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What Went Wrong? 3rd timer...

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by WestHaven626, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. WestHaven626

    7+ Year Member

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    Hi....I am taking the MCAT for the...THIRD TIME,
    My last score was a 25 - S (B9, V8, P8)

    I have been studying nonstop, ALL SOURCES (Kaplan, EK, PR) making flashcards of every topic and also have been reading Berkley Review Books and gaining some good test strategy tips and doing all their passages. ALL OF THEM.

    I've read heavy books for 1 hour a day everyday to increase my verbal score. I have EK 101, PR VB, and BK VB. and I also have taken Gold Standard Tests...In all I've taken about 30 tests. (No improvement!)

    After 3 months....I just took a practice test.

    The result?

    24 (B8 V8 P8) on AAMC #9,
    23 (B8 V7 P8) on AAMC #8

    What is going on.

    I am taking the test in January. What is going on? After all this studying and practice passages still no improvement.... Have people experienced this before? I am THIS CLOSE from burning everything in a nice fire.


    Any help would be appreciated.
     
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  3. BerkReviewTeach

    BerkReviewTeach Company Rep & Bad Singer
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    I think the very first thing you need to do is put everything down, walk away for a day or so and then come back well rested and do the following:

    Day 1: Take a full-length exam and ignore the timing completely, giving yourself as much time as you need. See how you score, but do not read the answer explanations.

    Day 2: Take another full-length exam, this time following the time limits perfectly. Again, see how you score, but do not read the answer explanations.

    Day 3: Redo every question you missed on both full length exams and write a detailed account of your logic. See how you did on the second attempt and then read the answer explanation.

    What this will tell you is whether time is hurting your focus and confidence. It will also tell you whether your mistakes are caused by carelessness, being rushed and not focusing, not applying the information correctly, or some other reason you discover.

    Once you know what your biggest issue is, then you can start working towards fixing the problem. What you may very well find is that you know the material well, but anxiety gets the better of your. If that's the case, then flashcards aren't the solution. Instead, you should try to take every exam with shortened time. Build time-saving mnemonics and problem-solving approaches. Once you give that a try, report back to this thread and see what ideas different posters have to offer. There are some great people here who I'm sure have very helpful suggestions. JDub, SN2ed, and Vihsadas come to mind, although there are so many more.
     
  4. alibai3ah

    5+ Year Member

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    Spend less time just studying the information and more time doing practice problems. Practice as much as you can. And go over answer choices taht were correct and incorrect to make sure you know why. I know it can be very frustrating, but this test is mainly about reading comprehension and very little to do with what you know beforehand. Majority of the clues you can get from the passage if you read it carefully and you do it fast. Is time an issue? Practice at the kaplan study centers b/c they have a more test like environment to practice in.....You'll get there don't worry. Good luck. Book wise
    Physical sciences- berkeley review is really good, kaplan stuff is decent
    Verbal- Ek101 (from what i've heard)
    BS- I did kaplan and some berkeley review, but i'm a bio major so this came a bit easier for me. EK for this also helps. Make SURE YOU ARE DOING AS MUCH PASSAGE BASED practice as possible. I improved from 8's and 9's in the sciences to 11's and 12's after alot. You can do it. goodluck
     
  5. minhaj

    minhaj Awesomeness Incarnate
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    I am not going to say practice is what you need. you have done 30 practice tests!! what you need is a different attack plan. what i mean by that is the way you approach passages/questions.

    for physics, for instance, dont get bogged down in all the details of the passage. read the passage, try to understand what the passage is basically about. look at the figures/formula and write down any relationships among the variables. next, when you go the questions, dont think of the formula that would fit... that is not beneficial. Instead, think about the question in a practical manner. SEE what the question is saying. when you approach a problem like so you will have an easier time answering it. thats what worked for me.

    even for verbal, look at the basic point of the writer. what is the author for or against. why is he writing this essay? dont worry about the details! this is very important. the details are there to throw your timing off. you can come back to the passage for a specific question that relies on details. doing this you will be able to finish a passage in under 7:30 mins.

    just know that the MCAT is a test that heavily relies on the most BASIC principles. you dont have to be a physicist to get 13+ on physics. you just have to SEE the basic science the passage is talking about. always look at the big picture.

    Good luck!
     
  6. WestHaven626

    7+ Year Member

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    looking at the whole picture and testing of basic sciences, ya ive heard that before, but maybe i havent really applied it. ill make a huge note of it and post it next to my computer screen to remind myself cuz its easy to get carried away.

    also i havent tried a full length without time constraints and not looking at the answer explanations....so ill try the BerkleyReviewTeach way as well, thanks for the advice

    ill tell you guys what happens.

    the last day to reschedule my January 30 MCAT is January 16th....i don't want to wait all the way to march, because most post-bac.SMPs programs want 30s on the mcat and they take applications on a rolling basis starting in January...
    but anyway, ill let u guys know...
    this is getting ridiculous.
     
  7. WestHaven626

    7+ Year Member

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    thanks. ive tried all of these, but it seems like ur right, flash cards maybe just "busy work" and not mean real anything...
     
  8. WestHaven626

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    ill give your strategy a shot. thanks.
     
  9. yousafob

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    I just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone in taking the MCAT a third time. I am in a very similar boat as you and scored EXACTLY the same as you did the 2nd time with a 25R (8 PS, 8 VR, 9 BS). I was originally going to take the test January 30th as well, but decided I to post pone until March 28th to give myself the extra two months for my THIRD AND FINAL ATTEMPT.

    What I'm doing differently my third time is that I am taking notes on EVERY single chapter in the Kaplan physical and biological science review books (something I never did my 1st or 2nd times studying). I find that taking notes helps condense a 300+ page book into 30-50 pages of notes that I can easily re-read over again to drill the important concepts in my head. Once I'm finished taking notes for all the chapters in chemistry, biology, phsyics, and o-chem I will be testing my ability to use those same concepts with EK's 1001 question books. I'm not exactly sure how much time you have to take notes on the review books or if taking notes is an effective strategy for you, but it works for me! good luck.
     
  10. minhaj

    minhaj Awesomeness Incarnate
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  11. Muffinpuff

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    i don't know if you took a Kaplan course, but unless you're unclear with some basic concepts, when you consistently score in the 20s, it's a strategy issue. So if i were you, I would take or re-take a Kaplan course, you only need to know the basic concepts. Most of your time should be focused on how to better digest the passages and answer the questions rather than knowing every detail and really figure out why you're missing the questions and what you're not getting about the passages.

    Hope this helps!
     
  12. WestHaven626

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    how do you review your answers after taking a verbal test?
    do you guys just read the question and then the answer and make the connection...or
    do you re-read the entire passage again and redo all the problems?

    and im under the impression that BerkleyTeach is suggesting, that when you're reviewing the answers for the Science passages, you REDO every problem you got wrong by yourself, instead of just looking at the answer and adding to your science notes some of the facts that you didnt know....

    if anyone can clarify this issue, please let me know.
    thanks.
     

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