It’s over.

Is this what postpartum depression feels like? I just took the MCAT on Saturday, and now I don’t know what to do with myself. I thought most of it was manageable, but I definitely made a couple dumb mistakes along the way. My scores on the practice tests rarely correlated with my subjective impression of how I did, so I guess I’ll just have to wait a month in order to find out. Speaking of which, what part of grading a (mostly) multiple choice exam takes 30 days?

To those who plan on taking this test one day, here are my two cents:

  • Start Early. I began studying about 3 months ago, though I only got serious about it 2 months ago. I also took last week off work, which was probably unnecessary. Anyway, the longer you have to study, the more comfortable you will be with the test’s format and timing.
  • Expect the unexpected. While the scope of material on the exam is relatively limited, the questions are always applying these concepts in unfamiliar settings.
  • It’s in the passage, dummy! It’s true that a good chunk of the questions can be answered without reference to the passage. But if you stumble across one that doesn’t make any sense, you probably skimmed over a subtle clue in the text. This is also true for VR, where the correct answers are usually paraphrased literally from the text.
  • Practice, practice, practice. I used a combination of Kaplan Full Lengths and AAMC exams to prepare. The actual test was somewhere in between in terms of difficulty.

One response to “It’s over.

  1. I avoided the the MCAT, but I would say some of the same rules apply for the GRE. The first time (1995), I spent months studying vocabulary (which was my most difficult section) and taking practice exams, both of which really helped. The second time (2006) I did the same. Actually my scores were remarkably similar considering gap between my taking of the exams.

    I would be curious as to why the MCAT does not give an automatic score like the GRE. Is it not a computerized test?

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