April 13th Exam

So I just took the April 13th exam and it was pretty difficult. I’m not sure how I did, I’m afraid I did bad. But I’m crossing my fingers.

My impressions and subsequent advice:

-Study all aspects of the exam equally.

-For the actual exam, you may run out of time. I usually finished the PS with 20 minutes to space on the practice tests, for the actual, I ran to the end.

  • Be prepared for the passages to be longer and harder than you thought.

  • Take a snack! A little bit of chocolate got me through the last section of the test.

    Anyways, good luck on your studying!

Congrats on surviving!!! I know it’s hard to wait for your score, but hopefully you can relax and get some “non-MCAT” stuff done in your life!

With right at 2 weeks to go, I feel like it’s consuming me… can’t wait to get this thing over with!

Congrats on being done. This is a major milestone.

Now, try to find something to keep you busy. It will help with the wait. Also I would relax a bit. The application season is about to start. Try to breath for next two week or so.

Thanks guys (redo-it-all, carrieliz)! I keep kicking myself over a few of the questions (Oh brain, why do you keep replaying things?) but it is nice to be at home spending time with my baby boy. I’m going to relax for a bit and then see if I can get a head start on those applications.

Congrats on surviving. And I can’t agree more with you last tip. SNACK SNACK SNACK. and use your bathroom breaks. I ate a snack b/t every section.

Hey, I’ll be testing in a few weeks at the East Syracuse test center. My wife is from the area (B-ville) and Buffalo and Syracuse are our top choices.

Congrats on finishing, hope to see you on the interview trail!!

Hey, Good Luck radardenny! The test center in Syracuse is in a bit of a weird location, almost hidden next to the bridge. My top choice is Syracuse as well, I’d like to stay in the area if possible.

If you’re available, hit me up after you take the MCAT. I’ll buy you a beer!

LOL! Perhaps I’ll take you up on that!! I will definitely need a strong beverage after!

Is Univ of Rochester on your radar? (Pun sort of intended…) I went to undergrad there and am considering it as my 2nd choice school (first choice will be my current state school) as I have family in the area. All of the above “choices” are based on the major assumption that they’ll want me, of course.

All this Upstate New York talk is making me homesick. Spent most of my life in the Finger Lakes and am a Syracuse grad. These schools are definately in my list of schools to apply to. Live in the Albany area now, and it is nice, but nothing like REAL upstate!!


Yes, I would love to attend U of R. I have family there and I love Western NY. Actually, I have a close family member that owns a well known coffee company in Rochester.

It would be great to conduct some vocal research with Eastman students.

Just so you know Syr…I’ve been sweating the wait for your scores with you. I check this string every day to see if they have come back yet so I can congratulate you when they do!The support on this site is “for real”!!

Are we gonna have to wait until Monday?


as per AAMC, the scores for the 13th April exam will be released on May 15th, so not before next Tue in late afternoon.

This wait is terrible.

Thanks VickiV!

Just got my scores back 5 minutes ago and I’m very happy! I was really worried about my BS score but I didn’t do as bad as I thought.

VR: 11

PS: 12

BS: 9

My congratulations to you. This is excellent and well done.

So now, just get the applications rolling. Please let us know where you end up.

This is very cool.

Marvelous! Well done!


Thanks guys! I’m a little bit disappointed in the 9 for BS. I busted my butt the last month in that section but wasn’t tested on any of what I studied. I am very happy with the 12 for PS and 11 for VR though. So overall, a 32Q is fine by me. I’m just happy I won’t have to take it again. My baby is 4 months old now and there were many nights I missed putting him to bed because I was in the library doing some late night study.

Now onwards to personal statement, LORs, and transcripts!

Now that the MCATs for me are over, I wanted to give you guys my impressions, my mistakes, and some of things that worked for me. Hopefully it helps some of you.


I started studying for my MCATs back in September of last year, by signing up for a Kaplan course. My first Kaplan MCAT practice test was a 19 so I realized from the beginning that I had a long way to go. I took the actual MCAT April 13th so if you’re like me, and juggling a full time job and a family, 8 months may be a more practical timeline. I tried to approach studying for the MCATs as a full time job (40 hours) so I built my schedule around that. Realistically, I was probably close to this in the 2 months before the actual MCAT exam than in the first few months of studying. I dedicated each weekday to studying a specific subject matter, took Friday off, Saturday for review, and Sunday for practice MCAT. I did not do any studying for the writing section until the last few weeks where each week I wrote an essay based on a prompt from the AAMC website (they list a whole bunch).


I found the Kaplan books to be a good start on the material, especially on topics that were a little old for me. I read each of the books twice. Kaplan does a good job with the graphics and gives you some helpful mnemonics. The actual course and instructor was ok, but I’m not sure about their focus on strategies. I personally found the course to be a waste of 1/2 my time, if that makes any sense. However, their online resources are excellent. I took every practice test, quiz, subject matter test they had. I would highly recommend doing this because it gives you a lot of practice.

This type of studying can get a bit mind numbing, so to give my brain a break, I used the videos on khanacademy.org and bozemanscience.com to supplement my learning. I’m a visual learner so watching a video was sometimes easier than reading or listening. Especially when you’re learning about muscle contraction or the Kreb’s cycle. I also tried to use EK’s Audio Osmosis but I found the added effects to be too annoying. If it works for you great, but for me I found ThinkMCAT’s biology audio to be much better.

I bought EK’s 1001 problems which I barely used. The actual MCAT does not have many discrete problems so I found the Berkely Review books to be much more applicable. The only problem is that while I felt Kaplan was a bit underkill (is that even a word?), the BK books are a bit of an overkill. Nevertheless, they have tons of passage based problems which I found helpful. I didn’t get a chance to do every problem, but I do think I would have done better if I did.

Near the end, with a week to ago, I pulled out the MCAT AAMC guide which has a few practice problems at the end, and did those.

Impressions/Mistakes from actual test:

Look, you either know it or you don’t. The hard thing about the MCAT is that it tests a wide variety of knowledge. Personally, I found the BS section the hardest and so I shifted my studying near the end to focus on some areas in BS. Bad mistake. I should have either reviewed all aspects equally or postponed my exam. For the PS section, you need to do a lot of practice problems. You need to be able to write down the formulas from memory. If you can’t do this, you need to develop your own nuemonic for different formulas. I found using Kaplan’s online resources to be helpful with this.

I was originally signed up for the January MCAT but then my son was born so I had to push that back. That was a good decision. Even if he was born later, I was not prepared and I’m glad I took it in April.

Test Progress:

After the diagnostic, I tried to setup a schedule where I was taking a practice every Sunday in the library. I saved the AAMC ones for the end because you only have so many of those.

Here are my scores:

Kaplan PS VR BS Total

Diagnostic 7, 6, 6, 19

1 - 9, 10, 6, 25

2 - 10, 9, 7, 26

3 - 9, 9, 9, 27

4 - 12, 9, 9, 30

5 - 8, 9, 8, 25

6 - 9, 13, 9, 31

8 - 9, 13, 8, 30

9 - 10, 13, 6, 29

10 - 10, 9, 5, 24

11 - 7, 5, 6, 18


10R - 11, 11, 10, 32

9R - 11, 9, 10, 30

8R - 10, 8, 9, 27

11R - 10, 11, 9, 30

7R - 11, 9, 11, 31

5R - 10, 10, 11, 31

4R - 9, N/A, 7

Actual - 12, 11, 9, 32

awesome job, syracuse. good luck in the application cycle.