Sep 10, 2014
9
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey guys. So I finished MCAT and during the break between VR and BS I was at my locker getting food and drink. It was a tiny locker and somehow I grabbed my biggest backpack on test day so I was digging through everything to get a chocolate bar, my notes were shoved in the locker as well, and before I reach it a proctor said that I could not be touching my notes and told me to put my notes in my backpack. So I did. But later he said that because I was physically touching the notes he would have to report it. I asked him if I could continue the exam and he said yes.

I know this is extremely stupid but like 30 min before the exam I decided to use the restroom, and when I got back they were already calling my name. So I was like ONE SEC and just shoved my notes and phone in the locker and just rushed to the exam. It was almost inevitable that once I open the locker again the notes are going to just pop up.

Anybody has similar experience? I could really need some help here because the proctor made it sound serious. I'm not sure if anybody can actually cheat by reading notes like that. The lockers are outside and it wasn't like you can bring the notes in. I wasn't reading the notes, just touched the notes for 3 seconds tops and I wasn't even wearing my glasses.

Another thing that doesn't really make sense to me: so you cannot bring a bottle because apparently there's something you can do with the label to put notes on it? and you can't read notes in front of your locker. So what if someone printed notes on the label but put it in the locker to read during breaks?

Anyway, please if you know anything, like what's going to happen, if my score is going to be voided, or I can kiss med schools goodbye now, or whatever. And what should I do, should I contact AAMC, the test center, or an attorney?

Thanks so much!

p.s. I might have posted the same thing on the pre-med forum. New to the site.
 

texan2414

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It does sound like a serious issue. I don't think they will void your score outright but they might but a red flag on your score, and I don't know if contacting AAMC helps.

You should have read MCAT Essentials before going in for the test because it clearly states that touching even your notes or phone is prohibited (https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/taking/).

I hope this doesn't turn out to be a major issue for you
 
OP
T
Sep 10, 2014
9
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
It does sound like a serious issue. I don't think they will void your score outright but they might but a red flag on your score, and I don't know if contacting AAMC helps.

You should have read MCAT Essentials before going in for the test because it clearly states that touching even your notes or phone is prohibited (https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/taking/).

I hope this doesn't turn out to be a major issue for you
Thanks! I'm just so worried. I glanced through the MCAT Essentials and I totally skipped the line about notes I think. I knew that phones are not allowed so I dumped it in the locker and buried it with the notes. Guess that was stupid.
I really hope this doesn't turn out bad. I mean, the proctor was first like "just put it in your bag" but later he just changed his mind.
I don't know...
But thanks again for being the first person to reply. I'm too worried that I can't go to sleep so I'm doing math HW as some sort of distraction...
 
OP
T
Sep 10, 2014
9
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
For further MCAT takers:
Don't make the same kind of mistake.
But in case you do..
Call AAMC.
I just called them and they said they ARE going to investigate but basically they will just send me a warning letter, that this kind of thing cannot happen again and medical schools won't care about this.
 
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mspeedwagon

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Sorry OP... that sucks. But, for future test takers, there is no reason to take your notes to the testing center. You've studied for months. There is nothing good that can come from taking your notes or cell phone to the testing center. My advice to all is to leave your notes and cell phone at home.

Here is what to bring: snacks (that can easily be opened and can be consumed in under two mins), water and/or gatorade, advil, cough drops, ear plugs and a print out of your MCAT confirmation. That's it. More bad can come of a cell phone and notes than any good from it.
 
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OP
T
Sep 10, 2014
9
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Sorry OP... that sucks. But, for future test takers, there is no reason to take your notes to the testing center. You've studied for months. There is nothing good that can come from taking your notes or cell phone to the testing center. My advice to all is to leave your notes and cell phone at home.

Here is what to bring: snacks (that can easily be opened and can be consumed in under two mins), water and/or gatorade, advil, cough drops, ear plugs and a print out of your MCAT confirmation. That's it. More bad can come of a cell phone and notes than any good from it.
I don't think you can bring ear plugs though. And I don't think they ever check for confirmation.
 

texan2414

5+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2013
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For further MCAT takers:
Don't make the same kind of mistake.
But in case you do..
Call AAMC.
I just called them and they said they ARE going to investigate but basically they will just send me a warning letter, that this kind of thing cannot happen again and medical schools won't care about this.
I am really glad it won't impact you with medical schools. **** happens in life :(
 

mspeedwagon

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You can definitely bring ear plugs (I've sat for the MCAT multiple times in different states and always used them). They have to be sealed as per the AAMC requirements. They do not check the confirmation unless there is a problem. I had that happen in San Bruno, CA, where I was told that they couldn't find me in their system and wasn't registered for the test. Once I showed them my confirmation, all was well. Had I not brought it, I likely wouldn't have been able to test that time.

I don't think you can bring ear plugs though. And I don't think they ever check for confirmation.
 

justadream

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You can definitely bring ear plugs (I've sat for the MCAT multiple times in different states and always used them). They have to be sealed as per the AAMC requirements. They do not check the confirmation unless there is a problem. I had that happen in San Bruno, CA, where I was told that they couldn't find me in their system and wasn't registered for the test. Once I showed them my confirmation, all was well. Had I not brought it, I likely wouldn't have been able to test that time.
Just one sealed packet of ear plugs or multiple?
 
OP
T
Sep 10, 2014
9
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
You can definitely bring ear plugs (I've sat for the MCAT multiple times in different states and always used them). They have to be sealed as per the AAMC requirements. They do not check the confirmation unless there is a problem. I had that happen in San Bruno, CA, where I was told that they couldn't find me in their system and wasn't registered for the test. Once I showed them my confirmation, all was well. Had I not brought it, I likely wouldn't have been able to test that time.
The test center I was at provided Earmuff and I guess that's why they said don't bring ear plugs in.
 

mspeedwagon

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"If you bring your own wireless ear plugs, make sure they are in an unopened package and present them to the Test Center Administrator for inspection. No other testing aids are allowed."

I would suggest bringing two individually wrapped ones to the testing center. However, you are only going to be allowed to put one set of ear plugs in before the start of the test so you get one shot at inserting them correctly (may sound stupid, but if you are going to use them, practice inserting them as it takes a few tries to learn to get them in correctly. I suggest watching a youtube video on how to insert your ear plugs of choice).

https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/taking/85604/taking_regulations.html

Just one sealed packet of ear plugs or multiple?
 

mspeedwagon

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You clearly did not test in San Bruno, CA. The ear muffs they provided were so tight, my brain almost exploded. The ones in NYC were fine, but I chose not to use them as I did all the practice MCATs with ear plugs so wanted to keep things consistent.

The test center I was at provided Earmuff and I guess that's why they said don't bring ear plugs in.
 

justadream

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@mspeedwagon

I know - inserting is SO annoying.

Also, they make my ears really itchy after an hour or so.

So you don't take them off during breaks?
 

mspeedwagon

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I didn't take them off for the breaks. I'm not sure if I would be allowed to, but it takes so long to leave and return to the room, not sure you'd have time in addition to snack/drink/bathroom to also do a ear plug change.

I would suggest sleeping with them and wearing them for extended periods to get used to it. Mine didn't hurt until the experimental section when I really didn't care. I had never worn ear plugs for quite as long as the whole MCAT + experimental section prior to test day.

@mspeedwagon

I know - inserting is SO annoying.

Also, they make my ears really itchy after an hour or so.

So you don't take them off during breaks?
 

justadream

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@mrspeedwagon

Did you use disposable ones? I find you can only wear them 1-2 times before they're no good anymore.

Yeah I'm definitely taking them off by the experimental section.
 

mspeedwagon

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mspeedwagon

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No, I tried that during my first MCAT take and it was awful (the ear muffs were so damn tight). The ones in NYC were much better and I probably could have, but decided against it as the testing center was pretty darn quiet.

@mspeedwagon

Did you wear the provided ear muff things over your ear plugs?
 
Last edited:

wuhsabee

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@wuhsabee

Must be individually wrapped an unopened. AAMC is paranoid about you inserting some secret device in them.
Are you 100% sure?

Because on the AAMC website, this is all it says: " If you bring your own wireless ear plugs, make sure they are in an unopened package and present them to the Test Center Administrator for inspection."

And essentials packet: "You may bring only your ID, locker key, scratch paper and pencils provided by the test center, and a pair of foam earplugs (sealed and inspected by the test center administrator) into the testing room. "

Nothing about it being individually-wrapped...just as long as it's unopened. Just curious, because I really love this brand and didn't like the Howard's ones that much.
 

justadream

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@wuhsabee

You're probably right. I never envisioned a scenario where someone brings like Costco-size box of earplugs and then opens it lol.
 
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wuhsabee

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@wuhsabee

You're probably right. I never envisioned a scenario where someone brings like Costco-size box of earplugs and then opens it lol.
I guess I will call AAMC and my prometric center tomorrow, just in case.

I wonder if they will make me discard the rest of the package containing unused earplugs away, after I open it and take the first pair out. o_O
 

mspeedwagon

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I saw someone bring ear plugs like this into the San Bruno center and it was fine. They were made to open the box, put the ear plugs in and place the opened box in the locker (the proctor escorted them to their locker and watched the person place it inside).

It is always best to call your specific center with questions as I noticed minor idiosyncrasies between the test centers in CA and NY and I'd imagine each testing center has a few. For example, in NYC they only let you place the ear plugs in when you are seated at your desk and time is ticking (granted, it's the agreement page). In CA, they made me put them on before entering the room.

Do you guys know if they have to be individually wrapped, or can it be packaged together as a multi-count? Like these?

http://www.amazon.com/Hearos-Xtreme-Protection-14-Pair-Foam/dp/B001EPQ86A/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1410488206&sr=1-1
 
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xx3344

2+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2015
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152
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Medical Student
Hey guys. So I finished MCAT and during the break between VR and BS I was at my locker getting food and drink. It was a tiny locker and somehow I grabbed my biggest backpack on test day so I was digging through everything to get a chocolate bar, my notes were shoved in the locker as well, and before I reach it a proctor said that I could not be touching my notes and told me to put my notes in my backpack. So I did. But later he said that because I was physically touching the notes he would have to report it. I asked him if I could continue the exam and he said yes.

I know this is extremely stupid but like 30 min before the exam I decided to use the restroom, and when I got back they were already calling my name. So I was like ONE SEC and just shoved my notes and phone in the locker and just rushed to the exam. It was almost inevitable that once I open the locker again the notes are going to just pop up.

Anybody has similar experience? I could really need some help here because the proctor made it sound serious. I'm not sure if anybody can actually cheat by reading notes like that. The lockers are outside and it wasn't like you can bring the notes in. I wasn't reading the notes, just touched the notes for 3 seconds tops and I wasn't even wearing my glasses.

Another thing that doesn't really make sense to me: so you cannot bring a bottle because apparently there's something you can do with the label to put notes on it? and you can't read notes in front of your locker. So what if someone printed notes on the label but put it in the locker to read during breaks?

Anyway, please if you know anything, like what's going to happen, if my score is going to be voided, or I can kiss med schools goodbye now, or whatever. And what should I do, should I contact AAMC, the test center, or an attorney?

Thanks so much!

p.s. I might have posted the same thing on the pre-med forum. New to the site.
Hey TuTTnT, I was wondering if you could give me any relief or advice. I had a similar situation occur today after my mcat. I was not caught actually cheating or reading any material. I was reviewing some last minute amino acids in my car at 7:30am and accidentally grabbed all my stuff along with my notebook and was squishing everything into that little locker. Before test time, I went to get pull my sweatshirt out of the locker and obviously it was stuck so I pulled out my notebook and put it on a table and pulled out my cooler. I was called in to take the exam and rushed to squish the cooler back in the locker, but let the notebook with my name on it out on the table. I didn't realize I did this, and did not touch the notebook once from start of exam to end of exam during any breaks. I was so flustered during the exam that I wasn't even thinking twice about "studying" during the breaks. At the end of my exam when they give you that sheet of paper and info, the proctor took me aside and had my notebook in her hand (I do NOT even know when she took this because I WASN'T even using it) and told me that she had to report that she found a book of notes out on the table in the break room, but said that she did not see me reading them or touching them. I was devastated and cried the entire way home, for I studied for this MCAT for 4 months and am applying currently. I never meant for any of this to happen, I did not "cheat" in any way whatsoever.

My question for you is what exactly was the true outcome of your situation? How long did it take for things to get ironed out? Was there any type of investigation? Were cameras by the lockers checked? I would appreciate ANY advice you can give me, for I will be calling AAMC first thing this Monday morning. Thank you so much.
 
Jun 2, 2016
7
1
@TuTTnT @xx3344 I hate to revive an old thread but if either of you see my comment let me know what happened with y'alls scores. My situation was alittle different as I took my watch from my locker during lunch break to keep track of time and was later reported for it... They gave me a similar response, "we will note that you presented the watch to us for inspection." Im unsure how to proceed, any advice would be helpful!
 
OP
T
Sep 10, 2014
9
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
@TuTTnT @xx3344 I hate to revive an old thread but if either of you see my comment let me know what happened with y'alls scores. My situation was alittle different as I took my watch from my locker during lunch break to keep track of time and was later reported for it... They gave me a similar response, "we will note that you presented the watch to us for inspection." Im unsure how to proceed, any advice would be helpful!
well both of us(me and xx3344) got our scores just fine. basically after they reported it the aamc mcat ppl were like just don't do it again. Don't worry about it. If you are still worried just email them and tell them the issue. And good luck!
 
Jun 2, 2016
7
1
well both of us(me and xx3344) got our scores just fine. basically after they reported it the aamc mcat ppl were like just don't do it again. Don't worry about it. If you are still worried just email them and tell them the issue. And good luck!
Thanks for the reply! Definitely relieves me abit.