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what was your sleeping habits prior to the MCATs

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Yogi Bear, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    April MCATS are coming up. Students apparently have to show up at the center around 8am, so you'd probably have to wake up around 6:45-7:00 to eat and get there on time. I'm so used to sleeping around 2am, that i'd think i'd be pretty sleepy on test day. if i try to sleep earlier, i'd probalby just wake up in the middle of the night. any suggestions? I might have to start training myself for 7am mornings...hehe
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  3. BUmiken12

    BUmiken12 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2001
    Waco, TX
    Hydrocodone at 8:00 pm
  4. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper 7+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2001
    I popped a sleeping pill at ~6:00pm, was out by 7:00pm, and crawled out of bed at 3:00am. I'm not usually in a thinking mode straight out of bed, so I wanted to give my brain time to begin working. I strolled campus a while before the exam. It was a great morning...until the sun came up and I realized my doom. <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
  5. brandonite

    brandonite Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2001
    Manitoba, Canada
    Wow. You people take this very seriously.

    I was up until almost 1 AM the day before my August (the real one for me) MCAT. Got all of five hours sleep. I did fine. I had a bit of a headache by the time I was done BS, but I think that's normal. :) I went to bed at 11 PM, I think (early for me), but I had slept in that day, so I couldn't get to sleep.

    It's just a test, everybody! By turning it into something else, you're going to just stress yourselves out!
  6. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd Administrator Physician PhD Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2002
    the beach
    Seriously TRY to get in the habit of getting up at 7:00AM or whatever time you need to get up in the morning 2 - 3 weeks before test time. My advice is to get up real early like that, go somewhere quiet (library), and DO TIMED VERBAL PASSAGES at 8:00AM.

    If you're not a morning person or you are worried about VR, this is your last chance.

    It's what I did, ended up with a 12 in VR.

    Note though that the day before (this is TPR advice, good advice tho) take the day off. Sure get up early, but watch funny movies that day or something. Stop studying, and don't stress yourself out. Also, the morning of the exam, take a book you like to read (something non-medical) and read it while in line and/or waiting for the exam to get started. Wake up your brain and push the nervousness out of your mind.

    Good luck!
  7. Doctora Foxy

    Doctora Foxy Meow 7+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Listen to Neuronix, this is very good advice.

    For me, I went to bed around 10 or 11 the night before, but my dorm was having a party that night and I didn't get to sleep until 2. I woke up at 6, but I drank a ton of coffee on test day so I wan't tired. (note: too much coffee may cause blurred vision and a migraine on test day, particularly at the end of the BS section! <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> :mad: )

    I did start waking up a little earlier a few weeks before, since I had classes that started at 12 that semester and was used to getting up late. I remember waiting outside the library at 8:30am numerous times for it to open up so I could start studying! <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />

    good luck. now get to bed! and wake up and do verbal! :D
  8. NE_Cornhusker1

    NE_Cornhusker1 12" Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2001
    The Cornhusker State
    with farm animals
  9. NE_Cornhusker1

    NE_Cornhusker1 12" Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2001
    The Cornhusker State
    use common sense, 1. go to bed early 2. don't get wasted the night before 3. eat a good breakfast (fruits) 4. depending on your caffenine/ephedra tolerance starting popping stimulants (ripped fuel, coffee, xenadrine) early and often. 5. stay well hydrated
  10. mamie

    mamie 7+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2002
    I don't know about anyone else, but the night before the MCAT was horrible for me. Both my roomate and I had to take the test the next day,and we both only got about two hours of sleep just because we were so nervous. Honestly, I wish that I had begun some kind of constant sleep regiment before the test so that I wouldn't have been falling asleep in the middle of the PS section. Don't let nerves keep you up like me and you'll be fine.
  11. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2001
    I would go to bed and get up at the same time I would on test day, and started doing this about 2 weeks before the test. In addition, I did what Neuronix did and at 9 am did 9 timed verbal passages every day for the week prior. In order to quell the pretest jitters when trying to sleep the night before I took a couple B-complex vitamins to calm my nerves. Thus, the morning of was just like all my prior mornings except there were about 20 nervous wrecks in the same room as I.
  12. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2001
    San Francisco, CA
    My pre-MCAT story: I spent the night in a stinky hot motel room without AC (temp was about 90F!!)somewhere on the outskirts of Brooklyn. Needless to say, I did not sleep that night. I WALKED 2 miles to the testing center (the bus system in Brooklyn looked really suspicious) and by the time I got there, I was ready to sleep (and eat too!). The testing center appeared to have been some Greek center, which now was a high school, so we got a bunch of kids running around the hallways.
    The testing person showed up and spoke horrible English. She acted like a drill sergeant and yelled at us (I think it was in Russian). By the time 9:30 rolled around, everyone was totally terrified. On top of that, she talked to her friend/helper during the test, and they cut the Verbal section 11 minutes short. I did not even get to 3 I did the emergency 'fill in the same letter' thing.
    Anyways, enough horror stories. I did not have a regular sleep schedule, and deeply regret it.
  13. Ibis

    Ibis Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2001
    Miami, FL
    Whatever you do, stick to your daily stimulant consumption (coffee, etc.). Altering it the day of the exam is too risky, in my opinion. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
  14. SeeGulz

    SeeGulz Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    I naturally gravitate toward a bedtime of 4-7 am. Getting on a more appropriate sleep schedule wasn't really working, and I knew that nerves would keep me up anyway, so I took a sleeping pill. If anybody decides to go this route (and I am glad I did), find out well in advance if a particular pill affects you adversely the following morning. Good luck.
  15. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper 7+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2001
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by SeeGulz:
    <strong>If anybody decides to go this route (and I am glad I did), find out well in advance if a particular pill affects you adversely the following morning. Good luck.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Good advice! I forgot to mention this. I did a "test run" with my sleeping pills a couple days prior to the exam.

    And you thought I was crazy before, brandonite. <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
  16. otter

    otter Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 2001
    Obviously, you should try to get yourself into an earlier sleeping pattern and get 7 or more hours of sleep the night before and all of that. But if something comes up and it happens that you don't get good sleep the night before or something like that, it's important that you do NOT let that psych you out during the MCAT. This is one of the most important tests of your life, so for most of you, you ought to be able to focus and handle it no matter how little sleep you'd gotten the night before.

    In my case, I started to get into the 12a-7a sleeping pattern about four days before the MCAT (I usually go to bed around 2a). But I was so nervous the night before that I really don't think I slept more than 3 hours. I'm a kind of person who cannot function in most things on less than 4 hours of sleep. But, when it came down to the MCAT, I don't think the lack of sleep affected me much at all because I knew that it was a do-or-die situation and I just had to buckle down and do well.
  17. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    This might be a little extreme, but it worked for me:

    Last April in the week before the MCAT, I started suffering from insomnia. This has happened to me two or three other times. Seems to be somewhat stress related, and lasts about two weeks. When these bouts strike, I sleep less than two hours a night. The week before the MCAT was really bad, and I was terrified I'd be up all night the night before and a mess the day of the test! So here's what I did:

    Thursday night, I studied/looked stuff over until about midnight, then watched movies until about 7:00 am, then went to school. Yup, I stayed up all night on purpose! I was a total zombie all friday, but it was cool! I was too tired and punchy to be nervous. I fell asleep about 10:30 pm Friday night, and awoke at 6:30 Saturday morning feeling fresh as a flower! Off to the test I went, sharp and well rested. Like I said this was kind of extreme, but it worked like a charm for me...
  18. spicoli

    spicoli Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 29, 2001
    Pac Side
    I get at least 7 hours of sleep a night regardless of what is happening the following day. MCATs and finals included. :D
  19. spicoli

    spicoli Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 29, 2001
    Pac Side
    And, honestly, the more late night cramming you do, rhe worse you are probably going to do on the exam. Just take it easy. Put in an hour a day for the two weeks before and just relax. It's just a test. Oh, and PLEASE avoid sleeping pills. They really aren't worth the damage that they are going to do to your body. If anything, try going on a run or something to wake up. Not only is it NOT detrimental to your health, but it is invigorating and teh ladies/fellas love it.
  20. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating 10+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2002
    from examkrackers:;bboard-&gt;mcat discussion-&gt;full length

    Sleeping patterns
    You should set your circadian rhythm: go to sleep at the same time that you will go to sleep Friday night, and wake at the same time that you will wake Saturday Morning. You should plan to get at least 8 hours of sleep, and be up by 7 o?clock at least. You need plenty of time to wake up before the start of the test. Have an MCAT friend call you in the morning to make sure your alarm rang.

    You cannot review everything on the MCAT in one week. Instead, choose your weakest subject and become an expert at it. Then go to your next weakest subject. In addition, you should begin to guess at which passages might be on the MCAT. Find an undergraduate physiology text and read the chapters on the kidney, gas exchange, etc. Read critically; apply chemistry, orgo, and physics. Ask yourself ?How could the MCAT make questions from this material?? Do less studying each day until Friday, and take Friday off. Don?t study Friday night no matter what happens.

    Mental preparation
    Visualize MCAT day. There will be distractions everywhere, but you will be unaffected, remaining focused on the test.

    Physical preparation
    Visit your test center, traveling the same route and method which you will use on test day. Investigate parking, a lunch site, and, if you can, the seating situation in the room.

    Exercise moderately this week. Don?t exercise on Thursday or Friday beyond a brisk walk. (Take your Grandmother along to pace yourself.)

    Food during the week
    If you want to carbo-load, eat light carbohydrate meals this week until Friday night. Friday night have mountains of pasta. You will increase your insulin receptors during the week and then load your cells with glycogen Friday night. Plus, you?ll sleep better.

    Food and comfort on test day
    Eat a hearty breakfast more than one hour before the test.
    Where your EXAMKRACKERS T-shirt. It has been specially designed to improve your performance. It will also intimidate the Princeton and Kaplan students, shaking their confidence and improving the curve.
    Have good food for lunch, but do not fill up.
    Bring a knapsack on the day of the test with water, #2 EXAMKRACKERS pencils, black pens, picture ID, energy bar or trail mix, stopwatch, etc.
    NO STUDYING during the test day. Light ready in the morning 30 minutes before the test is fine; however, stop reading at least 15 minutes before the test starts, so that you can prepare yourself mentally.
    Try not to talk about specific questions during lunch and breaks. It can?t help but it can hurt to know that everybody else got a different answer to a certain question.

    Stay confident
    Don not freak out before or during the test. (Freakouts afterwards are acceptable.) Do not second guess yourself. The test is only on basic science that you already know, you just need to recognize it. AAMC is not going to suddenly change the test for this administration only.
  21. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2001

    i haven't done MCATS yet, but i had to do something like that for the Neuroscience final. i was so used to going to bed around 3 am. But I had to be in the final at 8. and I absoulelty HAD to do ultimate last minute cramming a few hours before the exam (just the nature of neuro anatomy). Which mean I had to be awake by 5 am or a little earlier.

    I got myself into the cyle of 10 to 6. but that took sooo much time. so many days i had to give myself extra sleep.

    but other times... racer girl's strategy is VERY good. it's not extreme, i do the often when i need to break a late night routine.

    I would not suggest sleep deprivation. yeah, maybe you do well w/o sleep, but it's too big a risk. get yourself used to early mornings. I sortof don't like the drug idea.
  22. Elysium

    Elysium Not Really An Old Beaver 7+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2001
    I, for one, have always had problems with insomnia. Or maybe I'm just a night person. My normal schedule is to go to sleep at 4am and wake up at noon. Obviously, this ain't gonna cut it for the MCAT. I personally think that using a sleeping pill for a week before is a good idea. I think the best one is Ambien, 5mg 30 minutes before bed. No hangover (as long as you get 7 hours of sleep) and it will ensure you're rested and not a zombie.
    That's what I plan on doing, anyway...

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