I have been in school for the past 3yrs working to complete my prereq’s. I have been doing quite well grade wise and finally took the April MCAT. I also was in the Princeton Review class prior to the exam. Well I did horribly and got the same score before I took PR. I understand the material but I just struggle with the test itself. I have to retake in Aug and wanted to see if anyone has been in a similar situation and what can be done to improve. The MCAT is my only stumbling block to getting in.
Thanks in advance,
Hi, and welcome! You’ll see more info on this in the mcat forum. How did you do on practice tests? Did you take a lot of them?
What kinds of problems did you have on practice tests? Did you have trouble finishing?
What kinds of errors do you see when you go back over your practice tests? If you look at each question, you can ask yourself, why did I get this right? Why did I get this wrong? Did I not understand the science, or did I not understand the question? I think evaluating your practice exams in-depth can help you figure out what to work on next.
Your problem may stem from the being concerned about finishing the exam on time. The first time I took the test, I brought 2 watches with me. The first watch was the test time. I set it at the start of every section so that the test would end at 12. Every few questions, I would look at the test watch to see my pace, should I speed up or slow down.
At the end, I had a full 5-7 minutes to go back and review the questions I had put marks next to.
The other watch was the time of day, which I only looked at during the breaks.
I hope this helps.
Try going to the AAMC website and sign up to take their past exams. They are timed if you want.
There is no magical formula for how to improve one’s performance on this hellish test. However, the best thing to do from the get go is to pick yourself up and get your mind back into the game as soon as possible, especially if you’re planning on the Aug. test. Positive attitude maximizes positive results. Tell yourself that you can do this and you can conquer this exam. Many, many, many folks have to take more than one MCAT exam. It was such a daunting exam for me, that it took me several attempts to finally get a decent score…and I wouldn’t even consider it decent. Luckily, my other attributes were ok enough to get me a medschool seat this year. Next, evaluate your weak areas for all three sections and concentrate on re-hashing these areas thoroughly. It wouldn’t make sense to re-take the exam and still miss the same questions from the same topics as the first MCAT. Another thing…get friends or family involved with this experience. Have someone drill you a couple times per week or administer a practice test on the weekends. It will help tremendously to know that you’ve got people pulling for you and it may be that extra little nudge you need to increase your score. For example, me and a buddy went through the majority of our pre-req’s together at a local university here. We pushed each other to make our pre-req grades. We drove into Dallas during rush hour traffic 3 nights a week to attend Kaplan classes. We both bombed the first two MCAT’s. Finally, he scored decent on the third and I didn’t. I had always told myself that 3 strikes and I was out. He urged me to give it another try. He offered to drill me and help me study. We would meet up at my office afterhours and go over the study materials several nights a week for several weeks. Finally…my score improved enough to get me in, but I couldn’t have done it without his and my wife’s ( can’t leave her out) encouragement. This is what worked for me. I hope that you will be able to do the same…in fact…I know you can and will!!! Positive attitude!!!
I would recommend doing as many pre-tests as you can. I remember very similiar test questions from the pre to the real test. You can only ask so many questions about certain concepts. I also believe that you have to learn “how to play the game.” I did so much better on my USMLE II because, I did so many pre-tests. I think my last month before I took my exam I would do 20-40 questions a night.
Hope this helps…Good luck