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From my own test-taking experience, based on your FL scores, 518 was within reach--maybe it would have taken a little luck, but not improbable. I at least scored 2 points above my best FL, despite thinking it was the worst exam I ever took.

I'll let other people talk about actual studying/materials because my own prep (as a nontrad) was based on the principle of "well, good enough!". But I think the challenge for you now will be in the mental game. Maybe look closer at that thought that you were "shocked" by your FL2 score, which could be the biggest red flag in what you've written. It's not a bad score and it's not too far from 515, which has turned out to be your mode score. Maybe you were being hyperbolic with "shocked", but look--try to approach the whole test prep process with a good helping of equanimity. Some practice tests are harder. Some are easier. Some have more stuff you know, some have less stuff you know. Your scores will go up and down a little within the tolerance of the exam (and that's before accounting for your own mental state and preparedness). This is a lesson for life/college/med school, not just the MCAT.

We don't know what your 3/25 score would have been but there is a chance it was actually hurt by your test anxiety--or not. Firstly, get over it. You can't un-void the score. Secondly, let's say it was badly affected by test anxiety and came out, say, as 508. Could you look at that and say, "hey, that's disappointing but life goes on, I'm going to be bummed for a little, but I'm going to re-evaluate and pick up the pieces and try again"? Or would you think, "This proves it! I'm not good enough for 518!"

An exam is a snapshot of how you did with a particular set of questions on a particular day of your life. You might get your goal score or not. In the end it's just one part of your application, and at some point there's diminishing returns. If you end up scoring really really far below 513-518, so much that it would really compromise your chances of getting in at all, then by all means, consider re-taking. If you get 512 the world will not end. If you get a decent score but not what you wanted, you could still stand a good shot to becoming a doctor. (That's what this is all about, right?)

How are you on other tests/exams? Is it just the MCAT that gives you these thoughts?
Hey everyone. I think my situation is interesting at least in terms of how I've gone about studying and preparing for this test. I did all my content review and Anki last summer. It was going great, until I stopped doing my Anki cards in the fall due to a tough semester (I pulled through!). In December, I went through half of UWorld, did all my Anki overdue cards, and took my first FL #1, which I got a 516 on. I had scheduled my MCAT for January, and I decided to move it back to March to do all of the Fls. During this time, I kept doing my Anki and finished UWorld. But late February I took FL2 and got a 512, which shocked me as I thought I was preparing well. I then took Fl3 and Fl4 before my exam in March and got 515 on both of them.

I took the March MCAT on the 25th. During the whole test, I was plagued with thoughts about how I wasn't good enough for my goal score, a 518. I didn't feel good at all, and I wasted a lot of time during the test focused on these thoughts. I kept thinking over and over that I wasn't ready. In the end, I decided to void the exam, and I am torn because I feel that I might have done well on it. I just felt I wasn't in the right space mentally, and I want to do the test when I'm in the right headspace. But now I have gone through all the FLs, all section bank (~78% in all three subjects), and I don't know what to do. I feel that what ended up happening was that not doing my Anki cards in the fall made me forget quite a bit of material. I want to quickly restart my Anki deck and run through all the Kaplan material + P/S doc once again, with fresh cards. I want to do Blueprint FLs as well for new material and run through all of UWorld once again.

I want to do well on this test, and I feel that I have it in me. How can I make sure that I am ready mentally for when I take this test? I also think I will take it in June, and plan to study for it for three more months. Please leave any suggestions that you may have for me.

I think that you’re going about studying the right way to improve your FL scores. Anki is, as you seem to have discovered, huge for retaining the material over long spaces of time. I recommend creating your own Anki decks/cards based on questions and material that you consistently struggle with. As far as test-day nerves, I think just taking full length exams can help tremendously. I took 19 full length exams before my test, and I felt really confident going into the real deal. Looking back, I think 19 was probably overkill, but I would recommend taking more than just 4 or 5. With full length exams of 515, I don’t think you’re far from prepared for a 518. Is there any consistency among the four AAMC tests for each category? If your scores are all over the place for one or more of the sections, that might highlight specific content gaps that you can find by doing a comprehensive review of the tests.
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