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Poeple with >40 MCATs


dr-m-s

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For those of you who have attained a >40 on your MCATs, how did you do it? Did you guys take a course? or self studied? Also, how many hours of study did you do before the MCAT and how did you do it?

Past experiences and tips on how to succeed would be appreciated!

 

thank you!

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their answers wont really benefit you. you need to find what works best for you.

 

This times a hundred.

 

If there was a section I didn't have a class in and had to teach it to myself on the MCAT I could do ok but not great. I would need to take a class. I have friends who would do better self teaching it. You need to find what gets you high grades and do that. Study as long as you think you need to. Then double it.

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I would disagree with both of these. But to each their own.

 

The reason i say this is because the difference between a 14 and 15 can sometimes be just one question. But again hard work pays off. Do all the tests and make sure you can grasp the concepts.

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The reason i say this is because the difference between a 14 and 15 can sometimes be just one question. But again hard work pays off. Do all the tests and make sure you can grasp the concepts.

 

But luck isn't necessarily what gets you that one question. You could have put in 5 more minutes of studying and that gave you the ability rule out A and put down B.

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In my opinion, luck has to do with what topics they pick for any given test. They can't ask you about everything, so you need to hope they ask about the topics you're stronger in. Granted, if you know everything really well then this is no longer a factor.

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But luck isn't necessarily what gets you that one question. You could have put in 5 more minutes of studying and that gave you the ability rule out A and put down B.

 

That's very unlikely. The only way for five minutes of extra studying to make any difference in your score is if there just happened to be a specific content-heavy question that you (by chance) happened to study for. If you are scoring anywhere in the 90th percentile, then it is far more strategy or test-taking ability than content-knowledge that is getting you those extra points.

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In my opinion, luck has to do with what topics they pick for any given test. They can't ask you about everything, so you need to hope they ask about the topics you're stronger in. Granted, if you know everything really well then this is no longer a factor.

 

I second this. I got a 38, but I think I could have pushed it to 40 if I had memorized a few extra facts that popped up in discretes. Since you can't really memorize every single fact (realistically), it's a bit of luck.

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I would disagree with both of these. But to each their own.

 

Not each to their own. This is not an opinion topic. There are published facts regarding the percentiles and distribution of MCAT scores.

Do you realize that the difference between 13,14,15 is trivial, ie < 4%?

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Not each to their own. This is not an opinion topic. There are published facts regarding the percentiles and distribution of MCAT scores.

Do you realize that the difference between 13,14,15 is trivial, ie < 4%?

 

Ok and if someone puts in more effort than someone else they are likely to get a higher score. You can't not study walk in and get a 13. Luck won't get you that. As I said before, if you have a question you get and let's say you studied for even 5 more minutes, maybe by luck that question was asked, but your hard work and putting in slightly more time allowed you to pick A instead of B. That isn't luck, that's hard work.

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Ok and if someone puts in more effort than someone else they are likely to get a higher score. You can't not study walk in and get a 13. Luck won't get you that. As I said before, if you have a question you get and let's say you studied for even 5 more minutes, maybe by luck that question was asked, but your hard work and putting in slightly more time allowed you to pick A instead of B. That isn't luck, that's hard work.

 

Getting a 13 can definitely be the product of hard work and studying. But I think the point that others are making is that to get above that (i.e. 14 or 15) relies largely on luck because people may have different degrees of familiarity with the topics being discussed.

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Getting a 13 can definitely be the product of hard work and studying. But I think the point that others are making is that to get above that (i.e. 14 or 15) relies largely on luck because people may have different degrees of familiarity with the topics being discussed.

 

But could that not come from taking a course related to the MCAT instead of a GPA booster?

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Beyond a balanced 36 (12/12/12), MCAT scores are really just a pissing contest.

 

Higher scores than that reflect a combination of problem-solving under pressure, overall preparation, and luck, but it's hard to tease out which played a bigger role for any individual person. An exceptionally bright, well-prepared person may have a greater chance at a 15 in any one section, but I don't believe for a second that getting a 15 necessarily means you can say that person is smarter or was better prepared than someone who got a 13.

 

To answer the OP's original question, I haven't found that many high-scoring MCAT writers take a course. The main benefit of those courses is to correct any major flaws in knowledge, study habits, or approach to taking the test. That can help get you to average, but they don't help much beyond that. It's possible that a very intelligent person was making simple mistakes that, when corrected, exposed their high potential, but there are equally good suggestions and prep material available in print sources.

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I scored 39 and found a course to be incredibly helpful. I was working full time at the same time as studying, so I relied on the course schedule to make sure I was getting through all the material at a good pace and to help keep me disciplined. Physics was by far my best topic because I had just taken it in school, and was consistently my highest score on practice tests (but I never scored as high on a practice test as the 14 I got on the real thing, which I think was partly luck). My bio score, though, felt like a total fluke. There were 15 orgo questions and I guessed every single one of them (some I was able to narrow down to two possible answers, but there wasn't a single one I knew the answer to), and I ended up with a 13. I definitely feel like that was complete luck.

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I got a 42 and definitely feel like luck had a huge role to play with it. I was scoring around 37-39 on practice tests so I felt (perhaps a bit egotistically) that I could reasonably expect to get a score around that, but 42 was way out of the blue.

I took an online TPR course and found it to be just meh - the classes themselves were too slow for me so i mostly sat around on Facebook the entire time. The resources that TPR gives you though, such as Amplifire, practice tests, and practice passages, were beyond invaluable. I pretty much did every single practice passage available to me and I think it was really effective in my overall studying experience. Hope that helps!

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One of my favourite sayings. First heard it in reference to hockey actually.

 

I've heard that said for golf. To get a hole-in-one, you do have to possess a certain degree of skill - if you can consistently get the ball on the green and near the hole, you'd have a higher chance. But you also need luck since there are so many other factors that come into play (wind, slope of the green, etc.). I doubt anyone with a hole-in-one could attribute it purely to skill.

 

Never thought I'd relate writing the MCAT to the game of golf lol...

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I also agree it depends on luck too, I guessed a couple PS questions but ended up with 15. I scored a 42 on the actual mcat with 43-45 on the practices. I was also working during the daytime and I did prep101/examkrackers as my course in the evening.

My suggestion would be to do a lot of practice so that everything you memorize become second nature.

What I mean by this is:

- For BS/PS:

- I did all 1001 questions from the 1001 question books for orgo, physics, bio, and chem. Yeah it took a long time and sometimes I would be doing them on the 2 hr bus ride to work everyday but I knew my equations very well and eventually I could finish ~100 questions in 30-45 minutes. This is very useful for the mcat because you're under a tight time constraint (especially with PS I found).

- For VR:

- This is my weakest section, I scored a 6 on the first practice. So I did all the questions from Examkrackers, Kaplan, and TPR. EK and TPR were the most helpful.

- I am also a psyc minor so this helped a bit with the psyc passages, I remember skimming a whole psych passage because I already knew an experiment and this saved me a lot of time.

- My best advice for VR is that a lot of people say they are iffy about it coming out of the mcat and don't know if they did well. But if you can come out of the mcat and be able to reiterate each passage you read for 30s-1 minute to whomever is picking you up, you can feel confident you got >11 and caught all the key points.

Hope this helps :)

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Got a 42, luck definitely is a factor at the top stages. I didn't get any passages relating to my weakest topics in PS or BS. If I had, I easily could have gotten something in the high 30s instead.

 

Preparation will get you to the mid-high 30s, but to get beyond that really does come down to the smallest things - including luck.

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Definitely agree with everything everyone has said so far.

 

I would also like to add that, beyond the basic content review/brushing up on your weak topics, I would say the two most important factors are test-taking abilities and luck. Prep courses can only help you with the basic content review. Once you've got that down (and you really should have this down fairly solidly with ~ 3 weeks left of your test date), just do boatloads of practice tests and remember to go over EACH TEST and handpick which ones you got wrong, why you got it wrong, etc. Was it a flaw in your thinking? Did you read the question wrong? If you knew the material, what exactly did you mess up on? Categorize these and then work to improve on them during the next practice test.

 

The luck part isn't as teachable unfortunately. Eg: I got a 39 but that probably would've been a 40 if I had one more second (was about to click an answer when it timed out). However, I do 100% subscribe to ralk's wisdom that beyond a balanced 12/12/12, the MCAT is really just bragging rights :P

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