First full length

Anyone taken their first full length practice yet? I took mine in Sunday. I did pretty well, improved 6 points from the first diagnostic.

Still definitely have a lot of work to do in the physical sciences. I need to learn some of the content still, I assume once I do, my timing issues will go away. I ran out of time in this section with about 8 questions to go, so I had to to totally guess.

I did well on the verbal and ok on the bio, still need some more review of a lot of the A&P stuff, but timing was not a problem in these sections, I had plenty of time to go back to take a closer look at the questions I was unsure about.

Now I see why people say its hard to get a good VR score, I only missed 5 questions and I got an 11

How are all the other Kaplan folks doing, not too much going on in here.


Terry, you must have had yours by now, how did it go?


Terry, you must have had yours by now, how did it go?

Hi Artist,
Glad to hear you have seen an improvement. I like the strategies Kaplan teaches; they feel “right” to me and kind of fit in with my lazy man’s approach to problem solving. My first full length is this Saturday. I’m really curious to see how it goes.

i just had my first practice full-lenght yesterday! Well…I’m not totally disappointed, but it could be better.
I got 11 in BS - which improved in comparison to my diagnostic. But Biology and Orgo are my two strongest sections. My verbal dropped. And I’m so surprised! on my diagnostic I scored 9, and on all the practice passages I always get 10 or 11. And yesterday I got only 7. What the heck is going on? It used to be my strongest section - better than Biological Sciences. I’m really confused
And I have nothing to be proud of as far as physical sciences are concerned. It’s always been my weakest section. I will improve it a little bit, becasue so far I didn’t memorize any formulas. I’m starting today on that. get 7 on all the practice tests I take and so I did yesterday! But I strated at the lower end of 7 and now I’m only 1 question away from 8. Sure it would be great to get 10, but I will be happy even with 9. Just have to get those formulas!!!
I’m not sure what I’m going to do about verbal though. I’ll see how I’ll do on my next full lenght. Maybe I just had a worse day yesterday. But it’s really frustrating to score 7, when usually I get 10-11.

Hang in there Kasia. It will all come together. You’ve still got several weeks of preparation. Make sure that you’re doing as many verbal passages as you can, going over the answer explanations for those you’ve gotten right as well as those you’ve gotten wrong. In the physical section, in addition to memorizing the formulas, be sure that you look at what the formulas really mean. Also, focus on the interrelatedness of topics and trends.
One thing that I wish I had done A LOT more was practice writing. For me, the style of writing the MCAT asks for is considerably different than other writing I’ve done.
Best of luck in your preparation!!

As to the writing section, I was told to apply ethics to every situation they might give you. If you do that, then you have a format to follow. Try it on a practice exam and see if it works for you. It did for me.
Also, before you start writing, make a brief outline. In your first paragraph include the basic ideas, explain them in the following paragraph or two, then wrap them all back together in your conclusion.
Good luck!!

The biggest thing you are being graded on for the writing sample is your ability to follow directions. It is not necessary to be a brilliant writer to get a decent score on this section. You must complete the following three tasks to score a 4 or better on the essay out of a maximum 6 possible:
1) EXPLAIN what the statement MEANS. This does not mean to repeat the statement, argue with the statement, agree with the statement, or paraphrase the statement. It is helpful to use an example to illustrate your explanation, but this is not required for task 1.
2) Give a SPECIFIC COUNTER-EXAMPLE when the statement does not apply, and explain the example’s relevance. Examples can be drawn from current events, literature, movies, hypothetical situations you make up, or any other source.
3) Give SPECIFIC CRITERIA for determining when the statement does or does not apply. It is not sufficient to cavalierly say, “It depends.” You should give clear rules for when the statement is true or not true. It is ok to decide that the statement is basically almost always or never true.
4) Your essay must be unified. In other words, if you’re talking about the 9-11 attacks in paragraph 1, don’t start talking about your niece’s second birthday party in paragraph 2, because those two things don’t fit together in a single coherent narrative.
5) Other tips: Always use black pen to write your essay. Bring two of them with you on test day in case one dies. Don’t skip lines in the book, or you might run out of room. Take a few minutes to plan your essay to organize your thoughts and ensure that you complete all three tasks before you start writing. Complete the three tasks in order, as this is the logical way to make an argument. (The essays basically follow Hegel’s formula of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.) Proofread your essay for obvious errors during the last couple of minutes of the writing period, but don’t try to re-write the essay because you don’t have the time for that.

I agree with Larry, there is still time for us to work out the kinks, and like Quimica has said, its not the practice tests that count, its the real thing. Definitely spend the time going over the test, you may find (as I have) some really silly mistakes, which if caught next time, will raise your score by a point or so .

Keep plugging away

i have scored very well in the writing section, P,S,R. My advice, and this is what I do, read magazines like Time, Newsweek, and US News and World Report. What the MCAT wants to see is if you can not only formulate an argument based on the subject given but can you properly defend it. What better way to defend your thesis than to bring in a citation from an article in a news magazine. Obviously, they are not expecting a word for word citation, but in your essay, you can certainly say “A recent article in Time Magazine discussed the Regan administration’s push for star wars at the height of the cold war. It was decided that, while the cost of star wars was too high for the economy at that time, the fact that President Regan showed the Soviets that he was willing to spend the money that he knew they did not have and in essence ended the cold war. Russia simply was unable to win the arms race.” If the MCAT statement was “The only way to ensure peace is to prepare for war” you just answered the question “In what way does being prepared for war ensure peace” And you backed up your claim.
The test makers know that you are working on a first draft so they are not expecting perfect. What they are expecting is that you understand what is being asked and that you can argue for and against the central theme and back up your claims in a way that they can follow your train of thought.
The AAMC website has some great examples of what NOT to do.

Hi MadKasia,
Don’t beat yourself up; 11 BS rocks. Your verbal will come back up as you learn to apply the Kaplan analytical tools or adapt them to your own techniques. Just a couple more points in the other sections and you’re golden.