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*The Official MCAT January 2019 MCAT Thread*

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by MCATKINGS, May 1, 2018.

  1. EvenStevens

    EvenStevens Renaissance Man
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    anyone know if the Kaplan Diagnostic and Kaplan FL 1 are the same thing? I have the bookset but im a little lost
     
  2. jimjoneskufi

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    Does anyone have advice on creating a good, individualized study schedule? I tried following someone else's but I'm having some doubts. I'm willing to get whatever material works but I'm just clueless on how to proceed.
     
  3. Nightwrath

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    You work off how well you study, ask yourself how much information can I process per day without overworking myself and forgetting everything.Give yourself days off to help prevent burnout.Shop around for a book set and use online resources to help fortify the knowledge.You want to give yourself at least 2 months to prepare (1 month books+questions, 1 month straight AAMC material). Like I said figure out what works for you, someone else's schedule may not work because they were prepping under different conditions.
     
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  4. Altius Premier Tutor

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    @jimjoneskufi , not a bad score for right out of the gate! I've tutored many students who started sub 490 on that same test and ended up 515+, for whatever that's worth...

    I'm going to be around this thread and SDN a lot more this fall, so feel free to tag me with any questions while you prep for January. ****** will also have several 95th-100th-percentile scorers moderating the ****** Exhibitor's Forum (link in my signature).

    Quick suggestion re: a study plan. Do NOT wait until the very end to take AAMC materials. Plan to take a third-party full-length early on, do the AAMC Section Bank passages early and often, and then build toward the last two AAMCs in the last month. You need to have an accurate idea of what you're up against so that you can study in the right way--a way that best prepares you for those types of questions. Many students get blindsided by the intense passages on the real exam, which can be equal to or even a little harder than the AAMC full lengths. This approach will give you about the perfect exposure at about the right time, leaving you no surprises on test day.
     
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  5. MedHopeful20134

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    Will also be taking in January 2019. I despise C/P with all my heart so will be spending the next month or so on it.
     
  6. jimjoneskufi

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    I have another question: if my GPA is poor (like 3.2-3.3) would doing really well on the MCAT (like 515+) be sufficient to get into SOME medical school in the U.S.? I'm not unwilling to do an SMP but don't want take on unnecessary debt.

    In addition, I have several withdrawals (medical) so I can understand why medical schools would be hesitant to give me a chance. I'm just at the point where I feel hopeless and clueless.

    Should I just focus on the MCAT and go from there?
     
    #56 jimjoneskufi, Sep 15, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  7. I'mJustCurious

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    I've seen a handful of people with your GPA + high GPA get in so yes it is sufficient. I'm in the same boat as you and I will be applying for SMP programs as well (just in case I don't get any love on my first cycle).
     
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  8. Altius Premier Tutor

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    Absolutely. An MCAT score can act as a strong counterbalance to a low GPA. It directly addresses one of the ADCOM's major concerns with your low GPA, namely "Does this indicate that you won't be able to handle the med school curriculum?" Your MCAT score gives them a sense of your academic abilities independent of institution or other factors--which can impact GPA. That said, consider to things:

    1. A "really good" MCAT score may not have that effect--or may have only a minor impact. Something in the 512-515 range would help, but more like a 517-520 will have the impact you need to overcome GPA concerns.

    2. GPA and MCAT are only two of about 6-7 major factors considered by most ADCOMS. So, this conversation is only relevant if we assume that you are above-average in the other major areas. Because you need to overcome that low GPA, strive to be well above-average in terms of shadowing, clinical experience (only count something as clinical if it involves DIRECT patient exposure), leadership, research, paid employment, etc. You really can't afford to be subpar in any of these if you hope to successfully use MCAT to overcome GPA.

    If you can do what I've outlined, an SMP/postbac won't be necessary. The main benefit of those is to show that even if you "used to" struggle with grades, you have changed. Today, you can tackle challenged post-bac science curriculum and get A's. Doing a postbac program and getting mostly Bs and Cs only reinforces what the ADCOM was concerned about in the first place.
     
  9. InGodsHands

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    Study buddy in LA anyone?
     
  10. Altius Premier Tutor

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    We've got many LA metro students using our tests or our self-paced program, and we help them to get together and form study groups. I could probably introduce you (even if you didn't buy our tests or self-study materials). What area do you live in? We have some folks in the Irvine area, others more north around USC/UCLA, and still others in Riverside.
     
  11. jimjoneskufi

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    Anyone using EK1001 physics? I did the first lecture questions and I feel pretty good but it seemed kinda easy- anyone feel the same? I also did some TBR physics and it seemed a little more challenging.
     
  12. jimjoneskufi

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    Anyone here working a full time job and trying to study? I'd appreciate any input/advice. I'm going to start work as a scribe (4 on, 3 off- 10 hour shifts) and I'm just sitting here trying to figure out how to adjust the schedule I've been following.
     
  13. PlsLetMeIn21

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    I just took my test on Tuesday and I used TBR physics and AAMC SBs and QPs. TBR physics was right on the mark in how much they make you think and put things together. Do all of their passages. You'll be in great shape if you stick to that book. It's easy to get discouraged at times, but it is worth it in the end.
     
  14. La flame 3500

    La flame 3500 Pre-med...For now.
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    Trust me, how far you get in a book does not equate to readiness haha been doing full length sections and my gen chem scores are far from up to par. One step at a time just remember content is one thing, but learning how to properly approach these exams is something completely different
     
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  15. La flame 3500

    La flame 3500 Pre-med...For now.
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    I took that exam before I started studying for the mcat (took it in like June or may) and got a 498. I would just say that you should always be weary of exam scores you get from non-AAMC sources don't rely on them too much.
     
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  16. I'mJustCurious

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    That's so true. I'm kind of anxious to finish my content review so I can start on my first FL haha.
     
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  17. Altius Premier Tutor

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    To anyone taking a January Exam, ****** tutors will be responding LIVE to any MCAT-related question or topic every Mon, Tue, Wed, & Thur from 4:00-8:00 PM Pacific here on SDN. Just go to this thread and 99th and 100th-percentile MCAT Mentors are waiting to serve you: ****** Test Prep. Great resource to clarify that nagging science question, review exam questions, get help with homework, improve your study plan, get moral support, clean your shakra (okay, maybe that last one's a stretch).
     
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  18. PapaGuava

    PapaGuava All Things Must Pass
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    You never know, it may turn out to be your highest section. I know I felt the weakest in C/P, but it was right up there with everything else.
     
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  19. KiddCo

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    Just registered my spot for January 18th. Best of luck to everyone!
     
  20. KiddCo

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    I've read all the Kaplan books suplimented with khan academy except for the math/physics book now. That's where I am currently at, but will be accelerating study habits from here out. Scored a 500 on my first FL before touching books so I feel okay about it so far.
     
  21. Peter Pan.

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    Almost done with content review. I've been using TBR, Kaplan, and Khan Academy videos for content review. TBR for gen chem, ochem, and physics. Kaplan for B/B. Khan Academy 300 page document and Khan Academy videos for P/S with some Kaplan.

    I got the ****** and EK practice exams. Won't be using all of them as practice FLs but some for daily practice passages. Might get the EK 101 passage books for extra practice. Anyone hear anything about these? Apparently they're good passage practice like their full length exams. Either that or UWorld. But some people say UWorld is more geared to content practice and not really experimental analysis type passages. Anyone start with UWorld? Whats it like?

    CARS is my weakest section. Never been a strong reader and didn't read a whole lot growing up.

    Going to take the exam on January 19th.

    Good luck to everyone! Looking forward to riding out this thing with y'all. Take it one day at a time.
     
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  22. PlsLetMeIn21

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    This is pretty much exactly what I did and it went really well except for CARS. FL sections for practice during your last month is super helpful. I originally bought way more FLs than I could ever do so that I could have extra CARS passages, but the extra questions ended up being helpful for all of the sections. Do passages, passages, and passages. Then do some more passages. Pay attention to the TBR short cuts and apply those to materials from every source you use. They are seriously genius and will make AAMC, EK, KA, and everything else you use easier.

    Good luck!
     
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  23. Peter Pan.

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    I appreciate it! I saw in the September thread you got a 516. That’s awesome! Must feel good being done.

    TBR has been great. Especially for Orgo. I’ve started using some of their techniques too. After skimming through Kaplan I think TBR hit some areas better in my opinion.

    How did you approach B/B passages? Did you read the entire passage and graphs then answer questions or look at questions first? Or did you skim through the passage first read through? I’ve heard you don’t have to fully understand the passage to get questions. How many minutes did you spend reading the passage?
     
  24. PlsLetMeIn21

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    Thanks. Because I suck at CARS I might not be done. I never want to take this exam again but might have to if they can't forgive my apparent illiteracy.

    For B/B I looked at diagrams and graphs before reading anything. I didn't master this approach until doing the AAMC SBs and it was quite helpful. I tried reading question first but honestly, all that did was take away my focus on the passage. I think it's better to go through the passage and think about what question they could ask you rather than trying to remember five or six questions while reading a passage. And I second the notion that you can get many of their questions right without fully comprehending the passage. Most of the questions are pretty simple material actually. The hard part for me was trying not to panic on material I didn't grasp in the passage.
     
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  25. OP
    OP
    MCATKINGS

    Vendor Verified Account 2+ Year Member

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    bump
     
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  26. Peter Pan.

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    How is everyone’s studying going? Feeling good?
     
  27. KiddCo

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    Eh, once I finish content review in physics I'll feel better.
     
  28. IsleyOfTheNorth

    IsleyOfTheNorth SDN Lifetime Donor
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    Just starting MCAT studying for mid-January exam. Luckily, I'll have the whole winter break to study. I'm hoping to get physics content review done today or tomorrow.
     
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  29. EvenStevens

    EvenStevens Renaissance Man
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    time to stop being a bad bad boy and buckle down :)
     
  30. nestiV

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    Took my first practice FL today! Definitely need to work on my test-taking stamina, but I'm excited to make improvements over the next two months.
     
  31. Peter Pan.

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    What test prep company did you use?
     
  32. nestiV

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    First exam was NextStep FL1, but I've purchased NextStep 1-6, the Kaplan bookset, and AAMC's exams.

    NextStep's CARS had more ambiguity than any other sample passages I've tried previously, but I figure it'll help me read more effectively in the long term.
     
  33. Peter Pan.

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    Yeah Next Step cars is notorious for being tough and doesn’t represent the MCAT cars. Too many detailed questions instead of main idea and concepts related to the passage. AAMC will feel like a breeze compared to that. Try some Kahn Academy cars passages. They’re free and better represent the MCAT. They got about 40 passages.
     
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  34. Peter Pan.

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    I’ve been using some Kahn Academy, EK, and ****** for CARS. Still looking for more improvement in this section. What do you think best represents the MCAT CARS other than AAMC?
     
  35. Peter Pan.

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    Getting closer. 6 weeks out! :)
     
  36. follehan000

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    Help!

    I take the MCAT on January 19th. I have been studying since October using TPR book set and supplementing with Khan Academy. This issue is all of the content. Obviously I need a good grasp on it all, but I work quite a bit which makes studying difficult at times. I have decreased my hours so that I can study more, but well wishes don't pay my bills so quitting my job or reducing my hours even more is not an option.The best I was able to do was to use 2/3 of my vacation time next year to have off the whole week leading up to the exam (1/11 - 1/19). To make things even more difficult, I don't want to cancel or reschedule simply because I don't have the money to do that. I already had to borrow money to register the first time.
    I have been using the 100 day study schedule, and as of now, I am about half through the content. This means I am about 3 weeks behind. What should I do? Skim sections and slow down for content I know I am weak on? Ditch TPR and go straight to AAMC practice material and bridge my gaps in from there?

    In addition, I took a practice exam today to see where I stand. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it still is not where I want it. I'm aiming for 510+

    12-17-18
    AAMC FL #1:
    505
    C/P 124
    CARS 128
    B/B 127
    P/S 126


    In June (6-3-18) I also took a TPR FL:
    493
    C/P 119
    CARS 123
    B/B 124
    P/S 127

    I am pretty lost with my situation right now so your constructive criticism, tips, advice, etc. is greatly appreciated.
     
  37. Peter Pan.

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    Your C/P and P/S need work. For P/S I suggest the Khan Academy 300 page document and Khan Academy videos. Some of that document is repeated pages so it’s really like 260 pages. Also be familiar with different experimental methods. Longitudinal, cross-sectional, validity, reliability, etc. Also you need to know the words inside and out. But the biggest key to P/S is practing experimental passages as people have said the MCAT is gearing more towards CARS 2.0. Took the AAMC sample test and got 56/59 on P/S. Been getting mostly 129 on 3rd party exams. Haven’t taken the AAMC 1-3 yet. Alti test prep and EK have helped me the most with their experimental passages. Also before Khan Academy material and some google I had a vague definition to some of those key terms and couldn’t apply them to practical situations when doing passages.

    C/P is more content material than B/B and P/S. The passages are more straight forward. Need to be strong with the content. Look at Khan Academy videos. Do lots of practice problems. Of course do lots of passages but with a 124 that means you are lacking in content. What material have you used for content prep?

    I’m sorry for your situation. All I know is that you cannot take the exam until you are absolutely ready. A subpar score on your record and having to take the exam again any way would hurt much more than rescheduling it. Plus it’s cheaper to reschedule than take it then schedule it again if you don’t get the score you want. No
    matter the consequences I think it’s more important to take the exam when ready. I know you’re in a sticky situation but this is the most important thing to keep in mind.

    A couple of my friends had to reschedule their exams and one of mine took the exam when they weren’t ready. They recommended I schedule my exam after I already started studying for it just in case it took me longer or needed to correct my approach. I scheduled my exam in advance because I didn’t think you could do that for January dates but I checked and there are still quite a bit of places still open around where I live so just something to think about for any future test takers reading this.
     
  38. follehan000

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    For content prep, I have been using TPR box set with some Kaplan flashcards and Khan Academy videos. I applied for financial assistance through AAMC and they awarded me with some benefits. I now have CARS question pack, MCAT section bank, and online questions from the official guide.
     
  39. notthrowingawaymyshot

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    How's everyone feeling?! Coming up close! I'm taking (2nd time) on 1/18 :hungover: My practice exam scores have definitely improved which feels great, but I am still a little bit worried about B/B it was my lowest section score the last time I took it (was not expecting it to be that low) and on my past 3 practice exams I have gotten a 127 (not a bad score but no improvements) does anyone have any little tips to boost my B/B score even 1-2 points?!
     
  40. duckdoc20

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    Anyone having problems with their cars score on the AAMC material not matching 3rd party? On the AAMC I am 130+ and on third party I am anywhere from 124-129.
     
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  41. notthrowingawaymyshot

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    I would trust AAMC! I found 3rd party didn’t quite ask the question in the same style as AAMC. As long as you’re scoring consisten across all the CARS AAMC material you should be fine!
     
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  42. Pmvj13

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    Getting closer 12 days, taking on Jan 24th. Good luck to all taking in January
     
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  43. nestiV

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    From what I've read on /r/mcat, Kaplan (and NextStep) practice exams tend to be noticeably harder than AAMC ones. Good news though - the actual AAMC material is supposed to be the best reflection of what will actually be on the exam.

    Sounds like you're killing it with the 130s, and rock that MCAT on your actual test date!
     

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