UCdannyLA

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2004
173
0
Status (Visible)
What's up.

I'm currently a 3rd year at UCLA...taking 3 classes and trying to study for the MCAT at the same time. I have realized that trying to do both (school + MCAT) well, is damn near impossible.

So I have put off my hardcore preparation for the MCAT till my spring break (march 24th - April 5th).

I got a 25 on my Kaplan diagnostic without having studied at all(yes, I am taking the kaplan course right nwo)

Is it possible...if i study "hardcore" during my spring break (say 12 hours a day..for 10 days or so) to get my score up to a 35?

And from April 5th - April 17th...I have an easy schedule...givng me at least 4 days a week to soley study for the MCAT...

Is this doable?
 

ssman

Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2004
81
2
Status (Visible)
i got a 27 (13v) on my Kap diag, and I'm at ucla too... and I've been doing +6hours/day and plan on a hardcore spring break... but do you know how hard a 35 is? A 10 point jump with a hard week of studying is about impossible, think in terms of how much higher a percentile that is, or else at this rate I'd have a 55.

roughly:
25- percentile 31.5-47.9
35- percentile 92.8-96.4
 

MrTee

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2003
337
2
Status (Visible)
It's pretty much impossible for anyone to say how you'll respond to that type of study pattern. If you are good at putting in long hours in front of books and retaining most of it, plus a very good standardized test taker, and you've at least been studying a little bit all along the way...it could be done.

What are you scoring now? I took Kaplan also, and showed a fairly gradual rise in scores using their tests. I boosted my score 10 points between the Kaplan diag and the real thing, but that was with 2 months of studying about 25-30 hours a week. If I were in your situation, I would try to at least study your weak points right now, then hopefully when spring break rolls around, you can use that as the time to take a lot of tests/review. The AAMC tests are also pretty good to see where you might score on the real thing (within a +/- of 3 points or so). Worst case scenario, you hold off till August, and you'll have tons of time over the summer to hit it hard.
 

Pinkertinkle

2003 Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2003
5,004
83
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
No one can effectively learn for 12 hours a day, luckily the MCAT is more about test taking then memorizing. So if you do a lot of practice passages you can dramatically improve your score.
 
About the Ads

UCLAstudent

I'm a luck dragon!
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 6, 2002
5,046
7
38
CA
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I kind of doubt it, but only you know how you best learn. :) Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
 

MeowMix

Explaining "Post-Call"
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2003
1,639
13
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Yeah, that's exactly the kind of study plan that a lot of students choose. And most of them don't do very well on the MCAT.

You are trying to apply typical last-minute undergrad cramming technique to the MCAT. It doesn't work unless you are exceptional (which most premeds think they are, until they blow their first MCAT). You need to develop strategy as much as content, and a lot of that (i.e. verbal) only comes with practice.

One 25 on a single half-day test means next to nothing. Yes, you did better than a lot of people do on their diagnostic, but one test is not a good predictor of your MCAT score.

And as someone else said, a 35 is a very very good score, not easily achieved.

Sorry to sound so critical, but I have seen a lot of people think they are special and try this kind of thing and get a crappy score. It sucks to do that. Do it once, do it right.
 

R_C_Hutchinson

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2003
299
0
Status (Visible)
Originally posted by MeowMix
Yeah, that's exactly the kind of study plan that a lot of students choose. And most of them don't do very well on the MCAT.

You are trying to apply typical last-minute undergrad cramming technique to the MCAT. It doesn't work unless you are exceptional (which most premeds think they are, until they blow their first MCAT). You need to develop strategy as much as content, and a lot of that (i.e. verbal) only comes with practice.

One 25 on a single half-day test means next to nothing. Yes, you did better than a lot of people do on their diagnostic, but one test is not a good predictor of your MCAT score.

And as someone else said, a 35 is a very very good score, not easily achieved.

Sorry to sound so critical, but I have seen a lot of people think they are special and try this kind of thing and get a crappy score. It sucks to do that. Do it once, do it right.

Man, that plan is gutsy to say the least- i completely agree with the above- the worst place you can be is re-taking after having gotten an "ok but not good enough" score because then you MUST get a stellar score.

ex. i get a 14 on the MCAT- obviously i retake and get a 29- i'm in pretty good shape and my first mcat really wont be looked at much (from what i understand)

but: i get a 28 and retake, getting a 29. now not only will i be looked at as not having improved ("test familiarity" is generally 2-3 points by most people's estimates) but i just wasted a bunch of time, sacrificed other projects and still didnt get any added benefit, i may have even hurt myself.

i guess i just want to add my two cents and say please dont do it. i'm not a big study person and I certainly studied more than that. go all out or dont go out at all.
 

UCdannyLA

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2004
173
0
Status (Visible)
Yeah I guess it doesn't sound like a very rational plan.


but I'll never have a free month or two to prepare for the MCAT...I have always been working, going to school, etc.

And I am NOT cramming. I have already read all of Kaplan's review notes--since taking the diagnostic--and done most of their topical tests (I was doing a couple topical tests per day). But I haven't had any full lengths yet...(tommorow is my first). So I guess I'll have a realistc idea of if my plan is feasible after I tomorrow's score back.

The only reason I believe I got a 25 on the diag. is because I did not remember any of the Physics or Chemistry...and basically drew blanks on the diagnostic in the physical section.

So, let's say I get a 29-31 on the full length tomorrow...then my plan doesn't seem TOO irrational does it?
 

ssman

Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2004
81
2
Status (Visible)
I have already read all of Kaplan's review notes--since taking the diagnostic--and done most of their topical tests

that's a completely different story... basically you've done most of the kaplan materials, right?

that probably means your where many other mcat preparers are at.
 

MrTee

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2003
337
2
Status (Visible)
Originally posted by UCdannyLA
Yeah I guess it doesn't sound like a very rational plan.


but I'll never have a free month or two to prepare for the MCAT...I have always been working, going to school, etc.

And I am NOT cramming. I have already read all of Kaplan's review notes--since taking the diagnostic--and done most of their topical tests (I was doing a couple topical tests per day). But I haven't had any full lengths yet...(tommorow is my first). So I guess I'll have a realistc idea of if my plan is feasible after I tomorrow's score back.

The only reason I believe I got a 25 on the diag. is because I did not remember any of the Physics or Chemistry...and basically drew blanks on the diagnostic in the physical section.

So, let's say I get a 29-31 on the full length tomorrow...then my plan doesn't seem TOO irrational does it?

If you can consistently score 33-37 on your practice tests right before the actual test, you have an okay chance at getting a 35. I would caution against trying to extrapolate your current performance and guessing that you'll be able to step your score up linearly as time goes on because the scoring scale is not linear. Also, most people don't walk into the MCAT expecting a 35+ score. If they did, the majority would be quite disappointed when they got their scores back.
 

MeowMix

Explaining "Post-Call"
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2003
1,639
13
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Originally posted by UCdannyLA
I have already read all of Kaplan's review notes--since taking the diagnostic--and done most of their topical tests (I was doing a couple topical tests per day).

Only a true premed would have done this yet tell us he/she wasn't doing their "hardcore" preparation yet.

So what was the point of your original post? Are you trying to get reassurance that you can get a 35?
 
This thread is more than 17 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.