January 24, 2013
- The 2015 MCAT - Thoughts and Statistics
- The 2015 MCAT - What's the Big Buzz?
- Keeping Up with the MCAT Test Changes
- Shorter in length (3 hours, 20 minutes required testing time + 45-minute trial section).
- Fewer pre-requisite classes (8 total). No psychology, sociology or biochemistry.
- Compared to 2015 MCAT, has a higher proportion of:
- Organic chemistry questions (about 20-25% of Biological Sciences section).
- Physics questions (50% of Physical Sciences section).
- General chemistry questions (50% of Physical Sciences section).
- Each question individually may have a large impact on score.
- Longer in length (6 hours, 15 minutes required testing time).
- More pre-requisite classes (11 total).
- Compared to current MCAT, has a lower proportion of:
- Organic chemistry questions (about 15% of Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems section).
- Physics questions (about 25% of Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems section).
- General chemistry questions (about 33% of Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems section).
- Each question individually has a smaller effect on score; more questions can be answered incorrectly without hurting score.
August 7, 2012
February 20, 2012
- 2 Topical Tests (shorter, passage-based exams dedicated to specific topics)
- 1 Verbal Section Test (simulated Verbal Reasoning section, with timing)
- 1 Science Section Test (simulated Physical or Biological Sciences section, with timing)
- 1 Full Length Practice Test (either a Kaplan or AAMC exam)
|TEST||Q#||Passage/ Discrete||Subject||Topic||Why I missed it?|
- TEST – For this column just fill in which topical/ section/ or full length test you are working on so that you can keep track of your progress.
- Q# - The question number of that specific test so you can look it up later.
- Passage/ Discrete – Was this a discrete question or was it associated with a passage?
- Subject – Some people like to fill this in different ways. I have found the best way to do this is to make your subjects just Physics/ General Chemistry/ Verbal/ Organic Chemistry/ Biology, although splitting it by section (Physical Sciences/Verbal Reasoning/Biological Sciences) may also be appropriate.
- Topic – Was this an electrochemistry question, or thermodynamics? Filling in topic allows you to identify the specific topics of a subject you don’t know as well as you should. I find the best approach is to go back to the Review Notes and organize your topics by chapter and relevance to the MCAT, then study accordingly.
- Why I missed it? – This is the KEY to making the whole chart. You need to honestly ask yourself why you are missing a specific question. Are you missing it because you don’t know the concept? Did you misread the question? Did you simply make a calculation error? Did you not understand what you read in the passage?
February 16, 2012
February 13, 2012
- Study every day, even if only for a short period of time. If you can make time to study for 45 minutes twice a day, that will add up to 10.5 hours of studying a week! By making it a habit to study everyday you won’t have to put those study marathons in over the weekend that can quickly burn you out.
- Utilize your time between classes. While everyone tries to craft the perfect class schedule each semester, there are always breaks between classes where time usually goes to waste. Instead of catching up on your Netflix account or mindlessly creeping on Facebook, try and use your half hour break to go through some flashcards. This is a great tool to get a lot of high yield content down quickly.
- Get out of bed, and study earlier in the day! Despite what your roommate says, your brain functions better in the morning than at night after a long day of labs and classes.
- As much as possible try and establish a normal daily schedule. Many of us have romanticized the notion of pulling the all-nighter and still getting the A on that organic chemistry test, but the fact is that approach simply cannot be done for the MCAT and certainly will lead to burnout. Establishing a daily schedule may be boring, but it will help keep you on a path to success.
- Find a good environment to study in. Even though your apartment or your dorm room has all of the luxuries of home, this can be a very distracting environment. After you establish your schedule, part of keeping that schedule is finding a positive place to study. Examples of this can be the library, an empty classroom, or a quiet part of the student union, but the important thing is to find an environment that’s conducive to focus.
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