That was a hell of a test.
I'm two margaritas into a hellova good night with the wife right now, but I'll be back tomorrow to post what I hope will be some gems of wisdom for those who will be taking the test in August.
hmm… wonder if I can still dance the mambo…
I agree, has anyone ever taken a test made you feel like an idiot. I reckon for some of us that test will do it, dont even know if I spell it anymore. But wish everyone luck on the results.
OMG, after hundreds of hours studying and about 11 practice tests under my belt, I still feel like I bombed it. I ran out of time in PS! hello, how many times have I taken a PS section? many many many, and I always ran out of time for maybe one to two passages and had to guess, but this time I did it, I was running out of time with about three passages left ahhhhh! so I guessed and bubbled in. Did anyone have this problem? everything else I had time on the exam. For those that took it last year did anyone guess at passages and still pull an 8 or 9? shoot I am just hoping now to get a score above the national mean. Oh, and the bio section was all experimental data and tons of genetics only two orgo passages, no straightforward questions like on the practice exams. I will be lucky if I get a 27 on this exam.
I ran out of time on the PS section last year. I think I had to bubble about 10 questions and I almost started crying when they called time. I just felt sick. I just kept telling myself that I could always retake in August. That thought, of course, made me want to cry even more because studying for that test was such hell. Anyway, I felt like I bombed the entire section but I ended up pulling a 10 so you probably did better than you think. The funny thing is that I thought I did much better on the Bio section and got a 9 anyway which is what I had been getting in the practice tests. My MCAT was within a point of my last practice test so they actually are good guides to what you will probably get regardless of how you felt on test day. Good luck! At least it is over for now!
I feel like I did awful on the physical science section. Not only did I run out of time but I felt rushed on the parts I did complete–I'm sure I made a lot of hasty errors. I actually feel good about the other sections—but after PS I was wondering if I'm actually smart enough to be a doctor. : ( I'm trying not to worry about it, and trying to remember that I may have done better than it felt like. As the person behind me said, it would be hard for me to actually do as badly as it feels like I did, LOL.
The other frustrating thing was the clueless & disorganized people giving the test. They seemed like they hadn't seen the procedures until 5 minutes before the test, and managed to make every step take too long—handing out books, reading instructions, etc etc. We didn't even start taking PS until 10 o'clock, after watching them fumble through their paperwork for an hour and a half! and didn't finish for they day until 7:30 pm.
First, congrats to all the MCAT warriors out there who completed this milestone. It is, as you’ve said, a true beast. The good news, however, is it is an equal opportunity beast.
Next, taking demoralizing exams will become a way of life. Somewhere along the way you’ll realize the true meaning of grading on a curve. After enough times where you finish an exam convinced you’ve failed and then seeing a decent grade you understand that if it kicked your butt, it most likely kicked everyone else’s butt, too. Intellectually, it is a fairly easy concept to understand. Emotionally, however, it is really hard to get. After two years of these types of tests, I’m not sure I’ve gotten it yet. In other words, I feel your pain.
The MCAT is designed to be brutal. It is designed to be difficult enough to get a good bell curve of performances. The grades are normalized with this concept in mind.
Keep telling yourself that it kicked everyone in the pants and your score is probably going to be very close to what you’ve been getting on the practice tests.
Finally, I’m really, really glad I don’t have to take that thing again. I’ve been hearing it is more and more loaded with cell biology and genetics. Yuck!
Good luck everyone!
Jeff Jarvis, MS-II
Thanks guys! that really helps. This exam makes you feel like a complete idiot.
My sincerest congratulations & condolences for those of you who just braved the MCAT. Yes, most of you feel like a true numb-nut after taking the damned thing…I sure did! I had purchased a BIG bottle of my faovrite single-malt scotch - intending to put a big dent in it after the exam. I was so mentally & physically exhausted that I only managed to choke down half a drink and I went to bed. So much for the old fart kickin up his heels!!
Take solace in the fact that very little of the information tested on the MCAT will reappear in medical school. Instead of viewing the MCAT as testing a body of info that is vital to your becoming a solid physician, know that it is merely another hoop. The journey to becoming a physician is filled with many hoops of all sizes - some so small you don't even notice them until later; some are so massive that you fear that you will never clear them. In this process, you will become an ace hoop-jumper. The people who undertake medical training are habitual bar jumpers. They may raise a lot of hell when the masters progressively raise the bar over & over again – but they tend to do what ever is necessary to clear that bar.
Congratulations on taking yet another step on the path. One day, you will look back at the MCAT and it will not appear to be so daunting. Hard to swallow, but very true.
Congratulations you guys, on being done with the MCAT! What a huge accomplishment!
The best thing you can do now is to just put it OUT of your mind. Don’t think about it, don’t rehash passages, don’t talk about questions (ala SDN) with other people. When June comes around, you’ll have plenty of time to worry about your scores.
For now, just be happy that you don’t have to study or take any more practice tests! It’s a great feeling to be done with it. Find the joy in that.
it really is a great feeling knowing I don’t have to study for it anymore! Yesterday I gathered up all my MCAT review books & practice tests, and all the notes & texts from my past 2 years of post-bac study, and put them in the basement. (A bonfire would have been more fun but since I might have to take the thing again in August… ) It was pretty cathartic.
So when should you receive your results?
AAMC website states that results are typically mailed out within eight weeks (?!?!!) of the test. There is rumor that we'll be able to find out before then on their website, free of charge.
Results are mailed about 60 days after the exam date and when they say “about,” they mean 60 days or MORE, not maybe a few days less.
I think I read somewhere that you’d be able to access your scores online for free this year - last year was the first time you could get to your scores online and it cost you $15 for the privilege. However, I think they were available about a week or even 10 days before results would be put in the mail - people got their scores effectively about two weeks earlier that way.
NOTE: I think I remember people telling that last year, they got a mailing from the MCAT folks to tell them about the wonderful opportunity to give them $15 to get their scores early, and it came several weeks after the exam. Needless to say, this caused a few people to totally freak out, thinking they’d gotten their scores back already. Scores will NOT be back before the dates given by the MCAT folks. If you get something in the mail from them before those dates, it will NOT be your score.
There are a couple of improvements in the timeline from when I applied four years ago. That year, the first date to submit AMCAS (by mail, you couldn’t do it online) was June 1. But MCAT scores weren’t expected until sometime after June 20… which meant that, if you were anxious to get your application in early, you had to take the leap of faith that your MCAT score wouldn’t be in the “don’t even think of applying” category. It was kinda nerve-wracking.
Now, you definitely get your MCAT results before you can submit AMCAS - so you aren’t making the blind leap that those of us who HAD to get our apps in early were making!
It’s April 29. NOTHING about your MCAT will happen during the month of May. So put it out of your head and don’t think about it until you’ve flipped to the month of June.
Here are my thoughts on the MCAT, it was my second time taking it and I definitely found that I learned from my first time through. Last summer I rushed through about 2 months of hardcore studying (I know, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into … ) and when I got to the actual exam I was so freaked and nervous 1) I hadn’t disconnected my timer’s beeper, and 2) forgot to actually SET it for a couple of sections (?!), and 3) was NOT able to finish Physical Sciences by at least ten questions, including the handlful of ones I had to geuss on anyway. This was also true for Verbal, I was NOT able to finsih by at least 10 or even 12 questions and the assorted other guesses. Bio I don’t even remember. I thought I was would get about a 5.
Well, I got a 25 T ! (English major here) and 8, 8, 9. I was shocked I had done so well because I had felt really messed up and devastated by the whole experience. So I studied all through the year, took Kaplan again and tried to really focus on the areas I felt weak (most of them) and when I retook the exam I was able to calmly work the problems, answer almost every question in as intelligent and thoughtful way as I could and I finished the sections, etc. Wow, that was a BIG difference for me.
Still, I felt like s***t when I walked out and convinced I had just bombed and I was even stupider than I realized. Very depressed really. What if I get the SAME score? What if I do worse? My Kaplan scores went up but not like into the stratosphere, and even a week before I thought: I must be dumber than I think, because after 6 months of MORE work, I am not rocking these practice exams. I was not going to take the test and had to be talking into it again by alot of people, including yes! my MCAT tutor, who I hired to help me really prepare for the exam. It was so upsetting to me to think that even really working over the material many times and being more agile with the questions, I might still have scores that won’t get you into a bar.
I had my Premed Committee Interview today and the guy said: “you are clearly an excellent candidate”, which made me feel better. I guess my humble August scores didn’t phase him …
Good luck to everyone on their scores … !
For those of you who are desparately awaiting your MCAT scores…
I took it last August after submitting my AMCAS app and the scores were actually posted to my application before I received them in the mail. Good Luck!!
Wish me luck, I’m this August MCAT train again due to a heavy course load this past spring.
What advice do you have for studying for the MCAT;what worked best for you, what is your honest unemotional response about the info of requested on the MCAT.
I've heard that it is actually just basic sciences, as per the pre-req's we've taken for med school, and I've heard that it pulls you beyond the normally presented material.
What do you think is the actualy difficulty with the MCAT; share material, difficult scientific info, or length?
I do not have my scores yet from the April MCAT but here are some of my thoughts. After doing 11 full length exams and 10 extra verbal portions from EK, the MCAT still blew my mind. I think that some folks are better standardized test takers and that is a great advantage to have, so with minimal study time these folks tend to do well. I studied a ton (more than 500 hours) and took a review course on top of that, and still managed to run out of time in the PS section. It is very very conceptual but this could vary depending on the form that you had. My form had about 80% gen chem and 20% physics, the verbal was good, the bio had 80% bio and maybe about 20% organic if not less organic. I found the bio section nothing like the old practice exams period. It was very difficult and a lot of microbiology and genetics questions. The questions in the bio section were are based on highly difficult experimental data type passages with charts and graphs, it seemed that almost every passage was based on experiments. I had hardly no straight forward stand alone questions or passage based questions, also you are so tired at the end that it all seems like a blur. My PS section I was doing great but somehow I got hung up somewhere (who knows why) and I ran out of time for about three passages (15 questions) that I just bubbled in quickly with C's. The PS section had high caliber conceptual questions and hardly no calculations. OTOH other forms were chock full of electricity and magnetism with tons of physics and heavy on calculations, there is just no way that you can even guess what you will get. Hence you have to be ready for anything but this is easier said than done, I was doing well on my TPR and AAMC practice exams but I have no clue how I fared on the real schmeal. So to summarize, study your arse off, and pray for the best. Do tons of exams if possible and focus on the underlying theme/concep of the passages and questions, of course this is hard to do when you are hauling arse to finish the sections…