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When taking practice tests....

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cwrig14

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How often do you complete one or both of the writing samples?
I know I should do both of them to become acquainted with the actual timing and length of the test, but it's such a pain in the a**. I usually find myself completing one essay and prewriting the other.
What do you typically do?
 

Albein

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I write them both out just to become used to the annoyance I'll feel during the exam. It does take more out of you, but come test day, you'll be better equipped to handle it. If nothing else, it'll build up your endurance.
 

cwrig14

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I disagree with doing the prompts.

Just skip them - it offers no benefit at all.

I don't disagree that it has little effect on your performance on the writing portion of the actual test, but don't you think it's important for endurance in regards to the BS section?
 

crazedpiggy

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I don't disagree that it has little effect on your performance on the writing portion of the actual test, but don't you think it's important for endurance in regards to the BS section?

I don't really think it builds endurance at all. If anything, the writing section is a blessed 1 hr break between VR and the BS section. During the real MCAT, when you're "forced" to do the writing section, it feels like a nice break to recompose yourself for the BS. If you're fast enough at writing (just do the simple thesis, antithesis, synthesis) you can even afford a power nap.

However, I find no benefit for doing the WS during practice exams unless you're legitimately scared you might score less than an M on the real thing. I'd much rather just go straight from VR to BS and finish the thing and save an hour later to do whatever the heck I want.
 
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i only wrote two paragraphs for each essay. what does it even matter? why waste your energy when you're about to start the challenging BS section?
 

OCDOCDOCD

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On the AAMC exams I do the writing section. I have a few reasons:

1. It builds your stamina. The real exam is five hours long, not four. Furthermore, the writing section is stressful since you have to have to come up with an argument and decently sized essay in 30 minutes, twice. If you're interested in simulating exam conditions at all, you have to do the writing section. You won't get the option to skip it during the real test (well, okay, you can if you don't mind getting a J), so it's best to get used to having to do it so during the real thing you aren't half-focusing on how much you don't want to be doing the WS.

2. Practing the WS will help you iron out any issues before the exam and get a good template going so you don't have to spend much time planning out an essay during the exam. The last thing you should want to is to have your first experience with the writing section be during your real MCAT.

I only ever practice WS during practice tests though. It's not nearly important enough to warrant taking time away from studying for BS, PS, or VR.
 
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