One of the very unusual aspects of being a multiple, multiple MCAT examinee is that over the years, I've kept track of how I've done on my practice problems. For example, I feel like a complete idiot that questions on some verbal passages I missed in 2008, I'm STILL missing which is why they say that it's so damn hard to really raise your verbal score. What I am happy about is that I've done better on many of the questions I consistently missed previously than I've done the 2 or so years I've been studying off and on for the MCAT, registering, but never taking the exam before. And on the MCAT, 5 more right answers can be the difference between a single and double digit score on the exam, so I'll take the little progress ANY way I can get it.
So I'm finally done with book 1 of TBR Orgo and finished with a highly unimpressive "8". However, I was close enough to a "9" ( 1 point) that I'm OK with that given the week I had this past week. Plus, combined with the difficulty level of the TBR compared to any of the AAMC practice questions I'm also doing, so I feel pretty good, though I KNOW I can do better.
What I am becoming painfully aware of is that my way of thinking about things seems pretty difficult to change which I think may or may not have something to do with being middle aged? I dunno, I hesitate to cover up for what I really think is a case of the "trifflin", meaning that I haven't felt like I've pushed myself as hard as I'm doing now in a VERY long time. I mean I'm really, really, REALLY, taking my time going through with a fine tooth comb, my wrong answers (thanks TBR!!) which allows me to really think about how I'm thinking about my answers to MCAT style questions. More times than not, I'm finding that if I carefully read the Science passages I can answer at least 40% of the questions without what I feel is any substantial knowledge of the subject matter. In other words, we're right back to the fact that the MCAT is a test on how to take a test rather than what you really know. So, in looking back on wrong answers from the past, I'm finding out that in a lot of cases just a little more common sense and a lot less text anxiety is a good portion of what is needed to do well on the exam. And while progress overall is slow in coming, I feel pretty good that I'll have this thing worked out by early September.