MCAT score not improving!

I’m frustrated with my scores, any pointers would be nice. I’ve been using the Princeton Review self-paced online course and Kaplan MCAT review books for over a month and haven’t increased my score. I need a quick and significant score increase to apply to med school this cycle!

I’ve taken 2 AAMC tests and 3 Princeton Review tests, of which the range & average is 15-18, 16.4 avg. I canceled my MCAT date and don’t want to reregister until I pass 20 and figure out why the score isn’t improving and how long it will take to increase it to be competitive. I notice a weird pattern, when PS goes up, Verbal goes down and vice versa. BS remains constant across all of the exams. My score should be going up with practice, but so far with 5 practice tests behind me I haven’t passed 18, which is still an embarrassing score.

I’ve taken all the prereqs as a post-bacc. I feel I understand the material well as far as content goes but have difficulties with the passages and questions. I’m also a slow reader (~150 wpm) and run out of time, having to guess on the last 2 passages in each section.

I’ve also noticed my PS score goes up whenever I do the questions before looking at the passages, many of those questions are answerable without needing the passage and saves time.

Beside that, i’m frustrated that the questions I have time for aren’t increasing either. The online princeton review has a lot of drill questions that are written awkwardly and have typo’s and errors. I’m not satisfied and it’s obviously not helping… but I paid the money and can’t afford to switch to a Kaplan course so i’m stuck with it.

It sounds like part of your problem is in strategy. Aside from content, the mcat is all about gleaming appropriate information from the passages, bypassing the irrelevant information, then combining your own knowledge with the relevant parts of the passage. Try scanning the passage on first glance and actually outline the details on each paragraph, and I do mean a very brief outline, so you know where to reference when the questions require it. If there are no questions about that part of the passage, absorbing the info from it is a waste of time. You don’t have to understand everything, you just need to know where to look. Also, timing is key. I think the average time is like 7-8min per passage. HOLD YOURSELF to the time. If you run out of time on that passage, guess on the remaining questions and move on to he next one.

Some people like to answer the independent (not with a passage) questions first since they are straight forward. But essentially you have about a minute for each one of those. If you don’t get it, guess and move on. Rounding on math questions is key. You don’t need the exact answer, just get close to the correct answer.

For verbal, I can’t recall any of the details of any passage I read. The outlines should guide you to both content and tone. I learned a lot of tricks for this section from the Kaplan books.

There are many ways to skin he MCAT. Bad pun aside, you need to have a plan of attack. Many of the commercial companies have plans involved in their study material. Find one that works for you and stick to it. That should help with the score.