I’ve finally emerged from the all-consuming world of studying for the MCAT and wanted to give a little overview of the whole experience, including the actual test, and the study process.
I took the test on Wednesday, September 23. It was harder than I expected in some areas and easier in others.
This was consistently my best area in practice, from the time I took the official Sample Test right after signing up for the exam, to the Official Guide which I took a week and a half before my test (and got 100%!) to the official question packs for chemistry and physics. I took a year of biochem ending this June, and have been tutoring gen chem and o chem for almost four years, so I felt like I had this section in the bag, just had to work on physics, which I did a lot this summer to strengthen some weak areas.
In my last post, I talked in general about my study plan, what I planned to go back and cover in content review, and sort of the thinking behind certain aspects of the plan. Here, I want to detail the plan, partly because I’m hoping that making it public will help make me accountable. And also, if anyone reading this who is also taking the test wants to chime in or use a similar plan, that would be awesome.
So, I’ve spent a lot of time since signing up for the test trying to make a (somewhat) realistic, doable and foolproof study plan, as if such a thing could exist.
I took stock of all my old study materials, all the resources out there now, and of how I did on the Sample Test, as well as a half-diagnostic from a company called Next Step. That was interesting, sorta reflective of the official Sample Test except I did a bit lower on everything, and somehow did worse on CARS (verbal reasoning) than I did on psych/soc (which is just so weird to me because I haven’t taken those classes in over a decade and really don’t remember anything so it was mostly guessing, funny how that worked better for me than actually trying to think through the CARS section). From those two samples, I made a list of what my weaker areas are.
A few days ago, I took the official AAMC (company that issues the MCAT) sample test as a diagnostic to see where I’m at. Took it on the comp using my wonderful black background and took part of it on my iPad while the iPad was dying. Since it’s timed, I got a charger but the cord was short and I had to sit scrunched under a desk so it could charge while taking the test. Uncomfortable testing conditions for sure, but at least I had that black background!
Oh and contrary to the image I found for this post, this sample test was not free!
Here are my impressions of the sections. I don’t think I’m allowed to discuss specifics for the sample test so I will be more general here.
In my last post, about registering to take the MCAT this September, I mentioned that I was originally going to take it two years ago but was denied the accommodations I requested. It’s a much longer story than that, and it’s a battle I need to gear up for once again.
And that’s a topic I want to tackle a bit here. People who know me in real life know that I hardly ever use any sort of accommodations on tests. I want to be treated like everyone else, take the tests in the class with everyone else. And if I could have done that with the MCAT, I would’ve.
Earlier this week, I registered for the MCAT. I’ll be taking it on September 23, 2015.
Trying to insert a Countdown Clock but it’s not working. Just one more reason I might switch over to WordPress.org instead of WordPress.com.
I was thinking that, among other topics, I might post about the whole ordeal of preparing for the test and then taking it. I figured it’s sort of a unique situation–you don’t get a ton of blind and visually-impaired people taking that test–so hopefully it’ll be interesting to people. I can only hope.
I haven’t posted new content in a really long time.
With my blog, I always have a lot of questions and doubts about posting.
-Should I continue to post writing samples, even though some publications consider that as being “previously published”?
-Do I still write about TV now that Breaking Bad is long over, and some of the other shows I would write about are not at all in the same genre?
-Do I still post about disability, knowing that it could alienate people, or that I could (and do sometimes) get frustrated in the lack of understanding that can result?
-What do I do when life is really busy? What about the fact that my natural style is to post in fits and starts rather than something more steady when I know that steady is better?
-With every post, should I post it? Should I not? What if it’s too edgy? What if it pisses people off? What if I get a lot of internet troll commenters all of a sudden? -What do I do about my name?