JoeNamath4Eva

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ppl in here are recommending 3+ months of study? really?
I know at least 5 ppl from my school that took last year and all were just finishing orgo 2/phys 2 finals then went straight into the mcat w/o prep and did fine (28-36 for the ones who told)

I, myself, am putting in time (b/c I am taking the review) but wow. now I am worried that I just underestimated my classmates. I figured a good critical thinker would do well regardless (and it's hard to learn critical thinking skills in a matter of months)
 

FlStudent

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LOL. My premed advisor told me:
"You know, I had a student in here that got a 38 on the MCAT, and she didn't even take most of the pre-reqs yet. She's doing that now"

I thought of screaming "BullSpit!!!!" but I refrained myself. What motivation does my own premed advisor have in lying to me? So yes, there are people who don't need to study too much.

It differs by person. If you study for 1.5 weeks, take a recent aamc practice test (8,9, or 10) in real conditions, and bust a 35, you are ready. You are in game-time condition. You don't need any more time, you are just wasting time until you take it!

I think most people need at least 2 mo. of hard studying to get to 28 or so. And then they study an extra month or so to get in the low-mid thirtees.

And some people study for 4 months, do poorly, and have to re-take the exam and study an additional 3 months. You know there are lots of people that are like that, right? Where 3+ months wasn't even sufficient?

So it really depends on the person. A lot of it is critical thinking. Also, you have to be able to read at a solid pace and "critical think" really fast. Sometimes that just takes practice, meaning lots of practice tests to gear up.
 

phospho

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LOL. My premed advisor told me:
"You know, I had a student in here that got a 38 on the MCAT, and she didn't even take most of the pre-reqs yet. She's doing that now"

I thought of screaming "BullSpit!!!!" but I refrained myself. What motivation does my own premed advisor have in lying to me? So yes, there are people who don't need to study too much.

It differs by person. If you study for 1.5 weeks, take a recent aamc practice test (8,9, or 10) in real conditions, and bust a 35, you are ready. You are in game-time condition. You don't need any more time, you are just wasting time until you take it!

I think most people need at least 2 mo. of hard studying to get to 28 or so. And then they study an extra month or so to get in the low-mid thirtees.

And some people study for 4 months, do poorly, and have to re-take the exam and study an additional 3 months. You know there are lots of people that are like that, right? Where 3+ months wasn't even sufficient?

So it really depends on the person. A lot of it is critical thinking. Also, you have to be able to read at a solid pace and "critical think" really fast. Sometimes that just takes practice, meaning lots of practice tests to gear up.

you're right... i hope I'm not stupid, but I know I need at least 5 to 7 months... I guess it depends on the person..:luck:
 
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FlStudent

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"I know at least 5 ppl from my school that took last year and all were just finishing orgo 2/phys 2 finals then went straight into the mcat w/o prep and did fine (28-36 for the ones who told)"

Oh yeah, one more thing. Pre-meds are notorious for boasting! They might have self- studied the bio/physics1/gchem/orgo1 stuff like crazy ALL semester in spare time and the break before the semester.

Since they just took orgo2 and phy2 , they didn't have to worry about those parts, just reviewed it as a whole for 1 day or so.

But when some other premed asks them, "How long did you study man?" They are like, "Oh dude, I just finished my finals and then sat in the mcat and got a 30, I am awesome! Never even took a practice test! :cool: All premeds that study 10 wks before the mcat totally suck! Bow down to me!"

LOL, that's probably what I would say if you asked me! :)
 

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good that this thread was posted, I have a question...or two :D
What biology courses do I have to take before taking the MCAT. I only have General Biology I and I was planning to take the MCAT in April(2008) but I want to work to save some money so I think I'll be taking some time off to do that (just 6mo-It's a CO-OP). what do you guys think? will I be able to study by myself these subjects without taking them before?
 

dr.kicia

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i think it all depends on few things:
-whether you are good with standarized type of test and have good test taking strategies
-how fresh and how good you are with the material

My friend took MCAT with about 4 weeks of study (in the middle of semester) and scored in the 30's (but then he did really good in his pre-reqs and took MCAT right after taking pre-reqs).
I trully feel that if i had a month off of school and work i would be able to prepare for a decent score studying harcore 6-8 hr a day.
It all depends on a person.
 

mvenus929

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good that this thread was posted, I have a question...or two :D
What biology courses do I have to take before taking the MCAT. I only have General Biology I and I was planning to take the MCAT in April(2008) but I want to work to save some money so I think I'll be taking some time off to do that (just 6mo-It's a CO-OP). what do you guys think? will I be able to study by myself these subjects without taking them before?

The recommended prereqs (pretty much required...) are Gen Bio 1 and 2, Gen Chem 1 and 2, Gen Physics 1 and 2, and O Chem 1 and 2. Any other upper division courses (bio or otherwise) just go into more detail on the subjects taught in those general classes. If you're an efficient student and put in the time required, you can maybe teach yourself the subjects covered in Gen Bio 2. O Chem 2 is iffy... there are few subjects that come out of that class, and most can be self taught if you understood O Chem 1 well enough.

JoeNamath4Eva said:
ppl in here are recommending 3+ months of study? really?
I know at least 5 ppl from my school that took last year and all were just finishing orgo 2/phys 2 finals then went straight into the mcat w/o prep and did fine (28-36 for the ones who told)

As others have said, people learn at different rates. I took the 3R without any prep, not even having finished O Chem 1 and placing out of gen bio and gen physics. I got a 31. So, I probably could just study hard core a couple weeks and pull off a decent score. However, I have horrible luck, and I'd probably fail it if I did that. Because I have a busy schedule this semester, I'm doing a relatively relaxed study schedule, and studying for about 5 months prior to when I sit the exam. I'd rather be over prepared than underprepared, because not only will it help with my confidence level, but I won't worry as much about it after I'm done.

Just as a funny note, there's a girl in my O Chem class that plans on going to get her PhD in chemistry, but she wants to sit the MCAT just because. When she said this, about 10 premeds jumped on her asking why she would want to torture herself. Her and a few other premeds in my class could probably sit the exam and do really well with little studying because they're naturally smart and don't stress out about the exam.
 
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deleted106503

Well, I didn't study 3 months. That's what I've read mainly around here. I spent about 6 weeks.

I started the EK material at the beginning of last July (for Aug 06 MCAT), had it all memorized about 3 weeks later (no school, it was summer). After those 3 weeks, I'd go over all the books once before taking the 8 practice exams (EK 1g, and AAMC 3R-9). That took about 3 weeks and then I took the final week off before the MCAT on Saturday.

I'd say asking how many hours people have put in would be more accurate. I know people who started 8+ months in advance, but it was really on and off studying. I'd say 150 hours total studying, which might include practice tests, would be the average.
 
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Personally, I feel two months is good at 6 hr a day in 2-3 hr intervals.

That will get you the info down if you have had the classes before.

Just as important, is the ability to critically think and read well and fast.

I first started with the verbal to see if I have the "ability" or not. Luckly, I started at a 10 so I was good to go there with some additional practice.

Currently, I am reviewing some Physics on the side of my classes to get the info fresh again in my mind and it is by far my worst subject.

I plan on taking the test this August and will take the summer to fully and over prepare. I have to complete a month long internship so that will cut in on some prep time. I also have to work full time to make some money. But, I think I can get it all in. My goal is a modest 30 (10's all around) but I will gladly accept higher!!

To conclude. get the sciences and verbal down, then focus on taking MCAT practices tests to get used to critically thinking MCAT style and speed reading in order to finish the test.
 

mvenus929

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To conclude. get the sciences and verbal down, then focus on taking MCAT practices tests to get used to critically thinking MCAT style and speed reading in order to finish the test.

Don't speed read. Focus on trying to get to the point where you can answer all the questions (or all but 1 per passage, say, that relies on details) without going back to the passage. When you speed read, you get only bits and pieces of information you need, and you end up rereading the passage again and again. Don't spend too much time on really difficult questions. Figure that if you're spending about 2 minutes on a question and are still struggling for the answer, mark it, guess, and move on. Come back if you have time at the end. That's how you finish tests.
 
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Don't speed read. Focus on trying to get to the point where you can answer all the questions (or all but 1 per passage, say, that relies on details) without going back to the passage. When you speed read, you get only bits and pieces of information you need, and you end up rereading the passage again and again. Don't spend too much time on really difficult questions. Figure that if you're spending about 2 minutes on a question and are still struggling for the answer, mark it, guess, and move on. Come back if you have time at the end. That's how you finish tests.

That's what I meant! I shoud have been more specific. I was sort of joking with the speed reading comment because you have to be able to read fast and comprehend at the same time in order to do well.

Your summary is exactly what I do especially for the Verbal. Thanks for the clarification.
 

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One little bit of advice....from 6 years ago.....holy crap! Anyway...memorize every single equation you can in every possible configuration you can. I did that and the physics/chemistry questions were so much easier...I mean, I would read a question and the correct equation would just pop into my head. Then simply plug in a few values and boom....you got the answer. I ended up with a 34...which is OK but nothing amazing or anything. Good luck.

Why am I still reading this site? Kinda pathetic.........

I love the modesty on this board, a 34 is pretty freakin' good. I just started taking the kaplan course and have already taken 2 practice MCATs, but the format of the test really makes me wonder if memorizing a bunch of formulas is worth my time since they seem to rarely be used and the test is much more conceptual. It seems like it may be a better idea just to take a bunch of practice MCAT's and improve my critical thinking skills. But instead of doing that i'll prob. just memorize the formulas. :laugh:
 

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I love the modesty on this board, a 34 is pretty freakin' good. I just started taking the kaplan course and have already taken 2 practice MCATs, but the format of the test really makes me wonder if memorizing a bunch of formulas is worth my time since they seem to rarely be used and the test is much more conceptual. It seems like it may be a better idea just to take a bunch of practice MCAT's and improve my critical thinking skills. But instead of doing that i'll prob. just memorize the formulas. :laugh:

I can only tell you my experience. But I had every freakin formula memorized so well that I didn't even have to "critically think" through the questions. I just read the question. A formula popped into my head. I plugged in some numbers and got the answer. I swear. Critical reasoning is perfect for the verbal for sure. But a big part of the physics/chemistry was just plugging numbers into the right formula. And if one knows ever stupid little obscure formula...it kinda becomes easy.....but that was just my experience.

I must have had 5 stacks of flash cards (with formulas, facts, etc) each about a foot high and just kept going through them and writing them on a blackboard until they were burned into my brain.
 

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in life you play the cards that you're dealt. there are people who can get 35s without studying much and there are people who get 35s after 400+ hours of studying for the mcat. everyone is different and you know yourself better than anyone here. do what you need to do to get the best score is my advice and don't worry about the guy next to you
 

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in life you play the cards that you're dealt. there are people who can get 35s without studying much and there are people who get 35s after 400+ hours of studying for the mcat. everyone is different and you know yourself better than anyone here. do what you need to do to get the best score is my advice and don't worry about the guy next to you

Exactly. Do what you have to do, whether it it's walking in there hungover from last night's party to studying 2 years before hand, regardless of what others think. Those that may chide and mock you are children, or just insecure.
 

estairella

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in life you play the cards that you're dealt. there are people who can get 35s without studying much and there are people who get 35s after 400+ hours of studying for the mcat. everyone is different and you know yourself better than anyone here. do what you need to do to get the best score is my advice and don't worry about the guy next to you

Amen. However, it sounds like the OP doesn't really care about the best score possible and just wants a "decent" score. In that case, I recommend doing a diagnostic and going in without studying if you do well on the diag.
 

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ppl in here are recommending 3+ months of study? really?
I know at least 5 ppl from my school that took last year and all were just finishing orgo 2/phys 2 finals then went straight into the mcat w/o prep and did fine (28-36 for the ones who told)

I, myself, am putting in time (b/c I am taking the review) but wow. now I am worried that I just underestimated my classmates. I figured a good critical thinker would do well regardless (and it's hard to learn critical thinking skills in a matter of months)

I've known many very gifted premeds who for example got 1600s on their SATs without any effort, and they ALL had to study for the MCAT - and many, many hours at that. I have never known one person who did well on the MCAT without studying. And honestly, from my personal experience, the MCAT was a much bigger deal than I initially thought. Don't screw yourself over.
 

FlStudent

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you'll have to do a very similar thing for your USMLEs, so get used to it! Might as well develop a good studying strategy now.
 
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