caseofthemndays

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2007
344
0
My couch
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I took the MCAT last August and got a 29. Wasn't happy, so I enrolled in a class and hit the books expecting/hoping for a 3-5 point increase. I have taken a couple practice tests (AAMC and Kaplan) and my score hasn't BUDGED!!!!! What's wrong with me? Any encouraging stories out there?
 

Aesculapius

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2004
228
2
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Just keep working on tests and problems, if you've already read through the material once. You'll get there.
 

tncekm

MS-1
10+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2006
3,616
5
Status
Medical Student
I took the MCAT last August and got a 29. Wasn't happy, so I enrolled in a class and hit the books expecting/hoping for a 3-5 point increase. I have taken a couple practice tests (AAMC and Kaplan) and my score hasn't BUDGED!!!!! What's wrong with me? Any encouraging stories out there?
Most people who make large improvements on their tests spend lots of time analyzing their practice tests, trying to pick them apart, looking for ways to complete problems faster, etc, not just reading/reviewing the material.
 

whatsupdoc08

10+ Year Member
Mar 1, 2008
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Yea I've pretty much given up. I did well in school 3.7gpa Chem major. but cant take the mcat for my life. Ive taken the Kaplan and PR free tests and test 3R and got a 19 best score. Why am i such an idiot. ive read through the entore Kaplan book. I guess med school isnt for everyone.:scared:
 

tourniquet1963

10+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2007
698
1
NYC
Status
Attending Physician
Yea I've pretty much given up. I did well in school 3.7gpa Chem major. but cant take the mcat for my life. Ive taken the Kaplan and PR free tests and test 3R and got a 19 best score. Why am i such an idiot. ive read through the entore Kaplan book. I guess med school isnt for everyone.:scared:
that's not encouraging at all
 

Kaustikos

Archerize It
10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
12,205
4,163
Always Bespin
Yea I've pretty much given up. I did well in school 3.7gpa Chem major. but cant take the mcat for my life. Ive taken the Kaplan and PR free tests and test 3R and got a 19 best score. Why am i such an idiot. ive read through the entore Kaplan book. I guess med school isnt for everyone.:scared:

There's your problem right there. It's not just about memorizing the books/equations. This test is about application of simple concepts (And I use the word simple lightly, so please no flaming) into unfamiliar questions. You can't expect to score high if all you do is just memorize the kaplan book from cover to cover. You need to get familiar with the questions they ask and narrow down on just what is really needed to know and what you shoudl just familiarize yourself with.
Example: Kaplan goes into a ludicrous amount of detail covering viscosity, laminar/turbulent flow and the various moduluses (is that even a word?) but the reality is that you just need to know how the concept of viscosity works and how laminar/turbulent flow is affected by viscosity and density of the particles going through it.
In the above you could:
a) memorize that section knowing the definition of viscosity/laminar/turbulent flow
OR
b) understand what it is saying, how particles travel in a tube work and how their densities and viscosities affect it. It's more to your advantage to take B and not spend so much time in this case.

And this all goes to knowing just what the mcat loves to test you on. And, yes, there is that for sure. Some concepts you just HAVE to know and know how to solve mcat type questions revolving around them.

This ties together into one special package: practice. Practice questions - and not just taking the tests, but covering what you missed and HOW/WHY you missed it.

Hope that helps.
 
OP
caseofthemndays

caseofthemndays

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2007
344
0
My couch
Status
Resident [Any Field]
that totally helps. When I go through my pracice tests and read why I missed the question a lot of the time what gets me from a 10 to an 11 is ust reading the question more carefully, but I get distracted... Screw you ADD!
 

whatsupdoc08

10+ Year Member
Mar 1, 2008
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Well That was encouraging.
I still have 25 days until my exam. Maybe if i live and breathe tests i can salvage some sort of a score that wouldnt look so utterly pathetic.

Ill just relax the day before. See what happens. Who knows? Maybe God will grace me with a little blessing on test day. And if not. Be happy all you May 31st MCATers becaus you have a fellow test taker scoring a 19 to help your avg out.

Im just being a realist and not an illusionist. Maybe going in relaxed and not feeling like my life is dependent on this exam is just what i need. I have the EK 1001 questions and 101 passages for all the subjects. Maybe ill do a few and see what happens.

Good luck to everyone. This test ( for some) is just a beast!
 

LittleRocker

10+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2007
445
1
Status
Medical Student
Yeah memorizing all the information is definitely not the key to this test. The best thing you can do to is to understand relationships. That just goes about for any science... especially ochem. The reason people find that class so difficult is because they can't see the relationships between different reactions and instead they try to memorize them individually.

I would consider my knowledge base for the material average. You probably know specific details much better than I do. Yet, I can score in the mid to high 30s on this test. For bio, the most important thing is being able to see the big picture. The body is like a society and its citizens (cells) have their own divisions of labor that all do different tasks so that the body can function as a whole. The most important thing is to know how these divisions of labor (systems) work together.

You also need to be able to cut through the bull**** and figure out what the questions are REALLY asking. This test just loves to phrase questions in the most convoluted way with things like double and even triple negatives just to through you off. If you can phrase it in your own words, however, then it can really simplify the matter.

For example: Drug X is known to inhibit the action of acetylcholinesterase. What are the effects on the small intestine when Drug X is administered?

This is a very typical question. The best way to approach this would be to first know that acetylcholinesterase degrades acetylcholine. If you inhibit it then you are going to have a lot of acetylcholine. So instead phrase the question this way: What happens if you have a lot of acetylcholine? You know that it will increase the activity of the parasympathetic system, which will increase activity in the small intestine. Suddenly it's a lot easier.

This is the kind of approach you need to do well on this test. I understand that it's not something that can be learned easily, but I hope that gives you an idea of what you should be focusing on.