Any tips for improving MCAT scores (from practice)


My score on the AMCAS test was a 20…My exact scores were an 8-9 on the verbal reasoning, a 6 on the physical sciences, and a 6 on the biological sciences. I admit that I made a lot of stupid mistakes. I misread questions, and debated a lot of answers, narrowing it down then choosing the wrong one. I think some of this is experience in taking the test… which I don’t have at this point.

If that was AAMC 3, then you are exactly where most people are on their first test. You are right, more practice tests should help you a lot.
I think you might be in better shape than that first test score suggests. If you have the time to study all-out for 2 1/2 weeks (without exhausting yourself), then the April test might be a real possibility. However, in my experience it takes a few practice tests before students really get into the MCAT groove, and that unfortunately takes time.

it actually was AAMC test 3. I had been told that that’s one of the easier tests though… which discouraged me even more. I need to get over this stomach bug so I can concentrate and get some work done.
This was basically my first diagnostic test. The only “review” that I’ve done is taking some random practice passages with questions, and doing some random reading from a Kaplan book…not “studying” which is what I should’ve been doing… although I’m not sure when I would’ve done that. Anyway… more to think about.

Andrea, it’s hard to fit in MCAT studying time if you’ve got a full load of other classes. I was fortunate in that I was able to scale back and only take 2d semester of o-chem and physics during my MCAT semester. Consequently, I tried to treat MCAT as another 4-credit class. If I hadn’t been able to do that I think that would’ve been extremely stressful to say the least!
Remember, when it comes down to it, choosing to excel in your classwork is ALWAYS better than letting the classwork slide in favor of the MCAT. While it’s horrible to contemplate, you can postpone or re-take the MCAT, but the grades you earn stay with you. The time you’ve invested in your coursework is time well spent, and it will work out in your favor in the long run. Hang in there!

After reviewing some more of my materials, and considering what I have on my plate for the remainder of the semester, I’ve decided to wait until August.
Everything that everyone said really made a lot of sense. I’d thought of some of it before… but hadn’t really considered it all en masse.
I think I really got caught up in NOW!, and forgot about what it all really means… it really is a marathon kids…
ok, so now, anybody have any suggestions for preparing over the summer?, oh, that’ll be a new thread… :wink:

Adennis, I think you made a wise choice… I may be joining you on that August MCAT thread very soon!!

You two won’t be alone.


After reviewing some more of my materials, and considering what I have on my plate for the remainder of the semester, I’ve decided to wait until August.

I made this same choice last year and while I was slammed for it on SDN, it was the best choice for me. I also stopped working on an advanced degree to make SURE I had time to fufill my reseacrh fellowship responsibilities and prepare for this test.
In the year or so I’ve had to think about this test and how to prepare for it two things come to mind: Go throught as many practice tests as you can and secondly I know this is going to sound cheesy, but BELIEVE you can do well on it. At this stage of the game, attitude is EVERYTHING!
As for how “easy” test 3 was, I also found the test pretty hard (especially the Physical sciences) but that hasn’t stopped me from recording double digit scores on tests 4,5, and 6. In the end it’s your performance on the “Real Deal” that counts the most!!
Good Luck!

Good luck on the August MCAT! In addition to all the other great advice, I have a suggestion for raising your verbal score. First, do your verbal passages the “normal” way, quickly and timed. When you have finished, do not look at the answer key. The next day, do the same passages over – taking as much time as you like. Then score the passages noting what you missed in both the fast and slower versions. Of course only your timed score really matters, but doing the passages the second time will reinforce correct reasoning and you will learn more about the types of mistakes you make when you take the test quickly. Many people can make great scores on the verbal given unlimited time, it’s good that you see that you are capable of reaching a correct answer, and you can work on your speed and eliminating the common reasoning errors you identified.
All I can say is that I feel this helped me.

Hi Andrea,
I am glad that you decided to wait until you had plenty of time and attention to devote to a thorough prep for this test. I took only the August test because I had to prepare for my graduate qualifying exams. That turned out to be a good decision for me and I believe that you will find as you look back on your decision, that you make a good one too.
Good luck and happy studying. I am sure that you will do fine on both the MCAT and your studies.