EK books, and was able to cover 3 chapters a day with studying 9-10 hrs a day. Which means I'll be through all the material once (doing the practice problems within each chapter) in 10 days - much like your goal. It's been 10 days now, and I'm pretty much done, with just a couple of chapters left (because I cut down to 6 hrs and only 2 chpts a day half-way through). So, your plan is doable, but requires constant focus and less staring at walls (like I tend to do).

    Now I'm focusing on problems. EK 1001 questions, Kaplan Subject Tests, 3 EK Verbal passages a day, and TPR Hyperlearning Science Workbook passages. And AAMC practice tests about once a week since I only have 4 left to take.

    Hopefully we'll both be in decent shape by June 15th. I've decided that I'm going to take it on June 15th no matter what. If I give myself the out of possibly rescheduling again, I'll NEVER get in gear. So, if I take it and don't do well I'll either retake in August or roll the dice and add more schools.

    Good luck!!!
     

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