stressedandpremed

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Hi everyone!

Long-time SDN lurker here finally making a post because I desperately need advice.

I'm currently scheduled to take the 6/1 MCAT.

Today I scored a 510 on my AAMC FL 2 (128/129/128/125).

My studying as a whole was admittedly poorly structured -- I took a Kaplan course over winter break with the original intention to take the exam at the end of March (my Kaplan FL scores were Diagnostic 499, FL 1 500, FL 2 504, FL 3 508, and FL 4 505), but was overwhelmed with other commitments in February and March so I pushed my date back to June. I probably studied like 30-40 hours total during the semester (I know, I'm the worst -- I just really wanted get a 4.0 this semester), and have been going ham (10-12 hours a day for the past 2.5 weeks) since I finished the semester.

I took the AAMC FL 1 a week into my going ham to gauge my progress and got a 506, breakdown 127/128/126/125. That freaked me the heck out and I've been going harder since...but today, still no improvement in Psych :'(

I'm a rising senior at an Ivy League institution who is planning on applying after one gap year (starting process senior spring). 3.79 GPA with a strong upward trend (had some personal and adjusting issues freshman year that really messed me up, but have carried a 4.0 per semester since. Hopefully will break 3.8 by end of senior fall). I'm going back to Cambridge for research this summer and will probably be working 40-50 hours/week.

I was hoping to take the MCAT around now because I have taken all of my premed courses like I would have applied directly (physics, ochem are more fresh in my brain). I also wanted to take it before I started my research so I could focus completely on that.

I am really hoping for a 518+ (in my dreams 520+ heh) so I can be competitive at top 20 medical schools. I've gotten As in most of the premed prereqs (save for the freshman year slip ups), and was admittedly overconfident in my abilities. During my content review, I did get the sense that if I spent more time reviewing, I could better applying the knowledge to practice problems/section bank/etc.

Haven't done the third AAMC FL 3 yet (was planning on taking it Saturday), but am now worried to take it and "waste" it if it is still not a good score.

I don't want to psych myself out but I do want to be realistic with myself. What should I do in my last ten days? Should I go into FL 3 this Saturday (reevaluate after) and the actual exam hoping that I'll get a 518+? Should I do as much section bank/content review as I can and take the actual exam and promise myself to void it, scheduling myself for a late July or August date after? Any advice would be appreciated (and yes, you can completely bash my stupid MCAT study habits, but it'll be less helpful to me now).

Thanks so much in advance!
 

pms_testosterone

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Cram psych/soc terminology and you'll be able to get that section up 3-4 points by your test date.

Seriously, other than having a basic understanding of how operant and classical conditioning work, P/S is all about knowing definitions. It's very superficial.

That'll only bring you up to about a 514...if you decide that's not good enough, I wouldn't hesitate to postpone your test until August. It's entirely possible to study for the MCAT while working full-time.
 
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Chromium Surfer

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Cram psych/soc terminology and you'll be able to get that section up 3-4 points by your test date.

Seriously, other than having a basic understanding of how operant and classical conditioning work, P/S is all about knowing definitions. It's very superficial.

That'll only bring you up to about a 514...if you decide that's not good enough, I wouldn't hesitate to postpone your test until August. It's entirely possible to study for the MCAT while working full-time.
What tips would you give to someone who is studying for the MCAT while working full time?
 

pms_testosterone

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I studied 2-3 h/day on weekdays and 6+ h/day on weekends.
On weekdays I kept motivated by telling myself if I got through x amount of material I could stop studying for the day - so occasionally it was less than 2 h/day.

Edit: I'm probably overestimating how much I actually studied. A good week for me would've been if I got over 15 hours of studying in. Still did very well.

Also, I never studied at work on breaks. Would've been too hard for me to concentrate.
 
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stressedandpremed

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Thanks for the response @pms_testosterone :) Yeah, I think I could rally and study 3-4 hours a day on weekdays and 4-6 on weekends over the summer -- my biggest concern is if I should just accept that I will have to do that to get the score I want and stop trying to make something happen that won't happen right now? I could just save AAMC FL 3 until the week before I plan on actually taking it, and go in on June 1st knowing I'll void the exam.

But knowing me, I'll probably want to gauge where I'll score before the 1st haha. I'll definitely try to nail down more psych/soc. Maybe I can make a miracle happen :bookworm::bookworm::bookworm:
 

pms_testosterone

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Anything's possible...but IMO your likely score range is 511-515 if you continue to study every day. If you're sure that's not high enough for where you want to apply, I wouldn't take AAMC FL3 or do anything else that might make you tempted to score the June 1 exam.
 
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