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No problem! And yeah I think it kinda blows because even most physics classes give you conversions. The MCAT is brutal not allowing a calculator but to not give us conversions is just silly if you ask me
It's kind of weird because sometimes it will give you conversions. Such as planks constant and then not give it all on others. Ugh
 
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that's really annoying. I didn't know what 1 eV equated to either... that's much more obscure. Yet, sometimes they're like oh by the way density is m/v or work is Fd. um....... we know.
 
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orapplicant

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Is anyone memorizing all of Erikson's stages of identity development? I've found that I'm able to answer most questions purely on elimination with this topic, but I'm not sure if I should devote the brain power to it or not? Thoughts?
 
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umgoblue2008

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Can someone please explain number 52 on the physics section on the sample test.

I know the formula is E = HF . where H is planks constant. 6.6time10^-34. And the question ask to find Frequency(F)
Thus formula should be changed to E/H = F.

Yet I dont know where they got Energy from, I cant find it in the passage.
They give you the energy has 140 KeV.
It's kind of weird because sometimes it will give you conversions. Such as planks constant and then not give it all on others. Ugh
Yea it is obscure. But, it will be easy to remember for the test because 1 electronvolt= energy gained/lost by charge of a single electron moving across a electric potential of 1 volt.

1 volt= 1 joule/1 columb (V=U/q)

1 electron = 1.6X10^-19 Columbs, x 1 volt (J/C)= 1.6X10&-19 joules =1 eV

Basically if you know the charge of an e-, then you will know an electron volt
 

StarFall

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For those that took the AAMC materials, which prep company do you think is the best for Behavioral Sci review?
I've gone through all of Kaplan, but I feel like they're not extensive enough in their review. I've heard TPR is good and covered most, if not all, of the material on the AAMC practices.

Anyone used Kaplan Behavioral Sci book and thought it covered most of the material on the AAMC practice materials?
 

umgoblue2008

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For those that took the AAMC materials, which prep company do you think is the best for Behavioral Sci review?
I've gone through all of Kaplan, but I feel like they're not extensive enough in their review. I've heard TPR is good and covered most, if not all, of the material on the AAMC practices.

Anyone used Kaplan Behavioral Sci book and thought it covered most of the material on the AAMC practice materials?
Think Kaplan does a good job personally. Most of the concepts are covered in Kaplan's books. The only topic on top of my head on the AAMC test that i don't remember from Kaplan is Interference theory of memory (proactive, retroactive interference).

I think Khan's videos/passages are good supplement for psych/sociology (they covered everything i've seen thus far on the FL/official guide questions). Also got the NextStep behavioral sciences practice test book, thought that was helpful as well.
 
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For those that took the AAMC materials, which prep company do you think is the best for Behavioral Sci review?
I've gone through all of Kaplan, but I feel like they're not extensive enough in their review. I've heard TPR is good and covered most, if not all, of the material on the AAMC practices.

Anyone used Kaplan Behavioral Sci book and thought it covered most of the material on the AAMC practice materials?
you should check out khan academy. I found their videos and passages to be helpful for topics I didnt understand or was not covered from the outline
 

StarFall

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Think Kaplan does a good job personally. Most of the concepts are covered in Kaplan's books. The only topic on top of my head on the AAMC test that i don't remember from Kaplan is Interference theory of memory (proactive, retroactive interference).

I think Khan's videos/passages are good supplement for psych/sociology (they covered everything i've seen thus far on the FL/official guide questions). Also got the NextStep behavioral sciences practice test book, thought that was helpful as well.
Thanks for the feedback. I feel a bit more comfortable with Kaplan now. I'll take a second review of the material instead of reviewing from another test prep.

you should check out khan academy. I found their videos and passages to be helpful for topics I didnt understand or was not covered from the outline
I've heard KA isn't that representative. It seems to miss the mark the AAMC style.
I do think the videos are helpful though.
 

umgoblue2008

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Thanks for the feedback. I feel a bit more comfortable with Kaplan now. I'll take a second review of the material instead of reviewing from another test prep.


I've heard KA isn't that representative. It seems to miss the mark the AAMC style.
I do think the videos are helpful though.
The videos are really good. As to the passages, do them if you have the time. Its hit and miss, but will help you realize the holes in your knowledge. The questions regarding study design and limitations thereof are helpful for the real thing. Obviously if you are taking it this week don't do them, but if you are taking the test later, its a free resource, why not. Doing questions are beneficial after you've finished material review.

Make sure you go over James-Lange/Cannon-Bard/Schlacter's 2 factor theory from google/wikipedia/theres a question about it on the AAMC FL that has their definition. I didnt have a good gasp just from Kaplan, everywhere i see it it is slightly different.

James-Lange: Physiological changes -> emotional response
Cannon-Bard: physiological/emotion are simultaneous, separate. Involve hypothalamus
2 factor theory: Physiological->cognitive appraisal from environment cues->emotional response.
 
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Affiche

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I think Kaplan covered pretty much everything save a few small concepts, which I identified by using Khan's free-standing questions.

Honestly, I don't think there's much variation between companies. For the most part, you'll get the same overview of material, but it's up to you to put the work in and get test-day ready (and no prep-company can do that for you).
 

StarFall

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The videos are really good. As to the passages, do them if you have the time. Its hit and miss, but will help you realize the holes in your knowledge. The questions regarding study design and limitations thereof are helpful for the real thing. Obviously if you are taking it this week don't do them, but if you are taking the test later, its a free resource, why not. Doing questions are beneficial after you've finished material review.

Make sure you go over James-Lange/Cannon-Bard/Schlacter's 2 factor theory from google/wikipedia/theres a question about it on the AAMC FL that has their definition. I didnt have a good gasp just from Kaplan, everywhere i see it it is slightly different.

James-Lange: Physiological changes -> emotional response
Cannon-Bard: physiological/emotion are simultaneous, separate. Involve hypothalamus
2 factor theory: Physiological->cognitive appraisal from environment cues->emotional response.
I'm taking it May. Yeah, I think I'll go through the videos and take some of the practice passages. Considering I don't have that much practice material for Psyc/Soc since Kap only gives you 15 questions per chapter, I'll take what I can get. Do you think the NS behavioral sci practice test book is better than KA? I don't mind buying the book, but I have 4-5 weeks left before my test date. Working FT means my downtime must be focused on practice or FLs now.
Yes, I do need to review people and their related concepts. I remember a few from my psyc classes, but obviously I'll need to apply them.
Thanks for the info!


I think Kaplan covered pretty much everything save a few small concepts, which I identified by using Khan's free-standing questions.

Honestly, I don't think there's much variation between companies. For the most part, you'll get the same overview of material, but it's up to you to put the work in and get test-day ready (and no prep-company can do that for you).
True, I'm just hoping that the test prep companies, specifically Kaplan, covered everything well enough. For example, I didn't like Kaplan's Bio topic on the Kidney. Practice passages from TBR talked about situations that changed certain aspects of the kidney that I don't remember Kaplan covered. I learned certain things about the kidney through TBR/own research rather than Kaplan. Although TBR is much more extensive, especially with Bio, I'm just hoping Kap didn't miss the mark with Psyc/Soc.
It makes me feel better that at least 2 people think KA videos/passages are helpful.

Thanks for your feedback and best of luck!
 
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DrHart

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Going through the AAMC test again. Is it just me or is there a very large focus on reasoning? The more and more I look at it... it seems like actually knowing facts is only half the battle. There are a lot of questions where your interpretation and reasoning are undoubtedly more important than the finer details and minutia of the topics. Not an excuse to study less but still...
 
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umgoblue2008

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Going through the AAMC test again. Is it just me or is there a very large focus on reasoning? The more and more I look at it... it seems like actually knowing facts is only half the battle. There are a lot of questions where your interpretation and reasoning and undoubtedly more important than the finer details and minutia of the topics. Not an excuse to study less but still...
Yep, markedly different in this aspect to old exams.
 

umgoblue2008

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I'm taking it May. Yeah, I think I'll go through the videos and take some of the practice passages. Considering I don't have that much practice material for Psyc/Soc since Kap only gives you 15 questions per chapter, I'll take what I can get. Do you think the NS behavioral sci practice test book is better than KA? I don't mind buying the book, but I have 4-5 weeks left before my test date. Working FT means my downtime must be focused on practice or FLs now.
Yes, I do need to review people and their related concepts. I remember a few from my psyc classes, but obviously I'll need to apply them.
Thanks for the info!



True, I'm just hoping that the test prep companies, specifically Kaplan, covered everything well enough. For example, I didn't like Kaplan's Bio topic on the Kidney. Practice passages from TBR talked about situations that changed certain aspects of the kidney that I don't remember Kaplan covered. I learned certain things about the kidney through TBR/own research rather than Kaplan. Although TBR is much more extensive, especially with Bio, I'm just hoping Kap didn't miss the mark with Psyc/Soc.
It makes me feel better that at least 2 people think KA videos/passages are helpful.

Thanks for your feedback and best of luck!
I bought the Next Step practice books from all the topics (bio/biochem, physics/chem, CARS, and Psych/Soc). The Psych/Soc and Bio books are the best, they each have 4 full length (59 Qs) practice tests, very similar to AAMC style in my opinion. You definitely need to do practice, its how you learn what you know and what you don't. Do those, and the official AAMC guide/AAMC FL. Haven't done Next Step FL but if its similar to their books it should be good. The questions from Kaplan after each chapter are mostly content based. For bio/physiology i would have the whole endocrine system down (what hormones/where), less likely you will have to know what cell in the stomach produces what enzyme.

What i've noticed so far from the AAMC official stuff:
1) Big focus on Biochemistry (need to know AA's inside out, different types of enzymes, Michaelis Menton, structures of lipids/nucleic acids/carbs/proteins, etc)
2) Everything is bio/medicine focused, including physics/chem. I doubt you will see stuff like Double/Single slit experiment passages on the new test.
3) Like Dr.Hart said, a major focus is the ability to comprehend experiment studies, know the limitations (indep/dep variables, confounding variables), how to improve experimental conditions, etc
4) The passages will throw proper names at you like enzymes, different forms of alleles and genes to confuse you. Sometimes you'll have to read things twice just to keep stuff straight in your mind.
5) The better knowledge of different types of experiments/methods (gel electrophoresis/PCR/DNA hybridization/chromatography/IR/H-NMR/extraction/distillation), the better you will understand passages
6) The Psych/Soc section i think will be the shortest (more time left over). I feel like its very definition based, either you know it or you don't. I've seen the Interference theory/theories of emotion/prejudice+discrimination come up a lot.

One small thing, hydrophobic=lipophilic, hydrophilic=lipophobic. mostly obvious but the vocab comes up a lot
 
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Apr 10, 2015
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I bought the Next Step practice books from all the topics (bio/biochem, physics/chem, CARS, and Psych/Soc). The Psych/Soc and Bio books are the best, they each have 4 full length (59 Qs) practice tests, very similar to AAMC style in my opinion. You definitely need to do practice, its how you learn what you know and what you don't. Do those, and the official AAMC guide/AAMC FL. Haven't done Next Step FL but if its similar to their books it should be good. The questions from Kaplan after each chapter are mostly content based.

What i've noticed so far from the AAMC official stuff:
1) Big focus on Biochemistry (need to know AA's inside out, different types of enzymes, Michaelis Menton, structures of lipids/nucleic acids/carbs/proteins, etc)
2) Everything is bio/medicine focused, including physics/chem. I doubt you will see stuff like Double/Single slit experiment passages on the new test.
3) Like Dr.Hart said, a major focus is the ability to comprehend experiment studies, know the limitations (indep/dep variables, confounding variables), how to improve experimental conditions, etc
4) The passages will throw proper names at you like enzymes, different forms of alleles and genes to confuse you. Sometimes you'll have to read things twice just to keep stuff straight in your mind.
5) The better knowledge of different types of experiments/methods (gel electrophoresis/PCR/DNA hybridization/chromatography/IR/H-NMR/extraction/distillation), the better you will understand passages
6) The Psych/Soc section i think will be the shortest. I feel like its very definition based, either you know it or you don't. I've seen the Interference theory/theories of emotion/prejudice+discrimination come up a lot.

One small thing, hydrophobic=lipophilic, hydrophilic=lipophobic. mostly obvious but the vocab comes up a lot
Aside from the psych/soc books, how would you compare the rest of the Next Step practice books to the AAMC sample test, official guide questions, and/or question bundles ? Do you think they as worthy of an investment as the AAMC material?
 

umgoblue2008

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Aside from the psych/soc books, how would you compare the rest of the Next Step practice books to the AAMC sample test, official guide questions, and/or question bundles ? Do you think they as worthy of an investment as the AAMC material?
I bought all 4 of the practice books (non of content review ones). The Bio and Psych books are worth investing. The physical sciences one is hit and miss, the passages are not in the same style as the new AAMC test (still good content practice). I took the free diagnostic on their website, and its almost copy/paste from the AAMC official guide passages/questions. They changed portions of passages but just barely. rofl.
 
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Pediateix

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I've been studying with Princeton
Hope that's enough and going to do the aamc test tkmrrow. I feel so burnt out
 
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^word, been studying with Kaplan and i'm worried that's not enough since everyone's talking about Next Step and KA. :/

I had a dream I woke up 2 hours after the start of my exam. Freaked me outt, I called up AAMC in my dream and asked if I could pelase please please take Saturday's exam.

That said, rest up everyone and enjoy today! Tomorrow's game day, we can't be burn out!
 
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KungFuPanda123

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Can someone please explain number 52 on the physics section on the sample test.

I know the formula is E = HF . where H is planks constant. 6.6time10^-34. And the question ask to find Frequency(F)
Thus formula should be changed to E/H = F.

Yet I dont know where they got Energy from, I cant find it in the passage.
I don't have the test in front of me, but was the conversion from Joules to eV?
 

nholaday

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Does anyone know approximately what a 30 and a 36 are with the new scoring system? I don't even know what score to aim for
 
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lol so apparently the new mean is 500. the old mean from what kaplan said of test takers was 26, the mean score of matriculants was 30/31. soo ideally we should aim to score over 500, but the AAMC guide for Medical School admissions offices said the new curve is skewed, so it's not as easy to get in the top third anymore. :/ they redistributed the curve so that the mean lands dead center at 500, rather than somewhere in the top third
 

DrHart

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I find that this is a very interesting situation for this year and the next (in which kids who apply may have one score or another, either the old or new test). From what I can tell, it seems they are very different tests. While much of the material is the same, the way you have to go about answering the questions seems very different. And with the addition of a whole other section, it would seem to me like you can't really precisely compare two applicants in terms of old vs. new score. I'll attach the percentile conversions of the old test, and the hypothetical one of the new one. I think most would agree that a 30+ on the old exam would give you at least some chance of getting interviews/acceptances. This translates to ~78 percentile, which would be a 506/507 on the new exam. Like I said though you can't really compare the two directly. Not only that, but this is still a hypothetical distribution.
Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.50.22 AM.png Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.49.16 AM.png
 
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lol so apparently the new mean is 500. the old mean from what kaplan said of test takers was 26, the mean score of matriculants was 30/31. soo ideally we should aim to score over 500, but the AAMC guide for Medical School admissions offices said the new curve is skewed, so it's not as easy to get in the top third anymore. :/ they redistributed the curve so that the mean lands dead center at 500, rather than somewhere in the top third
I don't even know what to make of this lol. I'm like.. if I score within the mean just know I have a functioning brain. Could be better... could be worse, but functioning nonetheless.
 

nholaday

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I find that this is a very interesting situation for this year and the next (in which kids who apply may have one score or another, either the old or new test). From what I can tell, it seems they are very different tests. While much of the material is the same, the way you have to go about answering the questions seems very different. And with the addition of a whole other section, it would seem to me like you can't really precisely compare two applicants in terms of old vs. new score. I'll attach the percentile conversions of the old test, and the hypothetical one of the new one. I think most would agree that a 30+ on the old exam would give you at least some chance of getting interviews/acceptances. This translates to ~78 percentile, which would be a 506/507 on the new exam. Like I said though you can't really compare the two directly. Not only that, but this is still a hypothetical distribution.
View attachment 191263 View attachment 191264
So if you wanna get into a top tier med school with a 98%tile, you'd need a 523-525? Is that even possible? That's only a point off each section
 

DrHart

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So if you wanna get into a top tier med school with a 98%tile, you'd need a 523-525? Is that even possible? That's only a point off each section
Who knows?? It seems impossible doesn't it?
Also, in terms of adcom interpretation of mcat, won't there be at least unconscious bias towards the old MCAT because it has been the norm for 20 years? Or would some schools that emphasize the importance psych/socio & experimental design/reasoning be biased towards those who took the new exam? The mcat is a means of standardizing students but this is now no longer the case. It's also very possible that mcat scores will have less of an impact on an application because of this ambiguity... just my own speculation
 
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Who knows?? It seems impossible doesn't it?
Also, in terms of adcom interpretation of mcat, won't there be at least unconscious bias towards the old MCAT because it has been the norm for 20 years? Or would some schools that emphasize the importance psych/socio & experimental design/reasoning be biased towards those who took the new exam? The mcat is a means of standardizing students but this is now no longer the case. It's also very possible that mcat scores will have less of an impact on an application because of this ambiguity... just my own speculation
According to my pre-med advisor, apparently a lot of schools are now requiring the new MCAT score *in addition* to the old one. I don't know how true that is though.

So if you wanna get into a top tier med school with a 98%tile, you'd need a 523-525? Is that even possible? That's only a point off each section
Lol I know it seems ridiculous! I had a friend who scored a 42 and another who scored a 40 on the old exam though, meaning they only got a point-two points off each section of the old one. If it was possible on the old one, must be possible on the new one!
 
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DrHart

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According to my pre-med advisor, apparently a lot of schools are now requiring the new MCAT score *in addition* to the old one. I don't know how true that is though.
I think this isn't true. Most schools will except either but for many kids this isn't possible, as the MCAT 2015 will be their first time taking it. Here's a link from the AAMC showing what each school's individual policy will be for the next few years. As you can see, most will accept both for the 2016 and 2017 cycles.
https://www.aamc.org/students/download/398586/data/mcatexampolicy.pdf
 
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I highly recommend to visit KhanAcademy.org.

They just teamed up with AAMC and announced many official practice passages and video's for review. Many are broad review but to glean a great deal of information in a short period of time, it is very helpful. The passages will give you ample practice in the style of the passages and application of the information being asked. There are still content based questions but many are more relevant to the application of the information in meaningful ways. Examples like a graph depiction of pressure and volume within the heart during phases of systolic vs. diastolic, excitation of neurons and where angles of light will be received via rods & cones, or how the presence or lack certain enzymes or allosteric activators will help/ hinder regulate blood sugar.

MANY of these were just released in the last few weeks. There are hundreds of passages and questions. FREE
 
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Why are you guys so worried about a specific score? Medical schools have stated (and have been instructed by the AAMC) to compare new examinees based on percentiles instead because no one knows and won't know for some time what a 500 v. 510. v. whatever means. And the scoring scale is just a hypothetical estimate. It's where IDEALLY they want to see test performance spread out, but they've stressed time and time again that it is just in theory, and no one will know till after this weekend, and May tests too--- why they're taking so long with actual scores.
 
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I really regret using Kaplan. The FLs passage-based questions and discretes focused exclusively on minutiae...I wish I used KA!
 

Affiche

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Where are you guys finding these conversions for the old MCAT?

I thought 83rd percentile= 30 (not 78.1, which is a significant difference)
 
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Someone please explain Question #38 on P/C section of sample test?
It's positive reinforcement for the children using coping strategies. The first week no reinforcements were given; the second week involved rewards each time a coping strategy was used (Continuous reinforcement) ; and the last week was random. Of the choices offered, they had to increase as the study continued.
 

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Affiche

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I really regret using Kaplan. The FLs passage-based questions and discretes focused exclusively on minutiae...I wish I used KA!
Eh, don't regret using Kaplan too much lol. I didn't use any of their practice tests because I thought they were too focused on fine detail, and now I'm sitting here panicking that I didn't memorize enough material lol ugh this is the worst!
 
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It's positive reinforcement for the children using coping strategies. The first week no reinforcements were given; the second week involved rewards each time a coping strategy was used (Continuous reinforcement) ; and the last week was random. Of the choices offered, they had to increase as the study continued.
#38 on P/C not on Pysch section
 
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I believe either the 5 C OH group attacks the carbonyl oxygen forming a 6 membered lactone, or the 3 C OH rgoup can attack, forming a 4 membered lactone. The 4 membered lactone has more ring strain, making the first reaction, choice A, preferable.
 
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Eh, don't regret using Kaplan too much lol. I didn't use any of their practice tests because I thought they were too focused on fine detail, and now I'm sitting here panicking that I didn't memorize enough material lol ugh this is the worst!
I'm happy with Kaplan for content, but not for FLs. The most important thing is practice, rather than content review, esp after seeing that the AAMC sample test focused less on the deets and more on the reasoning. I'd much rather have used KA for practice.

The sample test wasn't that detailed, and emphasized more an understanding of the general concepts than specific things, so don't worry! :)
 

Affiche

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#38 on P/C not on Pysch section
I don't have a great way to explain this without drawing it out, but here goes:

If you look at Reaction 1 for the formation of the product, you can see that the CH3 groups to the left of the carbonyl stay marked in the product. When you add another Acetyl Coa in Reaction 2, the OH group in the middle is what used to be a carbonyl, and the CH3 on the wedge is its CH3 group that was on its left, so that CH3 is going to be marked, as well as the CH3 the left of the carbonyl all the way to the right (C2), and the second to last carbon the left (C4), since this would also be a carbon to the left of a carbonyl (which is now an OH group).

If you translate those marked carbons, C2, C4, and the carbon on the wedge over to the question, you can get the answer pretty quickly. The question shows that a decarboxylation occurs to form Compound 3, the starting material for compound 3 loses it's CO2 group, as well as its OPO3- group on it's dash, leaving a double bond between C4-C3, shown in compound 3. The CH3 that was on the wedge becomes C5, which will have a label, along with C2 and C4.
 
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B

Bookworm36

st unconscious bias towards
This is my thinking. I had resigned up for a Kaplan class and the instructor never took the new exam. He was saying at least a 510+ on the new exam. It seems irrational to me because this exam is so much more exhausting than the other exam. There is a new factor in the game called endurance. Where the past exam was not the same. Seriously I was scoring like 9-11s range in PS on the old AAMC practice tests. The new Kaplan one I got 124, the "equivalent" of a 6 about a week out from taking my last AAMC exam. If this guy's thinking, who had a MD degree, is anything similar to adcom's thinking, the new test takers are at a disadvantage. I just assume the AAMC will be responsible and send out some kind of memo or booklet or something to adcoms explaining the ranking and score. Also if you look at old rankings (I can't find it online) the range was like 65% correct to 75% correct for a score of 30. This new one will have a scale and adcoms will get a percent, not a percent correct but a percent of your rank among your peers. At least that is how I understand it. Too bad I'm not rich, I could just hire a couple of thugs to take the exam the same day as me and throw off the scoring. Just kidding - sort of.

Really nervous about tomorrow. Think I will play with dogs or something. I feel plastered like I can't do anything, just wait. I agree with above though, will probably retake if I don't get 506+
 
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Bookworm36

Going through the AAMC test again. Is it just me or is there a very large focus on reasoning? The more and more I look at it... it seems like actually knowing facts is only half the battle. There are a lot of questions where your interpretation and reasoning are undoubtedly more important than the finer details and minutia of the topics. Not an excuse to study less but still...
Yeah it feels like an exercise in application sciences
 

DrHart

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It seems irrational to me because this exam is so much more exhausting than the other exam. There is a new factor in the game called endurance.

I just assume the AAMC will be responsible and send out some kind of memo or booklet or something to adcoms explaining the ranking and score. Also if you look at old rankings (I can't find it online) the range was like 65% correct to 75% correct for a score of 30. This new one will have a scale and adcoms will get a percent, not a percent correct but a percent of your rank among your peers.
Agreed. And if you look at the scores that people have been posting for their AAMC FL, you'll notice that most people scored lower in Psych (compared to BC or CARS) - even though this isn't direct proof, I would wager that a lot of mistakes people might make (myself included) in this section are silly errors as the testing fatigue starts to rear it's ugly head. Focusing for 95 minutes alone is mentally demanding. Doing that four times in a row in a high pressure situation is a mental marathon.
And as to a "memo or booklet" I will say this. While that would be the wise thing to do by the AAMC, there is no real way of getting rid of an unconscious bias. That's like telling the adcoms to not think about elephants.... what do they do? They will think about elephants.
You can tell them, don't look at scores just focus on percentiles. But if they still see a 37 it will garner a different mental reaction than it's corresponding score on the new test. Whether this will ultimately affect decisions, hard to say. Perhaps it's unlikely.

But it does give way to an interesting hypothetical: two applicants are exactly the same but one took the old MCAT and the other took the new one. Based on percentiles, they are identical. How do you choose one over the other?
 
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