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What should I do?

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by Gators239, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Gators239

    Gators239 Der Kommissar's in town!
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    Hi everyone. I just wanted to receive some comments regarding my situation.

    I'm a third-year, pre-med "supposedly" getting ready to apply this summer for the 2008 application cycle. I use the quotations, because I'm not sure where the next two months are going to take me. My credentials to enter medical school are excellent: great letters of recommendation, grades, extracurriculars, you name it. The only problem (and a huge one) I'm having is the MCAT. I'm scheduled to take the exam in May for the first time, but my practice scores as of now are horrible. I've been studying already for quite awhile and I realize there are many more practice exams for me to take. When I say horrible scores, though, I mean low to mid 20s. With all my studying and new testing strategies (Examkrackers in particular), shouldn't I be scoring much better? It's completely disheartening to think a test may prevent me from reaching my goal. Most of all, I'm afraid that I'm going to need to back out of taking it in May. I guess this is the usual pre-med predicament - whether to go into the exam praying for a miracle, or backing out until ready (but possibly having a decreased opportunity to get admitted if applying late). What do you guys think? Any strategies on how to improve MCAT scores significantly? Let me know. Thanks!!! :D
     
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  3. sexyman

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    If you find out how to improve MCAT scores significantly let me know.
     
  4. GreenShirt

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    Two months is still a long time. If you're in the same predicament 2 weeks before the test, consider taking a later one. However, you have plenty of time to improve. Figure out what your weaknesses are. If you are doing worse on one section vs. another....try to hammer out the material for that subject for a week or two and you should see improvement.
     
  5. Gators239

    Gators239 Der Kommissar's in town!
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    My practice scores still suck. It's the verbal that's killing me. I'm going into the exam on May 16th praying for a miracle.
     
  6. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
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    I waited to take the MCAT until it became CBT and I had the summer to study. I wanted to get a joint MD/PharmD but I do not know any school that even offers it so I am doing both. I got accepted to PharmD first so I am doing that now and working the MCAT in on the side. If I get the chance, I would like to get my state school to consider a joint degree like a MD/PhD, etc. depending on if I can get in. I figured with the ever increasing role of drugs in treatment it would be a good idea and I would like to know both sides. Diagnosis and drug therapy. I mean when you go to the doctor you always have to get at least one prescription to feel you got your monies worth!

    Back to the original question, the verbal section is the hardest to pull up. I would take the test when I could hit the scores I think are competitive. That being said you can not wait 2 years and take the test. At some point, you have to go for it.

    If you can not get the verbal up with a solid month of taking AAMC practice, EK Verbal 101, etc., then I would go ahead and give it a try. From the many post in here and friends that I have, it appears that most have a ceiling where they can not get any higher with verbal. Apparently, you either have it or not unless you are a slow reader then maybe you can learn to read faster. The verbal is not like the sciences where you can keep studying and raise your scores significantly on average. Just practice hard now and see if you can get a two point jump.

    I found that actively reading the passage and then answering the questions works for me and I refer back to the passage only when the question ask you to. I think about what point the author is trying to get across and where is the author's tone at. There also is a pattern to me where they try to get you to pick the wrong answer. I went back and studied the ones I missed and noticed I got it down to two easily and picked wrong. Once I started to decipher their question types I got up to a 11-12. It is hard to explain but look for the trap. You will see one answer that looks so good but usually on the hard ones there is one little piece of info that makes another answer slightly better. I would suggest going back and trying to think like they do and pick their patterns.

    I do this in class once I have seen a teacher's testing style for the first time so I may just be wired this way. That is why I usually do alot better on tests as the semester progresses. I can almost guess what the teacher is going to ask. My fellow classmates often will ask me what I think they will test before the test because I usually am spot on with most things.

    Good luck!!
     
  7. Gators239

    Gators239 Der Kommissar's in town!
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    Thanks for the advice. I'm still confused why after a +1 year of studying my scores are still as inconsistent as before. What a joke! I'd like to postpone the MCAT from May, but I just don't see myself getting anywhere. I'm literally stuck and going to bomb it.
     
  8. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
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    Personally, I believe confidence in one's self is as important as knowing the material.

    Do not defeat yourself before you get there. You may think that the negative attitude towards the test does not affect you but it does whether you realize it or not. I believe that is the main thing that has turned my standardized test taking abilites around. I bombed the SAT and many others because I felt going in I was doomed. Now, I try to stay positive and believe that it will be ok and if not I can always try again.

    Have you determined whether it is material or the test format itself that is causing you problems?

    You might can get someone that did well on the MCAT to show you how they approach the test and copy their style of attack. That person may be able to show you how to take the test better. Practice taking some more sample tests and see where you are in a couple of weeks.

    BTW, I think EK strategies are not that great!!
     
  9. Gators239

    Gators239 Der Kommissar's in town!
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    Yeah. I'm planning on finding a tutor to help me with the approach to the exam. It's not the content that's difficult, it's the format and rationale. Knowing that, I'm going to push my exam back from May to either June, July, or early August. That should give me ample time to find a strategy that works for me! I heard Princeton Review has a "Verbal Accelerator" program. Anyone know anything about it? I was thinking of taking that and seeing what happens.
     
  10. Swiperfox

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    I took Kaplan's verbal edge program, and I think it was beneficial. However, the lectures are online and insanely boring. Where do you go to school? I ask because from your handle I might assume you are a Florida gator, and so am I. If so let me know, I'm always willing to help out a fellow gator :laugh:
     
  11. Gators239

    Gators239 Der Kommissar's in town!
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    Yeah. I'm definitely a Florida Gator. That's good to know about the Verbal Accelerator program. I'm still looking into what would be a good program. There's some summer tutoring program at Harvard that I'm looking into that's cheaper than Kaplan and Princeton Review. If you're willing to help give me some pointers, I'm always up for it. Now that I'm going to reschedule my May test date, I have more time to experiment and can actually relax a little more over the whole thing.
     
  12. Gators239

    Gators239 Der Kommissar's in town!
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    Correction. I see that you put Kaplan's program for verbal. I definitely put down Princeton Review's. My fault. :D
     
  13. Swiperfox

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    Yea, I don't know about TPR programs as I never took any. I am kind of surprised though that it would be cheaper to fly up to Mass. and stay for tutoring than it would be to go through Kaplan and TPR. Tutoring is usually charged on a per hour basis by both, although they make it appear as fixed block programs they aren't. Kaplan runs about 100 dollars/hour for tutoring, but requires you to have access to the classroom course as well. If you were already a Kaplan student, it costs 500 dollars to repeat the classroom course (so 500 +100/hr). Still though, unless you had free lodging I think you will be hard pressed to find going to Mass. any cheaper.

    I'm going to be around in Gainesville some over the summer, generally mid-week. If you are around, I definitely wouldn't mind helping you out. I haven't taken the MCAT yet (may 11th is my test date), but my average so far is ~40 on the AAMCs (and hopefully climbing :laugh:). It seems a shame to me to work so hard on learning all this rubbish to just forget about it after the test, so the least I could do is try and help out someone else. I'll pm you my contact info, and if your game we could meet up sometime after the beginning of summer semester.
     
  14. Gators239

    Gators239 Der Kommissar's in town!
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    If you're getting 40s, I'm definitely studying with you!!! :laugh:
     

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