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ihatechem

accuracy of the e-mcat practice exams

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just comparing the e-mcat exams from aamc and the exams i got from princeton, it seems that paying $35 for an exam seems to make it a lot easier. which ones are closer to the actual thing?

 

it seems the e-mcat exam questions are a lot simpler, and the grading scale is way better (e.g. 32/40 on a kaplan exam is like a 9, while 32/40 on the e-mcat exam turns out to be an 11). i wind up getting like 25 on the princeton practice exams and 37 on the ones from e-mcat.:confused:

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yea...AAMC ones are usually the closest, but I think people find the actual MCAT more difficult - could be the nerves or the test day anxiety.

 

I recommend - in all sincerity- to actually try more difficult full length exams. Recently, MCAT VR has been leaning towards more lengthier passages. BS has also become a quazi-VR deal. PS is also leaning towards more calculations and a higher level of difficulty.

 

Overall though, I think everyone is different but I would highly recommend doing more challenging questions before hand - especially for PS. The thing is, PS is right before VR, and if PS brings down your confidence you won't be in the ideal condition for VR.

 

So in summary, here's what I would do. Early on in the preparation I would do as many practice full lengths from TPR and Kaplan, except I would replace the VR section in those full length exams with EK VR (101 passage book). Then close to the MCAT date I would write AAMC #8 and AAMC #10. In my opinion those were more challenging and greater indicator of the actual MCAT. That way having prepared heavily for the MCAT, the real deal will seem less stressful and more manageable.

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I definitely agree that the AAMC tests are best. I noticed trends about the different topics and focused on them a little more and they were also great for building stamina. The best I ever scored on a practice test was 31 but on the real thing I scored a 33Q. I would do all the practice tests and take them like you are actually writing the exam.

 

Hope you do well!

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IMO the practice questions for Princeton are ridiculously hard. I found them kind of pointless because the amount of detailed specific knowledge they require is far and away much more than you will ever need to know on the actual mcat.

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just comparing the e-mcat exams from aamc and the exams i got from princeton, it seems that paying $35 for an exam seems to make it a lot easier. which ones are closer to the actual thing?

 

it seems the e-mcat exam questions are a lot simpler, and the grading scale is way better (e.g. 32/40 on a kaplan exam is like a 9, while 32/40 on the e-mcat exam turns out to be an 11). i wind up getting like 25 on the princeton practice exams and 37 on the ones from e-mcat.:confused:

 

I found the opposite... with Kaplan, you need only a 34 to get a 10 on bio or physical but you need 40/52 to get a 10 in the e-mcat... same problem with verbal, I did very well in the Kaplan practice tests until I tried the e-mcat, on which I would always get 3-4 points lower :eek:

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My advice would be to start out doing kaplan or princeton tests (I think the general consensus is that these tests are harder and more in-depth). That way you won't panic when faced with a difficult question on test day.

 

The AAMC's were considerably easier, but the marking scheme was far less forgiving. (ie: I'd get 8 questions wrong on Kaplan Bio and pull a 15 and get 1 question wrong on AAMC bio and get a 14)

 

I found the actual MCAT much harder than the AAMC's, but I didn't panic when faced with tough questions b/c of my experience with kaplan exams. Turns out I did better than I had done on any of my practice tests

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I definitely found the AAMC practice tests a good prep tool for the MCAT but they also lulled me into a false sense of security. I was consistently scoring >35 and usually closer to 40 with 13-14 average in PS for about 5 tests in a row.

 

I got to the real deal and it was a different thing altogether. The test (especially PS) was more difficult than expected, and this got to my nerves. I lost my focus and started answering questions more quickly/without the right mindset and this affected my score.

 

In the end I didn't do too bad (33T), lowest score was a 10 in PS. But, this doesn't match up with the consistent ~37 I was scoring on the practice tests. I'd say that the tests are great for prep but know that the actual thing will likely be harder. As well, keeping your cool is just as important as knowing your stuff.

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I got to the real deal and it was a different thing altogether. The test (especially PS) was more difficult than expected, and this got to my nerves. I lost my focus and started answering questions more quickly/without the right mindset and this affected my score.

 

Yeah, that's where kaplan/tpr tests'll really help.

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I personally don't know of anybody who did better on the real test than any of the AAMC's. It seemed most of my friends dropped about 1 point on each section on the real deal compared to their e-mcat averages. Could be stress or the fact that people write more times now in order to obtain high scores and the curve is tougher.

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