Apparently my response to stress is to simultaneously use 3 different “note-taking” styles.
Not sure if this is efficient, but at least I’m having fun?
Taking the MCAT when you have attention problems is really a whole different beast. I’m taking a prep course right now and they’re teaching us strategies for how to read the big blocks of text. Our instructor just asked us which parts of the paragraph we would highlight, and when I told her my answer she said “well I wouldn’t highlight those terms because those pop out to me anyways without highlighting.”
What if NOTHING pops out at me, Aeri. I have ADHD.
FL Exam One Takeaways & Recommended Stategies
1. Slow down and think about what the question is asking
- it’s super easy to read and question and freak out because you’re thinking about the content. Every question is NOT content based (meaning a specific concepts), most questions are reading comprehension meaning the answer is given to you, which leads me to my second point..
2. IS IT IN THE PASSAGE!?
- my biggest mistake I made was thinking TOO MUCH when the answer was literally in the passage that I just read. I now believe the majority of the time per question should be spent really reading the passage carefully and making sure you understand what you just read. Once I did that when I was reviewing, answering the questions took little to no time at all. Once you are actually given a content based or conceptual question, then you can use a little more time to go back into the passage and confirm what topic is being tested, which leads me my third point…
3. Do not spend a ton of time on each question
- the MCAT only grades you on the questions you get correct, meaning wasting a ton of time on a question you aren’t sure about is a lose-lose situation in my opinion and here’s why: if you don’t know the answer within about 3 minutes and stay on the question, you’re wasting the precious time you could be using answering more questions you do know. Also, dwelling on a question you don’t know will mess with your mental, because (for me) I now think I don’t know an entire concept, which can screw my confidence up. The MCAT is not about proving you are smart, it’s about proving you are intelligent. Can you strategize enough to get to the right answer if you don’t know it? (Ironically, some would argue, isn’t that what being a Doctor is?)
My strategy going into my second FL test tomorrow is if I don’t know an answer, I’m going to make an educated guess and move forward since wrong answers do not count against you. One my first FL, the highest scoring section I got was in CARS — looking back I believe this was because
A. I went in the exam being extremely confident in CARS since I’m a English major. That confidence allowed me to answer questions with a clear mind, not a mind where I’m constantly telling myself, “I don’t know a lot of this information..”
B. I answered more questions than any other section because I didnt dwell on each question. I reviewed the passage and answered the question and moved on.
C. I made some educated guesses and some worked in my favor and got me extra points.
4. Can you do process of elimination?
If you get to a question where you can’t find it in the passage and you don’t have an educated guess that leads you to one answer choice, is there a way you can work your way to the right answer? Process of elimination was the majority of my “Question Explanation” answers during my exam review. (When we look over a practice FL exam, they give you the answer and explain why that answer choice is better than the rest). So, say to yourself, “I don’t know what it is, but what is it NOT?” That will help you narrow your choices down to at least two choice and from there, utilize the educated guess strategy.
Can I just say that I’m really anxious to start preparing for this exam and I dont really know where to start?
I’m going to take a free practice exam and start from there I guess…
I’ll just collect a list of free practice exams and see where I can start from there. I’ll share what I find here😌!!
5. 27. 2020 | 122 days until MCAT
went out for a walk today! i’m pretty bad at making myself leave the house, partially because of my allergies lol, but it was lovely outside ♡
in other news, i haven’t studied in a week yikesyikesyikes - so i’m gonna have to hunker down today and try to ease back into the flow of things ~
listening to | feels like summer by childish gambino
OWO WHAT’S THIS? 2 days in a row of me posting? I did these notes to relearn a bit of Orgo and to test out taking notes with GoodNotes instead of OneNote.
my med school personal statement is so close to being presentable
(one of my professors asked for it in order to write her rec letter so it needs to be close to its final form ASAP)
Princeton review: Okay practice test scores, not the best but improvement, overall fine.
Me: Okay. This is okay, I can definitely get better.
Examkrackers: You are an IDIOT SANDWICH and I *HATE* you and you will FAIL.
love having my kitty join me while i was re-learning the nervous system!! shes 19 years old and needs a pillow to sleep on but she’s such a pleasure to have!
I study for the mcat purely by learning symptoms and treatments of medical emergencies I want to write fic about. no I do not take criticism
These were the three topics i’ve focused on the past few days! I’m focusing on getting CARS and Psych/Soc down before i start focusing on the details of chemistry, physics, biology, and biochemistry.
progress log | 8:24 pm
these days, i can’t seem to find any motivation to study. i’m relying on routine and guilt to help, and it kinda works… i’m able to do something every day, but not nearly enough. i’m trying to balance being kind but firm with myself, especially since things are so difficult right now, but it’s hard.
anyways, the cardiovascular system is on the menu tonight lol. should be interesting, at least. let’s see how long my stamina can carry me tonight ~
5. 15. 2020
send help, fellas lol
in other news, almooost done with the immune system! definitely one of my faves ~
next up is the cardiovascular system ♡
listening to | session 32 by summer walker
Currently, I’ve been super super preoccupied with MCAT content preparation and honestly, i’m extremely overwhelmed. I took an extra day off this week because I felt like my brain needed a break but during that day i’ve compiled some fun, quick learning strategies that helped me get through the dense content.
1. QUIZLET: I’ve been making a new quizlet for ever single chapter of every single book (excluding biochemistry and general chemistry). In my opinion, quizlet is the most effective way to learn information quickly and figure out what information you don’t know!! I’ve used quizlet to memorize organic chemistry reagents, the brain, and even psychology vocabulary and i absolutely love it!
2. HANDWRITING PROCESSES: Anything that has multiple steps or multiple elements that are too complicated to simply into a quizlet I write down. Handwriting notes is also super effective but quite time consuming so I only employ this method when I’m learning brand new information.
3. PRACTICE QUESTIONS: Right after I finish a quizlet or writing down a specific chemical procedure, I immeadiately do a set of practice questions so I can test my knowledge!! There are a lot of practice questions in my Kaplan books that I find to be difficult but good for solidifying the information.
4. UWORLD: Now Uworld is extremely expensive and may not work for everyone, but it is a program where you can practice unique questions they’ve created and get exact feedback on why you’re answer was correct or incorrect and what concept the question is making you apply. It also tells you what general concept the question wants you to focus on. This was super helpful for me because it shows me what sections I need to study further and what sections I am more prepared for. I just wish it wasn’t extremely pricey :(
If yall have anymore questions regarding the MCAT, pre-med, medical school applications, or just anything in general please don’t hesitate to contact me!! I’d be more than happy to help :)