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The Night of?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kreno, Jul 27, 2001.

  1. kreno

    kreno Candy Man
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    Okay.. .so my MCAT is coming soon. Any tips for what to do the morning of? Specifically, since verbal is my WEAKEST area... any ideas? I'm thinking of doing a few passases that morning to get my brian in the mood - and then while i'm in line there or something?

    Also, could someone tell me what the real MCAT is like... as far as the "tangibles." Like, do they hand you out a booklet for each different section? Do you get three different bubble sheets also? Do they tell you if there is 5 minutes remaining? Please let me know all this so I can hopefully get a decent score

    thanks so much - and good luck

    leon
     
  2. jordews

    jordews Senior Member
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    Hey kreno,
    I just took the mcat in april, and im retaking in august, so I can give you some info as to the intangibles of the test, but about the morning of stuff, im still looking for a good technique. Youll get there on test morning, and go to some bench. There was no line for me I just walked right up. So they check you in at this bench, and give you your room number and maybe some other info. You go to your room number, and check in there, they take your fingerprint, your card etc. and then you wait for everyone to get there. Then the proctor starts reading instructions, youll fill out a personal info sheet, and then the lady will hand out just the verbal section along with an answer sheet for just the verbal section. All this takes about an hour, so you actually dont end up starting the test until about 9. so she says go, and you break this seal on the verbal test and start working. Our lady gave us a warning every 30 minutes, and then with 5 minutes to go. I dont know if this is customary for every test center, but thats what ours did. Anyways, you finish the verbal, they take them up, ten minute break, you come back, and they hand out the physical sciences in the same way. More instructions, break the seal go etc. then theres lunch that lasts an hour, you come back take the writing the same way, another ten minute break, and then you take the bio the same way. At the end of the day theres a questionaire youre supposed to fill out, and then a question as to whether youd like to release your scores or not. then you go home and celebrate, or cry as in my case. I hope this helps. Im also thinking about reading verbal passages the morning of too to get my mind in gear. on the real mcat it took me like 2 or 3 passages to get going, which was 2 or 3 too many.
     
  3. moo

    moo 1K Member
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    I read my math books to get my brain going that morning. (that plus I had a final on the following Monday!) And don't do any studying the night before. Instead, read a book or watch a funny movie. And go to bed early. I can't stress enough how important a good night's rest is.
     
  4. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    This is what I did. Two weeks before the exam, begin waking up at the same time you'd wake up on test day. Eat a good breakfast. Then at 9 am, do some passages. Do this every day! Then on MCAT morning, wake up at that same time. Have a very healthy breakfast, and then when you get yourself to the test center, relax. Read a couple passages while the proctors are getting themselves together, but only read through passages you've already done. Don't expect to get there at 8 and have your test in front of you. It takes them quite some time to get everything ready. They have to check your ID when you get in, and take your thumbprint before you even sit down. If you're in a small room, this will take no time. If there's 100 people, it's going to be a long long day. Now you'll sit and there will alwaysbe people yapping about how well they've done on their practice test, and how many times they've taken the test. Ignore these people - they are losers trying to upset your fun.

    First the protcors will pass out the answer sheets. You have to fill out the name and address and all that stuff. If the procs are diligent, they won't yank your chain and wait for everyone to fill out section one before they tell you to move on to section two, etc. The proctors will then pass out the verbal tests one by one, alternating between test codes. You will get a code (like I got AT in April) and every booklet thereafter will have the same code. You cannot begin until they tell you. At this time, if you can read backwards, start reading your first passage. And then they tell you to break the seal and begin the test. They will tell you when 30 minutes remain and five minutes remain. You get 10 minutes after all the tests have been collected, then you begin Physical sciences. Same thing as before. Lunch for 60 mins, then writing. Two separate booklets with prompts. You can also read your prompt through the front so you can get an idea of what you're in for before time starts (I had my whole essay in mind before they even said 'begin'). Then ten mins, the bio section. Then you have one more sheet to fill out describing your experience. All in all it's a 8-10 hour day, depending on the competency of your proctors. If you leave to use the restroom or get up and walk (I highly recommend this) you need to take your id and show it when you return. You're not supposed to eat during the test, but I told them I was diabetic (which I am) but they didn't check and said it was okay. They even asked how my blood sugar was at the end of the day. I think I lucked out with the proctors I had.

    I think that about describes the experience,

    Andrew
     
  5. Dylann FMD

    Dylann FMD Senior Member
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    Kreno:

    It really depends where you take your test. Where I took it there was only 22 people, I think I counted. It was very quick. We started taking the test by 8:30, and were all done before 4:00. I was very impressed. With that few people, the ID thing wasn't done (particularly since the staff knew several of us). Make sure to get there before 8, and the 60 minute lunch break is on the dot--plan to be in the room by 55.

    I really didn't do much planning, at least not good planning, to prepare for the test, and it actually worked out great, so I don't think you need to worry too much about that. Of course, different set ups work for different people. If you think what worked for ajr will work for you, go for it. For me, that is putting too much pressure on myself, which will make me do bad. I took a really heavy course load last semester, so I didn't have time to worry. The night before, I looked over some tests. That was the first time I had done that in almost two weeks. I had a drink to calm my nerves, layed down but never slept, drank some coffee or something stimulating in the morning, and went and took the test. As I said before, different things worked for different people. Most people probably would scoff at the idea of not sleeping, but I have done it before!

    Do what has worked for you in the past.
     
  6. emdeetwobee

    emdeetwobee Member
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    Do 2 verbal passagees the morning while waiting to sit for the MCAT... it worked for me. It's like physical exercise, always warm up first. And actually check your work! Because this will recalibrate your mind (or initiate proper focus) to look for the right answers (and that way, you won't make the common careless mistakes on the early passages of the actual verbal).

    I tried to sleep early but ended up sleeping for only 5 hours.
     
  7. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Oh, one more thing that I think helped. I saw that Dylan mentioned the stress factor. I was getting edgy around 8 pm the night before and took two Multi B vitamins. They definitely took the edge off and calmed me down. I slept like a champ and woke up feeling focused and directed - which is probably why the few passages beforehand didn't mess with my mind. They just got me ready for what I was going to see on the test -i.e. when I opened the booklet, it wasn't going to be the first passage I saw.

    Andrew
     
  8. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
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    Try not to socialize too much.... get in the zone...

    GOOD LUCK!!! :cool:
     
  9. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes!
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    Word. I listened to Rage Against The Machine practically until time started to "get in the zone."
     
  10. IlliniEMT1

    IlliniEMT1 Member
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    I didnt want to stress too much before the test so every day of the week before (as well as the day of), I got up early and went to breakfast with some other test takers, and then I read the morning paper instead of doing passages- it got me into reading mode while still taking my mind off the test.
    I guess for some people socializing could be a distraction- but my friends and I sat near each other and joked around during all the breaks- mostly about how badly we were doing, but it lightened the mood, and it helped me feel alot more comfortable. I guess it depends on what kind of person you are. anyways, i was relatively satisfied with my score- so it worked for me.
     
  11. pre-hawkdoc

    pre-hawkdoc Senior Member
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    Though it pains me to agree with an Illinoiser, I'm gonna have to on this one. I sat next to one of my good buddies (we were lucky enough that our last names landed us in the same room) and even talked to people around us that we didn't know. For the most part, people seemed to appreciate the mood lightening. We basically treated like we did our TPR diags--it was important that we did well, but we didn't want to act like it; letting the pressure get to you can spell disaster.
     
  12. Olsen

    Olsen Member
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    I also suggeste avoiding heavy amounts of carbs THE MORNING OF. I had a nice dinner the night before loaded with carbs and hit helped me sleep. If you eat them in the morning it might slow you down!

    Do some passages and realize that you are going to be a bit nervous and that it is normal. Stick with your routine while in the test. When you are doing practice tests pay attention to little things such as bubbling in the correct bubble, whether bulk bubbling helps YOU, and your specific time requirements.

    Remember, this is just a test and you know the material. All you have to do know is put it down.
     
  13. ewells

    ewells Big Daddy
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    I got a great night's sleep. About 6:00 the night before, I took a big shot of Nyquil (I am an insomniac) and went to bed. I got a good ten hours of sleep and still woke up way early.
     
  14. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    Please make sure you have attached a photo of yourself on your MCAT ticket. There were two people turned away at my test site cause they hadn't put their photo on the ticket.

    AND Make sure you have a photo ID that has your signture on it. Driver's licsence is perfect for this requirment. We were held up from our start time because some girl didn't bring proper ID and she and our proctor went round and round on the issue. I don't know the final outcome cause I tuned them out and was meditating, clearing my mind and preparing to get focused.


    If the test site doesn't have a place for lunch and drinks, remember to pack your own. We actually packed our lunches so we could relax and have a leisure meal without taking time to have to order something. Plus we didn't want a heavy calorie filled, high fat lunch that would make us sleepy for the second part of the day.

    Afternoon was the hardest for me cause I was tired of sitting in the uncomfortable desks and very tired of looking down at the test.

    I learned from practice test taking that my neck got very sore from looking down, so I took some Advil at lunch to help lessen the soreness in my muscles. It is amazing how sore you can get from just sitting and not doing anything.

    Kaplan suggested we eat pasta for dinner the night before so as to store some energy for the next day, like athletes do before a big run the next day.

    As to doing passages in the mornig or the night before, I wouldn't do it. Rent a good movie, get a good night's sleep and have a quiet morning. You are going to be testing all day. If you aren't ready, looking at things the night before or the day of won't make a difference at all. When the proctor says start believe me your mind will be ready and able to go.

    Bring extra pencils and three BLACK pens for the essay. Good luck.
    :D :D
     
  15. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    Oh I forgot to mention. Don't let others around you psyche you out. Some people like to go around on breaks and brag about how easy the sections are. If you didn't find them easy this might upset you into thinking everyone else is doing better. Relax and ignore people like this. Truth be told unless they are very smart or excellent test takers they didn't find it "easy"
     
  16. Mig2x

    Mig2x Member
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    I remember the first time I took the MCAT, i had a problem that hunted me all the exam, Im lefthanded and the desks where right handed, all of them!!! so for the second time i took the exam, i made sure there was a left handed sit!!!! the pain in my neck the first time i took the exam lasted for days just for sitting 9 hours or so writting left handed in a right handed desk!!!!! I dont know if it was the sit or not but i did better the second time and no pain in the neck!!!!
     
  17. coop

    coop Senior Member
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    ok i'll let you know what I did. For the week before the test I started waking up progressively earlier, 7:00, 6:30, and 6:00 for the last like 3 days before the test. Big carbs dinner the 2 nights before the test. Went to bed at 9pm the night before since I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep that well. healthy breakfast before, I dont' recommend coffee unless you are an everyday type of addict. during breaks I just sat by myself and relaxed, didnt want any of that silly talk about sections. I hit the score I was aiming for so this method worked for me. best of luck to ya
     
  18. elle

    elle Senior Member
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    I agree with Amy Beth - don't let anyone psyche you out! If people tell you how easy a section is, or during a break start asking you what you put down for answers (if they find out you have the same form), I would just sort of smile and tune them out. That's what I did, and it really helped me...I wish I had brought a magazine or book to read before the test started, I think that would make the time before the test so much easier.

    I didn't do any sort of routine changes or anything like that, but if you can figure something out (like waking up early) it might be very helpful for you. I did, however, take snacks to eat during the breaks. I think that's a good idea...that way you won't be sitting in the verbal section wondering when lunch is. :)
     
  19. FSUMED

    FSUMED Senior Member
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    Well I havent taken the MCAT yet, I did the ACT 4 times in high school. What worked for me was going to bed a little early(not too early). Then I woke up and went for a morning run. This helped me get focused and "in the zone" as well as get the endorphins pumped. Then I ate a good breakfast. Ex. 2 pancakes(or toast) with a little peanut butter, a fruit bowl, some milk. Then just go and knock it out. good luck to all that are going to be taking it August, I am going to next april.
     
  20. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    As far as sleep goes, I got screwed when I took my MCAT. The night before the test, my wife insisted that our neice stay over at our house. Big mistake. I got to bed around 10, asleep around 12 (with lots of noise from the living room) woke up around 2 by both my wife and neice pushing me out of bed. Shifted to couch until 4 when my nerves got the best of me, and I couldn't sleep anymore! All in all, I got less than 4 hours sleep.

    But my story has a happy ending, because I scored high enough that I should never have to take that thing again. :)

    As far as the morning of the test, I just talked to some friends who were taking it with me. I didn't feel any need to warm up with passages, but by the time I started my test, I had been up for 4 hours and 45 minutes.
     
  21. kris

    kris Senior Member
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    I get lots of test anxiety, and I've found one ridiculous way to get a good night's sleep.

    I studied until I just couldn't stand it anymore. I was sick to death of the MCAT, so by the time it was the eve of the test, my attitude was: I'm sick of this, #@ck it. And I went to sleep.

    For the morning jitters, I got up early enough to let my stomach settle a bit so I could eat something light. I made sure to take lots of snacks with me for the breaks because there's nothing worse than wondering who else is listening to your stomach growl during the test. That's just not the distraction you need.

    I did not take stuff to study. I just tried to relax with a silly magazine, and I amused myself by making a study of the neurotic human behavior at the exam site.

    The test went well.

    Good luck to you all!
     
  22. bubbaap

    bubbaap Member
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    Hey, were you guys able to bring a packed lunch and snacks into the testing room with you? I heard that no food was allowed in there. What did you all do for lunch?
     
  23. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    You can bring your lunch in the room and set it under your desk. I brought my back pack and my lunch box and a bottle of water. On our ten minute breaks I drank my water.
     

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