Lizzie Bartlet

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Oct 2, 2007
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Here's the deal. I started this process with a diagnostic of 11. I started studying, but I realize that I STILL don't understand a lot of these concepts backwards and forwards like most of you do. I look at the study Q&A and I'm confused on some of the answers.

HOWEVER, since I'm running out of time before test day, I've been studying how to take the MCAT, like the actual test itself and not so much the subject matter, and on my AAMC practice tests (first time taking them and I've taken 5 so far), I'm running between 29-33. Is it possible to do the same on the real deal or am I in for a rude awakening? Should I postpone until August (I'll be out of the country most of June so I won't be able to study again until July) and be late or am I safe in trusting my practice test scores?
 

rocuronium

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I would not take the test until you believe that you have the material down solidly. Nothing can ensure a better mark outcome than knowing the material, and practicing a lot.

Luck might be worth a few marks, but I doubt that it will get you the marks you want if you don't put in the work.
 
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Lizzie Bartlet

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Oct 2, 2007
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First, I don't believe it's luck. I've studied the test enough that I feel confident in my answers even if I don't understand all the ins and outs. It isn't like I just randomly pick answer C and it turns out to be right.

Second, you're saying that it's better to apply late than to take the MCAT and apply early even if I'm scoring between 29-33 on the practice exams? That's really what I want to know. I know that applying late with a 30 is much better than applying early with, say a 21. But given my practice score range, which is better? Late or early? Is there a chance I can get a 29-33 on practice tests and then get a 21 on the real deal? Also keep in mind, I'm not shooting for top schools. My top choice is my state school.
 

Isoprop

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nobody can predict your score. you certainly can get a 21 if you take it now even if you are scoring ~30 on your practice exams. then again, you can score a 21 in auguest as well. that being said,

the mcat takes pretty simple concepts and tries to "dress them up" in complicated situations. i'd bet that you understand the material fairly well, but you feel uncomfortable because you are tested on it in a really different context.

if it were me, i'd probably take the mcat when you are scheduled/registered. take another practice exam or two, review concepts you are weak on, and go in with confidence. :luck:
 

rocuronium

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Even if you are scoring very well on the practice exams, it is still possible to do poorly on the real deal.

What it really comes down to is whether you think you are ready to write the test and do well. Speculation by anyone isn't going to change anything.

Either way, good luck with the test!
 

SN2ed

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Your name reminds me of the West Wing.

I think one of two things might be happening.

1. You know the material better than you think.
2. You're relying heavily on your critical thinking skills to get through (not that this is necessarily a bad thing).

Next, diags, to me, are worthless.

It would help to know exactly what you're getting on your practice tests. The range doesn't help me much. You could be getting mostly 29s and one 33 to get that range. Conversely, you could also have mostly 33s. People usually score around their practice test average on the real deal. If you waited until you fully understood the material (if you truly don't know it), you would probably be able to boost your score at least 2 or 3 points.
 

WinterLights

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I am in a similar situation, except I understand the majority of the material at least somewhat. I am taking the exam on the 27th, and if I feel like I completely guessed on the majority of the questions then I will void. If I feel confident or as though I at least know a bit, then I will have it scored. You should not be questioning your abilities if you have been scoring around 30's on the practice tests. I think that doing that will actually make you perform poorly on the real thing. Just my opinion.
 

Snowy

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May 6, 2008
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Wow, I feel the same way, and I have similar scores too, although I'm taking the June test. I feel like I have a lot of gaps in my knowledge of the material (what do LH and FSH do again?). What has really suprised me is that I don't think I'm missing very many questions because of lack of knowledge. I feel like all of my misses are because of not understanding the passage or question.

I'd say, keep at it. There's a reason everyone agrees that aamc tests are good predictors of your actual score. The MCAT is a reasoning test, not a test about how much you have memorized. If something comes up on test day that you just don't know, chances are you'll be able to figure it out, or make a solid guess on it - at least I hope.
 

Revilla

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Your name reminds me of the West Wing.
LOL, me too. I love the Bartlets!

So you started with an 11 and are now scoring between a 29 and a 33? I think you probably learned and understand more than you think.