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Taking new MCAT for first time

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yankeekd25

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I took the old MCAT a few times, with a 30 being my best score. I did not get any interviews, even with this score and a 3.8+ gpa. I will be taking the new one for this app cycle as my score has expired. I just completed my first full length practice test with NextStep. Below are my results. How reflective is this company compared to the real thing? Any specific study strategies I should focus on or tips to get me to the 515+ level on the real thing? I ran out of time on the CARS and basically guessed on the last two passages. The psych/soc were mainly educated guesses as well.
 

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Zenabi90

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I took the old MCAT a few times, with a 30 being my best score. I did not get any interviews, even with this score and a 3.8+ gpa. I will be taking the new one for this app cycle as my score has expired. I just completed my first full length practice test with NextStep. Below are my results. How reflective is this company compared to the real thing? Any specific study strategies I should focus on or tips to get me to the 515+ level on the real thing? I ran out of time on the CARS and basically guessed on the last two passages. The psych/soc were mainly educated guesses as well.

Buy the big AAMC bundle, take the sample exam, post what percentages you get, and then we can talk about where you need to go from here.

My reference: I got a 27 on the old MCAT, got a 517 on the new one.
 
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yankeekd25

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Buy the big AAMC bundle, take the sample exam, post what percentages you get, and then we can talk about where you need to go from here.

My reference: I got a 27 on the old MCAT, got a 517 on the new one.

Stellar score, congrats!! I will get the AAMC materials and complete and check back in. Thanks !
 

Examkrackers

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By educated guesses on the P/S section do you mean you haven't taken psych/soc and have never studied that material, and were just using context clues to completely guess, or did you mean that you haven't studied those subjects in depth for this most recent MCAT attempt? What stage are you in your current round of studying (e.g. are you just starting)? If you're just starting, I'd say you're at a pretty good starting point. Like zenabi90 implied above, the best predictors of actual score are the AAMC materials, but I think you can be confident that once you get a better feel for AAMC style questions by practicing with their materials, you'll be able to have a better feel for how third party resources compare.
 

yankeekd25

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I have a minor in Psych, but these are classes I took many years ago. I have taken just one Soc course my freshman year and honestly don't remember much. But I definitely used the passages to my advantage and tried to narrow things down on the questions. I am just beginning my prep for this new mcat. I'm using a combo of TBR for content review of the sciences, although I have been tutoring this material for many years, and I consider these as my strengths. For CARS, I plan on using all the passages I can find across all of the prep companies. I will use the q banks, question packs and practice exams from AAMC as well. I'm probably going to take TPR and the rest of the NS full lengths too. Prob will avoid Kaplan FLs as I've heard they really aren't that reflective of the real thing.
 

NextStepTutor_1

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Hi @yankeekd25 -

Sounds like you're on the right track! The main piece of advice I would give is to review your practice materials thoroughly with an eye to understanding not just what went wrong with questions you got wrong or were unsure of, but to try to figure out ways to generalize those lessons for future practice materials and eventually the real thing. Sometimes the answer might be simple—if you didn't know something, and really missed the question just b/c you didn't know that thing, then you need to review that content area—but it's often the case that there's a lesson to be learned about question reading, strategy, analytical approach, and so on too. It's also really productive to identify what the simplest and clearest path to answering each question is. That sounds obvious, but it's really common for the MCAT to give you very complicated-sounding passage-based questions that can be distilled into a relatively simple task (for example, some long-winded hypothetical might boil down to "which amino acid is charged?"). Building up those skills through extensive practice & careful review is a huge contributor to success. Hope this is somewhat helpful to you, and best of luck!!
 

shlee9

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You should definitely use AAMC CARS question packs. These were extremely helpful in preparing for CARS section for me. There are a lot of questions (120 questions per volume) and it can get overwhelming if you start late - so make sure to give yourself enough time to study this one. (probably 1+ month)
 

yankeekd25

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I just completed the AAMC sample test. Honestly, thought i did better in the sciences, especially the Bio. I used one of the converters though and got 129, 130, 127, 126 = 512 which I am extremely happy about. Lots of room for improvement though. I really need to get that Psych Soc up.
 

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Zenabi90

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I just completed the AAMC sample test. Honestly, thought i did better in the sciences, especially the Bio. I used one of the converters though and got 129, 130, 127, 126 = 512 which I am extremely happy about. Lots of room for improvement though. I really need to get that Psych Soc up.

I used a converter too and it spit out a 129/129/127/127:512 as well.

You definitely need work on BB and PS.

PS is mostly just flashcards and memorization. Khan Academy is pretty comprehensive, and Reddit has a couple different PDFs that summarize the Khan Academy material pretty well if watching endless videos are not your thing. A more formal resource I would recommend is TPR.
 

yankeekd25

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I used a converter too and it spit out a 129/129/127/127:512 as well.

You definitely need work on BB and PS.

PS is mostly just flashcards and memorization. Khan Academy is pretty comprehensive, and Reddit has a couple different PDFs that summarize the Khan Academy material pretty well if watching endless videos are not your thing. A more formal resource I would recommend is TPR.

I've been watching the videos while having the PDF open next to it. I just can't keep my focus for extended periods of time on this material. Gonna start making flash cards of the terms.
 
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