orapplicant

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How did you feel on the psychology/sociology part? Merely definitions or more geared towards the verbal passages?
I thought that the psych section was a good mix of both. I'm not great at CARS and did much better on the Psych section. I found that even though I didn't know some definitions, I was able to eliminate based on the definitions that I do know. I thought there was quite a bit of data interpretation/ causation vs correlation. Hope that makes sense!
 
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Affiche

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I didn't score above 90%, mid-80's, but I've just been using outlines I made from the Kaplan chapters.

I really felt like the majority of the psych section was more on logical reasoning than anything else. I've been going back to review my sample test and guide to questions and only a minority of the questions required knowing content, the rest could be answered from deducing information from passages. Actually, I kind of feel like this for all the sections....
 
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I didn't score above 90%, mid-80's, but I've just been using outlines I made from the Kaplan chapters.

I really felt like the majority of the psych section was more on logical reasoning than anything else. I've been going back to review my sample test and guide to questions and only a minority of the questions required knowing content, the rest could be answered from deducing information from passages. Actually, I kind of feel like this for all the sections....
Thanks, I scored in the 80s too, that's why I want to hear from people who cracked the 90s, but I haven't heard of one yet.. which wouldn't be a terrible thing either since our scores will be based on percentiles, but if someone did score 90+ then I wanted to see what material they used to prepare, I read all TPR and Kaplan materials so wanted to see if people with different companies scored above 90! Maybe the reason why is simply because its harder to get used to the way aamc reasons their answer choices for this section since there are no other materials besides the sample test and guide!
 

Affiche

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Did you notice a difference between Kaplan and TPR coverage of content?

I'm wondering how in depth we need to know certain things (Erikson's 8 stages)?
 
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Did you notice a difference between Kaplan and TPR coverage of content?

I'm wondering how in depth we need to know certain things (Erikson's 8 stages)?
I'm not sure, in general though Kaplan tends to cut to the point and spit out definitions, whereas TPR is more verbose and tends to give a ton of examples and some more details. With that said, it's hard to tease apart which contributed to my performance more, since I did them both simultaneously (I matched up chapters), and also, I have an extensive psych background. Erikson's stages are usually a go-to topic in psych in general, so I would recommend knowing the name and order of the stages, although most of them follow a logic sequence.
 

newbeginnings

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I thought that the psych section was a good mix of both. I'm not great at CARS and did much better on the Psych section. I found that even though I didn't know some definitions, I was able to eliminate based on the definitions that I do know. I thought there was quite a bit of data interpretation/ causation vs correlation. Hope that makes sense!
I didn't score above 90%, mid-80's, but I've just been using outlines I made from the Kaplan chapters.

I really felt like the majority of the psych section was more on logical reasoning than anything else. I've been going back to review my sample test and guide to questions and only a minority of the questions required knowing content, the rest could be answered from deducing information from passages. Actually, I kind of feel like this for all the sections....
Hm, it does seem that for the psych section, most can be deduced from the passage but it's still very helpful to know all the theories, i feel... did they ask for questions that were specifically detailed? For example, is it necessary to memorize that hindbrain = rhombencephalon which is divided into metencephalon/myelencephalon.. this info was from Kaplan & it was on a mini quiz too, but I feel like with everyone saying answers can be deduced we don't have to study that much into detail??
 
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somedudehere

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Good luck to all taking the exam in a week! For those that have taken it, what are your opinions on NS exams? Just took the first one and felt like I guessed on half the questions. Some of their passages were full on stories in terms of length. Harder than any AAMC test I've ever taken, even my real mcat in December.
 

orapplicant

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Hm, it does seem that for the psych section, most can be deduced from the passage but it's still very helpful to know all the theories, i feel... did they ask for questions that were specifically detailed? For example, is it necessary to memorize that hindbrain = rhombencephalon which is divided into metencephalon/myelencephalon.. this info was from Kaplan & it was on a mini quiz too, but I feel like with everyone saying answers can be deduced we don't have to study that much into detail??
There wasn't a ton of very specified questions like that. But the discrete a did ask definitions and I would say your example is probably fair game. There's really no way to tell...
 
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newbeginnings

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There wasn't a ton of very specified questions like that. But the discrete a did ask definitions and I would say your example is probably fair game. There's really no way to tell...
Yikes.. so guess it's better safe than sorry and to memorize those nitty gritty details, because a question is still a question IMO. don't want to risk anything with this one like the last one!
I feel so bad for all of you being the first ones
I don't think it's that bad. IMO I actually feel like the curve will work in their favor a LOT better than those who have "extra FL's" from the aamc (in the fall).
 

drrao88

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Does anyone know if the 6 AAMC Question packs are the same material as the old Self Assessments??

I want to buy them but not if its the same passages and questions.


Thanks!
 
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XxThaDoggxX

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Does anyone know if the 6 AAMC Question packs are the same material as the old Self Assessments??

I want to buy them but not if its the same passages and questions.


Thanks!
A good bit is reused questions...But I still found it helpful nonetheless!
 

XxThaDoggxX

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Yikes.. so guess it's better safe than sorry and to memorize those nitty gritty details, because a question is still a question IMO. don't want to risk anything with this one like the last one!

I don't think it's that bad. IMO I actually feel like the curve will work in their favor a LOT better than those who have "extra FL's" from the aamc (in the fall).
Same...I'm hoping they take pity on us brave souls...not likely but who knows!
 

KOB

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kaplan (buy 7 book set), TPR (buy 1 book), TBR (buy on their website later in like a month), NSP (buy online now). Idk if NSP is offering exams for buying books
Anyway to get FLs' for free. Like I got all pdfs of the old EK, TPR< TBR, and Kap without spending a single penny. How can I do this to get FLs'
 

Affiche

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I doubt you'll be able to get them for free since they just came out, so there likely won't be a plethora of copies floating around on the internet. They're also not released as PDFs anymore, so it would take considerable effort for someone to copy an entire exam that they paid for just to distribute to someone else for free.
 

alwa04

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Sooooo my mcat just got cancelled due to test site closure... I was supposed to write April 17th
 

TheCruelOne

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Sooooo my mcat just got cancelled due to test site closure... I was supposed to write April 17th
The same thing happened to me a few weeks ago, but I called the Prometric people and they were able to schedule me for an exam at a different test center in the area (for free). It all depends on whether there are any spots open, but I'd definitely call them to see what your options are if you still want to take it on the 17th!
 
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Apr 11, 2015
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I tried to do some of the topic questions for the nervous system on Khan Academy...I got rocked lol. Do we really need to know details about astrocytes, microglia, and ependymal cells?! I didn't see any focus on this in my bio or biochem review, or on the AAMC materials.
I know this is in the Kaplan book for bio...
 

Affiche

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I know this is in the Kaplan book for bio...
It's not in the Kaplan Bio book because that's what I'm using (though I'm using last year's version). I just rechecked the nervous system chapter and didn't see anything, either. I vaguely remember these items from courses in college, but they haven't been in any of my MCAT prep books.
 
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It's not in the Kaplan Bio book because that's what I'm using (though I'm using last year's version). I just rechecked the nervous system chapter and didn't see anything, either. I vaguely remember these items from courses in college, but they haven't been in any of my MCAT prep books.
It's in Chapter 4 of this year's version. I remember it explaining astrocytes nourish neurons and form the blood brain barrier, ependymal cells line the ventricles of the brain and form the CSF, and microglia are phagocytic cells.
 
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newbeginnings

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It's in Chapter 4 of this year's version. I remember it explaining astrocytes nourish neurons and form the blood brain barrier, ependymal cells line the ventricles of the brain and form the CSF, and microglia are phagocytic cells.
It's also in the old as heck EK 2009 bio book I have LOL. But considered as "extraneous info"..
 
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DrHart

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TPR2: 499 Composite (146/230 = 63%)
Chem Phys (38/59 = 64%)
CARS: (26/53 = 49%)
Bio: (45/59 = 76%)
Psych (37/59 = 63%)

I will say, after taking the AAMC full length and then this test. The AAMC test is very much based on concepts and requires a solid but fundamental/basic understanding. TPR has about twice as many q's based on cold recall of obscure minutia. This will certainly be an interesting experience in a week. I scored an 85% on AAMC CARS
 

orapplicant

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TPR2: 499 Composite (146/230 = 63%)
Chem Phys (38/59 = 64%)
CARS: (26/53 = 49%)
Bio: (45/59 = 76%)
Psych (37/59 = 63%)

I will say, after taking the AAMC full length and then this test. The AAMC test is very much based on concepts and requires a solid but fundamental/basic understanding. TPR has about twice as many q's based on cold recall of obscure minutia. This will certainly be an interesting experience in a week. I scored an 85% on AAMC CARS
How did you do on the rest of the AAMC test?
 

orapplicant

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Just kidding, I looked back in the thread... I'm feeling reassured that everyone scoring better on the AAMC FL than others. I was getting nervous scoring avgs of like 60%
 

AfrGrykoka

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All right guys, since there is less than a week left, how do you plan to study? I am taking the AAMC FL this Sunday and then I hope to to do intensive content review on my weak areas (according to all Kaplan FLs), and maybe finish it by Thursday. How do you plan to spend the week? Also, good luck everyone!!!
 
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All right guys, since there is less than a week left, how do you plan to study? I am taking the AAMC FL this Sunday and then I hope to to do intensive content review on my weak areas (according to all Kaplan FLs), and maybe finish by it Thursday. How do you plan to spend the week? Also, good luck everyone!!!
Reviewing sample exam and doing question packs. Hope to be done by Wednesday.
 

DrHart

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All right guys, since there is less than a week left, how do you plan to study? I am taking the AAMC FL this Sunday and then I hope to to do intensive content review on my weak areas (according to all Kaplan FLs), and maybe finish by it Thursday. How do you plan to spend the week? Also, good luck everyone!!!
Tomorrow: Game of Thrones. All day marathon on HBO
Monday: Mental health day = skipping school and playing with my dog
Tuesday: Research lab, checkin on the mice
Wed-Thurs: Work on some review
Friday: Relax and watch some TV, pack some lunch and the lube for MCAT in the morning
 
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I'm so nervous. Am i the only one who thought the Official Guide qs were tricky? Deff not as easy as the sample pack questions! I thought it was as tricky as the Kaplan full lengths :( I'm feeling so disheartened!

everyone i know told me to just focus on AAMC questions for the final 1-2 weeks before the exam. :( that said, tom im gonna take the AAMC practice test, monday review the test and do half of the final CARS packet, tuesday finish the CARS packet and do a general review of content, wednesday go through some old phys/chem questions and answers on old AAMC pdfs, thursday relax and light review and friday is game time. But damn, these official guide questions have got me disheartened.

I'm so sick of passages holy crap. It's taking me so much longer to get through them than a few weeks ago.
 

orapplicant

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I'm probably going to memorize the amino acid one letter abbreviations and VERY lightly go through the question packs... Let's be honest, if you don't know it by now, it's unlikely you're going to be able to recall it during the test.
 
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Did anyone use next step full lengths to prepare? If so, how did your scores compare to other full lengths you took?
 

GEToutLADYits6AM

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TPR2: 499 Composite (146/230 = 63%)
Chem Phys (38/59 = 64%)
CARS: (26/53 = 49%)
Bio: (45/59 = 76%)
Psych (37/59 = 63%)

I will say, after taking the AAMC full length and then this test. The AAMC test is very much based on concepts and requires a solid but fundamental/basic understanding. TPR has about twice as many q's based on cold recall of obscure minutia. This will certainly be an interesting experience in a week. I scored an 85% on AAMC CARS
What were your scores on the aamc exam?
 

mikil100

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Is it worth memorizing 10 steps of glycolysis?
I would say it's much more important to have a general understanding of glycolysis. Maybe others have differing opinions but my opinion is general knowledge and understanding is much more important than raw memory. Except the amino acids... know that stuff down cold.
 
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MCAT Mastery App is amazing in my opinion. It's 20$ well spent, and gives you a pretty great idea of what you need to brush up on. I test on Thursday, and am really trying to stay cool. This is so strange since it is all so new.
 
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Taking my test the 18th and have been studying since late December. Just about to my limit with this MCAT garbage.
Have taken:
Kaplan free half length ~ 487, yikes
NS FL ~ 500
TPR 1 ~ 498
TPR 2 ~ 495
TPR 3 ~ 493


I've also finished most of the AAMC question pack, which I've been scoring much better on. Still though, studying hard with not much to show for it is a real kick in the balls. Taking the AAMC Sample test next weekend, hoping it goes better than my previous tests.
Update to this. Just finished AAMC sample test and got a 68% overall.
Chem/Phys ~ 59%
CARS ~ 70%, ugh normally 80+
Bio ~ 66%
Psych ~ 76%

Not super excited about my score but oh well. If I can get Chem into the upper 60s I'll be more content.
 
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Update to this. Just finished AAMC sample test and got a 68% overall.
Chem/Phys ~ 59%
CARS ~ 70%, ugh normally 80+
Bio ~ 66%
Psych ~ 76%

Not super excited about my score but oh well. If I can get Chem into the upper 60s I'll be more content.
yeah I wouldn't get hung up. you never know what the real exam will ask. if it makes you feel any better, I got a 22 (lol) on the practice test the week of my past mcat and got a 28 on the real thing. I mean 28 isn't anything to scream and shout about not bad from a 22.
 

otterxavier

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Oh my god. I just finished the AAMC FL and it is so much easier than the TPR full-lengths -- especially the PS section. Hallelujah. Here's how my AAMC score compared to the three TPRs:
PS: TPR average was 62%, AAMC was 85%
CARS: TPR average was 85%, AAMC was 98%
BS: TPR average was 78%, AAMC was 89%
Psych: TPR average was 85%, AAMC was 90%

The only practice test that I've taken with a score remotely similar to the AAMC FL was the free 1/3-length Next Step diagnostic. I haven't taken any of the NS FLs, though.

Couple of things I observed:
  • They really expect you to know the amino acids. You could probably hack it if you have good mnemonics for which ones are acidic/negatively charged, basic/positively charged, polar, and nonpolar. But getting all of the questions meant knowing the three-letter abbreviations, knowing the one-letter abbreviations, and knowing side chains well enough to identify amino acid residues in a drawing of a polypeptide.
  • For the psych/soc section, my only prep was TPR's book (I haven't taken the courses) and that lined up very well with what was on the AAMC FL. There were only two concepts on the test that I didn't recognize from the book.
  • For psych/soc, understanding research design is very high-yield: how would changing a variable affect what a study is testing, identifying methodological limitations and different types of bias, etc. I haven't seen particularly thorough coverage of this stuff in any prep book; it would probably pay off to spend half an hour skimming through the research design chapter of a stats textbook.

tl;dr If you have only taken practice tests from TPR and Kaplan and are panicking about your score, drop everything and take the AAMC FL! You will feel better! (Unless you don't know the amino acids yet... in which case, drop everything and learn the amino acids, then take the AAMC test.)
 
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Did anyone understand the explanation given for question 1 phys/chem for the official guide questions? I got the question right, but only because I thought it was S configuration (not R) and that the H is pointing towards the back already.
 
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Oh my god. I just finished the AAMC FL and it is so much easier than the TPR full-lengths -- especially the PS section. Hallelujah. Here's how my AAMC score compared to the three TPRs:
PS: TPR average was 62%, AAMC was 85%
CARS: TPR average was 85%, AAMC was 98%
BS: TPR average was 78%, AAMC was 89%
Psych: TPR average was 85%, AAMC was 90%


Awesome performance! I think that's the highest I've seen from those who've written on SDN. Would you mind sharing a brief overview of how you prepped (how long, with what, etc.) and your academic background in the related topics coming into this? I'm sure a lot of people will find it helpful since there aren't many good practice materials available, some of this is trial-and-error with what works for the new test and it seems like your strategies and prep worked!
 

XxThaDoggxX

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Oh my god. I just finished the AAMC FL and it is so much easier than the TPR full-lengths -- especially the PS section. Hallelujah. Here's how my AAMC score compared to the three TPRs:
PS: TPR average was 62%, AAMC was 85%
CARS: TPR average was 85%, AAMC was 98%
BS: TPR average was 78%, AAMC was 89%
Psych: TPR average was 85%, AAMC was 90%

The only practice test that I've taken with a score remotely similar to the AAMC FL was the free 1/3-length Next Step diagnostic. I haven't taken any of the NS FLs, though.

Couple of things I observed:
  • They really expect you to know the amino acids. You could probably hack it if you have good mnemonics for which ones are acidic/negatively charged, basic/positively charged, polar, and nonpolar. But getting all of the questions meant knowing the three-letter abbreviations, knowing the one-letter abbreviations, and knowing side chains well enough to identify amino acid residues in a drawing of a polypeptide.
  • For the psych/soc section, my only prep was TPR's book (I haven't taken the courses) and that lined up very well with what was on the AAMC FL. There were only two concepts on the test that I didn't recognize from the book.
  • For psych/soc, understanding research design is very high-yield: how would changing a variable affect what a study is testing, identifying methodological limitations and different types of bias, etc. I haven't seen particularly thorough coverage of this stuff in any prep book; it would probably pay off to spend half an hour skimming through the research design chapter of a stats textbook.

tl;dr If you have only taken practice tests from TPR and Kaplan and are panicking about your score, drop everything and take the AAMC FL! You will feel better! (Unless you don't know the amino acids yet... in which case, drop everything and learn the amino acids, then take the AAMC test.)
Amazing Scores!!! I know your confidence must be through the roof at this point, great feeling to have and will pay huge dividends come test day...Half to his whole process is mental and being on your A-game.

Your observations are SPOT on imo. AA's and research design are super important! In one of the last chapter of the Kaplan Physics and Math prep book they go over all sorts of confounding variables, bias, etc. Definitely gets you prepared for that...And I know people on here are not fond of Khan Academy practice problems but a bunch of the Psych problems pertained to questions about research design!!
 
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So glad I waited till 7 days till the exam to take the Official AAMC test... (not) I was completely sidelined by how Biochem-focused the Physical section was!

If this information is helpful to anyone: I felt I scored much better on the new MCAT than the old one. My strengths are Biology and CR and my huge weakness is math/physics (of which there was almost none on this new exam). I have old copies of the AAMC Rs and never broke 32 on them, but got an 86% average on the 2015 AAMC Practice Test (who knows what that actually means...) and had a lot of extra time with the passages. So there's hope for others who are bad at Physics!
 
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