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Taking 9/2 MCAT and not sure about AAMC scores...

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cwx216

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(reposting this from my post from reddit!)

So I'm registered to take the 9/2 exam and I finished FL 2 yesterday with a 504 (128/125/125/125). I'm really bummed about the bio score and CARS is usually my lowest so that was kind of expected. I felt pretty drained around the end of CARS, B/BC. I'm really conflicted, feel really discouraged about my score, and I have no idea what I should do. I studied all of last summer (not as intensely as I did this summer) and ended up sitting for the exam and voiding it cause I knew I wasn't ready. This summer, I feel as if I've been studying so hard everyday for the past 3 months and it feels so discouraging to not be scoring where you want to be. I was aiming for a 510 and would be so happy with this score so I can finally get this over with. I'm a 2nd year student in my masters program and right now I'm working full time in a research lab plus I'm taking classes so I can't take my exam any date from September until June. However, I don't know how I feel about pushing it back to June because what happens if I don't do well slash I just want to get this over with!

My scores so far have been:
NS1: 127/126/127/127 - 507
NS1 (few days after to repair mistakes): 127/128/128/127 - 510
NS 2: 127/126/127/125 - 505
NS 2 (few days after to repair mistakes): 128/128/127/127 - 510
NS 3: 127/126/128/127 - 508
NS 4: 127/125/126/127 - 505
AAMC Sample: 75%/83%/75%/73% (I did take FL1 about a month ago but I kinda took my score w/ a grain of salt, long story...but my mom had called me right before telling me she was going to China the next day cause my grandma got administered into the ICU so I didn't have the right mindset)

I've also completed about 4 other "custom" practice tests I made with the AAMC question banks/section packs C/P SB: 68%, B/BC SB: 70%, P/S SB: 65% Chem QP: 74%, Phys QP (only got to first half): 77%, Bio Vol 1: 63%, Bio Vol 2 (only got to first half): 72%, CARS Vol 1: 66%, CARS Vol 2: 73%

So should I post-pone, void, score? I have no idea what to do. For the next week should I just hammer down on my B/BC or should I retake AAMC FL 1 and see what I get from there?
 

Ad2b

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I'm about to do FL 1 for the first time, never did it last year and test on 9/2 as well. You are not alone!!

You can't postpone at this time; the AAMC locked down cancelations as of Friday for 9/2. Last year, I was in a similar situation as you are right now only it was my dad and missing $$$ in my account.

I sat for the exam, prepped like mad to the day before. Went in thinking I would void. Amazing how much that relieves the stress - I did not have a care in the world going in - was going to void. But I gave each section my all...

CP - easier than expected, thought "SCORE!"
CARS - easier than expected, thought "SCORE!"
BB - easier than expected, thought "SCORE!!!!!" whoo hoo... I'm done baby!!!

But then... PS reminded me I had not even looked at the 100 page KA document and... at the end of PS, I clicked "Void" ...

After all the studying, ruminating, worrying - I took time away and just worked. Stopped coming to SDN, reddit; stopped writing on my blog; went to the hockey games (season ticket holder - all games); enjoyed life and let things settle. DO I REALLY want to do this? Really?! After all that?

Well, here I am.

I tell you that because you are not alone and if I could tell the 'me' of last summer any advice? I would not change a thing given the situation. And now I tell you the same thing.

Prepare the best you can this week. Take Friday as a light review day - formulas, amino acids, psych/soc. Maybe do 2 - 3 KA CARS passages; go into the exam thinking score, give it everything you have and at the end, if you still feel you can do better OR you feel like you were guessing on 80% of each section?

If after psych/soc you feel that way, then void. It will count as an attempt but given you can't cancel, or reschedule, what have you to lose?

Best of luck in your decision!!
 

Lawpy

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Hey @cwx216 . Your practice test scores suggest you'll likely score 502-509 (most probable range being 504-507) on exam day with the score distribution of 127-128/125-126/125-128/125-127. Scoring 510+ could happen but it would require some significant change in test strategy, which one week is not enough time.

Note that for US DO schools, scoring 504+ is competitive. If you are interested in US DO, take the exam 9/2 and score it. US MD schools require 510+ to be competitive. If you want to pursue US MD no matter what, I recommend voiding the exam on 9/2.

It's unfortunate to postpone the exam to June but cramming during the last few days before test day has a much higher chance of doing poorly on test day than doing well. You do not want to risk having a low score on your application. It's better to void instead.

In the meantime, consider actively reading various nonfiction and high quality magazines (New Yorker, Atlantic, Economist etc) every week to train yourself to understand the author's main point and analyze the structure of the passage. Use TestingSolutions strategy to practice for CARS. Remember that properly and thoroughly reviewing the passages is essential to make large score jumps in practice exams. Consider using the following to help you review your answers: The Blind Review: How to correctly prep for LSAT (Part 1) - 7Sage lsat (it's for LSAT but it works very well for MCAT review)

For the sciences, Khan Academy and ExamKrackers are the best resources. Use the 100 page guide for psych/soc to memorize all the concepts you need to know. Do a lot of practice passages in timed conditions and review them thoroughly. Doing so will help you get a good score.
 
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