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*The Official MCAT May 2018 Thread*

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by MCATKINGS, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. MCATKINGS

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    People keep bumping posts from years ago for some reason with comments. I don't know why 2016 and 2017 test day threads are coming up to the front page of MCAT Discussions.

    Comment if you're taking the test in May and hopefully this can be the thread leading march test takers up to exam day and where score releases are celebrated!

    I also created a GroupMe group for those who want to talk to other test takers!

    If you're done with your test/when you get your scores back - pass on your books to friends/classmates or sell them here: For Sale and Advertisements
     
    #1 MCATKINGS, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  3. PopeKnope98

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    may 19 up in here!! hows everyone sticking to their studying so far?
     
  4. db673

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    Its getting exhausting but Ive started practice exams already!
     
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  5. PopeKnope98

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    Oh my gosh, I haven't!! I wasn't sure if I should take one even though I'm not fully done with content review. What do you think?
     
  6. db673

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    I think it wouldn't hurt to take because it starts to give you an idea of the exam, start your mental endurance, and helps you see what you don't know as well!
     
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  7. PopeKnope98

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    Very true! Did you take an AAMC one or a Kaplan one or what? I have a couple Kaplans I wanna start with, and then I’ll buy the AAMC ones as the test gets closer.
     
  8. db673

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    Sorry for the late reply! I’ve taken two next step. I haven’t heard good things about the Kaplan or PR ones. I’m saving my AAMC ones for closer to test day
     
  9. timephone

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    May 19 here.

    Began studying at beginning of January with Princeton Review FL1 to gauge content knowledge. Got 504 with scores in CP > CARS > PS > BB, so I decided to focus on content review in PS and BB. However, content review is going somewhat slow! I've got a week and a half before my next full-length and I wanna finish all of Khan Academy PS... I'm maybe 25% through.

    19 May - Sat TEST DAY
    12 May - Sat AAMC FL 3
    5 May - 11 May: AAMC Section Banks (over pre-summer break week) and Question Packs
    3 May - Thu AAMC FL 2
    14 Apr - Sat Princeton FL 3
    31 Mar - Sat AAMC FL 1
    17 Mar - Sat Princeton FL 2

    Not sure whether I should add more practice exams. I'll use PR FL2 to see if my content review is helping, but I've heard they're more difficult than AAMC so I won't be disappointed if I'm sub-510, just want to improve my PS and BB scores. Then AAMC FL1 will be 7 weeks before the exam, but I want to see where I am with regard to official materials.
     
  10. db673

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    I like your plan and if it helps just focus on the weak areas of yours on PS and BB because I doubt you struggle on all of it! If you focus on the content you missed rather than reviewing all the details, I am sure you will improve faster.
     
  11. Zenabi90

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    It looks like the people from those threads are coming back together now that Step exams are coming up?
     
  12. MCATKINGS

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    Ahh makes sense! To prevent confusion I created one for this year!
     
  13. georgia_boy1

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    Haven’t registered yet but looking at May 19th or 24th. This is my retake. Took it 1/20 and scored a 502. Practice tests were 510, 512, 513. Plan is to do 1 month Kaplan review then hammer all AAMC material at least twice. All the while making sure I stay calm and confident during my tests so that what happened on 1/20 doesn’t happen again
     
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  14. PopeKnope98

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    Best of luck to you! So you think it was just the nerves that got to you on test day? Because those practice tests are fantastic.
     
  15. georgia_boy1

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    I think so. I think I got shaken up from a couple of passages on chem phys and that just shot my confidence and gave me even more anxiety. And I never recovered from it.
     
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  17. PopeKnope98

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    It really seems like mindset is 50% of the battle. I've been noticing while I do practice passages that I get all anxious and panic and just stare, and I've been forcing myself to recollect and breathe and just read. Maybe if we can get ourselves to practice that, we can do the same thing on test day.
     
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  18. georgia_boy1

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    It definitely is. You have to stay confident throughout because it can be easy to get thrown off and overwhelmed.
     
  19. WrldPeace

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    Sitting on May 24th!

    I plan on taking 6 full length exams (3 Princeton Review, 3 AAMC).

    Currently on Spring Break, so I'm taking my 2nd FL tomorrow! I'm finally finishing up content review by this Sunday, and after that I'll be focusing on Practice Qs and Passages. I really need to work on understanding the overall test layout. I'm struggling with balancing content review and knowing the test. Let me know if you have any tips on this!

    I have a 5-month study schedule (since I'm taking 4 full classes this semester) and it's been exhausting but we'll be done soon!!! We got this!
     
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  20. WrldPeace

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    Same! I plan on going through all of my PR Practice exams first, just to get into the groove of the test. Best of luck with prepping!
     
  21. fingerscrossed2018

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    May 18th here! 65 days, friends.
     
  22. PopeKnope98

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    Hey! Just to touch bases with you because you said other than AAMCs, you'll be taking Princeton Review FLs, too! Today I took my first FL, a Kaplan, and was a little alarmed at my score. However, next Sunday I'm planning on taking "MCAT Review Test 1" on Princeton, and I'm wondering if you've taken a Princeton one yet and how hard/easy it is based on your experience and what you've heard around. Have you seen any improvement with your scores? I just want to know if they give a good idea about where we actually sit in terms of making progress!!

    Thanks!
     
  23. fingerscrossed2018

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    So, Kaplan and TPR FL scores are not necessarily indicative of the actual MCAT. They're highly deflated. The FLs themselves (especially Kaplan) are based more so on content review/nitpicky questions than experimental/technique-related questions (like the actual MCAT). Any CARS practice is good, though, and Kaplan/TPR are best used for getting timing down.

    I've read that NS 1-4 and EK 4 FLs are the best third-party exams that are most like AAMC FLs/the actual MCAT. AAMC FL 2 is supposedly the best score predictor.

    Essentially, do not worry about your scores on Kaplan/TPR!! They're best if used for timing purposes only before taking NS/EK and then moving on to AAMC.
     
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  24. duckdoc20

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    Just so you know this is not always the case, I scored never scored below a 508 on the four Kaplan exams I took and scored a 502 on AAMC FL3. Also any score on NS is highly inflated below a 510. The only way to know where you truly stand is through the AAMC tests.
     
  25. fingerscrossed2018

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    Agreed with NS inflating <510. However, this practice is still much better than Kaplan or TPR. Again, third-party materials should be used for practice only and the scores should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Side note: did you finish the Qpacks/SBs prior to starting AAMC FLs?
     
  26. duckdoc20

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    No not yet, I am hoping after doing them my score goes up. Was just trying to see where I was pre-aamc material. I hope I didn't come off as attacking you, I just think too many people here believe their score will magically go up on the AAMC stuff and that is not always the case.
     
  27. fingerscrossed2018

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    No, you’re good—it’s actually nice to see someone with a different opinion regarding the FLs out there. I’m going to be super frustrated if I switch from doing well on third-party exams to doing poor on AAMC stuff, which is why I think I’ll finish the Qpacks and SBs at least once before doing the AAMC FLs...just to get a better feel for how AAMC asks things.
     
  28. PopeKnope98

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    Thanks for all the info! If I take a Princeton for more practice next week, do you think after that would be a good time to start the AAMC Qbanks/SBs? Also, which of those should I buy? I wasn't sure if the SB's are as worth it as the Qbanks, or vice versa.
     
  29. fingerscrossed2018

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    I think the general consensus is SBs > Qpacks. The SBs are supposedly the most difficult materials AAMC releases & are really representative of the hardest passages we’ll see on exam day. I guess the Qpacks are more to make sure content knowledge is strong, while the SBs are to make sure you know the format/types of experimental passages we could see. I’ve been told the SBs are the most helpful, so I wouldn’t skimp out on those! Also been told to do each (the Qpacks & SBs) at least 2 times.
     
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  30. On_The_Way_Up

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    My test day is May 18th! So far I have taken 3 practice tests.

    NS 1 - 501
    Altius 1 - 495
    NS 2 - 503

    In that order. I know anything below a 510 in NS is inflated. But has anyone heard anything about Altius?

    Friday I will take Altius 2. My CARS and psychology sections are improving. Having some trouble with chem/phy and B/B. A lot of questions I am getting wrong are experimental. Reading data from graphs, charts, etc.

    My plan is to take a practice test once a week. Spend 2 days going over them. And the other days doing practice passages from NS question bank and NS CARS book while also going back to content in weak areas. Someone said UWorld is good. Might try that too. Anyone have an opinion on NS question bank?

    When do you think is best to start AAMC material? My plan is to start 6 weeks from the exam. I have all AAMC material and the 3 practice tests.
     
  31. georgia_boy1

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    Update on my situation. Decided not to retake in May. I’ve come to the conclusion that with my stats and ECs, I’m competitive for my state school UW and the top DO schools. So I’m going to apply this cycle and if I don’t get in anywhere and it’s because of my MCAT score, then I will retake. I just don’t want to retake and God forbid I do worse for whatever reason (it’s possible given my drastic score difference between AAMC FLs and the real thing). Good luck to everyone! Stay confident and crush it!!!!
     
  32. PopeKnope98

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    Best of luck to you! I agree that retakes are extremely risky unless you know for SURE you’ve made lots of progress. Keep us in touch with your application cycle—we’ll all still be here hahaha!
     
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  33. WrldPeace

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    Hey! Since I decided to not spend half of my savings on a prep class, I went ahead and bought the $300 AAMC MCAT Bundle through AAMC (though I still cringed when I pushed 'Purchase' lol:(). Honestly, these are the best indicators of questions we'll be asked since they're from the test makers themselves.

    I've been studying since January and was mainly using PR passages until this week. I'd recommend dipping into the AAMC resources sometime soon, just to get familiar with them ASAP.
     
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  34. PopeKnope98

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    Good to know! I agree, and I hear some people say its even a good idea to do the section banks twice through? Just because they’re such long and complex passages, it’ll give good practice for the hardest questions we’d see on test day?
     
  35. I'mJustCurious

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    Any other FL I should look into? Currently have Kaplan + AAMC. Took my first FL yesterday using NS.
     
  36. JBruinW

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    No offense but I can't see how this would be effective. The memory bias would be huge IMO. I definitely plan on thoroughly reviewing anything I got wrong in the section bank. I recently took the p/s and got a 76%. Pretty sure this would be unreasonably higher if I were to take it another time.

    @I'mJustCurious I've done two Kaplans and two Next Steps so far. Next step seems to be better geared to the new mcat because kaplan has too much pure content recall IMO. Taking first full length this weekend. I'll let you know how similar it is to the Next STep.

    Anyone been doing the Khan Academy passages? They're allegedly constructed with the help of the AAMC so I feel like they are probably worth doing. I've completed all of the P/s passages and they're kinda hard IMO. The B/B and C/P have not been too difficult so far except for the [email protected]!CKing MRI passage from C/P
     
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  37. I'mJustCurious

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    I'm confused. You said you've done two Kaplan's and two Next Steps so far but you're taking your first full length this weekend? Was the Kaplan and Next Steps just practice passages or were they also full lengths? And thanks let me know if it is similar. I have 3 AAMC and 3 Kaplan to take next week. I already took Next Step FL #1.

    I heard Khan Academy passages were pretty hard so I'm gearing away from that unless I have extra time under my belt. Otherwise, it's just FLs and AAMC sb and qpack.
     
  38. fingerscrossed2018

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    No offense taken, but it's just to ensure you're fixing your mistakes previously made on the extensive experimental passages, which are supposedly the most common on the actual MCAT. I've heard multiple people say they wish they would've went back through the SBs 2-3 times because the actual test was similar to them. Their mentality while going through the SBs was, "Oh, these are too hard. There's no way the actual test will be like this." ...And then it was exactly like that.
     
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  39. JBruinW

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    First AAMC full length. I've taken four 3rd party full lengths so far.

    Yeah the khan passages are hard for sure but worth checking out if you have extra time
     
  40. PopeKnope98

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    When is your exam date? (since you’re taking your first AAMC this weekend I thought I’d ask!)
     
  41. JBruinW

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    May 18th.. so it's coming up soon. I just wanted to make sure I did enough content review and a few full lengths before using a valuable aamc test
     
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  42. Detective SnowBucket

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    cinco de mayo here. 9 FL's so far.
     
  43. fingerscrossed2018

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    Any AAMC FLs yet?
     
  44. PopeKnope98

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    Dang! Thats a lot of FLs.. nice job! Have you been seeing improvement? Do you find it helpful to base your content review on your exam results?
     
  45. Detective SnowBucket

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    Hey all, yes and yes? I have definitely found it most useful to base content review on exam results eg I can't do physics to save me life. I always keep missing questions on capacitors and have difficulty with theory questions for optics so thats what I review hardest.
    As to improvement, I took a diagnostic (half length) in January and got a 497 then I've done 9 Kaplan FL's since (I did 4 over spring break) and got 504 -> 506 -> 509 aaaaaaaand then.... 501 :( But I've taken four before that and 1 since. I got a 510 on the Kaplan one last sunday and I'm going to take another one tomorrow and my first AAMC FL next weekend.
     
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  46. PopeKnope98

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    Just took the Princeton FL and got the exact same score as Kaplan 498 (123/126/123/126). I’m devastated. I know TPR isn’t representative, and I am kinda happy with my CARS improvement, but my science sections went down a point each. I need real help on chem/phys. I see numbers and panic and don’t know what to do, even though the calculations probably aren’t even that hard. I’ll spend tomorrow reviewing this exam and start going through more practice questions rather than content and see what happens. Will take a Next Step in 2 weeks.

    If anyone has any advice, let me know
     
  47. Detective SnowBucket

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    Have you tried an AAMC FL? If I recall, your test date isn’t far.
     
  48. PopeKnope98

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    Correct, May 19, 6 weeks out. I have not yet. I wanted to test my content and start AAMC practice questions before I took a valuable AAMC FL. I was planning on taking the first one 3 weeks before. Is that pushing it?
     
  49. Detective SnowBucket

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    Actually that’s what I’m doing; I’ve taken other stuff before but I’m doing 1 of the 3 FL’s each week before.
     
  50. PopeKnope98

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    Great! I’m hoping this strategy works out. I’m going to really hit physics (I’m with you on the capacitors and optics lol), gen chem and biochem these next 2 weeks and pray my NextStep exam shows improvement.

    We can do this!
     
  51. timephone

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    Update on my practice tests.

    Princeton FL 1 and 2 scores: 504 and 503

    AAMC FL 1, 513 (131/127/130/125)

    Currently going through the 90 page PS study document from Reddit... I'm happy at least that my lowest score is in the section that's easiest to improve in. If I could get my CARS score up a point or two, I could be shooting for a 520 on test day! Crossing my fingers.

    Princeton Sample FL tomorrow, not expecting much considering the difficulty of the Princeton exams, but any practice is good practice...
     
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  52. PopeKnope98

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    Wow! Your AAMC jumped up like 10 points from your Princeton? That’s encouraging—any big changes you made before taking the AAMC, and just how difficult do you feel the princetons are compared to AAMC?
     

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