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Time Issues

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by JDAD, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. JDAD

    JDAD 1K Member
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    I am having a rough time with the MCAT. I know the material, but I am running out of time. I realize that I am behind half way through and then totally screw up the rest of the test.

    does anyone have any advice on how to fix this.

    For example, I just took 5r and did awful. The first 27 questions in the PS, I only missed 4. Then I looked at my watch and saw that I had only 60minutes left. I frantically did the individual quaestion and then went back to the passages. I rushed big time, reading the passages and then basically guessing at the rest so I could attempt all of the questions. I missed 25 of the remaining 50.

    Same thing happened in Verbal. I missed six of the first 30 and then when I looked at the clock and saw that I was behind, I missed 20 of the next 30.

    I know this is a mental thing. I Need Help BAD!!!!

    Bio I am alright with time.
     
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  3. Try to take it in chunks. Work on being able to do individual passages within a time goal you set for yourself (something like 8 or 9 minutes for verbal). Once you master that, you should be able to take on the whole test.

    Don't get freaked out if you spend more time on any given passage. If a passage is SUPER hard and you find yourself way exceeding the time limit, skip it and come back to it at the end. Chances are you're going to miss a lot on it anyway, and your time is better spent on easier passages and questions.

    good luck!
     
  4. hamhamfan

    hamhamfan internet fairy
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    Physical science was also my biggest worry. For me, just rushing through the whole thing did the best for me. After awhile, some of the questions just look the same so it gets easier to rush.
     
  5. Chirurgien

    Chirurgien Member
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    Try doing the passages in reverse order (i.e. start at the end of the section and then work your way towards the front). It's all a mental thing - having finished passage #9, for example, tells your brain that you have plenty of time. Try it. It worked for me. :thumbup:
     
  6. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    Keep taking practice tests and in the meantime work on your reading speed. Take a speed reading course if time permits or just read as many books as you can; read until you think your eyes will fall out, then read some more. Any books will do, read whatever you enjoy, for as long as you can in a single sitting. That way you can get used to reading continuously for long periods of time.
    I finished each section atleast 30 min early because I read very fast. I credit this and this alone with my MCAT success, since I am the least disciplined studier in the entire history of the MCAT.
    And whatever you do, don't study the day before the MCAT. Your not going to learn anyting significant in one day, you'll just freak yourself out. Do something you find calming, really try to get into a relaxed state of mind.
    Panic is the enemy and cramming is his ally.
     
  7. bewitched1081

    bewitched1081 Senior Member
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    you MUST time EACH PASSAGE. if you find that you are running out of time at the end you need to manage time in increments. that is one of the most crucial things to learn when taking the mcat. the easy questions are mixed in throughout the entire section. therefore, you need time to reach every single one of those questions. divide the time limit by the total number of questions. each time you get to a passage, multiply the number of questions in the passage by the time allowed for each question. then look at your timer and right down the time at which you need to be done with the entire passage. ex. if i divide 100min by 66 questions, then i would have about 1.5 min per question. if my passage contained 7 questions, then i would have 10 min to complete the passage. if my timer said i had worked for 30 min, then i would right down 40 min as my time limit on top of my passage. get it?

    Remember, you dont have to read the entire passage, esp if you are familiar with the material. one time i did very well on a passage that i didnt read because i knew the material. the mcat does not trick you. if it says its about some expt that you learned about, then it will most likely not deviate from what you learned.
     
  8. JayMiranti

    JayMiranti Senior Member
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    I had the same problem on the MCAT, i think that a lot of people do.. and this is where being a good test taker comes in...

    I think you are like me, and want to make sure you DEFINITELY get each question that you answer right, like on the SATs, to avoid those stupid one or two mental mistakes that cost you points.

    A good strategy to avoid stupid mistakes, but in my opinion the mcat is not like that, my advice for you is to run and gun... in other words go FAST, concentrate on VOLUME of questions that you answer reasonably well as opposed to answering a few questions really well. People get so many wrong answers, that its better to just put an answer down that is reasonable, and hope it is right, rather than screwing that question and making sure the other easy ones are right.

    Being very analytical, although it is a good skill for a physician, can hurt your chances of getting a good score on the mcat, cuz your more likely to get hung up on trick answers, and second guessing yourself, as opposed to someone who just flys by the seat of their pants, answering each question quickly with the OBVIOUS answer.

    Personally i found this fast strategy to work well for me, i went from mid 20s on practice tests to around 30.

    So to sum up my advice..Go Faster, Go for quantity, not necessarily quality...Dont feel bad bubbling in an answer you arent sure about, and just going, just bubble and go, each question gets one look, then move on. I think youll see that without second guessing, and continually moving on in sequence like this, you get into a rhythm and not only do you start to finish on time, you start getting more answers correct because you begin to see the pattern in the questions, as each one becomes a blur to you, you know... So that is my advice good luck.. i sympathize with u
     
  9. BaseballFan

    BaseballFan Senior Member
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    I agree with the comments above.

    The MCAT is a test of endurance and speed. Remember this when you are taking the exam. The questions are not very hard to answer. The difficult part is answering most of them correctly under significant time constraint (in each section), and then still having enough stamina to answer questions correctly in the afternoon.

    Practice answering each passage in 10 minutes or less, otherwise, you will have a difficult time finishing the exam on time.

    Good Luck!
     
  10. TheRussian

    TheRussian Life Size Mirror
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    On the science sections you have 1:30 per question, if you want time to go over your answers at the end then you have 1:20 per question. On the Verbal you have 3 minutes for the passage +1 minute per question. Take passages individualy and make sure you are under the threshold. You don't have to read all the passages. In fact for the sciences you should skim the passages at the best and if you don't know the answer to one of the questions then go back to the passage and find it.
    Also keep in mind that on the verbal the first read should be very fast, when you are analyzing a question, then make sure to go back. Also don't be afraid to do only 7 out of 9 passages. If you are careful then you can still get a 10. Knowing that you only have 7 passages to do will allow you to pace yourself better. If you are really nervous about doing only 7 then do 8. Of course don't leave the ninth blank and use the letter of the day.
     
  11. Clemson Doc

    Clemson Doc Senior Member
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    If you aren't finishing the Verbal Reasoning section in time, you're going back to the passage too much to search for answers. It has nothing to do with your reading speed.

    I would say that an overwhelming majority of MCAT VR answers aren't found in the passage. Most people think that they are, though, and that's why most people suck at MCAT Verbal Reasoning! Don't attack VR like you have to be completely certain of your answer (as you would science questions), because that's just not how you do well on VR.

    Read the passage well and know the gist of what it's saying, and move onto the questions. On your next practice exam, don't look back at the passages at all after reading them. You will finish with plenty of time remaining. Then you will know about how much time you will have left on your next practice test to go back and check for a difficult answer (or take a mental break for a minute or two).

    The above advice is essentially what Examkrackers recommends. I found their books to be highly effective. Examkrackers MCAT Verbal Reasing had a lot of great tips and strategies, and their MCAT Verbal 101 book of practice tests are very reflective of MCAT-style questions. I highly recommend both. I scored a 7 on the VR section of my first real MCAT, and after using the two aforementioned books, I was scoring 11's no problem on the VR tests.

    PM me if you have any questions.
     

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